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September 12, 2013 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-12

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6A - Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6A - Thursday, September12, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Violent Iranian refuges
expelled from Iraqi camp

Kurt Miller/AP
Investigators examine a van that was driven by the former TSA worker, Nna Alpha Onuoha, 29, when he was arrested on
suspicion of making threats related to the anniversary of the 9/11 terriorist attacks. Alpha Onuoha, 29, was arrested shortly
before midnight Tuesday and he remained in custody on suspicion of making threats pending additional investigation.
Ex-TSAscreener arrested
after involvement in threats

Transfer ends
years-long effort
by Iraqi officials to
evict residents
KHALIS, Iraq (AP) - The
remaining 42 residents of an
Iranian dissident camp that was
the scene of a disputed outbreak
of violence last week left the
compound Wednesday to join
their comrades at another camp
near Baghdad airport, accord-
ing to Iraqi officials and repre-
sentatives for the exiles.
The transfer marks the end
of a years-long effort by Iraqi
authorities to evict members of
the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq dissi-
dent group from Camp Ashraf,
an isolated Saddam Hussein-era
compound that the group was
extremely reluctant to leave.
The MEK is staunchly
opposed to Iran'sclerical regime,
and thousands of its members
were granted sanctuary inside
Iraq by Saddam. It carried out a
series of bombings and assassi-
nations inside Iran in the 1980s
and fought alongside Iraqi forces
in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
Its fortunes inside Iraq
turned sharply with Saddam's
ouster following the 2003 U.S.-
led invasion. Iraq's current Shi-
ite-led government, which has
been bolstering ties with neigh-
boring Shiite powerhouse Iran,
considers the group's presence
inside Iraq illegal and wants its

followers out of the country.
Most of the residents of Camp
Ashraf, where members of the
group had lived for decades,
reluctantly moved to a former
U.S. military base near Baghdad
airport last year. A core of about
100 MEK followers had stayed
behind to protect and sell off
the group's remaining property.
A shooting on Sept. 1 left 52
of those residents dead. Another
seven people are missing, accord-
ing to the MEK. The group
blames Iraqi security forces loyal
to Prime Minister Nouri al-Mali-
ki for the killings. Iraqi officials
deny involvement and say an
internal dispute isto blame.
United Nations officials vis-
ited the camp shortly after the
shooting and condemned the
bloodshed, but they have not
reported any findings as to who
was responsible.
Maj. Gen. Jamil al-Shimmari,
the police chief of Diyala prov-
ince, where the camp is located,
and the mayor of the nearby town
of Khalis, Oday al-Khadran, told
The Associated Press that a con-
voy carrying the residents and
their belongings left the camp
Wednesday evening.
"This took a lot of patience.
We dealt with them accord-
ing to the law," al-Shimmari
said. None of the Iraqi officials
reported any incidents of vio-
lence during the transfer.
The residents were searched
by Iraqi forces before depart-
ing and were allowed to visit
the graves of loved ones who are

buried at a cemetery inside the
compound, al-Shimmari said.
The residents initially refused
to leave, but were eventually
persuaded after representatives
from the U.N. intervened, he
Authorities have prevented
journalists from getting near
the camp since the shooting this
A spokeswoman for the U.N.
in Iraq, Eliana Nabaa, earlier in
the day described the transfer
process as "ongoing." She could
not be reached for further com-
ment after Iraqi officials con-
firmed the transfer had begun.
Representatives for the for
MEK's parent organization, the
Paris-based National Council
of Resistance of Iran, later con-
firmed the departure.
Mohammed Mohaddessin,
chairman of the NCRI's for-
eign affairs committee, said in
an interview that the council's
president-elect, Maryam Rajavi,
urged the remaining residents
to leave over the past few days.
"The ultimate reason ... was
the safety and security of the
residents," he said.
Mohaddessin said an explo-
sion went off near one of the
buses as it passed near the
town of Khalis, not far from the
camp, but there were no inju-
ries reported. He said residents
were forced to leave behind
much of their property, includ-
ing cars and buildings they've
constructed since moving in in

Former employee
implicated in letters
with anti-American
airport security screener was
charged Wednesday with mak-
ing threats as authorities scru-
tinized a website linked to the
suspect that contains rambling
letters criticizing America as evil
and promising something more
devastating than the 9/11 attacks.
The letters were posted on a
website apparently operated by
Nna Alpha Onuoha, 29, who was
arrested late Tuesday, hours
after he quit his Transportation
Security Administration job at
Los Angeles International Air-
Onouha was charged with
one count each of making a
false threat andhmaking threats
affecting interstate commerce. If
convicted, he faces up to 15 years
in prison.
The threats prompted a brief
shutdown of parts of LAX on
Tuesday, but nothing dangerous
was found.
Authorities were looking at
the website, which includes
Onouha's name and a birth date
that matches public records for
him. The site contains letters

