Sunday, 31 October 2010



He said: " There is life after the IMF, and it’s a very good life." He said this after getting rid of Argentina's IMF debt (this was one of the major battles in the war to free Latin America from the influence of neo-liberalism)


Brazil rejects any idea of NATO interfering in the South Atlantic

Brazil rejects any interference of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, in the South Atlantic or any idea of a similar organization at South Atlantic level

Oct 22 2010

Defence minister Nelson Jobim who has been meeting with US officials
made the issue “most clear” to his US counterparts, particularly any
interference in the South Atlantic.

“The South Atlantic has security questions which are very different
from those in the North Atlantic”, Jobim is alleged to have argued.

The newspaper also reports that Mr Jobim expressed fears that an
expanded area of action for NATO, speared by the undisputed power of
the United States could lead to “multilateral war actions without the
support from the UN Security Council”.

In few words the message from Brazil to US officials was that “NATO
can’t substitute the United Nations”.

Jobim had already anticipated those fears last September during a
conference at Portugal’s National Defence Institute, with the
participation of representatives from Europe, Latin America and the
United States.

At the time Jobim argued that a literal interpretation of NATO’s role
as an “Atlantic organization” could open the doors for intervention
in any part of the world, under different pretexts.

The Brazilian minister visited Washington where he met with the US
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano “to
reaffirm the shared commitment of the United States and Brazil to
strengthening the global aviation system”, according to an official
US report.

The US and Brazil signed a Joint Statement of Intent on aviation
security between DHS, the Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) and the Empresa Brasileira de Infra-Estrutura Aeroportuária
(INFRAERO), a state-owned company which operates under the Brazilian
Ministry of Defense.

“Together, the international community is forging a 21st century
international aviation security framework that will make air travel
safer and more secure than ever before,” said Secretary Napolitano.
“I look forward to working closely my Brazilian counterparts to
continue our unprecedented collaboration to better protect the
international aviation system.”

Secretary Napolitano also applauded Brazil’s support for the
International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) recent adoption of
a historic Declaration on Aviation Security—forging a new foundation
for aviation security that will better protect the entire global
aviation system from evolving terrorist threats.


Thursday, 28 October 2010


Arundhati Roy faces arrest over Kashmir remark

Booker prize-winner says claim about territory not being an integral part of India
was a call for justice in the disputed region

The Booker prize-winning novelist and human rights campaigner
Arundhati Roy is facing the threat of arrest after claiming that the
disputed territory of Kashmir was not an integral part of India.

India's home ministry is reported to have told police in Delhi that a
case of sedition may be registered against Roy and the Kashmiri
separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for remarks they made at the

Under section 124A of the Indian penal code, those convicted of
sedition face punishment ranging from a fine to life imprisonment.

Roy, who won the Booker in 1997 for The God of Small Things, is a
controversial figure in India for her championing of politically
sensitive causes. She has divided opinion by speaking out in support
of the Naxalite insurgency and for casting doubt on Pakistan's
involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The 48-year-old author refused to backtrack. In an email interview
with the Guardian, she said: "That the government is considering
charging me with sedition me has to do with its panic about many
voices, even in India, being raised against what is happening in
Kashmir. This is a new development, and one that must be worrisome
for the government."

More than 100 people are estimated to have died in violence in the
Kashmir valley since June amid continuing protests against Indian
rule in a territory where many of the Muslim majority favour
independence or a transfer of control to Pakistan. Hundreds of young
protesters have been imprisoned in a string of clashes with security

"Threatening me with legal action is meant to frighten the civil
rights groups and young journalists into keeping quiet. But I think
it will have the opposite effect. I think the government is mature
enough to understand that it's too late to put the lid on now," Roy

Earlier the author, who is currently in Srinagar, Kashmir, said in a
statement: "I said what millions of people here say every day. I said
what I, as well as other commentators, have written and said for
years. Anybody who cares to read the transcripts of my speeches will
see that they were fundamentally a call for justice.

"I spoke about justice for the people of Kashmir who live under one
of the most brutal military occupations in the world; for Kashmiri
Pandits who live out the tragedy of having been driven out of their
homeland; for Dalit soldiers killed in Kashmir whose graves I visited
on garbage heaps in their villages in Cuddalore; for the Indian poor
who pay the price of this occupation in material ways and who are now
learning to live in the terror of what is becoming a police state."

After describing her meetings with people caught up in the Kashmir
violence, she said: "Some have accused me of giving 'hate speeches',
of wanting India to break up. On the contrary, what I say comes from
love and pride. It comes from not wanting people to be killed, raped,
imprisoned or have their fingernails pulled out in order to force
them to say they are Indians. It comes from wanting to live in a
society that is striving to be a just one.

"Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their
minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice,
while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters,
rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor roam free."

India's justice minister, Moodbidri Veerappa Moily, described Roy's
remarks as "most unfortunate". He said: "Yes, there is freedom of
speech … it can't violate the patriotic sentiments of the people."

Moily sidestepped questions about the sedition charges, saying he had
yet to see the file on the matter.

Others were less restrained. One person posted a comment on the
Indian Express newspaper website calling for the novelist to be
charged with treason and executed.

Roy said she was not aware of the calls for her death, but said the
comments were part of a "reasonably healthy debate in the Indian

"The rightwing Hindu stormtroopers are furious and say some pretty
extreme things," she told the Guardian.

Roy made her original remarks on Sunday in a seminar – entitled
Whither Kashmir? Freedom or Enslavement, during which she accused
India of becoming a colonial power.

Last week police in Indian-administered Kashmir arrested the
separatist leader Masrat Alam for allegedly organising anti-India
protests. A curfew was also imposed.


Black communities in Malmö, like everywhere else, stand up with strength, collectively and militantly for your family, friends and communities. Organise street watch teams on every street and hunt this white supremacist terrorist(s). We must not cower and continue to fight for our right to be free - Sons of Malcolm

Dear brother Sukant,

I was contacted by brother K this morning with regards to your
request for information about the situation in Malmö and our
reactions. As you already know, for over a year ago, a woman was shot
dead in her car and a man seating next to her seriously injured.
There has been over 17 similar shootings since then, targeting non
white residence of Malmö.

Please observe that the target group includes people of colour born
and raised in Sweden like my own children but also all non-white
immigrants. Skin complexion and looks seem to be his determining
factor as to who is Swede or not.

Bear in mind that the police have known the nature of the situation
for over a year but decided not to inform the general public of it
until last week, which makes me, wonder if the Malmö police actually
have the intention of protecting us. The police and the media has
until last week blamed gangs for the shootings even though, the
police have always known that it was a perpetrator driven by racist
motives targeting non whites.

Both the police and the media have been calling this perpetrator a
lunatic instead of a what he really is a racist terrorist and the
black community amongst others feel extremely abandoned and not taken

I was on the radio yesterday and today trying ask questions to both
the police and the politicians. The police tell the media that they
take this situation to be extremely serious and that they have
invested all they have got to try and find this lunatic. However when
I go through the city of Malmö on my way to work, I do not see any
police cars, police officers or anything indicating their presence i
the city in spite of what they keep telling the media.

