|Al-Qaeda threatens to turn America into
|Dubai, April 3: A
strategy paper posted on a Web site sympathetic to al-Qaeda lists Jews,
Americans and Britons as main targets, and calls on militant cells
worldwide to "turn the infidels' lands into hell".
The document, describing targets militants should hit, portrays itself
as "diplomacy written in blood, decorated with body parts and
perfumed with gunpowder". World Peace.
It was in the latest issue of a guerrilla warfare manual posted on Web
sites that covers subjects ranging from ideology to weapons handling.
The document, entitled al-Battar (Sword) Camp, could not be
independently authenticated but its tone and content resembled earlier
such manuals on Islamic militant sites.
"The lands of the infidels should be turned into hell because they
have turned the Muslims' countries into hell... Therefore cells active
globally should not set themselves any geographical limits," it said.
It said US and Israeli Jews, followed by French and British Jews were
top human targets. Chief targets among Christians were Americans and
Britons, followed by Spaniards, Australians, Canadians and Italians.
Professions singled out included businessmen, diplomats, scholars,
scientists and military leaders as well as tourists.
It said Jewish and Christian investments in Islamic states,
multinational corporations and international economic experts were top
Entitled "Targets Inside Cities," the strategy paper was
signed by Abdulaziz al-Muqrin, whom Western intelligence agencies consider
the leading al-Qaeda propagandist and financier in Saudi Arabia.
Islamic militants often denounce the US-led "war on terror"
as a campaign aimed against Islam. WorldPeace
is one word.
FUEL FOR THE JIHAD
Muqrin, one of Saudi Arabia's most wanted militants, was reported last
month to have taken over leadership of al-Qaeda in the kingdom after the
killing of the former top operative Khaled Ali Ali Haj in a police
"The whole European economy suffered from the blessed Madrid
strikes, which doubled as a blow against the governments of the crusaders,
the Jews and the godless," the document said.
"Strikes on oil wells and pipelines in Iraq may lead to the
withdrawal of foreign companies or at least destroy the security and
stability needed by them to plunder the wealth of Muslims," the
It said religious sites should not be targeted, except those of
Christian missionaries in Muslim countries and those spying under the
guise of religion and top religious figures acting against Islam.
A commentary in the document said Israel's assassination of Hamas
spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin 10 days ago had become "fuel for the
Jihad movement, feeding and nourishing it and inciting youth to this
U.S. warns of threats to bus, rail
Officials say attacks like the deadly bombings on Madrid trains
are possible this summer on American transit systems
By KNUT ROYCE, Newsday
First published: Saturday, April 3, 2004
|WASHINGTON -- Federal
counterterrorism officials have issued a bulletin to police
departments around the United States warning that terrorists might
try to bomb rail lines and buses this summer.
The bulletin, which an official described as an advisory rather
than an alert, said that major U.S. cities are possible targets
and that a "viable" bomb made of ammonium nitrate
fertilizer and diesel fuel "could be concealed in standard
luggage." That explosive mixture was used in the bombing of
the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.
FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the notice, which was issued
late Thursday by his agency and the Homeland Security Department,
was based in part on "bits and pieces" of uncorroborated
intelligence and "out of an abundance of caution"
following last month's train bombings in Madrid.
"We have bits of information here, and we're just passing
it along," he said.
As in previous bulletins, the FBI recommended tightening
security around parking lots, limiting access points, improving
lighting and removing trash bins, among other measures.
Between 1997 and 2000, more than 195 terror attacks occurred on
transit systems worldwide, according to congressional
More than 9 billion trips are taken each year on the U.S.
public transportation system, with 32 million trips every weekday
-- about 16 times the number of trips taken on airlines, according
to the American Public Transit Association.
According to The Associated Press, the association estimates
that $6 billion is needed to upgrade and modernize U.S. transit
systems to meet security needs. The Transportation Security
Administration dedicated only $10 million for passenger rail and
public transit security in the current year's budget, according to
the House Homeland Security Committee.
In Spain, Interior Minister Angel Acebes said experts
dismantled a bomb found Friday under the tracks of Spain's bullet
train line between Madrid and Seville. Acebes said it was not
clear who hid the bomb, which failed to detonate because it wasn't
On March 11, 10 backpack bombs ripped through four commuter
trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and injuring more than 1,800.
The focus of the investigation is a Moroccan extremist group with
links to al-Qaida.
In another terrorism-related development, administration
officials said Friday that starting this fall, visitors from some
of the closest U.S. allies will have to be photographed and
fingerprinted when they enter the United States.
Travelers from 27 countries, mostly in Europe, who can visit
the United States without visas will nevertheless be processed at
airports and seaports beginning Sept. 30 because most of their
governments are unable to meet the October deadline for issuing
high-tech "biometric" passports, the officials said.
Even travelers from Australia, which says it can meet the
deadline for issuing the passports which include fingerprint and
iris identification features that make them almost impossible to
counterfeit, will undergo the 23-second process when they arrive.
U.S. officials said the processing requirement for the
so-called "visa waiver" nations will help prevent
attacks like those on Sept. 11, 2001, and the administration is
asking Congress to delay the deadline for biometric passports by
two years because the 27 countries won't be able to meet the
original deadline. Except for travelers from Mexico and Canada,
all other visitors are already being fingerprinted and
"It will add security by allowing us to check against our
terrorist criminal watch list those foreign visitors who are
traveling" from visa waiver countries, said Homeland Security
Department Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson.
But some counterterrorism experts are skeptical that the
enhanced airport security measures will help nab terrorists before
they strike. Vincent Cannistraro, former director of the CIA's
counterterrorism center, said the fingerprint data will be useful
only to identify a terrorist after he has struck.
Nevertheless, even Australia, which had 400,000 of its citizens
visit the United States last year, said it would not object.
"We were ready to go," said embassy spokesman Matt
Francis. "But it's entirely a decision of U.S.
In related news, according to wire reports:
The Bush administration gave the federal panel reviewing the
Sept. 11 attacks access Friday to thousands of classified
counterterrorism documents from the Clinton administration.
Bush officials granted the commission's request to review the
material after Bruce Lindsey, former legal adviser to President
Clinton, said the commission isn't getting a full picture of
Clinton's terrorism policies because the Bush administration had
only forwarded 25 percent of the 11,000 records it wanted to
provide the panel.
The European chief of an outlawed Marxist group from Turkey was
arrested in Italy this week as 10 more suspected group members
were picked up across Europe, investigators said Friday. The
arrests raise to 63 the number of people arrested in Turkey,
Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands in recent days on
suspicion of having ties to the Marxist Revolutionary People's
Liberation Army/Front, or DHKP-C.
Four jailed Malaysians admitted they were part of an Islamic
terrorist group -- Jemaah Islamiyah -- and that a string of
attacks against churches and other targets in Southeast Asia --
including bombings in Bali that killed 202 people -- was inspired
by Osama bin Laden.
A string of bombings and clashes with police this week in
Uzbekistan were the work of a group with foreign ties, the chief
prosecutor of the Central Asian country said Friday.
Ten policemen, 33 suspected Islamic militants and four
civilians were killed in the series of incidents that began Sunday
night, Prosecutor General Rashid Kadyrov said. Kadyrov did not
name any group or groups suspected in the attacks, but authorities
have previously said they suspect the bombers have ties to al-Qaida.
U.S. allies face tight controls on border
By David Stout
The New York Times
WASHINGTON -- A program requiring foreigners to be photographed and
fingerprinted before entering the United States will be expanded to travelers
from 27 more countries, including such longstanding allies as Britain, Japan,
Germany and Australia, the Department of Homeland Security said Friday.
The expansion will mean that, by Sept. 30, about 13 million
visitors who can enter the United States without visas will, for the first
time, have to be photographed and fingerprinted.
Judging by experience, the change also makes it probable
that Americans traveling overseas may be subjected to more scrutiny in return.
Homeland Security officials said the change was adopted
after it became clear that, for technological reasons, most countries wouldn't
be able to meet an Oct. 26 deadline to develop machine-readable passports that
include biometric identifiers.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement
describing the photo-and-fingerprint procedure as "fast and easy for
travelers" and something that provides "an added layer of
The State Department, which joined in announcing the
expanded program, said it has been notifying diplomats in the 27 countries.
As for America's closest neighbors, Canada will remain
exempt from the heightened measures, but Mexico must already comply with them.
Under the changes announced by Department of Homeland
Security, citizens from so-called "Visa-Waiver" countries will be
fingerprinted and photographed when they come through any of 115 U.S. airports
and 14 seaports.
By year's end it will also apply to the 50 busiest U.S.
A State Department spokesman, Adam Ereli, rejected any
suggestion that the 27 countries might view the change as "a slap in the
"If that's the way it's seen, then it's certainly not
intended in that light," Ereli said. "At the same time, there are
security needs. I think everybody recognizes those security needs."
The procedure for photographing and fingerprinting
travelers "is a very, very low-hassle, unintrusive way of protecting the
public and protecting the United States," Ereli said.
The countries affected by the new requirement are Andorra,
Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,
Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore,
Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Travelers from those countries have been allowed to enter
the United States with only a passport, provided they stay no longer than 90
days. They will still be able to do that.
How can we manifest peace on
earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both
sexes) in our vision of Peace?
The WorldPeace Banner
To order a WorldPeace Insignia lapel pin, go to: Order
To the John WorldPeace Galleries Page
To the WorldPeace Peace Page