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U.S. suspects escaped prisoners may be aiding Al Qaeda in attack on Yemen

August 9, 2013 Comments off

truthdive.com

Tom Coghlan and Annabel Symington

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)

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Israel ‘increasingly isolated’ in Middle East: U.S.

October 3, 2011 Comments off

rawstory

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Arab spring has left Israel “increasingly isolated” in the Middle East and that its military might could not make up for a weakened diplomatic position.

Speaking to reporters aboard his plane bound for Israel as part of a Middle East tour, Panetta said it was crucial for Israel to shore up its relations with Egypt and other countries in the region that had proved valuable partners in the past.

“There’s not much question in my mind that they maintain that (military) edge. But the question you have to ask is it enough to maintain a military edge, if you’re isolating yourself in the diplomatic arena?” Panetta said.

“At this dramatic time in the Middle East, when there have been so many changes, it’s not a good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated. And that’s what’s happening,” he said.

Panetta, who was due to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Monday before heading to Read more…

Riddle in the sands: Thousands of strange ‘Nazca Lines’ discovered in the Middle East

September 16, 2011 1 comment

dailymail

Peru’s Nazca Lines, the mysterious geoglyphs etched into the desert centuries ago by indigenous groups, are world famous – and now thousands of similar patterns have been found in the Middle East.

Satellite and aerial photography has revealed mysterious stone ‘wheels’ that are more numerous and older than the Nazca Lines in countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The structures are thought to date back 2,000 years, but why they were built is baffling archaeologists and historians.

Ancient mystery: The stone wheels are thought to be 2,000 years oldAncient mystery: Read more…

IDF general: Likelihood of regional war growing

September 6, 2011 1 comment

ynetnews

Iranian missile (Photo: Reuters)

Iranian missile (Photo: Reuters)

Recent revolutions in the Arab world and the deteriorating ties with Turkey are raising the likelihood of a regional war in the Middle East, IDF Home Front Command Chief, Major General Eyal Eisenberg warned Monday.

“It looks like the Arab Spring, but it can also be a radical Islamic winter,” he said in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

“This leads us to the conclusion that through a long-term process, the likelihood of an all-out war is increasingly growing,” the IDF general said.

Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program. The opposite it true; it continues full steam ahead,” he said. “In Egypt, the army is collapsing under the burden of regular security operations, and this is reflected in the loss of control in the Sinai and the turning of the border with Israel into a terror border, with the possibility that Sinai will fall under the control of an Islamic entity.”

“In Lebanon, Hezbollah is growing stronger within government arms, but it has Read more…

Hopes for democracy fade as civil wars grip the Arab world

June 13, 2011 Comments off

independent

A Syrian soldier on a military bus near Jisr al-Shughour, where authorities said 120 soldiers and police were killedA Syrian soldier on a military bus near Jisr al-Shughour, where authorities said 120 soldiers and police were killed

The Arab awakening is turning into the Arab nightmare. Instead of ushering in democracy, the uprisings in at least three Arab states are fast becoming vicious civil wars. In the past 10 days, crucial developments in Syria, Libya and Yemen have set these countries spiralling into violent and intractable struggles for power.

In Syria, thousands of troops are assaulting the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour where the government claims 120 of its soldiers and police were killed last week. Leaving aside exactly how they died, the government in Damascus is making it lethally clear that in future its opponents, peaceful opponents or not, will be treated as if they were armed gunmen. An extraordinary aspect of the Syrian uprisings is that people go on Read more…

Disease hits wheat crops in Africa, Mideast

April 22, 2011 Comments off

AFP

PARIS — Aggressive new strains of wheat rust disease have decimated up to 40 percent of harvests in some regions of north Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus, researchers said Wednesday.

The countries most affected are Syria and Uzbekistan, with Egypt, Yemen, Turkey, Iran, Morocco, Ethiopia and Kenya also hit hard, they reported at a scientific conference in Aleppo, Syria.

“These epidemics increase the price of food and pose a real threat to rural livelihoods and regional food security,” Mahmoud Solh, director general of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), said in a statement.

In some nations hit by the blight, wheat accounts for 50 percent of calorie intake, and 20 percent of protein nutrition.

“Wheat is the cornerstone for food security in many of these countries,” said Hans Braun, director of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), near Mexico City, singling out Syria.

“Looking at the political and social situation, what they don’t need is a food crisis,” he told AFP by phone.

Wheat rust is a fungal disease that attacks the stems, grains and especially the Read more…

Middle East Unrest Could Harm WMD-Free Zone Talks

March 9, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

Protesters chant slogans on Saturday during a demonstration outside an Egyptian state security building in the outskirts of Cairo. Recent political instability throughout the Middle East could complicate efforts to establish a regional weapons of mass destruction-free zone, current and former officials said (Wissam Nassar/Getty Images).

The unrest and revolutions sweeping through the Middle East have raised doubts over the potential for regional nations to hold previously planned talks focused on forming a weapons of mass destruction-free zone, Arms Control Today reported in its March issue (see GSN, March 1).

At the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference in New York, member nations agreed to hold a 2012 meeting on “the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.”

“We are absolutely committed” to the WMD-free zone meeting, White House WMD point man Gary Samore said in an interview last month. “But there’s a lot of uncertainty because of the unrest in the Middle East.”

In the last two months, longstanding regimes in Tunisia and Egypt have fallen, and protests in Libya have escalated into full-scale fighting between militants and forces loyal to Col. Muammar Qadhafi. Protests have also erupted in Bahrain, Jordan, Oman and Read more…