I don't feel safe and everyone that looks like me feels the same way.
The question is what would have happened if this was a Muslim man
shooting white Swedes with blond hair? I am sure that the police and
the media would have called him a terrorist and every single
policeman, car, helicopter and intelligence would have been sent to

I keep asking this question but no one seem to know the answer why
this individual/s is not considered a terrorist. I cannot help to
think that its probably because my life a Afro-Swede is not worth as
much as a white blond Swedes life is worth and whenever an immigrant
or a citizen of colour is a victim of a crime, then it is an
integration problem or a gang related problem.

Two days ago, the government sent the minister of integration to
Malmö as if these shootings have to do with the failure of immigrants
to integrate instead of seeing it as a national security problem
where a terrorist is shooting human beings, Swedish citizens and
ordinary human beings who have nothing what so ever to do with gangs
or criminal activities.

The journalist that interviewed me on the radio asked me today what I
would do if the police do not step up their activities, I responded
that if I have to move from my own home country and my children's
home country SWEDEN because I fear that we might be killed, then
Sweden will be considered a failed state and therefore is no better
than Afghanistan or Somalia are any other state when citizens flee
from their countries because the state is incapable of securing their

I really hope that the government will take its responsibility in
protecting the people of Malmö just as they would do if it were white
blond citizens in the line fire.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


EDL, Borne out of Empire pride and New Labour

Lizzie Cocker
26 Oct 2010

Over the past 13 years the relentless promotion of liberal Western
values and multiculturalism in Britain, mirrored by the absence of an
internationalist and civil rights counterweight, has handed a gift to
the far-right which today it is cashing in.

While the values and multiculturalism promoted by the previous Labour
government were always absent of any substance, the English Defence
League (EDL) is joined across the world, including with the US Tea
Party, the Dutch Party for Freedom and the Swedish Sweden Democrats,
in proclaiming that not only has multiculturalism failed but it is a
threat to those values which it is now beginning to define.

Putting discussions about who controls the EDL aside, it stands out
as being the only movement in England that is galvanising young
working-class white people - and fast.

From its beginnings just last year the EDL now claims almost 40,000
members on its Facebook page and has mobilised hundreds of those in
three cities over the past two months.

Not only is this the generation a product of "failed"
multiculturalism, it is the generation of the "war on terror."

Exacerbated by domestic policies which have increased segregation in
communities along ethnic and religious lines, these young people have
rejected the insistence under 13 years of Labour government that
Britain does have its own cultural identity, one which is made up of
many cultures preserving themselves.

But that discourse been accompanied by a whitewash of why those
cultures exist in their various manifestations in Britain in the
first place and so its only success has been in protecting the
sentiment that Britain's imperialist past is glorious.

The flipside of that being that the glory depends on perpetuating a
dehumanised image of those who resisted that imperialism - those
whose cultures, we are assured, are a vital part of Britain's
multicultural identity.

As the war on terror took off, Labour's funding of Muslim pressure
groups in the name of "social cohesion" - vital for the credibility
of multicultural identity - was coupled with its dehumanisation of
Muslims at home and abroad to justify the imperialist pillage of
Middle Eastern and Afghan lands and the oppression of their resisting

This created hypocrites out of the Establishment in the eyes of the
white working-class EDL members - the same demographic targeted for
support for the illegal wars and for army recruitment.

After all, for nine years the fear and resentment inducing debate
about an enemy and its drive to Islamify the West has been

In reality working-class people in this country, and indeed across
the world, benefit the least from British capitalism and the
US-headed imperialism which since World War II has sustained it.

But in the face of an education system which does little to help
young people understand social problems in their communities,
working-class black, Asian and people from ethnic minorities have
cultures from across the Third World that have and are resisting
imperialism to readily identify with.

This is on top of cultural currents in Britain that have flourished
out of black and Asian resistance to police and far-right brutality.

These cultures open up a range of references for youngsters to
understand the imperialist system in which they live.

Meanwhile the lack of any effective political alternative
historically to that system in the English belly of empire has left
the system able to dictate the culture of white working-class people.

This has left them with little other than cultural references that
make them aspire to a place within that system and does nothing to
help them understand their social conditions.

So the EDL has filled the void. While the media and politicians tell
us extreme Islam is the biggest threat we face, the EDL uses its
criticisms of Islam and the Koran to provide a false understanding of
those social conditions. But just as importantly, it is also using
these criticisms to shape an identity for its members - one which
gives attention to people who have hitherto been ignored.

It is an identity defined by everything the EDL sees as a
contradiction to Islam. This positioning also enables the EDL to
undermine claims that it is a typical, homophobic, neonazi, macho
fascist outfit.

So at a rally of approximately 200 members last Sunday in the heart
of London on Kensington High Street, the pink union jack and rainbow
flag in support of gay rights flew high. And speakers made numerous
references in support of women.

Moreover, in spite of leadership claims to be against the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan, overwhelmingly EDL members support the fight of
the troops which they see as part of the fight against the spread of

But most significantly, that rally was specifically called near the
Israeli embassy to show solidarity with the zionist mission for a
pure Jewish state free from Islamic influence.

That solidarity was sealed with the invitation of a "distinguished
guest," activist from the far-right US Tea Party movement and
California Senate candidate Rabbi Nachum Shifren.

Before criticising "Hitlerism," EDL Luton division member Kevin
Carroll said: "Israel has a right to defend itself from any
aggressor, Islamist or otherwise. And if those two things make me a
zionist than so be it, I must be a zionist."

Arab and Asian people across the country are already paying the
greatest price for the EDL emerging as the upholder of radical white
working-class identity and are left with no choice but to physically
defend themselves.

And in Harrow, Tower Hamlets and Bradford in particular they have
successfully defended their communities from the physical threat -
albeit with virtually no organisation.

If the EDL would have been similarly embarrassed in Leicester earlier
this month it would have been a potentially fatal setback for them.

Nonetheless the conditions are ripe for working-class young people
from all backgrounds to be galvanised by any movement that
effectively engages with their plight, however shady their

But the anger of those young people will only be focused into
changing those conditions when they are part of a movement which both
deals with the deficiencies of an education system that fails to
harbour understanding of social problems in our communities, and
equips them to deal with those problems.


Ex-gang members hunt Malmö gunman: report

Ex-members of criminal gangs in Malmö in southern Sweden have taken
up the hunt for an unknown gunman thought to be responsible for
nearly 20 shootings targeting people with immigrant backgrounds.

According to the local Sydsvenskan newspaper, the former leader of
one of the town’s largest criminal networks is among a group of “old
friends who have stuck together”and who are now actively looking
for the gunman which has left Malmö’s immigrant community gripped
with fear.

“He had better hope that we don’t find him first,” a man who referred
to himself as “Leo” told the newspaper during an interview in his
apartment in the city’s Rosengård neighbourhood.

The man believes he and his friends have better knowledge of the area
where the shootings have taken place and will likely find the gunman
before the police.

“It will be much easier for us to catch him than for the police,” he
told the newspaper.

At a Monday morning afternoon press briefing, police in Malmö
expressed urged concerned citizens to leave the investigation to the

"People shouldn't take the law into their own hands," said criminal
inspector Börje Sjöholm.

"It’s totally reprehensible. You can’t have that in a society
governed by the rule of law; it’s the job of the police to uphold law
and order."

Sjöholm added that a number of false alarms had come in at the

"We received calls about a number of shootings that didn't turn out
to be shootings," he said.

He explained that a special investigative group was launched after
police concluded that several unexplained shootings in the city may
be related.

“We’ve gone through the shootings we’ve had. When we realized it
could be the same perpetrator we decided to launch this
investigation. We’re talking about 15 shootings or so in the span of
a year,” he said.

However four additional shootings have taken place since the
investigation began which have been added to the original 15

Altogether eight people have been injured, and one killed in the

“We don’t want to say exactly which shootings,” he said.

Sjöholm also commented on the weapons believed to be used in the

“We’ve confirmed that a number of weapons have been used in several
shootings,” he said, although he refused to confirm how many
shootings may be tied to the same gun.

Sjöholm also explained that police believe they are hunting a single

"The profiling group has gone through all the shootings and things
there is a strong grounds to believe it's the work of one and the
same assailant, but we can't let ourselves get locked into that," he

Police nevertheless hope they have secured DNA evidence from a man
who beat and eventually fired a shot at a tailor and hairdresser in
the Augustenborg district on Saturday night.

“The tailor was headbutted, so we’ve taken swabs, taken clothing and
samples. We’ll send them over to the National Forensics Lab straight
away tomorrow morning for analysis,” Ewa-Gun Westford of the Malmö
police told the Aftonbladet newspaper on Sunday evening.

Police in Skåne county received a number of calls about suspected
shootings on Sunday night.

“Since 8pm, we’ve had eight or ten calls. We’ve gone out to all of
them, but nothing has proven to be acute,” police spokesperson Sofie
Österheim told the TT news agency.

Tensions in the city remain high as one young women learned on Sunday
night when she was stopped by two police officers at Nobeltorget

“A caller warned of a woman wearing dark clothes and shorts who had a
holster on her thigh with a gun in it,” said Calle Persson of the
Skåne county police.

It turned out that the woman was on her way to a costume party.

“We pointed out to her that her clothing was in appropriate,” said

Robert F Williams and Mabel Williams. Pioneers of militant self-defence in the Black civil-rights movement. Read of his arguments on the Sons of Malcolm blog HERE.

Monday, 25 October 2010


Black communities and their allies in Malmo in Sweden need to organise militant, extensive, wide and comprehensive community defence and community watch to catch this racist(s).

No one will defend us, but us.


Brixton: regeneration or gentrification?

Paul Dayle

It's ironic: Brixton, like Harlem in New York, is feted as a cultural hub just as its identity as a black neighbourhood dissolves

I have always felt that Brixton, London is the centre of the world for people of colour. Now that London's Heritage Lottery Fund and Lord Mayor have unveiled a plan to build the UK's black cultural archives there at a cost of £5m, I have even more reason to think so.

A collage of ethnicities form on Brixton's high street in the middle of any given day. As a newly-minted immigrant from Jamaica, it was here that I first saw a woman in a hijab driving a doubledecker bus. This is the site of Amy Winehouse's tryst in her song "Me and Mr Jones". Brixton: a veritable metropolis for south London's outer boroughs and neighbouring inner cities.

Brixton bears the weight of a chequered history – notoriously, for race-related riots in the 1980s. The names of streets – Coldharbour Lane, Electric Avenue, Acre Lane, to name a few – carry an edginess that captures the stories of generations of Brixtonians. The themes have remained consistent through the years: from Coldharbour Lane describing basic accommodation offered to rough travellers in the 1800s; to Electric Avenue conveying the excitement of being the first street to be lit by electricity in London. This is an area that is defined by progressive change alongside material deprivation.

If that vibe is endemic, it is perhaps not surprising that Brixton became a popular home for the first set of African and Caribbean immigrants who sailed to the UK on the Empire Windrush in 1940s, as well as for succeeding generations. Over the years, it has borne all the contradictions of immigrant communities – unemployment and high levels of crime, with wells of creative brilliance. For many outside looking in, Brixton seems like the unpredictable distant cousin.

The BBC reported this summer that Prince Charles and Camilla visited Brixton market – recently named a listed building of historical interest. The royal couple would have missed a face of the neighbourhood that would not be evident in a midday visit during the business day. They wouldn't have seen the clumps of suited City types who barrel into the subway in the morning, to return at night; and the spattering of early evening joggers darting pass couples walking ornamental dogs on their way to Brockwell park.

Predominantly white and middle-class, the newest residents are the face of a resurgent Brixton, who are mostly taking advantage of the area's proximity to the city. As property prices soared in London's last boom, many homeowners in the area sold and moved further south into the suburbs. The pattern of homeownership has changed dramatically – in favour of the more affluent.

Comparisons with New York City's Harlem are, therefore, appropriate. Both Harlem and Brixton are alike for their large black populations and historical significance. They both have seen periods as a sought-after cultural centre, as well as decades of social and economic decline. The decision by President Clinton to make Harlem the home for his post-presidency office and foundation, and the attendant rise in property values in the area – pricing out many of the neighbourhood's longstanding African American residents – has become emblematic of the gentrification debate.

Does it matter when increased commercial activity leads to radical changes in the ethnic and cultural makeup of communities?

I moved out of Brixton last week, further south into a neighbouring suburb. The recession, and redundancy, made it prudent for me to find a flat elsewhere. One morning about a month ago, as I raced toward the underground – the smell of incense wafting in the air and a street preacher blaring the news of the next coming of Jesus Christ – I looked up to see a fully operational Starbucks coffee shop. It had sprung up so quickly: people were milling around inside as if it had always been there. If there was ever any doubt that Brixton's gentrification is well-advanced, the argument had just closed. I smiled wistfully and descended into the subway.

It would be ironic if Brixton's recognition as an iconic black space in Britain comes just at the point when there is a mass exodus of its black residents.


Saturday, 23 October 2010


Banksy also records on his website how an old Palestinian man said his painting made the wall look beautiful. Banksy thanked him, only to be told:

'We don't want it to be beautiful, we hate this wall. Go home.'

