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INTERNATIONAL EDITION A family fleeing the city of Maiduguri, Nigeria. An Islamist insurgency that has haunted northern Nigeria appears to be branching out and collaborating with al Qaeda affiliates.



U.S., allies demand exit of Syria’s Assad has refused to ease his regime’s ruthless crackdown on a ďŹ vemonth old opposition uprising and has backed away from promises of reform. Instead, he has unleashed his security forces on numerous cities, killing nearly 2,000 people, many of them innocent civilians, according to rights groups. The resignation calls were the ďŹ rst explicit demands from the United States and its allies for Assad to step down although condemnation of his actions had been mounting for weeks since the regime ordered a sustained assault on its opponents on the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that began in early August. In a written statement released by the White House, Obama said Assad had lost all credibility as a leader and had to go.


Associated Press



New York Times Service

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — A shadowy Islamist insurgency that has haunted northern Nigeria — surviving repeated, bloody efforts to eliminate it — appears to be branching out and collaborating with al Qaeda’s afďŹ liates, alarming Western ofďŹ cials and analysts who had previously viewed the militants here as a largely isolated, if deadly, menace. Just two years ago, the Islamist group stalking police ofďŹ cers in this bustling city seemed on the verge of extinction. In a heavy-handed assault, Nigerian soldiers shelled its headquarters and killed its leader, leaving a tableau of charred ruins, hundreds dead and outmatched members of the group, known as Boko Haram, struggling to ďŹ ght back, sometimes with little more than bows and arrows. Now, insurgents strike at the Nigerian military, the police and opponents of Islamic law in neardaily assaults and bombings, us-

ing improvised explosive devices that can be detonated remotely and bear the hallmarks of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Western ofďŹ cials and analysts say. Beyond the immediate devastation, the fear is that extremists bent on jihad are spreading their reach across the continent and planting roots in a major, Western-allied state that had not been seen as a hotbed of global terrorism. In the past two years, Boko Haram has met and trained with al Qaeda afďŹ liates outside the country, ofďŹ cials and analysts in the United States and Nigeria say, and the group has begun waging a propaganda campaign that includes conference calls with reporters — another sign of its growing sophistication. “Where are they getting this knowledge of IEDs?â€? said Kashim Shettima, the new governor here. “Some of them went as far as Sudan. Why? I believe they are making efforts to reach out to the global terrorism network.â€? The government of Nigeria ap-

Prostitution stings in Miami net many repeat offenders BY KILLEEN KING

None of the women wore high heels, skin-tight, short skirts or dresses. None wore excessive amounts of makeup. All of them were on the street in the middle of the day. “Prostitution is not like it used to be in the old days. It is not like the movies,â€? explained Javier Gonzalez, an undercover Miami detective. Since the women do not ďŹ t the stereotypical look that most people associate with prostitutes, the ofďŹ cers look for certain cues. “We know by the way they walk and where they hang out. A lot of times their pimp has branded them with a speciďŹ c tattoo that signiďŹ es they belong to him,â€? said Gonzalez, adding that tattoos are often on the side of the neck with a man’s name. Police say when women are standing idly on corners or sitting at a bus stop but never get onto a bus, it is a giveaway that they are probably working the street. Miami police conduct prostitution stings as part of a qualityof-life initiative, said Sgt. Edwin Gomez. “On a typical Friday, we normally bring in between ďŹ ve and ten people for prostitution.’’

A man pulls up in front of a thin woman wearing Capri pants, an XL T-shirt and ip-ops. Her blond highlights shine in the afternoon sun, framing her makeupfree face. They exchange words in low voices, and then the woman gets into the car. After three minutes, she makes the offer: sex for $40. The man, who is actually an undercover Miami cop, signals to the rest of his team, and in a few seconds four cars surround the undercover policeman and the woman. The woman — who has just realized she was caught in a sting — begins to scream and complain: “I didn’t do anything! I asked him to give me a ride!â€? The ofďŹ cers have heard that line many times — at least twice a week when they do prostitution sweeps. Often they see the same women, who return after their arrests. On this recent Friday afternoon, the woman was one of seven people arrested between 4 and 7 p.m.: six women and one man headed for jail. Earlier that day, ofďŹ cers arrested ďŹ ve more women during another sting. )TURN TO STINGS, 2A


pears to have only a shaky grasp of how to confront the threat, responding with such a broad, harsh crackdown that many residents see the military as more of a danger than Boko Haram. Shops are shuttered, vans laden with refugees can be seeing heading out of town and the normally wide, trafďŹ c-choked streets lined with neem trees are unexpectedly clear. About 140 people have died in the violence since January, according to Amnesty International, including dozens of civilians killed by the military. Most of Boko Haram’s attacks have occurred here in this city at the edge of the Sahara, but there have also been blasts farther south in Kaduna and outside the national police headquarters in the capital, Abuja. Several dozen civilians were killed in June when bombs were hurled into the rudimentary outdoor beer parlors that exist )TURN TO NIGERIA, 2A

