A passenger jet with 200 people on board is forced to take evasive action as it is targeted by two missiles, says Russian media.
Two missiles have been fired at a Russian passenger plane flying over Syria, according to Russian media.
About 160 people were on board the charter aircraft at the time of the attack, the origin of which remains unknown, a source told the Interfax news agency.
An unnamed source is understood to have said: “Syrian [officials] informed us that on Monday morning, unidentified forces launched two ground-to-air missiles which exploded in the air very close to a civilian aircraft belonging to a Russian airline.”
The source said the pilots managed to manoeuvre but it was only because they did so that lives were saved.
The source added: “It remains unclear whether the attackers knew whether it was Russian or not.”
The targeted plane belonged to Nordwind Airlines – a Russian charter air carrier.
Russia’s Agency For Tourism later confirmed an incident had taken place, saying: “No one was injured, and the plane was not damaged. The aircraft landed in Kazan as it had been planned.”
Russia’s foreign ministry later issued a statement about the incident.
A spokesman said: “On April 29, at 0455 moscow, a Northern Wind plane was travelling in Syrian airspace from Sharm el Sheikh to Kazan and the pilot crew has recorded military activities on the ground that could have endangered the plane and 159 passengers.
“The Russian authorities are taking urgent measures to clarify the situation including in contact with Syrian authorities.”
The Syrian regime is battling a diverse range of opposition fighters, with some following an ideology akin to that shared by al Qaeda, and others supported by western allies who are seeking to achieve democracy.
Source: yahoo.ca( Matthew Coutts)
Four days after two Canadian residents were arrested in connection to an alleged terrorist plot to derail a train on Canadian soil, disturbing details of their checkered pasts continue to be revealed – including revelations that Canada tried to deport one of the men nine years ago.
Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier were arrested on Monday and have made primary court appearances, but remain in custody.
Esseghaier told a judge on Wednesday that Canada’s criminal code was not a “holy book” and therefore not perfect.
Sources told the Toronto Star that Esseghaier met with an al-Qaeda operative before moving to Canada in 2009, under a student visa. Jaser, meantime, has been living in Canada for 20 years after his family moved here as refugees.
Jaser is a Palestinian who was born in the United Arab Emirates and never received citizenship in that country. He and his family were considered “stateless,” and moved first to Germany and later Canada, where they sought refugee status.
Jaser was arrested in 2004 for allegedly working illegally under various aliases, but could not be deported because he belonged to no country.
“I am not a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, I can’t be,” the Post quotes him as telling the Immigration and Refugee Board in 2004, based on a transcript. “I am a Palestinian by blood, that does not give me any rights whatsoever in my place of birth.”
Palestinians represent the largest stateless community in the world: more than half of the eight million or so Palestinians are considered to be de jure stateless persons. Partly because they are stateless, Palestinian refugees are treated more harshly than other refugees. For example, Palestinians recently forced out of Iraq have not been admitted into Syria but instead are trapped in dangerous and desolate camps on the border. Despite a special appeal by the United Nations, few countries have stepped forward to offer them resettlement.
The Post’s report suggests Jaser had remained in a state of “long-term limbo” until he received permanent citizenship. He was denied citizenship based in part on a criminal history.
This of course says nothing about the guilt or innocence of either suspect. Just more bizarre details in an increasingly bizarre story.
Source: news.nationalpost.com(TRISTIN HOPPER)
National Post, with files from Graeme Hamilton and Joseph Brean
Before Chiheb Esseghaier became one of two suspects in a plot to bomb a VIA Rail passenger train, the doctoral student was known to the tenants in a Montreal apartment building as a neighbour from hell, according to a report by La Presse.
“He would scream like a maniac at all hours,” remembered a man identified only as Michel, who lived in the same 20-unit Rosemont complex. “Near the end, I couldn’t take it anymore.”
Mr. Esseghaier’s Kijiji-recruited roommates appeared to concur. According to the building’s concierge, “hygiene issues” at one point forced one of them to leave in a huff, slamming the door on his way out.
The concierge added Mr. Esseghaier was a “very religious man, very devout.”
Others simply remembered him for his penchant to endanger the building with fire.
One time, he set off the smoke alarm after cranking up all four of his stove-top elements to dry a shirt. Another time, he moved his charcoal barbecue inside, alleging it was too windy outside.
“He lit briquettes. There were flames,” a tenant told the newspaper.
Tunisian-born and only recently granted permanent residency status in Canada, Mr. Esseghaier remains officially registered as a doctoral student at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), a research arm of the Université du Québec.
His erratic tenancy record is part of why, when officers finally arrested Mr. Esseghaier Monday, he was effectively homeless.
La Presse writer Fabrice de Pierrebourg compared Mr. Esseghaier to the main character in the 1985 French film Subway. In the movie, Fred, a gangster, evades police by taking refugee in the murky depths of the Paris Métro.
Wearing a substantial length of beard and dressed in a faded ski jacket, he offered no resistance as four Mounties led him away.
The whole affair was “very calm,” said a witness.
Promises & Betrayals
First released: 2002
Shown on various channels including
History Channel Mon 14-03-2005
An intriguing documentary about British double-dealing during the First World War in the Middle East, misguided strategies and how conflicting promises to both Arab and Jew created a legacy of division.
This lucid film recounts the complicated history that led to the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In the words of the former British Ambassador to Egypt, it is a story of intrigue among rival empires and of misguided strategies. It is often claimed that the crisis originated with Jewish emigration to Palestine and the foundation of the State of Israel. Yet the roots of the conflict are to be found earlier.
In 1915, when the Allies were besieged on the Western front, the British wanted to create a second front against Germany, Italy and the Ottoman Empire. Turkish nationalism had spread to the rest of the Ottoman Empire and the British exploited this feeling. They promised Arab groups their own independent states, including Palestine. Secretly, the Allies planned to carve up the Ottoman Empire: France would get “Greater Syria;” Britain would get Iraq for its oil and ports, and Haifa, to distribute the oil; Palestine would be an international zone; Russia would get Constantinople.
The next British government under Lloyd George believed that “worldwide Jewry” was a powerful force, and that the Jews in the new Bolshevik government could prevent the Russian army from deserting the Allied side. This mistaken strategy, along with other factors including the persuasiveness of Chaim Weitzman, led to the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which endorsed a national home for the Jews in Palestine. At the same time, the Arab leader Shariff Hussein was promised that Palestine would be part of a new Arab state. This contradiction has contributed to the ongoing struggle for control in the Holy Land.
A documentary produced by Hizb ut Tahrir Australia for the first ever such campaign in Australia, entitled the “Rajab Campaign”.
The Documentary covers the following areas:
* The rise of Islam and its dominion.
* The crusader hatred and battle for Jerusalem.
* The decline of the Muslims.
* The cultural invasion.
* The Physical occupation; all culminating in:
* The destruction of the Khilafah.
For more details, be sure to visit the official page of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia: