U.S. Implicates Iran in January Attack

BAGHDAD (AP) - The U.S. military accused Iran on Monday of a direct role in
a sophisticated militant attack that killed five American troops in Iraq,
portraying Tehran as waging a proxy war through Shiite extremists.

The claims over the January attack marked a sharp escalation in U.S.
accusations that Iran has been arming and financing Iraqi militants, and for
the first time linked the Iranian effort to its ally, Lebanon's Shiite
Hezbollah militia. The allegations could endanger Iraqi efforts to hold a
new round of talks between the U.S. and Iran.

U.S. military spokesman Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner said the Quds Force,
part of Iran's elite Republican Guards, was seeking to build an Iraqi
version of Hezbollah to fight U.S. and Iraqi forces - and had brought in
Hezbollah operatives to help train and organize militants.

"Our intelligence reveals that the senior leadership in Iran is aware of
this activity," Bergner told a Baghdad news conference. He said it would be
"hard to imagine" that Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei did not
know about the activity....

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20070702/D8Q4L2EO1.html

++++++

Nuclear Whistleblower Vanunu Ordered Jailed for Six Monthsfor Six Months

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20070702/D8Q4JMTG0.html

JERUSALEM (AP) - An Israeli court on Monday ordered nuclear whistleblower
Mordechai Vanunu to return to jail for six months for violating an order
restricting his contact with foreigners.

Vanunu, a former technician at Israel's nuclear plant near the southern town
of Dimona, spent 18 years in prison - including 11 in solitary confinement -
for giving details of the country's atomic program to a British newspaper in
1986.

Upon his release in 2004, Vanunu was banned from leaving the country and
having unauthorized contact with foreigners because, Israeli authorities
contended, he could still divulge classified information.

In ordering Vanunu back to jail, Judge Yoel Tzur wrote that it was "not
easy" to impose the penalty, "especially since the accused served a long
prison sentence in the past, most of it in solitary confinement."


Still, Tzur wrote, "it appears that the accused displayed total disdain" for
the restrictions imposed on him.

In April, a Jerusalem court found that Vanunu violated the restrictions 14
times by holding contacts with foreigners through the Internet and by
entering the West Bank. At Monday's hearing, the court sentenced Vanunu to
six months in jail and handed him a suspended sentence of another six
months.

Vanunu referred all questions to his lawyers.

His attorney, Avigdor Feldman, said after the hearing that the limitations
placed on Vanunu "had no equal in any other democratic country" and called
the sentence "unreasonable." Feldman did not say whether he planned to
appeal.

It was not immediately clear when Vanunu was to go back to prison.

The details divulged by Vanunu and published in the Sunday Times of London
led experts to conclude that Israel has the world's sixth-largest stockpile
of nuclear weapons, including hundreds of warheads. Vanunu was later
kidnapped by Mossad agents and brought back to Israel to stand trial.

Following a policy that it calls "nuclear ambiguity," Israel has never
acknowledged or denied having a nuclear weapons program.

+++++++++++++++++

Saudi Religious Police Face Backlash

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20070702/D8Q46E100.html

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - As the car stopped outside a Riyadh amusement
park, two bearded men dragged the driver from the wheel and took the three
women on a wild ride of more than an hour, bouncing over sidewalks and
finally abandoning them on a darkened street.

The women at first thought they had been kidnapped by terrorists. The two
men however, said they were religious police.

It might have gone down as just one more excess of zealousness by the forces
charged with upholding Islamic modesty, except that Umm Faisal, the senior
of three women, did something that is believed unprecedented in Saudi
Arabia
: She went to court.

On Monday, four years after the incident, the latest chapter of the legal
battle being waged by this 50-year-old mother of five reopens before
Riyadh's Grievances Court, which handles damages suits for abuses by
government and public figures.

The unusual publicity surrounding Umm Faisal's story comes on top of two
cases involving the death in religious police custody of two Saudi men - one
arrested for allegedly consuming alcohol, another for being alone with a
woman not of his family.

A trial opened Sunday against three religious police officers and a fourth
man in the death of Ahmed al-Bulaiwi, the man detained for being alone with
a woman. Relatives demanded the death penalty against the defendants.

Taken together, the cases threaten to undermine the authority of the force's
employer, the powerful, independent body called the Commission for the
Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

Since the commission's creation more than six decades ago, there has been no
known public legal action taken against its members despite complaints they
occasionally overstep their boundaries. The public view has tended to be
that whatever their faults, they are acting in Islam's name to defend
morality........

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20070702/D8Q46E100.html