- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2003

INDONESIA

Police announce arrest of suspected terror chief

JAKARTA Police said yesterday they arrested the suspected head of a terrorist cell in Singapore who is accused of plotting to hijack a plane and crash it into the Singapore airport.

Mas Selamat Kastari is believed to be the head of the Singapore branch of the regional Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, which is accused of carrying out last year's bombings on the tourist island of Bali.

He was arrested on Indonesia's Bintan island, a short ferry ride south of Singapore, on Sunday night, chief of national police detectives Lt. Gen. Erwin Mappaseng said.


ISRAEL

Labor's Mitzna spurns Sharon coalition appeal

JERUSALEM Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon failed in talks with Labor Party chief Amram Mitzna yesterday to persuade him to join a broad ruling coalition.

Mr. Mitzna said there was no reason for center-left Labor to re-create an alliance with the right-wing Likud that collapsed in October, because Mr. Sharon continued to rule out scrapping Jewish settlements on land where Palestinians are resisting occupation.

"I expected greater moderation, a gesture in our direction, but heard views that do not enable dialogue," Mr. Mitzna said.

He said the Israeli right was insensitive to worsening poverty that could be alleviated if funds were reallocated from the settlements to other uses.


IRELAND

War protesters again damage U.S. plane

DUBLIN Just days after a war protester took a hatchet to a U.S. Navy aircraft bound for the Persian Gulf, the same plane was attacked again.

Police said five persons breached Shannon International Airport's perimeter fence yesterday and inflicted further damage on the plane, which was undergoing repairs. They were all arrested.

Prime Minister Bertie Ahern later vowed to review security at Shannon and police said they had asked the army to step in to prevent further attacks.

Last week a 50-year-old woman was charged with causing more than $500,000 worth of damage to the plane with a hatchet.


KUWAIT

Four extremists get jail for Afghan war roles

KUWAIT CITY A court convicted four Kuwaitis yesterday of joining the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and fighting Americans, sentencing each of them to five years in jail.

The ruling was the first handed to Islamic extremists in this oil-rich state, which is a key U.S. ally.

The court said defendants Mohsen Fadhli, Maqboul Maqboul, Mohammed Mutairi and Adel Bou Haimed traveled to Afghanistan "and participated in fighting American forces under the al Qaeda and Taliban."

The men were not in court when the verdicts and sentences were delivered.


NETHERLANDS

World Court will hear landmark Bosnia case

THE HAGUE The World Court took a decisive step yesterday toward settling a decade-long legal battle between Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina by paving the way for a landmark genocide hearing on the Bosnian war.

The United Nations' top court said it had rejected a Yugoslav challenge to its jurisdiction that would have prevented its judges from hearing a case brought by Bosnia against its neighbor in 1993, accusing it of genocide.

The case has been mired in a series of legal challenges for the last 10 years. Bosnia plans to seek hefty compensation from Belgrade if the court rules that Yugoslavia was responsible for genocide in the 1992-95 conflict.

An estimated 200,000 people were killed or went missing in the war among Serbs, Croats and Muslims.

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