Sughd court jails 53 people for suicide bombing and membership in IMU

Sughd court jails 53 people for suicide bombing and membership in IMU

Mavlouda Rafiyeva

KHUJAND, December 26, 2011, Asia-Plus  —  The Sughd regional court has sentenced 53 people to jail – including five life sentences – for last year’s suicide bombing in Khujand and membership in the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

Firdavs Karimov, Sohibjon Sobitov, Ismatullo Boboyev, Zafar Karimov and Akmal Hoshimov were sentenced to life imprisonment on December 23 by the Sughd regional court.  Forty-eight other defendants received sentences ranging from eight to 30 years.

The trial for these 53 people began on July 12, 2011 and it was held behind closed at pretrial detention facility # 2 in Khujand.

According to Mr. Justice Dadojon Gadoyboyev, who presided over the trial, the defendants are mainly residents of Isfara, Istaravshan and Spitamen districts and the city of Khujand.  They faced charges of terrorism, organization of criminal group, the violent seizure of power or the violent retention of power, document forgery, illegally bearing, possessing, acquiring, and manufacturing weapons, preparation for crime or criminal attempt, murder, complicity in committing a crime, misuse of power, not reporting a crime to police or covering a crime, and illegal border crossing.

Gadoyboyev noted that 10-12 of those defendants had stood the trial as accomplices to the last year’s suicide car bombing, while the others stood the trial for membership in the IMU.

Some local experts say the verdict was announced without presence of defense lawyers that contradicts rules of procedures.

We will recall that on September 3, 2010, a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into the main gate of the Sughd regional organized crime control division in Khujand, killing himself and three others and injuring 31 people.  The vehicle was driven at high speed into the gated compound of the organized crime control division — as the gate was closing after two police cars entered the complex — and the car exploded.  It was the first-ever such suicide bombing reported in Tajikistan.

Tajik law enforcement authorities blamed the attack on elements with ties to the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), whose leadership purportedly has links to Al-Qaeda.

The State Committee for National Security (SCNS)’s office in Sughd province announced on October 5, 2010 that the suicide bomb attack was carried out by Akmal Karimov, whom it identified as a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

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US/Israeli Strong-Arm Capitalism and Nuclear Blackmail In Turkmenistan

[SEE: The Great Game – The War For Caspian Oil And Gas ]

Predetermined range of Turkmenistan

Author: Ruslan Babanov

Against the background of the official Israeli officials on high alert for war with Iran and the IAEA report on the occurrence of two-year effort of the Islamic republic to develop nuclear weapons had a special significance as the country’s position of Turkmenistan that could be a crucial springboard for attack, or, conversely, reliable rear defense. It is known that Israel and Iran had a long period of mutual influence in Turkmenistan in order to win over in the process of determining the question of war or peace. And if Israel’s side in this fight for the sympathy of Ashgabat was the objective superiority, and including support for the U.S., Iran has argued its often definitive requirements to its northern neighbor close relationship in economic and ethnic characteristics of the structure of the population.

Tugged on the strings

The regime of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov tend to combine prudence with provocative actions of training and awareness-raising measures. This policy is in the eyes of its traditional partners in Ashgabat often assumes the shape of blackmail, as it is commonly known in the vicissitudes of relations with Russia “gas issue”. Similar tactics in recent years Turkmenistan has uses in trying to find a compromise between participation in a global economy that largely depends on the position of Israel and the United States, and the preservation of peace on its borders, that is to a large extent dependent on relationships with Iran.

Balancing the interests of Israel and Iran to Turkmenistan permissible as long as the question does not arise by an edge. Already, the presence of U.S. armed forces under the guise of transit structures near Ashgabat and Mary stands for the position that will be forced to take a Turkmen president in the event of military operations in Iran to retain power and a respectable position in the global economic structures.

The internal state of the Turkmen society is such that in the short term it does not threaten the major internal manifestations of discontent. On the other hand, excessive pressure makes the internal balance of the state dependent on exogenous factors. Decisive of them could be the expansion of conflicts in neighboring Afghanistan and the beginning of a major war in the south – in Iran. In such circumstances, the Turkmenistan will be subject to all the disasters the rear of the military operation will be borne not only by economic and reputational losses, but that much more important, it may be to those of the international forces, whose task is to eliminate self-willed, authoritarian regimes and the capture of resources through a rough pseudo-grafting institutions. Obviously, to avoid the inevitable choice of priorities in the context of the Iranian-Israeli conflict will not be able to Turkmenistan.

