- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2007


Deportation upheld for Muslim cleric

LONDON — A radical Islamic cleric accused of having links to terrorist groups has lost his appeal against deportation to Jordan, an appeals panel ruled yesterday.

The cleric, Abu Qatada, has been accused by the British government of raising funds for extremist groups and offering “spiritual advice and religious legitimacy” to Islamic extremists planning to carry out terrorist attacks.

Qatada’s case is seen as the first real test of Britain’s plan to deport terrorist suspects to countries with poor human rights records, after securing guarantees that those deported will not be tortured.

Qatada — also known by his real name, Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, and as Omar Abu Omar — has denied supporting terrorism.


Refugee children suffer sexual abuse

KAMPALA — More than 50 percent of children in refugee camps around Africa’s volatile Great Lakes area have experienced some form of sexual abuse, a humanitarian group said in report yesterday.

World Vision said more than half of about 1.4 million children displaced by a string of wars in one of the world’s most violent regions were victims of sexual exploitation and needed urgent help.

“The forms of abuse experienced include rape, attempted rape and threat to be raped,” according to the report “The Future in Our Hands: Children Displaced by Conflicts in Africa’s Great Lakes Region.”


Social services may seize fat boy

LONDON — A British 8-year-old who weighs nearly 200 pounds could be taken into care by social services today because of his weight.

Connor McCreaddie has an appetite up to three times larger than most children his age and regularly steals fries and curry to satisfy his cravings for junk food.

He could be taken into care in a last-ditch bid to overcome his problem eating. His mother says she has consulted a dietitian but to no avail.


Anti-Semitic attacks surge 46 percent

PARIS — The number of anti-Semitic incidents in France jumped sharply last year, lifted by attacks after the brutal killing of a young Jew and by the war in Lebanon, a Jewish group said on yesterday. CRIF, the representative council of Jewish institutions in France, said physical attacks on Jews rose 46 percent to 112 last year from 77 in 2005.

Anti-Semitic “actions,” including both assaults and lesser attacks such as throwing objects or causing material damage, rose 40 percent to 213 from 152, while the number of threats rose by 7 percent to 158.

CRIF said the rise in attacks appeared to have been fueled by the murder of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Jewish man whose death at the hands of a group of kidnappers last February shocked France.


French tourists killed in roadside attack

RIYADH — Three French travelers were killed by gunmen yesterday in the Saudi Arabian desert when they stopped their car to rest on the side of a road leading to the holy city of Medina in an area restricted to Muslims only.

A fourth traveler was seriously wounded in the attack.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said it was too early to determine whether the attacks were terror-related. Saudi Arabia has been waging an intense campaign against al Qaeda militants since a wave of suicide attacks on foreigners in the kingdom in 2003.

The area the group was traveling in is restricted for Muslims only. Non-Muslims are barred from the area around Medina and neighboring Mecca.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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