Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Roots of Radicalism: Militants Teach Jihad in Indonesia's Prisons

There's a downside to jailing Jihadis: They corrupt your prisons. It's a problem that's keenly felt in Indonesia, where a decade-long crackdown on extremist groups has dramatically increased the number of radicals in jail. Terror experts have long worried about putting so many convicted terrorists in one place. Now, an investigation by the Associated Press confirms that doing time in Indonesian prisons gives extremists a chance to proselytize and plot.

The agency spent two days inside Porong prison, near Surabaya, in June. During that time, they witnessed the extent to which convicted terrorists influenced other inmates. Part of the problem is over-crowding: One cell-block, Block F, is supposed to be reserved for extremists but houses 50 others .The Jihadis, who typically sport beards and distinctive clothing, are idolized by the rank-and-file. Many volunteer to preach, earning their trust. "We only explain what they should know about jihad," said a man named Syamsuddin who is serving a life sentence for his role in a gun attack on a karaoke club. "It's up to them whether to accept it or not."Unfortunately, many do. Here's a scene from Block F:
Nearby, nine men wearing traditional Muslim shirts sit on a floor listening intently to a religious lesson by Maulana Yusuf Wibisono, who stockpiled explosives for a 2004 suicide bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta that killed 10 people.
These men, part of the ordinary prison population, diligently copy what Wibisono writes on a small white board. "It's still too early to invite them for jihad," said the 42-year-old terrorist. He is the former leader of the East Java military wing of Jemaah Islamiyah, the group behind the 2002 Bali bombing. "To change their way of life is more important."
Many are in awe of the terrorists' piety and dangerous reputations. Militants also get extra food and other goods, both from supporters and through police attempts at rehabilitation, adding to their sway in prison. Often bearded and clad in robes, sarongs or ankle pants, they stand out from the other inmates.
"Don't judge them as bad guys," said Frans Sandi, who is serving 13 years for murdering his wife. He is a regular at Wisibono's religious instruction. "They are even able to turn bad guys into good.
And it's not just Porong Prison. In Sukamiskin prison, in West Java, cleric Aman Abdurrahman converted three students arrested for a hazing death to his cause, the AP notes. They were re-arrested last year during a raid on a terror training camp in Aceh province. It is clear, too, that doing time isn't deterring convicted terrorists. Of the 120 people arrested and 25 killed in anti-terror raids since February 2010, 26 had previously been in prison for terrorist acts, reports the AP, citing the International Crisis GroupThe investigation comes just weeks after the spiritual head of Islamic militarism in Indonesia, Abubakar Ba'asyir, was convicted on terror charges. The arrest was hailed as a "victory" for Indonesia's law enforcement agencies. It was a step forward, to be sure, but the situation in Porong Prison reminds us how resilient the 'Jihadi' virus can be. Though the influence of Al-Qaeda-linked groups like Ba'asyir's Jeemah Islamiyah is thought to be on the decline, his radical ideology is still making inroads among a new generation of 'DIY' Jihadis. So yes, Ba'asyir faces 15 fifteen years in prison. But that's fifteen years of preaching hate to a captive, corruptible audience.

How to Celebrate a Wimbledon Title: Eat Dirt

You could forgive 24-year-old Novak Djokovic if the moment got to his head. But his revelry left some scratching their heads.
The Serbian tennis star, who on Monday will become the new world number 1 and who has lost only one match this year, had just beaten Rafael Nadal in four stunning sets in the Wimbledon final in front of a huge ensemble of family, friends, supporters, and the president of Serbia himself. But shortly after winning the last point of his 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 victory, he indulged in an unlikely celebration: he ate dirt.

Reaching down, Djokovic plucked some grass and soil from Center Court and put it in his mouth. It was a gesture of humility and reverence at the scene of his greatest triumph as an athlete, and was followed by an equally graceful acceptance speech. "It's really hard to describe with any words except that it's the best day of my life, the most special day of my life," Djokovic told the Center Court crowd. "This is my favorite tournament. I always dreamed of winning the first tournament I watched in my life. I think I am still sleeping and having my dream.

Congrats Novak.

Nigeria 'militant' attacks leave 10 dead n Maiduguri

At least 10 people have been killed in a series of attacks blamed on Islamist militants in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, officials have said.
Military commander Gen Jack Nwaogbo said five people were killed when a bomb exploded on Sunday inside a bar frequented by soldiers and policemen.

Gunmen also shot dead four people late on Saturday and one person on Sunday.
Gen Nwaogbo blamed the killings on Boko Haram, which wants to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.
The group has also been accused of carrying out an attack on another bar in the same city last Sunday, which left 25 people dead.

