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2010 April 11 | Activist News
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The Road to World War 3

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Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

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U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

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The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

Daily Archives: April 11, 2010

AFRICOM Backs Bloodshed in Central Africa

Dissident Voice
by Keith Harmon Snow
April 10th, 2010

The eastern Congo remains awash in bloodshed due to western mining companies and their proxy armies, the military regimes of Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), and Joseph Kabila (DRC), all hidden behind reams of western newsprint blaming Congolese victims for their own suffering. Across the continent a new rebellion in western Congo has reportedly engaged Belgian paratroopers and UN “peacekeepers” in alliance with the DRC government. With massive casualties and more than 200,000 civilians forced to flee western Congo the United Nations and western media have covered up the new rebellion. Meanwhile, AFRICOM under the Obama administration has major base constructions and secret deployments across Central Africa, with NATO, Dyncorp and Special Operations Command shipping Ugandan grunts to the U.S. wars in Somalia, Afghanistan, Darfur and Iraq.

With the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) engulfed in bloodshed and terrorism due to the secretive occupation and expansion by the Rwandan regime of Paul Kagame, Congo’s President Joseph Kabila has received support from Belgium and the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) to crush a growing rebellion sparked by resistance forces in far Western Congo. But the United Nations Observers Mission in Congo (MONUC) has downplayed the new rebellion and hidden massive military and civilian casualties.

Are Belgian Paratroopers Fighting in Western Congo?

A rising alliance calling themselves “The Resistance Patriots of Dongo” (Patriotes-Résistants de Dongo) spread in western Congo over the past six months after Congolese people learned that Congolese resistance forces tired of the corrupt regime of Joseph Kabila were fighting against Rwandan troops in the little frontier town of Dongo.

Sources in Congo’s capital Kinshasa reported that an emergency “crisis” meeting was convened in Brussels on Nov. 28, 2009, after a distress call was sent by Congo-Kinshasa President Hypolitté Kanambe, known to the Western world by his alias, Joseph Kabila Kabange, and the Belgian military attaché in Kinshasa was instructed to deploy a detachment of elite Belgian Armed Forces (BAF) paratroopers to Congo.1

Sources in DRC claimed that Belgian troops joined the Kabila COALITION forces, backed by AFRICOM and allied with Rwanda, and engaged the RESISTANCE forces in Equateur province in January.

Interests competing with President Joseph Kabila’s Congo (including U.S. and Israeli minerals cartels, weapons dealers and money-laundering operations) support the new western Congo RESISTANCE forces. These interests operate through regional power brokers, e.g., in Gabon, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa.

In mid-November President Joseph Kabila secretly airlifted a battalion of Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) across Congo to crush the rebellion. Comprised of former Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebels who overthrew the government of Juvenal Habyarimana in Rwanda (1990-1994), the RDF joined Kabila’s COALITION, which includes MONUC troops from the international “peacekeeping” mission and Tutsi Rwandan soldiers infiltrated by Rwanda, with the Kabila government’s support, into Congo’s national army, the FARDC. RDF forces, moved to Congo from Rwanda exclusively for the operation, were uniformed as Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC).2

Thus western Congo is awash in bloodshed involving COALITION forces backed by AFRICOM, Belgium and Israel Amongst the biggest Kabila supporters are the U.S.-Israeli Dan Gertler, Moshe Schnitzer and Benny Steinmetz families, also holders to Congo’s most lucrative (copper/cobalt) mines.

MONUC Hides Equateur Conflict

The Tutsi forces in the FARDC include infiltrated Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF, formerly Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army) and “ex-”CNDP forces from the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), the extremist terrorist militia that sprouted out of the Kivu Provinces but is heavily backed by Rwanda and infiltrated with thousands of extremist Tutsis.

The secret infiltration and official integration of Rwandan forces into Congo was a strategic maneuver championed by Rwandan general James Kabarebe and Paul Kagame, both wanted for war crimes by the Spanish and French courts. Rwanda’s Kagame is the primary cause of the massive destabilization of Eastern Congo.