Unstable INTEREST

Israeli-Turkmen contacts very rarely the subject of monitoring the media, and yet the economic and political relations between the two countries have a long history and deep roots. One of the cornerstones of cooperation of Israel and Turkmenistan in the economic sphere is energy. The leader in this area is considered a company “Merhav”, owned by Joseph Maiman. Among the major projects implemented by “Merhav”, including with the help of a senior administration official Turkmen President Alexander Zhadan is called a complete reconstruction of the Turkmenbashi oil refinery and Seydi refinery. The total investment in these projects has exceeded three billion U.S. dollars. According to the official website of the company, she also successfully implemented in Turkmenistan, a number of other projects’ in the fields of agriculture, health and safety. ” Maiman and his companion Mirkin belonged at one time the idea of ​​building a trans-Caspian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Turkey. He was also on the personal instructions of the first president Saparmurat Niyazov, the Turkmen citizenship was granted the rank of Honorary Consul of Turkmenistan in Israel and the official status of a special envoy on issues related to energy exports. On the sidelines of the informal status of Israeli businessman was the title of “treasurer of Turkmenbashi.”

The agreement on opening the Embassy of Israel in Turkmenistan was reached in June 2009, and in September he was appointed ambassador to the former legal resident of the “Mossad” in the CIS Reuven Dinel. However, in early June 2009, Chief of General Staff of the Iranian Hassan Firuzabadi urged the Turkmen authorities to prevent the opening of the Israeli embassy. “We are taking all measures to limit the influence of the Zionists in the neighboring state of Iran, in particular, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan,” – said Firuzabadi. As a result, in February and March last year, it became clear that Dinel not receive accreditation from the Turkmen authorities. His candidacy has not been officially rejected, but in response to requests Israelis were silent.

In terms of geopolitics and the ethnic component of communication of Turkmenistan and Israel is ephemeral. The majority of the Jews of Turkmenistan – Ashkenazi Jews who arrived in the region during the Soviet era. According to official data, the largest Jewish community in the country is in Ashgabat and employs 800 people. The remaining Jews live in an area between the towns of Chardzhou and Mary. In this country there are no synagogues, no rabbis. The Jewish Community of Turkmenistan has no formal status and. Israeli efforts to establish social structures in Turkmenistan communal life have so far been unsuccessful, as evidenced by departure was in 1989, more than 1,000 Jews to Israel.

However, in Turkmenistan, with success, with the support of the Israeli lobby in the Office of the President   working businessmen of Jewish origin from other countries. For general comments participants of the business life of Ashgabat, the confidence of such businesses in the country is such that allows them full voice to declare their caste exclusiveness. For example, little known to the public, the owner of a speculative oil and gas company operating in Turkmenistan, Loewenstein, involved in Russia in 1999 to criminal prosecution for tax evasion amounting to about $ 1 million in private conversations, is wont to say that in business deals only to those whose spiritual home is Israel, and the “gentiles” to discuss business matters has no desire. Such statements often sounded from the lips of Jewish businessmen operating in Turkmenistan, as Mirsky, Mogil’nitskii, Shem, etc.

It can be assumed that the excessive arrogance of such “entrepreneurs”, served, including those who are responsible for some failures of the vowels in the mutual relations of Turkmenistan with Israel. It is reported with reference to informed sources, the Turkmen government refused to deal with an Israeli company to buy for $ 300 million satellite, which could be used in both civilian and military purposes. Experts agree it is a private event correlated with the aggravation of the situation around Iran’s foreign policy and counter-pressure on Tehran’s neighbors, and potential allies. The outcome of the negotiations on the purchase of Israeli satellite is a creature of another long-running story of bilateral relations, namely the opening of the Israeli diplomatic mission in Ashgabat.

In these circumstances, mutual distrust and tension Jewish business is an important link in trade in natural resources of Turkmenistan. However, the government of this country demonstrates the desire to limit the participation of foreign investors brokerage, project processing and in extraction allows them to identify the most risky projects. Thus, the objective conditions and the geopolitical factor of alertness of the Turkmen leadership makes the position of Israel and Israeli businesses in this country wobbly at all the significance of contemporary Israeli involvement in the internal economic life of Turkmenistan.

