Skip to comments.Threat Matrix: August 2008
Posted on 08/01/2008 12:17:04 PM PDT by nwctwx
ping to August!
Wow here already!
Thank you, nw.
Adding this to the new thread:
Pakistan: More Rumors of Al-Zawahiri’s Death [Zawahiri Killed in US airstrike?]
Also adding this FRmail to the August thread:
“Limbaugh has said that, yet unconfirmed, the US military may have killed the #2 leader of al-Qaeda, al-Zawahiri. For all intents and purposes he is or was their maximum leader, as he is, or was, a highly educated physician from Egypt, unlike Osama bin Laden, who is more a spiritual leader.”
U.S. Intel: Iran Plans Nuclear Strike on U.S
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:00 AM
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Iran has carried out missile tests for what could be a plan for a nuclear strike on the United States, the head of a national security panel has warned.
In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee and in remarks to a private conference on missile defense over the weekend hosted by the Claremont Institute, Dr. William Graham warned that the U.S. intelligence community doesnt have a story to explain the recent Iranian tests.
One group of tests that troubled Graham, the former White House science adviser under President Ronald Reagan, were successful efforts to launch a Scud missile from a platform in the Caspian Sea.
Theyve got [test] ranges in Iran which are more than long enough to handle Scud launches and even Shahab-3 launches, Dr. Graham said. Why would they be launching from the surface of the Caspian Sea? They obviously have not explained that to us.
Another troubling group of tests involved Shahab-3 launches where the Iranians “detonated the warhead near apogee, not over the target area where the thing would eventually land, but at altitude, Graham said. Why would they do that?
Graham chairs the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, a blue-ribbon panel established by Congress in 2001.
The commission examined the Iranian tests and without too much effort connected the dots, even though the U.S. intelligence community previously had failed to do so, Graham said.
The only plausible explanation we can find is that the Iranians are figuring out how to launch a missile from a ship and get it up to altitude and then detonate it, he said. And thats exactly what you would do if you had a nuclear weapon on a Scud or a Shahab-3 or other missile, and you wanted to explode it over the United States.
The commission warned in a report issued in April that the United States was at risk of a sneak nuclear attack by a rogue nation or a terrorist group designed to take out our nations critical infrastructure.
“If even a crude nuclear weapon were detonated anywhere between 40 kilometers to 400 kilometers above the earth, in a split-second it would generate an electro-magnetic pulse [EMP] that would cripple military and civilian communications, power, transportation, water, food, and other infrastructure,” the report warned.
While not causing immediate civilian casualties, the near-term impact on U.S. society would dwarf the damage of a direct nuclear strike on a U.S. city.
The first indication [of such an attack] would be that the power would go out, and some, but not all, the telecommunications would go out. We would not physically feel anything in our bodies, Graham said.
As electric power, water and gas delivery systems failed, there would be truly massive traffic jams, Graham added, since modern automobiles and signaling systems all depend on sophisticated electronics that would be disabled by the EMP wave.
So you would be walking. You wouldnt be driving at that point, Graham said. And it wouldnt do any good to call the maintenance or repair people because they wouldnt be able to get there, even if you could get through to them.
The food distribution system also would grind to a halt as cold-storage warehouses stockpiling perishables went offline. Even warehouses equipped with backup diesel generators would fail, because we wouldnt be able to pump the fuel into the trucks and get the trucks to the warehouses, Graham said.
The United States would quickly revert to an early 19th century type of country. except that we would have 10 times as many people with ten times fewer resources, he said.
Most of the things we depend upon would be gone, and we would literally be depending on our own assets and those we could reach by walking to them, Graham said.
America would begin to resemble the 2002 TV series, Jeremiah, which depicts a world bereft of law, infrastructure, and memory.
In the TV series, an unspecified virus wipes out the entire adult population of the planet. In an EMP attack, the casualties would be caused by our almost total dependence on technology for everything from food and water, to hospital care.
Within a week or two of the attack, people would start dying, Graham says.
People in hospitals would be dying faster than that, because they depend on power to stay alive. But then it would go to water, food, civil authority, emergency services. And we would end up with a country with many, many people not surviving the event.
Asked just how many Americans would die if Iran were to launch the EMP attack it appears to be preparing, Graham gave a chilling reply.
You have to go back into the 1800s to look at the size of population that could survive in a nation deprived of mechanized agriculture, transportation, power, water, and communication.
Id have to say that 70 to 90 percent of the population would not be sustainable after this kind of attack, he said.
America would be reduced to a core of around 30 million people about the number that existed in the decades after Americas independence from Great Britain.
The modern electronic economy would shut down, and America would most likely revert to an earlier economy based on barter, the EMP commissions report on Critical National Infrastructure concluded earlier this year.
In his recent congressional testimony, Graham revealed that Iranian military journals, translated by the CIA at his commissions request, explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States.
Furthermore, if Iran launched its attack from a cargo ship plying the commercial sea lanes off the East coast a scenario that appears to have been tested during the Caspian Sea tests U.S. investigators might never determine who was behind the attack. Because of the limits of nuclear forensic technology, it could take months. And to disguise their traces, the Iranians could simply decide to sink the ship that had been used to launch it, Graham said.
Several participants in last weekends conference in Dearborn, Mich., hosted by the conservative Claremont Institute argued that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was thinking about an EMP attack when he opined that a world without America is conceivable.
In May 2007, then Undersecretary of State John Rood told Congress that the U.S. intelligence community estimates that Iran could develop an ICBM capable of hitting the continental United States by 2015.
But Iran could put a Scud missile on board a cargo ship and launch from the commercial sea lanes off Americas coasts well before then.
The only thing Iran is lacking for an effective EMP attack is a nuclear warhead, and no one knows with any certainty when that will occur. The latest U.S. intelligence estimate states that Iran could acquire the fissile material for a nuclear weapon as early as 2009, or as late as 2015, or possibly later.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld first detailed the Scud-in-a-bucket threat during a briefing in Huntsville, Ala., on Aug. 18, 2004.
While not explicitly naming Iran, Rumsfeld revealed that one of the nations in the Middle East had launched a ballistic missile from a cargo vessel. They had taken a short-range, probably Scud missile, put it on a transporter-erector launcher, lowered it in, taken the vessel out into the water, peeled back the top, erected it, fired it, lowered it, and covered it up. And the ship that they used was using a radar and electronic equipment that was no different than 50, 60, 100 other ships operating in the immediate area.
Irans first test of a ship-launched Scud missile occurred in spring 1998, and was mentioned several months later in veiled terms by the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, a blue-ribbon panel also known as the Rumsfeld Commission.
I was the first reporter to mention the Iran sea-launched missile test in an article appearing in the Washington Times in May 1999.
Intelligence reports on the launch were well known to the White House but have not been disseminated to the appropriate congressional committees, I wrote. Such a missile could be used in a devastating stealth attack against the United States or Israel for which the United States has no known or planned defense.
Few experts believe that Iran can be deterred from launching such an attack by the threat of massive retaliation against Iran. They point to a December 2001 statement by former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who mulled the possibility of Israeli retaliation after an Iranian nuclear strike.
The use of an atomic bomb against Israel would destroy Israel completely, while [the same] against the Islamic only would cause damages. Such a scenario is not inconceivable, Rafsanjani said at the time.
Rep. Trent Franks, R, Ariz., plans to introduce legislation next week that would require the Pentagon to lay the groundwork for an eventual military strike against Iran, to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and EMP capability.
An EMP attack on America would send us back to the horse and buggy era without the horse and buggy, he told the Claremont Institute conference on Saturday. If youre a terrorist, this is your ultimate goal, your ultimate asymmetric weapon.
Noting Irans recent sea-launched and mid-flight warhead detonation tests, Rep. Franks concluded, They could do it either directly or anonymously by putting some freighter out there on the ocean.
The only possible deterrent against Iran is the prospect of failure, Dr. Graham and other experts agreed. And the only way the United States could credibly threaten an Iranian missile strike would be to deploy effective national missile defenses.
Its well known that people dont go on a diet until theyve had a heart attack, said Claremont Institute president Brian T. Kennedy. And we as a nation are having a heart attack when it comes to the threat of an EMP attack from Iran.
As of today, we have no defense against such an attack. We need space-based missile defenses to protect against an EMP attack, he told Newsmax.
Rep. Franks said he remains surprised at how partisan the subject of space-based missile defenses remain. Nuclear missiles dont discriminate on party lines when they land, he said.
Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, a long-standing champion of missile defense, told the Claremont conference on Friday that Sen. Obama has opposed missile defense tooth and nail and as president would cut funding for these programs dramatically.
Senator Obama has been quoted as saying, I dont agree with a missile defense system, and that we can cut $10 billion of the research out never mind, as I say, that the entire budget is $9.6 billion, or $9.3 billion, Kyl said.
Like Franks, Kyl believes that the only way to eventually deter Iran from launching an EMP attack on the United States is to deploy robust missile defense systems, including space-based interceptors.
The United States needs a missile defense that is so strong, in all the different phases we need to defend against . . . that countries will decide its not worth coming up against us, Kyl said.
Thats one of the things that defeated the Soviet Union. Thats one of the ways we can deal with these rogue states . . . and also the way that we can keep countries that are not enemies today, but are potential enemies, from developing capabilities to challenge us.
© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
Jihadi Tutorial in Urban Terrorism and the Kidnapping of Americans
By Abdul Hameed Bakier
Recent postings in a jihadi internet forum give instructions on how to kidnap Americans and conduct urban terror operations. A posting entitled The preferred rules of the art of kidnapping Americans is an in-depth training lesson directed at the conduct of successful kidnappings (al-ekhlaas.net, July 7). In the same context, another posting entitled Clandestine work inside the city discussed urban terror training tactics (al-ekhlaas.net, July 7).
A forum participant, nicknamed Abu Hajar Abdul Aziz al-Moqrin, commences his first posting by explaining the definition of security operations against the enemy in depth, the significance of such operations and the different types of these operations. The scope of jihadi operations range from basic security activities to selective targeting and mass casualty attacks.
In the security operations, jihadis are to attack political figures without claiming responsibility whenever it is deemed necessary to liquidate certain harmful anti-jihad figures. Secondly, jihadi security operations are to be attempted whenever a military attack is impractical. Thirdly, terror attacks are directed against economic targets and enemy facilities. Al-Moqrin elaborates on the tactics jihadis must implement depending on battlefield circumstances, such as raids and ambushes. Preparation for a terror raid or ambush involves target selection, casing, planning, preparing gear, setting a date and selecting the right execution elements. Al-Moqrin explains the importance of casing and surveillance in these operations and elucidates the techniques required for casing and surveillance and the temporary and permanent covers needed for an operation.
On the subject of kidnapping, al-Moqrin says the objective of kidnapping important enemy personnel (such as high ranking officers, aviation officials or diplomats) includes forcing the enemy to acquiesce to demands to release imprisoned fellow jihadis, collecting intelligence from the kidnapped, capturing equipment and documents useful in future jihad operations, raising money through ransoms and the demoralization of the enemy. Prior to execution, the jihadis must collect sufficient intelligence on the target through surveillance. Factors in target selection include:
The target is a mature male
The target is isolated from security protection details
The target is physically weak and easy to subdue
The target does not maintain vigilance
Kidnapping cells must be equipped with silenced weapons, anesthetic injections, wires, a device to deliver electric shocks, tape, blindfolds and three vehiclestwo for reconnaissance and one to transport the target. The victim is to be held in an isolated place with multiple entrances and exits and must be large enough to bury the victim in case the victim is executed.
Al-Moqrins training lesson is very thorough, covering many small details. The lesson ends by emphasizing discretion, saying the possibility of detecting and uncovering the cell is 3 percent during preparation, 2 percent during execution and 95 percent after execution.
In another posting in the same forum, entitled Clandestine work inside the city, al-Moqrin says a four-member jihadi cell should be properly trained in urban terror warfare before activation. Cell members should be locals working under suitable covers and carrying the necessary identity documents. Living expenses are higher in some cities than others; therefore the cell has to be properly funded. Jihadis must learn from past mistakes and operate on a need-to-know basis. The cell that collects information on a target must not know the purpose of the collected information and the cell that secures weapons and equipment must not know the target or the time of execution. Therefore, the urban cell has to have a commanding unit, an intelligence unit, a logistics unit and an execution unit. The units are to communicate indirectly through using the dead letter box technique. Types of jihadi operations in the city include assassinations, kidnappings, vandalism and raids to release imprisoned jihadis.