The leaders of the rebellion in western Equateur Province have reportedly forged an alliance with General Dunia, a Mai Mai leader operating against the joint operations of the Kabila COALITION in South Kivu, eastern Congo, and site of Canadian BANRO Gold Corporation’s massive illegal gold concessions. Mai-Mai forces in Congo are highly nationalist Congolese. In late 2009, Mai-Mai leaders issued a communiqué and declaration of war against Joseph Kabila and his foreign and corporate allies.

South Kivu human rights groups have documented BANRO’s links to local terrorism, yet not one mainstream western media source has reported or even named the pivotal western mining interests—including BANRO, Moto Gold (Walter Kansteiner), Mwana Africa, Heritage Oil & Gas—behind the war and plunder in blood-drenched eastern Congo.

Many Congolese people have long since known that the president of their country has supported a secret extremist “Tutsi” alliance that seeks to dominate Central Africa. His real name is Hypolitté Kanambe, formerly a junior Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A) officer plucked from the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL) forces.

It is widely supported that Joseph Kabila reported directly to RPF/A commanders James Kabarebe and Paul Kagame in the Pentagon-backed AFDL “rebellion” that overthrew President Joseph Mobutu in Zaire (Congo); there are also claims that Kabila was a soldier in the RPF/A during the multiple genocides orchestrated by Kagame’s extremist Tutsi RPF/A in Rwanda (1990-1994).

The term “extremist Tutsi” applies only to the elite secretive organization, formerly the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A), which exists in parallel with the parliamentary government of Rwanda.3,4,5,6 RDF are not exclusively Tutsi, but are controlled by the extremist Tutsi network maintained by Paul Kagame, General James Kabarebe and others of the 40 top war criminals indicted by the Spanish court on Feb. 6, 2008.

After seizing power in July of 1994, the extremist Tutsi network continued to perpetrate atrocities, including massacres, assassinations, tortures and disappearances, and the network moved into Congo-Zaire in 1996. The modus operandi of the Kagame terrorist network is to perpetrate crimes and blame them on victim populations (Hutus, FDLR, Mai Mai, Congolese civilians, even Tutsi dissidents). The western media plays along.

A major source of ongoing conflict in the DRC’s Kivu provinces, Rwandan Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, was rewarded in January 2009 for playing along with the Kabila COALITION charade of “arresting” Rwandan war criminal Gen. Laurent Nkunda, another perpetrator of war crimes who received Washington’s blessings for several years. One of few points to their credit, the U.N. Panel of Experts, in their report of November 2009, exposed the appointment of Gen. Bosco Ntaganda as CNDP-FARDC commander, which Kagame and Kabila officially denied.

The International Criminal Court indicted General Bosco Ntaganda for war crimes committed in DRC in May 2008. The ICC is a political instrument used to selectively target certain individuals and militias, while ignoring more substantial state sanctioned actors like Paul Kagame, James Kabarebe, Yoweri Museveni, Maurice Templesman, or former U.S. National Security Council member Walter Kansteiner, all deeply behind the war and plunder in DRC.

Gen. Ntaganda commanded CNDP-FARDC units responsible for massive war crimes under the joint “Kimia” operations launched with MONUC backing in eastern Congo in January 2009. Ntaganda’s role is to work from the inside to destabilize eastern Congo in exchange for Kabila and Kagame protecting him from the ICC.

The current death toll in the eastern provinces of Congo alone stands at some 1,000 people per day, with at least ten million dead in Congo since the U.S. invasion of 1996, with millions of refugees in the Great Lakes member states. Rwandan allied forces in DRC are perpetrating genocide at present in North Kivu, and the western media and “humanitarian” agencies have remained silent. More than 15,000 IDPs were registered between December 2009 and January 2010, with thousands more IDPs reported hiding in North Kivu forests.

Violence in eastern Congo is universally and falsely blamed on the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), but in fact violence is primarily due to Rwandan allied forces. Additionally, more than 168,000 people have been uprooted due to recent fighting in Western Congo.7

Congo-Brazzaville has harbored the ex-Forces Armées Zaïroises (ex-FAZ) since the overthrow of President Mobutu in 1997, and it harbors Rwandans that fled the AFDL genocide against Hutu refugees in Congo-Zaire (1996-1997).8 There may be some 300 ex-MLC (Movement for the Liberation of Congo) rebels and more than 10,000 ex-FAZ involved in the western rebellion.

Equateur Province is the site of major untapped petroleum reserves. Belgian, French, Portuguese, German and U.S. families and corporations control vast tracts under attack by industrial logging. There are also Western-owned plantations with modern day slavery involving tens of thousands of Congolese people subject to terrorism by state paramilitary services.9

Resistance Patriots of Dongo

In March 2009 the Western press reported a “tribal dispute” and “ethnic clash over fishing rights” in the little Western Congo outback town of Dongo. The dispute reportedly began between two different ethnic groups. However, the “Resistance Patriots of Dongo” claim that government agents manipulated the parties of the dispute and escalated armed hostilities.

In October 2009 President Kabila and top military adviser John Numbi dispatched FARDC troops under the command of Gen. Benjamin Alongaboni to Dongo to negotiate peace with resistance forces. Gen. Alongaboni, a Congolese son hailing from Equateur Province and the first FARDC officer on the scene, secured a negotiated peace with Dongo area combatants.

Soon after, however, President Kabila sent RDF forces—in FARDC uniforms—who enraged Congolese in the region and provoked hostilities by killing some local people and undermining peace negotiations. The Resistance Patriots of Dongo retaliated and Congolese FARDC troops under the command of Gen. Alongaboni defected.

Meanwhile, the “Dongo Crisis” blossomed into a full-blown Congolese rebellion against international occupation forces and the powerful Kabila-Kagame clique. Hundreds of Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC)—of ethnic Congolese origin—reportedly deserted and joined rebellion ranks with Congolese civilians and various military elements of past rebellions.

Bound for the Dongo rebellion in mid-November, Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) crossed Lake Kivu from Gisenyi to Goma, DRC, and were then flown from Goma to Kamina Air Base in Katanga, a military transport hub used for the Belgo-American-U.N. mercenary occupations during the Katanga secession (1960-63) and “Congo Crises” (1964–67). The RDF battalion was next flown to Bandundu Province.

The RDF troops were reportedly next moved onto the 42-acre campus of the U.S. Embassy-affiliated American School in Kinshasa (TASOK), near the notorious Camp Tshatshi military base, and then flown to Gemena airport in Equateur. The Colonel Tshatshi Military Camp in Kinshasa is the FARDC military command headquarters. The TASOK campus was used for RDF troops because Rwandans would not be welcome amongst Congolese-FARDC at Camp Tshatshi.

There were at least three round trips in some legs of the RDF flight plan reportedly using both MONUC and Hewa Bora Airlines, an airline 70 percent owned by Belgian arms trafficker Philippe de Moerloose. In the “leaked” November 2009 U.N. Panel of Experts Report on Illegal Exploitation in the Congo, Philippe De Moerloose and Hewa Bora Airlines were named for weapons shipments from Sudan to Congo in violation of the International Arms Embargo on the DRC.10 De Moerloose supplies Kabila with presidential jets and other war toys.

Attempting to discredit the High Court in Spain for its issuing of international war crimes indictments against 40 top Rwandan military officials, the U.N. Panel of Experts Report also falsely accused Spanish non-government organizations affiliated with the judicial war crimes investigations of backing “terrorist” groups in eastern Congo.

The Resistance Patriots of Dongo have inflicted high casualties on the Kabila Coalition forces dispatched to Equateur. MONUC issued one tiny press report on Nov. 26, after resistance forces shot up a MONUC helicopter that flew to Dongo to resupply the Coalition ground troops. Some 2000 of the coalition troops were reported killed in February and March.

