Mindfulness Meditation Training

I began meditation 30 years ago in 1984 as part of my journey towards wholeness, before becoming a meditation teacher in 1992. This was before "Mindfulness Meditation" became a popular and trendy practice adopted by political, commercial and business entrepreneurs as a training tool for their organizations, as it is now. On this journey, I encountered many spiritual delusions, as well as fraudulent teachers. Reaching my current level of clarity has involved far more than simply following a twenty-minute daily practice of "present moment awareness." It has meant examining my life and lifestyle, my relationships and my unhealthy habits and making the necessary changes along the way. Many of these changes caused major career moves and eventually a completely new perspective on life that has completely changed what I am; in short a lifetimes experiential learning.

As I observe Mindfulness Meditation practice developing into a worldwide phenomenon and fast becoming a multi-million dollar business, I feel concerned that a sacred practice designed to encourage self-honesty, integrity and a deeper connection to the "real" self is being diluted and turned into a superficial quick fix and panacea for all ills.

Our UK parliament in London holds regular mindfulness sessions and down the road in the Financial Sector training in mindfulness is on going in the hope of increasing employees' ability to do their job thus increasing profits. But will it actually affect or change any policies or decisions, which through lack of insight, a holistic approach or because focus is given to bottom line profits instead, causes wars, inequality and economic enslavement?

In a world where bloody violence and rampant greed still hold sway rendering millions into brutal suffering and poverty something a little more radical than a daily twenty minutes mindfulness meditation practice is urgently needed. Anyone who seriously thinks their life will be radically altered by such a superficial approach without also addressing the bigger issues is naive.

That is not to say that mindfulness is not a good place to start but it is baby steps only and in the wrong hands can turn what was originally meant to be a sacred lifetimes practice into a shallow and predictable delusion at best and a tool for continuing silent complicity to a dysfunctional system built on lies, greed and power at worst.

Meditation used regularly and with integrity with the intention of changing untruthful mind programs instilled through an education system designed for compliant obedient economic slaves over many years; may eventually bear fruit. But if ones intention is merely to attain a calmer clearer state of mind whilst still indulging in self-delusion about the real motivation behind ones actions then little will change.

And isn't it radical change that is really needed and not superficial and trendy techniques?

Here's a Quick Way of Using Prepaid Calling Cards

You may already know that there are prepaid calling cards that you can use. With this, you should also know that there are many ways for you to use the card and you can have many benefits through its use. You can call the people that you have to talk to and you can call even if you are calling using a landline, cellular phone or even a pay phone.

Using the prepaid calling cards is so easy even for those who used the phone card for the first time. There are instructions included in the card so you will not have a hard time using it. Aside from this, you can always try asking for the necessary information and how to use the cards from the individual that sold you the card. The process is so easy and you can see the details of the card from the wrapper or at the back of the cards. It will also have the dialing instructions so you will easily get the chance to use the card right away.

Although one prepaid calling card may be different from the other, there are times that they have the same details thus you can follow these steps so that you will be able to know how to use your prepaid calling cards. Normally, you have to activate the card so that you can use it. When it is already activated, you should enter the access number, the pin number in the card and the number that you have to call. You will know these numbers when you have activated your card so remember that first step before calling the number that you need.

Since there are many people who already see the benefits that they can get when they purchase the prepaid calling cards, there are already many companies that can offer you this kind of service. Before buying, you should check the details of the card and the rates of the calls. You have to know these details so that you know what you are getting into and also so that you can choose the card that you will buy. The cards in the market can have differences so you should find the one that you need. To get what you want, you should remember to always compare the offers of the cards before buying them. You would not want to buy right away and have a difficult time using it or regretting the whole decision.

You can always know the amount that you still have after each call since they will be a voice prompt giving you an update of the credit that the card still have. Thus, you can budget the calls that you make so that you will save more money through the use of prepaid calling cards.

Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos Diseases

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a term for several commonly found fibrous magnesium-silicate minerals. Due to their durable and versatile nature, asbestos materials were used widely in construction and manufacturing for most of the 20th century. Today, it is widely understood that asbestos is an extremely harmful substance. However, this was not always known. Even minimal inhalation of these asbestos fibers can develop into serious, and even fatal, conditions. In 1918, The United States Department of Labor issued a bulletin stating that there was an "urgent need for more qualified extensive investigation" into the severe harm caused by asbestos. Nevertheless, many industries kept using asbestos.

For decades, construction workers, vehicle mechanics, shipyard workers, electricians, and others employed in the building trades did not realize the danger, as they were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis. Even now, workers renovating or demolishing old buildings may encounter asbestos. The danger was not limited those who directly handled the asbestos. If a worker had substantial exposure to asbestos, his or her co-worker or spouse also was vulnerable to asbestos-related illness.

Eventually scientific research confirmed the life-threatening risks caused by exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. However, companies still ignored the danger, and continued to make and use products containing asbestos, until it was banned during the latter part of the 20th century. Asbestos was used widely in heavy industry, as well as insulation in hair dryers, electrical wiring, cement, paper, roofing materials, floorboards, and hundreds of other common items. Despite the legal ban on new uses, over one million Americans are endangered by exposure to existing asbestos sources every year.

Asbestos Removal

Asbestos still exists in many older buildings, including schools, hospitals, airports, and factories across Michigan. From skyscrapers to residential buildings, asbestos continues to threaten the health of unsuspecting citizens.

Removal of asbestos is a complex process. Special precautions are necessary, to avoid release of asbestos fibers into the surrounding environment. Otherwise, the asbestos will endanger anyone in the area, who inhales or ingests its odorless and tasteless microscopic fibers. The danger is great, because any amount of asbestos can be harmful. For these reasons, there is a conflict between those who push for removal of asbestos from existing structures, and those who oppose it, if it is unlikely to enter building ventilation systems.

Some companies and government agencies arrange for asbestos removal to prevent public exposure, while others do so to avoid potential litigation. Still other projects are driven by legislation or public outcry for asbestos removal from public buildings, including many older schools across the country.

Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos Diseases

Three serious health conditions may result from exposure to even a small amount of airborne asbestos fibers. All three conditions result from inhaling the fibers, which become embedded in the lungs or other parts of the body. It can take years for symptoms of any of these asbestos illness to appear. Some experts believe that no symptoms appear for more than a decade after exposure. In some cases, it takes even longer for the illness to become evident. The following is information about the three major conditions resulting from asbestos exposure.


The medical profession used to consider this type of cancer as quite rare. While still uncommon, the number of workers diagnosed with mesothelioma has risen. Now, about 3,000 new mesothelioma cases are reported in the United States every year. The incidence of this disease is increasing at an even higher rate in Europe. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer, usually caused by asbestos fibers that actually penetrate lung tissue. It is also possible for mesothelioma to develop after these fibers penetrate the heart or the abdomen. While doctors have found many different causes for other forms of cancer, the only definitely identified cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.


Sometimes, this term is used incorrectly to refer to all ailments resulting from asbestos exposure. However, it is actually a very specific condition. Asbestosis (also known as interstitial fibrosis) develops when inhaled asbestos fibers cause scarring of the lung tissue. Over time, this scarring reduces the capacity of the lung. Individuals with asbestosis may suffer disabling lung impairments, and must be monitored closely because they are at increased risk of even more serious asbestos-related conditions.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is all too common in our society and has many possible causes. However, there is evidence of a link between asbestos exposure and lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer is even higher for an individual who has been exposed to asbestos, and also smokes cigarettes.

Mesothelioma Treatment Options

"Staging" is a term that medical professionals use to define the spread and extent of cancers like mesothelioma. In general, the least serious "first stage" only involves the lining of the lung. By the most serious "stage four," cancer has spread to other organs of the body.

Medical researchers continue to improve treatment for mesothelioma. The most common form of treatment is still chemotherapy. With new combinations of drugs, such as pemetrexed and carboplatin, chemotherapy may slow the progression of cancer in some victims. Radiation or surgery is the an appropriate treatment for other mesothelioma patients. In addition, some experimental treatments are yielding promising test results and offer hope for future victims.

Mesothelioma is still regarded as a deadly form of cancer. The average life span after diagnosis is only one to two years. However, the stage of the disease when it is discovered, and an individual's response to treatment are significant factors in determining life expectancy. Due to medical progress, 20% of those diagnosed at an early stage of mesothelioma have at least 5 more years to live.

Mesothelioma Symptoms and Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Men are many times more likely to develop mesothelioma than women. This may be due to the higher percentage of men who work in factories and construction, where there is an increased risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. Older men are more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma. This is not surprising, because of the relatively long period of time between asbestos exposure and the onset of this cancer.

Physicians may have difficulty diagnosing mesothelioma, because initial symptoms, such as shortness of breath and chest or abdominal pain, can be confused with other conditions. There are tests to rule out mesothelioma, including a thoracoscopy or a peritoneoscopy. If you have symptoms and believe that you may have past asbestos exposure, see your doctor immediately. If you or a loved one suffer from asbestos related cancer or mesothelioma cancer, talk with an experienced asbestos lawyer today.

Protect Yourself After A Car Accident

Step-by-step instructions on how to protect yourself if you are in a car accident.

Auto accidents are a significant cause of disabling injuries and deaths throughout the nation.

The facts about car accidents are alarming:

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicles accidents killed 43,443 Americans in 2005.
  • Another 2,494,000 people were injured in car crashes in that year alone.
  • Of those who died in highway accidents, three out of four were occupants of motor vehicles.
  • About 4,550 of the deceased victims were motorcyclists.
  • Another 5,665 of the people killed in car accidents were bicyclists or pedestrians.
  • Almost 17,000 of the fatal motor vehicle accidents was related to alcohol use.

A car accident can be a very upsetting experience. But it is very important not to panic after a car accident. Instead, keep a clear head.

First, and most important, Stay Calm

Focus first on acting to protect yourself and help other car accident victims.
Do not discuss the car accident with anyone other than the police.
Do not blame anyone, including yourself.
Never argue with the other driver -- even if you are sure that person caused the car accident.

Second, Get Help

Do not leave the site of the car accident.
Call 9-1-1 from the car accident scene, to tell police about the collision.If anyone was injured, ask the 9-1-1 operator to send emergency medical personnel to the car accident site immediately.

Set flares, if you carry them, to warn other drivers to slow down and avoid the people and vehicles involved in the car accident.

Obtain the Drivers Facts

Write down the name, address, phone number, driver's license number and state, license plate number, registration, and auto insurance information, including the insurance policy number.

Ownership Facts

If the driver of the other vehicle was not the owner, write down the name, address, insurance company, and auto insurance policy number of the owner of that vehicle.

Injured Parties

Ask the police about all injured parties, including the passengers in the automobiles. If possible, take down their names, addresses, dates of birth, gender, and extent of injuries.


Look around for anyone who may have seen the car accident, including bystanders and occupants of other vehicles. Be sure to write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all these witnesses.


Write down the make, body type, year, and license number of all the motor vehicles involved in the car accident. Also, note the damage to each of the vehicles.

Car Accident Scene

Draw a diagram of the car accident site. Mark down the street names, and the location of any stop lights, traffic control signs, or other landmarks. Note the path of each motor vehicle just before the place where they collided.

Protect Your Health

After an automobile accident, get medical attention. Sometimes, car accident victims are too stunned right after a bad collision to know whether or not they were hurt. Therefore, it is wise to see your personal physician as soon as possible. Tell your doctor about the motor vehicle collision, so that he or she can check for internal injuries that may result from a traumatic accident.

Report the Car Accident

If police did not come to the car accident scene, call the police to file a report, as soon as you are able to make a telephone call. If the driver of the other vehicle fled the crash scene, you still must report the car accident to the police. Get a copy of the police report whenever it is available.

File an Auto Insurance Claim

Tell your auto insurance company about the car accident immediately and get an insurance claim number. Ask the auto insurance representative to open a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) file, to preserve all of your rights under your policy.

Be sure to let your insurance company know if you were in a hit-and-run car accident. Some insurance policies require notice of a claim involving an unidentified driver within 30 days of the car accident.

Tell your own auto insurance company that you claim your right to any uninsured or under insured motorist coverage, in case the car or truck that hit you was not covered by motor vehicle insurance. Insurance companies often require prompt notice of these claims and may deny these benefits to anyone who does not follow the strict requirements in their policies.

How To Protect Your Children And Yourself From A Dog Attack

In order to protect your children and yourself from a dog attack you need to follow the important safety rules below. Children, especially, need education about protection from dog attacks because they may behave and move in such a way that dogs mistake them for prey, and they are less able to defend themselves from a dog attack.

· Always keep your face away from dogs.

· Be careful about intruding on the dog’s territory.

· Be certain a dog is aware of your presence before you handle it, because a startled dog may attack on reflex.

· Do not chase or tease dogs.

· Do not disturb a dog that is busy eating or chewing a toy. Let sleeping dogs lie (sleep). If a mother dog is caring for her puppies, leave her and the puppies alone.

· Do not make loud sounds near a dog.

· Do not put your hand or other body parts between two dogs.

· Do not run because you can’t run faster than a dog.

· Do not stare into a dog’s eyes and avoid direct eye contact. Dogs perceive this as aggressive behavior.

· Do not try to help an injured dog; get an adult (or another adult) to help.

· Get permission from the dog’s owner before approaching a dog, and make sure the owner is present.

· If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball, cover you face and neck, and remain still (play dead).

· If a dog starts to circle you, turn with it instead of letting it get behind you.

· If the dog is showing aggressive behavior such as growling or baring its teeth, place something between you and the dog, such a coat or backpack, and slowly leave.

· If you happen upon a stray dog, leave the area as quickly and safely as you can.

· Just because a dog wags its tail doesn’t mean it is friendly.

· Never approach a stray dog or unfamiliar dog, and be cautious while around one. Be especially careful when a dog is behind a fence, confined, in a car, or tied up. Don’t reach through a fence to pet a dog.

· Never approach or play with a dog unless an adult is present.

· Never leave an infant or small child alone with a dog.

· Never play with a dog without allowing it to sniff you first.

· Remain calm and still when a dog approaches you. Remain motionless with your hands at your sides. If the dog appears friendly by wagging its tail and raising its head and ears up, let it sniff you and speak to it with a soothing voice.

Remember, there is no such thing as a dog that doesn’t bite.

Don't Let a Car Accident Ruin Your Life

Steps to take

Insurance companies make their money by receiving interest on their invested funds. That’s why delay is their favorite tactic. They hope you’ll agree to a smaller amount, or lose your hope of getting any amount at all. Insurance adjusters are trained to persuade you to agree to a small compensation. It’s their job to protect their employer’s funds, not to maximize your compensation. If you have your own attorney, you’ll be more on a par with the insurance company, which has a batallion of lawyers. Your own attorney can represent and protect your interests, and fight for a compensation appropriate to your injuries and property damage.

If you’re in an accident

Handling things well from the moment of the auto accident isn’t necessarily easy, as you might be shaken up and hurt. If you can, remember to do these things at the site of the accident:

1. Call 911

The 911 operator can call the police for you, as well as an ambulance and fire truck if necessary.

2. Get contact information

Get the names, phone numbers and addresses of everyone: other drivers, passengers, witnesses. Your insurance company will want this information.

3. Exchange insurance information

Give yours to the other people directly involved in the accident, and get theirs. If the driver of another vehicle isn’t the registered owner, get information on the registered owner.

4. Don’t admit any fault

Even if you feel you were at least partly to blame, don’t say so. Anything you say could be noted down and used against you later. And besides, feeling at fault doesn’t necessarily mean you ARE at fault legally.

5. When police arrive, get their names and badge numbers

Later you can also get a copy of the police report.

6. Make notes about what happened.

Note down the make and model of other vehicles involved, the weather, lighting, any statements made by other drivers or passengers. Pace out the distances between vehicles. If you have a disposable camera in your car (a good thing to have for just this sort of situation), take shots from both near and far of the relative positions of all the vehicles involved in the automobile accident, of any skid marks, vehicle damage, any relevant street signs, etc.

7. Remember that some injuries are not immediately obvious

If you’re badly injured, of course you may not be able to do all the above things, but may be taken in an ambulance. Perhaps you could call someone and ask them to help. If your injuries are minor, do try to get all the above things done. If you appear to be uninjured, remember that whiplash injuries and some back injuries have a delayed appearance. So as soon as you can, get a medical checkup and don’t ignore any symptoms, however minor they might seem.

8. Call your insurance company as soon as you can

There could be a deadline in the fine print, so don’t delay. But don’t necessarily answer all the questions they might ask. Remember that they’ll be trying to pay you as little as possible. They could even make a prompt offer, but remember that it’s a ploy to get you to accept an absurdly low amount. So keep your cards close to your chest until you speak to an attorney.

9. As soon as possible, call an attorney

If you eventually file a lawsuit, early action and information gathering will end up being greatly to your advantage.

At any law firm, lawyers can help you determine if you have grounds for any legal action, and if you do, they can help you pursue it.

African Muslims Are a HUGE Portion of Suicide Bombers- sad.....

N. Africans Joining Iraq Islamic Fighters
By TODD PITMAN, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 28 minutes ago
DAKAR, Senegal - Up to 20 percent of suicide car bombers in
Iraq are from Algeria, a sign of growing cooperation between Islamic extremists in northern Africa and like-minded Iraqis, a senior U.S. military official said Tuesday.

The American officer said terror cells in the Middle East and northern Africa were increasingly joining forces as they face crackdowns in their own countries, leading to a stepped-up flow of money and Islamic extremists to Iraq.

Forensic investigations have revealed that 20 percent of suicide car bombers in Iraq are Algerian and roughly 5 percent come from Morocco and Tunisia, according to the officer with responsibilities in Europe and Africa. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity, preferring for reasons of protocol to let U.S. commanders in Iraq speak on the record.

The majority of foreign bombers in Iraq are believed to come from countries in the Persian Gulf, mainly Saudi Arabia and Yemen, U.S. officials say.

The officer said the numbers had increased, but gave no specific figures. He said increasing efforts on the part of Algerian, Moroccan and Libyan security services to combat local terror cells have resulted in extremists joining international operations. But he warned they would later return home.

The United States has reacted by funneling more money and troops into north and northwest Africa to train and equip armies to combat the growing threat from local terror and insurgent groups like Algeria's Salafist Group for Call and Combat, which is believed to have links with
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

The Algerian group was accused of involvement in kidnapping 32 European tourists in the Sahara in 2003 and launching a raid into Mauritania this month that left 24 people dead.

Last week, U.S. troops from the European Command — which overseas U.S military interests in Europe and most of Africa — kicked off a two-week counterterrorism training exercise called Flintlock involving forces from Algeria, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia and Morocco.

The officer said north African Islamic militant groups were providing some cash to the insurgency in Iraq — about $200,000 so far, mostly funneled through Europe to Syria and into Iraq.

Underground European networks were providing more cash, while African networks were providing manpower — mostly unskilled militants used to drive and then detonate car bombs that have killed thousands.

Once in the country, extremists join up with the al-Qaida-linked network of Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Islamic militants are traveling through Turkey, into
Iran and crossing into Iraq — many times through unpoliced areas along Iraq's vast border.

A handful of Islamic fighters were believed to be returning to their home countries as well — people who can plan, work communications devices and design and set off explosives, the officer said.

America's military involvement in Africa is largely aimed at preventing terrorists from establishing sanctuaries in the region's unpoliced deserts and jungles, particularly those where Muslims are a majority.

Many local insurgent or terror groups are self-funded, he said, financing themselves via petty crime and smuggling operations. The Sahara desert's remote trade routes have long been believed a haven for human and drug traffickers.

The officer said there were no known permanent training camps in Africa. Instead, terror networks are now looking for "training opportunities" like the 1990s war zones in Bosnia,
Chechnya and Afghanistan, and Iraq today.

U.S. military involvement in Africa will soon be the largest it has been in decades, at least financially.
EUCOM pushed to expand an initial $6 million program that covered Chad, Mauritania, Niger and Mali to Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal. Now called the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Initiative, it is to be funded with $100 million a year for five years.

Beasties win in court....

" A Los Angeles U.S. Court of Appeals judge has determined that the Beastie Boys won't have to pass the wallet to composer James Newton, who sued the band in 2000 for looping his flute recording "Choir" in the 1992 song "Pass the Mic." Last year, the Beasties won the original case when a California court determined that the group paid ECM Records sufficiently to sample Newton's six-second, three-note sequence, and was therefore not guilty of copyright infringement. The appeals judge upheld the decision. ..."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Beastie Boys are a group from the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The Beastie Boys have had unusually long lived international critical acclaim and commercial success. They are one of the longest-lived hip-hop acts, whose rock-and-punk-influenced rap has had a significant impact on artists in and outside of the hip hop community. Their recordings and live performances often include MCing, funk, jazz and rock.

The three main members of the Beastie Boys are of Jewish heritage. They are well known for their rapidly changing and often experimental musical style (which is generally considered risky in popular music), jocular and flippant attitude toward interviews and interviewers, obscure cultural references and kitschy lyrics, and performing in highly unique matching suits.

The Beastie Boys' success has made them the highest selling hip hop group and the fourth highest selling hip hop artists behind Tupac Shakur, Eminem, and Jay-Z.

Cats be lyin' to these young Iraqis to get them to do insane stuff in the name of Islam...Damn shame...

Iraqi Bombers Claim They Were Deceived
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHARA, Associated Press Writer Fri May 27, 4:47 PM ET
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Wisam Younis' sole ambition in life, he said Friday, is to kill Americans. So he claimed surprise when he discovered his car bomb had killed eight Iraqis and wounded more than 80 outside a Baghdad restaurant. Younis and brothers Badr and Yassin Shakir are charged with murder and face the death penalty in the May 23 attack.

"We did not know that the attack would target innocent people and we were deceived. We were eluded by enthusiastic ideas and money," said Younis, barefooted and with bruised and swollen hands. An insurgent leader promised him $1,500 for the bombing, he said.

"Our doctrine is to wage jihad against the Americans," Younis, wearing a stained beige traditional robe, told an Associated Press reporter as police stood over him. "Driving out the occupiers is the demand of all Iraqis... I wish to die in the battlefield instead of prison."
Baghdad police paraded out the three Sunni Arabs to help put a face to an deadly insurgency, and to show that Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari means business with a plan to encircle Baghdad with tens of thousands of security forces.

The display also was meant to reassure a public whose discontent with the Shiite-led government has been high because of its seeming inability to provide security and crush the insurgency.

Car bombings and other violence have led to more than 650 deaths since al-Jaafari's government was announced April 28, according to an Associated Press count.
A Marine was killed while taking part in a counterinsurgency operation in Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad, the military said Friday. He died Thursday, making him the second Marine killed in Operation New Market, which involves more than 1,000 Marines, sailors and soldiers.

Two U.S. soldiers were killed Thursday when insurgents shot down their helicopter, the military said. U.S. officials were investigating the crash of the OH-58 Kiowa helicopter near Buhriz, a former Saddam Hussein stronghold north of Baghdad.

In other violence Friday, a policeman and a bystander were killed in an ambush in the northern city of Mosul, police Brig. Saeed Ahmed said.
A suicide car bomb attack on a police patrol instead killed two civilians Friday in Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad, police Lt. Khudhair Ali said. Six policemen were among 18 people wounded, Dr. Mohammed al-Zubaidi said.

In Baghdad, a factory guard was killed when four mortar rounds landed on the building, said police 1st Lt. Sadoun Abdul Ridha. Four other people were wounded.
Iraqi authorities are preparing for what a U.S. general described as "a very large operation" involving more than 40,000 Iraqi police and soldiers backed by American troops and air support.

Operation Lightning has received planning and logistical support from U.S. troops who are keen to train and equip Iraqi security forces so they can eventually take over security in the capital.
"This is a significant move by the Iraqi leadership. It is a transition from a defensive posture to an offensive posture. It is raising the profile of the Iraqi security forces in pursuit of attacking terrorism in Baghdad," said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Don Alston, spokesman for the multinational force in Iraq.

It was unclear why Defense and Interior Ministers Bayan Jabr and Saadoun al-Duleimi chose to announce the operation before it fully got under way — making it known to the insurgents it was designed to capture.

An Internet statement posted Friday in the name of the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist group challenged authorities, saying the government crackdown will "not deter (them) from fighting for God."

The statement, which could not be authenticated, apparently refers to Jabr and al-Duleimi as the "two unbeliever apostates, followers of the worshippers of the cross, (who) have announced they are deploying 40,000 cowards and apostates in Baghdad."

Operation Lightning aims to single out attackers such as the three men who police said confessed to bombing the Habayibna restaurant in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood. The bomb exploded at lunchtime when police officers usually gather at the restaurant.
"Since April 18, we have had more than 600 civilians killed, many of them specifically targeted.

Bombs are going off near elementary schools. This is wanton. They have declared war on the civilian population of Iraq," Alston said of the insurgents.

The violence, mostly targeting Iraqi security forces and Shiites, also has led to an increase in sectarian tensions. Sunni Muslims who dominated under Saddam's regime are thought to make up the core of the insurgency.

"We are displaying these criminals to show to the Iraqi people that we are working to achieve security and we are in the street determined to defeat the terrorists," said Brig. Sadiq Jaffar, head of the elite Hussein Brigade.

Younis and the brothers, both in their mid 30s, were arrested late Wednesday by Hussein Brigade forces, police said.

Police allege Badr Shakir was responsible for detonating the remote-controlled bomb while his brother was the link between his cell and the main planner, a man known as Abu Karam.
Younis, the alleged designated getaway driver, was the first to be detained, and singled out the others, police said.
Associated Press writers Paul Garwood and Patrick Quinn in Baghdad contributed to this report.

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