Pakistani police: 5 detained men sought jihad
SARGODHA, Pakistan -- Five young American Muslims arrested in Pakistan met with representatives of an al-Qaida-linked group and asked for training but were turned down because they lacked references from trusted militants, a Pakistani law enforcement official said Thursday.
Another senior officer said the men wanted to fight jihad, or holy war, in northwestern Pakistan and against American troops in Afghanistan.
The young men apparently first tried to contact jihadist groups through Facebook and YouTube, then traveled to Pakistan to attempt personal meetings, a Pakistani diplomat in Washington said.
Russian missile may be behind strange lights
MOSCOW -- The failure of a new Russian intercontinental ballistic missile during testing was the cause of spectacular spiraling blue lights in the skies over northern Norway, analysts said Thursday.
Russia's defense ministry said a Bulava missile was launched Wednesday by a nuclear submarine submerged in the White Sea and its third stage suffered an unspecified failure.
Photographs and amateur video footage of the bluish-white in the Norwegian skies have been circulating on the Internet since Wednesday and spawning speculation of UFOs. The ministry did not confirm the lights were the result of the failed launch but military analysts said they clearly came from the Bulava explosion.
Al-Qaida claims this week's Baghdad blasts
BAGHDAD -- Al-Qaida's umbrella group in Iraq claimed responsibility Thursday for coordinated Baghdad bombings this week that killed 127 people and wounded more than 500, warning of more strikes to come against the Iraqi government.
The group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, said in a statement posted on the Internet that the attacks in the Iraqi capital targeted the ''bastions of evil and dens of apostates.''
The blasts Tuesday were the third major strike against government sites in the Iraqi capital since August, raising serious questions about the abilities of Iraqi security forces ahead of withdrawal of U.S. combat troops.
Al-Qaida's claim gave renewed emphasis to U.S. military warnings that insurgents would likely continue high-profile attacks in an attempt to destabilize the Iraqi government in advance of the parliamentary elections.