- - Monday, July 12, 2010

ISRAEL

Report: Flotilla raid was poorly planned

TEL AVIV | Flawed intelligence gathering and planning led to Israel’s botched and deadly raid on a Gaza-bound protest flotilla, with security forces underestimating the potential for violence, said the official report released Monday.

The report, however, praised the commandos who took part in the operation, saying they were justified in opening fire and killing nine after being confronted by violent pro-Palestinian activists on board one of the ships.

The report concluded that intelligence gathering was deficient and that various intelligence units did not communicate properly with one another. It criticized the operation’s planners for not having a backup plan in the event of violence.

It did not recommend any dismissals, though some senior officers could be ousted or demoted in an ensuing shake-up.

BRITAIN

Airline bomb plotters sentenced to 20 years

LONDON | Four years after a plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners triggered tight new security restrictions for travelers worldwide, British authorities closed a lengthy legal chapter Monday when each of the final suspects was jailed for a minimum of 20 years.

Ibrahim Savant, 29, Arafat Waheed Khan, 29, and Waheed Zaman, 26, were sentenced in the marathon case, which began after the plot — directed by al Qaeda — was thwarted in 2006.

A total of nine British Muslims have been convicted of involvement in the plan to blow up at least seven trans-Atlantic airliners with liquid explosives.

A series of trials began in 2007. The plot’s ringleader, Abdulla Ahmed Ali, was jailed for a minimum of 40 years — one of the longest sentences ever handed out by a British court.

British and U.S. authorities said the plan was guided by senior Islamic militants in Pakistan and designed to be the deadliest terrorist strike since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

Discovery of the plot prompted tight new restrictions for air passengers, including limits on the amount of liquids and gels that travelers are able to carry into airliner cabins.

AFGHANISTAN

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