Japan tanker was damaged in a terror attack, UAE says

BBC News reports: “A Japanese tanker damaged in the Strait of Hormuz near Oman was the target of a terrorist attack, the United Arab Emirates state-run news agency has said.

It said remains of home-made explosives had been found on the hull of the M Star, which was damaged while travelling from Qatar to Japan.

…An al-Qaeda linked group said it was responsible.

Officials previously said the ship may have been involved in a collision.

The crew of the ship reported an explosion shortly after midnight…injuring one person.

The BBC’s security correspondent Nick Childs says the news is likely to raise concerns about security for shipping in the Strait, a vital strategic waterway for oil supplies from the Gulf.

‘An examination carried out by specialised teams had confirmed that the tanker had been the subject of a terrorist attack,’ the news agency said, quoting an unidentified coastguard source.

‘UAE explosives experts who collected and examined samples found a dent on the starboard side above the water line and remains of home-made explosives on the hull,’ it said.

‘Probably the tanker had encountered a terrorist attack from a boat loaded with explosives,’ the source was quoted as saying…” (Joel 3:10 pictures a global war and Christ’s return reverses the prophecy – Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3.)

Al Qaeda in Pakistan is U.S. ‘most formidable’ threat

YnetNews.com reports: “The United States said that despite major setbacks, Al-Qaeda’s core in Pakistan is the ‘most formidable’ terrorist group threatening the United States, along with affiliates in Yemen and Africa.

In an annual report, the State Department said it also learned that Americans were not immune to the lure of Islamist militancy, with some of them hooking up last year with radicals in Pakistan and Somalia.

‘Al-Qaeda’s core in Pakistan remained during 2009 the most formidable terrorist organization targeting the United States,’ the State Department’s counter-terrorism coordinator Daniel Benjamin told reporters.

‘It has proven to be an adaptable and resilient terrorist group whose desire to attack the United States and US interests abroad remains strong,’ Benjamin said, reading from the Country Reports on Terrorism 2009.

‘We assess that Al-Qaeda was actively engaged in operational planning against the United States and continued recruiting, training and deploying operatives, including individuals from Western Europe and North America.’

Al-Qaeda, from its safe haven in Pakistan, is helping train and fund the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, which ‘remained resilient in the south and east and expanded its presence into the north and west,’ the report said…” (There is no guarantee for peace as long as these barbarians control the Muslim world. God help humanity if they eventually take over Pakistan’s nuclear facilities – II Timothy 3:1. See also the next two reports.)

Al-Qaeda Creating an Army in Yemen

Israel National News reports: “The heads of Al-Qaeda in Yemen claimed to be creating an army in the country’s south. In an audio recording posted online, terrorist commander Mohammed Sayeed al-Omda said Al-Qaeda will soon have a fighting force of 12,000 soldiers based in the cities of Aden and Abyan.

Omda issued a threat to continue attacking Yemeni troops. ‘This is a message to the Yemeni government forces and National security service: Our swords are ready and we are going to cleanse the land,’ he declared.

Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for two fatal attacks on government targets in Yemen since June, and is suspected of being behind an additional two attacks in the same period. The international terrorist group accuses the Yemeni government of joining with ‘crusaders’ and killing Muslims in the battle against insurgent groups.

Al-Qaeda poses a real and immediate threat to the Yemeni government, according to United States Marine Corp General James Mattis, who is charged with heading US forces in the region. At his nomination hearing Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Yemen has been pushed ‘to the breaking point.’…”

Al Qaida-linked militants gaining foothold in central Africa

Haaretz reports: “Faced with concrete Jihadist threats for the first time, the East African nation of Burundi is considering sending away Muslim minorities unless they give information about extremists, Burundi’s defense minister has told Haaretz.

Lieutenant General Germain Niyoyankana said that Somali refugees staying in Burundi ‘will have to return’ to their land unless they help Burundi’s security forces fight terrorists. He said this in response to a deadly July 11 attack in nearby Uganda which claimed 73 lives and is attributed to a fundamentalist Muslim group from Somalia. The same group has said it will carry out similar attacks in Burundi.

‘We are working with our Somali population and have requested their help in preventing attacks,’ Niyoyankana said in an interview, the first by a Burundi minister for Israeli media. ‘If the Somali refugees don’t help us protect ourselves they will be obligated to return to where they came from. They chose to take refuge in Burundi and they should help protect us with any information possible.’

Al-Shabaab, which is linked to Al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for twin explosions at a crowded restaurant and a rugby club in Uganda’s capital Kampala during the last moments of the World Cup final on July 11. The insurgent group has threatened more attacks against Uganda and Burundi unless they withdraw their peacekeepers from Somalia, where Al-Shabaab is fighting the government and controls large sections of the chaotic country.

Niyoyankana said he did not know how many refugees from predominantly Muslim Somalia live in Burundi, ‘but there aren’t many.’ He added that security forces have taken ‘a series of measures’ which ‘cannot be specified’ to foil plans to carry out attacks in the republic.

Burundi’s population is 67 percent Christian and 23 percent traditionalist. Only 10 percent of its population of approximately nine million are Muslims. It is ranked as one of the world’s 10 poorest countries…”

Hamas leaders in Syria urge West Bank operatives to kidnap Israeli settlers

Haaretz reports: “The Israel Defense Forces West Bank division commander, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, has warned Israeli settlers to be on alert for possible abduction attempts across the territory.

In a letter sent to Yesha Council leaders, Alon said that the warning is based on intelligence and interrogations of Palestinians arrested on involvement in plotting such kidnappings.

The IDF said intelligence has shown Hamas leaders in Damascus are pressuring followers in the West Bank to abduct Israeli settlers and citizens.

The IDF added that it believes such a kidnapping would be used by Hamas as a bargaining chip for short-term gains and not for major negotiations such as in the case of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been in captivity for four years and for whom Hamas wants hundreds of prisoners.

‘The threat of kidnapping is significant,’ Alon wrote the settler leaders. ‘We must especially remind youths to take safety precautions when hitchhiking.’

In the wake of Alon’s letter, settler leaders held information session with youths to reiterate to hitchhike only within their settlements and not on main routes in the West Bank or late at night.

The Shin Bet Security Service has arrested a number of Palestinians suspected of involvement in alleged plots to kidnap Israeli settlers. In some of the cases, the Shin Bet said there was more than intent and that suspects had gathered intelligence leading up to an attempt…” (The latter days will bring great heartache on all the world but especially on Israel – Jeremiah 30:7. Jacob changed his name to Israel in II Kings 17:34. See also Matthew 24:9; and John 16:2.)