[Btw, Sons of Malcolm salutes Banksy as a revolutionary propaganda artist, but considers the Palestinian voice incomparably more important than Banksy]


Thursday, 21 October 2010


Dem Rich Cats
Dey Ain't Neva Bin 2 Da Manor
I Reckon It's About Princess Diana
I No In France She Died In A Banger
But If I Crashed And Died They Wouldn't Giv A Damn About Me
So Fuck Dem N Deyre Family
Stop Talkin About Dem On Da Tv Cz
Dey're Familys Got Millions
? Fuck Dem N Prince William
I Roll Wiv Da Cash N Carry Da Strap
And I Jus Wana Merk Prince Harry
Dat Lil Prat Needz A Beatin
Man Shud Of Eat Him
Wen He Went Eaton
Wen I Werent Eatin
Fuck Tony Blair
I Shud Grab Da Prime Minister Up By His Hair
Slap Cherie Blair
Hahaha Jus For Da Silly Clothes Dat She Wears

It's Us Against Dem
So Wer Gonna Rush Dese Men N Crush Dese Men
Tym 2 Crunch Dese Corruptive Men
Form Stunts To Bun Dese Men And Stun Dem
Unexpected Lyk Da Twins
I'm A Soak Up Da Realness
In Dis Lyf I'm In
Cause Dey Lyk 2 Win Get Me Get Me

Fuck Da Government
Sum1 Blow Up Parliment
I Ain't Keen On Bin Larden But
Fuck Da Government X2

Eh Bruza
Dey Cnt Tel Us 2 Shush
Sum1 Plz Put 2 In Goerges Bush
His Ancestors Wer Cush
Colin Powell Luks Lyk Animorph
I Dnt Wanna Cuss Da Queen N Commit Treason
But Da Bitch Is Gettin Money 4 No Reson
Da Royal Family We Dnt Need Dem
Da Only Reason We Need Dem Is 2 Attract Tourist In Evry Season
Put Prescot In A Hed Lok Den Piss In His Eggnog
Den Roll Wiv Da Chrome N Buss Shots Outside Of Livingstons Home

It's Us Against Dem
So Wer Gonna Rush Dese Men N Crush Dese Men
Tym 2 Crunch Dese Corruptive Men
Form Stunts To Bun Dese Men And Stun Dem
Unexpected Lyk Da Twins
I'm A Soak Up Da Realness
In Dis Lyf I'm In
Cause Dey Lyk 2 Win Get Me Get Me

Fuck Da Government
Sum1 Blow Up Parliment
I Ain't Keen On Bin Larden But


Malmö shooter targeting immigrants: police

Police in Malmö now believe that more than a dozen unexplained shootings
which have taken place in the city this year may be connected.

"We have established a special unit here in Malmoe to investigate
between 10 and 15 similar crimes ... They are all shootings with no
apparent motive," local police spokesman Lars-Haakan Lindholm told

While the special unit has refused to reveal exactly which cases it
is looking into, Lindholm said they had in common that the victims in
virtually every case appeared to be of immigrant origin and "we have
no explanation for why they were shot."

"It does appear that there are racist motives," he said, adding that
"we are receiving help from profilers from the national police force.
This is our number one top priority right now."

In nearly every case, the shootings have taken place just after
nightfall and have targeted people with immigrant backgrounds, Skåne
County police spokesperson J-B Cederholm told reporters during a
Wednesday morning press conference.

“The two most recent shootings look exactly alike: men of colour have
been shot from behind near a bus stop,” said Cederholm, according to
the TT news agency.

A criminal profiling unit from Sweden’s National Investigation
Department (Rikskriminalen) has been brought into the investigation
and is now working in parallel with the county police in Skåne.

The 28-year-old man who was shot near a bus stop in Malmö on Tuesday
night has had the bullet removed.

“It landed 5 centimetres from the spine,” said Cederholm.

The man was among three victims who were shot within within the
course of just a few hours Tuesday night in Malmö. Each of the
victims was seriously injured.

A 19-year-old suspect was detained later on suspicions of attempted
murder for the shooting of the two victims around 12.30am Wednesday
morning in the city’s Lindängen neighbourhood.

The shootings involving the 19-year-old are not believed to be
related to the shooting of the 28-year-old man who was waiting for a

During their press conference, police focused on the possible
connections between the shooting of the 28-year-old and other,
similar shootings in the city in recent months.

The shooting incidents have taken place throughout the city and none
of the victims had any known threats directed against them.

Each victim has no understanding of why they were suddenly and
inexplicably shot. Nor have they been able to make any observations
of what may have transpired in the moments before they were shot.

The county police now believe that the fatal shooting of a women in
her twenties in October 2009 in Västra Skrävlingevägen, near the
Rosengård neighbourhood, may be the first in a series of related

The woman sat in her car together with a 21-year-old man who was
injured, but survived.

“One theory is that a single assailant, or several, are focused on
people with immigrant backgrounds,” said Cederholm.

Swedish criminology professor Jerzy Sarnecki expressed concern about
the ramifications of the police's new theory about the shootings.

“It’s extremely disconcerting, really nasty and it’s really urgent
that the police arrest the perpetrator as quickly as possible. These
sorts of people don’t stop until they are arrested,” he told TT.

He drew parallels between the Malmö shootings and the “lasermannen”
('Laser Man'), shootings which kept Sweden on edge in the early

“Even then there was a heated debate in society about immigrants,
similar to the one we’re having now about the Sweden Democrats. This
is naturally speculation on my part, but there are people with mental
illnesses, on the verge of a breakdown, who can be affected by such a
debate which can then unleash (an outbreak),” said Sarnecki.

The apparent randomness of the shootings and the fact that they
appear to be targeting people of immigrant origin has raised fears
that Sweden again could be facing a wave of racist shootings by a
lone gunman.

The ‘Laser Man’, John Ausonius, received his moniker because his
victims were targeted with a red dot from a rifle equipped with a
laser sight.

Ausonius targeted his first immigrant victim at the end of the summer
of 1991. Two Eritreans saw a circle of red light rest on their
compatriot’s body before he was hit.

The man survived but Laser Man terrorized Stockholm’s immigrant
population for a further eighteen months.

Between August 1991 to January 1992, Ausonius, today 57, shot 11
people -- most of them immigrants -- in and around Stockholm. He
killed one person and seriously wounded the others.

He was sentenced to life behind bars in 1994 and remains in prison.

Lindholm however stressed Wednesday that "there is nothing to
indicate yet at least that we're dealing with another Laserman,"
pointing out that it has yet to be determined whether the crimes were
committed by a single shooter.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010



Syria’s Diversified Options

This was written six months ago and recently published in Political


A sigh of relief blew across Syria when the Bush administration was
retired. Bush had backed Israel’s reoccupation of West Bank cities,
described Ariel ‘the Bulldozer’ Sharon as “a man of peace”, given
Syria two million Iraqi refugees and an inflation crisis, and blamed
Syria for the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafiq
al-Hariri. Veiled American threats of “regime change” scared the
Syrian people – who observed the blood rushing from neighbouring Iraq
– almost as much as they scared the regime itself.

Obama’s re-engagement signalled an end to the days of considering
Syria – in the predatorial neo-con phrase – “low-hanging fruit”, but
American overtures have remained cautious, the new administration’s
policy severely limited by its commitments to Israel and the domestic
Israel lobby. Obama nominated Robert Ford as the first American
ambassador to Damascus in five years, but the appointment has since
been blocked by the Senate. In May, Obama renewed Bush-era sanctions,
citing Syria’s “continuing support for terrorist organizations and
pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and missile programs,” which,
“continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national
security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

So not much has changed. The neoconservative language is still in
place, the same elision of distance between American and Israeli
interests, and between anti-occupation militias and al-Qa’ida-style
terrorists, plus a flat refusal to understand that the countries
really under unusual and extraordinary threat of attack are Syria,
Lebanon, and – Netanyahu’s “new Amalek” – Iran.

