U.S. intelligence agencies have said that several prisoners, who escaped in recent jail breakouts in the Middle East, might be aiding Al Qaeda terror group in conducting a terror strike on the American Embassy in Yemen.
Nasir al Wuhayshi, who runs the most dangerous branch of Al Qaeda, is believed to be behind the plot that involves explosive-laden truck bombs targeting U.S. missions, ABC News reports.
He is also suspected to be the mastermind behind the underwear bomb plan to bring down a U.S. aircraft.
The report further added that al Wuhayshi might get help from a large number of Al Qaeda prisoners, who have been freed from several prisons in the Middle East in past few weeks with the help of heavily armed militants.
Interpol reports there have been at least nine major prison breaks in the last month.
In Iraq, 500 jail inmates were freed, including 50 Al Qaeda militants.
In Libya, more than 1,000 prisoners were freed from a jail in Benghazi.
Another Taliban jailbreak in Pakistan freed nearly 250 convicts.
Michael Chertoff, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said that the prisoners could possibly be suicide bombers or become combatants with bomb-making capabilities.
After the State Department ordered the evacuation of all non-essential personnel from Yemen because of an increased terror threat, a U.S. military cargo plane helped evacuate staff from the U.S. Embassy.
The U.S. Air Force airlifted almost all of the personnel with the help of a C-17 aircraft to Germany, leaving behind only the most essential employees. (ANI)
More than a billion people around the world would face starvation if India and Pakistan unleash nuclear weapons — even if that war is regionally limited, a study released Tuesday warned.
That’s because the deadly and polluting weapons would cause major worldwide climate disruption that would dramatically drive down food production in China, the United States and other countries.
“The grim prospect of nuclear famine requires a fundamental change in our thinking about nuclear weapons,” said study author Dr. Ira Helfand of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
“The new evidence that even the relatively small nuclear arsenals of countries such as India and Pakistan could cause long lasting, global damage to the Earth’s ecosystems and threaten hundreds of millions of already malnourished people demands that action be taken,” Helfand said in a statement.
“The needless and preventable Read more…
China is planning a military base in Pakistan, India Today reported, citing “a secret report prepared by the government’s joint intelligence committee.”
According to the report:
China is keen to build military bases in FATA, or the Northern areas, while Pakistan wants to counterbalance Indian naval forces by having a naval base in Gwadar. But it does not spell out the exact location of these bases.
At a time when Pakistan-US relations are strained — chiefly over drone missile attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas and the covert Navy SEAL operation attack that took out Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil — China has made no secret of its interest in strengthening its own ties with the nuclear-armed nation.
Last Thursday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao hosted Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Beijing and vowed to Read more…
Polio has broken out in China for the first time since 1999 after being imported from Pakistan, and there is a high risk of the crippling virus spreading further during the annual Haj pilgrimage, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.
Nine cases have been confirmed in China and polio is now considered to have spread nationwide in Pakistan, mainly due to insecurity that has halted vaccination campaigns in areas including the Khyber tribal region, a WHO spokesman said.
“The WHO rates as ‘high’ the risk of further international spread of wild polio virus from Pakistan, particularly given the expected large-scale population movements associated with Umra and the upcoming Haj…in the coming months,” the Geneva-based body said in a statement.
Haj is the main annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which is due to start in November. Umra refers to other pilgrimages to Mecca, which can take place any time of the year.
The United States is reported to be expanding a secret drone program in east Africa and the Arabian peninsula in order to gather intelligence and strike al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia and Yemen.
Citing U.S. defense officials, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. is building a new military installation to host the unmanned aircraft in Ethiopia, where drones can more easily attack members of the militant group al-Shabab that is fighting for control of neighboring Somalia.
The report also said the U.S. has re-opened a drone base in the Seychelles, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, where a small Read more…
Residents assist a handicapped man while escaping to higher ground from their flooded village in Pakistan’s Sindh province (Reuters)
One year after record floods left 21-million Pakistanis homeless, thousands living on the country’s southern fertile plains have seen their homes washed away for a second time — despite the spending of millions of dollars in aid to avert a fresh crisis.
Anwer Mirani is one of 20 000 people living in Sindh province’s Jamshoro district who have been made homeless again after heavy downpours and rainwater from the surrounding mountains swept their homes away.
“We had just begun to restore our houses when we had to leave again because of the floods,” said the 38-year-old construction worker, wearing a tatty shalwar kameez, the traditional garb of baggy trousers and long shirt.
He took his wife, parents and three children in a boat Read more…
Floods covered at least 14,390 square miles (37,280 square km) of Pakistan between July 28 and September 16, 2010. For more information about this image, please visit this NASA Earth Observatory page Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory GREENBELT, Md. — Two of the most destructive natural disasters of 2010 were closely linked by a single meteorological event, even though they occurred 1,500 miles (2,414 km) apart and were of completely different natures, a new NASA study suggests.
The research finds that the same large-scale meteorological event — an abnormal Rossby wave — sparked extreme heat and persistent wildfires in Russia as well as unusual downstream wind patterns that shifted rainfall in the Indian monsoon region and fueled heavy flooding in Pakistan. Although the heat wave started before the floods, both events attained maximum strength at approximately the same time, the researchers found Read more…
Less than a month following reports that Pakistan allowed China to view the remains of the top-secret stealth helicopter that SEAL Team 6 left behind at the bin Laden compound, China has begun combat testing of its first home-made helicopter gunship. ITN News on the growing military power’s publicity stunt to unveil the aircraft:
News of Rahman’s demise comes as the US gears up to mark the 10th anniversary of Al-Qaeda’s most spectacular attack, on September 11, 2001 on landmarks in Washington and New York, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
Rahman, a Libyan, was killed in the northwest tribal Waziristan area on August 22 after being heavily involved in directing operations for Al-Qaeda, a senior US official said, without divulging the circumstances of his death.
However, local officials in the region told AFP last week that a US drone strike on August 22 on a vehicle in North Waziristan killed at least four militants. It was not clear if the two incidents were connected.
The senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the death of Rahman would be deeply felt by Read more…
NEW DELHI: The Red Dragon is spreading its wings and sharpening its claws at a rapid clip. From deadly long-range nuclear missiles and an expanding blue-water Navy to potent space and cyber warfare abilities, China will have a “modern” military capable of prolonged high-intensity combat operations by the end of this decade.
Pentagon’s latest assessment of the expanding military might of China, released on Thursday, paints a scary picture of the frenetic pace at which the 2.25-million People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is being modernized, in the backdrop of uncertainty over its long-term intentions.
Though the US report holds that thwarting any American intervention in Taiwan remains PLA’s “main strategic direction”, New Delhi can ill-afford to ignore China’s increasing trans-border military capabilities, its assiduous strategic encircling of India and hardening posture in the border talks.
The report itself notes PLA has replaced its Read more…