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28 September 2006
Egypt goes nuclear amid regional tensions
With the Egyptian government's decision last week to revive its mothballed nuclear energy program, ISN Security Watch probes the regional and domestic pressures prompting the country to go nuclear.
By Dominic Moran in Tel Aviv for ISN Security Watch (28/9/06)
The Egyptian government announced plans to build a nuclear energy plant on the country's Mediterranean coast last week, confirming analysts' predictions that the Iranian nuclear standoff would spark a new wave of nuclear development in the region.
Gamal Mubarak, son and heir apparent of President Hosni Mubarak, made the announcement during a 19 September speech to the ruling National Democratic Party's (NDP) annual conference.
The elder Mubarak confirmed the decision in his closing address to the conference, arguing that nuclear power could help Egypt better manage its power resources. "We must take more advantage of new and renewable energy sources, including the peaceful uses of nuclear energy," he said.
Government officials moved quickly to act on the president's speech, with the Higher Ministerial Council for Energy re-opening relevant files for the first time in two decades on Sunday.
Electricity and Energy Minister Hassan Younes confirmed in an interview with the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper on Monday that Egypt would have an operational nuclear power plant within ten years of the project's launch.
Younes said the initial plan called for the construction of a 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant at El-Dabaa, 100km west of Alexandria, at an estimated cost of US$1.5 billion. The minister confirmed that Egypt would look for foreign investors to help fund the plan.
The independent Al Masry Al Youm newspaper, quoting unnamed officials, on Sunday said the government planned to build three nuclear power plants by 2020 with a combined capacity of 1,800 megawatts.
Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Mahmoud from Cairo's Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies explained to ISN Security Watch that "Egypt had a very ambitious nuclear program until 1986, but it stopped this program because of the Chernobyl disaster."
"Egypt now needs to revive this program because its oil and natural gas reserves will only last for 15 to 20 years. Egypt [would] face very difficult problems if it didn't now begin preparing the [El-Dabaa] nuclear reactor," he said.
"Egypt says it needs new energy because of rising demand," ISN Security Watch's senior correspondent in Egypt, Heiko Flottau, said. "They could try to start solar energy, but some experts say this would be too complicated for a developing country with 40 percent illiteracy."
Nuclear non-proliferation expert Merav Datan, a Middle East political adviser for Greenpeace International, told ISN Security Watch that "nuclear reactors are unsafe no matter where they are built."
"Nuclear energy is only sustainable through subsidies; it is not an economically wise source of power. There are a number of other problems with it: health, environmental and proliferation risks," Datan added.
Egypt currently relies largely on oil and gas for electricity generation, sources that are both expensive and insufficient for the needs of a fast-growing population. With the recent rise in oil and gas prices the government is losing billions of dollars annually in fuel subsidies and significant pressures have grown for the development of alternative energy supplies.
Datan said she believed that Egypt was considering options for solar energy, and wind turbines adding, "that would be a much, much wiser course to pursue. [ ] There is good scientific evidence to show that renewable energy sources would be able to address energy needs."
The Egyptian nuclear announcement and Turkey's recent decision to begin work on three nuclear power plants come at a time of rising tensions in the region, as EU nations and the US seek to limit the development of the Iranian nuclear program.
The regional power balance has been upset by the Iranian nuclear impasse; the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon; the Hizbollah-Israel conflict; and the fragmentation of Iraq along ethnic and sectarian lines.
Relating these tensions to the Egyptian nuclear program, Flottau said: "I think the question has to be seen in connection with the Iran issue. Once Tehran has the bomb, powers like Egypt and Saudi Arabia see the regional power balance threatened."
"Think of the probable breakup of Iraq and the foundation of [an] Iran-allied Iraqi Shia state in the south on the Saudi border. The regime in [the Saudi capital] Riyadh would feel deeply worried, especially because their own Shia population lives on the Gulf, in Hassa province, where the oil is," Flottau said. "Iran and Egypt-Saudi may be the competing powers in the future - next to a nuclear-armed Israel of course."
Mahmoud pointed out that "Egypt signed the NPT [Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty] agreement and completely agreed to the [attendant] international obligations." He added that Egypt would not engage in uranium enrichment or heavy water production."
Iranian efforts to bolster autonomous uranium reprocessing are considered a sign that the country is engaged in the covert fabrication of nuclear weapons.
The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in October last year that some Egyptian nuclear activities had not been reported. These concerns were subsequently addressed.
The timing of the Egyptian nuclear announcement appears linked to the Iran nuclear crisis, which has raised fears of a regional nuclear arms race. Egypt has offered moderate criticism of Iran's nuclear program and is a long-term advocate of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.
According to Datan, the Egyptian decision to resume nuclear development would likely "have a significant negative impact on regional non-proliferation efforts. And whatever the motives, I think it will be seen as a response to Iran's nuclear program."
Mubarak has been careful to avoid open confrontation with the US, which provides US$2 billion annually in military and civilian grants, and most observers agree that he will try to prevent his country's nuclear energy program becoming a subject of international controversy.
The Egyptian government has grown incensed at the unwillingness of the US and UN to address Israel's thinly concealed nuclear weapons program.
"Egypt has been concerned for a very long time about Israel's nuclear program, and has been leading regional efforts to try to address that," Datan said. Asked if the decision to resume nuclear development could be interpreted as a sign of frustration at the failure of those efforts, Datan replied: "I think that that is very likely."
The maintenance of the secular NDP government in Egypt is crucial to US regional strategic interest. This partially accounts for the seeming US acquiescence to the likely succession of Gamal Mubarak to the presidency and efforts to isolate Egypt's long-term rival for influence, Syria.
Israel is also reluctant to anger the elder Mubarak by re-entering bilateral talks with Syria on the Golan Heights.
Some analysts believe the decision to build the El-Dabaa reactor may encourage Israel to modernize and expand its nuclear facilities and arsenal, estimated at 200 warheads.
Mahmoud disagreed: "I don't think it will have great implications for any kind of nuclear race in the region because Egypt is very clear on this issue. Egypt needs nuclear energy for peaceful purposes only. Egypt doesn't think of any military or strategic aspects in this."
Contest for influence
Russia and China likely will see the resumption of the Egyptian nuclear program as an opportunity to raise their profile in the region through entering into nuclear technology deals with Egypt. According to contested reports, Egypt has been in negotiations with Russia since April 2005 over a contract to build the El-Dabaa plant.
The involvement of other major nuclear players would likely encourage the US to move swiftly to maintain its interests in Egypt.
US Ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone told Egyptian television on 20 September that the US would play a leading role in providing technical support to the Egyptian nuclear program.
