Skip to comments.Daily Terrorist Round-Up 8/2/05
Posted on 08/02/2005 10:42:54 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter
Seven Marines Killed in Western Iraq
Egyptian police kill suspect in Sharm el-Sheikh bombing
Police have shot dead one of the prime suspects in the bombings which killed at least 64 people in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on July 23, the Egyptian interior ministry said yesterday. Mohamed Fulayfel and his wife were killed and their four-year-old daughter injured in an exchange of fire with police, a security source said. The interior ministry said the shooting took place near Gebel Ataqa mountain, just west of Suez town.
Fulayfel was also on trial in absentia for bombings at three Red Sea resorts last October. One bomb, at the Hilton hotel in Taba, killed 34 people as well as Fulayfel's brother Suleiman and a Palestinian man who police said had masterminded the operation. Officers said the duo died because the bomb's timing mechanism had malfunctioned.
The interior ministry said that security forces, acting on a tip-off, were approaching a group hiding in quarries in the Gebel Ataqa area when gunmen opened fire. "The police forces immediately dealt with the source of fire and it became clear that Mohamed Ahmed Saleh Fulayfel had been killed. He was in the company of his wife, who was wounded." The woman died on the way to hospital, security sources added.
Egyptian authorities suspect that the Taba and Sharm el-Sheikh bombings - the worst attacks in Egypt since 1981 - were all the work of a group of Bedouin based in northern Sinai.
The authorities have taken DNA samples from the families of four other north Sinai men they suspect of belonging to the group to see if it matches any of the bodies found at the scene of the three Sharm el-Sheikh bombs. A security source said that Fulayfel and his group had hidden weapons within the desert areas of the Sinai peninsula.
In some cases Fulayfel's group had taken refuge close to the Israeli border, where the Egyptian government cannot deploy heavy weapons under the 1979 peace treaty with its neighbour, the source said.
Afghan Troops Unearth Huge Weapons Cache
Afghan security forces have seized thousands of missiles, mortar rounds and artillery shells in their biggest weapons haul in months, the defense ministry said on July 31.
The suspected Taliban ammunition cache was found July 30 in the Khogyani district of central Ghazni province, said defense ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi.
The weapons dump included 2,000 surface-to-surface missiles, 3,000 mortar rounds, 500 artillery shells and 150 boxes of anti-aircraft ammunition, he said.
"We suspect that the weapons were stored to be used during the elections," he said. On September 18 voters are set to elect a national parliament and provincial councils.
The Taliban, who were ousted in a U.S.-led invasion in late 2001, continue to stage frequent attacks on officials and on the 19,000-strong coalition force, mostly in the south and east of Afghanistan.
Dog bombs 'biggest danger' to (Aussie) Iraq troops
By Brendan Nicholson
Coalition troops in Iraq have been warned not to run over or shoot stray dogs they see watching them from the roadside because they may be cut-out shapes hiding a home-made bomb.
Explosives experts say insurgents have created bombs with the trigger mechanisms hidden behind these fake dogs. Stray dogs roam in endless numbers in Iraq.
The terrorists have apparently used florescent tape to create eyes in their canine cut-outs to make them look more realistic in a vehicle's headlights.
The device includes two metal plates that, when hit by a bullet or the wheel of a truck, are jammed together, closing an electric circuit and setting off the bomb. Coalition soldiers say the dog bombs are the biggest threat they face in Iraq.
They say the insurgents have learned in two years the tricks the IRA developed in its 30-year campaign against the British in Northern Ireland.
One improvised bomb recently narrowly missed Japanese soldiers who are being guarded by Australian troops based at Camp Smitty in al-Muthanna province. Another exploded last week in the southern city of Basra.
A bomb specialist told The Age that Iraq had a vast number of trained engineers and many specialised in electrical or chemical engineering, making them well qualified to make bombs out of left-over munitions.
He said the bombs were often hard to detect.
(This is the weirdest story I have read in a while. Why would troops be running over or shooting stray dogs?)
US blocks funds linked to al Qaeda cell in Italy
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Monday froze the assets of three North African men who are suspected of operating a militant cell in Italy with links to al Qaeda and Moroccan extremists.
The U.S. Treasury Department said it had blocked the assets of Moroccan Ahmed El Bouhali, Tunisian Faycal Boughanemi and Moroccan Abdelkader Laagoub for providing financial and/or material support to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, which the U.S. government says is affiliated with al Qaeda.
