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April 20, 2006

Pakistan takes out another al-Qaeda (and Pakistan's view of DNA)

Abu Marwan al-Suri, a Saudi Arabian who reportedly escaped a US air strike in January, has been killed by Pakistani security forces today.  Pakistan is taking out al-Qaeda one by one, hopefully getting closer to Osama bin Laden.  Marwan wasn't hiding in a cave somewhere, he was riding around in a mini-bus.

Pakistani security forces stopped the bus to check the occupants, when Marwan opened fire on them, killing one and injuring another.  I have to give credit to the Pakistanis.  They are under a lot of pressure from all sides and yet they continue to search for the enemy. 

Residents in Khar said the body was taken to the main northwestern city of Peshawar for identification.   "He was an explosives expert," a senior intelligence official in the North West Frontier Province told Reuters.

Marwan was believed to have been present in a house in the village of Damadola which was hit by U.S. drone in January.   Zawahri was not present at the time of strike but six al Qaeda militants, including one of Zawahri's relatives, were believed to be among the victims...  source

DNA was not needed in this case to identify Marwan, but in many cases DNA has been used to identify the bodies of suspected terrorists.  DNA testing is not new for the US but it is something new, and controversial, for Pakistan.  The testing is becoming more acceptable for legal cases, but giving access to the labs to the 'general public' is causing a heated debate.

Fierce debates are going on in the country among clerics, jurists and social scientists on the admissibility of DNA tests -- that establish genetic links -- as evidence in court. There are apprehensions of adverse fallouts from allowing the public free access to the tests. Pakistan reportedly has some excellent

The concept of DNA testing in criminal cases is relatively new in Pakistan and was introduced by the government to meet security challenges facing the country as well as global powers engaged in the 'war-on-terror' in neighbouring Afghanistan. source

Religious law in Pakistan requires four eye witnesses to convict someone and therefore depending on DNA would be against 'divine dictates'.  As for using DNA for paternity purposes, ''Our religion prohibits us from publicising others' sins. Publicly declaring someone illegitimate or of having fathered a child outside marriage is no service at all.'', according to Religious scholar Siddique Akbar.  source  Really?  But I suppose it's OK to stone or hang the guilty woman?

Actually yes. Go here to read the jaw dropping beliefs and actions of the Islamic sharia laws in action in the rest of the post.

Posted by Debbie at April 20, 2006 5:28 PM

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