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Skip to comments.Threat Matrix: March 2007
Posted on 03/01/2007 8:28:33 PM PST by nwctwx
Surely. But it does sound like there was quite a firefight. And it comes just days after seizing the highest level Taliban leader ever captured . . . the Taliban official best positioned to reveal AQ locations since 9/11.
"Things that make you go hmmmmm"
"Things that make you go hmmmmm"...and smile.
Thanks Joe, I'll keep my hopes up that the good guys get the bad guys.
ON THE NET...
"Execution Video of Eighteen Captured Employees of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior by the Islamic State of Iraq, Claim of Capturing and Killing Additional Fourteen Employees"
By SITE Institute
March 3, 2007
ISLAMABAD: US and Pakistani agents were interrogating the Talibans former defence minister on Saturday in the hope that he can help them hunt down other militant leaders, security officials said.
Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, who had a one-million-dollar bounty on his head posted by the US Central Intelligence Agency, was arrested with four other suspects on Wednesday in Quetta. Pakistani officials said Akhund, a key aide to Taliban supremo Mullah Mohammad Omar and an insurgent commander in southern Afghanistan, was flown to the capital Islamabad by helicopter after his capture. He is being interrogated by a joint team of Pakistani and US officials in Islamabad, a senior security official said on condition of anonymity. He did not specify which US agency the officials were from.
Obaidullah is an important figure in the militant network and the authorities will want to know the strength of the group and its tentacles in Pakistan, the official added.
Akhund was arrested at a Quetta hotel on the basis of very solid intelligence, officials said. Plain-clothes agents picked him up when he arrived at the hotel where the other four suspects were already staying. It is a major breakthrough and we hope he can lead to the arrest of a few other of the most wanted Taliban commanders, the security official said. He did not say which other Taliban militants were under scrutiny.
A Taliban spokesman on Friday denied that Akhund had been captured, saying that he was still in Afghanistan. The Pakistani government has yet to officially confirm the arrest. Officials said Akhund would likely have played a key part in Talibans spring offensive. A senior government official said there was a greater focus now on Balochistan to flush out Taliban militants hiding in the region. The law enforcement set-up in the province has been beefed up in the past few months and there is a greater intelligence focus on the Taliban activities in the area.
PINDI GHEB: President General Pervez Musharraf said on Saturday that certain madrassas were involved in training militants and would have to be stopped, since they were bringing the name of the region into disrepute.
Militants send clear message to barbers
Sunday, March 04, 2007
DARA ADAM KHEL: Suspected pro-Taliban militants blew up a barbers shop and injuring relatives of MNA Dr Nasim Afridi in separate incidents on Saturday, tribal sources said. Barber Abdul Salams shop in Raheem Kalay near the main Dara bazaar was damaged in a bomb explosion at 2:00am on Saturday. The explosion damaged the shop, but no one was injured since the shop was empty when the bomb went off, tribal police sources told Daily Times.
Barbers are the latest group to be targeted by militants, who earlier targeted video stores and music shops and businessmen dealing in prize bonds. Militants in Bajaur had already warned barbers against shaving mens beards.
Thanks for the info and links Cindy. Denmark, France, I wonder how much longer before the "youths" are in full swing here.
ON THE NET...
"Special Dispatch Series - No. 1487"
March 2, 2007 No.1487
"Islamist Websites Monitor Project #69-70"
Special Dispatch Series - No. 1476
February 23, 2007 No.1476
"Islamist Websites Monitor Project No. 66-68"
Special Dispatch Series - No. 1473
February 23, 2007 No.1473
"Taliban Recruiting Hundreds of Suicide Bombers for Major Attack on NATO Forces in the Spring: Al-Jazeera Reports"
SNIPPET: "The following are excerpts from Al-Jazeera TV reports on Taliban military plans. The reports were aired on February 21 and 22, 2007.
To view this clip visit: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1387 "
"Barbers are the latest group to be targeted by militants, who earlier targeted video stores and music shops..."
What a vicious cycle -- just a different year.
Thank you Oorang for these posts.
Well, the youths are busy -- in our colleges and universities.
A bit more restrained, in my opinion, but that's about all.
You are quite right, I hadn't thought of it that way. Same agenda just a bit more subversive.
Just checked the DoD Sites and nothing on this there; Yet. Will Keep checking.
Ditto -- the jihadis are focused and stay focused on their evil agenda.
