Suspects In U.S. Embassy Bombings Linked to Taliban
Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, a 34-year-old Palestinian man from Jordan, allegedly confessed to Pakistani officials that he planned the August 7 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Odeh later denied this confession when questioned by FBI officials and Kenyan officials. Odeh claims that left Nairobi hours before the August 7 bombing, but admits to contributing his technical expertise to the project.
Pakistani officials have pledged the veracity of their information, arguing that Odeh may have expected sympathy from fellow Muslims, but knew he would be harshly punished for making the same confessions to U.S. or Kenyan officials.
According to Pakistani intelligence officials, Odeh also claimed to be one of 4,000-5,000 participants in an international terrorist network headed and financed by Osama bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire and Islamic militant who supports the repressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The network consists of groups of Islamic militants who plan attacks on U.S. citizens and U.S. allies. Odeh said the group was responsible for numerous attacks on U.S. citizens, including a 1993 attack on U.S. forces in Somalia. Odeh reportedly called that attack the network's "biggest triumph."
The network's head and financier, Osama bin Laden, is wanted for questioning regarding the recent U.S. embassy bombings and is being sheltered by the Taliban regime, which has exacted its own repressive version of Islam on Afghanistan. Taliban chief Mulla Mohammad Omar told the Afghan Islamic Press, "We will never hand Osama over to anyone and will protect him with our blood at all cost."
In addition to the recent U.S. embassy bombings, U.S. officials have linked Osama bin Laden to 1995 and 1996 attacks on U.S. military in Saudi Arabia. He denied participating in the attacks, but told CNN they were "a big honor that I missed participating in."
Media Resources: Washington Post, AFP and Reuters - August 19, 1998
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .