The victims’ names have been released by US authorities, amid claims that a Canadian-Alegrian militant was involved in planning the raid
The names of the three Americans killed during a four-day siege at an Algerian gas plant were released by US authorities on Monday, as it was claimed that a Canadian had been involved in the planning the raid.
In a statement, the State Department confirmed that Victor Lynn Lovelady, Gordon Lee Rowan and Frederick Buttaccio were among the scores of international employees killed in the attack, responsibility for which has been claimed by al-Qaida linked terrorists.
Expressing “deepest condolences” to the families of the three American victims, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that officials were aware of a further seven US citizens who survived the attack.
The total number of hostages known to have been killed now stands at 48, with British, Americans, French, Japanese, Norwegian and Romanian workers among the dead. Dozens of militants also died during fighting with special forces tasked with bringing the hostage crisis to an end.
The Algerian government claimed the raid had been co-ordinated by a Canadian-Algerian jihadist and relied on extensive inside knowledge of the facility.
The deadly stand-off began last Wednesday when militants seized the facility at the In Amenas gas field in the Sahara.
It ended on Saturday, when Algerian forces mounted a final assault against the captors.
By that time, five Americans had already been taken out of the complex and led to safety. The remaining two US hostages survived Saturday’s fighting and were flown to London.
Officials had already confirmed that Buttaccio, from Texas, was among the dead at the site.
Militants had offered to release Lovelady and Rowan in exchange for the freedom of two terror suspects being kept in the United States: Omar Abdel Rahman, convicted of plotting to blow up New York landmarks, and Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist apprehended after shooting at two US soldiers in Afghanistan. The White House rejected the offer.
In the statement released Monday, the State Department reiterated the administration’s belief that the terrorist assailants alone were responsible for the deaths. “As the President said, the blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out, and the United States condemns their actions in the strongest possible terms,” Nuland said.
“We will continue to work closely with the government of Algeria to gain a fuller understanding of the terrorist attack of last week and how we can work together moving forward to combat such threats in the future,” she said.
No details were released concerning the circumstances in which the three Americans were killed.
Four of the British victims have been named: a former member of the British speed skiing team, Carson Bilsland, 46, an oil worker originally from near Blairgowrie, Perthshire; Paul Morgan, 46, a security expert; Garry Barlow, 49, a systems supervisor from Liverpool; and planning manager Kenneth Whiteside, 59, from Glenrothes, Fife. Carlos Estrada, a Colombian BP executive who lived in London, is also believed to be among the dead.
The Algerian prime minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, said on Monday that the final decision by the country’s special forces to storm the site on Saturday was triggered by an intercepted order to execute the remaining seven hostages and by the jihadists’ plans to blow up the desert gas pumping plant which, Sellal said, could have spread debris across a 5km radius.
Sellal said 29 jihadists from the al-Qaida splinter group Signers in Blood had been killed and three had been captured alive.
He said the attack was orchestrated by a Canadian national known only as Chedad, who he said was now in Mauritania. Surviving hostages also talked of a militant at the scene with a north American accent calling on foreign contractors to come out of hiding.
John Baird, the Canadian foreign minister, said: “We can’t confirm the accuracy of these reports. But our embassy in Algiers and our team in Ottawa are working to try to verify this information.”
Sellal said the militant cell included men from Egypt, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Tunisia, as well as three Algerians, and he claimed the plot had been hatched at least two months previously.
The attackers had driven hundreds of miles from Mali arriving across the Libyan border.
The jihadist operation “knew the facility’s layout by heart” from a former driver from the plant from Niger, Sellal said.
Sellal said the Signers in Blood group – followers of a veteran Algerian jihadist called Mokhtar Belmokhtar – had planned to blow up the In Amenas gas field and take hostages back to Mali to use as bargaining chips.
“Their goal was to kidnap foreigners,” he said. “They wanted to flee to Mali with the foreigners but, once they were surrounded, they started killing the first hostages.”
He said a guard at the gate of the complex who was wounded in the initial attack had set off an alarm that stopped the flow of gas and warned workers of an imminent attack. “It was thanks to him that the factory was protected,” Sellal said.
He said Algerian special forces had no choice but to intervene because the jihadists were going to flee the country with their captives and because they planned to kill the hostages and blow up the installation.
He said talks with the militant group had been “a real labyrinth” in which the hostage-takers made “unreasonable” demands. There was no choice for Algerian forces but to attack, he said.
