The "World of Terrorism #5" is open and ready for posting.
Please join us in the learning and keep up to date, on the world of terrorism.
My thanks to Davey Crockett for keeping us supplied with blank threads to fill with the world's reports.
Thanks for the ping, Granny...........I've been reading it. Thanks also to Davey and the wonderful job she does keeping this going.
There is just so much stuff going on all over the world, it's hard to keep track of it all. With this thread, the Threat Matrix, and the daily Mid-East thread.........it really helps.
On a personal note, Mr. RR flies home from Latvia tomorrow, and RR, Jr. returns from China on Monday. If there is anything threatening that appears on your collective radars, I would appreciate a ping. Thanks to you both for all you do.
29 September 2006
Burma Must Change Its Policies, Conduct, Ambassador Bolton Says
U.S. to seek Security Council action if visit by U.N. official shows no results
By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent
United Nations -- If the Burmese government does not substantially change its policies and conduct over the next few months, the United States will be submitting a resolution to the Security Council to take action, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says.
"Absent substantial changes in policy by the government in Burma in connection with drug trafficking, with refugee flows, political repression, HIV/AIDS, and the like -- all the reasons that we felt Burma's policies and conduct amounted to a threat to international peace and security," the United States will press the council to take action, Bolton told reporters prior to a September 29 meeting between U.N. Security Council members and U.N. Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari.
The 15-nation council placed the situation in Burma on its agenda September 15 at the request of the United States and held its first formal session on the issue September 29. (See related article.)
Bolton said the United States is "prepared to move ahead" on a resolution but will "wait and see the results" of Gambari's visit to Burma in early November.
"We'll wait and see the results of the briefing and the visit, but we thought it was significant that we give advance notice," the ambassador said. "We didn't put this issue on the agenda simply to have briefings."
UNDER SECRETARY-GENERAL ASKED TO INTENSIFY EFFORTS DURING VISIT TO BURMA
Gambari said that the Security Council asked him to intensify his efforts during his upcoming visit to Burma, known officially at the United Nations as Myanmar.
The under secretary-general said that he did not see council action as complicating his efforts. "But also it is important to say that my engagement with the government of Myanmar [Burma] should not be for the sake of engagement, but we expect some results in terms of progress in addressing the issues," he added.
Gambari said much work remains on the four main issues raised during his visit to the country in May: freeing political prisoners, making the democratization process more inclusive, ending hostilities against the Karen people and improving humanitarian access to those in need, especially in conflict-affected areas.
Although one prisoner was released after Gambari's May visit, during which he met with Senior General Than Shwe, the government renewed for another year the house arrest of pro-democracy leader and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. (See related article.)
BURMA RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL U.N. AGENCIES
United Kingdom U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said that the condition of Burma's people "in terms of poverty, drugs, HIV/AIDS, oppression, lack of human rights, governance, . . . cry out for the international community to do more to support the people."
Jones Parry said that Burma, officially known as Myanmar, is not just the responsibility of the Security Council, but all U.N. agencies. With the "right sort of response from the government" the country could change, he said. "The shared interest we have is to have a peaceful, prosperous, free Myanmar -- nothing less than that, nothing more."
Human Rights Watch, an independent nongovernmental organization, has urged the Security Council to call for democratic reform and respect for human rights in Burma.
In a September 28 press release, Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said "the Security Council must act on the human rights situation of a country where violence and repression from the military are an everyday fact of life. The military doesn't allow a free press, independent civil society organizations or opposition parties, and it arrests and tortures those who speak out. These are the issue the council must address."
Adams pointed out that on September 27 Burma's military junta arrested three prominent student activists for advocating Security Council action.
During the opening of the 61st General Assembly September 19, U.S. first lady Laura Bush convened a roundtable discussion to highlight the repressive situation in Burma and the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as discuss what could be done to secure the release of political prisoners and reconcile the country. (See related article.)
The first lady said that the United States would work hard with other members of the Security Council to ensure that the crisis in Burma is not overlooked.
For further information, see U.S. Support for Democracy in Burma.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
28 September 2006
New WHO Influenza Pandemic Task Force Meets in Geneva
Thailand, Indonesia, Iraq report new human cases of avian flu
By Cheryl Pellerin
Washington File Staff Writer
Health workers carry out an anti-avian flu exercize in Hong Kong, September 27, 2006. (©AP Images)
Washington -- The World Health Organization (WHO) Influenza Pandemic Task Force met for the first time September 25 at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, according to a September 26 WHO press release.
The 21-member task force, established to comply with a 2006 World Health Assembly resolution, meets as Thailand, Indonesia and Iraq report new human cases of avian flu, bringing the total number of cases to 250 worldwide, with 147 deaths.
The task force will advise WHO on potential public health issues of international concern related to avian and pandemic influenza, including issues such as determining the appropriate phase of pandemic alert, declaring an influenza pandemic, and implementing the appropriate international response measures to a pandemic.
When the International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR) come into force June 15, 2007, the task force will disband and an emergency committee will be convened if needed to advise WHO on disease events of international public health importance.
"The International Health Regulations are a key element in strengthening global health security, said Dr. Guenael Rodier, the WHO director responsible for coordinating IHR implementation. (See related article.)
By bringing this group of experts together and ensuring that we have established effective means of working together when disease outbreaks occur, Rodier added, we can ensure that we are getting both the best advice for WHO and building a platform of shared knowledge and ability to respond to rapidly evolving health emergencies worldwide"
The first meeting covered administrative issues such as roles and responsibilities, and set out how meetings would be run. In urgent situations, most future meetings probably will be held via teleconference or videoconference because of the need for a quick response.
Until June 15, 2007, the task force also will serve as an expert advisory group to WHO's Global Influenza Programme (GIP). After that date, two separate groups will meet as needed -- an IHR emergency committee and an expert advisory group to GIP.
Dr. Mike Ryan, director of WHO's Department for Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response, says the task force will complement other technical partnerships and networks such as the Global Outbreak and Response Network and the Global Influenza Surveillance Network, and ensure that the IHR, when they come into force, move quickly from being simply a legal framework to being a functional support to our efforts to improve global health security.
HUMAN CASES OF AVIAN INFLUENZA
In Thailand, the Ministry of Public Health has confirmed September 27 the countrys 25th case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The case, which was fatal, was the third detected in 2006 and the third fatality.
The case involved a 59-year-old farmer from Nong Bua Lam Phu province in northeastern Thailand. He developed a fever on July 14, was hospitalized on July 21 and died August 10.
Possible H5N1 infection was suspected when relatives reported the sudden death, in the days before the victims symptom onset, of several fighting cocks that the farmer raised. Local veterinary authorities noted several poultry outbreaks of H5N1 in the area.
Of the 25 cases confirmed to date in Thailand, 17 have been fatal. Poultry outbreaks were confirmed in two provinces of Thailand in late July after a lull in outbreaks dating back to November 2005.
In Indonesia, the Ministry of Health confirmed two more cases of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus September 25. Both cases were fatal.
The first case involved an 11-year-old boy from East Java province. He developed symptoms of fever and cough on September 16, was hospitalized September 18 and died the same day. Poultry in the child's household began dying the month before the onset of his symptoms, and poultry deaths continued in his neighborhood.
The second case was a 9-year-old boy from South Jakarta. He developed a fever and a runny nose September 13, was hospitalized September 20 and died September 22. His history showed recent contact with sick chickens that he kept as pets.
Of 67 cases confirmed to date in Indonesia, 51 have been fatal.
In Iraq, the Ministry of Health confirmed the third case of human infection with H5N1 avian influenza September 19. The 3-year-old boy was hospitalized in Baghdad, Iraq, March 15. His illness was mild and he recovered.
During the outbreak in Iraq, now considered at an end, the country faced problems with shipping specimens for external verification of diagnostic tests. For September 19 case, initial test results were inconclusive, possibly because the sample deteriorated during shipment. Repeated testing using different methods was needed for diagnostic confirmation.
The two cases previously confirmed in Iraq occurred in January 2006. Both were fatal.
For ongoing coverage of the disease and efforts to combat it, see Bird Flu (Avian Influenza).
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
30 September 2006
Insurgency in Ramadi "Beatable," Says U.S. Commander
Coalition "setting the conditions for success" for Iraqi forces
The following article by the American Forces Information Service was published September 29 on the Web page of the U.S. Department of Defense. There are no republication restrictions.
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
Washington The battle for Ramadi has "tipped" in favor of the government of Iraq and the coalition, the commander of 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, said today.
Army Col. Sean MacFarland told the Pentagon press corps in a video teleconference call that attacks are down 25 percent over the past couple of months, and coalition forces, together with the Iraqi security forces, have steadily increased their presence inside of the city.
Ramadi, the capital and largest city in Anbar province, has been an al Qaeda in Iraq and Sunni insurgent hotbed. But now the tide seems to have turned, MacFarland said. The Iraqi police recruiting has soared tenfold, and the Iraqi army readiness has improved to the point where Iraqi army battalions are now assuming the lead in portions of the city and its suburbs, he said.
Coalition-sponsored public works projects are bringing improvements in Iraqi quality of life. Water and power projects are moving forward, he said. And by February, we will have more than doubled both basic services.
MacFarland said he is encouraged by the attitude of the people of the city. The people who were fence-sitters in the battle between the Iraqi government and al Qaeda in Iraq are stepping forward and cooperating with Iraqi security forces against al Qaeda, he said.
I think al Qaeda has been pushed up against the ropes by this, and now they're finding themselves trapped between the coalition and (Iraqi security forces) on the one side and the people on the other, the colonel said. Now it's the al Qaeda forces that need to be worried about living in those neighborhoods. They stick out like a sore thumb. Everybody knows who the terrorists are.
Local sheikhs are cooperating with the Iraqi government. Tribal leaders are steering new recruits to the police, and they are becoming more effective. MacFarland said that Iraqi police in Ramadi today intercepted insurgents driving a car loaded with rocket-propelled grenades. The insurgents tried to run away, he said. (The police) chased them, and they killed or captured the entire group.
In another instance, the police intercepted a suicide car bomber before he could detonate the car at an Iraqi police position.
There's still a lot of work to be done, but I'm very encouraged by the direction of events here, he said.
The colonel said the insurgency is beatable in Ramadi, but it will not be coalition forces that do the beating. The instrument of their destruction will be the Iraqi security forces, he said. And that's why we've been working so hard to develop the Iraqi police and the Iraqi army in and around Ramadi, and to that end the acceleration of their readiness has been very heartening.
The aim of U.S. forces in the city is to drive the level of violence in Ramadi down to a level that the Iraqi security forces will be able to manage after the coalitions departure. So I am responsible for setting the conditions for success for the (Iraqi forces), and I think we're making good headway on that, he said.
But MacFarland again stressed the importance of getting the population on the Iraqi governments side. It's got legs; it's moving forward, and it's because success begets success, he said. The people are beginning to recognize that the coalition and the Iraqi security forces mean business, that they're here to stay -- especially on the Iraqi security force side -- and that they have the ability to stay.
At the same time, they've come to recognize that al Qaeda offers them nothing, nothing but death and destruction, and that they are turning away from the al Qaeda fighters and turning toward their own sons who are in the Iraqi security forces.
For more information, see Iraq Update.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
Moscow riled by Georgia's spy charges
By Alex Rodriguez
Tribune foreign correspondent
Published September 29, 2006
MOSCOW -- Russia reacted furiously Thursday to the Georgian
government's arrests of five Russian military officers on spying
charges, labeling Georgia's actions "wild and hysterical" and calling
for a partial evacuation of Russian diplomats and their families from
its southern neighbor.
Georgian authorities have yet to fully lay out the charges against the
five officers, saying only that the men set up a spy ring that for
several years sought information about Georgia's defense capabilities,
energy security and integration plans with NATO.
The officers were arrested Wednesday in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi,
and in the Black Sea port of Batumi. Georgian police also have
cordoned off Russia's military headquarters in Tbilisi, where
authorities say a sixth Russian military intelligence officer is
hiding to avoid arrest.
The arrests drew condemnations from Russia's top leaders, including
Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who demanded the officers' release and
called the charges "moronic and absolutely far-fetched."
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was concerned about the safety of
Russian Embassy workers and their families in Georgia and would begin
a partial evacuation Friday. A statement on the ministry's Web site
also urged Russians to avoid traveling to Georgia.
The ministry also recalled its ambassador to Georgia, and Russia's
Embassy in Tbilisi stopped issuing visas to Georgians seeking to head
Moscow's relationship with Georgia has always been strained, but it
worsened considerably with the rise of Georgian President Mikhail
Saakashvili, the Western-educated reformist who led the so-called Rose
Revolution against Eduard Shevardnadze in 2003.
Saakashvili has turned his small mountainous republic on Russia's
southern border into a strong U.S. ally that vigorously pursues
membership in NATO and integration with Europe.
As Georgia has drawn closer to the West, Moscow has stepped up
pressure on Tbilisi. This year Moscow imposed a ban on imports of
Georgian wine and mineral water, claiming they were unsafe.
Georgia also accuses Russia of keeping alive separatist movements in
the provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by providing military
support to those movements and maintaining peacekeeping contingents in
Russia has military bases in Batumi and near the Georgian-Armenian
border, holdovers from the Soviet era that house about 3,000 troops.
However, the Kremlin has pledged to shut those bases by 2008.
The officers arrested Wednesday were members of Russia's military
intelligence service and are not protected by diplomatic immunity,
Georgian authorities said. At least 10 Georgian nationals allegedly
working with the officers also were arrested.
Georgia's interior minister said the men would be formally charged
Friday and that reporters would be given audio and video evidence that
supports the allegations.
Speaking on Georgian television, Saakashvili defended the arrests,
saying the activities of the officers crossed "a certain boundary that
no one should cross. . . . Everyone should understand that we are no
longer the vague territorial entity we once were under Shevardnadze,
but a proper, efficient and effective democratic state."
JCSLink JuSt Posted
September 29, 2006
Photo-- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace congratulates Corpsman Nathaniel Leoncio, while he is being presented the 2006 USO Servicemember of the Year award at the 65th USO World Gala in Washington, D.C, Sept 28, 2006. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen
USO Honors Servicemembers for Heroism
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2006 The United Service Organizations celebrated its 65th anniversary last night and honored troops from each branch of the military for heroism. Story http://www.defenselink.mil/News/NewsArticle.aspx?id=1334
TranscriptChairman and Defense Secretary Hold Pentagon Town Hall Meeting
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2006 The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld held a Pentagon Town Hall Meeting Sept. 22, 2006. Read entire transcript at http://www.jcs.mil/chairman/speeches/060922PentagonTownHallMeeting.html
TranscriptChairman and Defense Secretary meet with press after House Armed Services Committee Meeting
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2006 The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld speak to media after a House Armed Services Committee meeting Sept. 21, 2006. Read entire transcript at http://www.jcs.mil/chairman/speeches/0600921afterHASChearing.html
TranscriptChairman and Defense Secretary meet with press after Senate Armed Services Committee Meeting
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2006 The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld speak to media after a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting Sept. 21, 2006. Read entire transcript at http://www.jcs.mil/chairman/speeches/0600921afterSASChearing.html
Visit JCSLink at www.jcs.mil
Zawahiri Attacks Bush in New Video Posted on Web
Friday , September 29, 2006
Al Qaeda's no. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri called President Bush a "deceitful charlatan" in a new video message posted on the Internet Friday by the group's media arm.
"Why don't you tell them how many million citizens of America and its allies you intend to kill in search of the imaginary victory and in breathless pursuit of the mirage towards which you are driving your people's sons in order to increase your profits?" Zawahiri asked in the video found on the Internet by the terrorist tracking organization SITE.
The new 17-minute video message, titled "Bush, the Pope of the Vatican, Darfur, and the Crusader Wars," was posted in two parts and carried the label of As-Sahab, Al Qaeda's media arm.
In the first part, which carries English subtitles, Zawahiri is in an office with a lamp, a cannon and a flag bearing "No God, but Allah." In the second, the deputy Al Qaeda leader appears dressed entirely in white and there is no background.
"Bush, you deceitful charlatan, be aware that the liberation of our captives is a debt on our shoulders which we must fulfill, with Allah's help and power," Zawahiri said in the video.
"You are not facing individuals or organizations, but rather are facing the Muslim nation in which the spirit of Jihad flows and which refuses humiliation under Zionist/Crusader arrogance" he said.
The video was the latest to come from Zawahri since earlier this month. Al Qaeda released a string of videos for the anniversary of Sept. 11, showing increasingly sophisticated production techniques in a likely effort to demonstrate that it remains a powerful, confident force despite the U.S.-led war on terror.
An intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said U.S. experts view the tape as a typcial propaganda message, whose main thrust is a call for more people to join the jihad.
It wasn't immediately clear when the message was recorded, but Zawahri made a reference to the pope, indicating the message was produced sometime after Pope Benedict XVI's controversial comments about Islam on Sept. 12, the official said. SITE said the message was posted on Sept. 29.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
WELCOME TO IWPR'S TRIBUNAL UPDATE No. 470, September 29, 2006
KRAJISNIK JUDGEMENT CONDEMNED ACROSS BOSNIA Serbs say 27-year sentence
too severe, while Muslims very disappointed by acquittal on genocide
charges. By Merdijana Sadovic in Sarajevo and Caroline Tosh in The Hague
COMMENT: BOSNIA'S "ACCIDENTAL" GENOCIDE The acquittal of Krajisnik on
genocide charges sparks debate in academic circles on the very
definition of this gravest of all crimes. By Edina Becirevic in Sarajevo
PERILS OF REPORTING JUSTICE The indictment of another Croatian
reporter for contempt has fueled debate over professional ethics and press
freedom. By Caroline Tosh in The Hague
NINE-MONTH DELAY EXPECTED IN LUBANGA CASE Lubanga's lawyers demand
more time to go through thousands of pages of prosecution documents. By
Katy Glassborow in The Hague
SESELJ TO HAVE HIS SAY
CONTEMPT OF COURT APPEALS DISMISSED
TENTATIVE DATE SET FOR TAYLOR TRIAL
**** NEW AT IWPR
by William F. Buckley
MAKING WAY FOR JIHAD
September 29, 2006 05:43 PM EST
The categorical opponents of the detainee bill should spend an unhappy hour reading the new book by Mary Habeck. She is a scholar at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins, and her book, "Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror," is published by Yale University Press. The book undertakes to tell the reader things about the jihadist offensive that we should know about, properly concern ourselves with, and take into account when weighing legislative initiatives.
The scene in Washington, in a word, was as follows. The president, who is commander in chief of our armed forces and, as such, principal agent of the national security, took to Congress an impasse. It had been created by the Supreme Court. Exercising, quite properly, its authority to opine on deviations from past constitutional practice having to do with human rights, the court ruled that we could not legitimately proceed, as we have been doing in Guantanamo, to detain foreigners for interrogation and other purposes without reference to such constitutional narrative as is implicit under habeas corpus. That doctrine specifies that the American citizen is the master of his own movements -- putting the burden of respecting that sovereignty on the government.
However, the protection of habeas corpus does not necessarily extend to those who are not U.S. citizens, which is what the current controversy is about. The Geneva Conventions, so often adduced in the congressional debate of the last few weeks, are designed to shed light on the standing of foreigners who find themselves behind bars set up by the U.S. military. The conventions cited are inadequate to current purposes, because those conventions sought to illuminate our authority over persons who had served or were serving in armies against which the United States contended in war.
The problem crystallized soon after Sept. 11, namely what exactly do we call people who are suspected of participating in activity mortal to U.S. interests, but who do not wear any badge of allegiance to any formal foreign body? President Bush took what can perhaps be criticized as the easiest way out: He simply assumed authority over them and their movements.
Moreover, he went further than merely detaining them. Many were suspected of being privy to organized activity against us, of the kind that mention of Sept. 11 calls vividly to mind. Some of these suspects have been handled, we are led to believe, in ways that would not befit, nor be tolerated in, the handling of orthodox prisoners.
Necessarily, with the intervention of the Supreme Court, we needed to come up with a vocabulary appropriate to the challenge. This, Congress has pretty much decided, can be effected by a new nomenclature. It would continue to give the U.S. military authority to detain suspects and to interrogate them vigorously, though not brutally, in the effort to contain the terrorist movement.
How is that movement relevant? "The question of offensive jihad is ... complex and controversial," writes Habeck. "The most widely respected Islamic authorities ... all assume that Muslims have a duty to spread the dominion of Islam, through military offensives, until it rules the world. By the 'dominion of Islam' these authorities did not mean that everyone in the world must convert to Islam, since they also affirmed that 'there is no compulsion in religion,' rather that every part of the Earth must come under Islamic governance and especially the rule of the sharia.
"Azzam's definition of offensive jihad (Azzam is the principal modern theorist of militant Islam) follows this traditional understanding of jihad, noting that it is a duty for the leader of the Muslims 'to assemble and send out an army unit into the land of war once or twice every year.'" The jihadist is obliged to perform with all available capabilities "until there remain only Muslims or people who submit to Islam."
The author reminds us that Azzam's explanation of offensive jihad is "a recounting of the interpretations of the most respected traditional Islamic authorities. To deny this fact would be to deny one of the main reasons that jihadis have gotten a hearing in so much of the Islamic world today."
It is clearly wrong to assume that every Muslim is a jihadist. But it is also wrong to assume that every jihadist is heretical to his faith; and we end with real questions about how to deal with real people whom we catch with gunpowder stains on their robes. We have gone through a conventional constitutional modification, in the evolution of our commitment to prevail over the jihadists, and we need not apologize for it.
COPYRIGHT 2006 UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE
Venezuela and Nigeria Plan to Drive Up Oil Prices
September 30, 2006 02:59 PM EST
by Jim Kouri - Officials from Nigeria and Venezuela say they are planing to cut oil production following organization's concern about the rapid drop in prices. If done, the price of gasoline will once again climb.
According to The Financial Times, OPEC countries figures to be released in the next few weeks are expected to show Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates also reduced output, but they have not mentioned any production cut yet, officially.
Nigeria and Venezuela both officially said their cuts were part of an informal deal worked out at a meeting in September to cut output if prices fell.
Oil prices have fallen nearly 20 percent from its peak mid-summer at $77.03 a barrel.