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ISSUE: #. 31. April 28, 2002



By Bill Weinberg
with David Bloom and Sarah Robbins, Special Correspondents

1. Amnesty Probe in Jenin: "We Are Talking War Crimes"
2. ICRC: International Humanitarian Law Not Respected
3. Did Israel Remove Bodies on Refrigerator Trucks?
4. UN Jenin Fact-Finding Mission Delayed
5. IDF Incursion into Qalqilya
6. IDF Incursion Into Hebron
7. Gaza Next?
8. Siege Wears on at Church of Nativity
9. Palestinian Leaders Condemn Underage Suicide Bombers
10. Barghouti to Roll Over?
11. US Cool on Saudi Peace Plan
12. Saudis Mass Troops on Jordan Border
13. Hezbollah to Open New Front with Israel?
14. Mubarak: Israel Guilty of "State Terrorism"
15. Egyptian PM: Give Us 100B and We'll Wage War on Israel
16. Likud Minister: Peacenik Beilin Has A Right to Speak
17. Beilin Proposes Labor Party Leave Government
18. Stephanopoulos' Sister: We're Israel's Captives
19. PA Finds PFLP Men Guilty of Israeli Minister's Murder
20. Arafat Can Leave Compound Under US-Brokered Deal
21. Jerusalem Post Sees Little IDF "Misconduct"
22. Haaretz Reports "Operation Destroy the Data"
23. Use of Palestinians as Human Shields by IDF Soliders
24. IDF Broadcasts pornography for Ramallah Residents
25. Niger Breaks Ties with Israel
26. Jewish Cabinet Minister in South Africa Calls for Boycott
27. World Medical Body Threatens to Expel Israeli Doctors
28. Scandinavians Call for Boycott of Israel
29. British Union Calls For Israel Boycott
30. European Scientists Want Boycott of Israeli Colleagues
31. Council of Europe: Suspend Israel Economic Agreement
32. Al-Ahram: Boycott of Israel Not So Easy to Implement
33. Jimmy Carter: Suspend Economic Aid to Israel
34. Soccer Associations Decide Not to Boycott Israel
35. City of Berkeley: No Boycott of Israel
36. $200 Million in Counter-Terrorism Aid to Israel Ditched
37. Sharon Exploits Anti-Jewish Violence
38. Jewish Agency: Israel's Actions Threaten Diaspora Jews

1. Jewish Dissidents Issue Stockholm Manifesto
2. Israeli Peace Movement Organizes Solidarity
3. Givat Haviva: Israeli Peace Center Hangs On
4. Solidarity With Colombia in DC

1. Rumsfeld Schmoozes Warlords
2. US Attempting to Mediate in Paktia Warfare
3. 50 Lawyers Arrested in Pakistan
4. Shiite Mosque Bombed in Pakistan
5. UN War Crimes Court: Eyes on Afghanistan

1. "Back to the Dark Ages"
2. 100,000 Protest Le Pen
3. EU Condemns Anti-Jewish Violence
4. Paris to Kiev: Europe's April of Atavism
5. 4-20+6: Germany Gets "Columbine Massacre"
6. Al-Qaeda on Trial in Germany
7. More Arrests in Germany
8. Milan Skyscraper Hit: 9-11 Copy-Cat?
9. Red Brigades Re-Emerge in Italy
10. US Terror Alert for Italy
11. "Terror Tunnel" Discovered Under Rome's Streets
12. Spain Arrests al-Qaeda Suspect
13. EU Counter-Terrorist Police to Target Activists?
14. Belfast Rocks

1. "Enduring Freedom" and "Defensive Shield" Aid Milosevic
2. UN Official: Balkans "Importing Afghan Danger"
3. Terror Threat Closes US Embassy in Sarajevo
4. Bosnians Protest Double Standard on "Terror"
5. France Finks Out to Bosnia Butchers?
6. US Working to Shut Down Hague Tribunal?
7. Indicted War Criminal Resists Extradition--to the End
8. NATO Troops Clash with Serbs in Kosovo
9. Dutch Scandal Reveals NATO-Jihad Balkan Arms Pipeline
10. Mujahedeen in Macedonia?
11. Uranium Traces Found in Serbia's Soil

1. Rebel Ambush in Chechnya Rains on Putin's Parade
2. Russian Defector: Army Kills Civilians in Chechnya
3. Human Rights Watch Blasts Russia's Chechnya Campaign
4. Chechnya War Destabilizes Georgia
5. Green Berets to Take Pankisi Gorge?
6. KGB Dirty Tricks Behind "Russia's 9-11"?

1. New FBI Terror Alert
2. Moussaoui Wows the Media
3. Moussaoui and Walker Face Harsh Time
4. Al-Qaeda Jailbirds in the News
5. Judge Denies '93 WTC Bomber FBI File
6. Ashcroft Loosens Rules for NCIC Database
7. Palestinian Activist Arrested in NYC
8. Senate Passes Tough Immigration Bill

1. US Boycotts War Crimes Court, Wants Blanket Immunity
2. Henry Kissinger: Wanted in Chile, Spain, France
3. Nixon Tapes Reveal Kissinger Chat on 'Nam Nuke Option


An initial probe into the circumstances surrounding the Israeli Defense Forces attack on the refugee camp in Jenin led an Amnesty International delegate to declare at a London press conference "we have concluded that very serious breaches of international law were committed, and we are talking here of war crimes." Javier Zuniga and Derrick Pounder made a preliminary three-day investigation of the camp shortly after the IDF pulled out. "Nothing short of a full international inquiry will do," said Zuniga. Pounder, a forensics expert who has participated in war crimes investigations in Bosnia and Kosovo, said that what was needed was "the same type of investigation as in the Balkans that was so successful for those in The Hague tribunal." Pounder also said "The claim that only fighters were killed is simply not true--a mixture of bodies were clearly civilians and combatants."

Pounder examined five of the 21 bodies, including three women, found during the delegation's visit. Two were clearly Palestinian fighters, but one was a 52-year-old man who was wearing sandals and appeared to be a civilian; another a 38-year-old man who was dressed in civilian clothing.

"What was striking was what was absent," said Pounder, noting there were "very few seriously injured people in the hospital," and said that it was unlikely that in this type of conflict "that there were not large numbers of seriously injured." Pounder said that normally the injured should outnumber the dead three to one: "The question to the Israeli army is: where are the severely injured? No seriously injured persons arrived at the hospital. We draw the conclusion that they were allowed to die where they were." (UK Guardian, April 23) Pounder was quoted in Agence-France Press saying "there must be many more because we could smell the corpses. The death toll grows daily. How many exactly is not possible to say." (AFP,April 22)

Another member of the investigating team, Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, said "there is sufficient evidence to indicate that there have been serious violations of international law. The question of whether this constitutes war what we want to ascertain." (UK Guardian April 23)

Pounder posited: "What's certainly true is there was a mass killing of civilians there-both of combatants and civilians."(Scotsman, April 25) "It was a tragic sight of devastation and loss of human life. But more than that it was a scene of serious breaches of international law." Pounder accused the Israelis of "maltreatment of detainees, denial of access to the ICRC, and failure to create circumstances under which noncombatants could escape the area."

Pounder also said the camp should be considered "a crime scene" since allegations had been made but the facts not yet ascertained. Pounder said Palestinian Authority claims of mass graves and a "massacre" at the camp employed "terms which are emotive and inappropriate." He cautioned that using such terms "polarize people before they look at the facts. Let's just look at the facts." (Boston Globe, April 28) (David Bloom) [top]

Rene Kosirnik, regional head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, accused Israel of violating the laws of war in Jenin: "When we are confronted with the extent of destruction in an area of civilian concentration, it is difficult to accept that international humanitarian law has been fully respected. What the law says is that you cannot attack or destroy civilians or civilian property. If you are in a military operation you have to take utmost care. If you suspect that your operation will cause disproportionate damage to civilians or civilian property then you have to stop the operation." Kosirnik also accused the Israelis of blocking emergency medical aid to the camp: "We were there for six days offering our services and we were refused. As long as Jenin refugee camp was occupied by the Israeli Defense Force, the first responsibility lies with the IDF to save lives. It is the responsibility of the force concerned to deliver services, to care for friend and foe. That is the rule." (UK Guardian, April 23) (David Bloom) [top]

Originally the Israeli army announced they intended to remove bodies from Jenin and bury them in a "special cemetery" in the Jordan valley, according to the April 14 New York Times (see WW3REPORT# 29"). The army said it had shelved this plan after a challenge by human rights groups in Israeli supreme court (UK Independent, April 25). On April 20 the Times reported that Israel had "fanned suspicions" by first announcing it was "removing and burying some bodies, then insisting it had not done so."

But CNN correspondent Shiela Macvicar reported the Israeli military doing just that:

MACVICAR: "The Israeli military is now collecting bodies on a hill a few minutes away. They have refrigerator trucks waiting. The Israelis say they are taking away the dead from the camp they still control to prevent the Palestinians staging evidence of a massacre."

MOSHE FOGEL, IDF SPOKESMAN: "Many of the bodies are still being held by the Palestinians themselves in a propaganda ploy, simply that when we leave the area, they'll be thrown out in the street or displayed to create the wrong impression that they were massacred." (CNN, April 13)

Palestinians have accused the Israelis of removing the bodies in order to hide evidence of a massacre. Israel originally announced 200 Palestinians dead in the fighting at Jenin, but have revised that figure down to 43. (Independent, April 25; NYT, April 20) (David Bloom) [top]

Initially welcomed by the Israeli government, the UN fact finding team--led by former UN High Commisioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata and including former Finnish president Martti Athisaari--is still in Geneva waiting for the go-ahead from the Israeli government to go to Jenin to investigate what happened there. The UN Security council met April 28 to discuss the refusal of the Israeli cabinet to let the fact-finding team in. Israel has objected to the makeup of the team, which includes human rights experts, but not military experts as full members. Israel says military experts are necessary to determine the aftermath of the battle is consistent with the "assymetrical warfare" of a counter-terrorism action. The UN has rejected the Israeli request that retired US general Bill Nash be made a member of the team. Nash is currently one of the team's three military advisors. The UN has agreed to one Israeli demand--that anyone who testifies before the team be immune from prosecution. Israeli Minister Rueven Rivlin, speaking for the Israeli cabinet, said the team's composition insured that its report would implicate Israel. "This awful United Nations committee is out to get us and is likely to smear Israel and force us to do things which Israeli is not prepared even to hear about, such as interrogating soldiers and officers who took part in the fighting, No country in the world would agree to such a thing." (Haaretz, April 28) The UN has said that fact-finding team will travel to Israel April 29 regardless of whether Israel grants approval or not (Haaretz, April 29) [top]