celebrating Jesus and Israel, con-
demning al-Qaida and lament-
ing that Satan has corrupted so
many. There also are photos of
Onuoha posing with crosses.
In one posting attributed to
Onuoha, he said a message would
be released Sept. 11 and America
"will be reduced to nothing."
"Do not expect another 9/11,"
it said. "What will unfold on
this day and on the days ahead
will be greater than 9/11."
That passage is part of a
lengthy letter apparently written
to the father of a 15-year-old girl
whose treatment by Onouha dur-
ing screening at LAX in June led
the TSA to suspend him. Onouha
was upset by the girl's attire and
said, "You're only 15, cover your-
The incident drew attention
when the girl's father, Mark
Fraenfelder, wrote about it on
boingboing, the blog he founded.
He said his daughter was humili-
ated and shamed. He posted a
photo of her in the outfit, modest
by modernstandards, and said he
had complained to TSA.
A federal official confirmed
the incident was the reason Onu-
oha was suspended for a week in
July. The official spoke on con-
dition of anonymity because he
wasn't authorized to talk about
the case publicly.
The letter apparently meant
for Frauenfelder was dated Aug.

25. In it, Onouha was unapolo-
"If you need an example on
how to properly dress your fif-
teen year old daughter before
you send her out on a world tour
in this world ruled by satan,
you should look up to Muslim
women," the letter said.
An email message to Frauen-
felder was not immediately
returned but he told KCAL-TV
that his daughter is a "little
freaked out" by the postings.
"It sounds like the work of a
disturbed mind, definitely. I'm
glad he's in custody," Frauen-
felder said.
TSA spokesman Ross Fein-
stein declined to comment,
referring questions to law
enforcement investigating the
Onuoha, originally from
Nigeria, had worked for TSA
since 2006, FBI spokeswoman
Laura Eimiller said. He showed
up at LAX on Tuesday after-
noon, resigned from his job and
returned several hours later to
leave a package at TSA's air-
port headquarters that was
addressed to a manager.
A bomb squad found no explo-
sives or harmful contents in the
package but discovered an eight-
page letter in which Onuoha
expressed disdain for the U.S.
and referenced the event that led
to his suspension, Eimiller said.

U.S., EU urge Iran to follow up
on talks regarding nuclear arms

Envoy hopes new
leadership in Iran
will re-engage West
VIENNA (AP) - A senior U.S.
diplomat urged Iran on Wednes-
day to follow up on good will gen-
erated by moderate statements
from its new president with

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actions that ease suspicions it is
tryingto make nuclear arms.
The toneofoutreach insteadof
censure reflected Washington's
hopes that Tehran will seize the
moment created by change in its
political leadership and act to
ease international tensions over
its nuclear ambitions.
Still, U.S. envoy Joseph Macm-
anus warned of tough diplomatic
action unless Tehran cooperates
with U.N. expertstrying to deter-
mine whether it ever worked on
such weapons - a threat echoed
by a statement from the Europe-
an community.
Iran insists it wants to har-
ness the atom only to gener-
ate power or for scientific or
medical purposes. But West-
ern comments at a high-level
session of the U.N.'s Interna-
tional Atomic Energy Agency
reflected more than a decade
of fears that Tehran also seeks
the ability to be able to make
nuclear arms.
In comments to the IAEA's
35-nation board, Macmanus
noted the "unique moment" pro-
duced by the election triumph of
President Hasan Rouhani over
more hard-line rivals.
At the same time, he sug-
gested that the West will push
at the IAEA's November board
meeting to punish Tehran by
referring it to the U.N. Security
Council unless it cooperates
with IAEA experts trying to
probe its alleged secret nuclear
weapons work.
Iran denies having trying to
develop such arms. It and the
IAEA blame each other for delays
in reaching agreement on a probe.
Ten rounds of negotiations
over the past two years have

failed to end the deadlock. The
two sidesmeet again Sept. 27, and
Macmanus indicated that the
West will consider those talks a
yardstick of Rouhani's professed
interest in easing nuclear ten-
The West, he said, will work
with other board members to
hold Iran accountable should
it fail to seize the moment and
"continue its intransigence and
His comments appeared to be
diplomatic code for an effort in
November to again refer Iran to
the U.N. Security Council if the
Sept.27 talks end inconclusively.
Past referrals have led to U.N
sanctions. While permanent
council members Russia and
China would likely veto addi-
tional sanctions, a new referral
would still be a harsh interna-
tional expression of displeasure
with Iran.
Also voicing the threat of
referral, a statement from the
European Union warned of pos-
sible "action" if Iran does not
cooperate with probe attempts
by November.
The IAEA is particularly
interested in visiting a site at
Parchin, a sprawling military
complex southeast of Tehran,
where it suspects Iran worked
on a conventional explosives
trigger for a nuclear blast.
Washington and its allies
also worry about Iran's expand-
ing uranium enrichment pro-
gram and construction of a
plutonium-producing reactor.
Iran says both programs are
only for peaceful purposes but
the West fears Tehran could re-
engineer them to produce the
core of nuclear weapons.

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