Saturday, October 31, 2009



Two recent attempts to kill Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed are assassination attacks on all Somalis, the top United Nations official for the strife-torn country said today.

"After failing at an attempted coup in May – act strongly condemned by the whole of the international community – extremists are again trying to terrorize the Somali people and wreak further havoc on the nation," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said in a <"">news release.

Extremists yesterday tried to assassinate the president as he was returning to Mogadishu.  This followed a similar attempt last Thursday at Mogadishu airport as he boarded a plane for Uganda to attend an African summit.

"Resorting to political assassinations that kill innocent Somali bystanders, including women and children, is not only condemnable but absolutely not the way to access power," Mr. Ould-Abdallah said.

"Committing suicide goes against all religious teachings," he added, citing a verse from the Koran: "Do not kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you most merciful.  If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall we cast him into the fire."

He stressed: "An assassination attempt on the life of the President is also an assassination attempt on all Somalis, as it undermines the efforts of those who have been struggling for some semblance of normalcy and stability for so long."

"Those who ordered and those who carried out these assassination attempts clearly have no intention of participating in dialogue or any interest in contributing to the peace process in Somalia or in the region."

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) headed by Mr. Ahmed is battling Islamist extremists in a country that has been ravaged by factional fighting and has not had a functioning central government since 1991.

Somali pirates: Western boats 'loot' Somali fish

Somali pirates: Western boats 'loot' Somali fish

Ahmed Gadaf, who says he's a spokesman for the pirates, said the group holding the couple hostage off Somalia's coast was made up of "voluntary guards" — not pirates.

"The Western forces continue to loot our natural resources. They continue to harass local fishermen and destroy their fishing nets, so we want them to taste the consequence," Gadaf said by satellite phone from the coastal town of Haradhere.

The British couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler, are safe and will not be harmed, Gadaf said. They will be released once the ransom is paid, he said.

The Chandlers were headed to Tanzania in their boat, the Lynn Rival, when a distress signal was sent Oct. 23. The British navy found their empty yacht on Thursday, and both have been in sporadic contact with the British media since.

Illegal fishing off the coast of Somalia stirs strong passions in the country. The prime minister of Somalia's transitional government, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, said in a speech Wednesday that many pirates are former fishermen "responding to the loss and disappearance of their livelihoods."

"Many of these pirates were once profitable fisherman and would be so again given the chance," he said at the London-based Chatham House think tank.

"I shall not name names, but suffice to say many countries are fishing illegally in Somali waters," he said. "We estimate that the value of the fish being taken from our waters is perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars.

"It is wholly unacceptable for these countries, many of whom claim they want to help Somalia, to turn a blind eye to this theft. Particularly when that theft robs thousands of Somali people of a way out of poverty and a way out of piracy," Sharmarke said.

Rachel Chandler told her brother in a telephone call broadcast by ITV News on Friday that the pirates were "hospitable people," a message that Sharmarke underscored in his London remarks.

British officials held a meeting on the hostage situation Friday in the government's crisis briefing room. The Foreign Office said a team from across several government departments was involved. Both the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defense declined to comment on whether any potential rescue was under consideration.

Pirate attacks have increased the last several weeks after the recent end of the monsoon season. An international armada is patrolling the region to try to stop the attacks.

Source: AP, Oct 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009


New York, Oct 30 2009  3:10PM
Three prominent jurists will form the international commission of inquiry to probe last month's violent crackdown on unarmed demonstrators in Guinea that led to the deaths of at least 150 people and the rape of many others, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <"">announced today.

The three members of the body will travel to New York shortly to meet with him, followed by visits to Geneva and Guinea to carry out their work, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

Mohamed Bedjaoui of Algeria will chair the commission. He has served as his country's foreign minister and as ambassador to France and the United Nations, among other posts. He has also served as a judge on the International Court of Justice (<"">ICJ) and as president of Algeria's highest judicial authority, the Constitutional Council.

Françoise Ngendahyo Kayiramirwa is Burundi's former minister of national solidarity, human rights and gender, as well as a former minister for the repatriation of internally displaced persons (IDPs). She has also served as an adviser on gender issues and assistance to victims with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (<"">ICTR).

Rounding out the commission is barrister-at-law Pramila Patten of Mauritius, a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. She has published extensively in the area of violence against women and children's rights.

The Secretary-General <"">said earlier this month, when announcing the creation of the body, that it will investigate the events of 28 September in Guinea's capital, Conakry, "with a view to determining the accountability of those involved."

He also said at the time that he expects the commission should be able to complete its work within a month once it is in the field.

According to the UN, there is broad support for the commission among Guinean stakeholders, and Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who seized power in a coup d'état in December after the death of then president Lansana Conté, invited it to begin work as soon as possible to help establish the truth about what took place on 28 September.

Its establishment came on the heels of the announcement by the Prosecutor's Office at the International Criminal Court (<"">ICC) in The Hague that it had initiated a preliminary examination of whether the crackdown falls under the jurisdiction of the court, which tries people accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said information received indicated that "women were abused or otherwise brutalized on the pitch in Conakry's stadium, apparently by men in uniform… This is appalling, unacceptable. It must never happen again."

Security forces opened fire on the demonstrators and also raped many of the protesters and looted the homes of opposition leaders in what High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has <"">described as a "blood bath."

On Wednesday, the Security Council repeated its call on Guinean authorities to charge and try the perpetrators of last month's deadly crackdown, warning that the situation might pose a risk to regional peace.

Beyond the deaths and injuries that resulted from the crackdown in Conakry, the <"">presidential statement read out by Ambassador Le Luong Minh of Viet Nam, which holds this month's presidency, cited "other blatant violations of human rights including numerous rapes and sexual crimes against women, as well as the arbitrary arrest of peaceful demonstrators and opposition party leaders."

Shir Xisbiga Kulmiye Ku Qaban doonto Toronto Maalinta Sabtida

Shir Xisbiga Kulmiye Ku Qaban doonto Toronto Maalinta Sabtida



Dhamaan taageerayaasha Kulmiye ee degan magaalada Toronto iyo nawaaxigeeda, waxa la ogaysiinayaa in malinta axada bishu tahay 31ka Oktoobar 2009  gelinka danbe uu jiro shir kulmiye lantiisa Toronto  soo qabanqaabisay oo ka dhici doona goobta hoos ku cayiman.

Qaybta hore ee kulanku waxay ka kooban tahay  xasuus, iyo duco loogu talo galay shuhadadii SNM  ee dalka Somaliland ka xoreeyay dulmiga iyo waliba baroordiiq dadki aan waxba galabsan ee lagu xasuuqay qarayadii kol hore ka dhacay Hargeisa.

Waxa kale oo  lagaga wada arrinsandoona  Xaaladda guud ee dalkii hooyo hadda ku suganyahay, iyo sidii dib u habayn iyo kaabis loogu sameyn lahaa lanta Toronto ee Xisbiga.

Shirku wuxuu u furan yahay dhamaan taageerayaasha Kulmiye rag iyo haweenba, si ay u muujiyaan taageerada ay xisbiga u hayaan ugana dhiibtaan fikirkooda iyo wixii talo ah ee ay xisbiga u soo kordhinayaan si ay u suurta gasho wada shaqeyn joogta ah oo ay la yeeshan  laanta Toronto  iyo guddida guud ee fulintaba.

Goobta uu shirku ka dhici doono hadii eebe idmo waa Ali Baba Restaurant : 1801 LAWRENCE AVE E Scarborough, ON M1R 2X9 Unit 12  (SINAI PLAZA ) Lawrence & Pharmacy.

Saacadaha shirka. 3pm -8pm Sabtida 31.10.2009

Waxa laga codsanayaa kasoo qayb galayaasha shirka in ay dhowraan waqtiga imaatinka shirka, kana raalli ahaadaan ogaysiiska mudada gaaban aanu usoo gudbinay. 


I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence. Frederick Douglass (1817-1895)



The General Assembly will meet on 4 November to consider the report of the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict, which found evidence that both Israel and the Palestinians committed serious war crimes during the hostilities earlier this year.

The President of the Assembly, Ali Treki, has received a letter from the UN Human Rights Council transmitting the report of the mission, which was headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former prosecutor at the UN war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

The four-member investigative team found evidence that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants committed serious war crimes and breaches of humanitarian law, which may amount to crimes against humanity, during the conflict in December 2008 and January 2009.

The Geneva-based Human Rights Council, when it took up the report two weeks ago, had strongly condemned a host of Israeli measures in the occupied Palestinian territory and called on both sides to implement the mission's recommendations.

The Council had also recommended that the Assembly consider the report during the main part of its current session, requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to submit a report on the implementation of its recommendations to the Council in March, and condemned Israel's refusal to cooperate with the mission.

Next Wednesday's meeting follows a request from the Arab Group in New York, supported by the 118-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), to consider the report in the Assembly during the first week of November, according to a <"">note issued by the spokesperson for the Assembly President.

Mr. Ban has called on both Israel and the Palestinians to carry out "full, independent and credible investigations" in accordance with the recommendations of the mission.

He said he was aware both were now going to have their own investigations. "I have not received any further details, but that is positive, I would say," he told a news conference at UN Headquarters on Wednesday. "I have been repeatedly urging the Israeli Government to institute a credible domestic investigation process."

The Prophet's pilgrimage

The Prophet's pilgrimage
Adil Salahi, Arab News

All pilgrims endure some hard times because of the huge numbers doing the same tasks over a very short period of time. Hence, people of thought entertain some ideas on ways to simplify the pilgrimage with easier ways for people to do their tasks and rituals, such as the tawaf, the stoning at the Jamrahs, etc. (S. Abd Al-Rahim)

When the Prophet did certain things that are directly related to religion and worship, or refrained from doing certain practices making clear that they are incompatible with Islam, his guidance must be followed. One example that makes this absolutely clear is his statement: "Pray as you have seen me offering my prayers." We know for certain how he prayed, offering the five daily prayers during the time range allowed for each, and performing every raka'ah with two prostrations before standing up again for a new raka'ah. Therefore, it is not possible for anyone to question the manner of Islamic prayer. No argument can be entertained to modify the way we pray. If we allow an open door for such arguments, the very way of prayers may be totally changed over the passage of time. Someone may suggest that the Prophet did the prostration on the floor because people at the time always sat on rugs, or cushions placed on the floor.

Therefore, it was necessary to put one's forehead on the floor to indicate our humility before God. Today when we use chairs and comfortable seating, we can equally indicate that with a bow, without the need to go down placing our knees on the floor. Such an argument is totally inadmissible. We follow the Prophet's guidance, because God wants us to worship Him in the way shown to us by the Prophet.

The pilgrimage is an act of worship that essentially reflects submission to God and the discarding of everything that discriminates between people on any basis whatsoever. They stand on equal footing before God, dedicating their worship to Him, seeking nothing but His acceptance and making clear that their highest prize is to earn His pleasure. Every act in pilgrimage promotes this notion; every phrase we say emphasizes submission and dedication to Him alone. Hence, it was necessary for the Prophet to show us the way to offer the pilgrimage, fulfilling its requirements that have been outlined in the Qur'an. He showed us every part of the pilgrimage, indicating the way it should be done, its time range and its order within the list of duties and recommended actions of pilgrimage. Right at the beginning he said to all those traveling with him, numbering around 100,000: "Learn from me your rituals". He did not only demonstrate how each act of worship during the pilgrimage should be done; he also corrected any misconceptions or wrong timings. Furthermore, he approved any variation that is permissible in the conduct of the pilgrimage duties. Thus, when one of his companions wanted to offer Maghreb prayer at Arafat, after the sun had set, the Prophet told him: "This prayer is to be prayed further ahead". He indicated in this statement that although Maghreb was due, as far as its time was concerned, it must not be offered at Arafat, but somewhere else on the journey back.

There is no doubt that most pilgrims find the pilgrimage hard to conduct. They suffer due to the great numbers of pilgrims moving around in confined areas. Hence, people are always asking: "Could certain difficulties be removed, or eased out, or modified?" Three points have to be borne in mind when trying to answer this question. They may sound to bear an element of contradiction, but in fact they are consistent. These are: 1) the pilgrimage is meant to be demanding so that only a person who is eager to do it will undertake the journey; 2) an essential element of the nature of this act of worship is to make things easier; 3) all parts of the pilgrimage have to be done at the times and in the manner shown by the Prophet. When we discuss the points raised by readers, all three points will appear to work in the same direction.



Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today proposed a budget of just over $5 billion to cover the work of the United Nations Secretariat for the next two years, telling a General Assembly committee that only a slight increase over the budget is needed despite increased demands for the UN's services.

Under Mr. Ban's proposal, which is being examined by the Assembly's Fifth Committee (administrative and budgetary), the Secretariat is requesting $5.06 billion for 2010 and 2011, which represents real growth of $22.4 million, or half a percentage point, over the previous biennium.

There would be a net reduction of 24 posts for the world body, with an increase in the Secretariat's Professional category being offset by a cut in jobs in General Service and related categories.

Mr. Ban <"">told the committee that the proposals take into account the global economic and financial crisis and reflect strict budgetary discipline, balancing growth in some areas with reallocation and realignment in others.

"The United Nations faces increasing demands for its services," Mr. Ban said. "As Chief Administrative Officer, I am committed to management reform and to greater transparency, accountability and efficiency."

To that end, Mr. Ban highlighted the continuing costs of implementing a new information and communications technology (ICT) system to help the world body better plan and manage its resources, personnel needs and reporting process. He also drew attention to the expense of training related to International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

Mr. Ban noted that resources have also been allocated to ensure that staff have the skills necessary to meet the evolving needs of the Organization.

"In order to achieve the goals of the Secretariat-wide ICT Strategy, there is an urgent need to create a budgeting environment in which major ICT projects are considered strategic and different from recurring operational expenses.

"Without this kind of 'capital' budgeting arrangement for ICT, it will be impossible to overcome systemic under-investment in ICT, which has seen the Secretariat fall far behind other organizations in overall effectiveness and efficiency," said Mr. Ban.

A strengthened and unified security management system is among a number of significant expenditures likely to be presented in separate report to the General Assembly.

"My proposals will enable us to strengthen security for our staff, their dependents and UN premises," said Mr. Ban, urging Member States to consider these proposals favourably. "After all, our people are your people."



A new campaign in Zambia backed by the United Nations Children's Fund (<"">UNICEF) calls for an end to gender-based violence, the second biggest scourge in the nation, following HIV and AIDS, according to the African nation's leader.

President Rupiah Bwezani Banda launched the campaign – whose theme is "Abuse, Just Stop It" – yesterday in the capital, Lusaka, declaring zero tolerance for perpetrators of sexual- and gender-based violence.

UNICEF expressed its support to ensure that women and children are protected from violence.

"This requires action and commitment from all levels of Zambian society," <"">said Elspeth Erickson, UNICEF's Deputy Representative in the country.

Dual Owusu-Sarfo, acting UN Resident Coordinator, hailed Zambia's commitment to tackle gender imbalances and to "accord women and men equal rights and opportunities in development."

This commitment, he said, is evidenced by the nation's signing of international and regional treaties including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The campaign will include road shows held in five districts, school debates, drama shows and a mobile video van that will show films and documentaries on gender-based violence.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

SOMALIA: "Too much, too soon" as 15,000 flee floods

SOMALIA: "Too much, too soon" as 15,000 flee floods

NAIROBI, 29 October 2009 (IRIN) - Flash floods caused by four days of torrential rains have displaced more than 15,000 people in the southwestern town of El-Waq near the Kenyan border and submerged most homes and businesses, say locals.

 "Most of the town is under water, with people moving to higher ground around the town," Alaso Gurhan, a resident of El-Waq, in Gedo region of southwestern Somalia, told IRIN on 28 October.

 The local administration and civil society groups have been able to move many people to safer ground, she said.

 She said mothers with small children and the elderly were being given priority in the provision of shelter material. "We are all in the open now with very little help. We don't have much so we have to give first to the weakest."

 A lot of livestock have reportedly died due to the ongoing rains. "Hundreds of goats and sheep weakened by the drought have succumbed to the rains and the cold weather," said Ali Hassan, a civil society activist.

 He said El-Waq, like the rest of Somalia, was waiting for the rain but it was "too much in too short a time. If the rain continues the way it has for the last four days we will be in serious trouble."

 He said most of the residents, about 18,000 with some 900 displaced families (5,400 people) from Mogadishu, had been affected. "We are no better than the displaced today," he added. He said the population was concentrating on the hills around the town. "Any higher ground in the area is now occupied."

 Hassan Hussein, an engineer with Development Frontier International, an NGO, told IRIN they were now trying to dig trenches to allow the water to drain from the town.

 He said there was still a danger of more flooding since the rains were ongoing. He said his group was organizing the population to alert them to any more danger. "We are using the loud-speakers in mosques to tell people to help the weak and to get to higher ground."

 People who are still in low-lying areas were also being told to move to higher ground, he said.

 He said shelter material was urgently needed. "There are many people who are too weak to stay in the open or in the flimsy shelters we have. We need help in the provision of tents and other shelter material if we are to avert a serious health situation."

 There are fears that with the rains mosquitoes and waterborne diseases will not be far behind, he warned.




Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed cautious optimism over the progress of democracy in Guinea Bissau, where a series of political assassinations earlier this year threatened stability in the impoverished West African country.

In his latest <"">report on the country to the Security Council, released today, Mr. Ban commended its people for the "peaceful and well organized" presidential elections in June and July, where Malam Bacai Sanhá won a run-off round against Mohamed Yalá.

But he noted that the record voter abstention rate points to the need for Guinea-Bissau's political leaders to "foster dialogue and accountability towards their constituents, in order to reinforce democracy and regain the confidence of citizens."

The period under review was dominated by the tension that followed the assassinations of presidential candidate Baciro Dabó and the former defence minister Helder Proença in early June on the eve of the official launch of the electoral campaign.

In March then president João Bernardo Vieira was also assassinated amid tensions between the Government and the military forces in a country marked by decades of civil conflicts, coups d'état and uprisings.

The Secretary General urged the successful completion of the ongoing investigations into those political assassinations, which will "assist in combating impunity and will contribute to justice and national reconciliation."

"It will also improve the image of Guinea-Bissau and restore the confidence of the international community," added Mr. Ban.

He also pledged the support of the UN Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS), which will be succeeded on 1 January 2010 by the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS).

