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January 2005 Security News

  • Afghanistan: Kabul Confirms New Effort To Buy Back U.S.-Built Stinger Missiles RFE/RL 31 Jan 2005 -- Authorities in Kabul have announced a new effort to collect U.S.-made Stinger antiaircraft missiles left over from Afghanistan's war against Soviet occupation. The U.S. government provided the shoulder-fired heat-seeking missiles to Islamist fighters battling Soviet troops in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Now, Afghan officials say they are concerned the portable missiles could end up in the hands of terrorists or in other countries.
  • U.S. Remains Steadfastly Committed to Laws Prohibiting Torture Washington File 31 Jan 2005 -- A recently released U.S. Justice Department memorandum interpreting domestic law prohibiting torture reiterates that torture is "abhorrent both to American law and values, and to international norms," U.S. diplomat Bruce Connuck told the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
  • France Launches Criminal Probe of Islamic Group Sending Fighters to Iraq VOA News 29 Jan 2005 -- French authorities have begun criminal probes of three Islamic militants in the investigation of a network believed to have recruited and funneled fighters for the insurgency in Iraq.
  • UN atomic watchdog warns anew on nuclear weapons falling into terrorist hands UN News Centre 28 Jan 2005 -- If terrorists are to be prevented from getting their hands on weapons of mass destruction, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) must be strengthened, the head of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency has told world leaders, politicians and economists attending this year's World Economic Forum.
  • UN anti-terror meeting in Kazakhstan ends with call to fight scourge in all its forms UN News Centre 28 Jan 2005 -- Delegates to a United Nations meeting on terrorism have agreed that global action plans to fight the scourge should encourage countries to become parties to the dozen international anti-terror treaties already on the books and underscored the world body's central role in the effort.
  • United States Commends Nicaragua for Recovering Missile Washington File 28 Jan 2005 -- The U.S. State Department has commended Nicaragua for recovering one of its missing shoulder-fired missiles that can be used against commercial aircraft.
  • Russian Military Denies Beslan Probe Findings RFE/RL 28 Jan 2005 -- The Russian Defense Ministry today denied allegations that the negligence of several senior army officers helped Chechen militants seize a school in Beslan last September.
  • US / NICARAGUA / MISSILE VOA 28 Jan 2005 -- The State Department confirmed Thursday that Nicaraguan authorities, with help from the United States, this month recovered a Soviet-era portable anti-aircraft missile that had apparently been put up for sale by black marketers. The United States has asked Nicaragua to investigate how the weapon got into unauthorized hands.
  • AUSTRALIA / US PRISONER VOA 28 Jan 2005 -- Australian terror suspect Mamdouh Habib has arrived back in Sydney after being released from Guantanamo Bay. U.S. officials said they didn't have enough evidence to charge the former taxi driver with terrorist offenses. The Australian government has insisted that Mr. Habib trained with al-Qaida and had prior knowledge of the September 11th attacks in the United States.
  • Transfer of Australian Detainee Complete 28 Jan 2005 -- The Department of Defense announced today that it transferred one Australian detainee from U.S. facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, (GTMO) to the custody of Australia.
  • Pakistani Police Says 16 Afghan Suspects Arrested RFE/RL 28 Jan 2005 -- Pakistani police say they arrested 16 Afghan nationals in overnight raids in the southwestern city of Quetta on suspicion of links with the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.
  • CENTRAL ASIA: UN counter-terrorism meeting IRIN 27 Jan 2005 -- The fourth special meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) of the UN Security Council took place in the Kazakh commercial capital, Almaty, on Wednesday and Thursday, with the participation of dozens of international and regional organisations, Kazakh foreign ministry spokesman, Ilyas Omarov, told IRIN from Almaty.
  • PHILIPPINES TERROR RAID VOA 27 Jan 2005 -- The Philippine military has attacked suspected Islamic militant positions on reports of a meeting between senior members of two of Southeast Asia's most violent Islamic groups.
  • CONGRESS - ATTORNEY GENERAL VOA 26 Jan 2005 -- A U.S. Senate panel has approved the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to be attorney general, and sent it to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. Democrats opposed the nomination, saying Judge Gonzales played a key role in shaping a policy which they say led to the torture of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • IMMIGRATION REFORM VOA 26 Jan 2005 -- Republicans in Congress are renewing an effort begun last year to toughen immigration and asylum laws, saying the steps are needed to safeguard the country against future terrorism.