U.S. confirms three citizens killed in Algeria hostage drama
By Agence France-Presse
Monday, January 21, 2013 16:28 EST
The United States confirmed Monday that three of its citizens were among the foreign workers who died last week in an attack by Islamist hostage-takers on an Algerian gas plant.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said seven more Americans survived the drama at the In Amenas site, and identified those killed as Victor Lynn Lovelady, Gordon Lee Rowan and Frederick Buttaccio.
Earlier, Algerian authorities had said 37 foreigners of eight different nationalities had been killed in the attack and subsequent four-day siege of the facility, which ended in a bloodbath on Saturday.
Nuland said she would not be giving more details about the US dead or the survivors, out of respect for the families’ privacy, but cited President Barack Obama in blaming the Islamist militants for the bloodshed.
“As the President said, the blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out, and the United States condemns their actions in the strongest possible terms,” she said.
“We will continue to work closely with the Government of Algeria to gain a fuller understanding of the terrorist attack of last week and how we can work together moving forward to combat such threats in the future.”
The sprawling In Amenas gas plant was attacked on Wednesday by at least 32 heavily-armed fighters, who Algerian officials claim crossed into the country from neighboring Mali, where Islamist militants have launched a rebellion.
The gang took foreign workers hostage and Algerian forces responded with an uncompromising assault which only ended at the weekend.
Some foreign governments complained Algeria had kept them in the dark about an operation that many observers found hasty, but in public Washington and its allies have been cautiously supportive of Algeria’s move.
Iran inspiration for all regional revolutions: Egypt parliament speaker
Egypt’s Parliament Speaker Mohamed Saad El-Katatni has lauded Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution as a source of inspiration for all the popular revolutions across the region and defended Tehran’s nuclear rights.
At a Monday meeting with Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani on the sidelines of the 8th General Assembly Meeting of the Islamic Inter-Parliamentary Union in Sudanese capital, Khartoum, El-Katatni also underscored the Egyptian nation’s opposition to any interference by global powers in Iran’s internal affairs and slammed the West’s double standards with regard to the Islamic Republic and Israel.
The top Egyptian legislator pointed to the North African nation’s resolve to consolidate ties with Iran and hailed the two countries’ common principles as a good ground for further enhancement of bilateral relations.
Larijani, for his part, underlined the importance of Egypt for Iran and expressed optimism that political reforms in the North African country will bring about prosperity.
“Since the beginning of the developments in Egypt, we have been constantly following up on the situation and changes in Egypt and consider your victory as a political earthquake for the country,” he added.
Iran severed ties with Egypt after Cairo signed the 1978 Camp David Accord with the Israeli regime and offered asylum to Iran’s deposed monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
However, the Egyptian revolution in February 2011 which led to the ouster of Egypt’s former dictator, Hosni Mubarak, has caused relative thaw in frosty ties between Tehran and Cairo.
ICC lawyers slam Libya over Kadhafi son’s ‘Kafka-esque’ trial
By Agence France-Presse
Monday, January 21, 2013 16:35 EST
Lawyers defending Moamer Kadhafi’s son Seif al-Islam at the International Criminal Court on Monday accused Libyan authorities of conducting a “Kafka-esque show trial” after he appeared in a court in his homeland for the first time last week.
The latest broadside in the legal tug-of-war between The Hague-based ICC and Tripoli over where Seif, 40, should face justice came after he appeared in the dock in the Libyan town of Zintan on Thursday on charges of “undermining state security”.
The Libyan charges were levelled after four ICC envoys went to Zintan in June and were detained for nearly a month, triggering a diplomatic row.
One of the four, Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, was accused of carrying a pen camera and attempting to give Seif a coded letter from his former right-hand man Mohammed Ismail, who is wanted by Libyan authorities.
After Kadhafi appeared in court, ICC lawyers on Monday submitted an urgent request to the ICC “to issue an immediate decision on the admissibility of the case, and to order the government of Libya to immediately surrender Mr Kadhafi to the custody of the ICC”.
The ICC is mulling a Libyan request to put Kadhafi and former spy chief Abdullah Senussi on trial there, while the ICC itself wants to try Kadhafi on charges of crimes against humanity committed in the conflict that overthrew his father in 2011.
The ICC lawyers said that Kadhafi “is essentially being tried for attempting to communicate with the ICC via his Counsel in relation to the fact that his rights had been violated”.
“Prosecuting a defendant for trying to defend himself epitomises the very definition of a Kafka-esque show trial.”
The ICC lawyers said Kadhafi’s trial on security charges was “a completely unrelated, and abusive prosecution”.
