News briefs for December 28, 2009

The attempted Christmas Day airplane bomber may have written 300 posts on the Internet about his struggles, brainwashed boy flees the Taliban just before pulling the pin on his suicide vest, and an increase in gender segregation in Iran is reported.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the American airliner terror suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, wrote about his need for companionship and counseling on the Internet. The 23-year-old Nigerian man tried igniting a powdery substance on a Northwest jet traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit, MI. He claims receiving direction from al-Qaeda operatives.

A 14-year-old schoolboy, reports Times Online, was forcibly removed from his family and trained as a Taliban suicide bomber. Usman Ghani reports that he was drugged and beat when he questioned his captors. He did not carry out his assigned mission and eventually fled to his family’s home for safety. His story reflects the tragic tales of many young boys brainwashed by the Taliban to bring terror in exchange for paradise.

The Jerusalem Post reports an increase in gender segregation in Iran since Ahmedinejad’s June re-election. They report that the government has made various moves to further segregate office buildings, hospitals, public parks and primary schools. A number of Iranian ministers and religious leaders are reported to have called for a stricter adherence to gender segregation in various aspects of public life.
Shazia Riaz is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah

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