Al-Moqrin warns jihadis not to attack religious figures because it harms the jihadi cause. An exception is made for cases of great necessity, such as the case of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was killed in 1990 for cursing the Prophet Muhammad. Instead, urban jihad cells should seek economic targets, such as Jewish investments in Muslim countries, international companies, international economic experts, exports from Crusader countries and raw materials being stolen from Muslim countries by the enemies, with al-Moqrin calling for attacks on oil wells, oil pipeline and oil tankers.
The human target-list, according to al-Moqrin, should be prioritized as follows:
1. Jews: Jews from Israel and the United States have priority over Jews from the UK and France
2. Christians, especially those from the United States, the UK, Spain, Australia, Canada and Italy
3. Apostates, particularly Muslim leaders who keep close ties with Jewish and Christian governments, such as Egyptian President Husni Mubarak and the leaders of the Gulf States
4. Secular individuals, including spies and security officials who protect Jews and Christians
Postings of this type demonstrate the professional knowledge of some jihadis in security and intelligence matters. Jihadis are constantly exchanging tactical knowledge to perfect their terror techniques, hoping to succeed in hitting hard targets rather than the soft targets they have attacked so far.
Was Alleged al-Qaeda Attack a Failed Attempt to Occupy the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul?
By Emrullah Uslu
The July 9 attack on the U.S. consulate in Istanbul refocused international attention on al-Qaedas Turkish branch. Three attackers and three police officers died in the ensuing gun battle. Unlike al-Qaedas trademark bomb attacks, this assault took the form of a gun battle. If it was indeed carried out by al-Qaeda, it would have been a rare instance of the organization engaging in a gun battle outside of the jihad zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Investigators identified the assailants as Erkan Kargin, Bulent Cinar and Raif Topcil. Cinar has a criminal record for theft and Kargin for swindling. It has been determined that Kargin traveled from a border province, Agri, to Iran in September 2006 and then re-entered Turkey through Ataturk International Airport in May 2007. Police confirmed that Kargin hitchhiked his way to Afghanistan during his absence and received training there in Salafist ideology and terrorism methods (Milliyet, July 10; Todays Zaman, July 12).
As part of its strategic thinking, al-Qaeda has formed various coalitions in the Muslim world to organize its bases and carry out attacks in a range of countries. The Turkish press, on various occasions, has reported that al-Qaedas Turkish branch formed institutional ties with the radical Great Eastern Islamic Raiders Front (Islami Buyukdogu Akincilar Cephesi - IBDA-C) and recruits former or active militants from the Turkish Hizbullah (for IBDA-C ties with al-Qaeda see Terrorism Focus, December 5, 2007; for the Turkish Hizbullah, see Terrorism Monitor, January 24). For instance, in its devastating synagogue bombing in 2003, one of the al-Qaeda attackers was a former Hizbullah member (Hurriyet, December 1, 2003). Following the bombing, the Turkish press reported that an anonymous person made a phone call to the state-owned news agency, Anadolu Ajansi, and claimed that the attack was a joint operation of IBDA-C and al-Qaeda (Radikal, November 20, 2003).
Police believe that the attack on the U.S. consulate is a joint effort of IBDA-C and al-Qaeda (Radikal, July 9; see also Eurasia Daily Monitor, July 10). Al-Qaeda documents were reportedly found in the assailants residences in Istanbul (Hurriyet, July 10). In an interview with the weekly magazine Aktuel, Saadetin Ustaosmanoglu, editor of the IBDA-C Furkan magazine, said: People should be surprised if a Muslim who lives in a remote corner of the world and Muslims who live here do not cooperate. When it comes to IBDA-Cal-Qaeda relations, I neither accept nor deny it (Aktuel [Istanbul], July 17).
If the U.S. consulate attack was indeed a joint project of IBDA-C and al-Qaeda, what was the reason behind the attack? Why was the attack carried out as a gun battle, not as a suicide bombing?
Turkish dailies reported that the reason behind the attack could be revenge for the death of a friend of attack leader Erkan Kargin. Kargins friend, Abdul Fettah, a Turkish al-Qaeda member, was killed by U.S. troops while fighting in Afghanistan five days before the consulate attack (Hurriyet, July 10). The liberal daily Taraf also claimed that the attack was planned to take revenge for a January operation by the Turkish police against al-Qaeda in Antep province (Taraf, July 10). The police operation in Antep ended with a gun battle in which a police officer lost his life and five others were wounded, while two al-Qaeda members were killed and 18 others detained (Hurriyet, January 24). Baran magazine, an IBDA-C publication, claimed that the operation against al-Qaeda in Antep was planned by the United States and carried out by the Turkish police (Baran, January 31).
The Turkish medias claim that revenge was a motive in the assault appears to contradict the nature of carefully planned al-Qaeda attacks. A friend of Erkan Kargin told the police that Kargin was forming a group in a mosque outside state control and asked him to join. One day Kargin said that he was planning to attack the U.S. consulate and take some hostages there. In addition Kargin said that he had examined the place where the consulate is located and made a plan to occupy the building (Radikal, July 14). Two hand-drawn sketches of the consulate were found by police in one of the attackers home (Ihlas Haber Ajansi, July 11).
Interior Minister Besir Atalay announced that the assault was a suicide attack, but some local terrorism analysts argued that the attack was intended to be a hit and run operation, arguing that assailants did not calculate the presence of traffic police officers who were in the area at the time and joined the gun battle when they saw terrorists attacking their colleagues guarding the U.S. consulate (Milliyet, July 11; Taraf, July 14; Star [Istanbul], July 14).
When the attack is analyzed closely, however, it seems that neither the interior minister nor the terrorism experts are right in their claims. If it was a suicide attack, one might have expected the use of explosives. If it was a hit and run attack, the attackers appear to have exposed themselves needlessly in a futile assault. The site of the gun battle is located at the bottom of a valley with many buildings. If they had considered a hit and run attack, the assailants could have easily hidden in one of those buildings, firing on the consulate and escaping from there.
The plan, however, appears to have been to occupy the consulate, taking several hostages on behalf of al-Qaeda. Although it escaped the notice of much of the Turkish press, a terrorism expert of the Turkish police mentioned that the police are working on the possibility of whether the attack was planned to occupy the consulate The terrorists preferred to attack against the busiest entrance of the consulate where civilians enter for visa applications. The terrorists could plan to create panic by killing the police officer at the door and sneak into the consulate during the panic. However when the traffic police joined the gun battle they could not carry out what they planned to do (Milliyet, July 11).
The materials found on the dead terrorists, such as a Koran and what police described as Arabic scripted fabrics, suggest that Kargins group was planning to occupy the consulate (Vatan, July 10). During the occupation, the terrorists may have wanted to use these materials as propaganda tools. It is not common for al-Qaeda militants to carry such materials in their possession on their way to an attack because it could endanger the entire operation if one of the attackers is stopped by a random police search on the street and such materials are discovered. Although no further details on the fabrics are available at the moment, it is possible the attackers had planned to display these materials in the windows of an occupied consulate.
The Turkish interior ministers hasty press release declaring the incident a suicide attack suggests that the authorities may be aware of the aim of the attack. It might indeed have been an attempt to occupy the consulate to take hostages, but authorities probably did not reveal these aspects because it might have inspired other terrorists around the world to plan similar attacks. If it was not an attempt to occupy the consulate, it needs to be explained why an individual trained in terrorist methods in Afghanistan would lead such a high-risk but ultimately ineffectual operation.
Assuming that it was an attempt to occupy the strongly defended U.S. consulate, the attack would have been a grave embarrassment for U.S. and Turkish security institutions if successful. A Turkish counter-terrorism expert specializing in al-Qaeda suggests that as long as there is an American consulate it is a target to al-Qaeda. Since there is no way to drive a truck loaded with explosives into the consulate, it seems likely that the leader of the cell, Erkan Kargin, planned to occupy the consulate in order to humiliate the United States and Turkey. Thanks to random police officers who happened to be at the scene and had the courage to join the gun battle, the attackers failed to carry out their assault. Although it failed, the attack at least has the potential to inspire al-Qaeda operatives or home grown terrorists to attempt the occupation of foreign embassies and consulates around the world.
Green Light For Profiling
By Online Thursday, July 17, 2008
Stephen Brown, FrontPageMagazine.com
Nearly seven years after the 9-11 attacks, the Bush administration is finally reconsidering its opposition to one of the most effective counterterrorism weapons at its disposal. In the months ahead, FBI agents may be able to profile potential terrorists on the basis of suspicious traits and activities, including their ethnic and religious backgrounds. Those most likely to commit acts of Islamic terrorism will no longer be able to hide in plain sight.
It is a modest step. The Justice Department insists that the FBI is not going to open an investigation simply on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion. Still, the fact these factors can now be taken into consideration at all represents significant progress. Contrary to what one may hear from its opponents, profiling has a record of proven success on the counterterrorism front.
Consider the case of Maher Mike Hawash. Outwardly, Hawash was an immigrant any country would want. Young and educated, a successful engineer and family man, the Palestinian-born Hawash had arrived in America in 1984, at age 20, and appeared well integrated into his new countrys society.
But that changed in 2000. Hawash began to grow a beard, wear Arab clothing, and pray five times a day at his mosque. In his home, he hosted suspicious Middle Eastern-looking men.
Concerned neighbors took notice. They reported Hawashs unusual lifestyle changes to the FBI that year, triggering an investigation. In 2003, agents arrested Hawash, who subsequently received a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to aiding the Taliban.
Gaubatz: Falls Church, VA Jihad Manual
By Sean Osborne Thursday, May 1, 2008
Gaubatz: Islamic Manual in Falls Church, Virginia Calls on Muslims to Attack Olympians, Kill Priests and Nuns, Wage War on All Christians
Dave Gaubatz has posted a very distrubing discovery regarding a Jihad manual being sold at the Halalco Supermarket in Falls Church, Virginia. As Dave explains it on his Kids&Terrorism Blog:
On 29 April 2008, I shopped at Halalco to verify the book is still available. It is located in the Jihad section of the bookstore. The manager Tariq can show you the book and it is available for $12.95.
Following are some of the quotes:
1. It is, in short, time to identify the enemy and declare the Jihad. Identify the enemy. Declare the Jihad. define its parameters. Indicate its opening statements. Delineate its outcome and indicate its end.
2. The enemy is not merely a personnel but a method, a deen, with its Temples, the banks; with its holy places, the Stock Exchanges of the world; and its false scriptures, the data banks of figures, these magical millions and billions that hold the worlds poor to ransom for the sake of a small elite of kafir power brokers, their core jewish, their allies the lawless Christians. It is with these the war must be waged.
3. He who equips a fighter in the way of Allah, or looks after a fighters family at home is as good as one who fought.
4. Priests in their churches, unlike recluse worshipping monks, should, of course be killed without any exception. Nuns along with Monks, deserve killing even more.
5. No one has yet contemplated the impact of one destroyed Stock Exchange or Central Bank Archive.
6. Not taking the jews and Christians as friends, not following their deen, not submitting to bida, neither its holidays (National Days, etc), nor in habits, not entering their places of worship, nor participating in their festivals-all this is vital in the prelude to the attack of a new Jihad.
7. Strike at the time least expected. It follows that one should also strike at the place not expected. By extension, in light of the current situation, one may strike at several centres all at the same time, thus causing havoc in the enemy and in their response.
8. One thing is certain-if the kuffar accept us and approve of us and claim they can live alongside us, then we have lost our Islam. The whole body-worshipping mushrik cult of Olympic fire worshipping sport is something unacceptable”.”
Sean Osborne, is the Associate Director, Military Affairs Northeast Intelligence Network.
Sean can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
National Guard Teams Prepare for Terrorist WMD Attacks
By Jim Kouri Sunday, July 27, 2008
In 2006, Denys Ray Hughes, 59, of Phoenix, AZ, was found guilty of Attempted Production of a Biological Toxin for Use as a Weapon, Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device and Possession of an Unregistered Silencer, by a federal jury.
The evidence at his trial showed that Hughes grew castor bean plants and cultivated thousands of their seeds, which contain the toxin called ricin. Hughes further possessed the necessary precursor materials, as well as written instructions for extracting the toxin.
The government also proved at trial that Hughes possessed a destructive device, specifically, a pipe bomb, and multiple silencers.
Hughes conviction for Attempted Production of a Biological Toxin for Use as a Weapon carried a penalty of life imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine.
To prepare for potential attacks in the United States involving weapons of mass destruction, the US Congress approved the development of National Guards Civil Support Teams which are responsible with identifying chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive weapons; assessing consequences; advising civil authorities on response measures; and assisting with requests for additional support.
So far, 36 of the 55 approved teams have been fully certified to conduct their mission. The National Guard Bureau is in the process of establishing, certifying, and planning for the long-term sustainment of the CSTs, according to an unclassified report submitted to the National Association of Chiefs of Police by the GAO.
The established CSTs have thus far been trained, equipped, and staffed and have command and control mechanisms in place to conduct their domestic mission. However, confusion resulting from a lack of guidance on the types of non-WMD missions the CSTs can conduct to prepare for their WMD terrorism mission could impede coordination between state authorities and local emergency management officials on the appropriate use of the CSTs.
CSTs were created to focus on assisting civil authorities in domestic WMD events. Based on its review of the CSTs training, equipment, and staffing criteria; analysis of CST readiness data; site visits to 14 CSTs; and discussions with state, local, and federal responders, analysts from the Government Accounting Office found the certified teams visited to be ready to conduct their mission.
NGB and the states have a clear structure for operational command and control of the CSTs. Though current NGB guidance and the CSTs message to state and local officials emphasize the CST mission as being focused on WMD events, some CSTs have responded to non-WMD events, such as providing emergency assistance to the Gulf Coast states after the 2005 hurricanes.
While NGB views such missions as useful preparations for WMD events, guidance has not been clarified to reflect the type of non-WMD missions that would be appropriate. This lack of clarity has caused confusion among state, local, and NGB officials, potentially slowing coordination efforts.
Also, the Department of Defense is proposing a limited role for the CSTs to coordinate and operate with Mexican and Canadian officials in the event of a cross-border WMD incident. DOD and NGB are informally considering limited overseas missions for the teams, though they have no plans to request a further expansion of the CSTs mission to encompass overseas operations.
According to NGB and the CST commanders, some overseas missions could provide valuable experience and have a positive effect on CST readiness, while other, more demanding missions, such as supporting the warfighters, could be detrimental to the readiness and availability of the CSTs.
Although NGB continues to develop a long-term sustainment plan for the CST program, going forward, it faces challenges to the administration and management of the CSTs that could impede both the progress of newer teams and the long-term sustainment of the program. NGB has made progress in establishing an administrative management structure for the CSTs, including issuing a broad CST management regulation and initiating a standardization and evaluation program.
But the CSTs face challenges in personnel, coordination plans, equipment acquisition and planning, training objectives, readiness reporting and facilities. Also, insufficient NGB guidance on state National Guard roles and responsibilities for overseeing and supporting their CSTs has resulted in varied support at the state National Guard level.
NGB is aware of the challenges and has efforts under way to address them. While these challenges have not yet undermined CST readiness, if NGB efforts are unsuccessful, the progress of newer teams could be impeded and the long-term sustainment of the CST program put at greater risk.
Jim Kouri, Vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. Jim writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others.
Jim can be reached at: [email]email@example.com[/email]
Love, blackmail and rape how al-Qaeda grooms women as perfect weapons
From The TimesJuly 30, 2008
Deborah Haynes in Baladruz, Diyala
A woman pretending to be pregnant walks up to a hospital in one of Iraqs most dangerous regions and blows herself up.
Minutes later a man, also laden with explosives, attacks the rescue workers who rushed to the scene in Diyala province, north of Baghdad. Thirty-two people are killed and 52 wounded.
The co-ordinated bombings that ripped through the town of Baladruz in May are one of twelve attacks involving thirteen women suicide bombers to strike Diyala so far this year a huge jump, signalling a new tactic by insurgents. US officials suspect that al-Qaeda has built a network of cells that recruit women and turn them into killers.
Women are the perfect weapon in a country where it is frowned upon culturally for a man even to approach a woman without her husband or father in tow, let alone frisk her for weapons at one of the many checkpoints that are the bombers favourite targets. In addition, it is easy to hide a vest packed with explosives under the traditional Islamic robes worn by women in Iraq without drawing suspicion.
In total, there have been 24 attacks involving women suicide bombers since January, including four on Monday in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk that left scores dead. Al-Qaeda is a very adaptive enemy, a US Special Forces captain based in Diyala said. They will try to use whatever works best for them to attempt to exploit whatever political or cultural restrictions we have.
In the past, al-Qaeda fighters have used mosques to hold meetings and hide weapons, knowing that the US military will not raid religious buildings. Now theyve adapted to try to use female suicide bombers.
The military believes that al-Qaeda employs a variety of tactics to get women to become suicide bombers. Some are easy prey because their husband or children have been killed or detained by US forces, said Captain Matthew Shown, the intelligence officer for Sabre Squadron, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, which is based in southeast Diyala.
Another method is for a member of al-Qaeda to marry a woman and then dishonour her in some way, such as letting someone else rape her. This would leave her with no choice but to end her life, Captain Shown, 34, said.
There are also reports of women being told that their husband or child will be killed unless they agree to become suicide bombers.
Eliminating the threat of female suicide attacks in Diyala is a priority for US and Iraqi forces, who began a large offensive yesterday across the province against al-Qaeda and pockets of Shia militias.
There have been a few successes. Last month Iraqi police arrested the alleged leader of the suicide cell that orchestrated the twin blasts on May 2 in Baladruz. Video footage of attacks on US forces was found at his home. Officers believe the material was used to indoctrinate female recruits.
The US military is also hiring women to stand alongside male guards at checkpoints to ensure that all women get a full body search.It is not possible for males to search females. It is a cultural thing, said Staff Sergeant David Schlicher, who works in civil affairs at Forward Operating Base Caldwell, a US camp in the middle of a much larger Iraqi army base in the desert in southeast Diyala. So this closes that loophole.
The woman guards will complement a workforce of about 80,000 men who are paid by the US military to protect their neighbourhood under a programme that encouraged many former Sunni insurgents to turn against al-Qaeda.
There are few female volunteers, however, just as there are not many women in the police and Army because it is not part of their culture.
The female bomb threat appears to be changing attitudes. In Baladruz, twenty-five women are due to start civilian guard duties this week, and an appeal has been made for another ten.
Copyright 2008 Times Newspapers Ltd.
Secret N-plant discovered at Al-Zarqan area
KUWAIT CITY : A secret nuclear bomb manufacturing center at Al-Zarqan Area in Al-Ahwaziya Region, which was first established in 2000, was discovered recently, highly reliable sources told Al-Seyassah. Sources from Al-Ahwaziya claimed Tehran has started building a secret nuclear plant for manufacturing atomic bombs in Al-Zarqan Area near Al-Ahwaz City in southwest Iran and its border with Iraq. Sources said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not aware of this plant since it was not included in negotiations with Iran held in Geneva at the beginning of this month. Sources revealed Iran started implementing the project some time between 2000 and 2003, which led to the evacuation of a large number of Arab tribes from the area to Al-Zarqan. Sources added the Tehran administration vacated the location, destroyed all the houses, wells and farms, and started full implementation of the project in 2007.
Disclosing Tehran directed international A-bomb inspectors to other places, sources warned the project poses a very serious threat to international security. Sources affirmed the Iranian authorities built a three-meter high wall around the project site, which allegedly measures thousands of kilometers.
Sources added IAEA inspectors focused on other Iranian nuclear plants, such as Dour Khawain in Al-Ahwaz and Bu Shahri reactor, because the Iranian government diverted the international medias attention from the secret nuclear plant. Sources asserted the Iranian government is currently working on another nuclear program touted to be more dangerous than Bu Shahri.
According to sources, intensified security efforts raised doubts on the legality of the activities in the area, especially after observing a heavy presence of Revolutionary Guards which, sources pointed out, indicates the importance of the area.
Reportedly, Al-Ahwaziya - an Islamic Sunni organization - in coordination with National Society for Arabstan State, started investigations on the activities in the area. The organization allegedly received documents from the company in charge of the project that frequently transports employees to and from the project site. After a thorough investigation, sources said the organization uncovered plans of the Iranian regime to build an A-bomb plant in the area.
Attached with a report about the alleged plant are documents from the office of the assistant of Revolutionary Guard Chief in Al-Ahwaz City Brigadier Hassan Jalaliyan dated April 7, 2008 and stamped as highly confidential.
Sources revealed Al-Zarqan Nuclear Reactor was the subject of a letter from Jalaliyan to the manager of Mehab Qudus Company for Construction and Supervisory, Mohammed Kayafir.
In the letter, Jalaliyan allegedly asked Kayafir to secretly transport the construction materials from the warehouse to the nuclear reactor center, emphasizing that citizens should not question the purpose and destination of the materials.
Jalaliyan has also instructed Kayafir not to recruit Arabic-speaking workers from Khuzestan for the construction of Al-Zarqan Nuclear Reactor. He said employees, including the administration staff, should all be recruited from the northern parts of the country. National Society for Arabstan State took satellite pictures of the location, which looked perfect for the construction of a nuclear reactor. It is near Karoon River which, sources say, will provide water for the project in addition to increasing the capacity of Al-Zarqan Power Plant. The site is more suitable for building a nuclear reactor than Bu Shahri, which is close to American bases and Dour Khuwain Plant located in an open area and an easy target. Al-Zarqan Nuclear Reactor is in the middle of very highly populated areas, making it a very difficult target due to a possibility that the Iranian authorities will use civilians as human shields.
Iranian authorities had also closed the main road between the plant and Karoon River to install main water pipes, sources added.
Qaeda wants Kings death
CAIRO, Egypt (Agencies): An al-Qaeda commander who escaped from a US prison has posted a Web video urging Muslims to kill the Saudi king for leading an interfaith conference in Madrid earlier this month. Abu Yahia al-Libi, who escaped from Afghanistans Bagram prison in 2005, says bringing religions together means renouncing Islam. Saudi King Abdullah sponsored the dialogue among Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, and encouraged all faiths to turn away from extremism. But al-Libi says equating Islam with other religions is a betrayal of Islam. He calls for the speedy killing of this tyrant. The 43-minute video was posted late Monday on an Internet site frequently used by militants. Its authenticity could not be independently verified. Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has also frequently lashed out at the royal family of his native Saudi Arabia, a US ally.
Meanwhile, al-Qaedas top expert on chemical and biological weapons is believed to have been killed Monday in a suspected US missile strike in Pakistans lawless tribal areas, security officials said. Egyptian militant Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, had a five-million-dollar bounty on his head and allegedly trained hundreds of extremists at camps in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. Officials earlier said that three Arab militants and three Pakistani boys were killed when missiles fired by a suspected US drone hit a house attached to a mosque in the South Waziristan tribal district. We believe he was killed in this strike, a senior intelligence official based in the northwestern city of Peshawar told AFP on condition of anonymity.
It was his hideout and information that has been shared with us says he was targeted in this strike.
There was no immediate confirmation from the US-led coalition in Afghanistan or from Washington.
Umars wife and children were believed to have been injured in the attack, Pakistani officials said. Residents said the victims of the missile strike were hastily buried in the hours after the attack.
Pakistans military said it was still seeking confirmation. Claims that Umar was killed in another air strike in the Bajaur tribal region in January 2006 turned out to be untrue.
We have not yet received any authentic information from the area from our teams, Pakistani military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP.
Pakistani officials said Umar had given explosives training to a generation of militants, including British shoe bomber Richard Reid, who tried to blow up a transatlantic jet in December 2001.
Umar was a trainer at al-Qaedas Derunta camp in Afghanistan in the 1990s where he provided hundreds of mujahedin with hands-on training in the use of poisons and explosives, according to the website of the US Government Rewards for Justice programme.
Since 1999, he has distributed training manuals that contain instructions for making chemical and biological weapons. Some of these training manuals were recovered by US forces in Afghanistan, it said.
Residents in South Waziristan said they heard US aircraft and pilotless Predator drones flying above the area before and after the strike, adding that there had been alarm over similar flights throughout the weekend.
A group of Arabs, believed to be Egyptians, had rented a compound containing the house and a madrassa from a local tribesman, Malik Salat, residents said.
This (the attack) has been done by coalition forces, we did not do it, another Pakistani security official said on condition of anonymity.
Repeated US missile strikes in Pakistan could harm relations between the two countries, a top Pakistani military officer told a visiting US commander on Monday, a statement said.
The warning by General Tariq Majid, chairman of Pakistans joint chiefs of staff, to Lieutenant General Martin Dempsey, head of US Central Command, came hours after a suspected US missile strike in Pakistans tribal belt.
Expressing concern over repeated cross-border missile attacks/firing by coalition and Afghan forces, General Tariq said that our sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected, a Pakistani military statement said.
Any violation in this regard could be detrimental to bilateral relations, it said.
Majid also reemphasised that Pakistan armed forces are capable of handling any challenges to our security.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Monday following talks here with US President George W. Bush that his country was committed to the fight against extremists and terrorists.
We are committed to fight against those extremists and terrorists who are destroying and making the world not safe, Gilani said after meeting with Bush at the White House. This is a war which is against Pakistan, and well fight for our own cause.
Bush said he had received a strong commitment from Gilani that Pakistan would attempt to secure its border with Afghanistan as best as possible.
We talked about the common threat we face, extremists who are very dangerous people, Bush said. We also appreciate the prime ministers strong words against the extremists and terrorists who not only would do us harm, but have harmed people inside Pakistan.
The US president described Pakistan as a strong ally and a vibrant democracy and said the United States supports the sovereignty of Pakistan.
Bush said their session was constructive, as he expected. After all, Pakistan is a strong ally and a vibrant democracy, the president said.
Of course we talked about the common threat we face, extremists who are very dangerous people, Bush said.
He praised Gilani for leading a strong commitment to securing the border with Afghanistan. The vote of confidence came as US officials have called for Pakistan to stop militants from staging cross-border attacks on US forces in Afghanistan.
Gilani said he wants the people of the United States to know that vast majority of Pakistanis want peace, and want to cooperate with the US.
Moroccan Crackdown on Salafiya Jihadiya Recruitment of Fighters for Iraq
By Thomas Renard
For the third time this year, Morocco has announced the dismantling of a terrorist group. The latest operation occurred only a few months after the complex Belliraj affair in February and the arrest of a cell in May suspected of plotting attacks in Morocco and Belgium (see Terrorism Focus, March 4; June 10). These multiple arrests underscore the importance of the jihadi threat in Morocco but, like the two previous operations, the latest crackdown raises many questions about the nature of the threat.
Police announced the arrest of 35 alleged recruiters for al-Qaeda operations in Morocco, Iraq and Algeria on July 2. According to the police, the recruiters formed an organized network active across the entire country. The arrests took place in Tangiers, Larache, Oujda, Tetouan, Rabat, Khouribga and Fes (AFP, July 2).
The network, which had been under surveillance for several months, was finally dismantled earlier this month, as there were signs of an imminent attack. The local cells were apparently at the stage of pinpointing targets and the group leaders were waiting for the green light from al-Qaedas core leadership in order to launch bombing operations, according to security sources (Assabah, July 4). If this claim is confirmed, it would indicate that the planned operation was intended to be very significant.
In a recent interview, Abdelhak Bassou, head of Moroccos Renseignements Généraux, the domestic intelligence agency, said that 11 terrorists arrested in May were preparing attacks planned for this summer against tourist hotels in Morocco. Bassou did not specify whether the cells dismantled in May and July were related. However, he suggested that they were carrying out similar activitiesrecruiting for international jihad and plotting domestic attacks (AP, July 11).
Local cells dismantled this month across Morocco were only recently activated. New cells have also been created, including those in towns that had been untouched by extremism so far, such as El Hajeb and Taourirt. While several members of the networkincluding the alleged leader, known by his nom de guerre, Abu Makhlouftraveled across the country to recruit volunteers, returnees from Iraq were charged with training the recruits according to security sources (Assabah, July 4). Although more information is still needed in this case, the central role played by Iraqi veterans in the creation and training of Moroccan cells should serve as a reminder of the danger constituted by former Iraqi fighters returning to their home countries or leaving for other destinations, following a similar pattern to the Afghan veterans.
Although a wave of returnees is observed, the export of Moroccan jihadis continues. Indeed, most individuals recruited by the Abu Makhlouf networkaround 30 jihadi candidateswere sent to Iraq. This represents only a fraction of the Moroccan fighters in Iraq. The data from Moroccan security services indicate that 16 other cellspreviously dismantledhad managed to send more than 130 volunteers within the space of three years (Elaph, June 18). Considering that at least 15 more cells have been dismantled, some cells are still under surveillance, some cells are unknown to the police and some individuals travel by themselves, the number of Moroccan fighters in Iraq is probably much higher than official estimates.
A security source revealed to Elaph the detailed itinerary of Moroccan jihadis joining the Iraqi insurgency. First, they board an aircraft to Istanbul, Turkey. From the airport, they take a cab to a travelers station where they buy a bus ticket to Damascus, Syria. Once arrived, volunteers wait at a hotel for a smuggler, who is paid around $15,000 cash per trip (Elaph, June 18).
The Abu Makhlouf network was also responsible for recruiting volunteers to join al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Three individuals were allegedly sent to Algeria. There are also indications that Abu Makhlouf personally traveled to southern Algeria, Mali and Mauritania in order to establish contacts with AQIM leadership (Assabah, July 4).
According to the police, the recently dismantled cells were part of the Salafiya Jihadiya, a Morocco-based Salafist movement. Moroccan authorities blamed this group for the 2003 Casablanca bombings. The Salafiya Jihadiya was also allegedly involved in the 2004 Madrid bombings and was accused of plotting an attack against U.S. Navy ships in the straits of Gibraltar in 2002.
The Salafiya Jihadiya is a particularly understudied and obscure jihadi organization. Its mere existence is challenged by some individuals who accuse the government of using one convenient label for all terrorist activities in Morocco in order to blame international Salafism for domestic terrorism and avoid looking at internal problems, such as low education, poverty and ill-planned urbanization. Most of the suicide bombers of the 2003 attacks came from Moroccos slums (see Terrorism Monitor, May 19, 2005).
There is nevertheless a jihadi current specific to Morocco which can be defined as the Salafiya Jihadiya ideology. It finds its roots in the 1980s, when Moroccan King Hassan II allowed Saudi Arabia to spread Wahhabism in order to counter political Islam in Morocco. As a result, a new generation of radical preachers was schooled in Saudi Arabia, including Omar al-Haddouci, Hassan Kettani, Ahmed al-Raffiki, Abdelkarim Chadli and Muhammad Fizazi, all considered key ideologues of the Salafiya Jihadiya. After the 1991 Gulf War, however, these radical preachers distanced themselves from the Saudi regime which had helped the U.S. invasion and started criticizing the Moroccan monarchy.
Ideologically, the Salafiya Jihadiya is inspired by the writings and speeches of Sayyid Qutb, Omar Abd al-Rahman, Abu Qatada and Osama Bin Laden. The resulting doctrine is a radical version of Salafism that advocates the overthrow of the monarchy through the use of violence. The Salafiya Jihadiya rejects democracy and accuses the Moroccan regime of apostasy. The Salafiya Jihadiya claims that local action against Muslim apostates is more important than the war against the infidels.
In the 1990s, Afghan veteransincluding Zakariya Miloudi, who was implicated in the 2003 Casablanca bombingshelped establish a jihadi network in Morocco, mainly in poor neighborhoods. These cells today constitute the base of jihadi activism in Morocco. However, it is unclear whether these various cells and networks are connected within a common organizationthe Salafiya Jihadiya.
Evidence of the existence of the Salafiya Jihadiya as an operational group is scarce. The Salafiya Jihadiya is most correctly described as a radical ideology, rooted in Morocco and spread by a network of local preachers. The discourses of the Salafiya Jihadiya are used by local militants to recruit jihadis and to legitimate the use of political violence.
Although links between the ideological and operational levels are very likely, it is uncertain whether Salafiya Jihadiya actually constitutes a cohesive organization. In fact, this seems doubtful after witnessing various Moroccan terrorists and ideologues remorselessly denouncing each other during the trial that followed the 2003 Casablanca attacks. The loose nature of the Salafiya Jihadiya, nevertheless, does not make the jihadi threat in Morocco less real, especially in the light of jihadi groups such as the al-Qaeda-related Groupe Islamique Combattant Marocain (GICM). The GICM, assorted local cells and even isolated self-radicalized individuals constitute a direct threat to Morocco and to regional stability as they foster the Algerian and Iraqi insurgencies. The Salafiya Jihadiya continues to promote this instability within Morocco.
Thai police seize more than 1,000 fake passports in raid 27 Apr 2008 10:02:32 GMT
BANGKOK, April 27 (Reuters) - Thai authorities have seized more than a thousand fake Asian and Western passports and arrested a man in one of the biggest anti-counterfeiting operations in recent years, police said on Sunday.
Mohammed Karim, a 56-year-old from Bangladesh, was nabbed in a Bangkok townhouse late on Saturday where they found a sophisticated passport making operation and more than 1,000 finished and unfinished documents, Police Major-General Chaktip Chaichinda said.
“He admitted that he made fake passports,” Chaktip told Reuters, adding that his partner, a Myanmar national, escaped arrest.
The passports were for several countries including the United States, New Zealand, France, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Malta. Police seized two computers, a scanner, three printers and rubber stamps for several countries.
“This guy is rich. He has a BMW. He said he made about 300,000-400,000 baht per month (around $10,000),” Chaktip said.
The passports were sold to a group of Thai and Burmese middlemen who then sold them to gangs engaged in prostitution, terrorism and smuggling, he said.
If convicted, Karim faces up to 20 years in jail.
“It’s the biggest fake passport case in the past four to five years,” Chaktip said.
Passport fraud is a common problem in Thailand, where police seized 100 fake documents last year. ($1=31.69 Baht) (Reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak; Writing by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by David Fox)
German court rejects early release for terrorist
7/29/2008, 8:18 a.m. EDT
By DAVID RISING
The Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) A leftist terrorist serving a life sentence for the murder of a U.S. soldier and the deadly bombing of an American base is not eligible for early release, a German court ruled Tuesday.
Birgit Hogefeld, who has been in prison for 15 years, must serve at least three more years before parole can be considered, given the “severity of the crimes,” the Frankfurt state court said in its ruling.
Hogefeld, 52, was a member of the notorious Red Army Faction terrorist organization, which emerged from German student protests against the Vietnam War.
According to testimony at her 1996 trial, she lured U.S. Army Spc. Edward Pimental of New York City out of a disco near Mainz the night of Aug. 7, 1985, to obtain his military ID. He was later found shot in the head in nearby woods.
The bombers used Pimental’s ID card to get a Volkswagen sedan packed with 529 pounds (240 kilograms) of explosives onto the U.S. Air Force Rhine-Main Air Base as people were arriving for work the next morning.
Airman 1st Class Frank H. Scarton, 19, of Woodhaven, Mich., and Becky Joe Bristol, a civilian Air Force employee from San Antonio, were killed by the blast and more than 20 others were wounded.
Hogefeld was arrested in 1993 after police caught up with her and her lover, fellow Red Army Faction terrorist Wolfgang Grams, at a train station in the eastern town of Bad Kleinen.
In the ensuing gunbattle, both Grams and a policeman were killed, while another officer and a train engineer were wounded.
Hogefeld, a former schoolteacher who was put on West Germany’s most-wanted list of Red Army Faction terrorists in 1986, was charged in the death of the officer. During her trial, however, the court threw out the charge, saying she was already handcuffed and in custody when the shooting began.
She was, however, convicted of murder in the deaths of Pimental, Scarton and Bristol. She also was found guilty of attempted murder in a failed attack on the federal Finance Ministry state secretary Hans Tietmeyer in 1988, and bombing and destroying a prison complex being built near Darmstadt on March 27, 1993.
Tietmeyer, a key adviser to then Chancellor Helmut Kohl, was uninjured when a masked assailant fired at his car as he was traveling to work through a Bonn suburb. Meanwhile, the bomb at the high-security prison site caused an estimated US$100 million damage at the time.
Last year, German President Horst Koehler turned down a request for clemency from Hogefeld.
Still, Hogefeld’s accomplice, Eva Haule, was paroled last year after serving 21 years of a life sentence, with the Frankfurt state court ruling she was no longer a danger to the public.
The Red Army Faction waged a violent, 22-year campaign against what members considered U.S. imperialism and capitalist oppression of workers.
The organization killed 34 people and wounded hundreds. It declared itself disbanded in 1998.
Teenagers trained into terrorists near Peshawar for fighting NATO troops in Afghanistan
Islamabad, July 29 : A remote mountaineous region in Pakistan that has almost turned into a dry riverbed, houses a terrorists training camp where about two dozen young men, most of them being in their teens, receive rigourous training for the war against NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, said a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The camp is located just a few miles away from Peshawar. To reach here, one requires an armed escort on a 20-minute walk from a village along a muddy track. It is under the control of Haji Namdar, a top Taliban commander based in the Khyber Agency.
According to the paper, for these terrorist-trainees the day starts at 4 am with prayers, followed by a six-mile run along the riverbed, swimming, and weapons training.
“One has to go through this rigour to prepare for the tough life as a fighter,” the report quoted a 27-year-old identified as Omar Abdullah, as saying. He said that he had fought alongside the Taliban against the US-led troops in Afghanistan before returning home to Pakistan a few weeks ago to organize training for the new recruits.
The report quoted one young man saying he was a student at a business school in Peshawar and recently completed his 40 days of fighter training. He said he was waiting to join the war in Afghanistan. “There is a long queue, but I hope my turn would come soon,” he said.
The existence of camps like these is a major reason why the US-led war in Afghanistan, just across the border, is foundering. Pakistan’s military is struggling to locate the camps and eradicate them, in part because many locals are sympathetic to the militants, said the report.
The WSJ report claimed that this particular camp had no formal or permanent structure. The boys live in a nearby village. “The villagers look after us,” said Abdullah.
Western diplomats and Pakistani security officials say that hundreds of volunteers trained in these camps were now involved in fighting in Afghanistan. “It’s not possible to seal the entire 1500-mile-long border running along treacherous mountainous terrain,” said a senior military officer.
The number of such camps has increased in the past year as the Pakistan government has taken a more conciliatory approach to the militants in the hope of securing peace.
Many of the trainees in such camps came from Islamic seminaries, or madrassas, which have sprouted across Pakistan over the past three decades. Others come from secular educational institutions. All of them speak Pashto and come from the surrounding area. The volunteers go through intense scrutiny before they are enlisted and usually arrive with recommendations from clerics. “We don’t accept everyone. Only those with solid credentials are enlisted for training,” the report quoted Abdullah as saying.
Istanbul bombings kill 15, wound 100
Two bombs exploded within minutes of each other late Sunday in a crowded pedestrian area of Istanbul, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 100.
The double bombing appeared to be the worst incident of terrorist violence in Turkey in nearly five years and seemed to take the Turkish authorities completely by surprise.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility, although Kurdish separatist militants were initially suspected.
The Istanbul neighborhood that was targeted, which is almost completely residential, had no obvious reason to be the object of a terrorism plot.
The first blast, which the police and witnesses said was relatively minor, attracted scores of onlookers curious about the commotion, with at least some of them thinking it was caused by a gas leak explosion.
Many of the curious onlookers were hit by flying shrapnel and debris from the second, more powerful blast about 10 minutes later and about 20 yards away, the governor, Muammer Guler, said in a news briefing carried on Turkish television.
Witnesses described a scene of panic with victims lying on the street in pools of blood.
The timing of the bombings appeared to deliberately coincide with the summer pastime of many residents of the pedestrian area of Gungoren, in central Istanbul, to stroll in the cool late evening before going to bed.
The double-bombing appeared to be the most serious terrorism attack here since twin truck bombings at two Istanbul synagogues killed 23 people and wounded more than 300 on Nov. 15, 2003.
An obscure group linked to al-Qaeda took responsibility for the synagogue blasts, which were the worst in a series of explosions blamed on Islamic extremist groups that year that killed more than 60 people.
Eighteen live bombs found, panic grips Surat city
Surat, July 29: Panic gripped the diamond city as police on Tuesday recovered eighteen live bombs, one after another within a span of five hours, from different parts of the Varacha area where most of the diamond units are located.
Three bombs were recovered and successfully defused by the bomb disposal squad at the Mini Diamond Market area of Varacha soon after another three were de-activated in the same locality, police said.
Later, police received information of four bombs, one did not turn out to be an explosive device. Police said three bombs were recovered from under the Varacha-Kapodra flyover, which were also defused by the bomb squad.
City Police Commissioner RMS Brar said, “Several bombs have been found in the city. We cannot confirm the number at this stage.”
Earlier, police had successfully defused three bombs found from Labheshwar, Santoshinagar and Matavadi areas of Varacha.
According to police most of the bombs were found in residential areas which are usually crowded.
In Matavadi area, the bomb was found hanging on a tree, while in Labheshwar it was found inside an abandoned bag. In both the cases the bombs were found from near a police outpost.
Police have sounded a high alert in the city after the recovery of eighteen live bombs of similar kind.
All schools and shop in the Varacha area have been asked to close by the police commissioner.
Chairman of the Surat Diamond Association C P Vanani said, “We are very concerned about recovery of bombs from the Varacha area. It is affecting our business. All our members will be meeting and decide on the further course of action.”
On Monday, the bomb disposal squad had successfully defused a live bomb which was found in a residential part of Varacha area. Forensic experts have found explosives in the defused bomb.
Police had also released the sketch of a suspect who might have parked the explosive-laden car in the Heerabaugh area on Sunday.
The sketch was based on the description given by a watchman of a near-by building who had seen the man parking the vehicle.
On Sunday the police had recovered two explosive-laden cars from two different parts of the city. Large amount of explosives, shrapnels and timer devices were found inside the cars bearing fake number plates.
ISTANBUL BOMBINGS RAISE FEARS OF NEW WAVE OF TERRORIST ATTACKS
By Gareth Jenkins
Monday, July 28, 2008
On the evening of July 27, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were detonated in Menderes Caddesi, a street in the Istanbul working class neighborhood of Gungoren. By midday local time on July 28 the death toll stood at 17, all of them civilians. Another 154 people were being treated for injuries. Seven were reported to be in serious condition, raising the possibility that the death toll could increase (NTV, CNNTurk, July 28).
No organization has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Nor is there yet any conclusive evidence to link it to any known radical group. But what is clear is that, whether it was carried out by an established organization or a hitherto unknown one, the nature of the bombing is unprecedented in recent Turkish history.
By day, Menderes Caddesi is a busy shopping thoroughfare. The heat and humidity of the Istanbul summer mean that, in the evening, Menderes Caddesi is still crowded with people strolling and meeting with friends. Eye witnesses said that the first explosion occurred at around 9:45 PM local time (Milliyet, Radikal, Hurriyet, July 28). There are conflicting reports about the number of casualties in the first blast. But eye witnesses were unanimous that most of the deaths and injuries occurred as a result of a second, much larger blast, about 50 yards (meters) from the first at around 9:55.
The initial evidence suggests that the first blast was the result of a come hither IED, designed to draw in and concentrate people into a small area so as to maximize casualties when the second, larger IED was detonated. It is a method which has been used in other countries to target first responders, whether the security and medical services or members of a specific ethnic group (for example, in Iraq). But the method has never been used in Turkey before. Although there are neighborhoods in Istanbul which are known to contain a high concentration of members of a specific ethnic or religious minority, Gungoren is not one of them. The perpetrators would have been aware that the first responders to the first explosionand thus the majority of casualties in the secondwould have been ordinary people from the neighborhood.
Despite the long, and under-reported, history of Islamist violence in Turkey, radical Islamist groups in the country have no record of indiscriminately killing civilians. Although they have often been prepared to accept collateral casualties amongst bystanders, radical Islamists have always had a specific targetusually one associated with Western interests or non-Muslim minorities. There is no such target in Gungoren.
Elements in both the Turkish and international media have attributed the bombings in Gungoren to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), with the BBC suggesting that the attack bore all the hallmarks of the PKK (BBC, July 28). This is misleading.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s in particularly, the PKK sometimes massacred Kurdish villagersincluding women and childrenin southeast Turkey an attempt to intimidate the local people into supporting the organization. Since returning to violence in June 2004, the PKK has pursued a two front strategy: Combining a rural insurgency in southeast Turkey with an urban bombing campaign in the west of the country. The bombing campaign has been conducted by militants trained in the PKKs main camps in the Qandil Mountains of northern Iraq and dispatched to western Turkey with a list of categories of acceptable targets (see EDM, September 7, 2007). The list includes the tourism sector, with the result that PKK militants have killed foreign tourists and Turkish bystanders by detonating IEDs in Istanbul and resorts along Turkeys Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. The PKKs primary aim is to exert political pressure on the Turkish authorities by damaging the countrys economy. Gungoren is some distance from the main tourist areas in Istanbul. However, it is possible that someone may have calculated that international news reports of bombings in Istanbul would be sufficient to deter foreigners from visiting Turkey.
PKK militants have sometimes detonated small IEDs in urban areas in western Turkey, although the limited quantity of explosives used suggests that the main aim is to create panic rather than inflict mass casualties. In recent years, civilians have been killed in PKK bomb attacks, although mainly as a result of the organizations willingness to inflict collateral casualties rather than because they were the primary target. For example, on May 22, 2007, six civilians were killed by a PKK bomb in Ankara in what appears to have been a botched assassination attempt against leading members of the Turkish military. On January 4, 2008, five civilians were killed by a PKK car bomb in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir during an attack against a bus carrying military personnel.
Nevertheless, there have been concerns thatgiven the PKKs inability to escalate its rural insurgency to the levels of the early 1990s and with the organizations camps and bases in northern Iraq now under regular attack from the Turkish militarythe PKK might attempt to counter the perception that it is a dying force by staging a large, mass casualty attack in western Turkey (see Terrorism Focus, January 8).
There will inevitably also be speculation in the pro-government media in Turkey that the Gungoren bombings were the work of a Turkish ultranationalist group seeking to avenge the recent waves of arrests of hard-line opponents of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) (see EDM, July 24). There is evidence to suggest that in recent years ultranationalist groups have detonated IEDs in western Turkey. However, all have been relatively small devices designed to create noise rather than cause casualties.
Although the identity of the perpetrators of the July 27 bombings in Gungoren currently remains unclear, there is no doubt that they are unprecedented. None of the many terrorist attacks in Turkey in recent years has seen the use of two explosions coordinated to maximize civilian casualties. Whether they were the result of a new strategy adopted by the PKK or were conducted by a hitherto unknown group, the bombings in Gungoren are a worrying development.
The article below is 2 years old. What we must remember is that the Islamic terrorists use anniversaries or numerical combinations as the date for their attacks, ie: 9/11, 3/3.
TODAY is the 27 Rajab according to the Islamic Calendar.
S M T W T F S
The Missiles of 27 Rajab
By Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, July 28, 2006
This year, we are told, the Muslim commemorations associated with their calendar date 27 Rajab will occur on August 22. On this a most celebratory date in the Islamic calendar, best-selling author and Islamic scholar Robert Spencer reminds that the Prophet Muhammed made his ascension into heaven from the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, an event known as the Miraj. [T]he Night Journey has become firmly embedded in the Islamic consciousness, Spencer notes, such that Muslims today celebrate it as one of the central events of Muhammads life. And now, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has selected that as an auspicious date to create a light over the skies of Jerusalem such as the world has never seen since the Miraj.
If as the president of the Reform Party in Syria, Farid Ghadry claims, Ahmadinejad is planning an illumination of the night sky over Jerusalem to rival the one that greeted the Prophet of Islam on his journey, then it is difficult to imagine anything other than a full-scale Iranian nuclear attack. As Spencer continues, a nuclear attack on Jerusalem or even an all-out conventional assault against Israel by Iran would be consistent with Ahmadinejads oft-repeated denials of Israels right to exist and recent predictions that its demise was at hand. These observations are the latest from a growing list of ominous portents from Iranian and Syrian leaders too horrific to ignore.
Assuming the worst case a default mental mode for military planners what ought we to expect to happen the next several weeks? A possible scenario can be constructed based on events of recent weeks and months, although the groundwork for this action has taken years to develop. Let us try to outline what Ahmadinejad and his surrogates in Syria and inside Hezbollah might have on their minds.
To begin we review what we know for certain: 1) Iran has been focused on acquisition of nuclear weapons, working for years with the AQ Khan group and North Korea; 2) Iran has for all intents and purposes declared war on Israel and America (though the U.S. has not understood Irans commitment), outlining its war policy as one of utter extermination; 3) Iran has worked unceasingly with North Korean scientists and engineers to improve missile technology, resulting in several models of varying ranges and payloads, and with highly improved mobility over SCUDs; 4) Iran has used surrogate movements and states to support clandestinely attacks on Israel and America (the latter inside Iraq); 5) Iran has positioned large numbers of technologically advanced weapons and the troops from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to assist inside Lebanon and Syria.
We have confirmed that Iran was a sponsor and participant in North Koreas early July 2006 missile tests, and have shown rather convincingly that the real testing was the ability to deploy rapidly missile units, each capable of firing several weapons independently. The capstone of the test was that multiple missiles fired on schedule, each simulating many, and that the tests were frighteningly successful. Equally important was that the public misunderstood the real purpose of the tests and vastly underestimated the value derived from them.
