- - Wednesday, February 1, 2012

IRAQ

U.N. approves new camp for Iranian dissidents

Conditions at a new camp for Iranian dissidents in Iraq meet international standards, U.N. officials said late Tuesday, adding that they have asked the Iraqi government to prepare to move the exiles to the site.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq human rights office confirmed that conditions at Camp Liberty uphold the standards stipulated in a deal struck between the U.N. and Iraqi government.

Camp Liberty is to be the new home for more than 3,000 Iranian dissidents who now are housed at Camp Ashraf, located about 30 miles north of Baghdad.

Camp Ashraf residents slammed the UNAMI statement.

“They have put a gun to our head and claim that this is not a forcible relocation. We have been given two choices: Either we die in Camp Ashraf or we go to a prison called Camp Liberty,” Shahriar Kia, a spokesman for Camp Ashraf, said in a phone interview.

UNITED KINGDOM

4 men admit bomb plot against stock exchange

LONDON | Four British men fueled by the words of a U.S.-born Muslim cleric pleaded guilty Wednesday to involvement in an al Qaeda-inspired plot to spread terror and cause economic damage by bombing the London Stock Exchange at Christmastime.

The nine men, from several parts of the country, were brought together through radical Islamist groups and nurtured plans to attack the stock exchange and other high-profile targets.

Unbeknown to the men, British authorities learned of the plot and put them under surveillance.

They were arrested in raids in December 2010 and all initially denied all the charges against them.

On Wednesday, as their trial was scheduled to start, four of the defendants pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to involvement in the Stock Exchange plan, and the five other British Muslims to lesser charges.

Mohammed Chowdhury, 21; Shah Rahman, 28; Gurukanth Desai, 30; and Abdul Miah, 25, all admitted preparing for acts of terrorism by planning to plant an improvised explosive device in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange.

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