The new office will be responsible for, among others, strengthening the capacity of national institutions, supporting the establishment of efficient law enforcement and helping to mobilize international assistance.

"There is a window of opportunity in Guinea-Bissau that must be seized," added Mr. Ban, urging the country's leaders to capitalize on the success of the elections and public optimism to also improve the country's social and economic conditions.

Guinea-Bissau is one of the world's poorest countries, and over the past year the cost of rice and other cereals have soared by as much as 30 per cent.

But the Secretary-General said there are also some encouraging signs, with stronger-than-expected sales of cashew nuts – the nation's main export crop – ensuring that the forecast economic decline in Guinea-Bissau will not be as severe as anticipated.

GLOBAL: Malaria tests minus the blood

GLOBAL: Malaria tests minus the blood

DAKAR, 29 October 2009 (IRIN) - To detect malaria people might soon be able to chew a stick of gum and swipe it over a magnet or scan a finger with ultra-far infrared light. Neither test requires a blood sample.

These are some of the winning proposals for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges awards, which invite researchers to find non-invasive diagnostic alternatives for priority global health conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. LINK

Other categories include new strategies to prevent malaria and more effective vaccines.

Among the 76 winners are chemists, bioengineers, electronics specialists, mechanical engineers, mathematicians, infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists.

"It is entirely positive for people not necessarily looking at global health issues to use their skill sets from other disciplines to do so, as they will come at a problem from angles that specialists in the global health community may not have thought of," Gates Foundation spokesperson Melissa Covelli told IRIN.

Beyond blood

Extracting blood or tissue can require advanced skills on the part of health workers or pose high costs for patients, as well as complex logistics chains, many of which do not exist in developing countries, Covelli said.

Non-invasive tests also reduce the potential for HIV exposure, said scientist David Bell at Geneva-based Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND). And non-invasive tests are preferable particularly when surveying a disease outbreak, as even a small amount of pain involved in a procedure can be a disincentive for people to seek healthcare.

About one million people are reported to die from malaria every year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

But in some countries that have widespread malaria rapid testing, the number of suspected malaria cases has dropped dramatically.

Alternatives to testing blood include testing urine, saliva or sweat; equipment that can scan capillaries or the retina; and electromagnetic properties from crystals, such as hemozoin - an iron-containing pigment which accumulates granules in malaria parasites and is a breakdown product of hemoglobin for malaria.


To date, all commercially available malaria tests require extracting blood, according to Bell, partly because up to now it has been more difficult to detect malaria in other body fluids.

But, Bell told IRIN, "New technologies could increase the sensitivity of these non-invasive tests and they could be as good as or better than the [blood-related C] tests that we have now."

Andrew Fung, who is developing the chewing gum test, told IRIN: "By working in a user's mouth this test will operate at a higher temperature, and millions of microscopic particles will be examined across a small surface area [the gum] increasing the test's sensitivity."

Winner Lu from the University of Michigan, who is pioneering the infrared option, told IRIN by tapping into body level vibrations rather than testing molecules, this test is highly sensitive too.

To date one of the drawbacks of the 60 rapid diagnostic tests currently on the market has been that they are unregulated, so while some are quite sensitive and can provide 95-100 percent accuracy, others provide far less accurate results.

Ensuring that only high-quality tests remain in use requires better standardized evaluations, Bell said. This is just starting to happen.

WHO published a report this year assessing many rapid diagnostic tests in use and is working with FIND to evaluate 29 more by 2010.

If Fung, Lu and the some 74 other researchers' concepts work, the most promising among them will be eligible for more funding in the future, Gates Foundation's Covelli said.


AFRICA: Using DOTS for TB, HIV and other chronic diseases

AFRICA: Using DOTS for TB, HIV and other chronic diseases

NAIROBI, 29 October 2009 (PLUSNEWS) - Malawi's successful use of a well-known tuberculosis (TB) treatment system to scale up antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV could improve chronic disease management in other African nations, experts say.

 Directly observed treatment short course (DOTS), has been used to successfully deliver tuberculosis treatment in some of the world's poorest countries.

 The main elements of DOTS include political commitment, case detection, standardized treatment with supervision and patient support, an effective drug supply and management system, and a monitoring and evaluation system.

 "The key to rapid and massive scale-up [in Malawi] was to keep the principles and practices of ART delivery as simple as possible," said the authors of an article on scaling up antiretroviral therapy, in the latest edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

 Solid systems

 "A standardized system was put in place so that the same system of assessing patients for ART eligibility, initiating treatment, and registering and reporting cases and outcomes was followed wherever ART was being delivered - from central hospital to health centre, and from public health facility to private clinic," the authors said.

 Malawi began its national ART rollout in 2004 with just nine health facilities providing the medication to about 3,000 people. Using the DOTS framework, by the end of 2008, 170 health facilities in the public health sector had registered 215,449 patients.

 A study published in 2008 in the British medical journal, The Lancet, found that rapid scale-up of free ART in rural Malawi had led to a decline in adult mortality that was detectable at the population level.

 The article's authors attribute the success of Malawi's ART scale-up to government commitment and leadership; clear national ART guidelines, with emphasis on the system of registration, monitoring and recording of results; intensive training of clinical officers and nurses in ART guidelines, with practical experience at ART sites; an efficient drug-supply chain to prevent stock-outs.

 Taking DOTS further

 They note that with the rise in prevalence - even in resource-poor sub-Saharan Africa - of non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, cancers, diabetes and respiratory diseases, there is a need to put in place simple yet effective systems to give people access to treatment.

 The World Health Organization (WHO) forecasts that deaths from non-communicable diseases are likely to increase by 17 percent globally over the next 10 years, with the greatest increase projected in Africa.

 "Although patients with these non-communicable diseases usually need chronic care and treatment over their lifetimes, it is simply not provided in most resource-poor countries, outside a few centres of excellence, and there are no systems to monitor patient access or outcomes," they stated.

 "The system put in place in Malawi to facilitate the management and monitoring of lifelong ART can also be used for patients with non-communicable diseases."

 If handled properly, HIV and chronic disease management systems could be used to strengthen health systems in resource-poor nations, particularly by improving laboratory infrastructure and service delivery, monitoring, supervision, quality assurance, and rational drug forecasting and procurement.

 "Any attempt to better the management and monitoring of special diseases must include a vision of how the work will improve the health sector and health care delivery as a whole," they said.


