British premier Gordon Brown lands in Baghdad, announces 1,000 troops will be home by Christmas, the rest in new year
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 3, 2007
After talks with Brown Tues. Oct. 2, Iraqi PM al Maliki said Iraqi government forces would assume complete control of security in Basra province within two months.
debkafile reports that Brown's announcement was motivated more by domestic British politics than progress in pacifying the province, where five years of British presence leave southern Iraq in the hands of Shiite militias backed by Iran and jockeying for stakes in its oil and port facilities.
Moscow orders 4 British diplomats to leave, states "further cooperation with UK impossible in war on terror" <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 20, 2007
In a further strain on relations, Russia also restricted visas for British officials in response to "unfriendly gestures by the UK." The Kremlin has thus raised the stakes past tit for tat for London's expulsion of four Russian officials in reprisal for Moscow's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the leading suspect in the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko by radiation poisoning on a London street.
Moscow escalates extradition row, warns of retaliation for London's expulsion of four Russiam diplomats <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 19, 2007
Russian Dep. Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Tuesday a targeted response would be coming soon for London's expulsion of 4 Russian FSB-linked intelligence officers from the embassy. The UK is retaliating for Moscow's refusal to extradite Andrew Lugovoi, the leading suspect in the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.
Australian police charge Indian doctor in connection with failed terrorist attacks in the UK last month<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 15, 2007
Mohammed Haneef, who worked at a Queensland state hospital, was the second person charged in the plot after Bilal Abdullah in Britain. The Australian charge only specified "reckless" support for a terrorist organization while Abdullah was accused of conspiring to detonate explosions in Britain. The only woman of the seven arrested medical suspects has been released.
FBI says Mohammed Asha and another suspect in failed car bombings in Britain contacted doctors' clearing house for work in US<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2007
An FBI spokeswoman said Asha, a Jordanian-Palestinian physician, contacted the Philadelphia-based Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates in the last year but apparently did not take the test.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Reports: Dismay in Washington and Jerusalem over Tony Blair's first steps as Middle East Quartet's envoy<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 4, 2007
Shortly after the former British prime minister stepped into his new job, he assured Russia and the Europeans that he did not mean to adhere to the US-Israeli boycott of Hamas. One of his first tasks would be to establish ties with Hamas representatives in Gaza and Damascus.
debkafile's Washington sources report that the British politician conveyed this intention in a telephone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin Tuesday, June 26.
London police refuse comment on US TV report of "crystal clear" CCTV image of driver running from first bomb car. Hunt on for terrorist-drivers as police boost London presence.<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 2, 2007
Two parked Mercedes cars containing explosive devices packed with petrol, gas and nails were disabled in the heart of London Friday. The suspected al Qaeda bomb plot has placed London on high alert.
The second car, illegally parked near Trafalgar Sq., was towed to the Park Lane pound near Hyde Park at around 3 a.m.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 30, 2007
Scotland Yard, with all its protestations of leveling frankly with the London public on the two foiled car bomb attacks on central London Friday, June 29, has referred to 60 liters of gasoline, gas canisters and nails found in the two Mercedes, which would have cost many lives had they exploded. But not a word was said about any actual bombs or explosive materials found in the two cars.
Neither has any description been offered of a mechanism for igniting the inflammable materials.
It is possible that all these missing elements were not missing at all from the bomb cars, but only left out of Scotland Yard's reports to the public. On the other hand, all the available information adds up to one conclusion: The two suspect cars discovered in the Haymarket theater and club district of the West End Friday night and in Cockspur Street round the corner near Trafalgar Square were not "viable."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 19, 2007
In an question-answer session at the Conservative Friends of Israel, Cameron said: "If what you mean by Zionist, someone who believes that the Jews have a right to a homeland in Israel and a right to their country then yes, I am a Zionist and I'm proud of the fact that Conservative politicians down the ages have played a huge role in helping to bring this about."
Former KGB officer wanted by UK for Litvinenko murder says British secret service tried to recruit him
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 1, 2007
At a dramatic news conference in Moscow Thursday, Andrei Lugovoi, whose extradition to the UK Russia has refused, accused the British MI6 of trying to recruit him to gather compromising material against Russian president Vladimir Putin and his family.
Lugovoi is charged in Britain with murdering Alexander Litvinenko in London last year by exposing him to radioactive polonium-210. He replied Thursday that Litvinenko, also ex-KGB, was not his enemy and he had no motive to murder him. Lugovoi coolly hit back at the UK. He claimed that the dead man and Russian multi-billionaire Boris Berezovsky worked for the British secret service and the last two had arranged his murder.
British academics' anti-Israel boycott plans are in total conflict with UK-Israeli friendly relations, Israel foreign minister tells British Foreign Secretary <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 1, 2007
Tzipi Livni called Margaret Beckett Friday, June 1, to report that Israel takes a grave view of the British University and College Union's vote to circulate to its branch offices a Palestinian call for a "comprehensive and consistent international boycott of all Israeli institutions," including a European funding freeze.
The Israeli foreign minister has called a special meeting early next week of government and academic representatives to discuss action.
Palestinian Hamas terrorist honored guest at prestigious English literary festival, shares platform with British premier-to-be Gordon Brown <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 30, 2007
An invited guest to the Hay Literary Festival in Wales, Ghazi Hamad, Hamas spokesman, assured his audience that BBC reporter Alan Johnston, kidnapped by Hamas' allies two months ago, is alive and well: "No one has tried to harm him or hurt him," he said and he will be released "very, very soon."
debkafile's Special Report below examines how giving a jihadist terrorist a respected platform for lies and propaganda frustrates efforts to combat Islamist terror.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 27, 2007
Sunday, May 27, was a red letter day for Hamas. One of the hundreds of Qassam missiles fired from Gaza in the last 12 days hit a car in Sderot's center driven by 35-year old Oshri Oz from Hod Hasharon, whose company provides computer services in the battered town. He died on the way to hospital. He is survived by a two-year old daughter and a pregnant wife, who was hospitalized after she received the news of his death.
That day, too, Ghazi Hamad, spokesman of the Palestinian government headed by Ismail Haniya of Hamas, was the honored guest at a prestigious English literary festival at Hay-on-Wye in Wales. Invited to the event by the British Guardian newspaper, the Palestinian terrorist shared a platform with future and past British premiers, Chancellor Gordon Brown, who enters 10 Downing on June 27, John Major, the designer Vivienne Westwood and other glitterati. The Palestinian jihadi starred in Sky television's Adam Bolton's Sunday interview program.
Iran could be able to build a nuclear bomb in less than a year, says UK opposition leader David Cameron<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 24, 2007
This confronts the world with one of its most urgent threats, he said. The Conservative leader declined to rule out military action against Tehran's nuclear facilities, but stressed the drawbacks. "Iran having a nuclear weapon would be calamity, but military action could be calamitous," he said and predicted, "The next British government could face continuing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran."
Jaish al-Islam releases tape on Islamic website demanding UK free jailed Islamic radicals for BBC reporter Alan Johnston<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 11, 2007
It was accompanied by what appeared to be a picture of Johnston's BBC identification card. The group, now using one al Qaeda-Palestine's names, is also holding the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit. The statement says: "We demand from Britain that it release our prisoners and particularly the Palestinian Sheikh Abu Qatada, and in this regard we do not forget our prisoners in other infidel countries."
Scottish National Party beats Labor, pledges independence referendum. The vote was marred by ballot chaos<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 6, 2007
Unofficial returns award SNP 47 parliamentary seats, 46 to the ruling Labor, which has suffered a beating in local council votes across the United Kingdom. In England, the opposition Conservatives made big gains at Labor's expense.
Counting was thrown into disarray over 100,000 spoilt votes and other hitches in Scotland, where council and parliamentary votes took place jointly according to three different voting systems. The results have strengthened the Scottish secessionists.
Labor's crash occurs as prime minister Tony Blair prepares to hand the reins of government - and the Scottish predicament - to the next Labor leader, expected to be Chancellor Gordon Brown, himself a Scot.
British journalists' call to boycott Israeli goods is condemned in many quarters - British and international
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2007
Friday, April 13, the British National Union of Journalists voted to boycott Israeli goods as part of a protest against last year's war in Lebanon. The vote, carried 66 to 54, read: "This ADM calls for a boycott of Israeli goods similar to those boycotts in the struggles against apartheid in South Africa. It also called for sanctions to be imposed on Israel by the British government and the United Nations.
British officer serving with the US Navy's Fifth Fleet is relieved of senior command over "loss of confidence" <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 18, 2007
UK Commander Christopher Rankin served as head of the Electronic Attack Squadron aboard the Eisenhower aircraft carrier. A spokesman for the US Navy's Fifth Fleet headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, made the announcement Monday. He said Rankin was sacked over a "loss of confidence in his ability to command." The spokesman offered no further explanation but said an investigation is underway.