It's a good weekend.
I'm baking cornbread and made meatball soup and my husband is updstairs putting in a new flooring (updating).
Ooops, post no. 113 is in response to post no. 109.
DHAKA: Bangladesh police have arrested 10 activists of banned Islamist groups on the heels of the country's interim government saying it will enact a law soon providing tough penalties to convicted terrorists.
The 10 members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh were arrested in a raid on their hideout in Rajshahi district, 270km northwest of the capital, Dhaka. Top leaders of the two groups - Shayek Abdur Rahman of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen and Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai of the other group - are facing death, along with four others, after being convicted in trials over countrywide bomb blast in 2005.
They were convicted for planning and involvement in the explosion of some 500 bombs across the country on August 17 and more bomb attacks through rest of that year, killing at least 30 people and wounding 150. An adviser to the interim government, Mainul Husein, said that a new law was being framed to ban all organisations if they were found to be linked to terrorism in any form.
Pakistan police arrest 5 militants over 39 bomb attacks
March 3, 2007
KARACHI, Pakistan: Five Islamic militants have been arrested for their alleged involvement in 39 low-scale bomb attacks in southern Pakistan, police said Saturday.
The men were captured late Friday as they tried to plant a bomb on a railway track to blow up a train in Hyderabad, a city 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi. Hyderabad police chief Shaukat Shah said the men had links with an outlawed militant group, but he would not give details.
"So far these terrorists have confessed to their role in blowing up railway tracks and planting bombs in buses," he said. It was not immediately clear how many people were killed or injured in the attacks, and Shah said officers were still investigating.
Supermarket checkout staff are being trained by the security services in how to detect potential terrorists. MI5 has been secretly advising food retailers, including Asda and Tesco, on how to identify extremist shoppers. Measures include increasing CCTV in underground carparks to prevent bomb attacks and being alert to mass purchases of mobile phones, which can be used as bomb detonators. The awareness training for staff also covers bulk sales of toiletries which could be used as the basic ingredient in explosives.
The security services and ministers are worried supermarkets are an attractive target for terrorists because of the potential for mass casualties. One terrorism expert said: "Terrorists know if they frighten people from everyday activities they are 'winning the war'. What better than a busy supermarket which is hard to defend and with lots of cars in a car park?"
A Tesco spokesman said: "We have strict procedures and contingency plans in place and we remain in close contact with the security services at all levels." Asda also confirmed it had "contingency plans" to cover a "number of potential crises".
The Asda chain is owned by the US retail giant Wal-Mart. Last year, three Palestinian-Americans from Texas were arrested in a Wal-Mart outlet in Michigan after staff spotted them bulk-buying mobile phones. The suspects claimed to be buying the 80 handsets to resell them for a profit, but police held them on suspicion they were planning to use the phones as detonators. Their van contained 1,000 phones and pictures of a bridge, police said. The men are awaiting trial.
The FBI has already thwarted a terrorist plot in the US which was aimed at hospitals and supermarkets. Last April, a 23-year-old man was convicted of supporting terror after plotting a jihad against supermarkets and hospitals in the US. Hamid Hayat, who faces a possible sentence of 38 years, admitted he had attended a terror training camp in the Balakot area of Pakistan. His plea for a new trial was rejected last month.
The FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security sent out joint bulletins in February and March to police departments nationwide warning about the bulk purchase of phones for personal profit or financing terrorism. Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, warned in the wake of the bombing of the Twin Towers that supermarkets were an attractive target for al-Qa'ida, which could use them to cause mass casualties through bombings or poison plots.
MPs also warned in a report in 2003 that more needed to be done to protect the food industry after Tesco revealed there was a "real and current threat" of terrorists contaminating food supplies.
Special Branch officers were used during the IRA bombing campaigns on the British mainland to give advice to companies, including the food industry, on the threat they faced. But security sources said that the problem is now much more serious, because modern extremists are more random in their approach, unlike the IRA which focused on very specific targets. Whitehall sources confirmed that many businesses including "those in the food industry" have been given training and advice, although they refused to give specific details.
When Muhammad Jamal Khalifa was found dead at a remote gemstone mine in south-eastern Madagascar at the end of January, local police quickly put the murder down to a business deal gone wrong. The Saudi businessman, 49, had had to call in local police to evict a gang who had taken over the mine during the owner's six-year absence. All the evidence pointed towards another of the many killings that dominate the notoriously violent Madagascar gem mining business.
