News Agencies – November 23, 2011
More than a year before she and her two sisters drowned in a mysterious incident that is now the focus of a murder trial, a teenage student told her Montreal high school vice-principal that she had attempted suicide because her situation at home was intolerable, the jury was told. The 16-year-old listed an array of reasons for her despair and decision to swallow a heavy dose of sedative pills: verbal and physical abuse at the hands of her older brother Hamed; her parents’ insistence that she wear a hijab, the Muslim head scarf; isolation from other family members; pressure to quit school.
A social worker from the provincial Youth Protection Agency was therefore summoned to the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry school in the Montreal borough of St. Leonard, Ms. Fortin told the trial, as were Sahar’s parents, who showed up “very angry.”
On trial are Kabul-born Afghan-Canadian businessman Mohammad Shafia, 58, his second wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41, and their eldest son, Hamed, 20. Each is charged with four counts of first-degree murder. The charges were laid in July, 2009, three weeks after the bodies of Zainab, Sahar and Geeti Shafia, aged 19, 17 and 13, respectively, were discovered in a car at the bottom of a waterway lock on the Rideau Canal, just east of Kingston. The cause of death was drowning, autopsies showed, but where and how they perished has not been established.
Two major exhibitions about Christianity and Islam form the backbone of the British Museum’s plans for late 2011 and early 2012, it was announced today.
The museum will also borrow more than 200 objects from the recently rebuilt National Museum in the Afghan capital, Kabul, for a one-off show exploring the city’s historical background as a cultural crossroad.
The Christianity exhibition will be called Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe and will examine the central importance and veneration of relics. It will run in late 2011 and be followed in 2012 by The Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam, telling the worldwide story of the journey all Muslims are meant to make at some point in their lives to Mecca.
According to IslamOnline.net, every evening as many as 100 Afghan refugee boys arrive at the Villemin Square, in Paris’ trendy 10th district, to roll out their blankets and sleeping bags. Exhausted and without resources, they are struggling to rebuild their lives in the West. According to the refugee advocacy group France Terre d’Asile (France Land of Refuge), there were 683 migrants under the age of 18 have in the French capital in 2008, up from 480 in 2007. The group complains of lack of enough help to the Afghan refugees.
Dominique Bordin, the director for protection of minors at the group, said there are only 28 beds to shelter the boys.
The number of Afghan asylum seekers rose by 85 percent compared to an average of 12 percent for other migrants. France ranks third in the world in 2008 for the number of asylum requests, after the United States and Canada.
Counterrorrist officials in the province of Quebec are searching for a man who has posted messages on the Internet forum called Minbarsos encouraging al-Qaeda to attack Canada. Under the pseudonym of Altar, the man wrote on September 25th, “the Canadian government supports the Americans. The government of Canada supports Israel. Canadian soldiers are sent to Afghanistan and Iraq. Now it’s Canada’s turn.”
The RCMP arrested a Moroccan man in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec last September for allegedly posting messages on the Web threatening terror attacks in Germany and Austria.
A similar case is reported by the Globe and Mail of a Tunisian man, Abderraouf Jdey, who received his Canadian citizenship in 1995, and is believed to have left Canada in November 2001. The U.S. government posted a $5-million reward for his capture after a martyrdom letter and video messages from him were found in the Kabul home of Osama bin Laden’s military lieutenant.
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Two short films have appeared on the Internet featuring the German Islamist Eric B. in which he calls his “brothers” to join the jihad. The authorities have been hunting him for weeks, fearful that he could be preparing a terrorist attack in Kabul. The video messages are fanning those fears. The news spread like wildfire through the offices of Germany’s intelligence agencies. Two new terrorist videos had turned up on the Turkish-language Web site “Time for Martyrdom,” which has become an important mouthpiece for Islamist propaganda. And once again there were was a clear connection to Germany. German terrorist investigators are alarmed at the new videos. After an initial assessment, it was clear that the two short films feature the German Islamist Eric B. from Neuenkirchen in Saarland. For the past few weeks, a publicity campaign in Kabul (more…) has focused on finding him and his presumed accomplice Houssain al-M. Matthias Gebauer and Yassin Musharbash report.
Two Islamic extremists from Germany may be planning attacks against targets in Afghanistan, investigators have warned. The men, who share connections to the Sauerland terror cell and suicide bomber Cüneyt Ciftci, are thought to have trained at terror camps in Pakistan. Two German Islamists may be planning a terrorist attack in Afghanistan, German investigators are warning. On April 1, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) on April 1 notified leaders of Germany’s military, the United Nations and potential targets — including a five-star hotel in Kabul — that two men from Germany with known ties to terrorist groups could be planning a bomb attack against Germans in Afghanistan. The men are identified as Eric B., a 20-year-old German Muslim convert, and Houssain al-M., a 24-year-old Lebanese native who holds a German passport.
Thousands of Afghanis demonstrated last weekend in Western Afghanistan, shouting slogans against Denmark and the Netherlands for alleged insults against Islam, concerning the re-printing of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in Danish newspapers, and the upcoming release of an anti-Quran film by a Dutch lawmaker. An estimated 10,000 people took part in the protest, where shouts were heard of Death to Denmark for insulting our prophet” and “Death to the Netherlands for insulting our religion.” Protesters torched flags of each nation, and said that Kabul must sever ties with the Dutch and Danish governments, including the expulsion of their troops serving with a NATO-led force to tackle extremist insurgency.