Egypt To Purchase North Korean Missiles
Vol: 2 Issue: 27 Tuesday, November 27, 2001
The Egyptian government has agreed to purchase two dozen North Korean No-Dong ballistic missiles and the related technology. The sale is opposed by Washington. Egypt receives more US aid than any other country in the Middle East except Israel. The No-Dong missile is a medium range missile that could hit Israel and is capable of carrying either a conventional or NBC [Nuclear, Biological, Chemical] payload.
Turkey Expands Airport Security
Turkey has approved a series of measures to improve air security. The measures include tightened airport security as well as expanded training of personnel. The government will also form a new office on airport security. Among the measures to be implemented are the integration of X-ray equipment with other security systems at Turkish airports. In addition, airports will contain closed circuit television systems.
US Envoys Arrived in Israel
Newly-appointed American mediators Gen. Anthony Zinni and William Burns landed in Israel. Their official mission is the achievement of a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians. They met with GSS head Avi Dichter and IDF Intelligence Chief Gen. Amos Malka upon their arrival, and will hold parallel talks with the Israelis and PA teams.
Meanwhile, Palestinian terrorism is back in full swing. Yesterday’s suicide attack at a Gaza security checkpoint could have been stopped by the PA, had they wanted to, says the army. The terrorist passed through at least two, and possibly three, PA military checkpoints before he reached his destination at the Erez checkpoint with his explosives which he then detonated, wounding two Israeli soldiers.
Lebanese Military Urges Crackdown
The Lebanese military is quietly urging the government to launch a crackdown on the Palestinians. There have been a number of Palestinian attacks on troops near Sidon. The troops are deployed at the Ein Hilwe refugee camp outside the city. Lebanese sources said military commanders are urging the Beirut government to launch operations against Palestinian insurgents inside Ein Hilwe. The government, controlled by Syria, has banned Lebanese military operations inside the refugee camp. It was the fourth attack against Lebanese troops by Palestinian terrorists since September 11.
Libyan Intelligence Officers Arrested by Gadaffi
Al-Hayat newspaper reported that Abdallah Senoussi, deputy head of the Libyan intelligence agency, has been placed under house arrest. Several other Libyan intelligence officials have also been detained. The reason for Senoussi’s arrest was not disclosed; Senoussi is Muammar Gaddafi’s brother-in-law, and has been close to the Libyan leader for 20 years.
Senoussi was convicted in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment by a French court for his role in the 1989 bombing of a French civilian airliner over Niger in which 170 people died. Five other Libyans were also convicted of involvement in the attack. Al-Hayat quoted informed sources that the arrest was related to Libyan attempts to cooperate with Washington in its struggle with terrorism.
India Arrests Pakistani Spies
Punjab police have arrested two members of a Pakistani espionage ring. District police chief Lok Nath Angra stated that Haidar Ali from Lahore and Mustaqeen from Binjour in Uttar Pradesh were detained in Pathankot district. Police recovered hand made maps of army and naval installations and two forged passports, as well as documents on the army’s Puran Vijay Shakti exercise, aerial drone deployments and port facilities.
During their interrogation the pair admitted to working for Pakistan’s ISI during the past year. Haidar Ali was head of the operation, and recruited Mustaqeen. The ISI paid them on the quality of the information they collected. Their espionage activities took them across India. India and Pakistan remain on the verge of war over the Kashmir region. Both states are nuclear powers.
Gulf States Keep Western Military Aid
Last week, the Gulf Cooperation Council announced efforts to increase Gulf Arab defense planning and a regional force. This includes the purchase of an air defense and tracking system and a military communications network. But they’d prefer to maintain the current levels of Western military aid and arms delivery from the EU and United States.
Kuwait Takes Delivery of European Helicopters
The arms keep flowing into the Middle East at wartime levels. Kuwait has received new European helicopters for security missions. The oil kingdom took delivery of of two EC-135 helicopters. The aircraft is manufactured by the Paris-based Eurocopter. The helicopters will be used for border security and to fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking. The sources said Kuwait sent pilots to Britain for training on the EC-135. They also gave the maintenance contracts for the helicopters to the British.