A short Western media propaganda blurb titled “Armed group claims firing at UN chopper in DRC,” Agence France-Presse attempted to discredit the rebellion and cover for MONUC’s involvement in open military aggression against Congolese people.

The AFP described the conflict as purely tribal and framed it as ruthless savage Africans killing with machetes. The MONUC chopper apparently was attacked on Nov. 26.11

Dongo War Not Connected to Eastern Congo?

“The fighting is not related to the simmering conflict in the mineral-rich eastern borderlands,” Reuters wrote, “where the army – backed by thousands of peacekeepers – are attempting to stamp out local, Rwandan, and Ugandan rebels.”12

On Dec. 3, 2009, Belgian newspapers La Libre Belgique and RTLM reported that Belgium’s Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere and Defense Minister Pieter De Crem had responded to the communiqué of the Resistance Patriots of Dongo, circulated on the Internet on Dec. 1, which warned Belgium and Kinshasa that the resistance knew of the secret plan to dispatch paratroopers to Kisangani. The two Belgian ministries issued a joint communiqué denying denying the secret plan.13

According to Kinshasa sources, the MONUC-uniformed Belgians would be flown from Kisangani, Orientale Province, to Equateur Province’s northwestern frontier city of Gbadolite — the stronghold of former President Mobutu and rebel warlord Jean Pierre Bemba — and then to Gemena airport near Dongo.14

Soon after the Resistance Patriots of Dongo forces occupied the frontier city of Libenge, President Kabila dispatched 600 elite FARDC commandos trained by 60 Belgian Armed Forces instructors at Kamina Air base.

Sources in Kinshasa on Dec. 5 reported: “massive violent fighting in Libenge and Gemena areas,” involving 1,000 Congolese National Police (PNC) and 100 Ghanaian MONUC troops and two MONUC helicopter gunships.15

The MONUC “peacekeeping” enterprise in Congo is a $1 billion a year operation involving contracts with Lockheed Martin subsidiary Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE).

On December 14, 2009, the Spanish Press Agency SAPA and Agence France-Presse reported that DRC government troops fighting against ‘tribal forces’ had taken back the town of Dongo, with the tribal forces being “led by the animist priest Udjani.”16 The article maintained the ongoing silence about high casualties.

The international news media was completely silent after government forces that had reentered Dongo by December 14 suffered a crushing defeat when resistance forces sprang a trap: scores of Kabila Coalition troops (allegedly including ‘white’ mercenaries) were massacred.

On December 16, 2009, the MONUC spokesman in Kinshasa DRC announced that MONUC troops were deployed in Dongo in Equateur province “to sustain the joint PNC/FARDC operations aimed at re-establishing order [sic] and state authority…”17

MONUC transferred some 500 regular MONUC Ghanaian, Tunisian and Egyptian “peacekeepers” to Equateur province from the eastern Congo’s conflict areas in Orientale and the Kivus, along with Armored Personnel Carriers, weapons, and transport and combat helicopters. MONUC also deployed Guatemalan Special Forces to the Equateur region.

On December 22, New York’s Bloomberg News reported with a news brief deepening the racist mythology portraying this as African savagery and superstition.

“The Enyele leader is a mystic named Udjani,” wrote Michael J. Kavanagh, reporting for Bloomberg from Kinshasa (DRC) and Impfondo (Republic of Congo), referring to the Enyele tribe, “who claims to have a magical sword that can poison people and pass its powers to the curved machetes wielded by many of his followers, witnesses said.”18

Sources working for MONUC in Kisangani confirm that there are Belgian troops in Kisangani, with “one or two” Hercules C-130 Belgian military aircraft.

read more at – http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/04/africom-backs-bloodshed-in-central-africa/

Silent Coup

How the CIA is Welcoming Itself Back Onto American University Campuses

Counterpunch
By David Price
April 11, 2010

Throughout the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, independent grassroots movements to keep the Central Intelligence Agency off American university campuses were broadly supported by students, professors and community members. The ethos of this movement was captured in Ami Chen Mills’ 1990 book, C.I.A. Off Campus. Mills’ book gave voice to the multiple reasons why so many academics opposed the presence of the CIA on university campuses: reasons that ranged from the recognition of secrecy’s antithetical relationship to academic freedom, to political objections to the CIA’s use of torture and assassination, to efforts on campuses to recruit professors and students, and the CIA’s longstanding role in undermining democratic movements around the world.

For those who lived through the dramatic revelations of the congressional inquiries in the 1970s, documenting the CIA’s routine involvement in global and domestic atrocities, it made sense to construct institutional firewalls between an agency so deeply linked with these actions and educational institutions dedicated to at least the promise of free inquiry and truth. But the last dozen years have seen retirements and deaths among academics who had lived through this history and had been vigilant about keeping the CIA off campus; furthermore, with the attacks of 9/11 came new campaigns to bring the CIA back onto American campuses.

Henry Giroux’s 2007 book, The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial Academic Complex, details how two decades of shifts in university funding brought increased intrusions by corporate and military forces onto university. After 9/11, the intelligence agencies pushed campuses to see the CIA and campus secrecy in a new light, and, as traditional funding sources for social science research declined, the intelligence community gained footholds on campuses.

Post-9/11 scholarship programs like the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program (PRISP) and the Intelligence Community Scholarship Programs today sneak unidentified students with undisclosed links to intelligence agencies into university classrooms (both were first exposed by this author here in CounterPunch in 2005). A new generation of so-called flagship programs have quietly taken root on campuses, and, with each new flagship, our universities are transformed into vessels of the mi­tarized state, as academics learn to sub­limate unease.

The programs most significantly linking the CIA with university campuses are the “Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence” (ICCAE, pro­nounced “Icky”) and the “Intelligence Advance Research Projects Activity”. Both programs use universities to train intelligence personnel by piggybacking onto existing educational programs. Campuses that agree to see these outsourced programs as nonthreatening to their open educational and research missions are rewarded with funds and useful contacts with the intelligence agencies and other less tangible benefits.

Even amid the militarization prevailing in America today, the silence surrounding this quiet installation and spread of programs like ICCAE is extraordinary. In the last four years, ICCAE has gone further in bringing government intelligence organizations openly to American university campuses than any previous intelligence initiative since World War Two. Yet, the program spreads with little public notice, media coverage, or coordinated multi-campus resistance.

When the New Infiltration Began

In 2004, a $250,000 grant was awarded to Trinity Washington University by the Intelligence Community for the establishment of a pilot “Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence” program. Trinity was, in many ways, an ideal campus for a pilot program. For a vulnerable, tuition-driven, struggling financial institution in the D.C. area, the promise of desperately needed funds and a regionally assured potential student base, linked with or seeking connections to the D.C. intel­ligence world, made the program financially attractive.

In 2005, the first ICCAE centers were installed at ten campuses: California State University San Bernardino, Clark Atlanta University, Florida International University, Norfolk State University, Tennessee State University, Trinity Washington University, University of Texas El Paso, University of Texas-Pan American, University of Washington, and Wayne State University. Between 2008-2010, a second wave of expansion brought ICCAE programs to another twelve campuses: Carnegie Mellon, Clemson, North Carolina A&T State, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Florida A&M, Miles College, University of Maryland, College Park, University of Nebraska, University of New Mexico, Pennsylvania State University, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

But the CIA and FBI aren’t the only agencies from the Intelligence Community that ICCAE brings to American university campuses. ICCAE also quietly imports a smorgasbord of fifteen agencies – including the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and Homeland Security.

ICCAE’s stated goals are to develop a “systematic long-term program at universities and colleges to recruit and hire eligible talent for IC [Intelligence Community] agencies and components,” and to “increase the [intelligence recruit­ing] pipeline of students … with emphasis on women and ethnic minorities in critical skill areas.” Specifically, ICCAE seeks to “provide internships, co-ops, graduate fellowships and other related opportunities across IC agencies to eli­gible students and faculty for intelligence studies immersion,” and to “support selective international study and regional and overseas travel opportunities to enhance cultural and language immer­sion.” ICCAE’s aim is to shower with fellowships, scholarships and grants those universities that are adapting their curricula to align with the political agenda of American intelligence agencies; also to install a portal connecting ICCAE cam­puses with intelligence agencies, through which students, faculty, students studying abroad, and unknown others will pass. While ICCAE claims to train analysts, rather than members of the clandestine service, the CIA historically has not observed such boundaries.

ICCAE-funded centers have different names at different universities. For example, at the University of Washington (UW), ICCAE funds established the new Institute for National Security Education and Research (INSER), Wayne State University’s center is called the Center for Academic Excellence in National Security Intelligence Studies, and Clark Atlantic University’s program is the Center for Academic Excellence in National Security Studies.

With the economic downturn, university layoffs became a common ocurrence. Need breeds opportunism, as scarcity of funds leads scholars to shift the academic questions they are willing to pursue and suspend ethical and political concerns about funding sources. Other scholars unwilling to set aside ethical and political concerns are keenly aware of institutional pressures to keep their outrage and protests in-house.

Covering Up Dissent

Despite a lack of critical media cov­erage of ICCAE programs, traces of campus dissent can be found online in faculty senate records. When Dean Van Reidhead at the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) brought a proposal for ICCAE to establish a center on cam­pus, some faculty and graduate students spoke out against the damage to academic freedom that the program would likely bring. Senate minutes record that faculty “representatives spoke against and for UTPA submitting a proposal to compete for federal money to establish an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence.” At this meeting, graduate students “listed the following demands: 1) inform the community via press release about the possible ICCAE proposal, 2) release the proposal draft for public review, 3) establish a commu­nity forum on ICCAE, and 4) abolish the process of applying for ICCAE funds.” At Texas-Pan American, as at other ICCAE campuses, administrators noted these concerns but continued with plans to bring the intelligence agencies to campus, as if hearing and ignoring concerns constituted shared governance.

The minutes of the University of Washington’s Faculty Senate and Faculty Council on Research record shadows of dissent that are so vaguely referenced that they are easily missed. The minutes for the December 4, 2008, meeting gloss over the issues raised when the American Association of University Professors, University of Washington chapter, had issued a strongly worded statement by Executive Board representative Christoph Giebel, requesting information concerning UW’s INSER contacts with the Intelligence Community. The minutes simply read: “… both Giebel and Jeffry Kim [INSER director] answered a series of good questions that resulted in a fair, tough and serious conversation.” What these “good questions” were and the nature of this “tough and serious conversation” are not mentioned in the minutes, as if “good questions” were not important enough to enter into a public record. Similarly, the nature of faculty objections to INSER are glossed over in the 1/29/09 UW Senate minutes, which simply listed the findings of the Faculty Council on Research that “a number of email communications have come through the faculty senate that reflect a range in attitude toward the INSER program.”

In fact, a significant portion of this faculty “range in attitudes toward the INSER program” is most accurately characterized as outraged. I have heard from faculty at other ICCAE flagship campuses that some form of internal dissent has occurred on each of their campuses, and professors at UW have sent me documents, quoted below, clarifying the extent of the campus’s disquiet over the intelligence agencies insertion into their campus; an insertion whose success should be described as a silent coup.

read more at - http://www.counterpunch.org/price04092010.html

Whistleblowers on US ‘massacre’ fear CIA stalkers

Times Online
By Matthew Campbell
April 11, 2010

Activists behind a website dedicated to revealing secret documents have complained of harassment by police and intelligence services as they prepare to release a video showing an American attack in which 97 civilians were killed in Afghanistan.
Julian Assange, one of the founders of Wikileaks, has claimed that a restaurant where the group met in Reykjavic, the capital of Iceland, came under surveillance in March and one of the group’s volunteers was detained for 21 hours by police.

link – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7094234.ece