In choosing to go nuclear, the Egyptian government has taken a major step to address the developing regional power imbalance, while laying the foundation to quickly achieve atomic weapon capacity should relations with other regional powers deteriorate.
Mubarak's decision to allow his son to announce the resumption of the country's nuclear program is the latest in a series of steps designed to further boost Gamal's public profile. It also sets the stage for a direct transition of power. Depending on the health of the elder Mubarak, this transition may occur in the 2011 presidential election campaign.
"The ruling family - [mother] Suzanne and Hosni Mubarak, especially Suzanne - wants Gamal to be the successor of Hosni. But there is great resistance in the country," Flottau said.
According to Flottau, a decision to promote Gamal to deputy party leader at the NDP conference was deferred in the face of "stiff resistance" and because his father would likely rule until the 2011 presidential election. "But Gamal has to be kept in the limelight, and that is why he had to deliver the important nuclear speech."
Mahmoud said that it was only natural that the nuclear issue should be "on the agenda of the NDP conference [ ] I don't think this is political propaganda for Mr Gamal Mubarak. The real issue is that nuclear energy is a national priority for Egypt now."
Al-Ahram newspaper acknowledged that the fourth annual NDP conference, convened under the slogan "New thinking and a second leap towards the future," was largely an exercise in presenting Gamal as a "dynamic reformer" deeply engaged in debates on further constitutional emendations, major infrastructure projects and national security issues.
The daily noted that US President George W Bush had taken the lead from his Egyptian counterpart, describing Gamal on 9 September as the head of "a new group of reformers who are now in government."
For his part, Gamal failed to directly address calls from conference members for him to run for the presidency, saying: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Hold me accountable only for what I say."
Al-Ahram described NDP Secretary General Safwat El-Sherif as Gamal's main contender for the presidency and, rather predictably, reported that the younger Mubarak had outshone his "Old Guard" rival.
Gamal has headed the key NDP policy formulation secretariat since 2002. In this role, he has pushed strongly for free market reforms and the diminution of the government's still sizeable role in the economy, winning significant support from the domestic business community.
As the anointed heir, Gamal's personal association with the revived nuclear program is assured. In the likely event that he assumes the presidency, his decisions concerning this and other issues pertaining to national security will be crucial in determining the future face of the Middle East.
Dr Dominic Moran is ISN Security Watch's senior correspondent in the Middle East.
Printed from http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?id=16724
Online version provided by the International Relations and Security Network
A public service run by the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich © 1996-2004
27 September 2006
Nicaragua's curse of the white treasure
Bluefields, a Nicaraguan city plagued by cocaine that floats to her beaches, acts as a collection and transit point for cocaine arriving from the ocean and delivered to the poor neighborhoods of Managua.
Editor's note: This is the third in a series of in-depth pieces on drug smuggling in the Americas. Each piece will focus on a specific city and the surrounding region, beginning with Buenaventura, Colombia and moving north through Central America and Mexico, to conclude with Washington, DC.
By Sam Logan for ISN Security Watch (27/09/2006)
Nicaragua is not a cocaine source country, nor is it a major market for Colombian cocaine producers. It is not considered a major drug transit country by the US government. But Nicaragua lies on the western Caribbean route for drug smuggling from Colombia to Mexico, and when smugglers jettison water-tight packages of pure cocaine, it invariably washes up on Nicaraguan shores.
Many who live there, especially the indigenous communities that populate Nicaraguas Caribbean coast, consider anything that comes from the sea and rivers is a blessing from God. The discovery of a discarded package of cocaine is as much a godsend as it is a curse.
They call the cocaine packages the white treasure.
Since the late-1990s, when drug traffickers increased their use of the western Caribbean routes as the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and others shut down eastern routes, Nicaragua has had a growing drug problem. Crack use in Managua, the countrys capital, can be directly linked to Bluefields, considered by many as a collection and staging area for cocaine collected from the sea and distributed throughout the country.
From the farthest reaches of Nicaraguas remote communities to the poor neighborhoods of the capital, crack cocaine has made its way through the country, enriching many who have no other options for survival, while destroying lives and compromising national security and public health.
The autonomous areas
The eastern half of Nicaragua is culturally removed from the more populated Pacific side. Few roads connect the countrys distanced halves. And the government has institutionalized this separation by the denomination of two large tracts of land on Nicaraguas Caribbean side as the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) and the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS).
The Miskito Island archipelago off the coast of the RAAN faces a problem with fishing. Fishermen there catch lobster as small as four to five centimeters, but what they are looking for is not size as much as weight. Many of these fishermen are addicts, and they know a pound of lobster can be traded for one crack rock.
Some 4,000 fishermen work in and around the Miskito Keys. While they fish for lobster to maintain their livelihood, they know there is a chance of spotting a white package floating on the surface. One 20kg package can be sold for as much as US$60,000, according to a recent article by The Times of London. The paper also reported that up to three major drug trafficking routes passed through waters near the Miskito Keys.
On 25 April, the Nicaraguan navy seized a ton of cocaine from four smugglers two Colombians, a Honduran and a Panamanian. They were transporting the drugs some 40km to the east of the Miskito archipelago, according to Nicaraguan military spokesman Adolfo Zepeda.
Some of the drugs found in the Miskito region remain there, or trickle down the coast. But, the majority of the cocaine catch is sold to local traffickers who transport the narcotics to the RAAS, where there are more land routes to the Pacific side as well as a major airport.
Bluefields is the focal point of this illicit traffic. It is a coastal town of some 50,000 inhabitants with a thriving tourism industry based on moving visitors up and down the coast through a network of rivers and mangrove swamps. Ferries facilitate the movement of cocaine back into Bluefields, where a local demand market, buttressed by over 250 clandestine drug sales points, creates an immediate reward for boat owners willing to take some risk in transporting cocaine.
Bluefields transit point
When the cocaine arrives in Bluefields, it enters from regions to the north or the Corn Islands, located off Nicaraguas southern coast. They are considered a refueling point for boats that embark from Colombias San Andres Island, located in the Caribbean Sea between Colombia and Panama.
The local market demand in Bluefields is, in part, buoyed by tourism, but there is also a healthy demand among the local population, which is plagued by unemployment. Men and women, desperate to make a living or simply get through the day turn to crack to ease their suffering.
I remember when I was mayor and some ladies came to speak with me because one of their husbands had been arrested and she had to continue to sell drugs, Moises Arana, the mayor of Bluefields from 2001 to 2005, told ISN Security Watch. She had no other way to survive because she had to provide for her children, he added.
Some 80 percent of the people [in Bluefields] are unemployed, and this leads to depression, Arana said by way of explaining the reasons behind the Bluefields crack market.