If we were investigating this as a possible murder case wed look for motive, weapon, and opportunity. Motive is easy. Ahmadinejad want to wipe Israel and America off the map. How do we know? Because he told us, repeatedly, in great detail, and with utmost sincerity. Weapons? We are looking at a slate of which were told intelligence analysts were unaware. While this is doubtful, it may be factual that analysts were cautious about numbers of missiles and rockets deployed and the willingness of the Hezbollah enemy to employ them. Those doubts ought to be resolved as hundreds of rockets rain down on Israel and increasingly capable weapons are discovered. Opportunity? Made to order, on order. It was an Ahmadinejad-created opportunity, a directed Hezbollah attack on Israel designed to bring in America and allies. Its all happening, per Iranian plan, and its right there for us to see.
In a July 27 NY Sun op-ed, premier radio talk show host John Bachelor addresses the opportunity issue. The behavior of Syria, Bachelor notes is meant to provoke Israel and pull America directly into the fighting. Syria, as Bachelor points out, issued an unacceptable ultimatum to the U.S. Knowing that America cannot agree .Syria and its sponsor, Iran, are preparing for the next stage of the escalation. That next stage he affirms is a shooting war. To what point? This is where the weapons come into the picture.
Ahmadinejad has an apocalyptic future vision. Unlike previous nuclear opponents, Soviet Russia and China, for example, for whom a policy of mutually assured destruction was a suitable deterrent, the Iranian leader and his mullocracy lust for as much violence as possible. He openly calls for massive destruction in Israel, Europe, and America, and welcome any and all retaliation as the necessary precursor to activate the mysterious 12 Imam. The suspended-life Imam, buried beneath the Shia Mosque of the Golden Dome, Samara in Iraq, will return to this world as the Madhi, the Caliph to lead hordes of Muslims to global victory, only if preceded with sufficient violence. Ahmadinejad believes this just as certainly as Adolph Hitler believed in his Thousand Year Reich and the superiority of the Aryan race. And in a manner similar to his mentor Hitler, Ahmadinejad is willing to sacrifice his life to achieve his ultimate goal.
Consequently Iran has accelerated nuclear weapons development (or purchase) and missile technology. It has a broad array of weapons including several classes of missiles. Some like the Farj Class, as Michael Krauss and Peter Pham note in Foundation for the Defense of Democracy this July, were built with Chinese and North Korean assistance, and are capable of slinging a 200 pound warhead between 25 and 45 miles. Israeli intelligence estimates that several hundred Fajr rockets have been delivered so far, they say. These can go further and carry more than the generic Katyushas. Ken Timmerman notes that the Fajrs carry a 110 pound warhead, but what makes them so fearsome is the tiny ball bearings packed inside designed as a terror weapon to kill and maim civilians.
Additionally, the Iranians have smuggled several of the Zelzal Class into Lebanon for Hezbollah use. These are heftier weapons, also known as Shehab Class missiles, derived from the North Korean Nodong Class, built with Iranian financial backing. These can fly up to 1600 kilometers carrying a payload of almost a ton. Even with conventional loads these are formidable terror weapons. Bachelor notes that these missiles are on their mobile launchers, under Iranian rocket crews parked in Syria waiting the order to attack. Once given the green light crews will push over the border crossings, park about 15 meters inside Lebanon, and launch on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Reinforcing the threat, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah leader, warned that deeper attacks would be forthcoming. The Israelis, Bachelor says, have accounted for more than 36 such missiles inside Lebanon. Theyve already killed some, but how may more wait across the Syrian border? Dozens? Hundreds? Using the tactics just rehearsed in North Korea suppose Syria, backed to the hilt by Iran, having provoked an Israeli or American strike which provides them sufficient excuse, then floods across the border. Many specially trained battalions with scores of Zelzals and smaller payload missiles dispersed among them will lead. It is probably that many of the weapons and units are already pre-positioned.
These Zelzal missiles if properly dispersed and simultaneously launched if, in other words, the tactical model developed by the Soviets, taught to the Iranians, and just practiced in front of the world in North Korea is followed we could expect that existing Israeli missile defense systems would be overwhelmed. Radars would pick scores, perhaps hundreds of missiles launched from a very short distance away all converging on Israeli cities. It would be impossible for upgraded Patriot or any other deployed system to get them all. The leakers would certainly penetrate. Are they going to carry conventional explosives, a serious enough threat by itself, or will these be the ones that carry the dirty warheads, the small fission devices, or the VX nerve gas? Is this the day or rejoicing that Ahmadinejad threatens? Does anyone really want to wait until mid August when this attack is launched to learn?
In this scenario inaction is not appropriate. Nor is the reprehensible laundry list of appeasement initiatives drafted by State Department Arabists acceptable. The options for a diplomatic solution have already expired. State has played its hand, and sterner leadership must take charge. Both Syria and Iran must be faced squarely and confronted with the consequences of their actions before they can attack. Iran is clearly attempting to use an attack on Israel to build momentum for an overthrow of that country combined with a defeat of America in Iraq. Rather than wait defensively America must strike Iran, taking out leadership, nuclear, and missile targets. Simultaneously every Iranian revolutionary group must be supported and turned loose to foment revolution inside Iran.
Syria has to be taken out immediately. Leadership targets - regime, Hezbollah, and Iranian - must be attacked and friendly forces put into the border area for missile suppression. U.S. units watching Syrias back door can strike and raid, thereby collapsing Syrian resistance. Israeli forces need to continue to press Hezbollah terrorists inside Lebanon to keep them off balance. It is critically important that America and Israel supported by whatever allies have the courage to assist, take the fight immediately to the perpetrators. By waiting for a first-strike we are put in a position of playing a retaliation game after we have already endured unacceptable losses in population and perception. Once America and Israel are seen as weak enough to defeat, then the international jackals will all join in for the kill. This is what our enemies hope to accomplish.
How realistic is this plan politically? Probably not very, and that is what is going to be a major setback, possibly one from which it will be extraordinarily difficult to recover. Complicating American reaction to these events is the paralyzing idea prevalent among many Americans that by solving Iraq our troubles in the region are over. This naïve perception is clouding Americas grasp of the scope, breadth, and reality of the threat. We face a crisis of major proportions. Hesitation may be fatal.
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Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu has been an Army Green Beret lieutenant colonel, as well as a writer, popular speaker, business executive and farmer. His most recent book is Separated at Birth, about North and South Korea. He returned recently from an embed with soldiers in Iraq and has launched a web site called Support American Soldiers to assist traveling soldiers.
Bin Laden Morphs into Che Guevera
By Alan Caruba Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Its become so commonplace as to receive only a minor mention in the news. Predator drones under the command presumably of the CIA or the Air Force find and kill some ranking member of al Qaeda in far-off Waziristan.
Silently traversing the skies above the otherwise impenetrable region, death must come as a surprise to the masters of Islamic hatred and terror.
Recently a senior Saudi cleric, Sheikh Saleh bin Muhammad Al-Luhaidan, the head of the Saudi Supreme Judicial Council, had some harsh words for al Qaeda and its founder. The scion of one of Saudi Arabias most distinguished families outside of the royal one, Osama bin Laden has been a pariah there for years. The Saudis were among the earliest to recognize the danger he posed.
His actions speak for him, said the Sheikh of bin Laden. He is not the one to direct a person onto the right path. Indeed, he is a promoter of evil and depravity, and whoever follows him, pursues depravity.
The Sheikh said of his followers, These deviants, who were not tolerated in their (own) countries, went to Iraq and to other countries with the purpose of destroying of (Saudi) kingdom. He called them criminals.
I dont know what he thought of the 15 Saudis who participated in 9/11, but presumably he thinks theyre criminals as well. The fact is that Saudi Arabia has been a major center for al Qaeda recruitment for years. The Sheikhs comments reflect this unpleasant truth.
It is a great irony that a nation that has spent billions for the propagation of Islam around the world has spawned this terrorist response as an outgrowth of its efforts. Worse yet for them, the jihadists want to overthrow the Royal family.
While the U.S. predator drones circle lazily above the frontier areas of Pakistan, Osama bin Laden is morphing slowly into the Che Guevera of the Islamist movement; more symbol than active participant.
Bin Laden is frequently said to be dead, but when one of our drones finds him, he will join the growing list of others who have been delivered to paradise with an assist from a guided missile or two.
We can take comfort in knowing that terrorists tend to rapidly wear out their welcome. Iraq is a perfect example of that. Those who continue to insist it was a mistake to go there and kill jihadists have been proven wrong. Unfortunately, one of them is running for President.
The fact is, we have neither heard, nor seen much from Bin Laden. As Martha Stewart would say, Thats a good thing.
Alan has a daily blog called Warning Signs. His latest book is Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy.
Alan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Older articles by Alan Caruba
Hezbollahs Newest Nazi - the Child Murdering Samir Kuntar
By Sean Osborne Thursday, July 24, 2008
How absolutely Hileresque the image above of recently released terrorist and child murderer Samir Kuntar is. How demonically appropriate as well. Look into Kuntars eyes, theres almost a distinct, demonic-red glow to them. And it also occurs to me that the only thing missing from Kuntars camouflage uniform is a red, black and white swastika armband.
However, the turbaned Shite Hezbollah Islamo-Nazis in the image suffice in lieu of the missing swastika. You see, there really is no difference between the Nazis of WWII and the Shiite Muslims of modern day Iran and Lebanon. They want to achieve the same final solution against the Jews and Israel as their forebears did in Europe a generation ago.
It was at 2:30 in the morning on April 22, 1979 when Samir Kuntar, then the 17-year old leader of a squad of Palestinian PFNLP terrorists, landed their rubber inflatable boat on Nahariya beach in extreme northern Israel. Their plan was to kidnap Israelis and take them back over the border into Lebanon. Sound like a familiar tactic? It is as the events of summer 2006 do attest.
An Israeli police officer, Eliyahu Shahar, arrived in the area in his patrol car and was immediately murdered in a hailstorm of bullets fired from the Palestinian terrorists AK-47 assault rifles. Samir Kuntars terrorist squad then assaulted an apartment occupied by Danny and Smadar Haran and their two children, 4-year old Einat and 2-year old Yael. Smadar and Yael managed to hide in an attic, where tragically Smadar accidentally smothered Yeal while trying to keep her cries from alerts the terrorist to their hiding place. Danny and daughter Einat were captured by the apartment front door and immediately taken to the beach for an anticipated escape, only to find the boat had been deflated.
Arriving Israeli security forces then engaged the terrorists in a fire fight on thebeach. At one point Danny stood up tall, waved and attempted to tell the Israeli forces that his daughter was in harms way during the firefight. Samir Kuntar then murdered Danny by shooting him point blank in the back, and then used the butt of his assault rifle to crush in the innocent skull of 4-year old Eitan against a rock on the beach. Eitans brain tissue found on Kuntars rifle butt was part of the pathologists testimony and evidence in Kuntars trial.
Samir Kuntar is now Hezbollahs newest Islamo-Nazi terrorist since his 16 July 2008 release from the Israeli Hadarim Prison. His release was in exchange for the mutilated remains of Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whom Hezbollah had kidnapped on 12 July 2006 setting off the intense war of that summer.
This is the face of the enemy. Look closely at it. Memorize it. Understand it. Evaluate the threat it represents. And prepare to fight it when it once again bursts into Americas front door just as it did in 1979 and many times since.
Sean Osborne, is the Associate Director, Military Affairs Northeast Intelligence Network.
Sean can be reached at email@example.com
Older Articles by Sean Osborne
Paintball was practice, says terror-cell mole
Key witness in Toronto 18 trial testifies battlefield simulations were acted out in rural, wooded area
June 11, 2008
They were supposed to be like the “Mujahideen in Chechnya,” so they followed a simple diet of canned tuna and pita bread.
Their paintball games were designed to mimic the “battlefield,” so they played games in which they were instructed to kill the non-believers.
And they wanted to show that they were “serious” so they made a video that was to be sent to “the leadership of Afghanistan” and to imams in Toronto who were “sympathetic” to their cause.
Those were just some of the activities alleged members of a homegrown terror cell participated in when they attended a so-called terrorist training camp, the Crown’s star witness said yesterday when he testified for the first time in open court.
“We weren’t there picking daisies, that’s for sure,” said Mubin Shaikh, a police mole who infiltrated the Toronto 18 and gained the trust of its alleged ringleader.