Citing new intelligence information on the location of Palestinian militants, the Israeli Defense Forces made a one-day incursion into the West Bank city of Qalqilya on April 26. Two Palestinian militants were killed, including local PFLP leader Raed Nazal. According to the IDF, Nazal was responsible for orchestrating a suicide bombing attack in which three settlers were killed on the Israeli settlement of Karnei Shomron. According to Qalqilyah's mayor, Mustafa Malki, the IDF destroyed an empty four-story building and two apartments. The IDF claimed the buildings contained a bomb factory, grenades, explosives, and weapons. Witnesses said 20 tanks were involved in the incursion and that IDF soldiers conducted house-to-house searches, detaining at least 16 in nearby villages who the IDF said were "suspected of carrying out terrorist activities." (Haaretz, April 26) The incursion follows a pattern used throughout the West Bank--entering towns, then withdrawing and encircling them, re-entering when new intelligence reveals the whereabouts of militants. The incursion into Qalqilya came just hours after President George Bush had asked the Israelis to complete their withdrawal of the Palestinian territories. (BBC, April 26) After the incursion Bush said the "Israelis understand my position. I've been very clear and there has been some progress, but it's now time to quit it altogether; it's time to end this." (AFP, April 26) (David Bloom) [top]

On April 25, seven Israeli tanks entered a Palestinian neighborhood in Hebron, "firing in all directions," according to Palestinian security sources. Apache helicopter gunships hovered overhead, and the IDF was heard making demands over loadspeakers. The IDF had no comment on the incident. On April 24, the IDF entered a different neighborhood under Palestinian control, killing "two terrorists who were formerly involved in carrying out many bombings and shootings in the Hebron area." Seven Palestinian militants suspected of terrorist activity were arrested. (CNN, April 24) A day earlier, a missile from an Israeli helicoptor gunship killed the local head of the al-Aksa Martyr's Brigade in Hebron, 30 year-old Marwan Zalum. (Jerusalem Post, April 24) (David Bloom) [top]

In response to questions from Knesset Member Uri Ariel of the right-wing National Union party as to why the IDF stayed out of Gaza and Hebron during Operation Defensive Shield, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon simply said, "There is no place where terrorists will be immune." (Haaretz, April 24) Sharon noted that although Palestinian security services in Gaza had been left undisturbed by the IDF during Defensive Shield, "nonetheless the terror attacks continue unabated." (Jerusalem Post, April 23) (David Bloom) [top]

Negotiations to end the Israeli-Palestinan standoff at the Church of the Nativity continued without resolution this week, despite several developments in the siege. On April 28, a group of international peace activists were prevented from bringing food to the 1,400-year-old church where more than 200 Palestinians, including about 30 gunmen, took cover April 2. (AFP, 4.28) Earlier that day, the priest in charge of the church was escorted to another nearby church to celebrate Palm Sunday; he returned a few hours later, saying he had agreed to stay for the sake of peace. (AP, April 28) Chief negotiator Salah al-Taamari said April 28 that after his first meeting with Israeli negotiators, some consensus was achieved but no agreement could be reached. Taamari convened with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat the day before, at the president's compound in Ramallah. (Haaretz, April 28) Israel rejected a Hezbollah proposal to release some of its Israeli prisoners in exchange for freedom for those trapped in the church and in Ramallah. (Haaretz, April 28) Nine young Palestinians emerged from the church on April 25, carrying the bodies of two Palestinians who were killed more than a week earlier. The previous day, three Armenian priests left the compound after displaying a "Please Help" sign. (AP, April 24) On April 26, four Palestinian policemen surrendered to Israeli troops surrounding the church and two other men in the compound were wounded by Israeli snipers. (Newsday, April 27) Just outside the confines of the church, two Palestinian gunmen were fatally wounded during a fight on April 24. (AFP, April 25) (Sarah Robbins) [top]

The Palestine News Agency/WAFA issued a statement condemning child suicide bombers. The statement was in response to increased parental concern following the death of three 14-year-old boys, who, armed with homemade ammunition outside a Jewish settlement in the Gaza City were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers April 23. "Due to narrow-minded mistaken thinking, we haven't opposed the participation of children in the struggle against the occupier.. [W]hen these acts grew to become a phenomenon, it is time when we should strongly object," WAFA wrote. The statement goes on to say that encouraging youngsters to complete suicide missions is "an unforgivable mistake and even a crime."

Though both Hamas and Islamic Jihad denied responsibility for the boys' attempt, one of the slain, 14-year-old Yusef Zaqout, had a poster of the "great martyrs" of Hamas in his bedroom; in his suicide note, he requested Hamas pay for his funeral. (NYT, April 25) In response, Hamas has asked speakers in the mosques and educators in the schools to appeal to students to refrain from attacks on the settlements until they become adults and receive training. (Boston Globe, April 27) (Sarah Robbins) [top]

West Bank militia chief Marwan Barghouti, arrested by the IDF in Ramallah on April 15, is about to tell all, according to a security source quoted by the Itim News Agency. "Marwan Barghouti is losing his self-confidence, and we expect he will break soon," the source said. The account says Barghouti has already started to divulge information. As chief of Fatah's Tanzim militia and head of the al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigade, Barghouti is believed to be responsible for suicide bombings and other attacks on Israelis. (Itim News Agency, April 24) Barghouti's kinsman Ahmed Barhouti, also arrested two weeks ago, has reportedly implicated the militia chief during his interrogation, saying Marwan was aware of and approved all Tanzim-related terrorist attacks in advance. (Haaretz, April 26) Barghouti, 43, is frequently mentioned as a successor to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. Formerly a supporter of the Oslo peace accords, Barghouti served a long sentence in an Israeli prison for activities during the first Intifada, before joining Yasser Arafat in exile in Tunis. His current arrest has raised his stature in the Palestinian community. The Israelis intend to try him. (Haaretz, April 23) (David Bloom) [top]

During a visit to Texas, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia presented an eight-point proposal calling for an end to the Israeli siege of Ramallah and deployment of an international peacekeeping force. This complements an earlier Saudi land-for-peace initiative for normalizing relations with Israel that was adopted by Arab leaders in Beirut in March. Abullah was reportedly frustrated he failed to win administration approval for the plan before leaving the country. (New York Times, April 27) US National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack called the proposal "a basis for discussion." (Reuters, 4.27) (Sarah Robbins) [top]

On April 24, a Saudi Arabian Defense Ministry official denied reports that his country is gathering forces to its border with Jordan in response to the Palestinian conflict. The official said the deployment of 8,000 soldiers equipped with armored personnel carriers and missile launchers to the Tabuk region, about 930 miles northeast of the Saudi capital Riyadh, is a routine training exercise. The action was reported as a Saudi reaction to intelligence that Israeli forces had amassed on Israel's southern border with Jordan. An Israeli army spokesman said Israel has not increased troops along that 15.5-mile strip of Jordanian territory that separates Israel from Saudi Arabia. (AP, April 24) (Sarah Robbins) [top]

An article in London-based Jane's Defense Weekly cited in the Jerusalem Post says Hezbollah is almost completely in control of southern Lebanon and will attempt to open up a second front with Israel. The Shiite Hizbollah militia is said to be working in conjunction with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), an ultra-left faction led by Ahmed Jibril. The two groups are cooperating despite religious differences in an effort to seize Jerusalem from Israel. Jane's says that a recent redeployment of Syrian forces away from Beirut has left control of southern Lebanon entirely to Hezbollah. Jane's claims the Syrian army has withdrawn to avoid strikes by Israelis in retaliation for Hezbollah attacks. The journal notes the Syrian army is decrepit and wants to leave the front-line fighting to Hizbollah/PFLP-GC. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for the Lebanese army to re-deploy in the south to keep order. Recently four members of UNIFIL, the UN's international military presence in Lebanon, were beaten in southern Lebanon, drawing an apology from Hezbollah secretary-general Sheik Nasrallah. (Jerusalem Post, April 25) (David Bloom) [top]

In a speech commemorating the 20th anniversary of the return of the Sinai peninsula to Egypt from Israel, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Egypt would continue its policy of restraint, but labeled Israeli actions during Operation Defensive Shield "state terrorism." In a televised speech, Mubarak said Israel "has prevented aid agencies and media from entering towns, villages and refugee camps in order to conceal the brutal crimes the Israeli army committed." He said Israel "uses arguments equating legitimate Palestinian resistance with occupation and avoid its ugly Israeli practices being depicted as state terrorism." Mubarak added that Israel "crossed all borders with its siege of the Church of the Nativity and the crude violation of human rights in Palestinian cities, and in the matter of Jenin." (Haaretz, April 25) (David Bloom) [top]

On April 24, Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebied indicated to Al Itiihad, a Perisian Gulf newspaper, that Egypt would wage war on Israel if the Arab states sent $100 billion to fund the effort. When asked why Egypt was remaining on the sidelines during Operation Defensive Shield, Ebeid replied "If you want to take action, if you are ready to rise to the challenge, you must send $100 billion." When al Itiihad asked him to "expel the Israeli ambassador" from Egypt, he said "I told you that we wanted $100 billion." (Haaretz, April 25) Ebied went on to say, "Make the Arab world put $100 billion of the Arab funds available around the world and say 'this is a confrontation budget... here you go, Egypt, you leader--this budget is at your disposal, go ahead and begin the confrontation.'" Ebied later said his remarks were taken out of context. He said he did not tell al Itiihad that Egypt would make war against Israel if the Arab states gave Egypt sufficient funding, but that if they did, "your calculations change." Ebied added, "I am in no need to confirm that Egypt's army is not an army of mercenaries and that our will and decisions cannot be bought by money." (AP, April 25) (David Bloom) [top]

Likud Communications Minister Reuvan Rivilin was one of only a few on the right to defend former Labor Justice Minister--and unrepentant architect of the Oslo Peace Accords--Yossi Beilin's right to speak at Ben-Gurion University. A group of 43 professors at the university tried to cancel Beilin's lecture cancelled, saying the "Oslo criminal" was an inappropriate choice to speak at the University. "Yossi Beilin is a Zionist without a doubt and it is the good of the State of Israel that motivates him," Rivlin told Israel radio. "Regretfully, he is mistaken. But silencing him is unacceptable. His dream is one that has been broken, but to say that Yossi Beilin is a criminal? Heaven forbid." In the past two months, calls to have the Oslo architects labeled criminals have increased among voices of the right in Israel. (Jerusalem Post, April 24) (David Bloom) [top]

Former MK Yossi Beilin has collected the 100 signatures needed to convene a Labor Party conference where he will propose that Labor leave the National Unity government. "After the conclusion of Operation Defensive Shield, Sharon has revealed to Labor that he has no intention to launch a peace process. The Labor Party therefore has no longer has an excuse to stay in this failure of a government, neither for security or economic reasons," he said. But Labor Party chief and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer says that that Israel is currently in the "midst of war" and is trying to move towards a peace process. (Jerusalem Post, April 26) (David Bloom) [top]

The sister of former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos, a Russian Orthodox nun whose name is now Mother Agape, says the 30,000 residents of the Israeli-occupied West Bank town of Azaria are "virtual prisoners" of the Israelis. "Every day we see Palestinian men at the checkpoint being lined up by Israeli soldiers, made to stand there all day while there ID's are checked. It seems to me to about humiliation and psychological control-- a psychological game to break the Palestinian people." Agape said it's easy for a terrorist to circumvent checkpoints and the curfew, as she recently did on the way to a dentist appointment. "If a middle-aged, overweight nun can get into Jerusalem, then anyone can find a way in." (Daily News, April 26) (David Bloom) [top]