Khalifa had been shot twice, stabbed and hacked at with an axe. His laptop, notebooks and money were missing, as were his two mobile phones. A survivor from the attack said a gang of up to 30 men had burst in to the guesthouse at the mine in Soameloka before setting upon their victim. But it soon became apparent to the police that this was no ordinary killing. Khalifa was a man with a past, and at the time of his death he was being monitored by the US secret service.
He was married to one of Osama bin Laden's sisters, and was once the closest friend of the al-Qaida leader. He had also been sentenced to death in absentia in Jordan for allegedly funding a bombing campaign, had funded Islamic charities in the Philippines and had played a controversial role in the arrest of the gang that attempted to blow up the World Trade Centre in 1993. After the September 11 2001 attacks he had been arrested by the Saudi authorities and for several years afterwards had been prevented from travelling abroad. He was a man with many enemies.
Explosives experts found "several" suspicious devices and home-made explosive powder in a search of a house at a Hampshire village. People living in four streets in the village of Baughurst were forced to leave their homes as a precaution. A 100m cordon was put in place around the house in Wellington Crescent following the arrest of a man. The affected residents stayed at Hurst Community College but were allowed home just after 0100 GMT on Sunday.
The police action followed the arrest of a man, said to be aged in his twenties. A spokesman for Hampshire Police said: "Early indications are there are several small possible explosive devices inside." He added: "There is no intelligence that this arrest is connected to terrorism, nor is it connected to any others such as animal rights type groups." Two army bomb disposal teams, 25 police officers, three fire engines and two ambulances were on standby at the village, north of Basingstoke.
Police track chlorine lorries in terror alert (U.K.)
Sunday March 4, 2007
Police are monitoring the movement of industrial chlorine across Britain amid fears that terrorists are planning to hijack lorries transporting the toxic chemical. The security services have identified chlorine as a potential new weapon following a series of attacks in Iraq during the past fortnight in which insurgents have successfully detonated makeshift chemical weapons made from chlorine.
Stephen Swain, the Metropolitan Police's former head of anti-terrorism, said Scotland Yard and MI5 are working with the Road Haulage Association to ensure drivers are trained to spot potential threats. Swain added: 'Chlorine's a really nasty material and there's a lot of it about. There is a lot of work being done by the security services to try to track where all this is going.
"Prisons clamp down on mobile phones"
04 March 2007 By John Burke
ARTICLE SNIPPET: "While prisoner access to mobile phones is not permitted, incarcerated criminals are known to use intimidation and coercion of other more vulnerable inmates, as well as the inducement of drugs, to obtain access to mobile phones."
ARTICLE SNIPPET: "Senior gardai believe that, in a number of cases, gangland assassinations have been ordered by prisoners in jail via mobile phones, though the most common use is for the organisation of drug deals and other criminal activity.
Prison staff have recovered mobile phones wrapped in plastic in the u-bends of toilets and down drainholes."
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
This information is current as of today, Sat Mar 03 2007 20:56:43 GMT-0800.
December 22, 2006
"Pig tactics threatened
Norwegian anti-immigration politicians in Bergen have promised to chase off Muslims with pigs feet and squealing noises if Bergen's central square is used for prayers."
ARTICLE SNIPPET: "The leader of the Demokratene, an extreme populist party formed by outcasts of the populist Progress Party, Vidar Kleppe, said Wednesday that he backed the remarks of city council representative Kenneth Rasmussen.
Rasmussen reacted with threats of porcine tactics after Labour Party politician Jerad Abdelmajid said that the city's Muslims could take their Friday prayers in Torgallmenningen, Bergen's central square, when they will be without a mosque from March 31. Building of a new mosque is behind schedule.
Abdelmajid's announcement provoked heated public debate.
"I completely agree with Kenneth Rasmussen that Muslims having their Friday prayers with their butts in the air in the city center is no solution. They can find other places," Kleppe told news agency NTB.
Kenneth Rasmussen told newspaper Dagbladet's web site that Bergen residents should hang up pig's feet and play pig squeals over loudspeakers to scare off Muslims, and claimed these tactics worked when he was a soldier for the United Nations in Somalia and Lebanon in the 1990s."
ON THE NET...