  • ITALIAN COURT RULING REAX VOA 26 Jan 2005 -- The decision by an Italian judge to drop charges of terrorism against five North Africans accused of recruiting suicide bombers in Iraq has sparked outrage and incredulity in Italy. The justice minister has ordered an inquiry into how the sentence was reached and politicians across the political divide expressed concern that terrorists can now hope for impunity in Italy.
  • RAND STUDY SAYS AIRLINER ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEMS TOO EXPENSIVE AND UNRELIABLE January 25, 2005 - It is currently not cost-effective to spend billions of dollars equipping America's 6,800 commercial airliners with systems to guard against attacks from shoulder-fired missiles, but the investment could be justified later if anti-missile systems are made more economical and reliable, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.
  • United States Outlines Vision for Immigration, Border Management Washington File 25 Jan 2005 -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a fact sheet January 25 outlining a vision for a 21st century immigration and border management system.
  • Indicted Burma Drug Syndicate Posed Grave Threat, U.S. Says Washington File 25 Jan 2005 -- The drug trafficking activities of the United Wa State Army (UWSA) of Burma represent a "grave threat" with the potential to destabilize government institutions, Justice Department officials said at a January 24 press conference.
  • Northrop Grumman Readies Commercial Aircraft Anti-Missile System Northrop Grumman 25 Jan 2005 -- Jan. 25, 2005 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today announced it will install and flight test its commercial aircraft protection system on a Boeing 747 and MD-11 this year.
  • United States To Test Radio Technology in Border Management Washington File 25 Jan 2005 -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is about to test radio technology that will allow the automatic recording of visitors' arrivals and departures at U.S. borders.
  • Syrian National Designated by U.S. as Terrorist Financier Washington File 25 Jan 2005 -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury has identified Syrian national Sulayman Khalid Darwish as a terrorist financier who has provided support to the Zarqawi and al-Qaida networks in Iraq.
  • BRITAIN / GUANTANAMO VOA 25 Jan 2005 -- The last four Britons held at the U.S. military detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been released and have returned home, where they are in police custody for questioning.
  • Middle East: Saudi Grand Mufti's Sermon On Terror Highlights Conflicting Views Of Its True Purpose RFE/RL 25 Jan 2005 -- It is not uncommon for Muslim imams to use Friday prayers and Islamic holidays to speak not only on general topics but also to address issues of current relevance. Sermons delivered during Eid al-Adha -- the celebration that marked the end of the hajj -- were no exception. In one notable sermon, Saudi Arabia's top cleric used the occasion to appeal to Muslim youth, calling on them not to be used by what he called "enemies of the nation" to kill innocent people. The pointed speech caught the attention of observers both in the Muslim world and in the West. Some say the appeal was nothing unusual, while others argue that it had a political agenda behind it.
  • Transfer of British Detainees Complete 25 Jan 2005 -- The Department of Defense announced today that it transferred four British detainees from U.S. facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) to the custody of the United Kingdom.
  • ITALY RULING/TERRORISM VOA 25 Jan 2005 -- An Italian judge dropped charges of international terrorism against five North Africans arrested in April 2003. The men had been accused of sending recruits and financial support to paramilitary training camps in Iraq.
  • PAKISTAN / AL QAIDA VOA 25 Jan 2005 -- Pakistan continues to hand suspected terrorists from al-Qaida and other groups to the United States.
  • CACI Awarded $2.8 Million Follow-on Contract for New Jersey Homeland Security Deployment CACI 24 Jan 2005 -- CACI International Inc (NYSE:CAI) announced today that it has been awarded a $2.8 million contract by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey to extend the E Team Crisis Management System to every county and key allied and state agency in New Jersey. CACI will conduct project management, implementation and deployment, training, exercise development and technical support for the expansion of E Team through the first months of 2005.
  • Justice Department Charges Eight in Burma with Drug Trafficking Washington File 24 Jan 2005 -- Officials of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have announced the indictment of eight senior leaders of the Burma-based United Wa State Army (UWSA) on charges of heroin and methamphetamine trafficking, according to a January 24 press release from the Justice Department.
  • U.S. Using New Weapon to Stop Smuggling of Materials for Nuclear Arms Washington File 24 Jan 2005 -- U.S. officials have announced plans to employ new high-tech radiation detection devices to stop any attempt to smuggle into the United States radiological materials used in nuclear weapons.
  • DEA Dismantles International Drug-Trafficking Organization Washington File 24 Jan 2005 -- The January 18 extradition of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Priority Target Ze Wai Wong from Canada to the United States marks the culmination of a two-year investigation and the dismantlement of an international drug-trafficking operation that supplied 15 percent of the U.S. Ecstasy (MDMA) market, according to a January 19 DEA press release.
  • US/ BURMA/ DRUGS VOA 24 Jan 2005 -- Federal officials in New York have announced a grand jury indictment of the senior leadership of the United Wa State Army in Eastern Burma on heroin and methamphetamine trafficking charges. The officials say the Wa State Army is one of the largest heroin producing and trafficking organizations in the world and the biggest in Southeast Asia.
  • GERMANY/TERRORISM VOA 24 Jan 2005 -- A German federal judge is expected to rule whether there is enough evidence to hold two suspected members of the al-Qaida terrorist group, who were arrested in Germany on Sunday. German police say the two men were planning a suicide bombing in Iraq.
  • Report: US Will Double Reward For Bin Laden VOA News 23 Jan 2005 -- A U.S. news magazine says the Bush administration plans to double the bounty on al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden to $50 million.
  • BUSH / TERRORISM VOA 22 Jan 2005 -- President Bush says he will use a second term to keep terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Democrats want Mr. Bush to spend more money helping them improve security at home.
  • SPAIN / ETA VOA 22 Jan 2005 -- As Spain grapples with a new threat of Islamist terrorism following the Madrid train bombings last March, it appears to be winning a decades-long battle against Basque terrorists. The guerrilla group ETA has not staged a major strike in 18 months. Now, many are wondering if the days of Europe's last homegrown terrorist group are numbered.
  • Middle East: Saudi Arabia's Top Cleric Condemns Attacks On Innocents RFE/RL 20 Jan 2005 -- Saudi Arabia's top cleric, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abd al-Aziz al-Sheikh, has told Muslim pilgrims at the hajj that some of Islam's greatest afflictions come from its own sons, who are "lured by the devil" to kill innocent people. Some observers see the comments as containing a significant antiterrorism message, but they also say they are unlikely to have any impact on Islamic militants.
  • Spanish Police Arrest Terrorism Suspect VOA News 20 Jan 2005 -- Spanish police have arrested an Algerian man charged with providing logistical support to a suspected coordinator of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
  • Combatant Status Review Tribunals Update19 Jan 2005 -- The Department of Defense announced the findings of 87 Combatant Status Review Tribunals today. Of the 87 findings, one was found to no longer be an enemy combatant. As with previous detainee movements, a press release will be issued when the detainee movement is complete.
  • Security Council counter-terrorism meeting in Kazakhstan to shine light on terror hotspots UN News Centre 19 Jan 2005 -- The Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) meeting later this month in Kazakhstan will allow the United Nations to expand the global anti-terror network, especially in an area haunted by terrorist activity, the Permanent Representative of Russia, who chairs the committee, and the committee's Executive Director said today.
  • PRESS BRIEFING BY CHAIRMAN OF SECURITY COUNCIL COUNTER-TERRORISM COMMITTEE United Nations 19 Jan 2005
  • Energy's Abraham Discusses Security Changes at Nuclear Facilities Washington File 19 Jan 2005 -- The outgoing U.S. energy secretary says he takes personal pride in the enhancement of security programs and improvements in the overall performance of the security personnel and programs protecting nuclear assets vital to U.S. national defense.
  • U.S. Court Dismisses Saudis From 9/11 Suits RFE/RL 19 Jan 2005 -- A U.S. federal judge has dismissed Saudi Arabia from 9/11 suits.
  • GUANTANAMO ASSAILED AS 'AMERICA'S HUMAN RIGHTS FAILURE' US Dept. of State IIP, Foreign Media Reaction 18 Jan 2005
  • DEEPWATER'S SECOND MARITIME SECURITY CUTTER UNDER CONTRACT AND FIRST VESSEL AHEAD OF SCHEDULE Lockheed Martin 18 Jan 2005 -- As part of its sweeping modernization program, the U.S. Coast Guard awarded Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS) a contract to begin production and delivery of the Deepwatersecond Maritime Security Cutter, Large (WMSL, formerly called the National Security Cutter). The Deepwater program is the U.S. Coast Guard’s modernization program that will replace aging equipment with advanced technology and increased capability. Progress on this latest program award is well underway as long lead material has already been ordered to facilitate start of fabrication.
  • Spain Charges 8 With Helping September 11 Terror Suspect VOA 18 Jan 2005 -- Spain's top anti-terrorism judge has indicted eight Islamic militants for allegedly helping a suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
  • Detainee Transfer Announced 16 Jan 2005 -- The Department of Defense announced today that it transferred one detainee from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Kuwait for prosecution. This transfer increases the number of detainees who have departed Guantanamo to 203.
  • US / DIPLOMATS / TERRORISM VOA 14 Jan 2005 -- A group of high-ranking diplomats from around the world is calling for greater international cooperation in the global war on terrorism. The diplomats spoke at a forum organized in Washington
  • Homeland Security's Ridge Shares Anti-Terror Insights Washington File 14 Jan 2005 -- The fight against terrorism is, in essence, a test of will and fortitude, says outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.
  • US / BRITAIN / SECURITY VOA 14 Jan 2005 -- The chief of U.S. homeland security says a global standard for biometric passport data would make the world safer from terrorist attack, while speeding the journeys of legitimate travelers. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge made his observations in a speech in London.
  • U.S., EU Security Depends on Collective Fight Against Terrorism Washington File 13 Jan 2005 -- Security for both the United States and the European Union depends on collective action in the fight against terrorism, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge said January 13 at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Tajikistan: Released Guantanamo Detainee Says He Was Abused RFE/RL 13 Jan 2005 -- A Tajik citizen released last spring from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay has complained of psychological pressure and ill treatment during detention.
  • Analysis: A Look At Iran's Sponsorship Of Terror Groups RFE/RL 13 Jan 2005 -- The Iranian Constitution states that in order to attain its objectives the country's foreign policy must be based on "Islamic criteria, fraternal commitment to all Muslims, and unsparing support to the freedom fighters of the world" (Article 3). Furthermore, "[Iran] supports the rightful struggle of the oppressed people against their oppressors anywhere in the world" (Article 154). These requirements, as well as a desire to export the revolution, are a primary factor behind Iran's support for what the United States identifies as terrorist organizations. Iran's more recent reliance on asymmetric warfare in its military doctrine, furthermore, underscores that such support will continue.
  • United States, Bahamas Sign Pact to Fight Nuclear Terrorism Washington File 12 Jan 2005 -- The United States and the Bahamas have signed a new agreement under which the Caribbean nation will install at a Bahamian seaport special U.S. equipment that detects hidden shipments of nuclear and other radioactive material, U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham has announced.
  • Ridge: Global Terrorism Requires Global Response AFPS 12 Jan 2005 -- Global terrorism requires the strength of a global response, and international cooperation is the only way to confront this threat, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here.
  • Mexican Money-Laundering Cell Named Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Washington File 12 Jan 2005 -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has added 15 companies and 24 individuals associated with a money-laundering cell of Mexico's Arellano Felix drug cartel to its list of persons designated pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, according to a January 12 press release issued by OFAC.
  • United States Is al-Qaida's Primary Target, Ridge Says Washington File 12 Jan 2005 -- The United States is still al-Qaida's primary target, says Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.
  • U.S.: Can Nominee Tame Homeland Security Bureaucracy? RFE/RL 12 Jan 2005 -- U.S. President George W. Bush has chosen a federal prosecutor-turned-judge as his nominee to replace Tom Ridge as secretary of the Homeland Security Department. If confirmed by the Senate, Michael Chertoff would take control of an agency created in response to the attacks of 11 September 2001, and that already has 180,000 employees. The department is an amalgam of 22 federal bureaucracies with responsibilities ranging from border and airline security to law enforcement.
  • AUSTRALIA / GITMO PRISONER VOA 12 Jan 2005 -- Australia says it is not likely to take legal action against one of its citizens who is being released from the U.S. military detention in Guantanamo Bay. This, despite having strong suspicions that Mamdouh Habib - a former Sydney taxi driver - has terrorist connections.
  • U.S.-GUANTANAMO RELEASE VOA 11 Jan 2005 -- The United States has reached agreement with the British and Australian governments for the transfer of custody of four British nationals and an Australian from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. More than 200 terrorist suspects have been released or transferred to date.
  • UN/AL QAIDA SANCTIONS VOA 11 Jan 2005 -- U.N. sanctions are beginning to make it harder for terrorist groups to fund their operations. That is the conclusion of two senior U.S. officials who briefed the U.N. Security Council's al-Qaida/Taleban sanctions committee.
  • Bush Names Chertoff as Homeland Security Secretary AFPS 11 Jan 2005 -- President Bush today nominated federal appeals court judge Michael Chertoff, "a key leader in the war on terror" as the nation's second secretary of homeland security.
  • 4 experts named to help Security Council prevent WMDs from falling into terrorists' hands UN News Centre 11 Jan 2005 -- Four experts have been named to assist the work of the United Nations Security Council sanctions committee dealing with efforts to prevent such private parties as terrorists and black marketers from acquiring weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
  • Coordinated Efforts Key to Fighting Terrorism, United States Says Washington File 11 Jan 2005 -- Long-term, coordinated international efforts are extremely important in cutting the flow of funds to terrorist groups -- which now are becoming a loose collection of regional networks operating autonomously, U.S. officials say.
  • President Nominates Michael Chertoff as Secretary of Homeland Security The White House 11 Jan 2005
  • BRITAIN / GUANTANAMO VOA 11 Jan 2005 -- Britain says four of its citizens held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as suspected terrorists will be repatriated.
  • BUSH / HOMELAND SECURITY VOA 11 Jan 2005 -- President Bush has named a federal appeals court judge and former top Justice Department official to head the Department of Homeland Security. Judge Michael Chertoff is Mr. Bush's second pick to replace Tom Ridge in the crucial administration job.
  • Guantanamo Detainees to be Transferred 11 Jan 2005 -- The Department of Defense announced today that it will be transferring the four British detainees and one Australian detainee in detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the governments of the United Kingdom and Australia.
  • Rewards for Justice Program Launches Ad Campaign in Pakistan Washington File 10 Jan 2005 -- The Bureau of Diplomatic Security's Rewards for Justice Program has begun an advertising campaign in Pakistan to publicize the financial rewards offered for information leading to the apprehension of terrorists believed to be in the region.
  • Port of Marseilles Implements Container Security Initiative Washington File 10 Jan 2005 -- Marseilles has become the latest port to implement the Container Security Initiative (CSI) -- a screening and inspection program aimed at securing maritime cargo shipments against the threat of terrorism.
  • EU: Brussels To Introduce Fingerprinting For Many Schengen Visitors By 2007 RFE/RL 07 Jan 2005 -- The European Commission has begun work on an EU-wide visa information system for travelers visiting the bloc's so-called "Schengen area," in which internal border checks have been abolished. The Schengen rules at present cover most of the old EU countries, while most new member states are expected to join by 2007. Once the new system is up and running -- also expected in 2007 -- every visitor issued with an EU "Schengen" visa will be fingerprinted, and have his or her picture taken. This, EU officials say, will put an end to fraudulent visa applications.
  • UN REPORT / SECURITY COUNCIL VOA 06 Jan 2005 -- The United Nations has released a report addressing some of the most pressing security issues facing the international community.
  • YASUKUNI CYBERATTACK VOA 06 Jan 2005 -- A battle is underway between China and Japan in cyberspace, with Japanese officials claiming Chinese hackers are routinely attacking websites and Internet services in Japan. Among them is the homepage of the Yasukuni Shrine, a constant source of friction between the two countries.
  • UN REPORT / TERRORISM VOA 05 Jan 2005 -- The United Nations has released a wide-ranging report discussing some of the major international threats and challenges.
  • GUANTANAMO INVESTIGATION VOA 05 Jan 2005 -- The U.S. military command that is responsible for the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, says it will investigate allegations of prisoner abuse at the base.
  • Colombian Narco-Terrorist Extradited to United States Washington File 03 Jan 2005 -- Juvenal Ovidio Ricardo Palmera Pineda, a high-ranking member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was extradited from Colombia to Washington, on December 31, 2004, to face charges that include hostage-taking and narcotics trafficking, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.



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