“There was clear, overt, military context to the training,” said Shaikh, adding attendees at the December 2005 camp also went through an elaborate obstacle course, fired a 9-mm Luger handgun, and listened to extremist Islamist indoctrination.
The 32-year-old began his much anticipated testimony in a Brampton court by revealing how he was tasked by authorities to infiltrate the group.
It was later busted during a massive police sweep in the summer of 2006 that netted 14 adults and four youths.
Charges have since been stayed against four adults and three youths. A court ruling prohibits identifying the adult accused.
During Shaikh’s testimony at the trial of the remaining youth, he said a terror plot was already in the works and specific targets already selected when he infiltrated the group on Nov. 27.
The scope of the plot became apparent when, two days later, the alleged leader told Shaikh that it included power grids, Parliament buildings, CBC headquarters and the Toronto offices of the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
“Front Street will definitely be taken care of,” Shaikh recalled the alleged leader saying and pointed out that the CSIS and CBC offices in Toronto are on that same bustling downtown street.
“Two birds with one bomb.”
The gravity of the scheme was underscored when the alleged leader arranged a meeting for them with a man named Qari Kifayatullah, who explained that truck bombs were more destructive than firearms, such as AK-47s.
“How many people can you kill with AKs?” Shaikh recalled Kifayatullah asking.
“ ‘You can kill more people with truck bombs.’ That was the first time I heard about ammonium nitrate.”
But a key obstacle to his plot was finding people with the necessary skills to carry out such an assault, confided the alleged ringleader, who asked Shaikh to be a trainer at an upcoming camp.
Shaikh was an ideal candidate since he possessed a firearms licence, had extensive military training as an army cadet, and had practised martial arts for years, court was told.
He agreed and on Dec. 18, various members made their way up to a rural wooded area in Washago, about an hour and a half north of Toronto.
Although not everyone was aware of the camp’s purpose, all in attendance ran the obstacle course, played paintball and participated in the making of the video.
The paintball games were supposed to resemble the Chechen rebellion against Russia, with the alleged leader telling participants “this is like the battlefield in Chechnya” said Shaikh, who played the role of a sniper instructed to kill the “kuffar,” an Arabic word meaning non-believers.
During the games, the alleged leader could often be found on the sidelines “encouraging, exhorting, frequently yelling out” at the players words of encouragement such as: “Don’t you have any honour in your religion? Fight them, fight them.”
Shaikh also said that a video was shot to “advertise,” and demonstrate “that we were serious about what we wanted to do.”
They even choreographed a scene of them walking up the hill in an arrowhead formation with a black flag that contained religious text in white writing. Such a flag, said Shaikh, is commonly associated with terrorism.
The “primary target audience of the video,” said Shaikh, was “the leadership in Afghanistan.”
It was later revealed that it was also intended for “select imams in the city (the alleged leader) thought were sympathetic to his cause and knowledgeable.”
The trial resumes today.
YouTube video on the threat of Islamists training for Jihad using paint ball skills
Anthrax suspect dies in apparent suicide
By DAVID WILLMAN
Los Angeles Times
One of the nations top biodefense researchers has died in Maryland from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was to file criminal charges against him in the anthrax mailing assaults of 2001 that killed five, the Los Angeles Times has learned.
Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who for the past 18 years worked at the governments elite biodefense research laboratories at Fort Detrick, Md., had been informed of the impending prosecution, people familiar with Ivins, his suspicious death and with the FBI investigation said.
Ivins name had not been disclosed publicly as a suspect in the case that disrupted mail service and Senate business three weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Maryland scientist had for years played a pivotal role in research to improve anthrax vaccines, preparing anthrax formulations used in experiments on animals.
Regarded as a skilled microbiologist, Ivins also had helped the FBI analyze the powdery material recovered from one of the anthrax-tainted envelopes sent to a U.S. senators office in Washington, D.C.
Ivins died Tuesday at Frederick Memorial Hospital after having ingested a massive dose of prescription Tylenol mixed with codeine, said a friend and colleague who declined to be identified out of concern, he said, that he would be harassed by the FBI.
The death — without any mention of suicide — was announced to Ivins colleagues at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID, through a staffwide e-mail.
People here are pretty shook up about it, said Caree Vander Linden, a spokewoman for USAMRIID, who said that she was not at liberty to discuss details surrounding the death.
The extraordinary turn of events followed the governments payment in June of a settlement valued at $5.82 million to a former government scientist, Steven J. Hatfill, who was long targeted as the FBIs chief suspect despite a lack of any evidence that he had ever possessed anthrax.
The payout to Hatfill, a highly unusual development that all but exonerated him of committing the anthrax mailings, was an essential step to clear the way for prosecuting Ivins, according to lawyers familiar with the matter.
Federal investigators moved away from Hatfill — for years the only publicly identified person of interest — and ultimately concluded that Ivins was the culprit after FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III changed leadership of the investigation in late 2006.
The FBIs new top investigators — Vincent B. Lisi and Edward W. Montooth — instructed agents to re-examine leads or potential suspects that may have received insufficient attention. Moreover, significant progress was made in analyzing properties of the anthrax powder recovered from separate letters that were addressed to two U.S. senators.
The renewed efforts led the FBI back to USAMRIID, where agents had first questioned scientists in December 2001, a few weeks after the fatal mailings.
By spring of this year, FBI agents were still contacting present and former colleagues of Ivins. At USAMRIID and elsewhere, scientists acquainted with Ivins were asked to sign confidentiality agreements in order to prevent leaks of new investigative details.
Soon after the governments settlement with Hatfill was announced June 27, Ivins began showing signs of serious strain. One of his longtime colleagues told the Times that Ivins, who was being treated for depression, indicated to a therapist that he was considering suicide. Soon thereafter, family members and local police officers escorted Ivins away from USAMRIID, where his access to sensitive areas was curtailed, the colleague said.
Ivins was committed to a facility in Frederick for treatment of his depression. On July 24, he was released from the facility, operated by Sheppard Pratt Health System. A telephone call that same day by the Times verified that Ivinss government voicemail was still functioning.
The scientist faced forced retirement, planned for September, said his longtime colleague, who described Ivins as emotionally fractured by the federal scrutiny.
He didnt have any more money to spend on legal fees. He was much more emotionally labile, in terms of sensitivity to things, than most scientists. ... He was very thin skinned.
A spokeswoman for the FBI, Debra Weierman, said Thursday that the bureau would not comment regarding the death of Ivins. Last week, however, FBI Director Mueller told CNN that, in some sense, there have been breakthroughs in the case.
Ill tell you we made great progress in the investigation,” Mueller added. And its in no way dormant.
Ivins, the son of a Princeton-educated pharmacist, was born and raised in Lebanon, Ohio, and received undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in microbiology, from the University of Cincinnati.
The eldest of his two brothers, Thomas Ivins, said that he was not surprised by the events that have unfolded.
He buckled under the pressure from the federal government, Thomas Ivins said, adding that FBI agents came to Ohio last year to question him about his brother.
I was questioned by the feds, and I sung like a canary, Thomas Ivins said, referring to his efforts to describe his brothers personality and tendencies. He had in his mind that he was omnipotent.
Ivinss widow declined to be interviewed when reached Thursday at her home in Frederick. The couple raised twins, who are now 24 years old.
Additional older articles concerning the deaths of scientists since 9/11 can be found at these two sites:
Dead scientist conspiracy? by Marilyn Barnewall November 16, 2004
List of murdered scientists
Pictures and bios of scientists who have been murdered or died since 9/11
U.S. says Pakistani spies forewarn al Qaeda allies
Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:11am EDT
By Zeeshan Haider
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The United States has accused members of Pakistan’s main spy agency of tipping off al Qaeda-linked militants before U.S. missile attacks on targets in Pakistani tribal lands, Pakistan’s defense minister said.
defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar openly acknowledged American mistrust of Pakistan’s main military spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in remarks aired on Thursday on Pakistani television.
“They think that there are some elements in the ISI at some level that when the government of Pakistan is informed of targets, then leak it to them (militants) at some level,” Mukhtar told Geo in Washington, having accompanied Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on a maiden visit to the United States.
“This is an issue on which they were a bit annoyed.”
The disclosure of American displeasure by a minister in the four-month-old civilian government of American could embarrass President Pervez Musharraf and the Pakistani military, and reawaken concern about the stability of the nuclear armed state.
The U.S. no longer gives Pakistan advance notice when it targets militants in tribal areas.
The News, a Pakistani daily from the same media group as Geo, reported that Bush had asked who was controlling the ISI.
The ISI is the main intelligence arm of the military, which directs its operations, though under the law it reports to the prime minister.
Pakistan’s security apparatus consists of the ISI, and Military Intelligence, which deals solely with military matters, and their civilian cousins, the Intelligence Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency, and the police Special Branch.
Pakistan is going through a transition to civilian rule after 8 years of military-led government, and the new leaders want to streamline reporting lines.
Last Saturday the government issued a decree saying the ISI and the Intelligence Bureau would be placed under the Interior Ministry, but backtracked the next day with a clarification that raised doubts in sections of the media about its own competence.
The coalition government has still to find its feet, and is fraught with internal tensions while also dealing with a economic and energy crisis, and analysts say it would be unwise to get into a confrontation with the military.
Past civilian rulers, including Nawaz Sharif and the late Benazir Bhutto, appointed men of their choice as head of ISI, but each time it led to differences with the army, which has led the Muslim nation for more than half the 61 years since it was carved out of the partition of India.
U.S. ally Musharraf stepped down as army chief last November, and promoted General Ashfaq Kayani, who had been head of the ISI, to succeed himself, and also chose the current ISI chief, Lieutenant-General Nadeem Taj.
After abandoning support for the Taliban government in Afghanistan after al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities, Musharraf ordered a clear out of the ISI’s Afghan desk dealing with the Islamist militia, but has defend the agency from periodic criticism that it retains links.
Gilani, whose Pakistan People’s Party has its own history of mistrust with the army, spoke up for the ISI calling it a “great institution” and saying he found reports that some members of the ISI were sympathetic to the militants to be unbelievable.
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that a top Central Intelligence Agency official confronted Pakistani officials earlier this month with evidence of ISI ties to militants, and involvement in a suicide car bomb attack outside the Indian embassy in Kabul that killed 58 people, including two senior Indian diplomats.
(Writing by Simon Cameron-Moore; Editing by David Fox)
Gates: Terrorism top priority for decades
WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) — U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says terrorism should remain the top U.S. defense priority in the coming decades, a new National Defense Strategy said.
The document, approved but not released, calls for the military to shift its concentration on conventional warfare to a broader focus that includes economic development and recommends working with China and Russia to keep them from becoming adversaries, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The strategy climaxes Gates’s work since he became defense secretary in 2006, detailing his view that military force is only one aspect of fighting the war on terror.
“Iraq and Afghanistan remain the central fronts in the struggle but we cannot lose sight of the implications of fighting a long-term, episodic, multi-front, and multi-dimensional conflict more complex and diverse than the Cold War confrontation with communism,” said the document provided to the Post by InsideDefense.com, a defense industry news service. “Success in Iraq and Afghanistan is crucial to winning this conflict but it alone will not bring victory.”
In the report, Gates said the Unites States should work with other countries to eradicate conditions cultivating extremism. Use of force has a role, he said, but promoting government participation and encouraging programs spurring economic development are among tools available to counter insurgencies.
“For these reasons, arguably the most important military component of the struggle against violent extremists is not the fighting we do ourselves, but how well we help prepare our partners to defend and govern themselves,” Gates wrote.
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 31, 2008
Fact Sheet: A Lasting Framework for United States Intelligence Activities
President Bush Updates Executive Order To Create A More Unified, Integrated, And Collaborative Intelligence Community
White House News
Executive Order: Further Amendments to Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities
President Bush issued an Executive Order to advance and institutionalize the reforms enacted into law by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 and to provide a durable framework for the conduct of the Nation’s intelligence activities. The Executive Order which updates Executive Order 12333 originally issued by President Reagan in 1981 responds to the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA). The updated Executive Order directs the Intelligence Community to produce timely, accurate, and insightful intelligence with special emphasis on the threats posed by international terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The revised Executive Order will accelerate efforts to build a more effective Intelligence Community capable of providing the President and his advisors with information necessary to defend our national and homeland security.
The Executive Order reaffirms that the Intelligence Community will use “all reasonable and lawful means” to ensure that the United States receives “the best intelligence possible.” The Executive Order similarly reinforces the directive that United States intelligence activities are to be conducted in a manner that protects the constitutional rights of Americans.
