US: Fla. imam seeks identity of informant used in Pakistani Taliban terror finance case

J. Edgar Hoover FBI building - headquarters

Edgar Hoover building - headquarters. Image via Wikipedia

The attorney for a Florida Muslim cleric accused of supporting terrorists wants to learn the identity of a key FBI informant in the case.

Evidence shows the informant recorded numerous conversations with the cleric, 76-year-old Hafiz Khan. Khan’s attorney says in court papers that learning the informant’s identity is critical in preparing his defense. The informant helped drive Khan to appointments and assisted him in dealing with government programs such as Medicare.

The FBI recordings form the backbone of the U.S. case against Khan and his two sons. They are each charged with four terrorism support-related crimes and have pleaded not guilty. The charges each carry potential 15-year sentences. Three others are still at large in Pakistan

Prosecutors say they funneled at least $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban terror group.

via Fla. imam seeks identity of informant used in Pakistani Taliban terror finance case – The Washington Post.

Terrorism: Bali bombing mastermind finally captured… in Pakistan

Wanted -- Umar Patek (aka) Umar Kecil -- Up to...

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Umar Patek, 40, who has a US bounty of $1 million on his head and is Indonesia‘s most wanted fugitive, was arrested by Pakistani security agencies who have said they are investigating him for links to militant groups in Pakistan.

A Pakistani official said: “Right now he is being interrogated. The Indonesians want access to him and they are coming.”

Kevin Rudd, Australian Foreign Minister, said: “For us it is clear that Patek has been arrested. Furthermore, it is our view that Patek’s arrest is potentially a major step forward in the fight against terrorism.

His arrest might offer some small comfort to the nearly 100 Australian families who lost loved ones in the Bali bombings way back in 2002. Of course, his arrest does not bring anyone back.”

via Bali bombing mastermind finally captured – Telegraph.

He has been extradited to Indonesia today.

Pakistan: Christian gunned down in Karachi

Location of Karachi, in the province of Sindh ...

Location of Karachi. Image via Wikipedia

A 38-year-old layman has been gunned down in Pakistan’s largest city.

Arnold Archie Dass was slain in front of dozens of onlookers in the oldest Christian neighborhood in Karachi. In the decades since property values have risen in the neighborhood, members of the “Muslim land mafia” have been harassing area Christians, the Pakistan Christian Post reported; the area is now predominantly Muslim.

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Christian gunned down in Pakistan.

More information on AsiaNews.it:

The victim was getting into his car to go home from work. Local sources say a group of gunmen opened fire in front of dozens of witnesses.

the group of Islamic extremists who carried out the attack left the scene undisturbed after checking that their target would not survive.

Pakistan: local Muslim leaders apologize for anti-Christian rampage

Passing Gojra

Gojra. Image by Dr EG via Flickr

The culprits of the massacre were acquitted, but two imams have apologized about it. The say that the attackers are misunderstanders of Islam, but what they don’t add is the reason why they were actually acquitted.

Two years after a mob of 1,000 Muslims attacked Christians in the northeastern Pakistani city of Gojra, leaders of a local madrassa and mosque have apologized and asked for pardon.

“Even though they weren’t in any way involved in what happened that day,” the two Muslim leaders “gave a full apology for what happened,” said Father Aftab James Paul, an official of the Diocese of Faisalabad. “They said that Islam as a religion does not condone killing. They went on to say that those responsible did not understand the spirit of Islam, and they condemned their actions.”

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Pakistan: local Muslim leaders apologize for anti-Christian rampage.

Pakistan: Father of 2-year-old raped because he didn’t convert to Islam, speaks

I have already written about this case here. The family lives now in Canada. The girl will never have a normal life, because of the consequences of the rape:

As I asked then, any condemnations from UN, UNICEF…?

T/x to Augusto and BNI.

Terrorism: Schools in Pakistan training Afghan youths to act as suicide bombers

Young boys taking Qur'an lessons from wooden t...

Madrassah pupils in Mauritania. Image via Wikipedia

Afghan parents who have sent their sons to schools in Pakistan say they\’re becoming increasing alarmed about the type of education their children are receiving.

