BBC reports May 12 on an unprecedented wave of protests against the authoritarian regime of Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan. Every day for the past four months, protesters in the eastern town of Andijan have gathered outside a courthouse where 23 local businessmen are on trial, accused of membership in a radical Islamic group, which they and their relatives strongly deny.
Luis Posada Carriles couldn't have been too happy to see his face on the front page of the New York Times yesterday ("Case of Cuban Exile Could Test the U.S. Definition of Terrorist," May 9). The anti-Castro extremist, who is linked to a long trail of murder and terror throughout the hemisphere, "sneaked back into Florida six weeks ago in an effort to seek political asylum for having served as a cold war soldier on the payroll of the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1960s," according to his attorney. Venezuela is seeking to extdradite him for blowing up a Cuban airliner, and even a retired FBI counter-terrorism specialist quoted by the Times (Carter Cornick) said Posada was "up to his eyeballs" in planning the attack. Just last week, Venezuela's Supreme Court ruled that as "the author or accomplice of homicide, he must be extradited and judged."
CNN reports May 5:
New York - Two "improvised explosive devices" made from "novelty-type grenades" have exploded in front of the building that houses the British Consulate in New York City, police and officials said. The early Thursday morning blasts shattered windows but did not cause significant damage or any injuries, the New York Police Department said. The devices, which contained black gunpowder and a fuse, blew out a chunk of concrete in the flower box where they were planted outside the building. The explosions occurred as voters in Britain were casting ballots in a general election in which Prime Minister Tony Blair is seeking a historic third term for his Labour Party. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said police had no indication who was responsible for the blasts. "It is true the British Consulate is in that building, but I don't think anybody should jump to conclusions," Bloomberg told reporters at the scene in midtown Manhattan.
From the New York Times, April 30 (condensed):
At Least 18 Arrests Made in Tense Night of a Monthly Cycling Protest
Under tense circumstances, the monthly Critical Mass bicycle ride set out last night from multiple locations in Manhattan, in an attempt by the riders to thwart a police crackdown. The police did not supply arrest numbers last night, but a lawyer who works with the riders, Julia Cohen, said at least 18 were detained.
This year's North American winner of the Goldman Prize, awarded annually to the most courageous environmental activists on five contients, is Isidro Baldenegro of Chihuahua, Mexico, a Tarahumara Indian who has long defended the forests of the Sierra Tarahumara against the chain-saws of the timber mafia. As reported in WW4 Report 90, Baldenegro was imprisoned in 2003 on trumped-up terrorism charges, and released following an international campaign.
A group of prominent businessmen in Turkey have issued a call for Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies to be banned from Turkish TV after the California governor endorsed a call by Armenian-Americans (a sizeable constituency in his state) for April 24 to be declared "Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide."
The recent moves towards peace between India and Pakistan, symbolized by the historic establishment of bus service across the line of control in divided Kashmir, are a welcome development. But the April 6 arson attack on a Srinagar compound where trans-border bus passengers were being housed is testament to the potential for further armed resistance. This report from the Pakistan Daily Times of April 25 delineates some of the little-noted reasons that Jammat-e-Islami, the biggest Kashmir resistance group, is not laying down arms (a position supported by the group's legal arm, Muthidda Majlis-e-Aamal):
Zacarias Moussaoui, the only man to be charged with a crime related to 9-11 in the U.S., was finally allowed to enter a plea in federal court April 22, and, in his inimitably garbled fashion, pleaded guilty to all six charges of terrorist conspiracy (for which he will likely face the death penalty) while insisting he had no involvement in 9-11. Instead, he said he was recruited for a separate series of attacks aimed at freeing Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, the notorious "Blind Sheikh" imprisoned at a top-security facility in Minnesota. (CNN, April 23)