Admitting Islamic extremists now control some his nation’s villages and towns, Nigeria’s president declared a state of emergency Tuesday across in the nation’s troubled northeast, promising to send more troops to fight what he said is now an open rebellion.
President Goodluck Jonathan, speaking live across state radio and television networks, also warned that any building suspected to house Islamic extremists would be taken over in what he described as the “war” now facing Africa’s most populous nation. However, it remains unclear what the emergency powers will do to halt the violence, as a similar effort failed to stop the bloodshed.
“It would appear that there is a systematic effort by insurgents and terrorists to destabilize the Nigerian state and test our collective resolve,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan said the order will be in force in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. He said the states would receive more troops, though he will not remove state politicians from their posts. Under Nigerian law, the president has the power to remove politicians from their posts and install a caretaker government in emergency circumstances.
These are becoming more and more regular, it’s only a matter of time before one of these extremists succeeds before they get caught.
Authorities in Ohio say they aren’t sure what motivated a 42-year-old man to jump out of his car during a traffic stop in March and suddenly fire 37 rounds at two police officers. What seems clear, however, is the case is yet another example of the danger posed to unsuspecting officers who confront individuals steeped in extremist antigovernment ideas.
James L. Gilkerson had a library of antigovernment, homemade munitions and firearms books in his vehicle — along with an AK-47 assault rifle, five loaded 40-round magazines for the weapon, knives, five pounds of gunpowder and a black mask and gloves, authorities say. He was unemployed, spent his time caring for his ill mother, and apparently had no history of mental illness.
One of his books, Resistance to Tyranny, espouses a lone-wolf “underground movement of secret freedom fighters, each acting individually and independently to ignore, evade, resist and thwart the increasingly heavy hand of government power.”
When his car was stopped after running a stop sign on March 10 — a quiet Sunday in Middlefield, Ohio — Gilkerson exited through his driver’s side door and began firing his assault rifle before officers could even get out of their police cruiser.
Gilkerson fired 37 shots at officers Erin Thomas and Brandon Savage, who both returned fire, shooting 54 rounds at Gilkerson as he shouted, “Kill me.” He died at the scene. The unnerving gunfight, captured on a dash cam in the officers’ bullet-riddled patrol car, is now a high-hit posting on YouTube.
“He was a scumbag, and a terrorist, and he’s dead,” Middlefield Police Chief Arnold Stanko said at a news conference last week, according to The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer.
“I don’t know what he had planned or where he was going,” the chief said. “I just know he got out of his car intending to kill my officers. The AK-47 rounds he was firing would go right through a policeman’s bulletproof vest.”
A police commander in Tanzania says four Saudi Arabian citizens have been arrested following a bomb attack on a Catholic church.
Magesa Mulogo said Monday that the four Saudi nationals were among six people arrested.
Mulongo said two people died in Sunday’s bombing of a newly opened church in the northern city of Arusha. Nearly four dozen people were wounded in the blast just before the church’s inaugural Mass, which was attended by the pope’s envoy to Tanzania.
Mulogo said eyewitnesses reported that the bomb was thrown from a motorcycle into the church. Mulogo said the driver of the motorcycle is among those arrested.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation appreciates that the Libyan people and the government of Libya have condemned the September 11, 2012 attacks on U.S. Special Mission personnel and facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
The FBI is now asking Libyans and people around the world for additional information related to the attacks, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
We are seeking information about three individuals who were on the grounds of the U.S. Special Mission when it was attacked. These individuals may be able to provide information to help in the investigation.
We need your help to solve this crime. If you have any information, text or e-mail BenghaziTips@ic.fbi.gov or submit information confidentially at forms.fbi.gov
It’s the most understandable, intuitive and tempting mistake in geopolitics: secretly pay a powerful foreigner to do what you want. The CIA, like many spy agencies, has done it throughout its history, and now we know it helped undermine the America’s longest war.
Nearly every month since the war began in 2001, the CIA has sent a guy over to Afghan President Hamid Karzai with a bag — sometimes a suitcase, sometimes a backpack, sometimes a shopping bag — full of cash. His former chief of staff says they used to call it “ghost money,” and it totals tens of millions of dollars, according to an eye-opening New York Times story. Quite the hypocritical twist from a sponsor country that so frequently hectors Karzai about corruption. “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” a U.S. official levels with the paper’s Matthew Rosenberg, “was the United States.”
When Iran pays off Karzai, it’s disruptive foreign meddling. But when the CIA does it, it’s supposed to be an insurance policy to entrench U.S. influence in the president’s office. Alas, there’s something more important than influence in geopolitics: leverage. When Washington most needed leverage with Karzai, it didn’t have much — at least not that it was prepared to use — and the CIA ghost money helps explain why.
Consider some of the U.S.’ goals in Afghanistan over the past several years. (Put aside whether you think they’re smart or stupid.) In 2009, the Obama administration began pressing Karzai to clean up his kleptocratic government and expand its institutional capacity to provide services to a dispersed population. Where once the U.S. hugged Karzai close and publicly praised him, diplomats and top officials began talking more about free and fair presidential elections. During that election season, someone decided to let slip that Karzai’s brother was on the CIA payroll.
The House Republicans are contemplating a new budget-hostage strategy, the the Washington Post reports in a story that is both highly useful and inadvertently Onion-esque. The hallmark of Onion news reporting is conveying insanity as if it were sane in a completely deadpan way. The news contained within the story is that the House GOP is thinking of tying the next increase in the debt ceiling to tax reform. Under this proposed strategy, the Post reports, “The debt limit might be raised for only a few months, with the promise of another increase when tax reform legislation passes the Senate.”
If you didn’t fall out of your chair when reading that apparently anodyne sentence, let me explain why you should have. In 2011, House Republicans undertook a novel and radically new dangerous political tactic of using the debt limit as a political bargaining chip. Before, the opposition party had treated the debt limit increase as a necessary step, though one they would posture over and use to flay the administration. (Senator Barack Obama followed this pattern.) The Republicans instead decided to actually threaten not to raise the debt ceiling unless Obama granted them policy concessions. This was extraordinarily risky. By mixing together a vote that was needed to prevent economic calamity with inherently contentious debates over the size of government, it turned routine budget disputes into a financial Cuban Missile Crisis.
The official party rationale for this extraordinary tactic was that, risky though it may be to fail to lift the debt ceiling, failing to reduce the debt was even riskier. An extreme imminent crisis justified extreme tactics. The risk of becoming Greece outweighed the risk of a debt-limit snafu (though it was not, of course, high enough to justify even a partial repeal of the Bush tax cuts).
President Obama has taken these arguments at face value, offering to meet the opposition halfway, or more than halfway, in order to strike a deal. He has publicly offered significant cuts to spending on retirement programs. But some Republicans don’t want that deal, the Post reports, because “The proposals, included in the president’s budget request, outraged seniors, and some Republicans fear that embracing them would be political suicide.”
Oh! So you threaten to melt down the world economy unless Obama agrees to cut spending on retirement programs, and then he offers to do that, and then you decide it’s too unpopular?
A rare inside look at Hezbollah during a recent terror trial in Cyprus portrayed a militant group with the prowess of an intelligence service: meticulous overseas reconnaissance, Western operatives with elaborate covers, training at secret bases where recruits and instructors wear masks for maximum security.
And the conviction last month of a confessed Hezbollah operative for doing terrorist surveillance of Israeli tourists has heated up a debate that continues to divide the West: Whether the European Union, like the United States and Israel, should designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
In a report to be published by a West Point think tank next week, a former U.S. counterterror official argues that the Cyprus case and an attack on Israelis in Bulgaria last year show that Hezbollah has returned to aggressive operations on European soil. Western counterterror agencies largely share that analysis, which has spurred a proposal by Britain for the European Union to designate Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization.
“In Cyprus you have a case that underwent full judicial scrutiny, and a conviction in a European court,” said Matthew Levitt, the report’s author, a former top Treasury Department intelligence official who is now a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “You have all this evidence. You have a European Hezbollah operative who was also doing courier work across Europe. What else do they need?”
Three members of a Birmingham terror cell have been jailed for planning an attack to rival the 7 July and 9/11 atrocities.
The group’s leaders were Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali. Naseer, 31, was sentenced to life with a minimum of 18 years, Khalid, 28, was given 18 years and Ali 15 years.
The judge said Naseer wanted part of Birmingham to be a “little war zone”.
Eight other members of the same terror cell were also sent to prison.
Rahin Ahmed was sentenced to 12 years, with a further five on licence. Ashik Ali’s older brother, Bahader, was given six years. Mohammed Rizwan and Mujahid Hussain were each given four years.
Four of the group who travelled to Pakistan for terror training but had second thoughts - Ishaaq Hussain, Shahid Khan, Naweed Ali and Khobaib Hussain - were each sentenced to 40 months.
Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali had planned to set off up to eight bombs in rucksacks, using timers to detonate the charges.
Detectives believe the terror plot is the most significant to be uncovered since the 2006 conspiracy to blow up transatlantic airliners using bombs disguised as soft drinks.