April 30th, 2012
11:08 PM ET

Does al Qaeda pose a threat to cruises?

On May 16 last year, a 22-year-old Austrian named Maqsood Lodin was being questioned by police in Berlin. He had recently returned from Pakistan via Budapest, Hungary, and then traveled overland to Germany. His interrogators were surprised to find that hidden in his underpants were a digital storage device and memory cards.

Buried inside them was a pornographic video called "Kick Ass" - and a file marked "Sexy Tanja."

Several weeks later, after laborious efforts to crack a password and software to make the file almost invisible, German investigators discovered encoded inside the actual video a treasure trove of intelligence - more than 100 al Qaeda documents that included an inside track on some of the terror group's most audacious plots and a road map for future operations.

Future plots include the idea of seizing cruise ships and carrying out attacks in Europe similar to the gun attacks by Pakistani militants that paralyzed the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008. Ten gunmen killed 164 people in that three-day rampage.


June 2nd, 2011
07:00 PM ET

Alleged Libyan rape victim deported from Qatar back to Libya

(CNN) - Eman al-Obeidy, who grabbed the world's attention this spring when she accused Moammar Gadhafi's security forces of gang raping her, has been forced back to Libya, which she had fled in fear.

Qatari authorities took her and her parents from a hotel in Doha, the capital, and forced them onto a military plane that left Qatar early Thursday and landed in rebel-held Benghazi. Al-Obeidy, who has gone into hiding in the city, said the Qataris beat and handcuffed her before forcing her onto the plane.

Al-Obeidy told a journalist that officials in the Transitional National Council had pressured the Qataris to expel her.

Hours before her deportation, Obeidy told CNN that armed guards had been posted outside her room, preventing the UNHCR representative from assisting her.

The Qataris deported her despite repeated requests from U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and unnamed third parties, a UNHCR official told CNN.

"Forcibly returning a refugee who survived gang rape not only violates international law, but is cruel and could trigger further trauma," said Bill Frelick, refugee program director at Human Rights Watch. "All eyes are now on the authorities in eastern Libya, who should allow al-Obeidy to leave the country."

Human Rights Watch called on the Transitional National Council to allow al-Obeidy to leave the country immediately. HRW added that an NTC spokesman had told the group that she was free to travel domestically and abroad.

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May 19th, 2011
01:26 AM ET

Libya's al-Obeidy in exile: My soul is liberated

Doha, Qatar (CNN) - The woman whose accusations of rape at the hands of Libyan security forces sparked an international outcry has spoken exclusively to CNN, now that she is living free in exile.

Eman al-Obeidy attracted worldwide attention when she walked into a hotel lobby packed with international journalists to accuse the regime of being behind the attack.

She told CNN what it's like to have left Libya, how she has changed since the incident and what she feels about her alleged attackers.

Al-Obeidy burst into the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli, on March 26 to tell international journalists of her ordeal. She told reporters she had been taken from a checkpoint east of Tripoli and held against her will for two days while being beaten and raped by 15 men.

Her words and fear were seen around the world as Libyan officials dragged her out of the hotel.

Speaking in Doha, Qatar, she told CNN of the moment she first felt safe:

"I felt my soul is liberated. I am able to talk what I want, live like I choose. I was living in fear and I was worried and I was tired. It was a psychological issue.

"But when I arrived to Doha, I felt comfortable as if I have forgotten all these problems that happened to me. I felt so relieved."

She added: "I think about ideas of what to do next but at this time I will relax and see my family and consult with them for the future."

Al-Obeidy traveled to Doha after escaping Libya via Tunisia, about six weeks after she first approached reporters in the Rixos.

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May 13th, 2011
08:30 AM ET

Explain it to me: Mideast/African unrest

Editor's note: CNN's Nic Robertson looks at the ongoing unrest in Africa and the Middle East and explains what could happen next.

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May 9th, 2011
11:50 PM ET

Video: How al-Obeidy fled Libya

Editor's note: CNN's Nic Robertson reports on how Eman al-Obeidy fled from Libya after 8 weeks of being unable to leave the country.

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