In a makeshift court inside Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's compound, four members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were convicted for the murder of right-wing Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavem Ze'evi. The men were given sentences ranging from one to 18 years in prison. The Israeli government had demanded the extradition of the men to Israel to stand trial for Ze'evi's murder. Ze'evi was killed in retaliation for the Israeli assassination of the PFLP's political leader, Abu Ali Mustafa, who himself was killed in retaliation for a successful strike on a Gaza IDF outpost by PFLP operatives. The trial was dismissed as a farce by Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, "It would have been possible to avoid trying them twice, as they will anyway be brought to trial in Israel." (Haaretz, April 26) (David Bloom) [top]

Under heavy US pressure, Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon accepted a deal under which Palestinian President Yasser Arafat can leave his Ramallah compound, where he has been besieged by Israeli forces since March 29. Sharon dropped his demands that the four PFLP men accused of assassinating hard-line Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi be extradited to Israel, accepting a US proposal that the men be held in a Palestinian prison under watch by US and British guards who will be sent to the region. (Haaretz, April 29) (David Bloom) [top]

According to the Jerusalem Post, there were 24 cases of suspected looting or excessive violence by IDF troops in Operation Defensive Shield. These include stealing money from a Palestinian prisoner, breaking window blinds, smashing chairs, and stealing two cameras. While stating that the IDF will treat these allegations "with the utmost seriousness"--with possible punishments including days' imprisonment or demotion in rank--Col Aviv Kochavi noted that there were cases in which Palestinians damage their own property and blame it on the IDF so as to later obtain compensation from the Palestinian Authority. Kochavi also noted that property damage was light compared to the results of campaigns in Chechnya or Somalia. (Jerusalem Post, April 25) [top]

A different picture emerges in an article by Amira Hass in Haaretz entitled "Operation Destroy the Data." Hass asserts that there was a "systematic destruction of data banks," with computer terminals smashed or burned, hard drives and diskettes broken or missing, cables cut, and printers and scanners destroyed. The Palestine Authority's Education, Higher Education and Health Ministries have all had their data destroyed in what Hass calls an act of "organized vandalism." Also lost is the data from "non- governmental organizations and research institutes devoted to developing a modern health system, modern agricultural, environmental protection and water conservation, human rights organizations, banks and private commercial enterprises, infirmaries, and supermarkets." Hass says that rather than an attack on the terrorist infrastructure on the West Bank, "there was a decision made to vandalize the civic, administrative, cultural infrastructure developed by Palestinian society." Hass posits that this "sabotag[es] for years to come the Palestinian goal for independence, sending all of Palestinian society backward. It's so easy and comforting to think of the entire Palestinian society as primitive, bloodthirsty terrorists, after the raw material and product of their intellectual, cultural, social and economic activity has been destroyed. That way, the Israeli public can continue to be deceived into believing that terror is a genetic problem and not a sociological and political mutation, horrific as it may be, derived from the horrors of the occupation." (Haaretz, April 24) (David Bloom) [top]

Although the IDF denies the practice takes place, the Christian Science Monitor reports use of Palestinian civilians as human shields by IDF troops. One reservist who took part in the fighting in Jenin said an officer instructed him to employ Palestinians to help the soldiers search homes and open doors. The "set procedure" for doing so: "when soldiers want to go from one house to the next, they tell the owner to go to the neighbor's house, knock on the door, and ask to open the door." Another soldier related to the army's Bamahane magazine that he and other soldiers used one Palestinian to search another's home during the IDF incursion in Qalqilyah: "According to custom, we grabbed one of the Palestinian neighbors to comb the area. He opened all the doors and closets, but did not find anything. We shook his hand, thanked him, and entered." A Human Rights Watch Report detailed four similar incidents that took place in the west bank between late 2001 and early 2002. "In each case, the army routinely coerced civilians to perform life-endangering acts that assisted Israel Defense Force military operations," a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. (CSM, April 26) Amira Hass reported in Haaretz on April 19 that Palestinian civilians were made to walk in front of soldiers and knock on the doors of houses (Haaretz, April 19) [top]

On March 30, the first day of Operation Defensive Shield, Israeli soldiers reportedly broadcast pornographic videos to the besieged residents of Ramallah from the city's three TV stations, captured by the IDF. According to Agence-France Press, Muslim residents of Ramallah were offended by the videos. "I am furious, these are the people who are shooting at us that also play this disgusting trick on us," complained Anita, 52, a mother of three. "We are desperate for news and constantly flipping channels and get these terrible pictures instead," An IDF spokesman denied Israeli soldiers were behind the broadcasts. "The Israeli security forces have no interest in putting pornographic and racist movies on Palestinian television," he told AFP. "The only reason we are in these buildings and in this city is to fight against terrorists and their infrastructure after giving the Palestinians various chances to do it themselves," he said. Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said "I cannot believe that Israeli soldiers would engage in such despicable behavior." (AFP, March 30) (David Bloom) [top]

Niger became the first country to cut relations with Israel since the current Intifada began, with government Secretary-General Lawal Kader Mahamadou going on state television to announce the break. Mahamadou accused Israel of "genocide." Niger had renewed diplomatic relations with Israel in 1996, following a 23-year break that occurred after the 1973 Yom Kippur war. (AP, April 23) (David Bloom) [top]

Former African National Congress (ANC) guerilla and Water & Forestry Minister Ronnie Kasrils has backed calls for a boycott of Israeli goods and an isolation of its government. Explaining that "since Israel purports to speak and act in the name of Jews everywhere...we are saying: no, not in my name. Never." Kasrils has circulated a "not in my name" petition amongst South Africa's 75,000 Jews, 300 of whom have signed it so far. Kasrils told Reuters: "People are saying that there should be boycotts, there should be sanctions... I support the call now for the isolation and the boycott of Israel. I support sanctions." (Rueters, April 25) (David Bloom) [top]

The World Medical Association (WMA), an organization made up of 130 member states that meets next week in Geneva, is considering expelling the Israel Medical Association (IMA). The IMA is planning to defend itself in Geneva from what the Jerusalem Post describes as "the ongoing political campaign against Israel." IMA chairman Dr. Yoram Blachar, the WMA's second highest official, says the "chance of being ousted from the WMA is small, but we do expect verbal attacks and anti-Israeli resolutions." (Jerusalem Post, April 24) (David Bloom) [top]

According to Haaretz, the General Workers Union in Denmark (SiD) called on its country's citizens to boycott Israeli goods to protest aggression in the West Bank. (Haaretz, April 26) Last week, the largest trade union in Norway, 800,000 members strong, called for a consumer boycott of Israel. Supemarket chains attached special labels to Israeli labels to help with the boycott. Norwegian truckers have refused to transport Israeli goods from Norway's ports. (Haaretz, April 22) On April 4, Coop Norge became the first Norwegian food chain to issue a boycott call of Israeli goods. (AFP, April 4) Norway has traditionally been supportive of Israel, but Professor Nils Butenschon, director of the Norwegian Institute of Human Rights, explains that "many Norwegians feel betrayed. Israel disappointed them from a moral standpoint and crossed red lines." (Haaretz, April 26) The Norwegian Academy of Sciences has also condemned Israeli behavior in the occupied territories (Haaretz, April 25) (David Bloom)

Norwegian academics have also called for a boycott. In an open letter titled "Professors are abetting war crimes," published in a Norwegian paper this month, law professor Edvard Vogt wrote: "Among the Western countries, there is only one, Israel, that is involved in a war of expansion, that annexes and conquers the land of a neighboring people, bombs and destroys the neighboring people's infrastructure, shoots its children and aspires to ethnic cleansing. But most Israeli academics refrain from protest... An educated Israeli who doesn't take a clear stand against his country's policy is a collaborator. And if we continue to cooperate with Israeli academics without holding them responsible, we are also collaborators... Just as Hitler did in Mein Kampf, Sharon and his partners have made their intentions clear... There is no doubt that Sharon wants to establish 'greater Israel.'" (Haaretz, April 26)

A letter in Sweden's largest morning daily, Dagens Nyheter, signed by 34 academics, publicists and cultural personalities called on Sweden to Boycott Israeli Products. (AFP, April 4) (David Bloom) [top]

The largest trade union in Britain, the public service worker's union UNISON, has called for a boycott of Israel "until such time as the Israeli Government agrees to comply with UN resolutions and return to the negotiating table," according to an April 24 statement. UNISON affirms its solidarity and support for Palestinian Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), noting that its headquarters in Nablus was damaged during Operation Defensive Shield. In addition to condemning the "Israeli Government for its continuing policy of state terrorism in violation of UN resolutions and international law." UNISON also condemns the Palestinian side for killing civilians with suicide bombs, but notes such acts are "fueled by the deep frustration and despair of the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation, and by the indiscriminate use of brute military force against innocent civilians." The union also called for an end of military sales to Israel. (UNISON statement, April 24 ) (David Bloom) [top]

Echoing a similar boycott of South African sciences during the apartheid regime, a petition circulated by two British scientists to re-consider cooperation with their Israeli counterparts now has 270 signatories throughout Europe. The petition suggests European research institutions stop treating Israel as if it has the status of a European country in cooperative research efforts until Israeli obeys UN resolutions and negotiates in good faith with the Palestinians. The petition also has ten Israeli signatories. A counter-petition circulated by Israeli scientists has 4,000 signatures from Israeli, American, and European scientists. The Hebrew University researchers who initiated the counter-petition believe that boycott contradicts the principal of scientific freedom, and will prove counter-productive, hardening attitudes towards the European position. (Haaretz, April 25) (David Bloom) [top]

On April 25, the Council of Europe recommended to the European Union that it suspend its economic agreement with Israel. It also recommended the EU impose an arms embargo on Israel,, citing allegations of human rights abuses in the territories. France, Germany and Hungary all objected to the decision. Norway became the first country to formally boycott military sales to Israel. But Germany lifted its temporary embargo of arms sales to Israel, its chancellor Gerhard Schroeder noting that "given our special historic responsibility, no embargo measures against Israel will be agreed to or backed. We are bound [to Israel] by [its] intact and functioning democracy and by a basic consensus on democratic values." (Haaretz, April 25) (David Bloom) [top]

An April 24 article in Egypt's al-Ahram details the difficulties in implementing an Arab boycott of Israel. The Council of Arab Foreign Ministers has decided to "reactivate the Arab Bureau for the Boycott of Israel, until such time as Israel responds by implementing resolutions of international legitimacy, honoring the terms of reference of the Madrid Peace Conference and withdrawing from occupied Arab territories to the 4 June 1967 boundaries." But one Arab official notes that "Boycotting Israel is something we talk about and include in our official documents, but it is not something we actually carry out-- at least not in most Arab states." An Oct. 2001 meeting of the Bureau in Damascus was not attended by Egypt or Jordan, citing their peace agreements with Israel, or Mauritania. Syria, Lebanon, and Libya were more ready to engage the boycott. Once clause of the boycott calls for not doing business with companies that do business with Israel, but al-Ahram points out it would be difficult to imagine the Saudis not doing business with US oil companies that work with Israel. Al-Ahram also notes that some western countries have laws to "impose economic sanctions on countries that boycott Israel."(al-Ahram, April 24)

Another article in al-Ahram, "The Boycott Backlash," details how the Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) list is making the rounds anew after first being suggested two years ago, at the start of the current Intifada. The list, which includes US companies that do business with Israel, is circulating in Egypt. "Stop using Nescafe, and drink Jacobs instead." But some Egyptians cannot countenance giving up Nescafe: "I can't stop drinking Nescafe," says Dina Hossam of Citibank. "I believe in the Palestinian cause, I will donate blood, and money. I participated in the demonstrations at Cairo University. But stop Nescafe? I won't." Notes one Egyptian saleman: "We haven't really seen a difference in sales." (al-Ahram, April 27) (David Bloom) [top]

In an April 21 op-ed piece in the New York Times, former US President Jimmy Carter suggested using economic and military levers to help persuade the Israelis to pursue a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Carter notes "the legal requirement that American weapons are to be used by Israel only for defensive purposes, a premise certainly being violated in the recent destruction in Jenin and other towns of the West Bank. Richard Nixon imposed this requirement to stop Ariel Sharon and Israel's military advance into Egypt in the 1973 war, and I used the same demand to deter Israeli attacks on Lebanon in 1979." Carter recommends suspending aid to Israel: "The other persuasive factor is approximately $10 million daily in American aid to Israel. President George Bush Sr. threatened this assistance in 1992 to prevent the building of Israeli settlements..." Carter blames both sides for the violence, saying that "Yasir Arafat never exerted control over Hamas and other radical Palestinians..." Carter goes on to note, "Tragically, the policies of Mr. Sharon have greatly strengthened these criminal elements, enhanced their popular support, and encouraged misguided young men and women to sacrifice their own lives in attacking innocent Israeli citizens." (NYT, April 21) (David Bloom) [top]

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has decided not to consider a request from Arab countries to suspend Israel from international soccer matches. "We will continue to monitor the situation in Israel and follow the guidelines laid down by the United Nations," said UEFA president Lennart Johansson. The request came from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Libya. The world-wide International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) has also refused to ban Israel from play. (Jerusalem Post, April 25) (David Bloom) [top]

The city of Berkeley California, which led the world in the movement to divest in apartheid South Africa, rejected a resolution to boycott Israeli-made goods. Judith Scherr, former editor for the Berkeley Free Planet, writing for Palestine Chronicle, says an alternative resolution supporting peacekeeping forces in the Middle East and opposing the sale of US weapons to be used against civilians was also struck down, even after the divestiture clause was removed. Outside the meeting, rival groups of protestors chanted "two, four, six, eight Israel is a racist state" and "hey hey, ho ho, Arafat has got to go." Those who opposed the measure claimed that it would "intensify anti-Semitic sentiment," reported to be growing in the city. (, April 24) (David Bloom) [top]

A Congressional attempt to add up to $200 million in emergency aid to Israel as part of a $27 billion emergency spending bill initially met with receptiveness from the Bush Administration. "Of course we won't oppose supplemental funding for Israel," Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told the House Appropriations subcommittee on foreign aid. Israel currently receives $3 billion in US aid, and wanted 800 million more. (Reuters, April 18) But the White House has convinced Republican leaders in Congress to drop the idea. (Haaretz, April 29) When asked if there would be a movement in Congress to provide funds for rebuilding Palestinian property destroyed during Operation Defensive Shield, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) of the subcommittee said, "I think it is too early. Right now they're totally focused on getting the parties together to stop the suicide bombers and come to a negotiated settlement." (Reuters, April 18) (David Bloom) [top]

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon drew an explicit connection between accusations of a "massacre" committed by his army in the Jenin refugee camp--which he called "libels"--and recent anti-Semitic attacks in Europe. "I am very concerned about the global convergence of terrorism and anti-Semitism, which is very alarming," he said in a message via satellite to a conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) aired live on CNN. "Recent weeks have seen repeated attacks on synagogues and Jewish cemeteries through Europe and the blood libel of an alleged Israeli massacre in the Jenin refugee camp," Sharon said. Once again, Sharon drew a parallel between Israel's struggle against "Palestinian terrorism" and the US campaign against international terrorism after the 9-11 attacks. "In Afghanistan, the United States is fighting terrorism [and] sometimes innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire. Israel is fighting terrorism on our doorstep. We have a moral right and obligation to defend ourselves." (AFP, April 23) [top]

Israel's military operations in the Palestinian territories could threaten Jews in the diaspora, warned Salai Meridor, chair of the Jewish Agency, before a meeting of the Knesset immigration committee. "Jews abroad are in danger of being harmed on the backdrop of the Israel Defense Forces' security operations," he said. (Haaretz, April 10) [top]


1,328 Jews from 28 countries have currently signed a statement describing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as Israel's worst enemy, condemning his aggression against the Palestinians, and calling for an unconditional and immediate end to the occupation. The petition, drawn up by the Stockholm-based Jews for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (JIPF), is based on Rabbi Hillel's teaching, "That which you find hateful to yourself, do not do unto others." Entitled the Jewish Manifesto, the petition first appeared in Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's biggest morning newspaper, April 5, with 34 signatures.

States the JIPF: "Many of us who have initiated and signed this manifesto lost family members during the Second World War. They died in concentration camps or perished in the mass graves of Eastern Europe... Others of us are survivors of Nazi persecution. We totally repudiate Ariel Sharon's claim to speak in the name of world Jewry. He certainly does not speak in ours."

The statement recalls Sharon's past as commander of the IDF's elite Unit 101, which carried out grisly reprisals on the Palestinian and Arab side of the armistice lines. In the 1950s, Sharon's Unit 101 carried out two attacks on Palestinian villages that left nearly 100 civilians dead. In 1982, Defense Minister Sharon led "Operation Peace in Galilee"--Israel's invasion of Lebanon--which left 20,000 dead and over 100,000 homeless. An Israeli commission headed by chief justice Yitzhak Kahan concluded that Sharon had connived in the massacre of 800 unarmed civilians by Israeli-backed Christian militias at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. Now, less than two years into office, Prime Minister Sharon "has managed to torpedo the agreements that took Israel and the Palestinians many years of patient accommodation to achieve." (JIPF press release, April 17) [top]

A group of several dozen Israeli and Palestinian peace activists are preparing to bring food and other necessities to Palestinian villages under siege. The activists are planning to go to villages around Bethlehem and Beit Jala. In related news, the student movement "Green Line" demonstrated in Jerusalem, handing out stickers to motorists and calling for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories. A similar demonstration was held in Tel Aviv. A massive peace demonstration is scheduled to be held May 11 at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, under the slogan "Leave the territories-stop the war." (Jerusalem Post, April 26) (David Bloom) [top]

The war with the Palestinians is straining the efforts of Givat Haviva, a center in the Galilee cited by UNESCO for promoting Jewish-Arab coexistence. Writes Haaretz April 23: "It should have been a boost, but when the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Kibbutz Givat Haviva won the UNESCO prize for peace education recently, it failed to stem the tide of young people dropping out of its programs." Participation is down 60%. "We've been running face-to-face meetings for Jewish and Arab high school pupils and youth movement members for years," said Givat Haviva's Mohammad Darawshe. "There's been a drastic reduction in numbers this year. Even if the kids are interested--and some are eager--their parents are often too scared or stigmatized to send them." Founded in 1949, Givat Haviva, then a kibbutz seminar center, is named after Haviva Reich, a Jewish resistance fighter executed by the Nazis in Slovakia in 1944. It developed into the Jewish-Arab Center For Peace in the 1970s. Says peace center director Riad Kabha, "While similar dialogue centers buckled--Neveh Shalom ceased operations for three months after October 2000--we kept on preaching peace and coexistence... Even in times of war and crisis, the center has never closed its gates for 38 years--but we're in financial straits right now, and cutting back." [top]

On April 22, two days after the national march for Palestine in Washington DC (see WW3 REPORT #29), over 2,000 marched from the Washington Monument to protest US military aid to Colombia. 37 were arrested blocking an entrance to the Capitol Building. Among those arrested was Liz Carlisle, 21, of Ithaca, NY, who said "Our government sends billions of dollars in military aid to Colombia which only escalates an already violent conflict." Carlisle, a Cornell student and president of the Committee on US-Latin American Relations (CUSLAR), added, "The majority of the victims are not armed guerrillas but innocent civilians, over 20 each day." (CUSLAR press release, April 23)



Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld promised Afghanistan's interim regime the US will commit money to train a national army. But the offer did not commit US troops to an international security force wanted by interim prime minister Hamid Karzai. Rumsfeld, in a visit to the Afghan capital, said the French are offering to help the US train a national army, and that US assistance will begin next month pending Congressional approval. Later, in a visit to Herat, he met regional warlord Ismail Khan to woo him on incorporating his own 30,000-man force into a national army. The national army has just started training its first class of 600. At Bagram air base, Rumsfeld hinted Washington already has bigger fish to fry than Afghanistan, telling US troops that the country is the "proving ground," not the final battleground, for the War on Terrorism. (AP, April 28) [top]

US forces in Afghanistan's troubled eastern province of Paktia held talks with rival warlords in a bid to halt clashes which have left up to 90 dead since January. The forces of Padsha Khan are raining down rockets on the provincial capital Gardez in a campaign to wrest control of the city from the Kabul-recognized governor Taj Mohammad Wardak. Khan first tried to take Gardez in January after interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai appointed him governor. But Saif Ullah, the leader of the local shura, or council, routed Khan's forces in a bloody rebellion. Karzai blamed the fighting on Khan and appointed Wardak, from northern Badakshan province, the new governor. Khan's forces remain in resistance. Maj. Bryan Hilferty confirmed that "we are in conversation with some of the leaders." Stability is a US concern in Paktia, a stronghold of Taliban sympathies. US forces came under attack in Gardez from suspected Taliban/al-Qaeda forces two weeks ago, although no troops were injured. (AFP, April 28) [top]

Riot police in Pakistan charged a protest by members of the Pakistan Bar Council against Gen. Pervez Musharraf's move to retain power for five more years through a referendum. 50 attorneys were arrested, chanting "We will not accept military rule." Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in Oct. 1999, is seeking to extend his term in the name of stability. (See WW3 REPORT #28) Most of the country's main political parties have rejected the referendum and called for its boycott. The Bar Council accuses Musharraf of violating the constitution. (AFP, April 26) [top]