Active thrust

Turkmen President Berdimuhamedov visited the Nowruz celebration in Iran in 2011, wanting to witness the strengthening of “good neighborliness and brotherhood.” Meanwhile, the ethno-cultural community of Iranian and Turkmen peoples, there are serious flaws. The first line of the split – the religious. The Turkmens, as opposed to the Shiite Persians, traditionally practiced Sunni Islam. Language and ethnic community exists in Iran and Tajikistan, but relations with Turkmenistan in this area are rather forced to fill the vacuum of genuine social and economic contacts.

In this regard, the tone of relations between the two sets of the infamous trade of resources. Turkmen gas supplied northern provinces of Iran, and it was initiated by Tehran and its funding in the mid-1990s, began to implement this project. Today, Turkmenistan and Iran have linked two natural gas, which Iran arrives in about 14 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the possibility of increasing to 20 billion cubic meters.

In 2010, the total amount of Iranian oil exports Turkmenistan has made ​​$ 386 million and imports – 403 million dollars. Total for 2009 and 2010, bilateral trade grew by 15% compared to previous years. At present, according to the Minister of Commerce Mehdi Ghazanfari in February 2011, the total volume of trade between Iran and Turkmenistan exceeded $ 4 billion, and by the parties, there is every possibility and conditions for the increase in this indicator over the next 5 years to 10 billion dollars a year. In addition, in the relations between Turkmenistan and Iran greater role for the implementation of joint projects . The last of those is the construction of the railway Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran, launched in 2007.

On this list of important joint economic projects between the two countries has been exhausted, and serve very definite pragmatic and vital interests of Iran’s security. For this reason, the steady drift of Turkmenistan in the direction of the United States, whose armed forces planned and under various disguises being developed in this country, is often the hysterical reaction of Tehran. Every further step of Turkmenistan and the United States, whether increased cooperation in the field of fuel supply and logistics support of coalition forces in Afghanistan, or the deepening of cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism, is loud statements by officials in Tehran.

Thus, the November 9th member of the national security and foreign policy of the Iranian parliament Zohreh Elahian said in an interview with Iranian news agency Fars, that Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are the regional outposts of the Israeli secret service “Mossad”, as well as U.S. intelligence and the UK. According to her, with the territories of these countries have bases whose purpose is to “lead and coordinate terrorist groups, as well as operations to intelligence gathering and sabotage against the Islamic republic and its citizens.”

The choice is made

The above and many other statements of Iranian officials and public figures indicate that not only the community of experts, but also to recognize the fait accompli, Tehran Turkmenistan choice in favor of Israel and its Western allies. This choice for President Berdymukhamedov has made history, spreading an international force with a clear advantage in favor of the United States and Israel. Active economic contacts between Turkmenistan and Iran were not strong enough arm to break the trend. In turn, Israel, and sustaining the local lesion, regular and unobtrusive work achieved considerable success in the bridgehead to the north of Iran. Thus, in practice there is no response but the extent of Turkmenistan’s participation in future operations against Tehran. But it depends on the nature of the operation itself: whether it will be long and aimed at changing the political system in Iran, or the local end and after attacks on nuclear facilities. Today, “informed sources” is thrown into the message field information about upcoming local operation, but, as we know, appetite comes with eating, and under certain conditions, Turkmenistan, whose policy of “neutrality” and “diversification” and otherwise – of pleasing “and yours and ours “- which deprived him of reliable and key allies may be in the center of a fiery tangle of Iran and Afghanistan.

Source: easttime.ru

CIA should have no role in any new Lockerbie investigation

CIA should have no role in any new Lockerbie investigation

You report that during his visit to Washington Scotland’s Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland agreed with senior US Government officials that US investigators might join Scottish police in seeking further information on the Lockerbie bombing (“Lockerbie detectives will be in Libya early next year, The Herald December 22”).

While I am pleased that Scottish police officers are to pursue answers to the many unanswered questions about the atrocity and the guilt of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi and others, I am less sanguine about them being “assisted” by US anti-terrorist agencies.

The main contribution of the CIA and FBI to the original investigation was to offer a huge bribe to jog the memory of the main prosecution witness about his identification of a casual customer in his shop several years earlier, and to magically find a tiny piece of the detonator casing in a Lockerbie field six months after the local police had scoured every inch of the area. We don’t need any more of that kind of co-operation.

