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Militant Group

February 18, 2011 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
Egypt's revolution brought sudden and unintended freedom to Ayman Nofal. During the chaos in Cairo, the senior Hamas commander broke out of an Egyptian jail with thousands of other prisoners, traversed the Sinai desert in a series of getaway cars, crawled through a smuggling tunnel at the border and emerged back home in the Gaza Strip to a hero's welcome. Now Nofal has one thing on his mind. "I'm anxious to get back to fighting Israel," the 37-year-old Palestinian militant said in his Nuseirat refugee camp home, surrounded by several of his six children and a plastic flower bouquet.
January 8, 2011 | By Maher Abukhater, Los Angeles Times
Israeli soldiers seeking to arrest a Hamas militant in the southern West Bank city of Hebron early Friday mistakenly shot and killed a 65-year-old Palestinian man, prompting charges that the troops used excessive force. Units of the Israeli army simultaneously raided several homes in Hebron to arrest five members of Hamas, an Islamic movement opposed to Israel. The Palestinian Authority had released the men from its own prison only the day before on order of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
December 15, 2010 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Meris Lutz, Special to The Times
Dozens of Iranians were feared dead or injured after a coordinated suicide bombing Wednesday morning in the southeastern port of Chabahar targeted a procession of worshipers observing an important Shiite Muslim holiday, state media reported. Conflicting reports of one or more explosions estimated the number of deaths at between 21 and 50. Initial reports described an attack outside the Hossein Mosque in Chabahar and another one or two failed bombings. The Jundallah organization, a militant Sunni group that claims to represent Iran's ethnic Baluch minority, took responsibility for the attack shortly after it happened, according to the Dubai-based Al Arabiya news channel.
December 6, 2010 | By Meris Lutz, Los Angeles Times
A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries' political life, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, but have mixed feelings toward militant religious groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. According to the survey, majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion.
December 2, 2010 | By Meris Lutz, Los Angeles Times
Syrian President Bashar Assad described Hamas as an "uninvited guest" in his country in confidential conversations with American lawmakers, and appeared to suggest he would be willing to give up the alliance in exchange for incentives, according to several documents contained in the trove of leaked diplomatic cables posted online by the website WikiLeaks. But even as Assad appeared willing to downgrade ties with the Palestinian militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, he brushed off pressure to change the dynamics of his friendship with Iran.
December 1, 2010 | Jeffrey Fleishman
The Middle East has been suspicious of Iran for years, but the recent disclosure of diplomatic cables highlights the contempt that has spurred Arab countries to strengthen their defenses, including Saudi Arabia's $60-billion deal with the United States to buy missiles and F-15 fighter jets. Confidential memos from U.S. embassies made public over the weekend by WikiLeaks are not likely to reshape the region's political maneuverings. But they have further agitated the ill will between Tehran and Arab capitals over Iran's nuclear enrichment program and its influence on militant groups in Iraq, the Gaza Strip and other locales.
November 4, 2010 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
The State Department on Wednesday formally designated an Iranian anti-government group as a foreign terrorist organization, which some analysts took as a gesture of U.S. goodwill toward Tehran. The group, Jundallah, is a Sunni Muslim organization that has killed dozens of Iranian civilians and military personnel with the declared aim of defending the Baluch minority in Iran's remote southeastern corner. Tehran has accused the United States of supporting the group to destabilize the government, and has demanded that Washington regard Jundallah as a terrorist organization.
October 31, 2010 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
U.S. efforts to weaken the Al Qaeda branch in Yemen have collided with that nation's political reality as President Ali Abdullah Saleh needs foreign support to defeat militants but cannot appear to appease Western interests in a country where distrust of America runs deep. Yemen is a freewheeling mix of clan loyalties, rebellions in the north and south and suspicion of the government that in recent years has made it an ideal gathering ground for Al Qaeda. Echoing the quandary Washington faces battling militants in Pakistan, Yemen is marked by corruption and, at times, what seems to be a calculated inability to crush militant elements.
October 30, 2010 | Reuters
The parcel bombs sent from Yemen destined for the United States have hallmarks of the militant group Al Qaeda or its affiliate Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Saturday. "I think we would agree with that, that it does contain all the hallmarks of al Qaeda and in particular Al Qaeda AP," she said in an interview on ABC News, referring to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. She also said on CNN that it appeared that the bombs contained the same type of explosives used in the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt of a U.S. airliner flying from Amsterdam to Detroit.
September 20, 2010 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
Two gunmen opened fire Sunday on tourists near one of India's largest mosques, injuring two Taiwanese men before making their escape on a motorcycle, raising security concerns two weeks before India hosts a major international sporting event. The tourists were shot about 11:10 a.m. as they were boarding a bus parked near Jama Masjid, a mosque in New Delhi's crowded, labyrinthine old city, police said, sparking a major manhunt and a security alert in the Indian capital and Mumbai.
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