Pakistan: American kidnapped by suspected Taliban in Lahore (UPD)

The Alamgiri Gate built in 1673, is the main e...

The Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort. Image via Wikipedia

Twelve heavily armed suspected Taliban militants barged into the residence of an American national and kidnapped him in the wee hours today after overpowering his guards in Pakistan”s Punjab provincial capital.

About a dozen armed men entered the house of Warren Weinstein in Block J of Model Town neighbourhood at 3:30 am and took him away after overpowering his four guards, police spokesman Niyab Haider Naqvi told PTI.

The kidnappers bundled Weinstein into a vehicle and took him to an unknown location, Naqvi said.

Other officials, who did not want to be identified, said they suspected the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan was behind the abduction.

US Embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez confirmed that an American citizen had been kidnapped but declined to identify him.

“He was working for a private company. We are working with Pakistani authorities on the issue,” Rodriguez said.

Security guards at the American”s residence were preparing for ”sehri”, the pre-dawn meal in the Islamic holy month of Ramzan, when the kidnappers struck.

via American kidnapped by suspected Taliban in Lahore –  .

UPD: The kidnapped man is an American Jewish.

China: The search for the stolen children

What a paradise… :shock:

Such cases are astonishingly common in China, where the government estimates that between 30,000 and 60,000 children are abducted every year by child-smuggling rings. Many are sold onwards to mines and factories looking for cheap labour or families who, partly because of China’s one-child policy, are desperate for a male heir.Most of those who go missing are boys, who reportedly can fetch upwards of $5,000 on the black market, while girls are said to sometimes sell for as little as $500. While most of those kidnapped are trafficked within China, some are sold abroad to Southeast Asia and occasionally onwards to North America.

… Parents of the missing have received a charge of hope this year from a government campaign that has resulted in the rescue of 2,169 kidnapped children, some only a few months in age, others now as old as 25.

…But in southern Guangdong province, where China’s child-snatching problem is at its most rampant, Mr. Sun and other parents believe the local police are as much a part of the problem as the solution. Children in the factory towns of China’s Pearl River Delta are seen as easier prey because their parents often work long hours, and are too poor to afford child care, forcing them to leave their children to play outside by themselves.

via The search for China’s stolen children – The Globe and Mail.

Spain: AQIM speaks about Islamists imprisoned in Spain

This is an update on this story (1, 2, 3, 4). El Mundo:

Sources of the Penitentiary Institutions in Spain reported yesterday that there are 64 Islamists imprisoned in Spain, most of them condemned by Jihadist activities related to March 11th bombings, and with Police Operations called “Nova” and “Dátil”.

Nearly a dozen Islamists condemned by their role on March 11th bombings, are imprisoned, among others,Jamal Zougam, who was an active player in the massacre.

Islamists related to March 11th bombings were accused of being “members of cells or terrorist groups, Jihadist-related, who, using violence as a mean to achieve their targets in all their activities, want to end every democratic regime and eliminate the culture of Western Christian tradition. They also want to impose an Islamic state under Sharia Law, that is, the Islamic Law in its most radical, extreme and less common expression”.

In “Operación Nova”, the Third Section of the Criminal Tribunal from the National Court published on Feb 2008 a sentence in which 20 Islamists were condemned to 173 yearsin prison. The charges were belonging and colaborating with terrorist organization.

Lastly, “Operación Dátil” ended with a sentence of the same tribunal on Sept 2005. It condemned 18 person, among others Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, aka “Abu Dahdah”. He was considered as the leader of an AQ cell in Spain. He was also condemned on conspiration charges related to Sept 11 2001 attacks on US.

ABC.es:

In the text, the criminals announce they will “not stop” in “our will to combat and kill you and we will resist your attacks to help our tortured imprisoned [fellows] in your prisons”. In Spanish prisons there are around 60 Jihadist prisoners and some of them belong to the Salafist school. Linked to the latter, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat was born, group which was later transformed into AQIM.

…Even if officially there are no proofs of financial payments from the Governments, it is true that the terrorists have only freed the hostages after their financial demands were fully satisfied. One of the organizations which has mediated in some of AQIM kidnappings is the foundation directed by Seif El Islam, Muamar El Gadaffi’s son, who has a “widespread net” in the Sahel’s area, although in the last kidnappings another channels have also been used. France and Spain will work together in the negotiation’s area for obvious reasons: French Administration knows well the area because of its condition of former metropoly.

Ransom demand made of missing ship’s owners

 

A ransom demand has been made of the owners of the missing cargo ship which passed through the English Channel after being hijacked by pirates.

The whereabouts of Arctic Sea, carrying £1 million worth of timber and a 15-strong Russian crew, continues to remain a mystery.

It had been thought the ship was spotted off the coast of the Cape Verde islands yesterday, more than two weeks after it disappeared.

But reports from Russia claimed officials were unable to confirm whether the sighting was the missing ship.

Ransom demand made of missing ship’s owners – Times Online

The demanded ransom is worth 1.5 million, threatening with killing the crew if demands are not met.

But the mistery remains, specially because no one knows the cause of its disappearance:

There has been huge speculation over the reason for its disappearance, ranging from pirates to a mafia dispute to a commercial quarrel.

So conspiracy theories have arisen: from piracy to “secret cargo” or “nuclear weapons”, are, according to the Web, the causes of its disparation.

Now, that a ransom has been demanded it’s clear that is a kidnapping. But its author or authors remain unclear.