Dzhamaleil Mutaliev, also known by the nickname ‘Adam,’ was killed in Nazran District of the North Caucasus Republic of Ingushetia on Tuesday. Mutaliev was believed to be a leading figure of the international terrorist group Imarat Kavkaz and the head of the region’s militant underground.Mutaliev was the so-called ‘military emir’ of the terrorist group, and was considered to be a close associate of Russia’s most-wanted terrorist Doku Umarov, and of deceased Chechen terrorist leader Shamil Basayev.The FSB said Mutaliev was “directly responsible for providing financial support and combat tools for the terrorists,” as well as for taking part in “organizing terrorists acts that caused large losses of human life.”He was believed to be one of the leaders behind a deadly car bomb blast in the central market of the North Ossetian city of Vladikavkaz, which kill 19 and injured over 200 in August 2010.The Russian security forces launched a counter-terror operation in Nazran Disctrict early Tuesday, after the FSB had learned that several militants are staying in a private home.After blocking off the area, the Spetsnaz (Russian Special Forces) started talks with the militants and persuaded them to let a woman and her infant out of the house.As soon as the woman got to safety, two armed men opened fire and attempted to flee the area, but were killed by return fire from Spetsnaz troops, NAC’s statement said, adding that no Spetsnaz or civilians were injured.Mutaliev and the other militant were armed with a hand-held grenade launcher, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a pistol and makeshift grenades. The scene of the special operation is now being examined for explosives and underground hideout facilities.False reports of the warlord’s death emerged in January 2012, when the ‘military emir’ was thought to be killed in another special operation. DNA tests later revealed that the militant killed in 2012 was not Mutaliev. …
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Europe’s largest ever survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people reveals that just over a quarter of LGBT people have been attacked or threatened with violence in the past five years.
The results of an online survey of some 93,000 people last year have been released by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights at a conference in The Hague.
Some 80 per cent of the most serious incidents of violence suffered by respondents were never reported to the police, often because they did not believe the police would do anything to help them. Conference participants are calling for urgent action.
Some 47 per cent of those surveyed said they had been discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of sexual orientation in the year before the survey, while 19 per cent said they felt discriminated against at work or when looking for a job.
The report also reveals that 66 per cent of LGBT people are afraid to hold hands in public with their partner and this rises to 75 per cent for gay and bisexual men. Negative comments and bullying in schools are also widespread, with 80 per cent of those surveyed saying they recall this happening at school.
The Fundamental Rights Agency is calling for EU-wide action to ‘break down the barriers’.
The body’s Director, Morten Kjaerum, said: ‘Everyone should feel free to be themselves at home, work, at school and in public, but clearly LGBT people clearly don’t. Results from the FRA’s survey show that fear, isolation and discrimination are common in Europe’s LGBT community.’
Ministers and officials from eleven countries present at the conference in The Hague signed a declaration calling for a comprehensive EU action plan in light of the survey results, with other conference participants saying not enough was being done.
The declaration was presented to the Vice President of the European Commission, Viviane Reding. She stressed that work has already begun on a European level to address the concerns, but national governments must also act.
Copyright © 2013 euronews
Afghan officials say that a man by the name of Zakaria Kandahari, allegedly an ethnic Afghan, but a US citizen, has led a pro-government death squad that has terrorized locals in Wardak, New York Times reports. The newspaper says three officials have confirmed that he is being sought on charges of torture and murder. A key piece of evidence is a video tape of Kandahari torturing a local, while speaking English with an American accent. Over the past year, Kandahari and his soldiers have also been seen throughout the area wearing NATO uniforms while riding on quad bikes in search of alleged insurgents, at least one of whom, Afghans say, has been found dismembered in a garbage container just outside the US base in the province, which is located just to the west of the capital Kabul. Washington does not deny the existence of the video, but claims Kandahari operates a rogue Afghan unit, and is not a US citizen. “Everybody in that video is Afghan; there are no American voices,” an unnamed American official told the newspaper. The official said that Kandahari was an interpreter for a US A-Team, based in the Nerkh district, and “went on the lam” as soon as his extrajudicial anti-Taliban campaign was discovered by the Americans, following a tip from Afghan officials. “We would have no reason to try to harbor this individual,” said the source. “We have done three investigations down there, and all absolve ISAF [NATO] forces and Special Forces of all wrongdoing.”Allegations of extrajudicial justice by the US Nerkh-based Special Forces unit, which consists of a small core of American commandos aided by local support staff, in the region first surfaced in February when President Hamid Karzai said that the mixed teams had unleashed a reign of terror over the locals and ordered them out of the province. …
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According to the latest census on contractors accompanying US forces performed by the Professional Overseas Contractors industry group, the US employs 110,404 people in Afghanistan, 33,444 of which are Americans. Their job classifications include everything from base support to construction and from logistics to security.“There are already far more contractors or mercenaries in Afghanistan than there are [US] troops,” Middle East expert, Phyllis Bennis told RT. Once US troops withdraw, it will be up to this private military to train the Afghan police and army. They will also take charge of the development and reconstruction effort. All of this is stipulated in the Afghan-American strategic partnership agreement which allows a small number of US forces to remain in the country until 2024. Under this strategic partnership agreement the remaining troops – the number of which has not yet been made public – will remain “until the future government in Afghanistan says that they can’t,” Bennis says. But since only a small number of US military personnel will stay, these “would likely be mainly special forces” whose only job “will be largely to kill Afghans, not to do anything else,” Bennis believes. “We don’t know either the final number, if that’s been agreed to yet it’s being held privately, and we also don’t know the critical question of whether the Afghan government will allow those US troops to serve with immunity. That was the reason they were all pulled out of Iraq,” she added. The military troops however may have to leave all together if the Afghan government refuses to grant them immunity, leaving US soldiers prone to prosecution.“The Obama administration was not prepared to have US troops who might be accused of war crimes and might indeed be guilty of war crimes be sent to trial in Iraqi courts,” Bennis explained. “They may face the same decision in Afghanistan.” In any case, experts agree, the US paid contractors will stay in Afghanistan for many years to come.According to casualty figures, contractors are also the primary targets of armed attacks by insurgents in the county. In 2011, at least 430 workers employed by American contractors lost their lives as the US began relying less on military enforcements and more on performance by way of private companies. By comparison, the US military reports that 418 of their own soldiers died that year.With an estimated cost of some $627 billion in Afghanistan since 2001, that is some $50 billion a month, the US aims to reduce its military spending. However it will still pay for contractors to remain as long as the troop contingent stays for a decade.The government spent $516 billion on contracts in 2012 all over the world, according to Bloomberg government study. “Between 2001 and 2011, dollars obligated to contract awards by DOD more than doubled, and contract spending outpaced growth in other DOD outlays,” according to an analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies which discovered DOD spent $375 billion on contracts in 2011.For instance the USAID spent just $1.6 billion on contracts in 2000 – but in 2011 that number rose to $9 billion. The State Department $700 million in 2000 but was awarded $4 billion in 2011.US government agencies do not disclose the funds they spend on contracts related to the war effort.At the height of the US war in Iraq more than 150,000 contractors were employed there. Around 8,500 remain today, including 2,356 Americans.“In Iraq, at its peak, we had at least as many, sometimes many more contractors as we did troops in battle areas,” Stephen Schooner, a professor of government contract law at George Washington University was quoted by the Fiscal Times. …
“If, and when, the Jordanian parliament ratifies the treaty, [Qatada] will voluntarily return to Jordan,” Qatada’s lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC said during a Friday bail hearing in London. The pledge is seen as a victory for the British government, which has fought for Qatada’s deportation for nearly eight years. The cleric is accused of spreading radical ideas that once inspired one of the 9/11 hijackers.”The Home Secretary’s focus remains on seeing Abu Qatada returned to Jordan at the earliest opportunity,” Security Minister James Brokenshire said in a statement. “We continue to pursue this case before the courts and to work with the Jordanian government to achieve this.” The British parliament is expected to approve the new treaty by the end of June. Judge Stephen Irwin asked for evidence to be presented at the next hearing about how long it would take for the new treaty to come into force in Jordan.Jordan’s minister of information said the process could take weeks or months, but is likely to go ahead, local media reported.Jordan convicted Qatada in absentia in 1999 on evidence obtained by torture, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The court found him guilty of encouraging militants who planned bomb attacks in 1999 and 2000. Under a 2005 agreement between Jordan and Britain, he will be retried if he returns.However, the European Court of Human Rights previously blocked his deportation from Britain due to fears that evidence obtained through torture would be used against him in the new trial. It backtracked in May 2012, and said Britain could expel him.In November, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that he could not be sent back because of the torture concerns, and released him on bail. The Court of Appeal in London then upheld that decision last month.The cleric has been in and out of jail in Britain since his initial arrest in 2001. In recent years, he lived at a house in London under strict bail conditions.He was sent back to jail last March after police found telecommunications equipment in house – a violation of his bail terms. Judge Irwin said on Friday that Qatada’s bail terms were aimed at”stopping this man from communicating his ideas” and that the breaches had been”significant.” The cleric is seen as a security risk in Britain, though he has never been charged with any offense. He is currently being held in London’s Belmarsh maximum-security prison. …
Today families of Navy SEAL Team 6 are to reveal the Federal Government’s culpability in the death of their sons in a fatal helicopter crash in Afghanistan, following their raid on Osama bin Laden’s house. …