• Terror Ties? While reporting today's story about Pakistan's efforts to track the ties to the London terror plot, correspondent David Montero met with several religious leaders.
One of those meetings was with Yahya Mujahid, a spokesman for the Jamat-ud-Dawa, a Muslim charity group that some news organizations have linked to the plotters.
"We spoke over an elaborate Thai meal and discussed the London plot. He said that his organization denied any misuse of charitable funds, and that news reports saying that 'their' London office, identified as Crescent Relief, has raised funds for the suspected terrorists were wrong. 'We don't have a London office,' he told me."
The Charity Commission in England is still investigating Crescent Relief. But Paki- stani officials have also stated that there's no connection to Jamat ud-Dawa.
This was David's first face-to-face interview with the spokesman. "He made a point of saying that he respected the balance of The Christian Science Monitor. In this part of the world, he said, the name of the newspaper might give one pause. But he said that the Monitor has consistently gone directly to Jamat ud-Dawa to get their perspective. He also noted that the charity has been rebuilding Christian and Hindu schools destroyed by last year's earthquake."
• Blind lawyer tried: Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese activist, was denied legal representation at his trial Friday, Reuters reports, when his lawyers were detained by police until after the trial. As reported in the July 28 article, "Chinese rule-of-law activist becomes a case in point," the so-called "barefoot lawyer" has infuriated local officials with his crusade to halt the forced detention and sterilization of women.
David Clark Scott