A powerful bomb exploded near midnight April 25 at a mosque in central Pakistan during a religious festival, killing 12 worshipers, all of them women and children. The explosion, which wounded at least 23, took place in the women's section of a mosque in Bukker, in eastern Punjab province, where thousands of Shiites had gathered from around the country to mark the death of Hussain, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. This appears the latest in a series of attacks on Pakistan's Shiite minority. Dozens of Shiites have been killed in Pakistan this year. 11 died when gunmen fired on worshipers at a mosque in the northern city of Rawalpindi Feb. 26. (NYT, April 27) [top]

A day after the birth of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Afghans told the UN news agency IRIN they demand investigations of war crimes in the nation's 23 years of strife. "We need an independent body in Afghanistan to start compiling a list of the worst human rights abusers followed by an effective judicial process," a member of the Loya Jirga said on condition of anonymity. The ICC came into being April 11 after 10 nations ratified the Rome statute of 1998, taking the number of ratifying countries well beyond the 60 needed to put the treaty into effect. The court, with its own prosecutor and 18 judges, will have jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed after 1 July this year. The court will not have retroactive powers, but abuses in Afghanistan appear to be ongoing. A new report from Human Rights Watch, "Paying for the Taliban's Crimes: Abuses Against Ethnic Pashtuns in Northern Afghanistan," documents cases of summary executions, beatings, sexual violence, abductions and looting that have been committed since November 2001, when the Northern Alliance forces regained power in the north. Meanwhile, in central Bamiyan, mass graves are being unearthed where local Hazara ethnics were apparently massacred by the Pashtun-dominated Taliban last year. An earlier HRW report documents two such massacres, estimating at least 200 executed and thrown into shallow graves. (See WW3REPORT#21) Meanwhile, some accused war criminals sit in Afghanistan's interim regime. "There is a need to prevent warlords and others who are accused of crimes from being involved in the government but we cannot really stop that," vice-chair of the Interim Authority Sima Samar told IRIN. [top]


It's "Back to the dark ages," proclaimed David Landau in Haaretz April 27. "In France, a century after the Dreyfus Affair, anti-Semitism is back at center-stage, in the person of Jean Marie Le Pen"--the right-wing extremist now facing a run-off with incumbent Jacques Chirac for the presidency. Landau notes that the "Jewish state, which was supposed to provide a solution" for anti-Semitism, "serves as the cause, or at least the excuse." The return to medieval tribalism in Europe and Israel reflect and fuel each other: "With macabre timing, on the day that le Pen restored dark and irrational French anti-Semitism to its former glory, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, drunk with his victory over Jenin, proclaimed that he would never dismantle a single settlement." [top]

2. 100,000 PROTEST LE PEN
Over 100,000 took to the streets throughout France April 22 to protest the ascendance of Jean-Marie Le Pen to the second round of presidential elections. Many of the protestors were high school students, not yet of voting age, who walked out of classes to join the demos. With banners calling Le Pen a fascist, the protesters marched peacefully in over 20 cities. The popular chant was "Down with the Front National," referring to the anti-immigrant party Le Pen founded in 1972. The demonstrations began late the previous day, when Le Pen's upset victory bumped Socialist candidate Prime Minister Lionel Jospin from the presidential race. The run-off is May 5. A former French Foreign Legion parachutist, Le Pen once described the Nazi death camps as "a detail" of World War II's history. (DPA, April 22) Russian extremist Vladimir Zhirinovski immediately sent a telegram to Le Pen congratulating him on his "brilliant victory." (Kyodo, April 22) [top]

The European Union April 25 condemned a wave of anti-Jewish attacks and pledged to beef up security at potential targets. The joint statement by 15 EU interior ministers said the body "strongly condemns the racist acts perpetrated in various places" and said it wishes to "step up preventive action and the fight against racist violence and anti-Semitism." (AP, April 25) [top]

Jewish organizations call it the worst wave of anti-Semitic violence since World War II. In the most serious case, a synagogue in Marseille, France, was burned to the ground on March 31, its Torah scrolls and other sacred books destroyed. On March 29, some 15 masked youths rammed two stolen cars through the main gates of Lyon's La Duchere synagogue, and set light to one of the vehicles inside the prayer hall. The doors and facade of a synagogue in Strasbourg were badly damaged in another arson attack that night, while in Toulouse a gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop. Within days, a Jewish school was broken into in Sarcelles, north of Paris, and a young Jewish couple--the woman pregnant--were beaten up by five youths in Villeurbanne in the Rhone region. (UK Guardian, April 2) Molotov cocktails were hurled at a synagogue in the Paris suburb of Bicetre April 3, damaging graves. A homemade bomb was found at a Jewish cemetery in the eastern city of Strasbourg, which was the target of an arson attempt a few days earlier, with a prayer pavilion was set fire. (AP, April 6) On April 10, members of a Jewish soccer team practicing in a suburban Paris sports field were set upon masked youths with sticks and metal pipes. Most managed to flee, but three were injured and one briefly hospitalized with a head wound. (NYT, April 13) The French interior ministry counted nearly 360 anti-Semitic incidents (including graffiti) in April, and said 16 suspects had been arrested, mostly of "Maghreb origin" (Arabs from North Africa). (AP, April 18)

Also on March 31, Zalman Teldon, 21, an American rabbinical student, was beaten in downtown Berlin, where he was volunteering at a local synagogue. Easily identifiable by his Orthodox garb, Teldon was attacked by some 10 men. Although the attackers yelled "Juden!"--the German word for Jew--as they punched Teldon, police said the assailants were "Suedlaendisch," meaning "southern" and generally referring to Arabs and North Africans. (Newsday, April 2) Berlin police prompted a scandal by suggesting Jews stop wearing yarmukles or Stars of David to avoid provoking attacks. (AP, April 23)

Vandals destroyed or desecrated some 135 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Kosice, Slovakia's second city on April 20. Authorities noted that the attack came on the 113th anniversary of Adolf Hitler's birthday. (RFE, April 22)

In Kiev, some 50 youths attacked the central synagogue, hurling rocks and bottles, and beating a rabbi. Kiev Chief Rabbi Moshe-Reuven Azman said the mob shouted "Kill the Jews!" as they descended on the synagogue. Tzvi Kaplan, rector of Kiev's yeshiva, was hospitalized after being knocked to the ground and pelted with stones. Azman's 14-year-old son and a security guard also suffered injuries. Police denied it was an anti-Semitic attack, calling it "soccer hooliganism." Countered Azam: "I call this act a pogrom." (AP, April 15) [top]

A 19-year-old who had been expelled from Johann Gutenberg Secondary School in Erfurt, Germany, opened fire on teachers and students with a revolver and shotgun April 26, killing 15 adults and two youngsters before killing himself. Interior Minister Otto Schily noted the "macabre coincidence" that the shooting came the same day the government pushed through a bill to impose tighter controls on gun ownership and harsher penalties for illegal possession. (LAT, April 28) The schoolhouse massacre drew immediate comparisons to the 1999 incident in Columbine, CO, which left 15 dead. But media commentators failed to recall that Columbine's "Trench-Coat Mafia" chose April 20 as their day to act because it was Hitler's birthday (WP, April 21, 1999). The Erfut massacre took place six days after the Fuehrer's birthday. [top]

Five Al-Qaeda suspects made a dramatic opening to their Frankfurt trial April 16. One defendant was thrown out of the courtroom after shouting anti-Jewish slogans and using threatening language. The trial's opening was delayed for two hours by a legal dispute over whether the men could be filmed in court. A camera was allowed to film the first five minutes. Four of the five, who are all of Algerian descent, are accused of plotting to bomb the market in the French city of Strasbourg in December 2000. They are all also charged with "membership in a terrorist group." The prosecution alleges the five were trained in camps in Afghanistan. Germany has been a focus of investigation into al-Qaeda cells after it emerged that three of the 9-11 hijackers had studied in Hamburg. Since Sept. 11, Germany has launched its biggest post-war criminal investigation to track down al-Qaeda suspects. Concrete blocks have been placed outside the courthouse, and extra surveillance cameras installed throughout the building. The defendants are escorted to and from the building by masked officers. "These are the highest security measures ever to be employed in Frankfurt," said court spokesman Wolfgang Frank. (BBC, April 16) In an opening statement, one of the defendants, Aeurobui Beandali, said "I expressly distance myself from the attacks on the World Trade Center. The death of innocent people there is exactly as bad as the death of innocent people in Algeria or Palestine." But he also said, "I admit to plotting to blow up a Jewish synagogue in France." (NYT, April 24) [top]

Police in Frankfurt arrested 11 accused members of an Islamic militant cell known as al-Tawhid which authorities say provided false ID papers and financial aid to international volunteers for the Taliban in Afghanistan. (NYT, April 24) [top]

Authorities investigating the April 18 crash of a small private plane into Milan's tallest building, the Pirelli tower, ruled out suicide, Italian news reports said. The pilot, Luigi Fasulo, and two women working in the building were killed. Police quickly ruled out terrorism, saying from the outset they believed it was suicide or a technical problem. Prosecutor Bruna Albertini has now dismissed suicide as well. "Evidence gathered so far leads us to rule out a voluntary act," she told Italian news agencies. Fasulo had reported landing gear problems on his approach to Milan's airport on a short flight from Switzerland, and air traffic controllers had diverted him. Minutes later, his Rockwell Commander 112TC struck the 26th floor of the landmark tower. (AP, April 24) [top]

Italian police say the long-dormant ultra-left Red Brigades faction claimed responsibility via an Internet communique for the March 19 slaying of Labor Ministry advisor Marco Biagi outside his home in Bologna by two men on a motorcycle. The 26-page statement said Biagi was "executed" for his role in drawing up labor reforms for the right-wing government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The document was signed by the "Red Brigades for the construction of a Combatant Communist Party" (BR-PCC), which authorities call the "second generation" of the group responsible for a wave of killings in the 1970s and 1980s. Suspicion was already on the Red Brigades after evidence emerged that the same gun might have been used three years ago to kill another labor ministry official, Massimo D'Antona. In the statement, posted on the Caserta24ore website, the BR-PCC vowed to fight Italy's "anti-proletariat project" and create the "political-military" conditions necessary for prolonged class war. The statement also praises the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks, saying that they demonstrate the "need for the forging of alliances between anti-imperialist and revolutionary forces in the regions of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East." (BBC, March 21)

The Red Brigades were believed crushed after several of their top militants were sentenced to long prison terms in a co-ordinated effort involving police across Europe following the group's 1978 kidnap-slaying of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro in 1978. The last Red Brigades fugitive in the Moro slaying, Alvaro Loiacono, was arrested in Corsica in 2000. (BBC, June 3, 2000) On March 11, just a week before Biagi slaying, another man, Nicola Bortone, was arrested in Zurich on charges of "supporting a subversive organization " (the Red Brigades) in Italy. (AP, March 11)

The proposed reform of Italy's labor laws will make it easier to fire workers, and is strongly opposed by unions. Berlusconi called for a one-day general strike in protest of the reform to be called off in the wake of the killing. (BBC, March 21) Millions joined the April 16 strike nonetheless, bringing virtually the entire country to a standstill. Florence saw the biggest protest, with 300,000 people. (BBC, March 16) [top]

