Pakistan is raising a new force with the help of the US to intensify its war on terror networks, a senior government official said yesterday. \nA first batch of more than 40 officers from the new Special Investigation Group (SIG) will graduate next month after three months of training. \n"This is going to be a highly specialized and high-tech force to track down terrorists and investigate acts of terrorism," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. \nPakistan, a key ally in Washington's war on terror, has arrested hundreds of militants from Afghanistan's former Taliban regime and from the al-Qaeda network blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the US. \nBut lately, it has faced growing accusations from officials of the US-backed government in Afghanistan that it has allowed Taliban guerrillas to regroup in Pakistan and orchestrate attacks on US and Afghan forces, a charge Islamabad denies. \nThe Pakistani official said the US Federal Bureau of Investigation was closely associated in the creation of the special force. \nPakistan saw a string of attacks on Western and Christian targets after it threw its weight behind the US-led war on terror that toppled the Taliban in late 2001. \nThe official said the SIG would also specialize in identifying and investigating money laundering activities used to finance terror groups and would have access to extensive computer databases. \nCurrently, Pakistan's military spy service, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is spearheading the war on militant networks, particularly Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. \nWith FBI assistance, Pakistani agents have rounded up a large number of al-Qaeda operatives. \nHowever, bin Laden and Taliban chief Mullah Omar have managed to elude capture despite suspicions that they have been hiding in the rugged Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
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Indonesian officials are forcing people who break social distancing rules to recite Koran verses, stay in “haunted” houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging novel coronavirus infections. The Southeast Asian archipelago began deploying about 340,000 troops across two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at halting transmission of the disease, such as wearing masks in public. However, provincial leaders are buttressing these efforts with their own zealous campaigns to fight the coronavirus. Police in western Bengkulu Province have assembled a 40-person squad to find lockdown scofflaws and force them to wear