2013-04-23

Roundup: Canada, Boston, Lebanon

Canada: Via train terror plot suspects to appear in court. 'Two men accused of trying to carry out an al-Qaeda supported plot to derail a Via passenger train in the Toronto area are set to appear in court this morning for bail hearings, as details begin to emerge about their background.

Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, from Toronto have been charged with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack and "conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group." ...' (CBC)

Boston: Latest developments. 'A radical brand of Islam appears to have motivated the two brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon, but investigators say they have found no indication the brothers were associated with any terrorist groups.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was charged Monday in his hospital room, where he was in serious condition with a gunshot wound to the throat and other injuries suffered during his attempted getaway. His older brother, Tamerlan, 26, died Friday after a fierce gunbattle with police. ...' (Fox)

Michael J. Totten: Hezbollah's undoing. '... No, the medium and long term for Hezbollah looks bleaker than ever. That crowd still refuses to speak to me, but I did sit down and talk to three dissident members of Lebanon’s Shia community from which Hezbollah draws its support. They all think the so-called Party of God has begun its long journey downward.

“I’m optimistic,” said Nadim Koteich, whose political talk show on Future TV is one of the top-rated in the country. ...' (World Affairs Journal)

2013-04-22

Holidays I'd Like to See

Free Market Day.
Build Something Useful Day.
Personal Responsibility Day.
Family Day. (Arizona and Nevada, you're way ahead of the rest of us here.)
Human Life Day.
Human Achievement Day.

Roundup: Boston, Syria, Russia, China

Hospitalized Boston suspect awaits charges. 'The ethnic Chechen college student suspected with his deceased older brother in the Boston Marathon bombing faced federal charges as early as Monday as he lay hospitalized under armed guard, severely wounded and unable to speak.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured with throat injuries that, coupled with sedatives administered at the Boston hospital where he is being treated, had left him incapable of speech and initially prevented authorities from questioning him. ...' (Reuters)

Syrian rebels accuse government of massacre in Damascus suburb. 'Syrian activists and rebel fighters said Monday that at least 100 people, many of them civilians, have been killed in a five-day Syrian government offensive on a predominantly Sunni area of the Damascus countryside. The death toll could be the largest from a single military campaign in nearly a year.

Activists described a bloody war zone inside Jdeidet al-Fadel, an area west of the Syrian capital that remained critically isolated on Monday ...' (Washington Post)

Did US-Russia deal in 2011 lead to Boston bombings? 'Among the more unusual aspects of what has been learned thus far about the Brothers Tsarnaev is that in January 2011 Russian officials encouraged their U.S. counterparts to take notice of Tamerlan, the older of the two, for possible Chechen terrorist links. The only known result of the interviews that followed was to delay processing of Tamerlan's U.S. citizenship application. (His younger brother, Dzhokhar, became a citizen on Sept. 11, 2012.) But the Russian tip was part of the process that led to a subsequent agreement between that country and the U.S. concerning Chechen terrorists. The May 26, 2011, agreement -- the Joint Statement of the Presidents of the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Counter-terrorism Cooperation -- can be found on the White House website. ...' (Examiner)

US, Chinese officials to meet in Beijing. ' Senior generals of China and the United States met in Beijing on Monday to discuss bilateral military relations and issues of common concern.

"Your visit is an important event in the bilateral military exchange program. We place great importance in it," Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, told Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the start of the talks. ...' (Xinhua)