- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 25, 2008


10,000 troops sent to Lebanese border

A Lebanese military spokesman said Syria has deployed military reinforcements along its borders with northern Lebanon as part of what Damascus called “internal security measures.”

The Lebanese spokesman said about 10,000 Syrian troops from the special forces were deployed and that Beirut demanded an explanation from Damascus about this move. The Syrians reportedly responded that the reinforcements were aimed at “combating trafficking inside Syrian territories and other internal security violations.”


Tourists’ kidnapping raises terror worry

Panic struck different tourist locations across Egypt when authorities announced that a group of masked men had kidnapped 11 tourists south of Aswan, including five Germans, five Italians and a Romanian in addition to eight Egyptians.

The government apparently is hoping that the incident is not related to any terrorist groups, especially al Qaeda, so that it would not hit Egypt’s tourism industry, which suffered a six-year recession after the 1997 Luxor massacre of foreign tourists.


Police chief warns of motorcycle threat

The chief of police of Nassiriya in southern Iraq, Gen. Sabah al-Fetlawi, revealed to Az-Zaman that 20 booby-trapped motorcycles have entered the province’s cities from Iran.

“Intelligence indicated that this number of bikes carrying explosives have entered from Iran to target officials in the province,” he said, adding that several groups trained in Iran also have begun to spread across the area.


Iran eyes plan to disrupt elections

Iraqi intelligence sources unveiled an Iranian plan to complicate Iraq’s security conditions before the local elections later this year by escalating armed attacks against the “Awakening” councils, anti-Iranian politicians and activating al Qaeda’s sleeping cells.

The sources told al-Mustaqbal, on condition of anonymity, that Iran will cooperate with the Syrian regime and the Lebanese Hezbollah elements inside Iraq. They claimed the Syrians would curtail the nationalist figures in Damascus and provide Tehran with detailed reports on their movements.


Terror group urges closure of embassies

The Islamic Jihad in Yemen, which claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, said it is affiliated with al Qaeda and threatened to strike other Western embassies and assassinate senior Yemeni officials if the authorities don’t release the group’s prisoners.

In a statement posted on the Internet, the organization’s spokesman, Abul Ghaith al-Yamani, urged the U.S. and British embassies in Yemen to close down and threatened to launch suicide attacks against the Saudi Embassy.


U.S. military trains women in espionage

The U.S. military announced it has begun to train Iraqi women as spies to work with the U.S.-led forces to foil attacks targeting U.S. and Iraqi forces.

The head of intelligence for the coalition forces, Gen. Mary Legere, told the recruits they will “work with us to take the fight to the enemy.”


Israel, Syria strike ‘strategic balance’

Syrian President Bashar Assad said Syrian-Iranian strategic relations were very strong, particularly with the independence of the two countries’ decisions.

He told Iran TV that “we are at the start of a strategic balance with Israel,” adding that although Israel might be stronger militarily, “our faith is much stronger in our capabilities.”


Yemen remains target of terrorists

The terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, the second this year and third in the past five years, shows that al Qaeda’s aggression against U.S. targets in Yemen persists since the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off the coast of Aden.

Despite the billions spent on the “war on terror” and the decline in the number of people killed in terrorist attacks, international research centers say terrorism is on the rise, indicating that al Qaeda’s cells have infiltrated into many of the world’s countries because of U.S. policy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

• Compiled by Sana Abdallah of the Middle East Times in Amman, Jordan

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