It is clear to Syria that the US is both unwilling and unable to
deliver an Arab-Israeli settlement which would fulfill its minimum
demand – the return of the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since
1967 (creating 100,000 refugees) and annexed in 1981 (a move
condemned by UN Security Council Resolution 497). Any concession on
the well-watered Golan would be experienced as a betrayal by the
Syrian people. Former President Hafez al-Asad dragged a promise of
full Israeli withdrawal from Yitzhak Rabin, but all subsequent
Israeli prime ministers have reneged on the “Rabin Pledge.”
Furthermore, the “just and comprehensive peace” envisaged as a
“strategic option” by Hafez al-Asad in 1991 is no longer on offer.
Observers of the calibre of John Mearsheimer believe that it’s now
far too late for a viable two-state solution in Israel-Palestine.

Obama’s new peacemaking tack may involve public snubs of the Israeli
right, but it doesn’t extend to enforcing UN Resolution 497, (or 242
or 191 for that matter). Obama will not apply the real pressure
needed to nudge Israel into decolonisation of the West Bank. He will
not stop the billions of dollars of direct military aid, loan
guarantees and technology transfers, nor the flow of private Zionist

In April Obama adopted as truth highly suspect Israeli allegations of
a Syrian Scud missile transfer to Lebanon’s Hizbullah. The charge,
denied in Damascus and Beirut and by the UN, provided the Arabs
another example of American double standards. Aside from the
improbability of the Scud claim (these are weapons too cumbersome for
Hizbullah’s style of warfare), it stank of hypocrisy. The US is
currently selling F35 fighter planes to Israel, the most advanced of
its own fleet.

Without a change in the balance of power, it seems impossible that
Syria will reclaim the Golan. But the region is changing, and Syria
is diversifying its options.

In Istanbul on May 9th Bashaar al-Asad reaffirmed Syria’s willingness
to resume indirect peace talks with Israel, mediated by Turkey. The
bait is there if anyone wants to bite. Meanwhile Syria is working on
relations with its ‘Northern Alliance’: Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

The superficially unlikely alliance of secular-nationalist Syria and
Islamist Iran is longstanding and unwavering, and is of great
political, economic and military value to Syria. Al-Asad, like
Turkish prime minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan, had hoped to act as a
bridge between Iran and the Obama administration. Such hopes have
evaporated, and regional security deteriorates a notch further with
each Israeli threat to bomb Iran’s nuclear programme, or re-destroy
Lebanon’s infrastructure, or unseat the Asad regime.

In a February Damascus summit, al-Asad, Iran’s Ahmadinejad and
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared a common military front in
the event of an Israeli attack on any of their countries. Nasrallah’s
rare public appearance gave bite to the proceedings. Known – almost
uniquely among Arab leaders – for keeping his word, Nasrallah had
promised a new military doctrine a few weeks earlier:

“If you strike martyr Rafiq al-Hariri’s international airport in
Beirut, we’ll strike your Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. If you hit
our ports, we’ll hit your ports. If you attack our refineries or
factories, we’ll bomb your refineries and factories.”

For the US and Israel, Hizbullah is no more than a terrorist
organisation, despite the fact that it concentrates its fire on
military targets far more effectively than Israel (in the 2006 war,
Hizbullah killed 43 civilians and 121 soldiers; Israel killed 1190
civilians and 250 soldiers). The Party of God – which runs
construction, welfare and media projects as well as an armed wing –
is wildly popular amongst the Shia, Lebanon’s largest sect, and at
any moment has the support of at least half the country as a whole
(elections under Lebanon’s skewed sectarian system do not always
reflect this fact). And Hizbullah is dear to most Arabs, because its
few thousand fighters drawn from the downtrodden have done what the
Arab states could not, for all their emergency laws and massive
military budgets, for all their fruitless embrace of the US-sponsored
peace process: they beat back, then in 2000 ended Israel’s 22-year
occupation of Lebanon. When Hizbullah held its own against Israel’s
2006 onslaught it proved its evolution from shadowy militia to
guerrilla force to a semi-conventional army able to keep territory.
For all the current rumours of war, it may be that a balance of
terror has already been achieved on the Lebanese border, that Israel
may be contained.

A step back from Syria’s frontline alliances stands its spectacularly
improved relationship with Turkey. Under new, upwardly-mobile,
Islamist-democrat direction, Turkey is investing heavily in Syria,
Iraq and Iran, waiving visas and building railways in the interests
of trade and tourism, publically supporting Iran’s nuclear programme
while condemning Israel’s siege of Gaza. Turkey, of course, with NATO
membership and a flourishing economy, is a weight-bearing nation. An
immediate consequence of its realignement is that the Resistance
Front – ‘Moderate State’ duality which held sway in the region a few
years ago has been consigned to history’s dust-heap. The increasing
irrelevance of such US-client regimes as Egypt and Saudi Arabia is
what prompted General Petraeus’s statement that “Israeli
intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardising US
standing in the region.”

And there’s a jaded but resurgent superpower in the picture too. In
the first visit to Syria by a Russian leader since the 1917
Revolution, this month President Medvedev discussed oil, gas, and
possibly nuclear cooperation. Russia is selling Damascus warplanes,
air defence systems and anti-tank weapons, and developing the port of
Tartus to receive the Russian fleet.

“Washington’s failure to realign relations with Iran and Syria dooms
it to repeat its past,” writes Syria analyst Joshua Landis, warning
of a new cold war. Bashaar al-Asad agrees, telling La Republica, “The
Russians never believed the Cold War ended. Neither did we. It only
changed shape. It has evolved with time. Russia is reasserting
itself. And the Cold War is just a natural reaction to the attempt by
America to dominate the world.”

But the current situation is too multipolar for an old-style cold
war. This time Syria isn’t compelled to choose between two sponsors.
Instead it meets a world of independent actors – Iran, Turkey,
Russia, China, even Brazil. The big story here is the emergence of
new alliances as the global power balance shifts.

Saturday, 16 October 2010


Jimmy Mubenga death: Witness accounts

Accounts from BA flight 77 where Jimmy Mubenga died after he was
restrained during a deportation

Paul Lewis
Friday 15 October 2010

Witness 1, Kevin Wallis, seated in the back row across the aisle from
Jimmy Mubenga. A mining engineer from Redcar:

"The guy was sitting right next to me on the plane, there was just
the aisle between him and me, so I could see everything … When I got
on the plane, this Angolan guy was already there, with three security
guards holding him tight, one on each side and one on him.

"The Angolan guy was going to be deported, obviously, and he didn't
want to. And he couldn't breathe. He was shouting in English, saying
"I can't breathe, get off me". And the guys were holding him very
strongly … They were saying: "He'll be quiet once we take off. At one
point, they checked on his pulse, and couldn't find anything. Then
some other guy came. An ambulance. I cannot say if he was dead when
they took him out of the plane. We hadn't taken off yet. I cannot say
if the guy was sick before he came inside the plane.