Detroit mosque leader killed in FBI raids

Detroit mosque leader killed in FBI raids

Paul Egan / The Detroit News

Detroit -- The leader of a Detroit mosque who allegedly espoused violence and separatism was shot and killed Wednesday in an FBI gun battle at a Dearborn warehouse.

Luqman Ameen Abdullah, imam of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit, was being arrested on a raft of federal charges including conspiracy, receipt of stolen goods, and firearms offenses.

Charges were also filed against 11 of Abdullah's followers. Eight were in custody Wednesday night awaiting detention hearings today; three remained at large.

A federal complaint filed Wednesday identified Abdullah, 53, also known as Christopher Thomas, as "a highly placed leader of a nationwide radical fundamentalist Sunni group." His black Muslim group calls itself "Ummah," or the brotherhood, and wants to establish a separate state within the United States governed by Sharia law, Interim U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg and Andrew Arena, FBI special agent in charge in Detroit, said in a joint statement.

"He regularly preaches anti-government and anti-law enforcement rhetoric," an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit. "Abdullah and his followers have trained regularly in the use of firearms, and continue to train in martial arts and sword fighting."

The Ummah is headed nationally by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who is serving a state sentence for the murder of two police officers in Georgia.

Early Wednesday afternoon, FBI agents and local police from the Joint Terrorism Task Force surrounded a warehouse and trucking firm on Miller Road near Michigan Avenue where Abdullah and four of his followers were hiding, said Special Agent Sandra Berchtold, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Detroit.

When agents entered the warehouse, four of the men obeyed orders to surrender but Abdullah opened fire and was shot to death, Berchtold said. An FBI dog was also shot and killed, she said.

Through a 45-page complaint filed in the case alleges Abdullah "calls his followers to an offensive jihad" and preaches that every Muslim should "have a weapon and should not be scared to use their weapon when needed," charges in the case to not include terrorism or national security crimes.

The complaint further alleged that an armed group known as the "Sutra team" protected the mosque.

In January, when members were evicted from a building on Joy Road for non-payment of property taxes, Detroit police confiscated two firearms, about 40 knives and martial arts weapons from Abdullah's apartment, the complaint alleged.

The mosque then relocated to Clairmount in Detroit, the complaint says.

According to the complaint, Abdullah told an informant that if the FBI came to get him: "I'll just strap a bomb on and blow up everybody." On another occasion, he said: "We've got to take out the U.S. government," the complaint alleges.

David Nu'man of Detroit, who considered himself a friend of Abdullah, said he is skeptical about the allegations.

"It doesn't seem to be of his character," said Nu'man, who had attended the mosque on Joy Road but was not a member.

Ihsan Bagby, the general secretary of the Muslim Alliance of North America, said Abdullah was a member of the Lexington, K.Y. based group, and his shooting shocked the African American Muslim community nationwide.

"We want to know what happened," said Bagby. "We had no inkling of any kind of criminal activity. This is a complete shock to all of us."

The others charged are:

• Mohammad Abdul Salaam, also known as Gregory Stone, 45, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes and sale or receipt of stolen goods.

• Abdullah Beard, also known as Detric Lamont Driver, 37, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

• Abdul Saboor, also known as Dwayne Edward Davis, 37, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

• Mujahid Carswell, also known as Mujahid Abdullah, 30, of Detroit and Ontario, Canada, with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

• Adam Ibraheem, 38, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

• Gary Laverne Porter, 59, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

• Ali Abdul Raqib, 57, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

• Mohammad Alsahi, also known as Mohammad Palestine, 33, of Ontario, Canada, with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

• Yassir Ali Khan, 30, of Ontario, Canada, and Warren, with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

• Mohammad Abdul Bassir, also known as Franklin D. Roosevelt Williams, 50, of Ojibway Correctional Facility with conspiracy to commit federal crimes, sale or receipt of stolen goods, mail fraud, supplying firearms to felons, possession of weapons by a felon, and altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers.

• A.C. Pusha, charged in a separate complaint late Wednesday with conspiracy to receive and sell stolen goods.

Salaam, Saboor, Porter, Beard, Ibraheem, Raqib, and Pusha all appeared in U.S. District Court in Detroit late Wednesday afternoon. Bassir is in state custody. Others charged are still at large.

Prior to the gunfight in Dearborn, the FBI executed search warrants at 4467 Tireman and 9278 Genesee in Detroit, officials said.

Yellow police tape was put up outside the Dearborn warehouse and a Dearborn police car was parked outside. (313) 222-2069 David Josar, Charlie LeDuff, Oralandar Brand-Williams and George Hunter contributed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The Security Council today again called on Guinean authorities to charge and try the perpetrators of last month's deadly crackdown on unarmed demonstrators that reportedly killed 150 people and wounded hundreds more, warning that situation might pose a risk to regional peace.

"The Security Council reiterates the need for the national authorities to fight against impunity, bring the perpetrators to justice, uphold the rule of law, including the respect for basic human rights and release all the individuals who are being denied due process under the law," the 15-member body said in a <"">presidential statement read by Ambassador Le Luong Minh of Viet Nam, which holds this month's presidency.

Beyond the deaths and injuries that resulted from the crackdown on 28 September in Conakry, the capital, the statement cited "other blatant violations of human rights including numerous rapes and sexual crimes against women, as well as the arbitrary arrest of peaceful demonstrators and opposition party leaders."

The Council endorsed efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the crisis, particularly its insistence on the establishment of a new transitional authority to ensure credible, free and fair elections in which Captain Moussa Dadis Camara and other coup leaders would not be candidates.

Capt. Camara is head of the National Council for Democracy and Development (NCDD), which seized power in December in a coup d'état after the death of then president Lansana Conté.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will soon set up an international and independent commission of inquiry into the crackdown following its acceptance by local and regional stakeholders, including Mr. Camara, who pledged full cooperation during a recent visit from UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios.

GUINEA: Youths on hunger strike for "dialogue", "justice"

GUINEA: Youths on hunger strike for "dialogue", "justice"

DAKAR, 28 October 2009 (IRIN) - Youths in the Guinea capital Conakry went on hunger strike on 28 October - one month after the deadly military attack on civilians - to call for political dialogue, an end to violence and the arrest of those who attacked demonstrators.

