Terror fear cancels Brussels’ New Year’s celebrations

Traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks in central Brussels have been canceled due to a continuing terror threat, officials said. The popular downtown Christmas market closed early on December 31st, rather than staying open all night, and the adjacent skating rink shut down at 8pm. The terror threat is related to a December 21st arrest of 14 people who are accused of plotting the release of accused al-Qaeda militant Trabelsi.

Italy: Muslim prayer area risks closure at northern tennis club

Muslims in the north-eastern city of Treviso are at risk of losing a prayer area rented to them by the owner of a tennis club. Bepi Zambon, a former tennis champion and owner of the Tennis Club Zambon, allocated two cours for local Muslims to hold prayers – one court for men and women, respectively; it is currently the only area in Treviso where Muslims have room to pray together. However, during the Eid al-Adha celebration in December, the anti-immigrant Northern League sent traffic wardens to monitor the comings and goings of worshipers. Giancarlo Gentillini, the deputy mayor of Treviso said I am studying the traffic wardens’ reports, and if any offense has been committed, I will close the whole thing down. Three years ago, Gentillini invoked a 1975 public order law that ordered police to arrest women wearing the burka in Treviso.

French arrest suspected radical Islamists

French authorities have detained seven suspected Islamic militants, who were allegedly training to fight in Iraq by firing weapons in the woods of eastern France. Ranging in age from early 20’s to mid-40’s, six of the men are French citizens of Bosnian origin, and the seventh is Algerian. All of the men were arrested in the towns of Besancon and Pontarlier in eastern France. French counterterrorism officials worry that such militancy could lead to terror attacks in France, even with the French opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Prosecutors are expected to file preliminary charges, accusing the men of criminal association with a terror group, carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Belgian police arrest over 100 in anti-Kurdish demonstrations

Over 100 youths of Turkish background were arrested in Brussels after clashing with Belgian police during an anti-Kurdish demonstration. Tensions have run high after the killing of twelve Turkish soldiers earlier this month in an attack by PKK rebels in northern Iraq. The youths were detained for destroying cars, bus stops, and garbage bins in the Saint Josse-ten-Noode neighborhood.

Uzbek masterminded bomb plot in Germany

The German federal police has identified an Uzbek man as one of the masterminds of a suspected plot to bomb a major US base and other targets in Germany, a report said on TuesdayThe man, Gofir Salimov, ordered Islamists to attack the US military airbase in Ramstein and US and Uzbek consulates in Germany, the ZDF broadcaster reported. German authorities believe they prevented the attacks with the arrest in September of three suspected Islamists, including two German converts to Islam, in a house in western Germany

Dutch police arrest six over Amsterdam unrest

Police have arrested six alleged arsonists in an Amsterdam suburb in the wake of a week of violence following the death of a young man of Moroccan origin, a police source said Monday. “Police have again arrested three men suspected of intending to light fires” on Sunday evening, Amsterdam police said in a statement. The young men, 16 to 27 years old, had filled up an oil drum with petrol and one was carrying an illegal firecracker when arrested, it added. Police arrested three other youths on Saturday in possession of a bottle filled with petrol…

German Muslim converts protest government scrutiny

The recent arrest of two German converts on accusations of plotting terrorist attacks has placed Muslim converts in the European country under the microscope. “You can’t say that conversion to Islam carries an implicit tendency towards becoming a radical,” said Stefan Reichmuth, a professor of Islamic studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum. Last week, Germany announced the arrest of three people, including Germans who embraced Islam, for planning attacks on Frankfurt international airport and a nearby US military base.http://themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=8EF250850E968DE76DA7BC26&MENUID=INTNEWS&DESCRIPTION=International%20News

German police arrest 3 in terrorist plot

The German police have arrested three Islamic militants suspected of planning large-scale terrorist attacks against several sites frequented by Americans, including discos, bars, airports, and military installations. Those arrested – two German citizens and a Turkish resident of Germany – were in advanced stages of plotting bomb attacks that could have been deadlier than the terrorist strikes that killed dozens in London and Madrid, police and security officials said Wednesday. At least five lesser figures were still being pursued, they said.

Mosque leader accused of immigration fraud: Imam’s arrest sparks protest outside court

By Shelley Murphy The spiritual leader of a mosque in Sharon was arrested yesterday on federal immigration fraud charges, sparking a protest outside the courthouse in Boston by a group of religious leaders and civil rights advocates who called the case a witch hunt. Muhammad Masood, 49, imam of the 1,500 member Islamic Center of New England, is accused of lying repeatedly to federal immigration officials between 2002 and 2006 in a bid to obtain a green card and ultimately become a US citizen. The criminal charges follow administrative charges brought by immigration officials last year. That case also drew wide protest from local Muslim leaders, who have accused authorities of ignoring efforts to smooth relations with members of various cultures…

Axis of Evil Breaks FBI-Muslim Barrier

WASHINGTON – Desperate to build bridges and possibly recruit new elements, the FBI is using ethnic comedians to reach out to suspicious Arabs and Muslims. “We want to demystify the FBI and show people that we are human, not just cold FBI agents coming out to arrest people,” Gwen Hubbard, chief recruiter for the FBI’s National Recruiting/Testing Office, told Reuters. Revamping an image damaged by a wave of arrests and searches since the 9/11 attacks, the law enforcement agency has sponsored a show of the “Axis of Evil” comedy group during a recent meeting of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). The group is made up of comedians of Arab and Muslim roots who have formed a niche by taking on Mideast stereotypes and making subjects such as war and terrorism funny. With large posters reading: “Today’s FBI. It’s for you”, the agency paid $10,000 to sponsor the annual event attended by 1,000 people in a ballroom at a Washington.