| NEWS of the Day - February 2, 2012
|on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...
We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...
From Los Angeles Times
Philippines officials kill 3 most-wanted terrorists
REPORTING FROM SEOUL -– Three high-level leaders from an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist network have been killed in a dawn raid in the southern Philippines that officials have termed a significant strike against the armed and deadly insurgency groups there.
Philippines military officials said the men -– from Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore –- belonged to the groups Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah, which for years have directed terror killings, bombings and kidnappings from their southern island jungle stronghold.
The dead include Abu Sayyaf leader Umbra Jumdail, a Filipino; Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan; and Singaporean Abdullah Ali, who uses the guerrilla name Muawiyah, according to military spokesman Col. Marcelo Burgos.
Marwan, a top leader of the Indonesian-based terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah, carried a $5 million bounty for his killing or arrest -– a reward offered by the U.S. government.
Since the 1990s, U.S.-backed Philippines patrols have captured or killed hundreds of Abu Sayyaf fighters. But officials said the most recent deaths could turn the tide in the ongoing warfare in the lawless southern Philippines.
For two decades, the network of Islamic terrorist groups has waged war against the government of the predominantly Christian Philippine archipelago, using the jungle as cover to train recruits and organize strikes at will.
Moving through the dense terrain, the outmanned but highly mobile Muslim rebel armies have staged repeated disappearing acts that often baffle Philippine government forces.
Just when authorities think the insurgents are on the run, they resurface to detonate a bomb, abduct a hostage or conduct a public execution, leaving residents continually on edge.
Since 2002, hundreds of attacks have killed 500 people and injured 2,000 in the southern islands of Mindanao, Jolo, Basilan and Tawi Tawi.
In Zamboanga City, pedestrians can stand on a downtown street corner and point to half a dozen bomb sites: a cinema, a mall, churches, department stores and a barbecue supply store.
Sometimes, the killings come on successive days -- random killings, car and motorcycle bombs -- forcing residents to avoid congregating in groups or, for the most fearful, venturing out at all.
Police raid 5-story New York pot farm, an indoor marijuana jungle
Urban gardening has become a trend in New York City, but police sniffing around a five-story building in the Bronx found an urban garden of a different type: an indoor jungle of marijuana plants growing on every floor, some far taller than the cops who raided the unusual jungle.
On Tuesday evening, police carted 593 towering plants from the otherwise unremarkable brick building, as well as 75 pounds of marijuana cut, dried and packaged in plastic, ready for distribution. Authorities said that by a "conservative estimate," the operation did at least $3 million in business last year. Three men were arrested in connection with the case.
It certainly wasn't the biggest marijuana bust in New York City, not by a long shot. In 2009, 50,000 pounds of marijuana was found stuffed in a home in Queens, and there have been plenty of other bigger busts in the region.
What made Tuesday's discovery unusual was the location of the farm: a busy urban area on a block lined with similar five-story walk-up buildings occupying people, not leafy trees thriving under a sophisticated air filtration, irrigation and lighting system with fans and sprinklers to ensure healthy crops.
Police said they began investigating the building two months ago after at least one complaint from an area resident about shady activities there. But it was not clear if most neighbors knew what was going on inside the structure. Most of those who spoke with local media as they watched police carting out sacks of pot plants said they were stunned.
"It's terrible. Too close to home," one woman told the local ABC TV affiliate, WABC. "I've walked through here for maybe three or four years and I never, ever would have thought that they would have a pot factory in this building," a man said.
Others, however, told reporters that the odor wafting from the urban farm was noticeable and sometimes got innocent people into trouble. "Cops come on the block and smell weed and pull us over and harass us, and no one is smoking," Andre Cardona told the Daily News.