- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2005

PAKISTAN

Terror suspect sent to U.S.

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan said yesterday it handed over a senior al Qaeda suspect to the United States even though he had been the country’s most-wanted man for masterminding two bloody bombings in attempts to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf.

Some Pakistani officials have described Abu Farraj al-Libbi as al Qaeda’s latest No. 3 man, after Osama bin Laden and Egyptian surgeon Ayman al-Zawahri. However, he did not appear on the FBI list of the world’s most-wanted terrorists, and his exact role in al Qaeda remains murky.

BOLIVIA

Crippling protests force president out

LA PAZ — Bolivian President Carlos Mesa said yesterday he had submitted his resignation after weeks of crippling protests by indigenous leaders demanding that he nationalize the country’s energy resources.

“It is my responsibility to say that this is as far as it can go. I have taken the decision to present my resignation from the presidency,” Mr. Mesa said in a late-night television broadcast.

MALAYSIA

Guantanamo prisoners called dangerous

KUALA LUMPUR — The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday the Guantanamo Bay prison camp should not be closed because some inmates are too dangerous to be released “under any conditions.”

Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, on a two-day visit to Malaysia, was responding to a demand by Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat, that the prison camp be shut down because it had become “the greatest propaganda tool” for Islamic terrorists.

Gen. Myers said some detainees are “very, very dangerous. You wouldn’t want to release them under any conditions.”

AFGHANISTAN

Gang leader to face execution

KABUL — The purported leader of a gang that killed four journalists covering the collapse of the Taliban in 2001 probably will face the death penalty if convicted, a judge said yesterday, a day after the man was captured in a shootout with police.

Zar Jan was accused of heading the group of armed men who stopped and killed the four near the city of Jalalabad on Nov. 19, 2001 — six days after the Taliban militia abandoned Kabul in the wake of heavy U.S. bombing.

Those killed were Australian television cameraman Harry Burton and Afghan photographer Azizullah Haidari, both of the Reuters news agency; Maria Grazia Cutuli of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera; and Julio Fuentes of the Spanish daily El Mundo.

IRAQ

Al-Sadr to avoid politics till U.S. exit

NAJAF — A radical anti-American cleric says he will stay away from Iraqi politics as long as U.S. troops remain, and he condemned senior Shi’ite leaders and the government for embracing this year’s elections that “legitimized the occupation.”

In a rare interview with a Western news organization, Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr also criticized the desecration of the Koran by interrogators and guards at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, telling the Associated Press that their actions were criminal.

“In reality, the electoral process was designed to legitimize the occupation, rather than ridding the country of the occupation,” Sheik al-Sadr said.


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