The anarchist scare that has hit New York since the January vandalism at two army recuiting stations has just escalated with the visit of two FBI agents to the home of a Brooklyn activist.
Shaba'a Farms is a small area occupied by Israel adjacent to the Golan Heights, which is part of Syria and occupied by Israel since 1967. Hezbollah claims the Farms are part of Lebanon, and uses this claim to justify its continued armed resistance, and confrontational posture with Israel, as it points out all of Lebanon is not liberated as long as Shaba'a is occupied. The UN believes the area is part of Syria, and in resolution 1559 calls for the disarmament of all Lebanese factions.
The NYPD has confirmed that an admittedly crude drawing of New York's Grand Central Station was found on a computer disk in the home of a suspect in the March 11, 2004 Madrid train station bombing. Authorities were quick to downplay the significance of the find, even as the media had a field day with it. Mouhannad Almallah, a Syrian arrested in Madrid March 24, was later released, but is still considered a suspect.
A March 3 account in Newsday indicates that Iran's secret police are hunting down dissidents who have taken refuge in neighboring countries. Newsday highlights the case of Abdulrahim Raeesi, political science professor who was arrested in Tehran by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security after he wrote an article calling for greater democracy in a banned newspaper. Tortured in custody, he was then hospitalized.
Thomas Friedman in his March 3 New York Times column, "Brave, Young and Muslim," hails restive and modern-minded reformers in the Islamic world, and especially singles out Irshad Manji, Canadian Muslim feminist author of The Trouble with Islam Today.
A day after "peacekeeping" troops got into a deadly gun battle with a Congolese militia, a UN official blamed "neighboring countries" for fueling the violence in Congo. The Pakistani "blue helmets" mixed it up with troops of the Nationalist & Integrationist Front (FNI) in the war-torn Ituri region, leaving 50 militiamen dead. The FNI allegedly attacked the UN troops as they were carrying out a local disarmament mission, and are also believed responsible for the ambush last week that left nine Bangladeshi peacekeepers dead.
Assailants threw a grenade into the empty apartment of a prominent Kyrgyz opposition leader March 3, causing no casualties, in an attack both opposition and authorities accused each other of staging.
On March 1, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that executing convicts who were under 18 when their crime was committed constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. In a commentary for TruthOut, Marjorie Cohn notes that this finally brings the US in line with the civilized world: