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Archive for July 1st, 2007

 Continuing with the British terrorist plot:

British police searched houses near Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, on Sunday after what they said was a terrorist attack on its airport linked to two failed car bombings in London.

Britain raised its security level to “critical” — meaning the risk of another attack was imminent — following the airport incident, in which a fuel-filled, four-wheel-drive slammed into the entrance of the terminal and burst into flames.

We are dealing with a long-term threat. It is not going to go away in the next few weeks or months,” Prime Minister Gordon Brown, himself a Scot who took office only last Wednesday, said in a somber appraisal of the terrorist threat facing Britain.

Two men, one badly burned and in critical condition, were arrested after Saturday’s attack, which took place on one of the busiest days for Scotland’s main international airport.

Two more people were arrested later in northern England. Five members of the public were slightly injured at the airport

British police comb houses after airport attack | Top News | Reuters.com

Looks like they also sealed the street:

Police combed several houses in the town of Houston, about six miles west of Glasgow, sealing off an entire street but focusing on the one house where residents said the two Asian men had lived, keeping very much to themselves.

“I don’t remember seeing them at all,” said Mae Gordon, 67. “They were the only people around here you would never see.”

Britain has seen an increase in terrorism-related attacks since the Sept 11 strikes on the United States and since it joined U.S. forces in invading Iraq in 2003. Some analysts believe the latest attacks may be designed to exert pressure on Britain to withdraw its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Brown convened a meeting of Britain’s top security chiefs to discuss measures to handle the first big test of his leadership. Appearing on BBC television on Sunday, he warned that the fight against terrorism would be drawn out.

Irrespective of Iraq, irrespective of Afghanistan, irrespective of what is happening in different parts of the world, we have an international organization trying to inflict the maximum damage on civilian life in pursuit of a terrorist cause that is totally unacceptable to most people,” he said.

British PM Gordon Brown speaks:

The prime minister was speaking to the BBC after Saturday’s attack on Glasgow Airport was linked to the two car bombs found in London’s West End on Friday.

Police are now holding five people over the attack on the airport and are searching houses near Glasgow.

The fifth person was arrested in Liverpool, Merseyside Police said.

‘Maximum damage’

The UK has moved to its highest level of terror alert – critical – after a burning car crashed into the airport and the government’s emergency response unit, Cobra, is holding its fourth meeting in three days.

Mr Brown told Andrew Marr on BBC1’s Sunday AM it was “clear that we are dealing, in general terms, with people who are associated with al-Qaeda.”

“It’s obvious that we have a group of people – not just in this country, but round the world – who’re prepared at any time to inflict what they want to be maximum damage on civilians, irrespective of the religion of these people who are killed or maimed are to be,” he said. [Look as BBC has not quoted him as saying “irrespective of Iraq….”].

Mr Brown also praised the “magnificent work” of police and security services and the public for being vigilant and for helping prevent what could have been loss of life.

He said people still needed to be “constantly vigilant” against what was a “long-term and sustained threat”.

“We have to fight it in a number of different ways – militarily, by security, by police, by intelligence,” he added.

“And I think it’s important to say also on a day like this – we’ve got to also fight it as a battle of hearts and minds.

Ken Livingstone speaks about the threat.

(more…)

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An investigation into airstrikes that slammed into Afghan homes where Taliban fighters sought shelter found that 62 insurgents and 45 civilians were killed, two Afghan officials said Sunday.

An investigating team was sent to Helmand province’s Gereshk district, where fighting took place between insurgents and Western forces late Friday, said Dur Ali Shah, the mayor of Helmand province’s Gereshk district, and Mohammad Hussein Andewal, the provincial police chief.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force has acknowledged some civilians were killed in the southern battle but has said the death toll was nowhere near as high as Afghan officials have claimed.

Because of the battle site’s remote location, it was impossible to independently verify the casualty claims. Afghan officials said fighter jets and ground forces were still patrolling the region and that the fighting continued into Saturday.

Meanwhile, a suicide attacker on foot blew himself up near a convoy of British forces in Gereshk district on Sunday, wounding several Afghans, an Associated Press reporter at the scene said.

The battle on Friday began when Taliban fighters tried to ambush a joint U.S.-Afghan military convoy, then fled to Hyderabad village for cover, said Helmand provincial Police Chief Mohammad Hussein. Airstrikes then targeted the militants in the village.

Afghans: 62 Taliban, 45 civilians killed – Yahoo! News

From FOX.com.

Civilian deaths have infuriated Afghans. President Hamid Karzai has condemned the forces for carelessness and viewing Afghan lives as “cheap.” He also has blamed the Taliban for using civilians as human shields.

So what Pres. Karzai want forces to do? I know that it’s a very difficult decision to make but does he want the UN forces not to respond to attacks when the Taliban just uses normal people as human shields so they think the UN forces are a bunch of pussies who have “compassion”=frailty for militants?

It’s a tough problem to solve.

But at least, he recognises they took the people as human shields. Something which is not widely recognised.

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