Daily Report

Anti-Semitism at Gitmo?

The following June 2 article is from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

Waxman: Investigate anti-Semitism charges
A Jewish lawmaker asked the U.S. Defense Department to investigate charges of anti-Semitism at the Guantanamo Bay military prison. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) on Wednesday asked the Pentagon to investigate allegations that American interrogators made anti-Semitic remarks in order to drive a wedge between detainees and their attorneys.

Pakistan: still more sectarian terror

Just four days after the last one, another mosque was hit by a suicide bomber in Pakistan last night. This time the blast, at a Shi'ite mosque in Karachi, killed five and wounded 18. It also sparked a night of violence in which Shi'ites set fire to a KFC outlet, killing six workers trapped inside. A hospital was also ransacked, and a gas station and several vehicles torched, leaving another five dead. Police said intelligence agents suspect the blast was the work of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned Sunni militant group with ties to al-Qaeda. More than 100 Pakistanis have been killed in a cycle of attacks between Sunnis and Shi'ites in the past year alone. (Reuters, May 31)

France-Libya nuclear cooperation seen

France will "soon" offer Libya a cooperation agreement to help Tripoli develop its civilian nuclear energy program, the French foreign ministry said today. "The principle of cooperation in the area of peaceful applications of nuclear energy is a given, but the content has yet to be defined. We're still in the exploratory phase," said ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei. "We will soon offer an agreement to the Libyans on what can be done."

Al-Zarqawi: I'm alive

An audiotape attributed to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted man in Iraq, has surfaced on an Islamist website claiming that he is only "lightly wounded." The tape emerged after a week of speculation about the health of the man Osama bin Laden has identified as his deputy, which began when rebels posted a message on the internet asking those loyal to the insurgency to pray for his health.

Amnesty International blasts EU

In a detailed analysis of the European Union's counter-terrorism initiatives in the area of criminal law since 9-11, Amnesty International claims the absence of concrete human rights safeguards in many of these initiatives is likely to undermine efforts to fight terrorism in Europe. "Respect for human rights is often portrayed as hampering efforts to defeat terrorism but this new analysis shows how genuine security is undermined if basic human rights and the rule of law are not respected. It is in the breach, not in the protection of human rights that security is put at risk. That goes for the EU as well as anywhere else in the world," Dick Oosting, director of Amnesty International's EU Office told a press conference in Brussels May 31.

NYC: Big Brother to get bigger

The New York Police Department is requesting funds to install hundreds more video cameras throughout the city to help fight crime and combat terrorism. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly wants to put up some 400 surveillance cameras on high-crime and high-traffic streets to record action to be reviewed later if a crime occurs in the area. Locations for cameras have not yet been finalized but areas likely to be targeted for surveillance include Manhattan's Herald Square, Times Square and 125th Street in Harlem. There are already 80 such cameras in place, many installed during last summer's Republican Convention. Additionally, more than 3,000 cameras monitor the city's Housing Authority projects.

Oil industry eyes disputed African offshore zones

The British oil company Dana Petroleum announced May 26 it has acquired a large interest in the ongoing oil explorations offshore Morocco's town of Safi. Dana, based in Scottish Aberdeen, produces oil in the British sector of the North Sea and Russia, but is engaged in explorations in Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana and Kenya. It holds that the waters off central Morocco are promising and under-explored.

Crackdown on Islamists in Mauritania

Thirty-seven Islamists have been charged in Mauritania with belonging to an illegal group after being arrested last month on suspicion of links to a organization tied to al-Qaeda. Another 14 were released May 27, and some accused the authorities of torture during their detention. "I was arrested and freed without knowing why," lawyer Mohamed Haj Ould Sidi told a news conference. "Those detained near me were regularly tortured and I had a lot of trouble sleeping because of their screams." Imam Ahmed Jiddou Ould Abdallahi, who was also detained, told reporters he had been tortured.

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