"No to violence, no to impunity, yes to national unity, yes to peace and social tranquillity" is written on a banner hanging outside the Dixinn Port youth centre, where some 30 people gathered for the five-day hunger strike.

"This is to draw our leaders' attention to the need to engage in dialogue, preserve national unity, prevent further violence and arrest the authors of [the 28 September] massacre," said Thierno Baldé, president of the Federation of Youth Associations of Guinea, which has organized the protest.

"The situation in Guinea today is extremely difficult, and no one knows how things will evolve," he said. "This is why we want now to urge everyone to avoid more violence."

Another participant, who requested anonymity, told IRIN: "One of the major problems has been a lack of dialogue between the CNDD [National Council for Democracy and Development, which the junta calls itself] on the one hand and civil society and political leaders on the other. They must go to dialogue. We say, no more killings in Guinea."

He added: "It is the youths who are the real victims of the crisis in Guinea. We must remind our political leaders of that."

Burkina President Blaise Compaoré, mediator in the Guinea crisis, has called for talks between the junta and a national coalition of political parties and civil society groups.

On 28 October large markets and stores in Conakry were closed, as were schools and banks and most people stayed home, heeding a call by Guinea's political and civil society coalition to observe "a day of protest, prayer and meditation for the victims of 28 September".

"This day is dedicated particularly to the women and girls who were savagely attacked," a coalition communiqué says.

Interior Minister Frédéric Kolié on the eve of the one-month commemoration called for people to go about their activities as normal, saying the country has already observed several days for the victims.

The union representing the banking sector announced on 27 October that banks will remain closed until Monday because of harassment of bank employees by soldiers.

The youths going on hunger strike told IRIN this is the first time they have used this form of protest.

"Given the context [and the current tension], instead of going to the streets, we thought this would be a peaceful and effective way to protest," the unnamed youth told IRIN. "We will just be in a room at the youth centre, protesting quietly."

As of midday on 28 October all was calm at the Dixinn Port youth centre. One youth told IRIN from another area of Conakry he was trying to join his colleagues for the strike but his neighbourhood was at a standstill and he was awaiting public transportation.



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

AFRICA: Electronic records can streamline health care

AFRICA: Electronic records can streamline health care

NAIROBI, 27 October 2009 (PLUSNEWS) - Replacing manual data with electronic health records would significantly improve the quality of care and enable African HIV treatment programmes to be scaled up more efficiently, say the authors of a new article on the subject.

"Talkin' About a Revolution", published in the latest edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, looked at the Academic Model for Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), a programme that uses electronic health records in care and treatment services for around 100,000 HIV-positive patients at sites across western Kenya.

"Scaling up treatment programmes requires timely data on the type, quantity and quality of care being provided," the authors said. "Health care is an information business; managing patient care requires managing patients' data at many levels ... health care systems the size of AMPATH (or larger) cannot effectively be managed without ... [electronic] data."

More efficient care

The health data system can help programme managers avoid medical errors and stock-outs of key medicines, while enabling clinicians to monitor and care for their patients more effectively.

"Electronic records help us store data efficiently, retrieve it when we need it, and monitor and evaluate the progress of our programmes much more easily than if we were using manual systems," said Erica Kigothe, AMPATH's programme manager in charge of data management.

"When a patient comes to a clinic for a visit, instead of poring over large files, the clinician has one summary sheet that contains all the vital patient information and should he or she need more information, they can always go back to the patient's computerized file," she told IRIN/PlusNews.

A previous study comparing an AMPATH clinic before and after the adoption of electronic health records found that patient visits were 22 percent shorter, provider time per patient was reduced by 58 percent, and patients spent 38 percent less time waiting.

Kigothe noted that assessing disease trends was also easier with electronic records, as was collating data for the purposes of research and new directions in programme development.

Electronic health systems have been successfully used in the care and treatment of HIV in Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda, but few African countries have adopted the systems on a large scale.

"Programme implementers in low-income countries sometimes see clinicians' recording of patient data and the management of those data as secondary to providing good care, or even a distraction," the article's authors commented.

Not all smooth sailing

The programme has not been without its difficulties. "In one of our sites in Busia [town on the Kenya-Uganda border] they have very frequent power outages, so they have had to find ways to work around it, inputting data when power is on, even if that is at night," Kigothe said.

Finding people with computer skills is not always easy in the developing world, particularly in rural areas, and "like any equipment, computers break down from time to time and require repair or replacement, which can cause some problems" and incur additional expenses, she said. "In addition, the data collectors are human, and therefore prone to the occasional error."

Electronic systems are not cheap; they require considerable investment in computers, training data collectors and hiring information technology experts. However, according to the study, AMPATH's total cost of care is under US$100 per patient per year, making the system financially feasible even in resource-poor settings.

"You're going to have to spend quite a lot of money to set up the system," Kigothe said. "But looking at the big picture, it saves so much in the long run - for example, each of our data collectors manages 2,000 patients' information, something that would be impossible using manual data collection."


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The United Nations will be seeking more funds for Somalia for both security and social services, the top United Nations political officer said today, citing a sense that progress is being made in a country devastated by factional fighting and without a central authority for nearly 20 years.

"Nobody obviously wants to sound overly optimistic about Somalia at any time, but the fact is that the strategy is in place and that it is moving forward," Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe told a news conference in New York on his return from a visit to Eastern and Southern Africa.

"The most important thing to mention is that the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) has certainly, under the new leadership after Sheikh Sharif [Sheikh Ahmed] was elected president [in January], gone way out of its way in trying to be inclusive and trying to bring people in."

Most of the various groups that were in opposition or out have joined the Government, although two main extremist Islamist groups are still fighting, he added, citing the fact that the TFG now has a plan of how it wants to move forward.

"I think that anyone who looks at Somalia would not call the situation there anything but fragile, but unlike a few months ago when everyone was making dire predictions that the Government was going to fall, that it was going to be taken over, I don't think people are making any of that assumption at the moment," he said.

"There are serious threats to be dealt with, there is no question about that, and it's going to take a very long time to move the process forward," he added, stressing that funding is a serious problem.

"I would guess that we will be asking for more money and more assistance in the months ahead. Clearly they're going to need it both for security and also for the social services the Government needs to provide. One of the difficulties about Somalia, of course, is that without the aid and the assistance for real development aid, then it's very hard for the Government to show what it's doing."

On security, Mr. Pascoe noted improvements in the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Somalia (known as AMISOM). "Again the stories on AMISOM a year or so ago were how it was all falling apart, how dire the situation was," he said, but AMISOM has been doing well recently, with support from the UN Department of Field Services and food and logistics support also coming.

"This has had a real in effect in the confidence of the forces there," he added, noting that Burundi and Uganda are putting in more battalions, others are talking of joining the force and a process is in place for reaching the target strength of 8,000. It now numbers 5,000.

"What I found very encouraging myself in talking to both the Ugandans and the Burundians and with the AU people is that you didn't have that kind of level of discouragement that you had a year or so back, that they now really can see a path forward," he said.

During his visit Mr. Pascoe co-chaired a high-level meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, on implementing the peace pact between the TFG and some of its Islamist militant opponents.

Women, Peacebuilding, and Advancing the Rule of Law

Women, Peacebuilding, and Advancing the Rule of Law

*Attendance fee is required: free for ASIL and participating sponsor organization members; please indicate your organization affiliation when registering. $15 for nonmembers.

Women are an important part of the peacebuilding equation. Too often they are excluded or marginalized in the peace process. Limiting or excluding women in the peacebuilding process not only leaves a critical resource untapped but also hinders a society's recovery. Women can be agents of change, advocates for justice and peace, and leaders in reestablishing rule of law.

Panelists at this event will discuss the critical role of women in peacebuilding as well as comment on the recent UN Security Council report on Resolution 1820 on women, peace, and security.


  • Melanne Verveer
    U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues
    Co-Founder and former CEO of Vital Voices
  • Swanee Hunt
    Chair of the Institute for Inclusive Security (formerly Women Waging Peace)
  • Melanne A. CivicProgram Chair and Moderator
    Special Advisor to the Center for Complex Operations at the National Defense University, seconded from the U.S. Secretary of State's Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization
    Co-Chair of ASIL's Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Interest Group

How FBI traced Tarek Mehanna in his quest to become a jihadi

Tarek Mehanna of Sudbury, Massachusetts, is seen in this image from a video footage taken in Boston, Massachusetts, on February 11. Mehanna was arrested at his home Wednesday morning, and US federal prosecutors have charged him with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

How FBI traced Tarek Mehanna in his quest to become a jihadi

Informants helped the FBI track Tarek Mehanna to the Middle East in search of terrorist training, according to government documents. Agents also copied his computer hard drive.

    ties allege. Arrested by the FBI Wednesday and charged with providing "material support" to terrorists, his history and footsteps took twists that led his group of three conspirators as far afield as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, according to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court.

What follows is a time line of Mr. Mehanna's and his group's alleged actions from before the 9/11 attacks in 2001 up to 2008, according to the FBI's complaint and an affidavit supporting a search warrant:

• 2000-2001 – Tarek Mehanna, who has known "CW2" (a conspirator who in late 2006 agreed to cooperate with the FBI) for 15 to 20 years, introduces him to Ahmad Abousamra, and the three men become close friends. Common interests include talking about religion and Muslims' role in the United States and justification for certain jihadist acts.

• Pre-Sept. 11, 2001 – Mehanna, Abousamra, and CW2 talk about going to terrorist training camps in Pakistan, searching the Internet for logistical information for locations and travel, but no solid plans materialize.

• After Sept. 11, 2001 – Mehanna, Abousamra, and CW2 express support for the attacks.

• April 4, 2002 – Abousamra travels to Pakistan in search of terrorist training, but apparently doesn't find it, returning home.

• Fall 2002 – Mehanna meets Daniel Maldonado through Abousamra. At Mehanna's home, they watch jihadi videos showing pillaging of the Muslim world in Bosnia and the Palestinian territories. Later, the video shows mujahideen victories and footage of people being killed. Afterward, Mehanna, Abousamra, and Maldonado talk about the glory of dying for Allah.

• Nov. 17, 2002 – Abousamra travels again to Pakistan, where he connects with a man who helps him find a Taliban camp and another run by a Lashkar e Tayyiba group. But, as he later tells CW2, he was rejected by the former for being too inexperienced and by the latter for not being Pakistani.

• 2003 – Mehanna, Abousamra, and CW2 determine Pakistan is not a feasible place to get terrorist training. Frustrated, they begin exploring other options, including committing domestic terrorist acts. One topic of discussion: the feasibility of shooting a member of the executive branch of government. In another discussion, killing a second member of the executive branch is debated.

• Second half of 2003 – Inspired by the 2002 sniper attacks in Washington, D.C., Mehanna, Abousamra, and CW2 discuss a plan to get automatic weapons, go to a shopping mall, and randomly shoot people. Abousamra says civilians aren't innocent because they pay taxes to the government and because they are Kufar (nonbelievers).

• October 2003 – Abousamra flies to California to meet with "Individual A," who tells him whom to see and where to go to find terrorist training camps in Yemen.

• Late 2003 – Discussion of the mall attack plan continues, including types of weapons needed, number of attackers involved, and coordinating the attack across different entrances. Attacking emergency responders is debated. CW2 travels to New Hampshire to meet with Maldonado, a former gang member, who is believed to have access to automatic weapons. But Maldonado says all he can get is handguns. Lacking firepower, the plan is abandoned.

• Late 2003 – Mehanna, Abousamra, and CW2 begin planning a trip to Yemen to attend a jihadist training camp or training in southern Jordan. Traveling to Iraq is discussed and of particular interest because of the opportunity to fight US forces and because it is more accessible than other jihad conflicts around the world.

• February 2004 – CW2 hides video of his actions that he expects to tell family about later by e-mail. Mehanna, Abousamra, and CW2 debate the permissibility of suicide bombings. Abousamra agrees. CW2 does not; he and Mehanna want to be soldiers for jihad, not suicide bombers.

• Feb. 4, 2004 – Mehanna, Abousamra, and CW2 pull together $13,000 and travel to Yemen seeking admission to a terrorist training camp. They divide the cash three ways to avoid currency reporting requirements. They also discuss a cover story to tell authorities in case they are questioned: that they are attending religious study at Dar al Mustafa school, a Yemeni school they found online. None of the three makes contact with the school. On arrival in Yemen, checking e-mail, CW2's family tells him to return, and he does. Mehanna and Abousamra continue on.

