Not long ago, a bomb attack on New York City's Times Square would have had intelligence officials and terrorism experts checking off the usual suspects among the sources of terrorist plots against the U.S. - Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq. But these days, says a top counterterrorism official, "when I hear of a terrorist plot, I can count back from 10, and before I get to zero, someone will bring up the P word." That's P for Pakistan. Over the past couple of years, more plots against U.S. targets have emanated from or had a strong connection to Pakistan than any other country. Says the counterterrorism official, who was briefed on the hunt for the Times Square bomber but is not authorized to speak with the media: "It was totally predictable that the smoking Pathfinder would lead to someone with Pakistan in his past." Nor would it come as a surprise if it were revealed that Faisal Shahzad, who has claimed to investigators that he was working alone, was in fact linked to an ever … [Read more...] about Beyond Times Square: Pakistani Terrorism Targets U.S.
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Gunmen killed a U.S. government aid agency official and his driver in Khartoum on Tuesday, U.S. and Sudanese officials said. The unknown assailants opened fire as the official from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was heading home in an embassy vehicle shortly after midnight on New Year's day, diplomatic sources said. The driver was killed instantly and the official was taken to hospital where he died from his wounds. Walter Braunohler, public diplomacy officer at the U.S. embassy, told Reuters: "Unfortunately, he just died." Braunohler said it was too early to speculate about motives and declined to identify the slain U.S. official beyond saying that he worked for USAID. Sudan's state news agency SUNA identified the official as 33-year-old John Granville and said he had died from multiple gunshot wounds. Sudan condemned the attack and said the perpetrators would be pursued. Washington has long had tense relations with Khartoum due to the conflict … [Read more...] about Gunmen kill U.S. official in Sudan
Thirty-five ethnic minority people from Vietnam's Central Highlands will be sent to North Carolina in the U.S. for resettlement after fleeing to Cambodia, Vietnam News Agency reported Wednesday. Most of them already have families in the U.S., and they have been allowed to resettle in the country for family reunions, said an official from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as quoted by VNA. Also, another 61 Vietnamese highlanders will head to the U.S. in the next two weeks, the official said. A total of 676 ethnic people have been living under the protection of UNHCR in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh after fleeing Vietnam's Central Highlands in 2001. Of the group, 108 people have had their refugee applications rejected. The Cambodian government has repeatedly declared that it will not allow any Vietnamese highlanders to continue residing in Cambodia if they are refused refugee status. These people will have to repatriate to Vietnam. (Source: … [Read more...] about Vietnamese highlanders to resettle in U.S.
Two U.S. diplomats paid a working visit to the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai on Sept. 3 and 4 to study the province's socio-economic situation as well as religious, ethnic and human rights issues. The officials, Frank Januzzi, assistant to the U.S. Senate External Affairs Committee, and R. Siui Bergstein, political official from the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, were welcomed by Pham The Dung, chairman of the Gia Lai People's Committee. Mr. Dung later briefed the two officials on the current sustainable socio-economic developments and strong political stability and security of the province. Gia Lai province has a population of more than 1 million people from 34 ethnic groups. These ethnic groups have joined together and helped each other to improve and develop their living situations, said the chairman. Mr. Dung also assured the U.S. officials of the local people's right to religious freedom. The local administration has always respected that right … [Read more...] about U.S. officials visit Central Highlands Gia Lai province
The Kon Ray Ethnic Minority Boarding School, inaugurated on Friday, will benefit disabled children in the highlands province of Kon Tum. Ethnic minority students at the new school (Photo: Sy Thang) The U.S. Agency for International Development-funded school began admitting students in the area. USAID provides VND9.4 billion (US$605,000) and the province supplies VND2 billion (US$120,000). Two hundred forty students from ethnic minority groups in the area enrolled for the 2008/2009 school year. The construction and related programs were managed by the East Meets West Foundation. The modern Kon Ray Boarding School offers excellent facilities and resources to students including special classes in both regular education and vocational training for children with disabilities. "This is an important project that will benefit many, particularly young people from ethnic minority tribes and the disabled," said Ambassador Michalak. "I look forward to supporting education … [Read more...] about U.S.-funded school for disadvantaged opens in Kon Tum