Writing in Nicaraguan magazine, Envios, while still mayor of Bluefields, Arana stated that in some meetings he would hear people explain that the only way they can put food on the table is by selling drugs.
Arana highlighted that poverty exacerbated local drug use. There are some communities where 60 to 70 percent of the population - men, women and children - use drugs, he said.
Corruption also plays a significant role in maintaining the status quo of the drug trade in Bluefields. Jailed traffickers are often released within days because they are able to pay off policemen, judges or just about any authority in a position to enforce the law.
"Juice," a local dealer in Bluefields told The Times of London that he would not spend 17 years for a recent bust for 15 kg of cocaine taped to his body. In a situation like mine, I have to pay my lawyer $2,000, the state attorney $2,000, and the judge $3,000. I still got plenty of cash left, he said.
In Bluefields it is easier for a man [to be imprisoned] for stealing a chicken than for involvement in the drug trade because the drug dealer has a lot of money, Arana said, adding that the corruption was a serious problem at the national level, as well.
He argues that the drug trade and the corruption that goes with it is a national problem, not just something that afflicts the coastal city of Bluefields.
The Managua narco
Nicaragua did not have a reliable land route from Bluefields to Managua until a massive rebuilding effort was started in late 1998 after damage from Hurricane Mitch that same year.
The repair of the infrastructure dramatically facilitated land travel from the Caribbean autonomous regions to the more populated Pacific coast.
The side effect of this development was the creation of a drug trafficking link between Nicaraguas Caribbean coast and the more populated Pacific side cities, especially Managua.
Dr Dennis Rodgers of the London School of Economics is an anthropologist who has returned to Managua on a number of occasions to observe the social development of an impoverished neighborhood there called Barrio Luis Fanor Hernandez.
He was careful to point out that his observations of the growth of the drug trade in the neighborhood could not be used to generalize the drug trade in all of Managua, yet his contact with the community gang's top drug leader offered insight into what the drug trade was like in one of Managuas poorest neighborhoods.
The drug economy in the [neighborhood] where I work in was pyramidal in shape, divided into three tiers, Dr Rodgers told ISN Security Watch.
At the top was the narco, who wholesaled cocaine. Then came the pushers, who bought from the narco and then cooked the cocaine into crack, which they sold in bulk quantities from their houses. The lowest rank of drug dealers were the muleros, who were principally the local youth gang members, and who sold small quantities of crack, he said.
Dr Rodgers explained that the narco was originally from the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua and maintained familial contacts there.
[The narco] quickly institutionalized this, first through family contacts, and then by spreading out his network of beach combers, which eventually led him to meeting the actual drug runners, and very quickly he developed a fully-fledged supply network which reached right to San Andres, via Corn Island. The drugs then came over to Managua by a variety of land routes, Dr Rodgers added.
Such scenarios have likely been repeated in other impoverished neighborhoods around Managua and in other urban centers along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua.
A deepening public health problem
Managuas population has grown to over 170,000 in the past decade, with many Nicaraguans migrating from the country to the capital city where public health intuitions are more prevalent and the hope of employment higher. The result, however, is that many who settle in Managua find drug addiction quicker than employment.
The National Development and Research Institute (NDRI) is a New York-based research organization founded to study the reasons behind drug abuse, AIDS, and other related areas of public health. A recent study of drug addiction and AIDS, conducted by the NDRI, sought to define drug abuse patterns in Managua.
The research team interviewed at length 121 individuals: 64 were active users, 47 were in the middle of rehabilitation, six had completed rehabilitation, and four did not use drugs but had served jail time for trafficking drugs.
The study concluded that most individuals interviewed were either currently unemployed or had never had a job. Sixty-four percent had been to jail at least once; fourteen had been in jail over ten times in Nicaragua or other countries, including Panama, the US and Switzerland, for drug trafficking or violence associated with street gangs.
Nearly all of the people interviewed claimed that crack was the number one drug in demand in Managua, and over half knew someone who had died of an overdose.
The research team also learned that some university students had obtained work in the drug delivery business, but taxi drivers remained the most involved in transport between points of sale and delivery in Managua.
Drivers interviewed by the research team claimed they knew of at least one or two drug sales points in every neighborhood of the city. Gas stations, in particular, are popular sales points and operate 24 hours a day.
In a 2003 article published by Nicaraguan daily La Prensa, data from the Nicaraguan National Police revealed that there were some 409 drug sales points, called expendios, each serving as many as 195 clients a day.
Nicaraguas National Police is the front line against drug trafficking in the country. Outgoing National Police Commander Edwin Cordero claimed that under his tenure, the National Police seized over 13,000kg of cocaine between 2004 and 2005.
In 2001, Cordero more than doubled the amount of weapons and vehicles in use by the National Police.
Corderos successor, Aminta Granera, has received a comprehensive security strategy formed by Cordero, and close to US$55 million to execute the plan, which includes an anti-drug component, over the next three years.
But even with these steps, some say there is still more to be done. According to Michael Braun, chief of operations for the DEA, Central American countries are ill equipped to handle the threat of drug-trafficking.
On 26 April, just one day after the Nicaraguan navy seized one tonne of cocaine some 40km from the Miskito Islands, Braun testified before the US House of Representatives Government Reform Committees Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources.
Police and other drug enforcement agencies [in Central America] are often under-funded and receive inadequate training, Braun testified, adding, The corrupting power of illicit drug trafficking organizations on the governmental institutions of Central America significantly increases the difficulties of mounting successful drug enforcement and interdiction efforts.
It appears Moises Arana, the former mayor of Bluefields, would agree.
Sam Logan is an investigative journalist who has reported on security, energy, politics, economics, organized crime, terrorism and black markets in Latin America since 1999. He has just published his first e-book entitled The Reality of a Mexican Mega Cartel and is currently completing his work on Nice Guys Die First, a forthcoming non-fiction narrative about organized crime in Brazil.
Printed from http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?id=16720
Online version provided by the International Relations and Security Network
A public service run by the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich © 1996-2004
A new data base at ISN, could be very useful:
[papers of history, or? hard to describe]
The 'Axis of Evil' and the Leftist /Marxist -- Islamist Alliance
The high price of oil funds the Anti-Americanism and Islamist actions
worldwide. The high price also funds the war between the Shiites and
in their effort to reestablish their competing caliphates.
account and foreign trade deficits of the U.S. combined with the lack
commitment of the U.S. to take seriously a plan for energy independence
contributes to lack of ability to address the defense of freedom and
See my prior article: The
of the Next Great War are Visible.
Although the consensus of the press and the administration names
countries as members of 'Axis of Evil', based on events occurring, it
appear that enemy of the hegemony of West in reality includes the
Leftist /Marxist -- Islamist Alliance. As we note from recent events
support of Iran by Russia, China and Venezuela. Russia is willing to
oil, natural resources and weapons supply to achieve geopolitical
while the Islamists use religion and China may use its 1,000bn of
exchange. The goal remains the same--to create a new world totalitarian
Which raises the question: Are the Islamists the pawns of
and China or visa versa or are they really an 'Unholy Alliance'?
The funding for the Anti-American cabal comes largely from the high
paid for oil. OPEC is not only worried about investor activity in oil
markets, but also about preserving high export prices, which underpin
government budgets in member countries. Without the high oil prices the
countries could not support their social programs and would become
for revolution. With the availability of adequate funds from oil, the
countries can also maintain their stranglehold on the media and
progress on human rights and religious freedom.
Many OPEC producers have embarked on big spending programs in recent
banking on the higher oil price. OPEC producers also would not be able
support their growing populations without the higher oil prices. Russia
remembers that the over production of oil, and hence decline of oil
and over extension of military actions for example in Afghanistan led
fall of the Soviet Union when they ran out of money. These events may
had an impact on the recent actions of Russia to attempt to slow the
development of Sakhalin oil projects of Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon/Mobil,
The Arab Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (AOPEC)
also have a dilemma as to production level and hence oil price. The
price supports the further action of Shiite Iran and the growth of the
strength for a Shiite Caliphate in the Shiite Crescent including Iraq
potentially into Kuwait and Eastern Saudi Arabia.
The price of oil and the wealth generated for Iran may not be
reported by Gareth Smyth in Tehran in his article in the Financial
September 27, 2006: Iran's petroleum wealth fails to ease growing
'In the first days of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, the cost of
kilogram of chicken has risen about 10 per cent in Tehran. While price
increases in the shops do not make international headlines - unlike
nuclear program - they are disappointing Iranians who were told by
Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad to expect a ziafat-e ramezan, or Ramadan banquet.'
'Domestic criticism of the president, even from fellow fundamentalists,
focuses on the economy. Sales of crude oil bring in 80 per cent of the
country's foreign exchange and 60 per cent of government revenues, so
relatively high oil prices give the president the resources for a
provincial development and wealth redistribution. But critics,
those in Iran's private sector, say he is flying in the face of
reality with slogans of 'social justice' designed to revive the ideals
the 1979 revolution but which, in fact, mask higher inflation and
America's addiction to abundant foreign oil and the possibility of
prices also reduce America's desire become energy independent. This is
a goal of the National Oil Companies, Islamists, Leftist and Marxists.
The second major factor is the Trillion Dollar Question facing China in
determining how to deploy its foreign exchange riches as raised by
McGregor in a
Financial Times article on September 25. 'Within the next few weeks,
China's reserves are due to top $1,000bn - a record for any country,
alone a developing nation like China.' Such reserves present a
problem for the U.S. and also prevent negative actions against China
their support of Iran.
I agree with Sen. Brownback.............this warrants very close observation.
Thanks for the ping.
[National City is not 5 miles from the border, Otay is, N. City is closer to 10 or 15 miles from the border. granny]
US border city declares itself sanctuary for illegal immigrants
SAN DIEGO (AFP)
Immigration rights activists take part in a rally to proclaim National City a "Sanctuary for Immigrants" 30 September 2006 in National City, California.
A southern California city on the Mexican border declared itself a sanctuary for illegal immigrants, prohibiting local authorities from collaborating with federal immigration officials.
City council members in National City, a small city five miles (eight kilometers) south of San Diego on the Mexico border, made the decision late Saturday, infuriating some 200 protesting "Minuteman" border protection volunteers, who called for the deportation of Mayor Nick Insunza.
"This is an example which sets a precedent that can be followed by other cities in the United States, even if it is a symbolic proclamation, because we know that Nick Insunza will be leaving office in November," said Ron Morrison, a city council member.
The move came two days after the US Congress approved the construction of a 700-mile (1,125 kilometer) wall along the border, over which tens of thousands of mainly Latin American illegal immigrants pass each year.
The wall is opposed by advocates of an easier immigration policy but backed by many who want a crackdown on illegal immigrants, whose numbers are estimated to be more than 11 million in the country.
Among other things, the council declaration orders that National City authorities must avoid using municipal funds to collaborate with federal immigration officials who want to stop the influx of migrants from the Mexican side of the border.
Putin calls Georgia's actions state terrorism: Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin pictured in Cape Town, September 2006. Putin has accused Georgia of "state terrorism" over its arrest of four Russian officers on spying charges, the Kremlin said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Georgia of "state terrorism" over its arrest of four Russian officers on spying charges, the Kremlin said.
"After a meeting with permanent members of the (Russian) security council, the president described the actions of the Georgian leadership as an act of state terrorism with the taking of hostages," the Kremlin said in a statement Sunday.
The text went on to list the names of all the people present at a meeting to discuss the Georgia standoff held at Putin's residence in the chic Moscow suburb of Novo Ogarevo.
It then continued with the text of a statement Putin made on Russian television earlier in the day.
In his earlier declarations Putin compared Georgia's behavior with that of the executor of Joseph Stalin's murderous purges, Lavrent Beria.
The arrests are "a sign of the succession of Lavrent Beria both inside the country and in the international arena," Putin said in comments broadcast on state television, referring to the Soviet secret police chief who oversaw the 1930s Stalinist purges that killed hundreds of thousands.
Stalin came from Georgia.
Police Seize 61.6 Kg Of Hashish In Sanliurfa
SANLIURFA - Police seized 61.6 kilograms of hashish in Bozova town of southeastern city of Sanliurfa on Thursday.
Three people were detained in the operation.
The dog on tv is a bounty hunter that caught the Revlon (I think) rapist, rich guy.<<<
I was attempting to use 'dog' not as a bounty hunter, but as a code for an area..................feeble moment of thinking.
The word dog is sometimes, almost snuck into a message.
With little meaning.
You are welcome.
But we do not have time to deal with foreigners, our senators will be busy with Foley's sex habbits, until after 2008 elections.
I could kick Foley.
Disgusting, isn't it? I could just pull my hair out.
Off line for a while. Headed to the airport to pick up Mr. RR.
China needs over 10,000 pilots
[a post for study and research]
9/11 hijackers shown laughing in video
By JENNIFER QUINN, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 22 minutes ago
A new videotape shows two of the Sept. 11 hijackers smiling for a camera and reportedly reading a will in footage taken more than 18 months before they carried out the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Mohamed Atta and Ziad Jarrah look much different in the tape than they do in photographs made famous after the attacks in New York and Washington.
Both seem younger, are bearded, and the infamously bleak gaze of Atta, the ringleader of the attacks five years ago, is replaced by a somewhat softer expression. Osama bin Laden also appears on the tape, speaking to a large group of people in January 2000.
The Sunday Times, which originally reported on the video and posted it on its Web site, said the footage was taken in Afghanistan and was meant to be released after the men's deaths.
The soundless video appears to be a departure from previous releases by al-Qaida, which is "normally, very professional in their media," said Paul Beaver, an independent defense and security expert.
It did not appear on Web sites commonly used by the group. The newspaper quoted an unidentified American source who said that lip readers had been unable to decipher what the men were saying.
The Sunday Times said it had obtained the video "through a previously tested channel" but gave no further details. It said sources from al-Qaida and the United States had confirmed the video's authenticity on condition of anonymity.
A U.S. intelligence official, who declined to be identified, citing government protocol, told The Associated Press, "We're aware of the tape and we're reviewing it." The official declined to answer further questions.
The newspaper said the hourlong video was made at an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan, is dated Jan. 18, 2000, and contains the only known footage of Atta and Jarrah together.
Ben Venzke, head of the Virginia-based IntelCenter, which monitors terrorism communications, said the video was probably raw footage that al-Qaida had intended to edit into a package similar to one released last month showing the last testament of two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Wail al-Shehri and Hamza al-Ghamdi.
For more than 30 minutes, the video shows Atta, who flew one of the planes that brought down the World Trade Center, and Jarrah, who piloted United Airlines flight 93, which crashed into a Pennsylvania field, sitting in front of a white wall, alternately alone and together.
The Egyptian-born Atta is wearing a dark sweater and pats his hair into place after trying on a hat for the camera. At one point, the camera pans out to show a machine gun leaning against the wall next to him.
Atta appears to be the more reticent of the two hijackers. During a portion of the tape showing them together, the Lebanese-born Jarrah laughs and smiles broadly as Atta shakes his head slightly. The conversation then seems to turn serious, and the tape shows the two sitting on the floor, hunched over papers, which The Sunday Times reported was Jarrah's will.
Bin Laden said a few years ago that he was saving Atta's last testament to release for a special occasion, Venzke said.
"It is highly unlikely that al-Qaida wanted the material to be released in this manner, and it is not consistent with any previous release," he said.
Diaa Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on militant groups, said he found it strange that the cameraman focused not only on bin Laden but also on his audience. He said normally al-Qaida videos of bin Laden just focus on him.
"Was this a video by al-Qaida or by a security agency?" Rashwan asked. "I have never seen such a video."
Although the video has no sound, it could contain valuable information, Beaver said.
"It helps build up a profile, so you can ID people in the future," he said.
But Robert Ayers, an international security expert, said the tape was more curiosity than valuable resource.
"The fact that these guys changed their facial appearance? Any actor on any stage in the world knows how to change their appearance, so why are we so surprised these guys changed their appearance?" Ayers said.
Previous mug shots released of the two men show them clean-shaven and with closely cropped hair.
The video also includes images of a man who appears to be bin Laden speaking to an audience outdoors. A time stamp indicated that footage was shot on Jan. 8, 2000, and The Sunday Times said it appeared to have been made at Tarnak Farm, once the base for bin Laden's family in the Afghan desert near Kandahar's airport.
It shows about 75 men, many in turbans or caps, sitting on the ground as bin Laden arrives to address them. A few children are in the crowd. The man who appears to be bin Laden stands in front of an expanse of bare dirt dotted with a few trees and windowless, one-story mud-colored buildings, some of them partly in ruins.
He appears calm, with a long beard and a tan cloak over a white robe that covers his head. He speaks for more than 10 minutes, although the camera frequently cuts away from him and onto the audience.
The Sunday Times said those shown listening to bin Laden included Ramzi Binalshibh, who allegedly helped plan the Sept. 11 attacks and is now being held in the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Also reportedly present was Nasir Ahmad Nasir al Bahri, a security guard who The Sunday Times said has claimed he was authorized to shoot bin Laden in the head if the leader was in danger of being captured.
Associated Press writers Foster Klug in Washington, Beth Gardiner in London and Bassem Mroue in Cairo, Egypt, contributed to this story.
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The Sunday Times October 01, 2006
Watch the video: Osama Bin Laden's HQ
[This video has no sound]
Click here for clip 1
Speech by Osama Bin Laden on January 8, 2000, to 100 hardcore members of Al-Qaeda at his family clan base at Tarnak Farm, near Kandahar airport, Afghanistan.
Click here for clip 2
Faces in the audience include Ramzi Binalshibh, who was the co-ordinator of the September 11 attacks. He shared a flat in Hamburg with Mohammed Atta, the Egyptian-born leader of the team of 19 suicide attackers, and was arrested in Pakistan four years ago.
Click here for clip 3
Mohammed Atta, flanked by an AK-47, toys with a Pashtun hat and glances wryly at the camera as he prepares to read his handwritten will. He flew American Airlines flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
Click here for clip 4
Ziad Jarrah, a middle-class Lebanese, joins Atta in high spirits, breaking out in smiles and laughter. Jarrah, who also lived in Hamburg, was ordered not to be seen with Atta in Germany. These are thought to be the only images of them together.
Click here for clip 5
Jarrah, wearing a collarless shirt, removes his glasses and reads out his will. He piloted United Airlines flight 93, which was assigned the target of Capitol Hill, but crashed.
[A post for study and research]
By PAT MILTON, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 54 minutes ago
The FBI's top counterterrorism official harbors lots of concerns: weapons of mass destruction, undetected homegrown terrorists and the possibility that old-fashioned mobsters will team up with al-Qaida for the right price.
Though there is no direct evidence yet of organized crime collaborating with terrorists, the first hints of a connection surfaced in a recent undercover FBI operation. Agents stopped a man with alleged mob ties from selling missiles to an informant posing as a terrorist middleman.
That case and other factors are heightening concerns about a real-life episode of the Sopranos teaming with Osama bin Laden's followers.
"We are continuing to look for a nexus," said Joseph Billy Jr., the FBI's top counterterrorism official. "We are looking at this very aggressively."
The new strategy involves an analysis of nationwide criminal investigations, particularly white collar crime, side by side with intelligence and terrorist activity.
"We have developed an ability to look harder and broader in a greatly enhanced way to see if there is any crossover," Billy said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Organized crime syndicates could facilitate money transfers or laundering, human smuggling, identification fraud or explosives and weapons acquisitions, officials said.
The options are many for terrorists groups.
There are the five reputed La Cosa Nostra families in New York, Russian criminal enterprises from Brighton Beach in the New York borough of Brooklyn to Moscow, and the emerging Asian crime syndicates that operate in many Islamic countries with al-Qaida offshoots.
A contract study produced recently for the Pentagon and obtained by the AP warned that the potential for organized crime assisting terrorists is growing.
"Although terrorism and organized crime are different phenomena, the important fact is that terrorist and criminal networks overlap and cooperate in some enterprises," the study said. "The phenomenon of the synergy of terrorism and organized crime is growing because similar conditions give rise to both and because terrorists and organized criminals use similar approaches to promote their operations."
The traditional mafia has highly developed networks for acquiring goods and services and money, all for a price.
The mob's potential interest in helping a terrorist has nothing to do with ideology or sympathy but with greed, said Matt Heron, head of New York FBI's organized crime unit.
"They will deal with anybody, if they can make a buck," Heron said. "They will sell to a terrorist just as easily as they would sell to an order of Franciscan monks. It's a business relationship to them."
"If the mob has explosives and a terrorist wants them and they have the money, they could become instant friends," he said.
Pat D'Amuro, a retired senior FBI official and now chief executive of Giuliani Security, said a Mafia boss once acknowledged that the mob would help terrorists.
"I am aware of a high-level Mafia figure, who was cooperating with authorities, being asked if the Mafia would assist terrorists in smuggling people into Europe through Italy," D'Amuro said. "He said, 'The Mafia will help who ever can pay.'"
Officials said they have no specific evidence that such a relationship has been cemented. But concerns were heightened last year after an Armenian immigrant was arrested in New York for allegedly leading a plot to sell military weapons to an FBI informant posing as a middleman for terrorists.
Arthur Solomonyan had claimed to be able to deliver shoulder-fired missiles from his connection in Russian organized crime to the informant, who claimed to have ties to al-Qaida, federal prosecutors said. Solomonyan and 17 others in New York, Florida and California were charged in the case.
Solomonyan is scheduled for trial this month. His lawyer, Seth Ginsberg, said he plans to "vigorously contest" the charges and call the government's confidential informant to the stand to challenge his motives. The Italian, Russian, and Asian mafia remain active, particularly in New York, even though the government has successfully prosecuted numerous figures in recent years.
In the past three years, well over 100 associates from all five La Cosa Nostra families have been arrested in New York, Heron noted.
While the potential of a gangster-terrorist marriage is on the FBI's radar, homegrown terror cells and weapons of mass destruction are also big concerns for those in the FBI given the job of stopping the next terrorist attack.
"We are not only aware that they want to come across the ocean to attack us but they may be physically here developing in our own homeland," Billy said.
The Internet has become the new Afghanistan, allowing terrorist sympathizers to promote their radical ideas and to recruit and train followers right their home computers. That makes it far more difficult for investigators to identify them.
Billy said his biggest concern remains weapons of mass destruction. While Hezbollah and Hamas are more defined terrorist groups, with a territorial focus and a political platform, al-Qaida is more unpredictable.
"We know they were trying to acquire it prior to 9/11, bin Laden's own words said that," said Billy. "What makes us think they are still not trying?"
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The Sunday Times October 01, 2006
Focus: Chilling message of the 9/11 pilots
A video shows two of the worlds most infamous terrorists joking and laughing while filming their death wills at Osama Bin Ladens lair in Afghanistan. The journalist and author Yosri Fouda explains the terrible significance of the new find
Watch the video: Osama Bin Laden's HQ
Two bearded young men laugh and joke for the camera. They appear relaxed, well groomed, intelligent; they might be high-achieving students quietly celebrating an exam success. They look at a piece of paper and laugh some more.
What is so funny? Certainly not the piece of paper. There is Arabic script on it. Easily decipherable is the word al wasiyyah. This means the will.
It is the handwritten last testament of Ziad Jarrah, the lighter-haired and better-looking of the two young men. A well educated, middle-class Lebanese, he has been studying in Germany. So has his dark-haired companion, Mohammed Atta, also middle class and university educated, but born in Egypt. Atta has his will, too. Unsmiling, both men read them to camera.
These images are part of a videotape, nearly an hour long, that was filmed at Osama Bin Ladens lair in Afghanistan 6½ years ago. They are revealed today for the first time, and they are a missing chapter in the searing story of the attacks on America on September 11, 2001.
Atta led the team of 19 suicide attackers and flew American Airlines flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Jarrah piloted United Airlines flight 93. His assigned target was Capitol Hill, but the plane crashed.
ATTA and Jarrah have never been pictured together before. Indeed, a key element of their tradecraft was that they steered clear of each other. They were leading figures in the September 11 story, not only because they flew the planes but also because they apparently had everything to live for. Unlike most of the other hijackers, who were mainly provincial Saudi fundamentalists, Atta and Jarrah fitted easily into western society.
To the Germans who knew them in Hamburg they seemed entirely normal. The tape explains this mistake. It would be hard to look less homicidal until the camera pulls back and reveals that Atta is sitting next to an AK-47.
So the tape not only fills a gap in the story of September 11 but also provides chilling proof of the difficulty of fighting Islamic terrorism: these two normal, happy, unthreatening individuals turned out to have an explosive effect on the history of the 21st century.
The unedited video was passed to The Sunday Times through a previously tested channel. On condition of anonymity, sources from both Al-Qaeda and the United States have confirmed its authenticity. It has no sound and lip-readers have failed to decipher it, according to a US source but the images speak loudly for themselves.
The tape not only features Atta and Jarrah. It also gives a rare and intriguing sight of Bin Laden with his inner court.
It opens with 100 or so Al-Qaeda hardcore members sitting on the ground in the open air, obviously expecting something to happen. Among them are several children.
A very tall man surrounded by three armed bodyguards arrives in a sedate, presidential manner. It is Bin Laden, dressed in white from head to toe with an all-enveloping, light brown robe. He looks serene as he makes his way to a makeshift podium and beings to speak into a microphone.
The date recorded on this section of the video is January 8, 2000. That makes the occasion Eid al Fitr, the end of Ramadan.
There are a few recognisable faces among the audience, including Ramzi Binalshibh, Attas Hamburg flatmate who was later to become the co-ordinator of the September 11 attacks. And among the bodyguards is Abu Jandal, who was the only one with the authority to put two bullets in Bin Ladens head if he was about to fall into enemy hands.
In the background are the tall mud-red walls of an impressive compound. It is clear that the location is part of a complex of about 80 buildings called Tarnak Farm in the desert near Kandahar airport. It was Bin Ladens clan base during his Afghan sojourn where he lived with his family and the inner core of Al-Qaeda.
American intelligence knew all about Tarnak Farm. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, CIA officers were able to map the entire site, identifying the houses that belonged to Bin Ladens wives and the one where he himself was most likely to sleep.
Less than two years before the video was recorded, the CIA had a plan to work closely with some of the local tribes to grab Bin Laden as he slept. It was a clear-cut, well rehearsed perfect operation, according to Michael Scheuer, who ran the CIA Bin Laden unit at the time. But it was never executed and there is still controversy in America about who cancelled it.
TEN days after Bin Ladens Eid speech, according to the date on the film, Atta and Jarrah read their martyrdom wills to the camera. This proof of their presence in Afghanistan at that time is just about the final main piece of the jigsaw: Atta, the man who decided zero hour on September 11 is for the first time on video, getting ready to record his martyrdom will.
Investigators have pieced together most of Attas life from his childhood as the son of a lawyer in Giza, northern Egypt, to the moment he boarded flight 11 except for an unexplained absence from Hamburg in early 2000. The date on the tape perfectly corresponds with this.
Those who have been closely following the story had little doubt where Atta had been. Binalshibh told me, Afghanistan, what else? when I asked him during a secret meeting four years ago. But in their painstaking efforts to find the proof that connected the dots, US investigators and, especially, their German counterparts, have struggled with little more than circumstantial evidence and presumed facts.
This played nicely into the hands of conspiracy theorists, both in the Muslim world and in the West. Now the investigators have the proof, and only the flakiest of anti-American fantasists can go on claiming that Bin Laden, Atta, Jarrah and co had no hand in September 11.
We can now even reveal Attas itinerary. On November 29, 1999 he boarded Turkish Airlines flight TK1662 from Hamburg to Istanbul, Turkey, where he changed to flight TK1056 bound for Karachi, Pakistan. From there he would have crossed into Afghanistan by road, most probably through Quetta. On the return journey, he left Karachi on February 24, 2000 by flight TK1057 to Istanbul where he changed to flight TK1661 to Hamburg. Five months later he entered the United States to start flight training.
Unedited, the extraordinary footage also gives us a glimpse into the superficially ordinary character of the man who would later spearhead the devastating terrorist attack.
Wearing western clothes black trousers and a dark brown, zip-collared sweater with zigzag stripes Atta appears uncomfortable putting on a typical Pashtun hat.
He gives a how-do-I-look glance at the camera. The hat goes off, on, off and he throws it away with wry smile. Ready now. He crosses his legs and picks up his handwritten will.
Cool, gathered and deliberate, Atta reads to camera for 10 minutes before the tape cuts to a collectors item: Atta and Jarrah together for the first time on camera.
With his stylish glasses, the handsome Lebanese is wearing a white, Saudi-style robe but appears to have western clothes on underneath.
Smiling, laughing and exchanging remarks, they discuss Jarrahs will as he holds it a superb set-up shot. Jarrah then gets his seven-minute exclusive appearance to tell the camera his last words.
THE significance of even a single frame of any of the September 11 pilots in Afghanistan could not be overestimated, let alone the sudden appearance of nearly 6,000 frames of the two most important and most puzzling hijackers.
Distinctively the black sheep of the whole lot plotters and hijackers Atta and Jarrah came from the two most liberal Arab countries, both from the heart of their respective communities, both from middle-class families, both intelligent, pleasant and trusted wherever they went, and both with impressive educational track records. Jarrah went to a Christian school in Beirut; Atta advanced his English at The American University in Cairo.
Then they both had ambitions beyond what they thought their countries could offer. They both went to Germany; Atta in 1992 to end up preparing a masters degree in city planning; and Jarrah in 1996 to end up preparing his in aeronautical engineering.
Again, they both could not cease to impress. So much so that Professor Dittmar Machule, who taught Atta at the Technical University in Harburg, a quiet suburb of Hamburg, still cannot understand what happened to the brilliant student he used to pick to fill in for him in seminars whenever he was busy.
While they lived in Hamburg, Atta and Jarrah were never meant to be seen together in one place at the same time, almost certainly on instructions.
Atta lived with other members of the Hamburg cell in a small flat while Jarrah was kept apart in a nicer part of Hamburg, living with a girlfriend and drinking alcohol. Yet in Afghanistan they appear at ease in each others company.
When in mid-2000 they travelled to Florida, they were separate once again even though they enrolled at flying schools that stood virtually next to each other.
If the appearance of this video solves one mystery, the big question about both Atta and Jarrah is still with us: how on earth did such impressive young men with everything to live for develop such a mindset? Neither was mad and neither was brainwashed. If anything at all they were both the antithesis of such naive and easy explanations.
One would confidently argue that someone of the calibre of Mohammed Atta would have been incapable of being brainwashed.
When Atta taped his will, he was not yet the leader of the hijackers. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the organiser of the plot, had earmarked two other men Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar as his spearhead and had sent them to flight school in California. But he quickly changed his mind.
His protégés failed to live up to his expectations. One flight instructor actually called them dumb and dumber.
Much more importantly, Attas exceptional abilities had just been discovered.
The perfect soldier was here and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed could not have asked for more. I would even argue that had not Atta accidentally appeared on Khalids radar, the aeroplanes operation, as it is known to Al-Qaeda, may never have stood a chance of success.
# Yosri Fouda is the chief investigative reporter for Al-Jazeera Television Pictures: The Sunday Times Tarnak Farm, near Kandahar, where Mohammed Attas video was shot, has a special place in the history of Al-Qaeda: it was once Osama Bin Ladens personal kingdom within Afghanistan.
Exclusively Arab, it was home for Bin Ladens wives and children, as well as for the elite fighters being trained for special operations. And, as we now know, for a few weeks in early 2000 it was home to Atta, leader of the 9/11 hijackers.
The farm, which covered about 100 acres, lay on a patch of desert about three miles south of Kandahar airport. It had originally been constructed by the Afghan government as an agricultural co-operative.
A mud-brick wall was built 10ft high to create a compound; inside there were about 80 one and two-storey buildings, including dormitories, storehouses, a small mosque and a building that Bin Laden converted into a medical clinic for his family and followers.
US intelligence knew Bin Laden, already a wanted terrorist, used Tarnak as his base, and in spring 1998 the CIAs Counterterrorist Center began working on a plan to capture him at the compound, partly with the help of Afghan tribal fighters.
Afghans scouted and mapped the farm, and the CIA photographed it from space. The plan called for about 30 fighters to assemble at a staging post before driving to a second position a few miles from Tarnak.
From there the main raiding party would walk to the farm, arriving at 2am and avoiding minefields by crawling through drainage ditches. A second group would make its way towards the front gate, taking out the two guards as the main party attacked the group of huts where Bin Ladens wives slept.
The plan was to bundle Bin Laden into a Toyota Land Cruiser and drive him to to a cave complex 30 miles away already stocked with food and water.
However, getting the plan accepted at CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, was not straightforward. It was known that dozens of women and children lived in the compound, and security chiefs feared there would be many casualties.
By June 1998, much to the disappointment of the field officers responsible for devising the plan, nobody at a senior level within the CIA seemed willing to support it. Nor was there any support within the White House.
The plan was called off shortly afterwards. CIA abandoned plan to snatch Bin Laden from Afghan farm
Atta's journey to mass murder
September 1, 1968 Born in Kafr el-Sheikh in the Nile delta, Egypt
October 1986 Joined Cairo University to study town planning; graduated in 1990
July 24, 1992 Arrived in Germany on a cultural exchange programme
November 23, 1992 Registered for a masters degree in urban planning at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg
End 1997 Thought to have travelled to Afghanistan for the first time, staying close to the compound of Osama Bin Laden near Kandahar
November 1, 1998 Moved into an apartment in Germany with other members of what later became known as the Hamburg cell. Many Al-Qaeda members lived in this apartment at various times; the September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed visited repeatedly. Ziad Jarrah, the flight 93 pilot with whom Atta is pictured above, moved close by at about the same time
November 29, 1999 Atta flew from Istanbul to Pakistan. From there he travelled to Afghanistan
January 2000 At Bin Ladens Tarnak Farm he is filmed laughing and joking with Jarrah while filming his last will and testament
March 2000 From Germany, Atta contacted 31 US flight schools to discuss pilot training
June 3, 2000 Entered US for the first time
July 2000 Atta enrolled at Huffman Aviation in Venice, Florida. Jarrah trains at a flight school nearby
November 2000 Both earned their instrument certificates from the FAA
December 29, 2000 Atta practised on a Boeing 727 simulator in Miami
January 4, 2001 Atta flew to Spain to co-ordinate with Ramzi Binalshibh, a key Al-Qaeda planner, returning to America a week later
April 11 2001 Atta rented an apartment in Coral Springs, Florida, and assisted with the arrival of other hijackers
July-September 2001 Atta made eight or nine flights around America, some to meet other hijackers, some to carry out reconnaissance
August 28, 2001 Atta and other hijackers buy flight tickets for September 11
The other hijackers
# Nineteen men hijacked four planes. They acted in teams of five, except on United Airlines 93, which had four hijackers led by Jarrah
# Fifteen of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates. Atta came from Egypt, while Jarrah came from Lebanon. Only Atta and Jarrah were highly educated
# Four weeks before the attacks Zacarias Moussaoui, the 20th hijacker, had been arrested, ostensibly on immigration charges, after the FBI became suspicious about his pilot training
# He later denied knowing about the September 11 attacks, but did plead guilty to conspiring to hijack planes. He is serving life in a US prison
# It is thought that 18 of the 19 terrorists recorded video wills. Before this weekend only five had come to light and none from the four pilots
The attacks and the toll
# United Airlines flight 175 and American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center towers on the morning of September 11, 2001. A total of 2,602 people died in the towers and on the ground
# American Airlines flight 77, carrying 64 people, crashed into the Pentagon shortly afterwards: 125 people died on the ground
# United Airlines flight 93 is thought to have been heading for Capitol Hill. But it crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers fought back. Forty crew and passengers died
# There were no survivors from any of the planes, which were carrying 265 people. In total, the September 11 attacks are thought to have killed 2,973 people, although some others are still listed as missing
Copyright 2006 Times Newspapers Ltd.
Poll: 65% Surprise attack possible, 70% Don't count on state-military
leadership, 54% Fear for state, only 6% recommend children emigrate
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 1 October 2006
Telephone poll of a representative sample of 500 adult Israel Jews (not
including Arab Israelis) carried out by Teleseker "some ten days ago"
report declines to cite a specific date) for Maariv and published in
Kippur Eve edition 1 October 2006:
Is it possible that Israel will be surprised again by an attack it was
surprised in teh Yom Kippur War?
Yes 65% No 30%
[IMRA: Questions asked recently about counting on the IDF showed the
majority count on the IDF]
To what extent do you count on the state-military leadership?
Rely 29% Don't 70%
Do you fear for the very existence of the state?
Yes 54% No 45%
What do you think is the most dangerous threat for the State of Israel
Iran 54% Palestinians/Hamas 8% Hizbullah 7% Syria 7% Ourselves 7% Other
Survey in 1997:
Iran 31% Palestinians/Hamas 29% Hizbullah 13% Syria 13% Ourselves 0%
Arab states 2%
What state would you prefer to live in?
Israel 63% USA 9% Australia/New Zealand 6% Switzerland 5% Canada 3%
Would you recommend to your children to remain in Israel?
Yes 59% They should decide themselves 35% Should migrate 6%
Survey in 1997:
They should migrate 10%
Who was the best prime minister in Israel's history?
Begin 28% Ben Gurion 19% Rabin 18%
Sharon 14% Eshkol 5% Netanyahu 4% Shamir 4%
Meir 3% Peres 1% Barak 0.4% Sharet 0.1%
Was each of the following recent decisions correct or incorrect?
Disengagement Right 40% Wrong 55%
Not carrying out convergence plan(a major withdrawal from West Bank):
60% Wrong 29%
Not negotiating with Hamas: Right 66% Wrong 28%
Going to war: Right 73% Wrong 23%
Are you sorry about the party you voted for?
Yes 20% No 69%
Percent sorry how they voted in the last elections by party they voted
Labor 40% Kadima 38% Retirees 23% Meretz 16% Likud 8%
Yahadut Hatorah 5% National Union/NRP 2%
Yisrael Beiteinu 0% Shas 0%
Election results if elections held today. There is a note explaining
the results are only an indication because only Jews were surveyed.
note does not explain how it allocated 10 seat to Arab parties.
The question was asked twice:
#1 With the current party leadership.
#2 Ehud Barak heading Labor and Tzipi Livni heading Kadima
The actual mandates in the current Knesset are in [brackets]
25 24  Likud
13 12  Yisrael Beiteinu
23 29  Kadima
12 13  Labor
10 10  Shas
10 10  Arab parties
11 10  Nat'l Union/NRP
05 05  Meretz
05 05  Yahadut Hatorah
06 02  Retirees
Maariv 1 October 2006
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org