Sunday's bomb blast ripped through a bar at a "mamy market" attached to a police barracks in Wulari area of Maiduguri, said Gen Nwaogbo, the head of a joint police and military taskforce.
He said the attack was carried out around 1730 (1630 GMT).
Officials said at least five people were killed. Gen Nwaogbo told the journalists that eight had died, while another officer put the toll at 10.

This is surely not the way forward for an emerging economy in Africa, the President needs to act fast.


Get your high-fives ready, Apple fans, because we've got some nice hardware news for you today.
In Taiwan, companies that are part of Apple's supply chain have reportedly begun shipping materials for the iPhone 5 and iPad 3. Industry sources are indicating that the two devices will be making their debuts in September before being made available to the public in October, if these manufacturing estimates stand correct.
Details were largely unavailable, but Apple will reportedly begin manufacturing a new type of iPhone model in August before increasing output in September — right in time for the holidays.
Initial observations are also saying that the iPad 3 will be even lighter and thinner than the current iPad 2 model, and may include a 250dpi display — better than this iteration's 132dpi screen, but still a bit under the iPhone 4's ultra-dense retina display, which sits pretty with a dpi of 326.
Mind you, these are all preliminary reports, but the dates sound spot-on and seem to correlate with the public debut of iOS 5.
Steve jobs is not ready for competition .

Wimbledon 2011: Petra Kvitova beats Maria Sharapova to title

The 21-year-old's shot-making ability proved too much for Sharapova in a 6-3 6-4 victory on Centre Court.
Kvitova is the first Czech since Jana Novotna in 1998 to win Wimbledon, and Novotna and former Czech great Martina Navratilova were in the Royal Box.
"It's hard to find some words," Kvitova told BBC Sport afterwards.
"I'm standing here with the trophy and I see some great players in the Royal Box. It's very nice that Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna are watching me and have supported me all the time during the tournament and gave me some advice.

Sharapova said: "Unfortunately there is only one winner at the end of day.
"I have had amazing support over so many years and to be back at this stage and holding the runners-up trophy - I wanted that big one and it's something I'm going to be back for and will get again."

Congratulations Kvitoka.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Jonathan Swears In New Cabinet Members With Many Of The Same Faces back To Old Stomping Ground

After a brief swearing in ceremony at the Aso Rock Villa, President Goodluck Jonathan returned 12 of the 14 ministers to their previous posts.
Ordering the incumbent ministers to “start work immediately,” Jonathan said the new ministers would be informed of their portfolios on Monday.
Sources said that some of the plum jobs were the subject of covert moves aimed at disqualifying the potential ministry nominees.
The Ministries of Finance and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were among the “juicy” appointments while others focused on the Ministry of Justice and Health.
Emeka Wogu of Abia was  asked to  return to Labour and Productivity,  Bala Mohammed of Bauchi went back to the Federal Capital Territory while controversial and corruption-tainted Deziani Allison-Madueke of Bayelsa returned to the  Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Jonathan's confidant, Godsday Orubebe of Delta, returned to his old turf at the Ministry of Niger Delta

Others like Prof. Ruqqayyatu Rufai'a (Jigawa) and Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu (Ebonyi) were ordered back to Ministry of Education where they respectively held sway as minister and minister of state.
Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (Ekiti) to return as Minister of State FCT, and Shamsudeen Usman (Kano), to National Planning Ministry.
The remaining ministers:  Musa Sada (Katsina) returned to Mines and Steel; Mohammed Bello Adoke (Kogi) returns as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Labaran Maku (Nasarawa) returns as the Minister of Information and Communication and Yusuf Suleiman (Sokoto) toMinistry of Transport.
The ceremony was witnessed by Speaker of House of Representatives,
Aminu Tambuwal; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Acting Chairman, Haliru
Mohammed, PDP chieftain, Tony Anenih; and Governor of Adamawa, Murtala
Nyako, as well as former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye
Alamieseigha, and former governor of Nasarawa State, Akwei Doma and
some family members of the ministers.

Newly nominated ministers (Zainab Maina - Adamawa) and Stella Ada Ogonweinyi -(Anambra) will have their portfolios communicated to them on Monday, by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.

I really hope the President understands the politics of this country.

Confessions:4 reasons why women cheat

Reason #1: There’s no passion
“I had been with John for about three years — he was a really nice guy, and I enjoyed being with him, but there wasn’t a ton of passion. Most everyone we knew had gotten engaged, and though John would have proposed in a second, whenever he brought it up, I’d change the subject. I took a trip to Australia for work and while I was gone, I got together with a coworker to whom I’d always been insanely attracted. I had a fantastic trip, probably because for the first time in a long time I experienced that excitement I’d been missing. I broke up with John soon after I returned home and began dating the guy from the trip. Even though I’m not super-proud of my actions, things ended up for the best: after dating for a few years, the guy from the trip and I got married and we’re incredibly happy together.”

Reason #2: Because absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder
“My boyfriend Greg and I decided to do the long-distance thing after I was accepted to a graduate program 200 miles from where we lived. The first few months were fine, but I soon found myself becoming extremely attracted to my lab partner, Henry. What began as innocent flirting eventually wound up with us getting physical. After the program was over, I returned home to Greg. Being with him was really difficult, but I didn’t break up with him initially because I was still attracted to him, too. I visited Henry a few times and realized that he was really more of a fling, probably done out of boredom, and that Greg was the one for me. I eventually stopped communicating with Henry. I never told Greg about what happened, which occasionally makes me feel guilty, but I chalk my cheating up to being young and silly. He and I are still together, four years after my program ended.”

Reason #3: To find that missing piece
“I’m from Florida, so I adore going to the beach and boating, but my former boyfriend, Chris, a total city boy, hated it. We always argued about where we’d take trips, and he always won. About eight months into our relationship, I took a trip to Key West with my friends and we chartered a boat for the day. The captain of the boat was this totally hot, complete ‘beach guy for life’ type, and I spent the whole day flirting with him. We met him out that night and spent time alone together. I never told Chris about it after I got home and I never felt guilty; I think part of me felt like that’s what Chris got for being so stubborn! Chris and I didn’t make it, and after we broke up, I made sure any future boyfriends loved the beach!”

Reason 4; To give him a taste of his own medicine
“My last boyfriend was a total player before we got together. I thought I could change him but I was wrong. I always heard rumors that he was seeing other girls while we were dating, but he always denied it. One night, I got a call from a girl he had been secretly dating, and she detailed their three-month-long relationship to me and told me about another girl she had discovered he was seeing as well. I was so mad that I went out with my friends that night, dressed to kill, and spent time with the most attractive guy; I felt like it was the least he deserved! I loved seeing the look on his face when I told him about what I did and that I knew about the other girls. And then I dumped him!”

So guys you need to be sensitive and study women a lot more.Ibo guys..hmmmm. not sure.

Billions worth' of treasure found in Indian temple

A treasure trove of gold and silver jewelry, coins and precious stones said to be worth billions of dollars has been found in a Hindu temple in southern India, officials said on Saturday.
The valuables have an estimated preliminary worth of over 500 billion rupees ($11.2 billion), said Kerala Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar, catapulting the temple into the league of India's richest temples.
The thousands of necklaces, coins and precious stones have been kept in at least five underground vaults at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple which is renowned for its intricate sculptures.

"We are yet to open one more secret chamber which has not been opened for nearly 140 years," Jayakumar told AFP.
The actual value of the treasure haul can be ascertained only after it is examined by the archaeological department, said Jayakumar.
The temple, dedicated to Hindu lord Vishnu, was built hundreds of years ago by the king of Travancore and donations by devotees have been kept in the temple's vaults since.
A necklace found on Thursday was 18 feet (six metres) long. Thousands of gold coins have also been found.

Until now, the Thirupathy temple in southern Andhra Pradesh state was believed to be India's richest temple with offerings from devotees worth 320 billion rupees.
The revelation about the huge riches in the Padmanabhaswamy temple has forced police to sharply step install security cameras and alarms.
Authorities also plan to set up a commando force for security, said Kerala director general of police Jacob Punnoose.
"Now it?s known all over the world that the Padmanabhaswamy temple has jewels worth billions of rupees we have decided to assign it maximum security," Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told AFP.

Seems the Americans will declare war on India.....Reasons.Terrorist Enclosures in

The new Transformers; Turn on the Dark

The midtown-Manhattan crowd — real people, not movie reviewers, except for this one — stood patiently in line for a 12:15 a.m. screening of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third in Michael Bay's ear-, eye- and block-buster series based on the line of Hasbro robot toys. When the feature began, a half hour late, the audience showed its fondness for the material by saluting each appearance of the friendly yellow car-bot Bumblebee, not with rowdy shouts but with courteous applause, as if after a sharp volley at Wimbledon. A few whoops greeted the 3-D IMAX leveling of Chicago. And when the movie ended, about an hour before dawn, the admirers let out a few decorous cheers. They sounded less like red-meat fanboys than connoisseurs at a wine tasting.

Now thats a real movie loving crowd .Wish we can boast of such movie fanatics in Naija.

Amazing ways to news panorama

Well so the fuss begins with the first few words being typed on the juliusdiaries.
Hopefully it will be a medium where news and events which is not normally accessible on this part of the world will be previewed and shared.

Wish me luck as the sojourn begins..