- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2008

GERMANY

Terror suspects formally charged

BERLIN | Three men were charged Tuesday in connection with a foiled 2007 terrorist plot to attack U.S. and German targets in central Germany, the federal prosecutor’s office said.

Fritz Martin Gelowicz, 29; Daniel Martin Schneider, 22; and Adem Yilmaz, 29, were each charged with membership in a terrorist organization, said Frank Wallenta, a spokesman for federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe. If convicted, they face a possible 10 years in prison.

He said he could give no further information, and was not authorized to release the names of the suspects’ attorneys.

The suspects are accused of being members of the radical Islamic Jihad Union, an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a terrorist group with origins in Central Asia.

According to the State Department, the Islamic Jihad Union was responsible for coordinated bombings outside the U.S. and Israeli embassies in July 2004 in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.

SYRIA

Hamas denies leader moved to Sudan

DAMASCUS | The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Tuesday denied that its political leader Khaled Mashaal had moved from his self-imposed exile in Syria to Sudan.

Mr. Mashaal in early August paid a visit to Sudan to express solidarity with President Omar Bashir after the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requested an arrest warrant for the Sudanese leader over allegations of war crimes.

However, Hamas said Mr. Mashaal had since returned to Damascus. In Khartoum, a spokesman for Mr. Bashir also denied that Mr. Mashaal had moved to Sudan.

Israeli media on Monday, quoting a Kuwaiti newspaper, reported that Mr. Mashaal had left Syria to live in Sudan, purportedly because of the relaunch of talks between Syria and Israel.

The two countries announced in May that they had resumed indirect peace talks brokered by Turkey after an eight-year freeze.

CONGO

17 feared dead in plane crash

KINSHASA | A humanitarian aid flight carrying 17 people crashed on a ridge in eastern Congo, and the U.S.-based group that operated the route said Tuesday there appeared to be no survivors.

The 21-seat Beechcraft 1900 aircraft disappeared in bad weather late Monday with two crew and 15 passengers on board, a spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

It was located Tuesday morning, about 9 miles northwest of the airstrip at Bukavu in eastern Congo, its intended destination, Elisabeth Byrs told journalists in Geneva.

Air Serv International, which runs the twice-weekly aid delivery between Kisangani and Bukavu, said the plane was located on a steep ridge and that helicopter surveys suggested all 17 aboard had died.

INDIA

Kashmiris happy as curfew ends

SRINAGAR | Thousands of Kashmiris thronged shopping areas Tuesday as authorities lifted a nine-day-old curfew in Muslim-majority areas in troubled Indian Kashmir, coinciding with the start of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

The move came as Islamic separatists vowed to press on with peaceful protests calling for an end to Indian rule over the predominantly Muslim Himalayan territory.

Schools and government offices reopened and vehicles were back on the streets as security forces removed roadblocks across the Kashmir Valley.

NIGERIA

U.S. journalist charged with spying

PORT HARCOURT | Authorities in Nigeria have charged a U.S. journalist working on a documentary in the oil-producing Niger Delta with spying after he was arrested for filming the army, a media watchdog said Tuesday.

Andrew Berends, a freelance journalist, was arrested Sunday by a joint military task force that patrols the region, military spokesman Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said.

“He was handed over to the State Security Services for professional investigation, to simply ascertain his mission and why he intruded into an operational area, snapped video shots of troops and their deployment without clearance,” Col. Musa said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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