"They were holding him too tight when I arrived, I couldn't see him
well. Then the flight was delayed, and we were all taken to a hotel.
I tried to talk with other passengers about what happened, but I was
the only one who could see him that well. Because I was right next to
him. I asked a policeman at the airport about this Angolan guy. And
the policeman answered 'between you and me: he's dead'."

Witness 2, Ben, was seated in the row 28 middle seat, in the middle
section of seats around ten rows in front of Mubenga. A 29-year-old

Ben became aware a passenger was in distress after he boarded the
plane and saw a commotion. He said he saw one of three security
guards remove a handcuff from his pocket to restrain Mubenga's arms.
"There were three guys trying to hold him … This led to them pushing
everyone further up the plane, so we were all pushed into first

Allowed back into the main cabin, he said the three guards were
leaning on top of Mubenga. "You could hear the guy screaming at the
back of the plane. He was saying 'they are going to kill me'. That's
what he repeatedly said. He was saying that right from when I got on
the plane. He just kept repeating that all the way through."

Ben said it was not clear whether Mubenga was referring to the guards
or his political adversaries in Angola, and most of the passengers
were not concerned. "He was muffled because they were holding him
down … No-one was that alarmed by what he was saying. He just then
went quiet. We were about take off and there was an announcement
saying that someone on the plane was very ill."

Ben estimated that the total time the security guards were on top of
Mubenga trying to restrain him was "over 45 minutes". "He had been
slumped down on his seat because they were pressing down on him. You
only ever saw the top of his head a little bit or you heard him
muffle, because they were on top of him."

Passengers were kept on the plane until the early hours of this
morning, he said.

Witness 3, Michael, was seated in row 28. A 51-year-old oil worker
and US citizen:

Michael contacted a Guardian reporter via Twitter after reading what
he believed to be misleading accounts of Mubenga's death released by
the Home Office and G4S, a private security firm the government has
contracted to escort deportees.

He said he was haunted by Mubenga's pleas for help: "For the rest of
the my life I'm always going to have that at the back of my mind –
could I have done something? That is going to bother me every time I
go to sleep … I didn't get involved because I was scared I would get
kicked off the flight and lose my job. But that man paid a higher
price than I would have."

Witness 4, Andrew, seated row 23. A 44-year-old Eastern European

"At approximately 19:30 I boarded the aircraft. On my way to my seat,
seven to 10 rows in front I noticed that there was something going on
in the last row of seats. I noticed two big guys pushing something
with the weight of their bodies against the seats in the last row. At
that moment I saw only the backs of these men. I heard one voice
screaming and begging for help. I realised that the voice was coming
from the person which two men were pushing down.

"I took my seat in the vicinity of that place, across the aisle. I
could not see from my place what was happening behind me, but every
few minutes after I took my seat I changed my position to look back
and see how the situation developed. The screaming behind me
continued for the whole time. The man's voice was begging for help.
The tone of the voice was anxious and excited but not aggressive in
any way. The man among other words was using the following words
which I can recall: 'somebody help me', 'don't do this', 'they are
trying to kill me', 'I can't breathe', 'I have family', 'why are you
doing this', 'no, no, no, no'.

"He did not swear or use bad language. He constantly continued to
shout. In the beginning his voice was strong and loud but with the
time passing by, the voice was losing its strength. I heard the man
had difficulties breathing. Two men pushing the person down were
silent, at least I did not hear one word said by them. I did not hear
any fight noises – no kicking, no punching, no struggling which I
should have heard if it happened. Every time I looked back, I saw the
same picture – two men sitting on top of somebody. It continued for
approximately 30 minutes until the plane started to move.

"In the meantime cabin crew moved some of the passengers sitting
nearby to the front of the plane. I felt very disturbed by the way
two men were dealing with the situation. But, as I was sure that they
were policemen I expected them to know what they were doing. Also, I
was a foreigner not in my country and the cabin crew were around the
whole time. I was really afraid to intervene. I just said ironically
to my neighbour 'shall we call police?'

"The voice which continued to ask for help suddenly went silent. I
thought he was given some tranquilisers but then I realised that
police has no right to do that. From the moment he went silent, it
took a very long time – 10 minutes maybe? – until an announcement
about a sick person on board was broadcast and even longer – another
10 minutes? – until paramedics arrived. The man was put on the floor,
only then I heard CPR going on, but for a very short time only. Then
I realised the man must have died already. I know from experience,
that when people around the victim are no longer in a rush the person
must be dead.

"Later police officers arrived, he was removed to the galley area and
we were moved to the front of the plane where police took our contact
details. That was horrible, I also feel terrible because I did not do
anything. I would like to make his wife know how very, very deeply
sorry I am about this situation and about the fact I have not helped
her husband. Now, when I know that it was not the police, I am also
deeply shocked that the plane crew did not do anything to help this
man. I did not see them help even with first aid afterwards, when he
became silent. After all, the crew's first most important duty is the
safety of all passengers - including handcuffed, isn't it?

"I have been working for many years as an officer on board of cruise
ships, I have seen similar situations – never ending so dramatically
– and I would never ever imagine the situation like this could happen
in the civilised world. Maybe that is because in the UK the authority
of police and security is so high? I believe in my country, where
police is not so much respected, people would be much more willing to
do something witnessing situation like this."

Witness 5, Makenda Kambana, Mugenba's wife, spoke to him by phone
from her home in Ilford shortly after they boarded plane:

Kambana said she spoke to him as he sat on the plane waiting to be
deported. "He was so sad, he was saying 'I don't know what I am going
to do, I don't know what I am going to do.' Then he said 'OK just
hang up and I will call you back' … but he never did call back … I
never heard from him again."

She said she had spoken to him earlier in the day and he had appeared
to be calm and getting on with his guards. "He was friendly with
them. They did not put him in handcuffs because he was good to them.
I heard them asking him how are the children."

Kambana said the family had been devastated by his death. "I feel so
sad … I don't know, I was thinking if I was there to help him. The
children just can't stop crying and I don't know what to say to


Remember Joy Gardner

The last person to be killed while being deported by British authorities back in 1993.

Short BBC report here

Friday, 15 October 2010


The "country of human rights" or
French White Supremacist Republicanism?

14 October 2010

Prosecutors have called for a 63-year-old French woman to
be given a two-month suspended prison sentence and a fine
of €750 (£659) after she admitted tearing a full Islamic
veil from the face of a tourist from the United Arab

The woman, a retired English teacher identified only as
Marlène Ruby, said she was "irritated" by the sight of two
women shopping in Paris in their niqabs.

She said that, not realising the pair were foreigners, she
initially pulled one of their veils while chastising them
in French for covering their faces. Minutes later, upon
noticing that the woman concerned had replaced her veil,
she became further enraged.

"I tore her niqab off and I shouted. I wanted to create a
bit of a scandal," she told Le Parisien. Her anger, she
said, sprang from witnessing the treatment of women in the
Middle East, where she used to teach. "I think it is
unacceptable for the niqab to be worn in the country of
human rights. It's a muzzle," she said.

