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SHAPE NEWS MORNING UPDATE 10 JULY 2002

 

WAR ON TERRORISM
  • Al-Qaida spokesman tells paper terror organization is still thriving, planning new attacks
  • Intelligence Committee chairman calls for U.S. to take on terrorist camps in Mideast

NATO

  • Lord Robertson encourages Ukraine, but says alliance membership talks still premature

BALKANS

  • NATO swoops on warcrimes fugitive in Bosnia raid
  • Montenegro heading for early general election
  • Thousands demand the release of arrested former rebels in Kosovo

OTHER NEWS

  • U.S. convenes session on post-Saddam ‘justice’

 

 WAR ON TERRORISM

  • The spokesman for al-Qaida repeated a threat of more attacks on Americans in an interview published on Tuesday and dismissed the U.S. campaign to dismantle the terrorist group as a "Hollywood script" without effect. "Al Qaida still maintains its military, security, economic and informational structures," Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was quoted as saying in the Algerian daily El Youm. He also said al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is in good health. The interview by the spokesman of al-Qaida followed one posted on the Internet on June 2 in which Abu Ghaith threatened attacks on Americans and Jews, targeting "both people and buildings." That interview was published by the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat. The editor in chief of El Youm, an Arabic language daily, said the interview it published was carried out Sunday via two intermediaries. (AP 091905 Jul 02)

 

  • The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said the United States should pressure Syria to dismantle terrorist camps in Lebanon and consider airstrikes if it doesn’t. Florida Senator Bob Graham said Tuesday the camps have to be shut down. Interviewed on CNN, Graham said the United States should "have a serious discussion with Syria," which controls areas in its own country and Lebanon where groups like Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad train. Asked if the United States should use airpower to destroy the camps, Graham said that if Syria refuses to close the camps, "then I think the international community, led by the United States, has a priority to do so." (AP 100140 Jul 02)

 

NATO

  • NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson praised Ukraine’s contributions to regional security and peace in meetings with leaders on Tuesday in Kiev, but said it was still premature to discuss the issue of whether the former Soviet republic will join the alliance. "We are not talking about a ... membership application at the moment, but we are talking about a much more intensified program of work and this will intensify the relationship between NATO and Ukraine," Lord Robertson said. "The world today is facing new challenges and NATO today is becoming a guarantor of security not only on the European continent, but of international security in general," Ukrainian President Kuchma added. Lord Robertson pledged to assist Ukraine in its courtship of NATO, but the rate of Ukraine’s progress "will depend primarily on ... determination to proceed with necessary reforms." "NATO is ready to go as far with Ukraine as Ukraine is ready to make the necessary structural changes and reforms that move it closer to NATO," Lord Robertson said. Otherwise, he said "NATO’s efforts will simply be a waste of everybody’s time, and energy and money." (AP 091637 Jul 02)

 

BALKANS

  • NATO troops raided a remote village in Bosnia’s rugged eastern hills on Tuesday and arrested a Bosnian Serb war crimes fugitive accused of enslaving and raping Muslim women and girls, officials said. "(Radovan) Stankovic is now being processed for transfer to The Hague," said Major Scott Lundy, a spokesman for SFOR. Villagers said troops blocked all roads into the tiny village of Trebicina and surrounded Stankovic in his house, before he laid down an automatic rifle and gave himself up without a fight after a 12-hour standoff. Analysts said a recent flurry of SFOR action could be linked to a dispute between the United States and the rest of the UN Security Council over the powers of a new global court. "Given what’s happening with the UN mission and ahead of (October general) elections perhaps NATO wants to send a message to war criminals and corrupt politicians that NATO and SFOR are still very much present in Bosnia," Michael Doyle from the International Crisis Group think-tank told the Reuters news agency. (Reuters 092143 GMT Jul 02)

 

  • Montenegrin Prime Minister-designate Filip Vujanovic said on Tuesday that early elections were inevitable, admitting he had failed to form a new government. Vujanovic said the four-year mandate of the current parliament, which took office in May last year, would be cut short but that it would stay on until a new one is elected. He stressed the election would not affect work to draw up a constitutional blueprint for a new, looser union between Serbia and Montenegro to replace the Yugoslav federation. (Reuters 091645 GMT Jul 02)

 

  • Thousands of ethnic Albanians spilled onto Kosovo’s streets Tuesday to protest the arrests of former ethnic Albanian rebels accused of crimes committed after the province’s war. About 2,000 protesters gathered in Pristina to demand the release of six former rebels, including Daut Haradinaj, a senior commander and the brother of a prominent ethnic Albanian leader. The six were arrested on charges of kidnapping and assault allegedly committed in June 1999. The crimes were committed against other ethnic Albanians. Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a hand grenade was tossed at the police station late Monday in the central town of Srbica, some 30 kilometers west of Pristina, a UN police spokesman said. The grenade landed on the wall and caused damage to three civilian vehicles in the station’s parking lot. No arrests were made and police were investigating. (AP 091653 Jul 02)

 

OTHER NEWS

  • The United States brought opponents of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein together at the State Department on Tuesday to discuss "transitional justice" after the overthrow of Saddam. But at least two leading figures stayed away from the two-day meeting, complaining bitterly the Bush administration refused to give a commitment to support democracy in any future government and charging the State Department with playing political games with rival Iraqi opposition factions. The Iraqi National Congress, meanwhile, is backing a meeting of former Iraqi military officers in London this week, without U.S. funding. Feuding between the INC and the State Department, largely over opposition leader Ahmed Chalabi, has repeatedly thwarted U.S. efforts to develop a coherent policy for overthrowing Saddam and installing a new government. (Reuters 092253 GMT Jul 02)

 

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