WASHINGTON — In a choreographed diplomatic squeeze play, U.S. President Barack Obama, the leaders of Canada, Britain, France and Germany, along with EU ofďŹ cials, joined Thursday to demand that Syria’s President Bashar al Assad resign, saying his brutal suppression of his people had made him unďŹ t to lead. The coordinated messages from Washington, Ottawa, London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels were accompanied by a U.N. recommendation that Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court for investigation of atrocities and by tough new U.S. sanctions freezing all Syrian government assets in the United States and targeting the country’s lucrative energy sector. The moves intensiďŹ ed already mounting pressure on Assad, who )TURN TO SYRIA, 2A

Stocks plunge amid barrage of bad news On Wall Street, the losses wiped out much of the roughly 700 points that the Dow had gained over the past ďŹ ve days. Some investors who bought in the middle of last week decided to sell after they were confronted with a raft of bad news about the economy: l More U.S. citizens joined the unemployment line last week than at any time in the past month. The number of people ďŹ ling claims for unemployment beneďŹ ts for the ďŹ rst time rose to 408,000, or 9,000 more than the week before. l Ination at the consumer level in July was the highest since March. More expensive gas, food, clothes and other necessities are squeezing household budgets at a time when most people aren’t getting raises. l Sales of previously occupied homes fell in July for the third time


Associated Press

NEW YORK — Just when Wall Street seemed to have settled down, a barrage of bad economic reports collided with fresh worries about European banks Thursday and triggered a global sell-off in stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 419 points — a return to the wild swings that gripped the stock market last week. Stocks were only part of a dramatic day across the ďŹ nancial markets. The price of oil fell $5, gold set another record, the 10year Treasury hit its lowest yield, and the average mortgage rate fell to its lowest in at least 40 years. The selling began in Asia, where Japanese exports fell for a ďŹ fth straight month, and continued in Europe, where bank stocks were hammered by worries about the debt crisis. )TURN TO STOCKS, 2A

Attacks on Israelis prompt strike on Gaza BY DANIELLA CHESLOW Associated Press

EILAT, Israel — Gunmen who crossed from the Egyptian desert launched a series of attacks Thursday in southern Israel, killing seven people and threatening to destabilize a volatile border region that includes the Hamasruled Gaza Strip and the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula. Israel blamed an armed Palestinian group from neighboring Gaza. Israeli forces killed ďŹ ve of the gunmen along the border with Egypt, the military said, and later launched an airstrike inside Gaza that killed ďŹ ve other militants

from the same group as well as a child. The Israeli military said three of the dead men in Gaza had been involved in planning the attack. GunďŹ re continued on both sides of the border late into the evening. After nightfall, Israel’s “Iron Domeâ€? anti-missile system intercepted a rocket ďŹ red by Gaza militants at the city of Ashkelon, the military said. The attacks were the deadliest against Israelis since a gunman killed eight civilians in Jerusalem in 2008. They suggested that Egypt’s recent political upheaval and a resulting power vacuum


An Israeli police forensic officer inspects a bus that was attacked by gunmen in Eilat, Israel, on Thursday.



in Sinai had allowed militants to open a new front against Israel on the long-quiet frontier. The attack began shortly after noon in southern Israel with gunďŹ re at a civilian bus heading toward the Red Sea resort city of Eilat, currently at the height of the tourist season. A number of passengers were hit, the military said. The gunmen had crossed the border and set up an ambush along a 300-yard strip, armed with automatic weapons, grenades and suicide bomb belts, according to the military. “We heard a shot and saw a window explode. I didn’t really understand what was happening at ďŹ rst,â€? passenger Idan Kaner told Israel’s Channel 2 TV. “After another shot, there was chaos in the bus and everyone jumped on everyone else.â€? Within an hour, gunmen had riddled another passing bus and two cars with bullets and rigged a roadside bomb that detonated under an army jeep rushing to the scene. At the same time, mortar gunners in Gaza opened ďŹ re at soldiers along the Gaza-Israel border fence. TV video showed the ďŹ rst bus with its windows shattered. Its seats were stained with blood and luggage littered the aisle. The Israeli dead included six civilians and one soldier, according to the Israeli military’s southern commander, Maj. Gen. Tal Russo. )TURN TO ISRAEL, 2A


INDEX NEWS EXTRA .............3A WORLD NEWS ...........6A OPINION ........................7A COMICS & PUZZLES ...6B 5





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Edition, 19 august 2011