Although she admits removing the veil, Ruby denies
allegations that she hit and bit the tourist, who claims to
have been so distressed by the incident that she had not
returned to France since. The victim's lawyer said her
client was on the receiving end of "an attack on religious

In a Paris court, the prosecutor, Anne de Fontette, said
the behaviour was not something that could be permitted in
France. "Living together requires, quite simply, an
acceptance of the other, of the way in which [the other] is
dressed," De Fontette said.

She said that although at the time of the attack, in
February, the full Islamic veil was legal attire in France,
the accused's actions would be reprehensible even now – a
month after the ban on wearing face-covering veils in
public became law.

Critics of the ban, which threatens wearers of the niqab
with a fine of €150 and a course in French citizenship,
have warned it is an unnecessary step that affects a small
minority of women but stirs up tensions.

A verdict is expected on 4 November.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


# .. This is the equality of all,
versus the supremacy of some ..#

Monday, 11 October 2010


Prison Reform Trust Director:
People will be & should be shocked by this data

New study finds seven times more black people per population are in prison
– in the US number is just four times as many

Mon 11 Oct 2010

The proportion of black people in prison in England and Wales is
higher than in the United States, a landmark report released today by
the Equality and Human Rights Commission reveals.

The commission's first triennial report into the subject, How Fair is
Britain, shows that the proportion of people of African-Caribbean and
African descent incarcerated here is almost seven times greater to
their share of the population. In the United States, the proportion
of black prisoners to population is about four times greater.

The report, which aims to set out how to measure "fairness" in
Britain, says that ethnic minorities are "substantially
over-represented in the custodial system". It suggests many of those
jailed have "mental health issues, learning disabilities, have been
in care or experienced abuse".

Experts and politicians said over-representation of black men was a
result of decades of racial prejudice in the criminal justice system
and an overly punitive approach to penal affairs.

"People will be and should be shocked by this data," said Juliet
Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust. "We have a tendency to say
we are better than the US, but we have not got prison right."

Lyon said that although there had been "numerous efforts to address
racism in the prison system … we have yet to get a better
relationship between justice authorities and black communities.
Instead we have ended up with mistrust breeding mistrust."

Evidence of this damaged relationship can be found in the
commission's report. On the streets, black people were subjected to
what the report describes as an "excess" of 145,000 stop and searches
in 2008. It notes that black people constitute less than 3% of the
population, yet made up 15% of people stopped by police.

The commission found that five times more black people than white
people per head of population in England and Wales are imprisoned.
The ethnic minority prison population has doubled in a decade – from
11,332 in 1998 to 22,421 in 2008. Over a similar period, the overall
number of prisoners rose by less than two thirds. The commission says
that the total number of people behind bars accelerated in the last
decade despite "a similar number of crimes being reported to the
police as in the early 1990s … the volume of indictable offences has
fallen over this time".

A quarter of the people in prison are from an ethnic minority.
Muslims now make up 12% of the prison population in England and

Some on the left of the Labour party blame its policies while in
power. Diane Abbott, who raised the alarm over the growing numbers of
jailed black men as a backbencher, said she "very much regretted that
the last Labour government swallowed [former home secretary] Michael
Howard's line that 'prison works'."

"There was never a serious examination of the consequences of locking
up a generation of young black men. The result is there are some
prisons in the south east which are now virtually all black. Many are
converting to Islam."

The problems may start at school. The commission points out that
black children are three times as likely to be permanently excluded
from education.

"We are reaping the effects of criminalising a community in the
1970s," says Ben Bowling, professor of criminal justice at Kings
College London and a former adviser to the home affairs select

"The question is how you break the cycle when young men experience
custody. Three quarters simply re-offend. We have to intervene with
families more effectively to stop kids going to prison. That means
looking at school exclusions. You need to deal with issues like
mental health and substance abuse. It is not enough to throw our
hands in the air."

The policies implemented in the last decade mean incarceration levels
in Britain are now among the highest in western Europe. England and
Wales have an imprisonment rate of 155 per 100,000 and Scotland of
149 per 100,000 of the population. This contrasts with rates of less
than 100 per 100,000 for most of Britain's neighbours.

The commission also warns of the rising numbers of women in jails. It
says that the "number of women prisoners has nearly doubled since
1995 in England and Wales, and since 2000 in Scotland – currently
around 5% of prisoners are women".

The Ministry of Justice said that the government would not comment
on individual portions of the report.


What if the tea party was black

Holding guns like the Black Panther Party was back

If Al was Rush Limbaugh and Jesse was Sean Hannity

And Tavis was Glenn Beck would they harm they families

If Sarah Palin was suddenly Sistah Soaljah

Would they leave it with the votes or go and get the soldiers

Yall know if the tea party was black

The government would have been had the army attack


Undercover reporter Antonio Salas passed himself off as radical islamist Mohammed Abdullah

Carlos the Jackal was my friend

Spanish reporter Antonio Salas infiltrated an international terrorist group
and became a trusted confidant of one of the world's most infamous killers

10 Oct 2010

Few undercover reporters have been prepared to sacrifice as much as
the Spaniard who goes by the pseudonym of Antonio Salas. Circumcision
was just one hurdle in passing himself off as a radical Islamist and
infiltrating the shadowy, interconnected world of international
terrorism. "It was more painful than I expected. It is pretty
delicate for the first few days," Salas now admits, walking daintily
around a room at his Madrid publisher's offices. An invite to a
hammam bathhouse during his five years undercover had, he said,
persuaded him the operation was necessary.

Salas's identity undercover was Mohammed Abdullah, a Spanish-
Venezuelan with Palestinian grand-parents. He was convincing enough
to be invited on terrorist training courses and to become personal
webmaster to the most infamous of international terrorists, Carlos
the Jackal. That meant regular telephone conversations with a man
thought to be responsible for more than 80 deaths.

The Jackal would call from La Santé prison in Paris, where he is
still serving a life sentence for murder. "He was very worried about
my security," says Salas. "It is a strange sensation when a
self-confessed assassin like Carlos the Jackal does that, and offers
their friendship."

Salas decided to go undercover with his hidden cameras after the
bombings that killed 191 people on Madrid commuter trains on 11 March
2004. He had been as stunned as other Spaniards by the blasts,
despite the country's experience of Basque terrorist group Eta. "I
wanted to know what goes through the mind of a person who is capable
of killing for an ideology."

Salas's previous undercover investigations – as a skinhead supporter
of Real Madrid football club, and in the world of
prostitute-trafficking – had taken him to the heart of some of the
most violent groups in Spain. "My aim was to understand terrorism in
the same way that I came to understand skinheads or

He learned Arabic and invented an elaborate cover story involving a
dead wife: 25-year-old Dalal Mujahad from Jenin, tragically killed by
an Israeli bullet while pregnant with their child. The real Dalal,
whose name he found in a newspaper archive, had died in 2004, when a
bullet entered her house in a shoot-out. In case anyone decided to
investigate, he added a Romeo and Juliet touch: the marriage had been
kept secret because his (false) mother's family, from the nearby
village of Burkin, backed Al-Fatah, while Dalal's family were part of
Hamas. Her death, he would claim, had pushed him towards radical

"I took photos of myself in Burkin and in Jenin. Then I asked Fatima,
a girl I met when investigating prostitute-trafficking, to let me
take photos with her as if she was my wife. We mocked up an apartment
in Barcelona to look as though it was in Palestine and took photos."
Salas also wrote out the Qur'an by hand, and considers his conversion
to Islam to be genuine. He treasures the small booklet in which he
wrote Islam's most sacred text: "It helped convince people," he says.
"Not many people carry their own, hand-copied version."

The final part of his cover was to become a pro-jihad journalist,
contributing to radical publications. He travelled around the Arab
world, from Egypt to Jordan and the Lebanon, writing articles that
would help to seal his militant credentials. "I even wrote a couple
of books," he says. It did not take long to gain a reputation. "I
remember the first time I dropped off some newsletters at a mosque in
Tenerife, the police arrived with flashing lights and sirens and they
soon had me pinned against a wall."

Salas picked the Venezuela of President Hugo Chávez as his base. "I
had been told Venezuela was a mecca of international terrorism," he
says. "The Farc group from Colombia was there, as were people from
Eta." Numerous other small revolutionary groups had also set up under
Chávez's benevolent gaze. There, in what the New Yorker journalist
Jon Lee Anderson calls "the parallel reality that is the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela today", Salas established himself as yet
another niche radical – flying the flag for Palestine and running a
local branch of Hezbollah. More importantly, he got close to the
family of Ilich Ramírez Sánchez – Carlos the Jackal.

"I only really knew about Carlos because of the films about him,"
admits Salas, who is in his mid-30s and too young to recall the The
Jackal's bloody kidnaps and assassinations in the 70s and 80s. "But
here was an icon of international terrorism. He was Venezuelan, and a
convert to Islam who had fought for Palestine. It was perfect for my
profile." He sought out The Jackal's two younger brothers, Vladimir
and Lenin – names given to them by their Leninist lawyer father.
"Vladimir is the more active defender of his brother," he says.
"Lenin is a lot more discreet. Later I met his mother, his nephews
and got in with the family."

He first spoke with The Jackal by chance, when Carlos rang from
prison while Salas was with the family. "We started out talking in
Arabic and then in Spanish. I called him Ilich or 'Comandante Salim',
which is his Arabic name. He speaks six or seven languages and is
very intelligent. We would talk for up to an hour. He would not let
me ask questions – they made him angry. So I just let him talk. He
even confessed some of his killings, and I have that taped."

Salas began to work on a website that, among other things, campaigned
to have The Jackal repatriated to Venezuela. "To prove the website
was close to Ilich, I was given access to a trunk that had been
closed for 30 or 40 years – with his school reports and family
photos. I spent a lot of time in Vladimir's house, classifying the
material." Salas would post texts to La Santé; The Jackal sent them
back with neat, handwritten corrections. He also sent prison
photographs to put on the site.

By tracking the Arabic news channel al-Jazeera, Venezuelan TV and the
internet for mentions of The Jackal, Salas discovered that Chávez
himself was one of his biggest fans. "For him, Carlos is not a
terrorist but a revolutionary – a model internationalist, like Che
Guevara. Just as Che went to fight for other peoples, so Ilich went
to fight for the Palestinians. Whenever Chávez mentioned The Jackal,
I would record it and send it to him, which he loved."

Not that Salas agrees with Chávez's view of The Jackal. "He is
considered responsible for 82 killings; I don't call that being a
revolutionary. I call him a terrorist." – though he would probably
not, he admits, use the term to his face. "It helps that he is in

Salas updated The Jackal's website from cybercafes, using a different
one every time. "I imagine Mossad, the CIA and MI6 being driven mad
by the fact that The Jackal's page was updated from Portugal one day,
Syria another, and from other countries."

Salas was even invited to visit La Santé, but he passed up the offer.
As an independent journalist who pays his own way and has no back-up,
he must use his real identity when going through frontiers or
security controls. "I have never worked for any intelligence service,
political party, or even for any one media outlet," says Salas, who
produces his own undercover films and publishes books on his
investigations. "I only work for my readers. They are the ones who
end up paying for my investigations. I work alone, using my own money
and passport. Journalistically, it would have been great to meet
Ilich, but I couldn't do it."

In Venezuela's fringe community of political extremists, he bumped
into people from Eta, the Túpac Amaru (a group of armed Venezuelan
radicals who support Chávez), and other groups. Repeated requests for
hands-on training eventually saw him invited to a camp in Venezuela,
where he learned to handle pistols, rifles and machine guns,
including a Kalashnikov AK-103, an Uzi sub-machine gun, the American
M4 carbine and a Belgian-designed FN FAL. He also practised with a
sniper's telescopic sight and received explosives training. "I
learned all that a jihadist might need to take his message of terror
to a city in Europe or the United States," Salas says. "There was
nothing glamorous about it. It was just a question of learning to
kill better."

His instructors included a Venezuelan army colonel, though Salas
insists the camp was not run by the Chávez regime. "It just so
happened that my instructors, as well as being supporters of
revolutionary causes, were Venezuelan army officers."

His strangest discovery was the willingness of different extremist
groups to blindly embrace the varied causes of others, even when they
had nothing to do with one another. So it was that, as a supposed
Palestinian Islamist, he found himself appearing in a video for the
Túpac Amaru. Salas stood manfully beside leader Alberto Carías
clutching a Heckler & Koch MP5-A3 sub-machine gun, as the latter
urged armed revolutionary groups across South America to join forces.

Salas came close to blowing his cover only once, when he met US
journalist Jon Lee Anderson, who was in Venezuela promoting his Che
Guevara biography. It was a nerve-racking encounter. "When he said he
had been to Burkin and started naming people there, I feared my cover
was gone."

Anderson remembers the meeting: "Burkin is an amazing place in the
hills above Jenin. It is said to have the finest olive oil in the
world. I remember thinking there was something odd [about Abdullah];
he was cautious around me and flustered, but Caracas is full of
wackos. It didn't occur to me to think he was a plant."

Far from being made world-weary or cynical by his exposure to such
violent worlds, Salas remains almost naively optimistic about the
results of his investigations – which have spawned Spanish
best-sellers, popular documentaries, even a feature film. After his
previous two books, he says, he received letters from people who had
given up being skinheads or frequenting prostitutes. "I hope for the
same thing with this," he says. "In Spain and Latin America there are
a lot of adolescents – many of whom I saw arrive at the mosque for
the first time as children – who will feel the draw of violence in a
few years' time."

So what conclusions does Salas draw from rubbing shoulders with
international terror? His answer is coloured by the fact that half a
dozen people he met during his investigation have since died – often
violently. "I don't justify violence, but I can understand it. I
never found any glamour or sophistication in that world, nor anyone
especially intelligent – except for The Jackal. Terrorists really
have only two ends – they either die or go to jail. You have to be a
bit stupid to do that."