Italian officials are warning against needless fear after the US Embassy in Rome issued a warning that unnamed extremist groups were planning attacks against US citizens in Venice, Florence, Milan or Verona over the Easter weekend. "The US government continues to receive credible reports that extremists are planning additional terrorist actions against US interests," the statement said. "These groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets." Italian Interior Minister Claudio Scajola told CNN the threat is believed to of an "Islamic nature." But he also warned against unnecessary alarm, saying there was no evidence suggesting the four cities were threatened. "There is no specific threat," Scajola said. "There is a confidential warning that caused us to raise our guard and tighten our security, but we had no specific confirmation." Milan public prosecutor Gerardo D'Ambrosio was more critical: "I think it's a mistake to keep on banging the drum over this sort of thing. It's just what the terrorists want." Milan mayor Gabriele Albertini also criticized the US statement: "There is no need for alarmism. There is no concrete evidence of a threat." Former Italian ambassador Sergio Romano, writing in the newspaper Corriere della Sera, said: "If terrorism is aimed at creating insecurity then yesterday's statement risks gifting al-Qaeda a partial victory without a shot being fired." (CNN, March 29) [top]

US officials arrived in Rome in late February to inspect a tunnel which Italian investigators suspect may have been part of a plan to launch a chemical attack against the US embassy. Rome was then under a heightened alert in the following the detention of nine Moroccans found with large quantities of a cyanide-based compound and maps of the water network in the area around the embassy. Italian officials stress that evidence suggesting the men were planning an attack is circumstantial, and that the hole--while not authorized for its exact location--may have been dug by workers for standard utility maintenance. Scientists have also pointed out that the compound found in the Moroccans' apartment, potassium ferro-cyanide, is a harmless substance in itself, and that turning it into a gas capable of killing people would involve a complicated process.

Following the arrests of the Moroccans, police said they had evidence from intercepted telephone calls linking some of the men to four Tunisians jailed a week earlier on suspicion of al-Qaeda links. The four Tunisians were convicted of conspiring to traffic in forged documents, weapons, explosives and hazardous chemicals. Police say one of the men, Essid Sami Ben Khemais, was himself planning an attack on the US Embassy in Rome last January. They also accuse him of being a key European operative for Osama bin Laden.

Security in Rome was also beefed up following a small bomb blast near the Interior Ministry Feb. 26, damaging several vehicles and blowing out the windows of nearby apartments. Authorities say an explosive was attached to a scooter on the pavement outside the ministry, and blamed "internal subversion" rather than international terrorism. Last August, a left-wing "anti-imperialist" faction claimed responsibility for a bomb blast at a Venice courthouse a day before Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was due to visit. Other small explosions have hit Milan, Trieste and Bologna in the past year. (BBC, Feb. 26) [top]

Spanish police arrested Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian suspected of raising money for al-Qaeda, at his home near Barcelona. Hooded agents removed boxes of material from his apartment. Interior Minister Mariano Rajoy boasted "We have discovered a very important part of al-Qaeda's financial network." While authorities say much of the planning for 9-11 took place in Hamburg, Germany, telephone and financial records are now said to indicate a network of cells operating in France, Italy and Spain. (NYT, April 15) [top]

The European Union has repeatedly stated that activists would not fall under the new anti-terrorist laws, and that the distinction between political activists and terrorists would not be blurred. But new proposals from Spain seek to do exactly that. According to Spain, European authorities have noticed "a gradual increase at various European Union summits and other events, in violence and criminal damage orchestrated by radical extremist groups, clearly terrorizing society." The Spanish proposal says the anti-globalization protests are the work of "organizations taking advantage of their lawful status to aid and abet the achievements of terrorist groups' aims." The European Working Group on Terrorism, made up of representatives from law enforcement and intelligence agencies from each member state, is currently studying the Spanish proposal for a special Europol network to monitor organizers of legal protests. (Heise Online, Feb. 8) [top]

Police and British army troops came under attack in northern Belfast while intervening in a riot between Catholic and Protestant residents at the border of two neighborhoods. Youth threw fireworks, gasoline bombs and homemade explosives at each other and security forces. Police were criticized for opening fire with rubber bullets, which have killed people in the past. (NYT, April 23) [top]


Bush's "counter-terrorist" campaign in Afghanistan and Sharon's in Palestine are great news for accused war criminal Slobodan Milosevic and his international fan club. The former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia is defending himself before the ad-hoc International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague on charges he ordered genocide and other war crimes in Bosnia and Kosovo. The crux of his defense strategy is that his armies were battling Islamic terrorists bent on destroying his country--just like Bush. Milosevic fan Jared Israel, writing on the web page of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic, noted that on March 7, his hero cross-examined one Sabit Kadriu, who Israel gripes is known as a "human rights virtue of his membership in the so-called 'Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms,' a group run by Adem Demaci." Demaci is identified as a former political adviser to "the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army."

While the KLA was never on the US State Department terrorist list , Interpol has traced ties between the KLA's heroin rackets and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network (see WW3 REPORT #5). In his account of Milosevic's cross-examination of Kadriu, Jared Israel notes interruptions by Judge Richard May. After Milosevic asks, "So you want to say that you know nothing about their [al-Qaeda] activity," May jumps in: "No, he says there are no Mujahedeen in Kosovo. That's what he says." Milosevic replied dryly: "All right, but he doesn't need so much assistance." However, upon reading the actual transcript accompanying Israel's account, it appears that Kadriu had already said "That is not true that there were Mujahedeen in Kosovo. You have invented that. That is the fruit of your imagination." May only interjected after Milosevic continued to brow-beat Kadriu about al-Qaeda.

Also on the ICDSM site is a list of the 1,354 signers of their "FREE SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC!!!" petition. Signatory number two is ICDSM co-chairman Ramsey Clark, former US attorney general, current Milosevic legal advisor and frontman for the International Action Center, a so-called "anti-war group" in the United States. [top]

A March 15 account in Canada's National Post portrays global technocrats starting to see militant Islam rather than Serb nationalism as the primary threat in the Balkans. Michael Steiner, UN administrator in Kosovo, warned of "importing the Afghan danger to Europe," claiming several cells trained and financed by al-Qaeda remain in the region. "Many members of the Kosovo Liberation Army were sent for training in terrorist camps in Afghanistan," said James Bissett, former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia. "Milosevic is right. There is no question of their participation in conflicts in the Balkans. It is very well documented." According to Lenard Cohen, professor of political science at Simon Fraser University, Mujahedeen fighters who traveled to Afghanistan to resist the Soviet occupation in the 1980s later "migrated to Bosnia hoping to assist their Islamic brethren..." After the Bosnian war, "hundreds of Bosnian passports were provided to the Mujahedeen by the Muslim-controlled government in Sarajevo," wrote Cohen in a recent article, "Bin Laden and the War in the Balkans." [top]

The US Embassy in Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, closed "until further notice" following an unspecified terrorist threat. NATO forces in Bosnia and Kosovo were also placed on a higher level of alert. The threats came after Bosnian police, at US behest, raided the Sarajevo and Zenica offices of an Islamic charity, Bosnian Ideal Future, arresting four. The charity's parent organization is the US-based Benevolence Foundation International, whose assets were frozen by US authorities in December. (NYT, March 23) [top]

January saw protests in Sarajevo over the Bosnian government's summary extradition of six Algerians to US authorities, without formal proceedings (see WW3 REPORT #18) Amnesty International said the extradition put the men "at risk," and also protested the extradition of two Egyptians in Oct. and Nov. 2001, apparently on a request from Egypt and similarly without formal proceedings. Amnesty accused the Bosnian government of not living up to its obligations under the Convention Against Torture. (Amnesty International press release, Jan. 17) Bosnian newspapers report that the suspects were named by Algerians who had been arrested fighting for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan under interrogation at Guantanamo Bay. (National Post, Canada, March 21) Bosnia Deputy Interior Minister Tomislav Limov announced that his ministry has collected considerable evidence about former officials with links to Islamic terrorists. This cooperation is was rewarded by Bosnia's official entry into the Council of Europe in April. (RFE, April 23) Meanwhile, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the two Bosnian Serb leaders sought by the International Criminal Tribunal on charges of war crimes, mass rape and genocide, remain at large--presumably in Serb-controlled Bosnia. [top]

NATO officials are trying to identify a possible mole at the military alliance's Brussels headquarters who may have tipped off Bosnian Serb police about an arrest operation for war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic. British intelligence is said to have intercepted a call made shortly before 6AM Feb. 28, as NATO troops threw up roadblocks and moved on the village of Celibici where wartime Bosnian Serb president Karadzic had been hiding. Thanks to the warning, Karadzic evaded arrest. The recording of the conversation with someone believed to be based at the police station in Foca, southern Bosnia, is now being analysed by linguistic experts. The conversation is said to suggest that whoever made the call must have been close to the small planning group that drew up the secretive arrest operation. NATO secretary-general Lord Robertson dismissed as "pure speculation" European press accounts that the mole was a French intelligence agent. The call was carried out in Serb-Croatian, but it was not the caller's native tongue. (NYT, March 4)

The UK Guardian immediately came to the defense of France, saying the "US military was using France as a scapegoat for the embarrassing episode." French ambassador to NATO Benoit d'Aboville also said the story was made up as an excuse for the failed operation. But German newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt quoted Shaun Byrnes, head of the US diplomatic observer mission in Kosovo, as saying: "A French officer revealed the imminent operation." The journalist, Franz-Josef Hutsch, said he received confirmation from one of Karadzic's bodyguards that a warning had been given. The bodyguard, known as Beli Vuk (White Wolf) said Karadzic had fled in a black Jeep Cherokee 45 minutes before NATO forces arrived. (UK Guardan, March 9)

This is far from the first accusation of French duplicity in the Balkans. In December, a former French Army officer, Pierre Brunel, was convicted of treason for leaking NATO bombing plans to Belgrade during the Kosovo crisis. (Reuters, March 4) French forces did arrest wanted Serb war criminal Momcilo Krajisnik in 2000. (Boston Globe, April 4, 2000) But prosecutors at The Hague call NATO's failure to arrest Karadzic and Mladic "scandalous," and say they are believed to be hiding in the French-controlled section of Bosnia. (Montreal Gazette, July 2, 2001) In 1998, the New York Times quoted unnamed US officials similarly claiming plans to arrest Karadzic had been dropped after French army Maj. Herve Gourmelon met with Karadzic to tip him off. (NYT, April 23, 1998) [top]

The US is working behind the diplomatic scenes to shut down the ad hoc UN tribunals on Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the NY Daily News reported Feb. 26. "We don't expect this to extend indefinitely and the tribunals need to think about what the strategy is for shutting them down," said one anonymous "senior US official." Even Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor for the Hague tribunals, said in November she was starting to consider an "exit strategy" under which the tribunal would end in 2008. But she told the United Nations: "There may be people who are saying [after Sept. 11] the world has moved on and the issue of the day is now terrorism. We cannot take that view of international justice."