The Treasury Department did not give any information on assets the three men hold in the united States.
Boughanemi and Laagoub are already in Italian custody, but Bouhali is not. No additional information on his status was immediately available. Italy has already frozen the assets of the three men, and has asked the United Nations to require all its member states do the same.
"Today's action targets individuals operating an al Qaeda-linked terrorist cell in Italy that recruited combatants, raised funds for terrorist activities and even planned terrorist attacks," Stuart Levey, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.
The Treasury said the three men were members of an Islamic militant group set up in Cremona, Italy, in 1998 with the aim of committing attacks in Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and other countries.
It said investigations by Italian authorities produced evidence that the group recruited volunteers for paramilitary training, collected funds for terrorism and planned attacks.
Some experts and officials say designations such as these may only have a limited impact and by themselves are only likely to weed out the most obvious terrorist funding transactions.
But they say the public naming is helpful as part of a larger strategy that must also include behind-the-scenes intelligence gathering, a crackdown on unlicensed money transfer services and close monitoring of suspected terrorist financiers, deep-pocket donors, bulk cash couriers and other suspicious financial flows.
Race against time, nature to shut out militants SHISHIR GUPTA
GUREZ, KANZALWAN, AUGUST 1 Grappling with a sudden spurt in infiltration in Kashmir, the Army is now racing against time to repair nearly 140 km of LoC fencing destroyed in heavy snowfall and avalanches.
It has also decided to modify the alignment as well as the fence structure along major ingress routes to try and stop infiltrators.
After an infiltration attempt by 25 Jaish-e-Mohammed militants in the Baruab sector last month, the Army, in consultation with the Centre, has opted for a new fence on the Shamshabari ridgeline in the Gurez sector rather than rely on the existing fence along the Kishenganga river.
Top Army officials told The Indian Express that this years snowfall destroyed over 35 per cent of the LoC fencing, making it easy for militants to slip in. Of the 400 km-long fence north of Pir Panjal, 140 km has been damaged in extreme weather conditions.
The Indian Express found large sections of the fence flattened or destroyed between Dawar and Baruab, Chakwali and Kaobal Gali along the Kishenganga river.
While Brigadier V Diwedi, Chief Engineer of the Kashmir-based 15 Corps, did not quantify the extent of the fence damage, he confirmed that heavy snow this year had played havoc. According to him, work had been taken up on a war-footing to repair the fence.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the fence runs along 734 km of the 742 km-long LoC. It cost Rs 351 crore to erect the fence. As of now, the fence comprises 12-feet high Y-shaped pillars, connected with barbed wires running parallel to the ground.
After the Y-shaped pillar, there are two straight pillars in the second and third tiers, separated by more than a feet. In between the three pillars, razor-sharp concertina wire rolls have been placed to keep out infiltrators.
On the Y-shaped pillar is a rudimentary alarm system (hooters, floodlights) thats activated whenever theres any intrusion. Theres an Army post every 250 metres.
On major ingress routes, the Army has also deployed passive unattended ground sensors (UGS) that detect any movement and alert the nearest surveillance post by giving a printout detailing time and place of intrusion.
But this year, heavy snowfall in the Shamshabari ranges ensured that snow accumulated in the Y-shape and brought down the pillar. Even the concertina wires were flattened in the avalanches.
As soon as the snow melted in the higher reaches last month, large groups of militants, primarily from Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, crossed the LoC from Chakwali to Kaobal Gali and the Kanzalwan area.
The militants have been digging beneath the fence, using rubber gloves and forked sticks to crawl below the barbed wires. As there are no sensors in the concertina wire rolls, these are snipped by militants who normally infiltrate between 4 am and 5 am. Once inside, the militants, helped by local guides, cross the mountains to enter the Valley via Sonamarg or Bandipura.
The Army now wants to replace the 26 kg Y-shaped pillar with a swan shaped pillar to ensure that snow slides down. After infiltration increased along the Gurez-Kanzalwan axis, it has been decided that additional vertical barbed wires, grouted to the ground, will be put on the main pillar together with bungees or iron spikes between the three pillars. The swan shaped pillars will be placed on the Shamshabari ridgelines.