In seeking justice for the victims’ families, and to restore the reputation of the Scottish justice system, what would extremely helpful would be the publication in full of the 800-page Report of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), which found six reasons to indicate that there had been a miscarriage of justice in the original court conviction.

It is an ongoing disappointment to many who are concerned about the Camp Zeist trial that Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill and his officials have consistently found reasons to conceal this report, despite it being clearly in the public interest that it should be published. Now sections of it are to be revealed in Megrahi’s biography early next year and will no doubt appear on the internet for all to see.

There is another possible scenario. Official Libyan Government documents may reveal what many have always suspected, that Libyan involvement was merely as an undercover agent for an Iranian terrorist group backed by Syria, seeking revenge for the unlawful shooting down of an Iranian civil airliner a few months earlier for which the captain and crew of the US warship were decorated and feted as heroes. How would the CIA manage to cover that up? Is that why it wants to be present at a Scottish criminal investigation?

Iain A D Mann,

7 Kelvin Court, Glasgow.

AN extraordinarily detailed research paper published last month seems to confirm that US intelligence was well aware that a timer device of the type used by Palestinian terror group the PFLP-GC was used to detonate the bomb on Pan Am Flight 103, because of the flight time, but that even by November 1991, it was still unaware of the Heathrow break-in. The academic paper also reveals the interception of messages of relief from Iran following this switch of suspicion away from her.

During Mr Megrahi’s trial in 2000, the Heathrow break-in remained unknown, blinding the court to an all-too-obvious route by which the bomb may well have been infiltrated.

The Heathrow break-in occurred just after midnight, 16 hours before the Lockerbie disaster. Because of the nature of the device, it could not possibly have been put on board in Malta.

Iran seemed to be the motivating force in the time between the US shooting down of her airbus and the “Autumn leaves” operation by the (West) German BKA.

Mr Megrahi is now near to death in Tripoli, but his guilt or innocence seems to tell us nothing about what the Gaddafi regime and Abu Nidal were up to between October and December 1988.

Scotland’s compassion in allowing Mr Megrahi to go home to die looks like the release of an innocent scapegoat. The performance of her investigating police in failing to reveal the existence of the Heathrow break-in looks, at best, like a serious omission.

When a person is seriously injured, there is said to be a “golden hour” when life-saving treatment can best be given. At Heathrow 16 golden hours were allowed to elapse between the break-in and the Lockerbie bombing, with no appropriate counter action being taken.

Even so many years after the event an apology would still be welcome, along with proof that things really are done better now.

Having released Mr Megrahi in 2008 Scotland has been unable or unwilling to enforce a comprehensive review of the evidence against him, despite the findings of the SCCRC that the trial may indeed have resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

We hear that the Scottish police are to go to Libya soon to investigate whether other evidence can now be found as to whether the Gaddafi regime was itself involved in the Lockerbie bombing.

I wish them luck when they do finally get to Libya: they will need to remember it’s a country where old scores against the Gaddafi regime are certainly still being actively settled.

Should the Scottish police find any such evidence, it is unlikely to connect with the story heard at Zeist, where, in retrospect it seems clear that Megrahi was no more than a convenient scapegoat. That would be a bitter pill for them and the Crown Office to swallow, and they would need great integrity to admit it.

Meanwhile Tehran is immune to accusations over Lockerbie, but the convulsions in Syria may, hopefully lead to new revelations from that direction. Perhaps the failure of the west to indict those two states over Lockerbie added to its boldness in threatening its own people as well as those of other countries.

Dr Jim Swire,

Rowans Corner, Calf Lane, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire.

Tajik court convicts 53 for terrorist attack

Tajik court convicts 53 for terrorist attack

Tajik court convicts 53 for terrorist attack

Tajik court convicts 53 for terrorist attack

© RIA Novosti. Andrei Starostin

DUSHANBE, December 26 (RIA Novosti)

A court in northern Tajikistan convicted 53 people for a terrorist attack that killed two last September, with five of those convicted receiving life sentences, a court spokesman said on Monday.

The attack took place near the organized crime police office in Khudzhand city, when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a car, killing two policemen and injuring 25. A closed trial of the 53 people charged with involvement in the attack began in July.