• Feb. 4-10 2004 – Mehanna and Abousamra travel Yemen looking for the people "Individual A" told them to meet. According to a later recorded conversation between Mehanna and CW2, Mehanna explains that they met a huge man, with long hair and long beard, wearing a turban. Another man with him tells them concerning training camps that "all that stuff is gone ever since the planes hit the Twin Towers."

• Feb. 11, 2004 – Mehanna and Abousamra leave Yemen for United Arab Emirates (UAE). Abousamra goes on to Jordan and, two days later, enters Iraq, where he is thought to stay about 15 days. Mehanna returns home.

• November 2005 – Maldonado travels to Egypt.

• Summer 2006 – Mehanna visits Egypt and meets with Maldonado, who moved there.

• Aug. 10-11, 2006 – FBI agents search Mehanna's bedroom and copy the hard drive of Mehanna's laptop computer on authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Forensic analysis shows many gigabytes of data, including hundreds of megabytes of data with evidentiary value, including video, audio, and image files, as well as documents and stored messages. Mehanna's online identities and websites are revealed, along with a February 2006 discussion in which Mehanna and another discuss their desire to be the "media wing" for Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Agents also discover that Mehanna has translated from Arabic to English, and then published on a website, a tract entitled: "39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad." Another picture from the hard drive shows Mehanna at ground zero in New York, smiling and pointing to the sky.

• Late 2006 – CW2 agrees to cooperate with FBI.

• November 2006 – Maldonado moves from Egypt to Somalia with his wife and three children. The country is then under "sharia," or Islamic law.

• Dec. 12, 2006 – Maldonado phones Mehanna from Somalia and tells him he is participating in "culinary school" and making "peanut butter and jelly" – code words referring to jihad, Mehanna later explains to an informant who is fitted with a recording device.

• Dec. 12, 2006 – Abousamra is interviewed by the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). He says he went to Yemen in 2004 to study Arabic language and religious studies.

• Dec. 15, 2006 – CW2 records a conversation with Abousamra. By the time of their meeting, both men had been interviewed by the FBI about their 2004 trip to Yemen. They discuss what each told the FBI and what the FBI asked, including whether they knew Daniel Maldonado.

• Dec. 16, 2006 – Mehanna is interviewed by two members of the JTTF, focusing on a trip he and two others took to Yemen in 2004. Asked about one of those friends, Daniel Maldonado, he says they had known each other since 2002 or 2003, but haven't spoken for two weeks. But Maldonado had called him just four days earlier from Somalia – and FBI says recorded conversations show Mehanna knew Maldonado was not in Egypt, but in Somalia for military-type training.

• Dec. 26, 2006 – Abousamra leaves Boston's Logan Airport to fly to Syria, telling customs and border patrol officers he is going to visit his wife and will return Jan. 20, 2007. He has not returned.

• Early January 2007 – Maldonado flees Kenya in face of attacks by Ethiopian forces and is captured by Kenyan military, who turn him over to the FBI. He tells agents that he called Mehanna from Somalia and urged him to join him in fighting.

• Jan. 12, 2007 – Mehanna, in a recorded conversation with CW2, talks about being interviewed by the JTTF and about his 2004 trip to Yemen. He tells CW2 the trip failed because no one was around. Half were on hajj and half were in jail. They traveled all over the country looking for the people "Individual A" told them to meet. Mehanna tells CW2 about the large man and boy with the AK-47. He reassures CW2 that although many people know the real reasons for their trip to Yemen, nobody was specifically told. Mehanna says once he has finished his degree he plans to move overseas.

• Feb. 14 2007 – Reports begin appearing of Maldonado's arrest at the Somali border and a telephone conversation he had with someone in the US. CW2 sends Mehanna an e-mail saying: "You read the news?" referring to Maldonado being charged for receiving terrorist training from Al Qaeda while in Somalia.

• Feb. 25, 2007 – In a recorded phone conversation, Mehanna tells CW2 he is the person Maldonado called from Somalia and discusses who might be providing information to the FBI. They talk about Abousamra, who "fled the country" after FBI questioning. Mehanna explains that "PB&J" is code that means, generally, "I'm here fighting." He tells CW2 that lying to the FBI about the call from Maldonado is a problem for him and that he isn't sure how to handle it. Mehanna advises CW2 to leave the country – and says the only thing keeping him in the US is the need to finish his degree.

• April 19, 2007 – Maldonado pleads guilty to military-type training from a foreign terrorist organization and is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

• April 23, 2007 – Mehanna gives a compact disc with a handwritten label on it to CW1 (another FBI cooperating witness) that contains computer video files of jihad training downloaded from the Internet.

• Sept. 7, 2007 – Mehanna sends e-mail to CW1 with caption "An interesting read" with attached blog entry purportedly by and about Maldonado's travels to Egypt and Somalia.

• May 8, 2008 – A report from the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs notes that "39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad" in English (which FBI contends Mehanna translated) is a popular text on the Internet that describes ways to support violent Islamist ideology and aid the movement with fundraising and electronic jihad, including chat rooms, disseminating propaganda, and attacking enemy websites.

• Nov. 8, 2008 – JTTF obtains consent from a Mehanna family member to search another computer Mehanna used.

• Nov. 8, 2008 – Mehanna is arrested at Boston's Logan airport. He is later charged in a complaint with lying to members of the JTTF concerning his statements about Maldonado's phone call to him from Somalia in December 2006 and other statements. He is released on bail.

• April 4, 2009 – Mehanna is active online, sending messages with contact information for Aafia Siddiqui, a defendant detained in New York on terrorism charges.

• Oct. 14, 2009 – Mehanna posts another entry on his blog, which the FBI says is a collection of reflections on religious doctrine and English translations of various works by influential advocates of jihad in Afghanistan and Iraq.

• Oct. 20, 2009 – FBI petitions for a search warrant, noting a poem it attributes to Mehanna that is widely available on the Internet: "Make Martyrdom what you Seek."

• Oct. 21, 2009 – Mehanna is arrested and charged by the FBI with providing "material support" to terrorists.


Terrorist plots uncovered in the US since 9/11: a chronology