Writes the NY Post:
April 8, 2005 --
Two teenage New York girls are in prison as illegal aliens after stumbling into a federal probe of recruiters trying to sign up homicide [suicide] bombers, The Post has learned.
The unidentified 16-year-old Muslim girls—who reportedly are being held in a Pennsylvania detention center—were taken into custody last month on immigration charges.
The arrests took place after authorities decided it would be better to lock up the girls than wait and see if they decided to become terrorists willing to die for a cause, law-enforcement sources said.
The April 7 nail-bomb attack on a bazaar jammed with foreign tourists in Cairo left three dead, including a French national and a U.S. citizen. A previously unknown group, the Islamic Brigades of Pride, has claimed responsibility. (Al-Jazeera, April 9) The incident harkens back to the wave of terror in Egypt in the '90s led by the underground Islamic Group.
"Middle East Peace Finally Reached," reads the April 4 headline in the quasi-satirical Swift Report.
Leaders of the world's three major faith groups—Christianity,
Judaism and Islam—have agreed to call a cease fire in a dispute that
dates back thousands of years. Instead of warring against each other,
the religions have agreed to join forces against a foe they can all
agree on: homosexuals.
The opposition is threatening a new wave of protests in Lebanon, with the country still in political deadlock. Parliament has refused to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Omar Karami (which had been a key victory of the protests), and now Karami is accused of procrastinating on calling new elections, as pledged. (Lebanon Daily Star, April 6)
Reports the Chinese news agency Xinhua April 6:
Saudi Arabia might increase its crude reserves by 200 billion barrels, Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali bin Ibrahim al-Nuaimi was quoted by the SPA news agency as saying on Tuesday.
"There is a possibility that the kingdom will increase its reserves by around 200 billion barrels, either through new finds or by increasing what it produces from existing fields," al-Nuaimisaid at an annual meeting of graduates of the Saudi Branch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The official said Saudi Arabia currently holds 261 billion barrels of oil reserves, which is the largest in the world.
By any objective standard, the wave of deadly gunplay in Saudi Arabia in recent days is an internecine dispute between rival Wahhabi fundamentalist factions—although that is not how it is being portrayed in the media. Today's claims by Saudi authorities that two al-Qaeda bigwigs are among the 15 killed in three days of fierce gun-battles in Riyadh and al-Qassim will doubtless grab big headlines in tommorrow's papers—although al-Qaeda commander for Saudi Arabia, Saleh al-Oufi, is said to remain at large.
As Kyrgyzstan's Tulip Revolution is being consolidated, with a modicum of order returning to Bishkek, the capital, ousted president Askar Akayev has emerged in Moscow, and formally resigned--after having pledged from hiding that he wouldn't. He said that he hopes to return to Kyrgyzstan to participate in new presidential elections now slated for June--but just as a voter, not a candidate. (Pakistan Daily Times, April 4)
Pope John Paul II, who died April 2, leaves a mixed legacy. In his native Poland, and elsewhere in the Communist world, he was a catalyst of revolutionary change in the '80s, but this same anti-Communism caused him to ally with Reagan and the U.S. in the Cold War, and move against the Liberation Theology current in Latin America. Few eulogies recall the bitter dispute between the Vatican and Nicaraguan priests serving in the revolutionary Sandinista regime. Recounted the Haitian writer Jean-Pierre Cloutier in a 1987 essay, Theologies: Liberation vs. Submission: