Posted tagged ‘Iran’

Hikers Fattal, Bauer Detail Iran’s “Ridiculous Lies”

September 26, 2011

This weekend, freed Americans Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer recounted their two years in “a world of lies and false hope” behind the walls of an Iranian prison.

During their press conference, Fattal and Bauer stated that they were held in complete isolation in Tehran’s Evin prison and allowed a total of 15 minutes of phone calls with their families throughout their captivity.

Fattal also said they had to wage a number of hunger strikes in order to even receive letters from their families.

So glad to hear that they are home and appear to be in pretty good shape all things considered!

From CNN:

Wearing green shirts and big smiles, Bauer and Fattal landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport four days after their release by Iranian authorities. In a news conference following their arrival, they described long days held in isolation, the hours punctuated by the screams of other inmates, and their “total sham” of a trial.

“Releasing us is a good gesture, and no positive step should go unnoticed,” Fattal told reporters Sunday afternoon. “We applaud the Iranian authorities for finally making the right decision regarding our case. But we want to be clear that they do not deserve undue credit for ending what they had no right and no justification to start in the first place.”

Fattal, Bauer and Bauer’s now-fiancee, Sarah Shourd, were arrested after straying across the unmarked border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran in July 2009. Shourd was released in 2010, but Bauer and Fattal were freed only Wednesday, after 781 days in captivity and a trial for espionage that Bauer said was based on “ridiculous lies.”

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Osama Bin Laden Dead

May 1, 2011

The mastermind of the worst terrorist attack on American soil has been killed.

In a speech made this evening by President Barack Obama, U.S. special forces have killed Osama bin Laden.

Now…let’s see the photos…

From MSNBC:

“Justice has been done,” the president declared as crowds formed outside the White House to celebrate, singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “We Are the Champions,” NBC News reported.

Obama said the 54-year-old bin Laden, whom he called a terrorist “responsible for the murder of thousands of American men, women and children,” was killed in Pakistan earlier in the day after a firefight in a military operation that was based on U.S. intelligence. Other U.S. officials said one of bin Laden’s sons and two of his most trusted couriers also were killed, as was an unidentified woman who was used as a human shield.

Iran: Execute Protest Leaders

February 15, 2011

Iranian lawmakers denounced recent protests in the city of Tehran and have called for the execution of two opposition leaders for inciting these demonstrations.

From CNN:

Members of the Iranian parliament issued fiery chants against opposition leaders and former presidential candidates Mehdi Karrubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi.

Press TV aired video Tuesday of lawmakers chanting “Moussavi, Karrubi … execute them.”

Lawmakers also named former President Mohammad Khatami in some of the death chants.

The calls for the leaders’ executions come after a particularly deadly month in Iran. At least 66 people were executed in January, according to Iranian media reports. Most of the executions were reportedly carried out for drug offenses, although at least three involved political prisoners, a U.N. statement said.

Times Square Bomber Receives Life In Prison

October 5, 2010

Faisal Shahzad, the man who plotted to drive a homemade car bomb into Times Square, leaving it to explode,  has been sentenced to life in prison.

Credit: Associated Press

From the Associated Press:

A judge gave Faisal Shahzad (FY’-sul shah-ZAHD’) a mandatory life prison term at his sentencing Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. The bomb he had packed into the back of an SUV sputtered, injuring no one in a Times Square packed with tourists.

Calling himself a Muslim solider, a defiant Shahzad pleaded guilty in June to 10 terrorism and weapons counts.

Shahzad, a former budget analyst from Connecticut and a Pakistani immigrant, was arrested two days after his May 1 attempted bombing.

From CNN:

Shahzad pleaded guilty in June to all 10 counts in an indictment against him. At the time, he told the court, “I want to plead guilty 100 times because unless the United States pulls out of Afghanistan and Iraq, until they stop drone strikes in Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen and stop attacking Muslim lands, we will attack the United States and be out to get them.”

Charges against Shahzad included attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy and attempt to commit international terrorism, among others, authorities have said.

US Hikers to Face Espionage Charges

November 9, 2009

According to reports, Iran is planning to charge three American hikers with espionage.

From CNN:

The three Americans have been detained since July 31 on charges of illegally crossing the border from Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran. Their family and friends say it was an innocent mistake.

The announcement of the charges comes only days after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met privately with the families of Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, who were detained along the Iran-Iraq border at the end of July.

Tehran’s prosecutor general, Abbas Ja’afari Dolatabadi, announced the charges in an interview with the official Iranian news agency IRNA.

“The charge against the three U.S. citizens who were arrested on the Iran-Iraq border is espionage. Investigation of their cases is in progress,” he told IRNA, adding: “There will be more to say [about them] soon.”

Terror Suspect Planned to Attack Mall

October 21, 2009

Investigators have charged a Boston man with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and other crimes as he planned to attack at least one U.S. shopping mall.

From Reuters:

U.S. federal prosecutors have charged a Massachusetts man with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, alleging he and co-conspirators traveled to the Middle East seeking training, discussed attacking a shopping center, and distributed videos promoting holy war.

Tarek Mehanna, 27, from Sudbury, Massachusetts, was arrested at his home on Wednesday morning, officials said.

“Mehanna and the co-conspirators had multiple conversations about obtaining automatic weapons and randomly shooting people in a shopping mall, and that the conversations went so far as to discuss the logistics of a mall attack, including coordination, weapons needed and the possibility of attacking emergency responders,” the U.S. Justice Department said.

Mehanna had been previously indicted in January 2009 for making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other officials in connection with a terrorism investigation, the Justice Department said in a news release.

Prosecutors allege that from 2001 to 2008 Mehanna conspired with a man named Ahmad Abousamra and others in an attempt to kill, kidnap or injure people in the United States.

From CNN:

Planned to attack at least one U.S. shopping mall, Loucks said, but that did not happen because they couldn’t obtain the assault weapons they wanted, he said. He didn’t name the mall.

Loucks said the men had planned to assault multiple entrances of the mall, and had determined the steps they would take when first responders arrived.

Mehanna also is charged with using material support and resources in a conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure people or to damage property in a foreign country, Loucks said.

“I think we’re satisfied that we know every member of this group,” the attorney said. “We do not believe that there are any terrorist cells in this area.”

13,000 More US Troops to Afghanistan

October 13, 2009

President Barack Obama is deploying an extra 13,000 troops to Afghanistan, a move that is separate from a request for even more reinforcements.

From The Guardian:

The extra 13,000 is part of a gradual shift in priority since Obama became president away from Iraq to Afghanistan.

The White House and the Pentagon both announced earlier this year that the number of US troops in Afghanistan was to be raised by 21,000, bringing the total at present to 62,000, with the aim of 68,000 by the end of the year.

But the Washington Post, based on conversations with Pentagon officials, said that on top of those an extra 13,000 “enablers” are also being deployed. They are mainly engineers, medical staff, intelligence officers and military police. About 3,000 of them are specialists in explosives, being sent to try to combat the growing fatality rate from roadside bombs.

The deployment of such non-combat troops is in line with the professed aim of the new US commander, General Stanley McChrystal, to try to win the hearts and minds of the Afghanistan population.