 

Rather than serve as centers of learning, many fear that these schools and madrassas are designed primarily to turn out a never-ending supply of suicide bombers.

 

One father in Kapisa province, who asked that his name not be used because he was concerned about security, described the dramatic change his 18-year-old son had undergone after one year at a school in Pakistan. Continue reading

Pakistan: Ministry for Religious Minorities restored

The coat of arms of Pakistan displays the nati...

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They had actually abolished it. I don’t think this serves too much, as the extremists continue to exist, non-Muslims and converts to non-Islamic religions and mixed couples are harrassed and threatened and, even when extremists attack people, normally they aren’t even convicted.

Islamabad intends to reconstitute the department that protects religious minorities. Abolished recently in a federal framework of constitutional reform in Pakistan, the ministry was headed by Shahbaz Bhatti – assassinated in March by an extremist group – it will be called “Ministry of National Harmony“, and will be entrusted to the Catholic politician Akram Gill, with a federal portfolio and rank. Encountering a group of young people, the lawmaker has asked the new generations for “greater efforts” in building a peaceful world.

In recent days, the Pakistani government approved the creation of three different ministries: National Harmony, Human Resources and Development, Professional and Technical training. The decision seems to be linked to the protests of ministers, left without portfolios following the recent reform to promote decentralization. In particular, the Ministry of Harmony will benefit from six departments and will have the task of promoting peace, tolerance and greater solidarity within society, with particular attention to interfaith dialogue.

via PAKISTAN Islamabad, Ministry for Religious Minorities restored – Asia News.

PS: Yes, the name can be considered as “neo-hippy“… :lol:

Pakistan: mixed Christian-Muslim married couple flee death threats

The coat of arms of Pakistan displays the nati...

Image via Wikipedia

A young Pakistani married couple has been forced into hiding because of death threats. Islamic leaders have condemned their marriage because the husband is Christian while the wife is Muslim.

Asthma Zubaida, a Muslim schoolteacher, married Basharat Mashi, a civil official in the town of Gujranwala, in September 2010. After receiving multiple death threats, they have fled the town. Their relatives report that they now have been threatened, and complain that local police have taken little interest in their safety.

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Pakistan: mixed Christian-Muslim married couple flee death threats.

Pakistan: Spies Tied to Slaying of a Journalist

This undated photo provided by Adnkronos news agency shows Pakistani journalist and Adnkronos International correspondent Syed Saleem Shahzad. The Pakistani journalist who investigated al-Qaida's alleged infiltration of the navy and told a rights activist he'd been threatened by the country's intelligence agencies was found dead in Islamabad Tuesday, May 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Cristiano Camera, Courtesy of Adnkronos) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES

This undated photo provided by Adnkronos news agency shows Pakistani journalist and Adnkronos International correspondent Syed Saleem Shahzad. The Pakistani journalist who investigated al-Qaida's alleged infiltration of the navy and told a rights activist he'd been threatened by the country's intelligence agencies was found dead in Islamabad Tuesday, May 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Cristiano Camera, Courtesy of Adnkronos) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES

Something I blogged about here:

New classified intelligence obtained before the May 29 disappearance of the journalist, Saleem Shahzad, 40, from the capital, Islamabad, and after the discovery of his mortally wounded body, showed that senior officials of the spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, directed the attack on him in an effort to silence criticism, two senior administration officials said.

The intelligence, which several administration officials said they believed was reliable and conclusive, showed that the actions of the ISI, as it is known, were “barbaric and unacceptable,” one of the officials said. They would not disclose further details about the intelligence.

But the disclosure of the information in itself could further aggravate the badly fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan…

via Pakistan’s Spies Tied to Slaying of a Journalist – Nuevo Digital Internacional.

The article Mr Shahzad wrote (and that possibly cost him his life) is this one.

Photo found here.

Afghanistan: Pakistan Taliban commander back on the air

Taliban in Herat.

Taliban in Herat. Image via Wikipedia

Back to the future… in this case a very realistic film:

The resurgence of Maulvi Faqir Mohammed — also one of the Pakistani Taliban’s top commanders — illustrates the resilience of militants fighting to topple the U.S.-allied Pakistani government and the growing problem of sanctuaries in eastern Afghanistan that allow fighters to elude the army’s grasp.

“We will return and enforce the golden system of Islam,” Mohammed said in a recent radio broadcast from his new base in Afghanistan. “All of those who have turned their backs on us — like we are gone for good — should seek forgiveness from Allah.”

Militants and their supporters in Pakistan have long used illegal FM radio stations to spread their message and incite violence against the government. The tactic is hard to counter because the equipment needed is cheap and easily transportable.

via Taliban commander back on the air in Pakistan – Boston.com.

Pakistan: Al Qaida branch planned murder of Shabhaz Bhatti

Shabhaz Bhatti was murdered by Islamic fanatics, and the Pakistani government is now pursuing the killers, according to the brother of the slain Catholic leader.

“The investigations into the murder of my brother Shabhaz are finally on the right track,” said Paul Bhatti, who is now a special adviser to the prime minister for religious-minority affairs. He said that the prime suspects are now in Dubai, and Pakistan’s justice minister has issued an international warrant for their arrest.

The killing was the work of an Al Qaida branch, led by a Pakistani Taliban leader, Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistani investigative commission has found.

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Pakistan: Al Qaida branch planned murder of Shabhaz Bhatti.

Pakistani Government has already abolished the cabinet office for religious minorities, the same one held by Mr. Bhatti.

Pakistan: Muslims seek to seize Pakistani Christian hospital

The coat of arms of Pakistan displays the nati...
Image via Wikipedia

Absolutely marvellous:

A Muslim group tried to seize control of a hospital run by a Presbyterian missionary group in Pakistan, bringing charges that the hospital had been sold. The effort was foiled only after local police arrested hospital administrators at the prompting of the Muslim instigators.

The Christian Hospital of Taxila, outside Islamabad, was targeted by a team of Muslim financiers, who claimed to have purchased the property. After local officials began enforcing the claim, a stream of protest by Christian leaders—led by Bishp Rufin Anthony of Islamabad, prompted officials to investigate the claims, and find that the hospital had not been sold.

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Muslims seek to seize Pakistani Christian hospital.

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Pakistan: Seized phone offers clues to Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani links

A still of 2004 Osama bin Laden video

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Double-side game from Pakistan revealed… something which was cleared for a long time…

The cellphone of Osama bin Laden\’s trusted courier, which was recovered in the raid that killed both men in Pakistan last month, contained contacts to a militant group that is a longtime asset of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, senior American officials who have been briefed on the findings say.

The discovery indicates that Bin Laden used the group, Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen, as part of his support network inside the country, the officials and others said. But it also raised tantalizing questions about whether the group and others like it helped shelter and support Bin Laden on behalf of Pakistan’s spy agency, given that it had mentored Harakat and allowed it to operate in Pakistan for at least 20 years, the officials and analysts said.

In tracing the calls on the cellphone, American analysts have determined that Harakat commanders had called Pakistani intelligence officials, the senior American officials said. One said they had met.

via Seized phone offers clues to Osama bin Laden\’s Pakistani links.

More in Long War Journal: Continue reading

Pakistan: Christians demonstrate to call for the release of kidnapped Anglican pastor

Persecution against Christians continue:

Christians took to the streets of Attock–a city of 260,000 in Punjab province in northern Pakistan–to call for a more serious police investigation into the May 14 kidnapping of Robin Javed, an Anglican pastor.

“We do not know the reason why he was kidnapped, nor have we been asked for a ransom,” a local Christian told the Fides news agency. “This silence worries us greatly.”

Members of the Taliban are suspected of carrying out the kidnapping.

Pakistan: Govt announces the arrest of a high-ranking officer for alleged connections with terrorism

Pakistan on Tuesday said it had arrested a high-ranking army officer for alleged connections to militant groups, a rare public acknowledgment of possible ties between this country’s military and the organizations it is battling.

The arrest comes amid rising concern that Pakistan’s military is penetrated by Islamists who are sympathetic to insurgent groups that have declared war on the state. Last month, a naval base in Karachi was stormed by heavily armed fighters in an attack that was widely believed to have required inside help.

Report: Afghanistan is the worst place to live for women

Even worse than Saudi Arabia?

Widespread violence, lack of health care and poverty make Afghanistan the worse country in the world for women, this according to a study by the Thomson-Reuters Foundation. However, AsiaNews sources do not share such a negative view.

The study, based on interviews with 213 experts from around the world, indicates that Afghanistan tops a list of five worst nations, ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia. The inclusion of India has raised eyebrows given its great economic development; however, widespread female foeticide and the nation’s sex trade explain its low ranking.

The survey was compiled to mark the launch of a website, TrustLawWoman, aimed at providing free legal advice to women’s groups.

High maternal mortality rates, limited access to doctors and a “near total lack of economic rights” render Afghanistan such a threat to its female inhabitants. “Continuing conflict, NATO air strikes and cultural practices combine to make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women,” Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, said.

More here.

Pakistan: 9 year-old girl kidnapped, forced to wear suicide vest

I expect the authors of this horrible deed are Taliban or people linked to them. We have to wait to have more news on this (Of course, if they are published).

Just nine years old. The suicide bomber was a young girl locked in a paramilitary checkpoint in the district of Lower Dir in northwestern Pakistan, according to the local police chief, Salim Marwat. The child had been kidnapped Saturday from the city of Peshawar and had been forced by his captors to wear a explosive vest . The little girl, named Suhana Ali, was captured not far from a checkpoint to Islam Dara, when an agent noticed an unnatural bulge on his body. An inspection has revealed that the girl was wearing an explosives vest ready to be activated.

The police operation, and the small age of the girl, were confirmed by a police officer. “Sushana – he explained – is from the Hashtnagri near Peshawar and was kidnapped by four people, both men and women. His father is disabled and poor, while the mother is a seamstress.” During the interrogation, the girl said that her kidnappers had administered sedatives. “They ordered me to push the button when switching the control post, but the police stopped me before I arrived.”

Terrible.

Pakistan: Police arrests a man in investigation over Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder

Pakistani police have arrested a man suspected of being involved in the March 2 assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Catholic cabinet minister slain for his opposition to the nation’s blasphemy law.

A Church official reacted by calling upon authorities to launch a more serious investigation. “We ask the government to launch serious investigations and to urgently predispose all possible means,” said Father Yousaf Emmanuel, director of the bishops’ commission on justice and peace. “We hope and pray that the culprits are caught as soon as possible, so the family and the Christian community can have justice.”

Let’s see if they actually find the culprits and condemn them or it happens as in Gojra killings.

The case of Pakistani Catholic Farah Hatim

People are fearful for Farah Hatim, the Catholic girl abducted and forced to marry and then to convert to Islam in the city of Rahim Yar Khan in southern Punjab. According to Fides the girl’s family is concerned because Farah is constantly drugged and life-threatened. Yet authorities continue to discourage attempts by the family in its battle to request the release of Farah.

Yesterday Qasim Hatim and Huma, a brother and a sister of the victim, were summoned by local police to show them a marriage certificate, a declaration of conversion to Islam and a picture of Farah, with the traditional Muslim robes.

More here.

Pakistan: Muslim think-tank denounces persecution against Christians

It also calls for the abolition of the Blasphemy Law.

In Pakistan there has been a steady increase in violence against religious minorities and Christians “are the first victims of persecution” is an issue that the government must address in order to guarantee freedom, democracy and the rule of law. E ‘, according to a new report entitled “A question of faith”(A Question of Faith), published in recent days by “Jinnah Institute, a prestigious center for research and analysis of Pakistan, based on the principles of the founder of the country, Mohammed Ali Jinnah. The Study Centre is now chaired by the Parliamentary Muslim Sherry Rehman, Pakistan People’s Party, the party currently in power in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistani people want more Islamization and recently the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Samiul Haq) leader Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi and others called for banning the Bible because it contains “blasphemous material”.