US ambassador-at-large for war crimes Pierre-Richard Prosper has proposed a deadline of 2007 for the tribunal on Yugoslavia. But some rights activists suspect he is aiming for an earlier cut-off date. In December, Prosper said that while the US was proud of its leadership in creating the tribunals, "to fulfill the spirit of the [UN] Security Council, they must begin to aggressively focus on the endgame." Meanwhile, rumors swirl in Belgrade about a plan to shut down the tribunal even sooner if former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic and his general Ratko Mladic were arrested. The idea was aired in a Jan. 21 article in the newspaper Glas Javnosti by Kosta Cavoski, a law professor and close associate of President Vojislav Kostunica. The article said an unnamed "special US envoy for war crimes" in January offered Belgrade officials a deal: "You immediately surrender [Karadzic and Mladic] to us...and we promise that the spectacular trial to the world's most famous troika... will be the last trial before the Hague court." [top]

Vlajko Stojiljkovic, 65, Milosevic's former secret police chief and indicted war criminal, shot himself to death in front of the federal parliament building in Belgrade hours after passage of an extradition bill for war crimes suspects. The US conditioned financial aid to war-ravaged Yugoslavia on cooperation with the tribunal. (AP, April 12) [top]

French NATO troops fired tear gas and stun grenades to break up a "riot" by hundreds of Serbs protesting the arrest of a local leader in the divided town of Mitrovica in occupied Kosovo. The arrested leader is a member of the so-called "bridge brigade" that prevents Serbs and Albanians from crossing over from their respective sides of town. (AP, April 8) [top]

Evidence of US co-operation with Islamic extremists in arming the Bosnian Muslims has surfaced in a previously unnoticed section of the official Dutch report into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, leading to the fall of the Dutch government and the resignation of its army chief. The Dutch report reveals how US, Turkish and Iranian intelligence groups worked with the Islamists in what the report calls the "Croatian pipeline." Arms bought with Saudi money were flown into Croatia by the official Iranian airline, Iran Air, and then distributed in Bosnia by a fleet of black C-130 Hercules aircraft.

The report says Mujahedeen fighters were also flown in, and that the US was "very closely involved" in the operation, in flagrant violation of the arms embargo. The operation was promoted by the Pentagon, rather than the CIA, which was cautious about using Islamists as an arms conduit, and about breaching the embargo. When the CIA tried to place its people on the ground in Bosnia, the agents were threatened by the Mujahedeen fighters and their Iranian trainers.

The report, "Intelligence and the War in Bosnia, 1992-1995," portrays the UN peacekeeping force in Bosnia as having been undermined by clandestine arms deals and intrigues. The Dutch peacekeepers supposedly maintaining Srebrenica as a "safe area" were "deprived of the means and capacity for obtaining intelligence" for their job. Serb forces are accused of the summary slaughter of some 8,000 Muslim residents when they took the city in July 1995--with no resistance from the Dutch.

The report also reveals that the secret services of Ukraine, Greece and Israel were busy arming the Bosnian Serbs. Mossad, Israel's secret service, was particularly active, concluding a substantial arms deal with the Bosnian Serbs at Pale in return for the safe passage of the Jewish population of Sarajevo. Writes commentator Richard Aldrich: "Subsequently, the remaining population who could not escape was perplexed to find that unexploded mortar bombs landing in Sarajevo sometimes had markings in Hebrew." (UK Guardian, April 22) [top]

Macedonian police claimed 7 suspected terrorists killed in a police operation in March were members of an Islamist underground group linked to al-Qaeda. Authorities claimed the men were all foreigners working with Macedonia's officially disbanded Albanian guerilla group, the National Liberation Army (UCK). Police said they seized four assault rifles, eight grenades and eight rocket launchers in the raid. They said the men were part of a radical UCK breakaway faction, the Albanian National Army (AKSh). AKSh spokesman Alban Berisha immediately dismissed the accusations, charging that the Ministry of Interior was "setting up the farce to justify continuous state terror against Albanians." He further charged that the incident was a provocation by a Macedonian Slav paramilitary group, the Lions. (DPA, March 20) [top]

United Nations scientists announced that they had found widespread traces of depleted uranium from NATO munitions at five sites in Serbia and Montenegro. While insisting the level of contamination posed no immediate health threat, they warned authorities to take precautions, particularly before allowing construction on the sites because of the risk of stirring up potentially toxic soil and dust. The team, organized by the United Nations Environment Program, went to six areas in the two Yugoslav republics and found "widespread but low-level contamination" by depleted uranium at five. Depleted uranium is used to harden the tips of tank-busting shells and missiles fired by NATO during its attacks on Serb forces in the air war against Yugoslavia in 1999. "The study concludes that the DU sites studied do not present immediate radioactive or toxic risks for the environment or human health," UNEP said in a statement. The report was ordered after a number of soldiers who served in NATO forces in Kosovo and Bosnia contracted leukemia, raising fears that exposure to depleted uranium might have been the cause. (Reuters, March 28) For more on depleted uranium in the current Afghanistan conflict, see WW3 REPORT #26. [top]


Hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin told his nation on TV the war in Chechnya "may be considered concluded," bomb attacks on two vehicles loaded with pro-Russian Chechen troops left 17 dead in Grozny, the Chechen capital. It was the most deadly attack by separatist guerillas since July 2000, when suicide bombers killed 44 in a neighboring city, Gudermes. Also, six Russian troops were killed in a blast in a village south of Grozny. Russia re-took Chechnya from the separatist regime in 1999, accusing it of harboring terrorists, but still faces an active insurgency. (NYT, April 19) [top]

Capt. Andrei Samorodov of Russia's 21st Airborne Brigade says he was forced to flee Russia after attempting to interfere with the execution of civilians in Chechnya. He was arrested by fellow soldiers after intervening in a roadside summary execution of captive civilians. After his release, he was returned to his unit--but harassed, beaten and threatened. When unidentified men showed up at his home in Stavropol and killed the family dog in front of his 13-year-old son in 1999, he deserted, making his way to Mexico and crossing into the US at Laredo. After six months in a detention center, he was granted asylum and is now a fencing coach in San Antonio, TX. Samorodov says the abuses were carried out by young recruits in an army secret society known as the "Russian Knights," organized by Aleksandr Barkashov's neo-fascist Russian National Unity party. (NYT, March 17) [top]

A new Human Rights Watcg report, "Swept Under: Torture, Forced Disappearances and Extrajudicial Killings During Sweep Operations in Chechnya," accuses Russia of indiscriminately rounding up civilians in sweeps of villages in Chechnya. While most are eventually released, many are tortured in custody, with electric shocks, asphyxiation and other methods. The report also accuses Russian authorities of looting homes and leaving bodies of captives who die under torture in unmarked common graves. (NYT, Feb. 28) [top]

US charge d'affaires in Georgia Philip Remler told a local newspaper that dozens of Arab terrorists "connected with bin Laden" are holed up among some 7,000 Chechen refugees in the country's rugged Pankisi Gorge. The US has sent military advisors, there has been talk of a joint Georgian-Russian military action in the gorge (see WW3 REPORT #23). The US is now said to be accepting Russia's long-standing claim that the Chechen rebellion, which spills over into neighboring Caucasus republics, has become a subsidiary of the global Islamic terror network headed by Osama bin Laden. "We are talking about an international network that shares the same sources of funding, political support, weapons, training, and ideology, operating in Chechnya, Afghanistan, and many other places," said Sergei Ignatchenko, spokesman of Russia's FSB security service, successor of the Soviet KGB. "These are not nationalists or independence-seekers. They are disciplined international terrorists, united by a single aim: to seize power and bring in a new world order based on sharia [Islamic] law." Officials have even broached the possibility that Osama himself is in the gorge.

Chechnya, an autonomous republic within Russia under the Soviet system, declared independence as the USSR was breaking up in 1991. Russian troops invaded in 1994, and the subsequent war killed an estimated 80,000 and destroyed the capital, Grozny. Russian forces withdrew in 1996, effectively defeated by Chechen guerillas, and agreed to recognize the republic's de facto independence until a formal referendum is held. Just before the war's end, Russian special forces assassinated Chechen independence leader Dzhokar Dudayev with a missile that homed in on his satellite phone. Analysts say this killed the last hope for secular nationalism in Chechnya. Islamic warlords, including the Arab-born Commander al-Khattab, began to integrate their private armies with the global terror network, according to the FSB. In the summer of 1999 forces under warlords al-Khattab and Shamil Basayev invaded the neighboring Russian republic of Dagestan. That same year a wave of terror bombings killed 300 Russians, and in Oct. 1999 Russia again invaded Chechnya. The FSB asserts that the 1999 bombings were the work of the same people who plotted the 9-11 attacks. Though Chechnya is now almost entirely occupied, the war continues to kill about a dozen Russian soldiers each week, and nearly a quarter of a million Chechen civilians remain refugees. (CSM, Feb. 26) [top]

Georgii Baramidze, chair of the Georgian parliament's Defense and Security Committee, told that "quite an amount" of US special forces troops will come "quite soon" to assist in re-taking the Pankisi Gorge. "We don't have any problem with numbers," he said. "It's up to the US government." While Russia is pressuring Georgia to clean out the gorge, the Kremlin is said to be unhappy about a US military role. Russia's relations with Georgia, bad since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, worsened when Russia launched its operation to regain control over Chechnya in 1999. Moscow asked Georgia for permission to launch an invasion through Georgian territory. Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze refused, and Georgia's sympathies for Aslan Maskhadov, the elected President of Chechnya, remain a source of friction. Georgian officials insist Maskhadov, whose forces are resisting the Russians in Chechnya, is not connected to international terrorism. (, Feb 15) [top]

The UK Independent Jan. 6, 2000 claimed to have obtained a videotape on which a Russian military intelligence officer captured by the Chechens "confesses" that a Russian special services unit committed the Moscow apartment-block bombings that ignited the latest war in Chechnya and propelled Vladimir Putin into the Kremlin. On the video, shot by a Turkish journalist in Grozny, the captured Russian identifies himself as Alexei Galtin of the GRU, Russian military intelligence. The bearded captive acknowledges as his own papers displayed by the Chechen guerillas, identifying him as a "Senior Lieutenant, Armed Special Services, General Headquarters for Special Forces of the Russian Federation." On the video, Lt. Galtin said "I did not take part in the explosions of the buildings in Moscow and Dagestan but I have information about it. I know who is responsible for the bombings in Moscow. It is the FSB [former KGB], in cooperation with the GRU, that is responsible for the explosions.." He then listed other GRU officers by name. The Russian Ministry of Defense said it was checking whether there was such a GRU officer. Said one official: "Even if he exists, you understand what methods could have been used on him in captivity." Nearly 300 people died when four apartment blocks were destroyed by terrorist bombs in September 1999. The attacks provoked Putin, appointed prime minister the month before, to launch a new war in Chechnya. [top]


The FBI issued a new alert for terror attacks against malls, shopping centers and supermarkets based on the interrogation of accused top al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, believed to be Osama bin Laden's second-in-command. The alert follows a similar one for banks a week earlier, also based on Zubaydah's alleged claims. (New York Post, April 25) Zubaydah was arrested in along with 50 other suspects in FBI-coordinated raids in Pakistan in March. (See WW3 REPORT #27) [top]

On trial in Alexandria, VA, Zacarias Moussaoui, accused "20th hijacker" in the 9-11 case, wowed the world media by attempting to fire his court-appointed lawyers and announcing "I pray to Allah...for the destruction of the Jewish people and state and the liberation of Palestine by the Muslim... for the return of the Islamic emirates of Afghanistan and the destruction of the United States of America." Judge Leonie Brinkema ordered Moussaoui to undergo a psychiatric exam before he would grant his request to defend himself, but Moussaoui responded: "I will not entertain any discussion with people who advance theories that man is driven by an incestuous desire toward his mother." Moussaoui also said he wanted to use the $30,000 in his bank account to hire a Muslim lawyer, but the feds have frozen the account, claiming it came from an al-Qaeda agent in the United Arab Emirates who wired money to the 9-11 hijackers. (Newsday, New York Post, April 23) Moussaoui, a Frenchman of Moroccan descent, faces the death penalty. For more on his case, see WW3 REPORT #s 5, 11, 12& 27. [top]

9-11 defendant Zacarias Moussaoui and US-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh, both facing trial in Virginia, are held in near-total isolation in a jail a few miles from the Pentagon, target of one of the hijacking attacks. A press account describes the conditions: "Like the narrow openings in their cells that pass as windows to the outside, each is allowed only a small slice of normal life. Lindh, for instance, gets to use the StairMaster exerciser he likes. Both have copies of the Quran, but may not participate in Muslim group prayers. They are confined to their cells 22 hours a day without radio, television, videos or music. Even when taken for a shower or to the gym they do not interact with other prisoners. Officials say the danger of passing messages is too high. The cells in the Alexandria Detention Center have no desks or chairs. But they also have no iron bars just doors with a small window and a food slot. When Lindh said his cell was cold, officials gave him long johns to wear under his green prison jumpsuit." (AP, April 22) [top]

Authorities are claiming more progress against al-Qaeda on the legal front. Issaya Nombo of Tanzania was arrested in Apex, NC, after a document from Voyager Aviation flight school congratulating him on receiving his airline transport pilot license (ATP) was allegedly found in a cave in Afghanistan. (NYT, April 18) Abu Doha, an Algerian jailed in London on charges of plotting to blow up US targets on New Years Eve 1999, is fighting extradition to the US, charging the UK held him illegally after British charges were dropped. Arrested by British authorities in Feb. 2001 on charges of plotting to blow up a market in Strasbourg, France, he was subsequently named by Ahmed Ressam, the accused al-Qaeda operative who was arrested while driving a car full of explosives into Washington state from Canada in Dec, 1999, apparently planning to blow up the Seattle Space Needle for Y2K. (Daily News, April 24) Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, a Sudanese arrested in Germany in 1998 and currently serving a federal prison term in the US as an al-Qaeda agent, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and conspiracy in the near-fatal stabbing of a prison guard two years ago. US authorities say Salim helped organize the 1998 embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, and ran al-Qaeda training camps and safe houses in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Newsday, April 4) [top]

A Manhattan federal judge rejected a request by Nidal Ayyad, one of four convicts in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, to obtain his FBI file. Judge Kevin Duffy cited national security concerns. The 1993 WTC bombing killed six and injured some 1,000. (Daily News, April 26) [top]

US Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered suspected terrorists--not just convicts and fugitives--to be placed on the FBI's National Crime Information Center database, routinely used by national, state and local law enforcement for background checks when they stop someone. (Newsday, April 12) [top]

Faruk Abdel-Muhti, a Palestinian activist in New York City, was arrested by NYPD and INS agents at his home at the Lefrak City apartments in Corona, Queens, in a dawn raid April 26. When they first knocked, the officers said they wanted to ask Faruk questions about 9-11. When Faruk's room-mate Bernard McFall asked if they had a warrant, they said they didn't need one and threatened to break down the door. To avoid a violent confrontation, McFall opened the door. Once inside, they asked farouk for ID, and then arrested him on immigration charges. Although they had told McFall they suspected explosives were in the apartment to induce him to open the door, they took farouk away in handcuffs without first searching the apartment. (Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants press release, April 26) The apartment had been visited by FBI agents on April 9, when Faruk was being interviewed in the studios of WBAI Radio. (See WW3 REPORT #29) [top]

A measure to require closer scrutiny of foreign students and visa applicants from countries thought to support terrorism passed the Senate unanimously. The bill is sponsored by Edward Kennedy (D-MA), a notorious liberal who was careful to lay on the sugar-coating. "Immigration is not the problem; terrorism is," he told the press. "We must identify and isolate potential terrorists, not isolate America." (NYT, April 19) [top]


The International Criminal Court to judge war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide was officially created April 11--despite strong opposition from the US, which boycotted the ceremony at the UN. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said "The long-held dream of the International Criminal Court will now be realized. Impunity has been dealt a decisive blow." But the Bush administration argues the court will open US officials to frivolous or politically motivated suits. The US signed the treaty calling for the court in Dec. 2000, in the last days of the Clinton administration, but Bush officials say it will never be sent to the Senate for ratification. Five members of Congress, led by Henry Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell requesting he ask the UN Security Council to write into every future peacekeeping proposal a grant of absolute immunity from the Court for all US forces and officials. Evan Davis, president of the New York Bar Association, said opposition to the treaty would "weaken US international standing at the very time we need international cooperation for the war against terrorism." (NYT, April 12) [top]

With a trial against Gen. Augusto Pinochet now unlikely in Chile, victims of the country's 17-year military dictatorship are pressing legal actions in both Chilean and US courts against Henry Kissinger and other Nixon administration officials who cooperated in the bloody coup d'etat that brought Pinochet to power on Sept. 11, 1973. Judge Juan Guzman has formally asked Kissinger, former US national security adviser and secretary of state, to answer questions about the killing of a US citizen, Charles Horman, after the military rebellion against Chile's Socialist president Salvador Allende. Pinochet, who ruled until 1990, was arrested in London in 1998 on a Spanish warrant charging him with human rights violations. After 16 months in custody, he was released by British authorities because of declining health. Arrested in Chile in 2000, he was ruled incompetent to stand trial. The death of Horman, a young journalist, was the subject of the 1982 movie "Missing." A suit brought by his widow Joyce Horman in the US was withdrawn after she was denied access to relevant US government documents. But the new legal action against Pinochet and the declassification of some US documents led her to file a new suit in Chile. Relatives of Gen. Rene Schneider, Chilean armed forces commander assassinated in Oct. 1970, have also filed a $3 million civil suit in Washington against Kissinger, ex-CIA chief Richard Helms and other Nixon-era officials.

In his books, Kissinger says he initially followed Nixon's orders in Sept.1970 to organize a coup, but claims he ordered the effort shut down a month later. However, the released documents indicate the CIA continued to plan the coup, and provided money to military officers jailed for Gen. Schneider's death. Human rights attorneys in Chile have also filed a criminal complaint against Kissinger accusing him of helping organize Operation Condor, the regionally-coordinated program of political repression. Under Operation Condnor, military dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay kidnapped and killed hundreds of exiled political opponents. Argentina has also launched a judicial investigation into US involvement in Operation Condor. Argentine Judge Rodolfo Cancioba Corral said he regards Kissinger as a potential "defendant or suspect."

During a visit to France last year, Kissinger was visited at his Paris hotel by police and served with a request from a judge to answer questions on the Chilean coup, in which French citizens also disappeared. Kissinger refused to respond to the subpoena, referred the matter to the State Department, and flew on to Italy.

The controversy may have prompted Kissinger to cancel a trip to Brazil. He was scheduled to make a speech and receive a government medal in Sao Paulo on March 13, but withdrew after rights activists pledged protests and called on prosecutors to detain him for questioning about Operation Condor. A spokesperson for Kissinger Associates in New York attributed the change of plans to a "scheduling conflict." But the organizer of the event, Rabbi Henry Sobel, said "the situation had become politically uncomfortable" both for Kissinger and local Jewish community leaders who had invited him. Rabbi Sobel told the New York Times: "This was a way to avoid any problems or embarrassment for him and for us." (NYT, March 28)

Britain rejected a request from a Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon to question Kissinger on an April visit to London. Garzon is seeking evidence against Kissinger on human rights abuses and terrorist acts by Latin American dictatorships in the 1970s. (AFP, April 23) [top]

Among the tapes of Nixon White House banter just released by the National Archives is an April 25, 1972 conversation in which President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger mull using nuclear weapons in Vietnam. The conversation took place weeks before Nixon ordered an escalation of the war, and he told Kissinger, "I'd rather use the nuclear bomb." Kissinger cooly replied, "That, I think, would just be too much." Nixon responded matter-of-factly, "The nuclear bomb. Does that bother you?" Then he closed the matter by telling Kissinger, I just want you to think big. He also said "I don't give a damn" about civilians killed by US bombing. (AP, March 1) [top]

When HBO aired the movie "Lumumba," former US Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci succeeded in pressuring the film's distributor to bleep out his character's identity. In 1960, Carlucci was the second secretary in the US embassy in Kinshasa, Congo, when, according to declassified State Department cables and testimony to the Senate's 1975 Church committee on assassinations, the CIA plotted with the army chief Mobutu Sese Seko and the Belgians to bring down independence leader Patrice Lumumba, just chosen as prime minister by a Brussels "roundtable" of Congo leaders. After a parliamentary investigation, the Belgian prime minister earlier this year apologized to the Lumumba family for his country's role in the assassination. Carlucci, however, appears to have no regrets. The scene he objects to shows US Ambassador Clare Timberlake and his own character in a meeting plotting the assassination. The Carlucci character makes a clearly disingenuous remark about how the US doesn't "meddle" in other nation's affairs. Carlucci claims he wasn't at the meeting, calling the scene "totally inaccurate," and insisting the US had "no role whatsoever" in Lumumba's death.

Filmmaker Raoul Peck says he believes his portrayal is accurate. A Haitian, Peck spent 25 years in Congo/Zaire after his father fled there as an exile from Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier. His film won prizes at festivals in Los Angeles, Santo Domingo, Milan and Acapulco, and was presented at the Cannes Film Festival. The State Department's official "Analytical Chronology of the Congo Crisis" discusses a plan "to bring about the overthrow of Lumumba and install a pro-Western government... Operations under this plan were gradually put into effect by the CIA." Ludo De Witte, author of "The Assassination of Lumumba," wrote Peck that "there was a de facto collaboration and exchange of information between all important personnel in the U.S. Embassy...on efforts to get rid of Lumumba." Carlucci went on to a stellar career, including posts as ambassador to Portugal, CIA deputy director, assistant to the President for National Security affairs, and Secretary of Defense. He is now chairman of the Carlyle Group, a defense industry investment firm with close ties to the Bush administration (see WW3 REPORT #21). (Lucy Komisar for Pacific News Service, Feb. 14) [top]


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