“Such strong-arm tactics have absolutely no place in a court of law, or in any country, which claims to respect the rule of law.”
The ICC, which was mandated by the UN Security Council to investigate the Libyan conflict, issued arrest warrants in June 2011 for both Seif and Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.
Lawyers for the two accused have said they will not get a fair trial in Libya, which has until Wednesday to submit its latest report to the ICC in a bid to have the court quash a surrender request.
Three Britons dead in Algeria attack, Cameron tells MPs
21 January 2013 Last updated at 16:56
Three British nationals were killed in the Algerian hostage attack and a further three are believed to be dead, along with a Colombian who lived in the UK, David Cameron has confirmed.
The prime minister told the Commons the top priority was to bring home the bodies of the victims, but cautioned it might take some time.
He was addressing MPs on 21 January 2013 on the “despicable” crisis that unfolded from 16 January at the remote In Amenas gas field near Algeria’s border with Libya.
Opposition leader Ed Miliband said the whole country was “shocked” by the “unprovoked and violent attack” and pledged Labour’s full support to the government’s response.
Algeria’s prime minister has said 37 foreigners from eight nationalities and one Algerian worker were killed in the four-day siege at the gas plant.
He said 29 of the Islamist kidnappers had been killed and three were captured alive.
Mr Cameron, who was flanked by deputy PM Nick Clegg and Foreign Secretary William Hague in the Commons, said the “resolve” shown by Algerian security services in dealing with the terrorist attack should be acknowledged.
He pledged that British intelligence and counter-terrorism assets would play their role in an international effort to “find and dismantle” the terrorist network responsible for the massacre.
The PM also told MPs he would use the UK’s chairmanship of the G8 group of richest countries to focus on the threat of terrorism.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Conservative chair of parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, praised the PM’s “sober and realistic” response to the crisis.
He called for a “political, not merely a military strategy” to beat extremists in North Africa.
West coins terms to demonize Islam
Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:17PM GMT
The previous two decades have witnessed some keywords that were being used for a variety of purposes from simple propaganda to pretexts for war.
These terms are usually started by Western politicians, promoted by Western media and more often than not sold to the masses by Eastern media to give them more legitimacy. I just thought it would be amusing to highlight the sinister meaning of some of the most popular.
Regime: This word brings to mind something intense, dark, negative, repulsive, evil and even feelings of hate towards the object it intends to describe. This expression makes it very clear the power of propaganda. Just ponder on the effect this word has when associated with the following countries. The US regime, the British regime, the French regime, the South Korean regime, the Bahraini regime; that doesn’t sound nor feel right; the mind is simply not accustomed to those word associations. All of the aforementioned go better with the words governments or system or other sweeter words.
Now note the “correct” use of the word REGIME, the way the originators intended it to work. North Korean regime, the Iranian regime, the Syrian regime, the Iraqi regime, the current system is conveniently better known as government not regime.
What makes some words repulsive or attractive are mainly politicians and then news networks making them more ingrained in our minds by constant repetition of them; psychologists call it the mere exposure effect. Perhaps the best example is Myanmar. Just few months ago it was dubbed a regime but soon after Hilary Clinton and Obama visited the country and made their public approval of it the world media halted labeling the Burmese government a regime.
It is hard to believe that adults, not children, work for these networks spearheaded by CNN, Fox, MSNBC, Al-Arabiya, Al-jazeera English (which seems to have been infiltrated by Neocons and Zionists) among others and the adults in question are exceptionally intelligent; very carefully chosen. But how can they be so easily swayed to simply repeat what they hear! It bugles the mind. In any case, the intended end game is that they do manage to make very benign words appear ever more repugnant.
Fundamentalism: This word surely brings to mind names like Osama bin Laden, and Mullah Omar among others. The word has also been made to sound evil but is it?
The true meaning of this word is the fullest extent of adherence to some doctrine or ideology. It has been villainised but for me as a Muslim I couldn’t think of a more beautiful term. Islam as an ideology is not in hunt of some popularity contest title and as such being fundamental is a beautiful thing. Being fundamental is simply being fully respectful of Allah.
Being a fundamentalist means adhering to the rules of this great religion or any other ideology exactly as it is ordained. It means no selling out. The word has mainly been used to describe “hard core” Muslims but judging by the behavior of Western politicians the word is more fitting for them. Case in example, the William Hagues, Sarkozys and Obamas of this world are true fundamentalist in the sense that their thinking is rigid because they are controlled by the same mysterious force.
