- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 10, 2009

BRITAIN

Man convicted of bomb-plot role

LONDON | A Muslim man was convicted Wednesday of conspiracy to murder for his role in a plan to blow up trans-Atlantic passenger jets using liquid explosives, a plot that sparked sweeping restrictions for passengers carrying liquids and gels.

Adam Khatib, 22, was convicted of plotting with Abdulla Ahmed Ali, who in September was sentenced to 40 years in prison for leading a team that planned to down at least seven trans-Atlantic flights in simultaneous attacks officials say would have killed thousands.

Found guilty Wednesday of lesser charges in the plot were two co-defendants, Mohammed Shamin Uddin, 39, who was found guilty of possessing materials that could be useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism, and Nabeel Hussain, 25, who was found guilty of preparing for terrorism and for possessing several items that could be used for terrorism.

CHINA

Dissident faces subversion charge

BEIJING | Liu Xiaobo lobbied to abolish a vaguely worded Chinese law against subversion, but now it appears the high-profile dissident will stand trial for that very crime.

A year after secretly detaining him, police have finally filed a case against Mr. Liu, accusing him of inciting to subvert state power, his attorney said Wednesday.

The evidence against Mr. Liu includes six essays he wrote and posted online as well as a bold appeal he co-authored that calls for sweeping democratic reforms, known as Charter 08.

He disappeared a day before Charter 08 was released online last year. Police had taken him into custody, and he was held at a secret location for six months before being formally arrested in June.

AFGHANISTAN

Convicted mayor of Kabul keeps job

KABUL | The mayor of Kabul continued to run Afghanistan’s capital Wednesday despite being sentenced to four years in jail on corruption charges, raising questions about President Hamid Karzai’s campaign to prove he’s serious about tackling graft and bribery in the government.

Mayor Abdul Ahad Sahebi was found guilty Monday of awarding a contract for a city project without competition. An Afghan court sentenced him to four years in jail and ordered him to repay more than $16,000 involved in the contract.

Mr. Sahebi, who insists he is innocent, is free pending his appeal to a higher court, but is no longer legally mayor, officials said.

Still, Mr. Sahebi, 63, continued to run the city and told the Associated Press Wednesday: “I am mayor. I am continuing my job.”

JORDAN

King appoints new prime minister

AMMAN | Jordan’s King Abdullah asked former palace aide Samir al-Rifai to form a new Cabinet to push forward economic reforms before parliamentary elections later next year, officials said Wednesday.

The appointment of Mr. al-Rifai follows King Abdullah’s abrupt dissolution of parliament in mid-term last month, a decision prompted by the government’s failure to implement investor-friendly laws and maintain fiscal restraint to spur growth.

Officials said earlier that the king had accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Nader al-Dahabi.

Most constitutional powers rest with the king, who appoints governments, approves legislation and can dissolve parliament.

GERMANY

Man charged in plot to hit U.S. targets

BERLIN | Germany has filed terrorism charges against a Turkish-German dual citizen purportedly linked to a member of a cell that plotted to attack U.S. targets, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The 24-year-old, identified only as Kadir T. in line with German privacy laws, who was arrested in August, regularly attended meetings of a group centering around Adem Yilmaz, who used the group to recruit candidates for the radical Islamic Jihad Union, prosecutors said.

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