In effect, the fencing along the Kishenganga will become the second line of defence in this area. While Army officials say that the LoC fencing acts as a deterrent, they point out that there have been desperate attempts to infiltrate even in broad daylight.
Suspected Sayyaf bomber arrested in Zambo (Philippines)
By Al Jacinto
SECURITY forces stormed an Abu Sayyaf hideout and wounded and captured a wanted militant leader, tagged as behind the series of bombings in the southern Philippines, officials said Monday, Aug. 1.
Officials said troops captured Amilhamja Ajijul alias "Alex Alvarez" after a brief firefight late Sunday in the village of Recodo, west of the city. "His capture is a big blow to the Abu Sayyaf. We will not allow terror to reign," the commander of the Army's 1st Infantry Division Major General Gabriel Habacon said.
Ajijul was tagged as among those who staged the spate of bombings in Zamboanga City on October 2002 that left 11 killed, including a visiting US soldier, and wounded scores of civilians, he said.
Habacon said the military pieced together intelligence information about Ajijul and until he was tracked down in his hideout in Zamboanga City. "The war on terror continues and security forces are still pursuing other Abu Sayyaf members," he said.
Other reports said troops seized a fragmentation grenade in Ajijul's hideout. The military said Ajijul is a sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf's urban terrorist group, blamed for the bombings of several shopping malls and a Catholic shrine in Zamboanga City in 2002.
He was also linked to the kidnapping of a US citizen Jefrrey Craig Schilling in 2000 and dozens of mostly students and teachers in Basilan island.
Security officials on Sunday linked the Abu Sayyaf group tied to al-Qaeda terror network to two bombings in the southern Philippines that left four people wounded.
"We have reasons to believe the Abu Sayyaf is behind these attacks. There is an ongoing operation against the terror group and the blasts could be diversionary," the commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division Maj. Gen. Agustin Dema-ala said.
Police and military said four people were wounded in separate explosions Saturday in the southern Philippines. A 14-year-old student of Notre Dame school was wounded when a home-made bomb exploded in Cotabato City before noon time. It said the bomb was planted near the administrative building of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
A second bomb explosion, which occurred four hours later in Koronadal City, left three civilians wounded. The bomb, placed in a cardboard box, exploded on a motorcycle taxi parked in front of the city's main market, the military said.
Perpetrators of bomb attack in Chechen village detained
MOSCOW, August 1 (Itar-Tass) - The terrorist act in Chechnyas village of Znamenskoye has been solved.
Three detainees are giving the testimony to investigators, Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov told reporters on Monday.
Solving this crime was a matter of honour for us. At present, three perpetrators of the act, Abu Tuntuyev, Aslanbek Vitrigov and Ali Agamirzayev, have been detained, he said.
Regional law enforcers earlier told Itar-Tass that one of suspects, a 29-year-old member of an illegal armed group, was detained on Sunday in the village of Khatuni.
The explosion of a bomb car in Znamenskoye on July 19 left dead 10 Chechen policemen, a worker of the regional Federal Security Service and three villagers, including two school children.
A woman died in hospital later.
Twenty-four people, who were policemen and local residents, were hospitalised with injuries.
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The story about the Indians wanting more sensors to know where their barbed wire was being snipped was surreal.
The Wheatstone (Whetstone) Bridge has been available since it was invented in the U.S. prior to our 1861 to 1865 civil war. This electric circuit tells you *where* your barbed wire fence has been cut by your enemy.
Sounds like a US vendor could go over there and outsource some work back to the US.
I'd do the work for them for free, just to aid in the WoT.
My firm made that same offer for the fencing at Gitmo, too.
Ditto again for Israel's Gaza Strip fencing (as in, we'd put the Whetstone Bridge circuits on their fencing for free).
Good Lord, it's not that much money. It just makes sense to know where and when your wire has been cut.
I'm always amazed at the breadth of knowledge on FR. It seems as if there is an expert on everything here.
I remember right after the shuttle crashed there was a photograph that looked as if the shuttle had exploded. Someone on that thread happened to be an expert on Sony videocamera lenses. He recognized what looked like an explosion to actually be a flaw in the lenses when overexposed to light.
Then of course the famous analysis of the Rather memos by Buckhead who happened to be well read on typefacing.
Now, here is an expert on Whetstone Bridge circuits! Amazing!