Specifically, these men tend to agree on things that they really shouldn’t because it makes all of them seem carbon copies of each other and quite frankly make them seem dense. Their stance on Israel despite its many atrocities speaks volumes about their fundamentalism. As you can see, the word is not copy-write material for the Muslims.
Terrorism: The natural progression from fundamentalism is into terrorism. This word too has been made to seem copy-writed by Muslims. Suicide bombers, hijackings and similar acts are almost always associated with Muslims and Islam. The truth however is that Western politicians own this word far more than Al-Qaeda and her brothers ever could.
The difference is in the texture and appearance but the result of Western terrorism is far more devastating. Western terrorists usually come in great suits, well shaved and ride in expensive limousines and always have a better and more wide reaching platform to rational-lies their terror to the world. They own the bigger share of the media through which to polish their terror.
They have managed over the years to make the world believe that mass killings by sophisticated jetfighters and high tech drones is less messier than by a dynamite-full back pack carried by a suicide bomber. They have incredibly managed to convince the masses that their killings are more merciful and are of more service to the world. However, Judging by the numbers of people obliterated by either side, you can be the judge as to who more deserves the description, terrorist.
And so it goes, in the Eastern hemisphere, if you are fighting for something but don’t belong to the Zionists or American forces or “freedom fighters” and don’t belong to forces of a “regime” then you must be a terrorist belonging to Al-Qaeda and her countless affiliates or belonging to “terror” groups of Hamas or Hezbollah.
Recently France and her buddies started attacking the Tuareg fighters which are conveniently labeled affiliates of Al-Qaeda but if the US and the other gangsters wished it so the group could have easily been deemed “freedom fighters” against the Mali REGIME. It just so happened that the group is fighting against a friendly government to the West, hence the term terrorists for the rebels and government for Mali authorities, not regime.
Double standards: This is the one word that Muslims have not been exclusively defined by a great deal as it is a more fitting word for Western politicians and their friend of the East. One prominent example is that for years they placed Gaddafi under strictest of sanctions because he had not been obey-ful to their demands but when he seemed to shift course they started flying in flocks into Tripoli to hug and kiss him. They even indeed invited him to their capitals and honored him enormously. Note that before him, Saddam Hussain received exactly the same treatment.
Somewhere along the way they realized that gaddafi wasn’t about to let them have their way with Libya’s resources so they shifted course again and ended up killing the man. We went in to support the revolution they claimed; exactly as they are busy doing in Syria at present. Just in the neighborhood, in Bahrain, where people are revolting for exactly the same reasons and for about the same period, they seem mute and deaf at the same time.
In our world, duplicity of the strong isn’t as bad as that of the weak. Hezbollah and Hamas are to be fought against as terrorists but “freedom fighters” of Syria are to be awarded medals of bravery. The Jewish state can own as many nuclear weapons as it wishes but Iran can’t be allowed to even own a functioning nuclear program for energy needs. I stand corrected though, that is beyond duplicity that is gangster mentality.
Parrotism: I personally am fond of this word because it is totally made up; it means being a brainless mouthpiece for some stronger forces then yourself. Because I couldn’t find a word good enough to describe the behavior of the media and some Arab politicians as it relates to thoughtless repetitions as is the case with Qatari’s prime minister, I came up with the second best description, PARROTISM.
The word simply means repeating what strong world leaders say without due examination. When Obama or Cameron says so and so is a terrorist and you find what is supposed to be serious media repeating the same, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The same is true with weak politicians who have been afforded great platforms on which to preach garbage.
A city state the size of Qatar for example, shouldn’t have as much say as it does on the Arab stage let alone the Muslim and world stage, but it does. It only has been afforded that much power because it keeps recycling exactly what powerful Western leaders want to propagate. Being an Arab and a Muslim, I am shamed by such attitudes and behaviors.
Free, fair and practical media is essential especially for those in pursuit of justice and free media needs to start by scrutinizing words used by the enemies of justice because those terms are the vehicles used to brainwash, manipulate and eventually legitimize disasters such as wars and other injustices. If one wishes to sermonize nonsense, at least make it original nonsense, not imitative.
Repeating without examining is either done intentionally or due to ignorance and as such responsible media and politicians needs to avoid both as none is pardonable. Repetition of words lead to replication of attitudes and copying of attitudes eventually leads to supporting injustices and atrocities.
Much of Muslim blood spilling of the last two decades has been green-lighted by politicians and media using words that authorizes it. Ahemdi Nijads and Chavezs of this world enjoy great support simply because they are original, not saints but authentic.
Press TV, RT, Wiki Leaks and the likes ought to be supported wholeheartedly by all who seek to better the world and counter intentional or ignorant-ridden media and politicians. No one is claiming that these media outlets are perfect but at the very least their intentions seem purer; resisting evil. The evidence for their just cause is that though few, they still manage to get the voices of the many across.
The media, public debates, the United Nations and other circles are infested with words meant to bend the world psyche but the good news is that the world assisted by the internet and other means is fighting back. We are fighting back. Every little contribution helps.
Algerian gas field hostage toll rises to 48
January 21, 2013, 9:12 AM (GMT+02:00)
The number rose of hostages thought to have died in the four-day al Qaeda siege at the Algerian gas plant rose Monday to at least 48 after the 25 mostly burnt bodies found at the complex were all identified as those of captives. Still as many as 20 hostages remain unaccounted for, say the Algerian authorities, who promise a definitive death toll as soon as their searches of the vast complex is finished. Five suspected Islamist attackers were reportedly arrested on Sunday.
A massive explosion was set at the entrance to the compound Monday morning as Taliban attackers stormed the building. Gunfire and more explosions rang out from battles between them and Afghan security forces which were called to defend the compound. Taliban claimed the attack targeted a special unit where foreign instructors trained local police.
An analyst says America’s so called soft war of mistake-prone killer drone strikes is absolutely not soft as murdering people could never be considered to be gentle or sympathetic.
Press TV has conducted an interview with director of the center for Middle East Studies Hisham Jaber in Beirut to further discuss the issue. What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.
The comment comes as at least four civilians have lost their lives in a new US assassination drone strike in Yemen’s central province of Marib.
Yemeni military officials said a vehicle in Marib, situated approximately 170 kilometers (110 miles) east of the capital Sana’a was targeted late on Saturday and its four passengers were killed, Saba news agency reported. The report added that the bodies of the four were burnt beyond recognition.
Washington has been using its assassination drones in Yemen and some other countries, claiming that it is targeting terrorists, but the attacks have mostly led to massive civilian deaths.
Of course they are using these tactics and Obama when he came and he did withdraw from Iraq, he is willing to withdraw from Afghanistan and I think we don’t have to expect any direct American military intervention anywhere.
They succeed sometimes; they don’t succeed other times because we have to expect many mistakes in those strikes. Many times they kill civilians instead of killing terrorists which there are plenty to attack. They made these mistakes many times in Yemen and also in Afghanistan when they killed many civilians and they claimed later that there has been a mistake.
Those mistakes are also expected in the future and America will not change its tactics. In my opinion they will increase their drone strikes in those countries and also if you want to talk about the new future tactics of the American administration I think what they call soft war is not that soft.
You know, this drone strikes is considered to be among the soft war, as we said it’s not soft; killing people is not soft at all but the new tactics will include this kind of military intervention, military operation beside plots and beside psychological warfare, beside interfering and fighting al-Qaeda or similar groups not by the American forces directly but using local regimes and local forces, like in Pakistan for example using the Pakistani army to fight al-Qaeda and also in Afghanistan.
So we have to expect more intervention in the drone strikes and we don’t have to expect any military intervention directly in the region.
At least three people have been killed and 12 others injured in clashes between police and residents in Egypt. The violence began when a bystander was hit by a bullet fired by police chasing a suspected drug dealer in northern Cairo.
The clashes began Saturday night and continued into Sunday.
The bystander, who was identified as Mahrous Mohammed, was killed after being shot in the head as he sat on the balcony of his apartment.
Angry demonstrators used rooftops near the Second Police Station in the densely populated neighborhood of Shubra al-Kheima to fire guns and hurl rocks at officers. Police responded by firing tear gas.
Officers also fired rounds into the air to disperse crowds. Security forces were deployed to prevent further attacks, Ahram Online reported.
Two police officers and one soldier were among those killed, the health ministry in Qalyubia said in a statement. Details of how they died have not yet been released.
(Before It’s News)
Citizens standing up against sharia is a good thing — lynching? Not so good. We should never become what these savages are. But this is a war and the people must fight for their freedom against Islamic law.
Residents in northern Malian town lynch Islamist: sources Reuters (thanks to Jack)
BAMAKO | Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:30pm EST(Reuters) – Residents in the northern Malian town of Gao on Saturday lynched a prominent Islamist leader in retaliation for the killing of a local journalist earlier in the day, residents and the office of Mali’s president said.
