Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Home-grown Terrorists

I must have missed this news article but it would seem that Malaysia has finally seen fit to establish the Special Task Force (Operations and Counter Terrorism) – set up since March 01, 2009 – and that The Star (July 10, 2013, p 08) carried the report that warned of a growing trend by home-grown extremists who took their causes to conflict zones abroad. Anyway, according to task force director Comm Mohamad Fuzi Harun, at least ten international terrorist groups were known to have carried out their operations in Malaysia since September 11, 2001. Among them were Al Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiah (JI), Darul Islam, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Hezbollah, Abu Sayyaf Groups and Tandzim al Qaeda. And ten Malaysians had been arrested for terrorism offenses outside Malaysia between 2008 and 2012 – four in Thailand, one in Indonesia and two in Syria. [I'm sorry, I am not even sure which of the two sets of figures are correct; both were published in the said newspaper. So is the final tally 10 or 7?]. He also added that police had nabbed 230 key militant figures since December 2001. This is indeed extremely worrying!

An EU-backed probe has named Indonesia and India as being the two biggest villains in the lucrative business of shark-hunting! The two countries account for more than a fifth of global shark catches, according to the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.

They head the list of 20 countries that together account for nearly 80% of total shark catch reported between 2002 and 2011.The others, in descending order, are Spain, Taiwan, Argentina, Mexico, USA, MALAYSIA, Pakistan, Brazil, Japan, France, New Zealand, Thailand, Portugal, Nigeria, Iran, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Yemen.

Shark numbers have been decimated by overfishing, caused in great part by a demand for shark fins in China.

TRAFFIC – an alliance between green group WWF and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – said it had identified other countries that were major hubs for the trade in shark meat or shark parts.They include Bangladesh, Maldives, Oman, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates as exporters of shark fins, and Namibia, South Africa, Panama and Uruguay as exporters of shark meat.

I am glad I have already given up on shark’s fin soup. Have you?

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