No end in sight for Syria’s civil war as conflict revives al-Qaeda in Iraq, U.S. official warns


Originally posted on National Post | News:

[np_storybar title="Government troops fire mortar wounds at market killing at least 20" link=""]
Government troops fired mortar rounds that slammed into a main market in a town in northern Syria on Sunday, killing at least 20 civilians, activist groups said.

The mortar shells struck the town of Ariha, which is held mostly by opposition fighters, a few hours ahead of iftar, the meal that breaks the dawn-to-dusk fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees, two opposition groups tracking the violence in Syria, said at least 20 people were killed including two children and two women. It was not immediately clear what triggered the shelling.

Also Sunday, state media said government forces killed nearly 50 rebels in an ambush near Damascus.

Separately, Kurdish rebels freed the local commander of an al-Qaida-linked group in a town near Syria’s northern…

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U.S. lays charges against al-Qaeda loyalist behind deadly Algerian gas plant attack


Originally posted on National Post | News:

U.S. prosecutors filed charges Friday against Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the one-eyed al-Qaeda loyalist who led a band of terrorists that included two Canadians on a deadly attack at a Western-owned Algerian gas plant in January.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in New York filed eight charges against Belmokhtar, leader of the Signers in Blood Battalion, ranging from kidnapping to conspiracy over the attack that killed 37 hostages, three of them Americans.

Among the terrorists who seized the plant with AK-47s and rocket launchers were Kris Katsiroubas and Ali Medlej, friends from London, Ont., who traveled in 2011 to Morocco, Mauritania and Mali, where they allegedly joined Belmokhtar’s group.

The criminal complained filed by FBI Special Agent Jessica Ulmer did not mention the pair but it quoted from transcripts of the phone calls made to the company by an English-speaking hostage-taker, believed to be Katsiroubas.

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“Main thing is we want to…

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Pakistan: Failed State?


The link below is to an article that reports on the Osama Bin Laden raid report and the view that Pakistan is a failed state.

For more visit:
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/07/201379105831620780.html