Residents in Gao, a northern Malian town under Islamist rebel control since mid-2012, have previously protested against the strict imposition of Islamic law but, if confirmed, the lynching would be a first of a fighter by civilians.
The incident comes after over a week of French air strikes on Islamist positions sought to break the grip of al Qaeda-linked fighters on northern Mali.
Gao journalist Kader Toure was killed for having been suspected of working with foreign radio stations, according to Issa Idrissa Toure, a former colleague.
“Islamic police commissioner Aliou Toure was killed by the youth in revenge,” Mazou Toure, a Gao resident added.
Telephone networks in Gao are not working but both sources said they received the information from people who had traveled outside the town.
French broadcaster RFI interviewed a Gao resident by satellite telephone who gave a similar version of events. Meanwhile, the official Twitter feed of the office of Mali’s president also reported the information.
Toure, the police commissioner, was a local recruited by MUJWA Islamists who took control of Gao in June last year.
He gained notoriety when he was reported to have cut off his own brother’s hand as fighters imposed a strict form of Islamic law across northern Mali.
French war planes have bombed Islamist bases in Gao but residents said a number of fighters still remain in the town.
Libyan defense minister survives firefight with former rebels
By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, January 19, 2013 19:30 EST
Libya’s defence minister was unhurt Saturday after being caught in a firefight between his bodyguards and ex-rebels at an airbase in the east of the country, his deputy told AFP.
Mohammed al-Barghati was leaving the airport in Tobruk, eastern Libya, when the shooting occurred, said Khaled al-Sherif.
“As the minister prepared to leave the airport by car, his bodyguards traded fire with angry soldiers and ex-rebels, but the minister was not hurt,” Sherif said.
Libya’s official LANA news agency said Barghati’s car was not the target of the shooting, blaming the incident on a clash between military units at the Tobruk airbase east of Benghazi during which “warning shots were fired.”
Barghati had been meeting with military brass to discuss means of bolstering the armed forces, his ministry said.
A military official, who declined to be identified, said the incident occurred after a former deputy defence minister in charge of the national guard and vital installations refused a government decision to quit.
The government recently decided to scrap the post of ex-minister Al-Seddik al-Ghaithi al-Obeidi, a jihadist, who was accused of refusing to put himself under the command of the army’s chief of staff.
The fledgling army and police are too weak to rein in the militias who led the 2011 uprising that brought an end to the iron-fisted rule of veteran strongman Moamer Kadhafi.
More than a year after Kadhafi was slain, Libya is still awash with weapons and the eastern city of Benghazi, where the uprising first erupted, has been rocked by a wave of attacks targeting foreign diplomats, military and police officers.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said he was considering imposing a curfew on Benghazi, a day after a car bomb killed a police officer there.
Benghazi has emerged as a hub for jihadist groups, including militants who killed US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in an attack on the US consulate last September 11.
Italy temporarily closed its consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday and pulled its staff out of the country following a failed gun attack on its consul.
Police Arrest 9 Muslims Who Threw Snowballs At Haredis By Old City
Sunday, January 20, 2013 11:11
(Before It’s News) Some arrests were made in the assault that occurred almost 2 weeks ago during the snowfall:
Police have arrested six Arab youth suspected of attacking two young hareidi-religious Jewish men in Jerusalem. The six are believed to have been part of a mob assault that took place a week and a half ago during snowfall in the city.
Police had already arrested three other Arab youth in connection with the attack, bringing the total to nine.
In the attack a large group of young Arab men hurled snow at two young Hassidic men while kicking and humiliating them. The attack took place a short distance from the Old City.
The incident was filmed and uploaded on YouTube and subsequently shown in a news piece by Arutz Sheva on Saturday evening last week. Tens of thousands of people viewed the video clip, forwarding the article and the video clip among friends and posting it on to the Facebook and Twitter social networking sites to ensure that others became aware of what had happened in the Israeli capital.
The two young men who were attacked later spoke to Arutz Sheva and described the assault. The two said the mob was shouting “Death to the Jews!” in Arabic and said that they feared for their lives. They also described feeling violated and humiliated by the attack.
MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler of the hareidi-religious Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) party contacted Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch last week to ask him to ensure that the attackers would be prosecuted.
They most certainly better be! The death threats the mob yelled out clearly tell that this was no mere prank, it was an act of hate. They should be ordered to undergo a rehab education program as well.
Update: Eichler thanks police for the arrest.