The suspects were found guilty of masterminding the attack, involvement in terrorism, organizing a crime group and forging documents.

The court spokesman said the other 48 people received jail terms of 8-13 years and added that all were residents of the Sogdiiskaya district in northern Tajikistan.

Uzbek Dictatorship Puts Squeeze On Gas To Uzbek-Dominant S. Kyrgyzstan

Uzbekistan totally restrained natural gas supply to the south of Kyrgyzstan due to the contract’s termination – Turgunbek Kulmurzaev

Bishkek – 24.kg news agency
by Julia KOSTENKO

“Uzbekistan totally restrained natural gas supply to the south of Kyrgyzstan due to the contract’s termination,” the Director General of Kyrgyzgas OJSC Turgunbek Kulmurzaev told 24.kg news agency today.

According to him, Kyrgyzstan could ask additional volumes of the fuel from Uzbekistan pursuant to the current contract. “We had sent the application for supply of 5 million cubic meters of the natural gas in October but the supplier delayed its answer. Now the management of UzTransGas informed that they couldn’t supply the fuel due to problems with its production. They don’t want to meet and hold negotiations with us,” Turgunbek Kulmurzaev explained.

He noted that the population of the southern Kyrgyzstan is gaining additionally remains of the fuel at moment. “It’s not for the first time when the intricate situation emerged. Uzbekistan restrained fuel supply many times in the year-end. They want to confront us with a fait accompli. We counted that supposedly cost of Uzbek gas will increase up to $320 in the first quarter of 2012,” Turgunbek Kulmurzaev said.

Central Asia to be hugged to death?

[The US is counting on its ability to slowly sneak into key positions in all of these countries, where it can provide some kind of service which will come to be seen as indispensable, i.e., border control, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, crowd control (SEE: Washington’s New Foxy Plan To Sneak Into the Central Asian Hen House).]

Central Asia to be hugged to death?

Photo: EPA

Russia’s Central Asian neighbors Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have become strategically important for the US as Washington seeks to diversify cargo routes to Afghanistan following a split with Islamabad.

The US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee has published a report on the transit of cargoes via Central Asia to Afghanistan (SEE:  Committee report transit Afghanistan). Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are described as being of exceptional political and strategic importance for the international operation in Afghanistan. According to statistical data, 40% of cargoes entered Afghanistan via Uzbekistan this year. The remaining 60% were delivered via Pakistan. However, Islamabad has blocked cargo traffic twice over the past few months. It did so last after a NATO air strike against Pakistani border guards in November. Even though the report says that the US-Pakistan relations might still normalize, the Senate has chosen not to depend on Islamabad and look for other options.

As long as this cooperation serves humanitarian needs, Moscow has no objections. Daniil Kislov, chief editor of the Fergana International Agency, comments:

“Russia was the first to grant its overland routes and airspace for the US and NATO to transport cargoes to Afghanistan and back when the withdrawal of troops begins. There are no grounds for conflict, not until the US or NATO announces the opening of new military facilities in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan.”

A step of this kind is fairly possible. In September this year US Congress resolved to abolish the 2004 restrictions on granting military aid to Uzbekistan and offered to supply Tashkent with weapons no longer needed in the Afghan campaign. A military base would be logical to come next, and then the region will be declared a US interest zone. What will follow becomes clear too if we recall the developments in the Middle East and North Africa, says Andrei Grozin of the Institute of CIS Countries.

“As a rule, this is followed by a variety of problems in this so-called “interest zone” as the US has its own vision of what course the “interest zone” countries should follow and won’t heed local opinions. The secular regimes of the five Central Asian countries are weak compared to countries of the Middle East. An outside intervention threatens to shake the unsteady situation in these countries and may lead to numerous conflicts, both internal and external.”

The Senate’s report recommends rendering economic assistance to the Central Asian countries as a measure to counteract the influence of Russia and China, two major players in the region. Russia, China and other countries of Asia and Pacific which have direct economic and political interests in Central Asia are unlikely to put up with this. Andrei Grozin has this to say:

“None of the states with interests in Central Asia will welcome a US presence in the region. All countries concerned will resist such a step. And they will resort to various methods in doing this.”

Given that Russia shares its past with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, it can’t turn a blind eye on what’s happening in close proximity to its borders.