Note: The following post is a quote:
US has arrested more than 500 Iranians in Iraq, pursued others into Iran
Middle East Times ^ | March 4, 2007 | Sherwood Ross
Posted on 03/03/2007 10:04:41 PM PST by jmc1969
The Cold War between the US and Iran is heating up.
US military and special-operations teams "have escalated their activities in Iran to gather intelligence" and reportedly "have also crossed the border in pursuit of Iranian operatives from Iraq," according to investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in an article in the March 5 issue of The New Yorker magazine.
Hersh quotes a former senior intelligence aide stating: "The word went out last August for the military to snatch as many Iranians in Iraq as they can. They had 500 locked up at one time. We're working these guys and getting information from them."
(Excerpt) Read more at metimes.com ...
ON THE NET...
"Teheran Agents Smuggled In Missile That Shot Down RAF Helicopter In Iraq"
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 3-3-2007 | Sean Rayment
Posted on 03/03/2007 6:57:28 PM PST by blam
"Teheran agents smuggled in missile that shot down RAF helicopter in Iraq, inquiry finds"
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:48am GMT 04/03/2007
ARTICLE SNIPPET: "A missile which brought down an RAF Lynx helicopter and killed five British Service personnel was smuggled into Iraq by Iranian agents, an official inquiry into the attack will reveal.
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that a British Army Board of Inquiry (BOI) into the events surrounding last May's attack will state that the weapon, a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile known as an SA14 Strella, came from Iran.
The attack, which was also responsible for the death of Flt Lt Sarah Mulvihill, the first British servicewoman to be killed on active service since the Second World War, appears to provide further evidence of Iran's direct involvement in the deaths of British troops serving in Iraq.
It is understood that the inquiry, which has assessed evidence from military engineers and scientists, will conclude that the aircraft was shot down with an Iranian SA14 missile. The inquiry, which is conducted by senior RAF and Army officers, will deliver its finding to defence chiefs next month."
ON THE NET...
Note: The following text is a quote:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 2007
Attorney General Gonzales Highlights Department Efforts
to Fight Gang Violence in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in highlighting the collaboration between the Department of Justice and the City of Los Angeles to curb the threat of violent gang crime in the city.
As with many other areas of the country, the Department and its components have partnered with state and local law enforcement in the Los Angeles area to form key partnerships and task forces aimed at actively investigating and prosecuting gang crime, preventing youth from becoming involved in gangs, and providing support to former gang members who are re-entering society.
I am concerned about the gang problem in Los Angeles and applaud the strong coordination between federal law enforcement and our state and local partners to tackle this challenge, said Attorney General Gonzales. Enforcing the law in this area is important, but keeping kids out of gangs in the first place is the goal of all goals when it comes to combating gang violence.
During his visit to Los Angeles, the Attorney General joined Mayor Villaraigosa in touring Homeboy Industries, a gang prevention facility located in East Los Angeles that receives support from a Gang Reduction Program (GRP) grant through the Departments Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Homeboy Industries provides job opportunities, training and counseling to former and would-be gang members throughout Los Angeles County. The funding for Homeboy Industries is part of a GRP grant aimed at addressing gang issues in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, which is led by the Mayors office with assistance from federal and local law enforcement representatives.
Because many of the violent gangs in the Los Angeles area also have a presence in foreign countries, including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the Department sponsored an International Chiefs of Police Summit on Transnational Gangs in Los Angeles in February. The summit brought together law enforcement officials from California and Central America to discuss and develop joint enforcement, information sharing, and intervention strategies aimed at addressing their common gang problems. A follow-up conference is scheduled for April in El Salvador.
Other successful partnerships between the Department, and state and local officials in the Los Angeles area include the following:
FBI, DEA, and ATF are assisting the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in two of LAPDs Gang Enforcement Initiatives for 2007 by identifying, targeting and investigating the most active and violent gangs and gang members in the city. As part of this effort, the FBI recently announced that it will be sending a team of agents to work in the LAPDs South Bureau, an area of the city with a particularly serious gang violence problem.
Last year, the Department selected a neighborhood in the Watts area of Los Angeles as one of six sites nationwide to participate in the Attorney Generals Comprehensive Anti-Gang Program. As part of the program, the area will receive $2.5 million in grant funds to enhance enforcement, prevention and prisoner re-entry efforts. Of this amount, $1.5 million will go directly to support prevention and re-entry programs designed with input from local citizens, community organizations, and parole and probation officials.
The Department provides funding to four Weed and Seed sites in the Los Angeles area. These sites couple enforcement with gang prevention programs ranging from gang resistance education for elementary school students to summer job programs for teens.
In conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department helps fund a Public Housing Safety Initiative in the Jordan Downs housing development in Watts. The initiative includes a community policing model to enhance the relationship between police and residents, and a coalition of social service providers who refer residents to a variety of social services, including childcare, tutoring, English as a Second Language classes, job training, and placement programs.
Sunday, March 4, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM
"Critic of Kremlin is shot near home"
ARTICLE SNIPPET: "A few hours after meeting a former KGB general outside the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., an outspoken critic of the Kremlin was shot Thursday outside his Maryland home."
ARTICLE SNIPPET: "Joyal, 53, who was shot in the groin outside his home in Adelphi, Md., was in stable condition Saturday, police said."
"Expert in Russian poisoning case is shot"
NBC News ^ | March 2 2007 | Pete Williams
Posted on 03/02/2007 5:25:46 PM PST by jmc1969
ON THE NET...
Here's an older map I saw on another thread:
Sunday, March 04, 2007
"Iran warns Azerbaijan to keep distance from US"
ARTICLE SNIPPET: "On February 22, Azerbaijani media outlets reported that Iranian helicopters had violated the air space of Azerbaijan and by flying over the southern town of Astara for over 20 minutes. Reportedly, the flight took place right over the city administration building and caused considerable panic among the local residents.
Elchin Guliyev, the commander of the State Border Service of Azerbaijan, confirmed the news reports, noting that the Azerbaijani Embassy in Iran had been immediately notified of the violation of the countrys air space and that a note had been sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan to follow up with the problem. Azerbaijans Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Khalaf Khalafov is currently visiting Iran to discuss this issue. Guliyev added that the incident had taken place while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was visiting northern Iran. Azerbaijanis commonly refer to this area as South Azerbaijan, because the Turkmanchay Treaty of 1828, between Tsarist Russia and Persia, effectively divided Azerbaijan along the Arax River, thus leaving the southern part of it within contemporary Iran. The area is a home to more than 25 million ethnic Azeris.
This high concentration of ethnic Azeris in northern Iran is the main reason that Iranian-Azerbaijani relations have been at odds for much of the 1990s. Iran, fearing a secessionist movement among ethnic Azeris, has prohibited education in the Azerbaijani language and limited human rights. The recent warming of bilateral relations has been largely a consequence of the efforts of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to build peaceful relations with all of his neighbors. Yet, the constant insecurity of the Iranian political leadership regarding a possible U.S. military strike against Iran -- and possible Azerbaijani support for such an action -- leads to occasional provocations, such as the case with the Iranian helicopters.
Local analysts in Baku believe that the incident did not happen by accident. On the contrary, it is a clear warning to official Baku to stay out of the U.S.-led campaign against Irans nuclear program and not to support -- either politically or logistically -- any possible military action against Tehran. Azerbaijan, with its shared border with Iran, would serve as a perfect staging ground for anti-Iranian actions."
Day.az, Echo, Zerkalo, Xalq Qazeti (February 21-28)
posted by Marko at 3/04/2007 03:15:00 PM
stepping back in time ( a bit):
"AZERBAIJAN KEEPS SOLIDARITY WITH GEORGIA DESPITE RUSSIAN ENERGY SUPPLY CUTS"
Jamestown.org ^ | 12/8/06 | Vladimir Socor
Posted on 12/09/2006 4:48:40 PM PST by Valin
"China to increase military spending[17.8%]"
AP ^ | 04 March 2007 | AUDRA ANG
Posted on 03/04/2007 1:11:07 AM PST by FLOutdoorsman
"Al-Imam al-Mahdi, The Just Leader of Humanity"
Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project ^ | unknown | Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini
Posted on 03/04/2007 2:04:31 AM PST by Dajjal
Note: The following text is a quote:
Tamil rebel mortar fire wounds 3 soldiers in Sri Lanka's north
Published: 03.04.07, 10:29 / Israel News
Three soldiers were wounded Sunday in an exchange of mortar fire with Tamil separatist rebels in Sri Lanka's volatile north, the military said.
The Tigers fired mortar rounds into Vavuniya district, wounding the three troops, said Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse, a senior defense ministry official. (AP)
Note: The following text is a quote:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
This information is current as of today, Sun Mar 04 2007 03:09:26 GMT-0800.
October 11, 2006
This Public Announcement updates information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against Americans and interests overseas. This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated June 6, 2006 and expires on April 9, 2007.
The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics to include assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings.
Ongoing events in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East have resulted in demonstrations and associated violence in several countries. Americans are reminded that demonstrations and rioting can occur with little or no warning.
In August 2006, British authorities arrested a significant number of extremists engaged in a plot to destroy multiple passenger aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States. The September 2006 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Syria and the March 2006 bombing near the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, illustrate the continuing desire of extremists to strike American targets.
Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests. A series of bombings in Thailand in May and September 2006 which targeted tourist destinations, the bombings in the Egyptian resort town of Dahab in April 2006, the bombings at a market in Palu, Indonesia in December 2005, the hotel bombings in Jordan in early November 2005 and the bombing of a crowded marketplace in New Delhi in October 2005 illustrate how terrorists exploit vulnerabilities associated with soft targets. Additional examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas and locales where Americans gather in large numbers, including during holidays. Financial or economic targets of value may also be considered as possible venues; the failed attack on the Abqaiq oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia in late February 2006 is one such example.
In the wake of the August 2006 plot against aircraft in London, numerous terrorist attacks on trains in India in 2006, the July 2005 London Underground bombings, and the March 2004 train attacks in Madrid, Americans are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems. In addition, extremists may also select aviation and maritime services as possible targets.
U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. For additional information, please refer to A Safe Trip Abroad found at http://travel.state.gov.
U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Americans abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.
>FBI, DEA, and ATF are assisting the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in two of LAPDs Gang Enforcement Initiatives for 2007 by identifying, targeting and investigating the most active and violent gangs and gang members in the city.<
When the data is compiled it will be stored for a report should Congress request one.
As always, many thanks, Ian.
Hi all, I'm still lurking here when I can.
I think about you all so often, 3rd small recurrence, weekly chemo, feeling strong!
That's good news, Crabbie. Continued prayers for you and yours.
Thanks so much for letting us know, AD. Prayers up.
Praying for Ex
Feeling strong is excellent news! Take care of yourself Crabbie.
Cause for celebration, thanks NW!
WASHINGTON - The number of experts who believe that terrorists could obtain the apparatus for a nuclear bomb is impressive and growing.
The Sept. 11 Commission described in 2004 the relative ease with which terrorists could conceal the needed weapons-grade plutonium or highly enriched uranium, which it said would be ``about the size of a grapefruit or an orange.'' Since 2001, law enforcement officials have developed training exercises on how terrorists might smuggle eight components for an improvised 10-kiloton bomb into the United States and then detonate it near the White House.
Experts in and out of the government worry that the most likely source of nuclear material is Russia and the former Soviet bloc nations, where stocks of weapons-grade plutonium and uranium are stored at loosely guarded sites.
Five "terrorists" detained crossing into Pakistan from Iran
Saturday March 3, 2007
Islamabad- Pakistani authorities on Saturday detained five foreign nationals attempting to enter the country from Iran with the intent of carrying out terrorist attacks, the Online news agency reported.
Border police said they arrested one Turk, two Afghans and two Russians in the Taftan area and seized sensitive documents. Both countries have intensified security along their border in the wake of illegal movement of people and kidnapping of security personnel.
Iran is in the process of fortifying stretches of the frontier with a ten-foot wall.
Mass arrests in Iran over security fears (Iran)
March 4, 2007
Tehran: More than 32 women and several Iranian journalists were arrested on Sunday for "endangering national security", the state media reported. The women were protesting outside a courthouse in Tehran to demand a fair trial for five women arrested last June. The five women on trial had met to demand equal rights for women. They were charged with endangering national security, propaganda against the state and taking part in an illegal gathering.
The Iranian journalists were arrested for charges including "acting against national security foreign backing", Irans official news agency IRNA reported. "They were spreading reports to create divisions among Iran's ethnic groups. They were getting significant amounts of dollars from abroad," IRNA quoted a ministry statement as saying.
IRNAs report did not name the journalists or cite any other countries. The arrests came as Iranian and Saudi leaders meet in Saudi Arabia to discuss the security situation in Iraq and Lebanon, and to prevent Iran from sliding further into isolation.
Targets are often revisited . . .
I agree it is a long shot. But one the top Taliban leaders, Dadullah (not the one captured - - Obeidullah) just claimed this week on British TV to be in direct contact with UBL's "comrades". And he also indicated they would know "easily" if he was "martyred". So, in addition to capturing the highest level Taliban official since 9/11, another high-level Taliban official also claimed this week to have constant, though indirect knowledge of UBL's location/status (by easily knowing whether he were dead or alive).
And unless he starts staying in the same hut/cave for more than a couple days, by definition it would have to be a fast turnaround. But again, you are right that it is a long shot. And you know it is exactly like chasing someone up and down the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico to Montana when it was still the "wild West" - - no infrastructure, no highways, and not yet under federal military control. That is almost precisely how long the border is. And the mountains are just as high, and in some cases, higher.
It took 8-9 months in 2003 to find Saddam in a flat, desert country with 150,000+ pairs of "boots on the ground". We've never had more than we have now in Afghanistan (roughly 25,000 total coalition) and only a fraction can be deployed on the border because all the rest are needed to keep the country together (which is bigger than Iraq yet only has a fraction of the coalition forces). This is what was bound to happen when we as a nation, over two decades, and still today, refuse to address a slowly imploding military force structure (especially ground troops who are the only ones who can hold and own real estate). The cupboard is now bare. For the first time since the Reagan administration, we are finally talking about building back a little bit of the the ground forces (90,000 troops) over the next several years. But it is like trying to turn the Titanic around when you see the iceburg in front of you.
I hope they catch him one day. But he is not our most dangerous problem at the moment.
SAN'A, Yemen - A hundred jailed Muslim extremists, including some who allegedly fought for al-Qaida in Iraq, were released by authorities, a Yemeni security official said.
The official, speaking Saturday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said that some of the released completed serving their sentences, while some of the others were acquitted for lack of evidence. He said the release of the 100 prisoners had been carried out in stages, with the last set free in late February.
The official added that 19 of the released fought under the command of al-Qaida in Iraq's previous leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, prior to his death in a U.S. airstrike last June. Some of the 19 had been convicted of plotting terrorist attacks after they were handed over to Yemen by Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other countries.
Among the released were four Saudis and also members of a Yemeni extremist group the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army that had kidnapped four tourists three Britons and an Australian, in 1998. The tourists were killed in a botched rescue attempt by Yemeni security forces.
An interior ministry official, who said that the released members of Aden-Abyan Islamic Army were given $1,000 to help them restart life outside bars.
Unknown militant considered to lead al-Qaida-linked group in RP (Phillipines)
Sunday, March 04, 2007
JOLO, Sulu -- A little-known Filipino militant is being considered to lead the violent al-Qaida-linked group Abu Sayyaf after U.S.-backed troops killed its two top leaders, security officials said.
Citing intelligence information, Philippine Army Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo said Saturday that Yasser Igasan has been tipped as a possible replacement. Cedo is overseeing a massive U.S.-backed offensive against the Abu Sayyaf on the southern Philippine island of Jolo.
Igasan, who had been to Libya and the Middle East, was being considered because of his terror training abroad, his good education and his crucial connections with possible foreign financiers - traits which other Abu Sayyaf commanders lack - two security officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, citing policy. The Abu Sayyaf, which is on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, has been blamed for deadly bombings, beheadings and high-profile ransom kidnappings, including of Americans.
Not much is known about Igasan's background. His name cropped up during intelligence operatives' monitoring of goings-on within the Abu Sayyaf following the separate killings of its chieftain, Khaddafy Janjalani, and presumed successor, Jainal Antel Sali Jr. or Abu Sulaiman, the two security officials said.
Igasan, an explosives expert, may have already returned to Jolo island in Sulu province, Cedo told The AP. "He's from abroad," Cedo said. "He has the connections." Military and police intelligence officials have speculated that the next most likely leader of the Abu Sayyaf would be chosen from among its most senior commanders, led by Radulan Sahiron, a one-armed militant based in the mountain jungles near Jolo's Patikul town.
Despite the emergence of possible successors, it may take time for the Abu Sayyaf to anoint a new leader because its remaining 400 armed members, mostly on Jolo and in nearby Basilan island, were struggling to run away from relentless military assaults, the two security officials said. Hundreds of U.S. troops wound down two weeks of military exercises on Jolo Saturday that focused on development work. Other U.S. military personnel training and arming Filipino troops would stay as long as the Philippine government needed them, U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney told reporters.