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'The arrival of jihad' in the
A five-page letter released Thursday night by the justice minister forced political leaders -- including Amsterdam's Jewish mayor and members of parliament -- to take on bodyguards.
The document, pinned to the body of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, was titled An open Letter to (Aayan) Hirsi Ali, referring to a Somali-born member of parliament. She had scripted van Gogh's latest film, Submission, which criticized the treatment of women under Islam.
"Since your arrival in the political arena in the Netherlands you have been constantly busy terrorizing Muslims with your statements," the letter read. "You are not the first and not the last who has joined the crusade against Islam."
Hirsi Ali, who calls herself an ex-Muslim, has gone into hiding.
The letter also asserted: "It is a fact that Dutch politics is dominated by many Jews."
"What do you think of the fact that there is a Jew in power in Amsterdam?" it said, referring to Amsterdam's Mayor Job Cohen.
Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm agreed with comments by other politicians who called van Gogh's murder a declaration of Islamic holy war.
"We are not going to tolerate this. We are going to ratchet up the fight against this sort of terrorism," he said.
Among measures under consideration is an emergency law to enable authorities to revoke the Dutch nationality of dual citizens suspected of terrorist activity so they can be deported.
The suspect in murder, a 26-year-old Dutch-Moroccan, was
arraigned on six terrorism-related charges. Five other detainees
are of Moroccan origin, one is Algerian and the other has dual
Another Dutch newspaper, the Telegraaf daily, carried a large color photograph of Van Gogh's body with a knife protruding from his chest under the headline Butchered.
The newspaper said the killer shot Van Gogh eight or nine times, then calmly slipped his weapon in the pocket of a beige raincoat before bending over his victim and slitting his throat.
Van Gogh made
"Submission" in collaboration with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Dutch
politician and former Somali refugee who said she had fled an
arranged marriage and physical abuse in her native country. Ali,
who has renounced Islam, has been under police protection since
the film was aired because of threats against her life.
Van Gogh also wrote a book titled "Allah Knows Better" that
criticized Islamic extremism and claimed Muslim clerics hated
Nearly 1 million Muslims live in the Netherlands, about 5.5
percent of the population, and recent opinion polls suggest that
many Dutch citizens feel threatened by their presence.
Arsonists are believed to have set fire to a mosque in the central Dutch city of Utrecht.
The government has pressed for Dutch language tests and citizenship classes and has announced plans to repatriate up to 26,000 immigrants — some of them longtime residents — whose applications for political asylum have been rejected.
HUNDREDS WERE ARRESTED,
INTERVIEWED IN PRE-ELECTION TERROR SWEEP|
NOV 5: More than 700 people were arrested on immigration violations and thousands more subjected to FBI interviews in an intense government effort to avert a terrorist attack aimed at disrupting the election. But law enforcement officials said they don't know for sure whether any of those arrests or interviews foiled an attack.
The FBI interviewed about 10,000 Muslims and Arab-Americans in the months prior to Election Day in an effort to gain intelligence about people who might pose a threat and to build bridges to those communities.
Many of those interviews led officials to individuals in the United States who might be linked to terrorism but had previously escaped government detection, said a senior Justice Department official speaking on condition of anonymity because of national security concerns. The official did not provide any details.
Still, there were reports of heavy-handed tactics in some places. The Council on American-Islamic Relations provided several examples, including a young Pakistani man who was held for five hours in Las Vegas after books on the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and Arabic grammar were found in his possession.
"This was viewed as an extension of the ongoing policies that have been targeting Muslim and Arab-American communities," said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. "These communities view themselves as law-abiding and contributing to society in a very positive way."
ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents also arrested a 23-year-old Pakistani man in late October who had illegally entered the United States through Mexico in 2000 and was working as a fuel tanker truck driver with access to a major U.S. seaport. The man, who was not further identified, is charged with making false statements about how he entered the country and remains under investigation for any links to terrorism.
Meanwhile, the FBI still has not identified a man calling himself "Azzam the American," whose lengthy videotape aired last month promised attacks that will make U.S. streets "run red with blood."
YASSER ARAFAT IS 'BRAIN DEAD'|
NOV 4: Political leaders in Israel and the West Bank steeled themselves for the end of the Yasser Arafat era as the vanguard of the Palestinian nationalist struggle for the past four decades lay brain dead in a Paris hospital.
Palestinian officials fiercely denied that Arafat had passed away after Israeli media reported that the 75-year-old had died.
But while French medical sources said Arafat was technically
still alive, they added that he was "brain dead" and only breathing
with the help of life support machines while in an irreversible
coma. They said the life support
systems were on the insistence of his wife, Suha.
Technically, Arafat is "not dead," one source told AFP on condition of confidentiality. But there was no hope of him leaving his vegetative state and recovering basic bodily functions such as breathing without assistance.
Such artificial care can be "extended for several days or several weeks thanks to the machines," the source said.
Israel's private Channel 2 network and army radio had reported that Arafat had been declared dead at a military hospital in Clamart, southwest of Paris.
But Azzam al-Ahmed, communications minister in the Palestinian cabinet and one of Arafat's closest allies, insisted news of his death was premature.
"It is wrong. If the president was dead, the whole world would know," he told AFP. "But it is true that he is a very critical condition."
US President George W. Bush said "God bless his soul" when told by a reporter of unconfirmed reports that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had died.
The reporter told Bush during a press conference of the reports that Arafat had died. The US leader did not know that the reports had later been contradicted by French and Palestinian officials.
"My first reaction is: God bless his soul," said Bush.
"And my second reaction is that we will continue to work for a free Palestinian state that is at peace with Israel."
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat died in the Percy military hospital near Paris, Proche Orient Info, a French newspaper that covers the Middle East reported Thursday evening.
Radio Monte-Carlo also reported on Thursday evening that
Yasser Arafat is clinically dead.
Israel's Channel Two television cited unnamed sources in Paris
saying that Arafat underwent a brain scan and was found to be "no
French television station LCI quoted an anonymous French medical source saying Arafat was in an "irreversible coma" and "intubated" - a process that involves threading a tube down the windpipe to the lungs, often to connect a respirator.
The source said Arafat was taken into intensive care Thursday morning because he was unconscious. The source said Arafat was put on a respirator, and that he is not responding to the medication he is receiving.
"I don't think he stands a chance of getting up out of the coma," the source told French TV.
The source continued, "In the past three years, Arafat's health was neglected, and this is what brought on this deterioration."
AP adds: French doctors announced Thursday that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who is in intensive care at a French military hospital, is still alive.
"The clinical situation of the first fews days following admission has become more complex," Christian Estripeau, head of communications for French military health services.
"The state of health of the patient requires appropriate treatment that required his transfer on Wednesday afternoon of Nov. 3 to a unit adapted to his pathology," Estripeau said.
"Mr. Arafat is not dead," he said, concluding the brief statement.
"This statement has been drafted out of respect for the discretion demanded by his wife," he said.