CAIRO, Egypt

U.S. hostage beheaded by kidnappers

A videotape appeared on an Islamic website yesterday purportedly
showing the beheading of American hostage Jack Hensley by
al-Qaida-linked kidnappers.

The appearance of the video came hours after Hensley’s
headless body was located and handed over to U.S. officials in
Iraq.

In the video, a blindfolded man in an orange jumpsuit sat in
front of five masked militants dressed in black. One read a
statement as they stood in front of a banner of Tawhid and Jihad, a
group led by Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that
is fighting U.S. troops in Iraq.

After reading a statement, one of the militants pulled a knife
and attacked the man from behind. Then the head was placed on the
body.

The tape was posted on a website known as a clearing house for
Islamic militants. The identity of the man who was killed in the
tape could not be independently verified.

The group earlier said it had beheaded fellow U.S. hostage
Eugene Armstrong. A videotape purportedly of Armstrong being killed
surfaced on a website Monday. Armstrong’s decapitated body
was found in Baghdad the same day.

 

JERUSALEM

Teenage suicide bomber kills 2, wounds 16

A Palestinian teenager blew herself up at a busy Jerusalem bus
station yesterday, killing two Israeli policemen who stopped her
for a security check and wounding 16 bystanders in an attack that
evaded Israel’s clampdown on the West Bank for the Jewish
holidays.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, meanwhile, dropped a plan to
evacuate 21 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip simultaneously at
the beginning of next year, reverting to an earlier formula —
a staged pullout in the summer of 2005.

That prompted Secretary of State Colin Powell to say Palestinian
Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia — and not Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat — should be empowered to take control of Gaza.
Arafat “is not able to act in this manner,” Powell said
yesterday. Israel and the United States are boycotting Arafat, the
head of the Palestinian Authority.

Sharon also hinted that Israel might one day assassinate Arafat,
as it did with two leaders of the Islamic militant group Hamas
responsible for scores of suicide bombings.

 

MANILA, Phillippines

Report: Militants trained for 7 years in SE Asia

A secret government report says Muslim guerrillas in the
southern Philippines have hosted terror training camps for militant
groups from Indonesia and Malaysia for at least seven years.

The training lasted at least until 19 new members of Jemaah
Islamiyah — the al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian terror group
— finished in January, according to a copy of the government
security assessment report obtained yesterday by The Associated
Press.

The report provides insight into the depth and duration of the
training of foreigners from Jemaah Islamiyah and other extremist
groups at the camps, regarded as a lifeline for Osama bin
Laden’s al-Qaida following the destruction of its key
training camps in Afghanistan.

 

WASHINGTON

CBS hit with fine for Super Bowl flash dance

CBS got the bill yesterday for Janet Jackson’s
eye-catching flash dance during the Super Bowl halftime show: a
record $550,000.

The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to fine
each of the 20 CBS-owned TV stations $27,500, which is the maximum
penalty for indecency. The singer’s right breast was briefly
exposed to millions of television viewers during the show.

The fine is the largest against a television broadcaster.

“As countless families gathered around the TV to watch one
of our nation’s most celebrated events, they were rudely
greeted with a halftime show stunt more fitting of a burlesque
show,” said Michael Powell, the commission chairman.

 

— Compiled from Daily wire reports

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