- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 9, 2008

DUBAI

Zawahri: Iran part of West ‘Crusade’

DUBAI | Al Qaeda has issued a video marking the Sept. 11 attacks, in which deputy group leader Ayman al-Zawahri accuses Iran of taking part in a Western “Crusader” war against Islam, Al-Jazeera television said Monday.

In a segment on the video aired by the network, al-Zawahri attacked Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, questioning the Islamic Republic’s anti-Western stand.

“The leader [of Iran] collaborates with the Americans in occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and recognizes the puppet regimes in both countries, while he warns of death and destruction to anyone who touches an inch of Iranian soil,” al-Zawahri said.

Al Qaeda, a militant Sunni Islamist group, often criticizes predominantly Shi’ite Iran, which has good relations with Afghanistan’s anti-Taliban leaders and Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government.

An Al-Jazeera editor told Reuters that the network received a copy of the 90-minute video, which it said was a compilation, including new material.

ZIMBABWE

Mbeki, Mugabe meet, eyes crisis end

HARARE | South African President Thabo Mbeki was holding new talks aimed at resolving Zimbabwe’s political crisis Monday, a day after the opposition leader questioned whether Mr. Mbeki was the right mediator for the job.

The South African leader arrived Monday in Harare and went almost immediately into a meeting with President Robert Mugabe at a Harare hotel.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC, did not attend the initial meeting. But the South African government said in a statement earlier that Mr. Mbeki would meet both Mr. Mugabe and opposition leaders.

Mr. Mbeki has led power-sharing negotiations since July, but talks have stalled over whether Mr. Mugabe or Mr. Tsvangirai should have the top position in a unity government.

JAPAN

Woman seeks prime minister post

TOKYO | A former defense minister announced that she would try to become Japan’s first female prime minister, as candidates made it clear Monday that rejuvenating the world’s second-largest economy would be the focus of the upcoming election.

Yuriko Koike, a former TV anchorwoman, vowed to push ahead with economic reforms started by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, under whom she also served as environment minister.

“The key word of my policy is reform,” Ms. Koike told reporters at ruling Liberal Democratic Party headquarters where she announced she would run for the party’s presidency “thanks to the support of my fellow party members.”

Ms. Koike - also the first woman to run for party president - is one of seven lawmakers intending to compete in the Sept. 22 vote.

The winner is all but guaranteed to be elected in parliament to succeed Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who announced his resignation last week.

BRITAIN

3 men found guilty of terror bomb plot

LONDON | A court found three British Muslim men guilty Monday of planning to kill people as part of a terrorist plot involving homemade liquid bombs.

After a five-month trial Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain were found guilty of planning to kill “persons unknown,” but the jury did not find that they had planned to carry out the attacks on trans-Atlantic airliners as the prosecution had alleged.

A total of eight men were tried as part of the airline bomb plot. The jury failed to reach a verdict on four of them and the remaining one was found not guilty on all counts.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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