The Executive Order retains key features of the original Executive Order 12333, which has served the Nation well for over 25 years, and updates the original Order to account for todays national security challenges and to reflect the IRTPA structures, including the post of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).
The Executive Order will provide a lasting framework for the conduct of the Nation’s intelligence activities by:
o Describing the roles and responsibilities of the DNI, the Intelligence Community, and the agencies composing the Intelligence Community;
o Stressing the need for collaboration in the collection, analysis, and production of intelligence;
o Emphasizing the importance of preparing and providing intelligence in manner that results in robust information sharing; and
o Underscoring and renewing the commitment to conduct intelligence activities in manner that fully protects the civil liberties and privacy rights of Americans.
A Revision Of Executive Order 12333 Was Necessary To Reflect The Current Structures And Priorities Of The Intelligence Community
With the benefit of more than three years of experience with the IRTPA structures, the President concluded this was an opportune time to update and revise Executive Order 12333. The President also took full advantage of, and benefited from, the insights and knowledge of respected intelligence professionals with decades of Intelligence Community leadership experience, including Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, CIA Director Michael Hayden, and Undersecretary of Defense James Clapper.
The Executive Order clarifies the responsibilities and strengthens the authorities of the DNI in important ways. The DNI will set goals for the conduct of the Nation’s intelligence activities by, among other things, issuing guidelines governing collection, analysis, and intelligence sharing and formulating policies to guide our intelligence relationships with foreign countries. The DNI also will participate more fully in decisions regarding the selection and, if necessary, the removal of senior intelligence officials. In addition, the DNI will have flexibility to create national intelligence centers and designate Intelligence Community mission and functional managers.
The Executive Order maintains and strengthens existing protections for Americans’ civil liberties and privacy rights. The Executive Order retains and reinforces the provisions in place in the original Executive Order 12333 to ensure that all intelligence activities are conducted in a manner that protects the civil liberties and privacy rights of Americans. All collection, retention, and dissemination of information regarding United States persons must be conducted in accordance with procedures approved by the Attorney General.
The Executive Order also retains the existing ban on assassination and the limitations on human experimentation. Intelligence officials will continue to be obligated to report possible violations of federal law to the Attorney General, as well as to the DNI and the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board.
The Executive Order preserves and reinforces existing responsibilities of members of the Intelligence Community.
The Executive Order assigns to CIA the role of coordinating intelligence collection from human sources overseas and managing foreign intelligence relationships. It also designates the CIA Director as the Functional Manager for human intelligence and affirms the CIA’s existing responsibility to conduct covert action activities approved by the President.
The Executive Order recognizes the important role played by the FBI in the collection, dissemination, and analysis of intelligence information. It also affirms the FBI’s responsibility for the coordination of intelligence collection from human sources within the United States.
The Executive Order fully respects and preserves the military chain of command and will ensure intelligence support is provided to our armed forces.
The Executive Order underscores that the Attorney General continues to be the Nation’s top law enforcement officer. The revised Order does not insert the DNI into law enforcement activities.
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Thursday, July 31, 2008
Bush signs new rules, roles for spy agencies
By PAMELA HESS Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush approved an order that rewrites the rules governing spying by U.S. intelligence agencies, both in the United States and abroad, and strengthens the authority of the national intelligence director, according to a U.S. official and government documents.
Executive Order 12333, which lays out the responsibilities of each of the 16 agencies, maintains the decades-old prohibitions on assassination and using unwitting human subjects for scientific experiments, according to a power point briefing given to Congress that was reviewed by The Associated Press. The CIA notoriously tested LSD on human subjects in the 1950s, which was revealed by a Senate investigation in 1977.
The new order gives the national intelligence director, a position created in 2005, new authority over any intelligence information collected that pertains to more than one agency - an attempt to force greater information exchange among agencies traditionally reluctant to share their most prized intelligence. The order directs the attorney general to develop guidelines to allow agencies access to information held by other agencies. That could potentially include the sharing of sensitive information about Americans.
The order has been under revision for more than a year, an attempt to update a nearly 30-year-old presidential order to reflect organizational changes made in the intelligence agencies after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
It was carried on in secret in the midst of pitched national debate about the appropriate balance between civil liberties and security, spurred by the president’s warrantless wiretapping program.
The briefing charts assert that the new order maintains or improves civil liberties protections for Americans.
Interest in the rewrite inside the 16 agencies has been high because it establishes what agencies’ powers and limitations will be.
The order, which has not yet been publicly released, is expected to cut into one of the CIA’s traditional roles. The CIA has for 50 years set the policy and largely called the shots on relationships between U.S. intelligence agencies and their foreign counterparts. According to the briefing charts, the national intelligence director will now set the rules for engaging with foreign intelligence and security services. The CIA will now just “coordinate implementation,” according to the briefing charts.
The order also gives the national intelligence director’s office the power of the purse: It was granted the authority to make acquisition decisions on certain national intelligence programs. It is also updated to include the national intelligence director and two major defense spy agencies - the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates spy satellites, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which analyzes imagery. It did not explain the FBI’s domestic intelligence mission, which has gotten increasing attention since 9/11.
2008-07-31 07:28:56 GMT Copyright 2008. The Associated Press All Rights Reserved.
Newspaper: New group claims Greek bomb attack
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ATHENS, Greece — A previously unknown terrorist group has sent a statement to a Greek newspaper claiming responsibility for the 2004 bombing of a courthouse in central Greece and two failed bombings in Athens, the newspaper said Thursday.
Police said all three bombs had been set up to detonate with the use of a mobile phone - a tactic not used before in Greece.
The group, which calls itself Popular Will, sent a seven-page statement on a CD-ROM to the Eleftherotypia newspaper on Wednesday, the paper said.
The statement claimed responsibility for the May 2004 courthouse bombing in the town of Larissa, two months before Athens was to host the Olympic Games. The court was empty, but a passer-by was slightly injured.
The group said it had acted when it knew the courthouse was empty, to minimize casualties, and that it had carried out the attack because authorities had been planning to move arrested members of the November 17 terrorist group to a prison in Larissa, the newspaper said.
November 17 was Greece’s deadliest terrorist organization. It killed 23 people, including U.S., British and Turkish nationals, between 1975 and 2002, when a botched bombing led police to capture several members.
In its statement, the Popular Will group also claimed it was behind a failed bombing in June 2007 at an Athens building housing offices of German pharmaceutical company Bayer and electronics company Siemens, and an attempted bombing Monday against the Economic and Social Committee of Greece, a policy research institute affiliated with the European Union, the newspaper said.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq Leader May Be in Afghanistan
By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, July 31, 2008; A01
BAGHDAD, July 30 — The leader of the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq and several of his top lieutenants have recently left Iraq for Afghanistan, according to group leaders and Iraqi intelligence officials, a possible further sign of what Iraqi and U.S. officials call growing disarray and weakness in the organization.
U.S. officials say there are indications that al-Qaeda is diverting new recruits from going to Iraq, where its fighters have suffered dramatic setbacks, to going to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they appear to be making gains.
“We do believe al-Qaida is doing some measure of re-assessment regarding the continued viability of its fight in Iraq and whether Iraq should remain the focus of its efforts,” Brig. Gen. Brian Keller, senior intelligence officer for Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, wrote in an e-mail. But Keller said that the reliability of indications that recruits have been diverted has “not yet been determined” and that U.S. officials have no evidence that top al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders have gone to Afghanistan.
A largely homegrown insurgent group that American officials believe is led by foreigners, al-Qaeda in Iraq has long been one of the most ruthless and dangerous organizations in the country. But even some of its leaders acknowledge that it has been seriously weakened over the past year.
The number of foreign fighters entering Iraq has dropped to 20 a month, down from about 110 a month last summer and as many as 50 a month earlier this year, according to a senior U.S. intelligence analyst who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the nature of his work.
Some al-Qaeda in Iraq members blamed the group’s troubles on failed leadership by its head since 2006, an Egyptian who has used the pseudonyms Abu Hamza al-Muhajer and Abu Ayyub al-Masri. Some of the fighters said they have become so frustrated by Masri that they recently split off to form their own Sunni insurgent group.
Abdullah al-Ansari, an al-Qaeda in Iraq leader in Fallujah, said in an interview with a Washington Post special correspondent that Masri had traveled to Afghanistan through Iran and designated Abu Khalil al-Souri, the pseudonym of another top leader of the group who came to Iraq in 2003, to run the organization in his absence.
“It’s not known yet whether he would come back or not,” he said, referring to Masri.
Col. Hatim Abdullah, an Iraqi intelligence official in the Anbar province capital of Ramadi, said Masri and two foreign fighters were believed to have crossed into Iran on June 12 through the border town of Zorbatia. He said the information was based in part on interrogations of al-Qaeda in Iraq members.
One of those al-Qaeda in Iraq detainees, Abu Abeer al-Muhajer, a senior leader in Ramadi whose real name is believed to be Ibrahim Salih Hassan al-Fahdawi, said after his July 9 arrest that Masri had traveled through Iran with 15 leaders, according to a police report and an interview with police officer Nihad Jassim Mohammed Saleh, who has questioned Fahdawi.
Makki Fawaz al-Milehmi, a senior leader of the group north of Fallujah, said in an interview with the Post special correspondent that Masri has left Iraq twice before and was going to meet with “some of our brothers” in Afghanistan. “The rumors now are saying that he escaped and this is not true. He just traveled,” said Milehmi, who accused the U.S. government of spreading the rumors to hurt the morale of the group. “He will come back to Iraq anytime he wants, like he has done before.”
Masri “did not escape or turn his back to us or abandon al-Qaeda in Iraq,” said Ali al-Qaisi, 32, the commander of a recruitment unit who lost a leg during a battle with U.S. troops in Samra. “We have been informed he left Iraq to Afghanistan for several things such as reviewing the situation of al-Qaeda in Iraq with [Osama] bin Laden.”
In a Tuesday briefing arranged by the U.S. military command in Baghdad, the senior intelligence analyst said he had not seen any indication of Masri’s location since January, when the United States believed he was in Iraq.
Col. Steven A. Boylan, a spokesman for Petraeus, said, “Our current assessment is that he remains in Iraq.” Some top Iraqi officials continue to say that Masri was killed last year, but the assertion has never been corroborated by the U.S. military.
A recent communique to al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders, however, suggests that a fighter known as Abdul Khalil al-Souri has taken on an increased leadership role in the group. The document, dated July 10, was signed by Souri instead of Masri, whose name is typically attached to such missives.
Souri, who is largely unknown outside al-Qaeda in Iraq, is part of a group of 33 fighters, known as “the first line,” who came to the country in 2003 with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to Milehmi, the leader north of Fallujah. He called Souri “the second personality” in al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Abu Taha al-Lihebi, an al-Qaeda in Iraq leader in eastern Anbar province who recently split from the group, said he believed the communique was proof that Masri had left Iraq and was likely to be replaced.
Lihebi, a former Iraqi air force technician in his 40s, said one of Masri’s key errors was fiercely attacking the Awakening movement, former Sunni insurgents who are now paid by the U.S. military, instead of trying to win back their support.
Indiscriminate attacks on civilians also caused the group to lose the support of local Sunni residents, Lihebi said.
“Al-Qaeda losing the Sunni population is like a human being losing the ability to drink water,” he said. “Because of Masri’s weak personality and leadership, al-Qaeda in Iraq was weakened and split and lost the Sunni population.”
Earlier this month, Lihebi said his fighters would no longer pledge obedience to Masri and were withdrawing from al-Qaeda in Iraq because of the “escalating hate against them by Sunnis due to the useless operations that ignored the main enemy, which is the head of evil, the United States.”
The splinter group, which named itself after Abu Anas al-Shami, an al-Qaeda in Iraq fighter it said had been killed by U.S. troops, also announced it would suspend suicide operations so that people would distinguish between the new group and al-Qaeda in Iraq.
In a sign of what U.S. officials describe as their success in eliminating Sunni insurgents inside Iraq, the American military has recently identified an al-Qaeda in Iraq leader outside the country as a major target, according to the senior U.S. intelligence analyst.
The leader, Abu Ghadiya, the nom de guerre of a Mosul native whose real name is said to be Badran Turki Hishan al-Mazidih, was identified in February as a senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leader based in Syria who controls the flow of the majority of the group’s foreign fighters, money and weapons into Iraq, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
Keller, the senior intelligence officer, said uncertainties remain about the diversion of fighters.
“We continue to wrestle with the question of whether this represents a strategic shift on the part of al-Qaida,” Keller said in the e-mail. “We do know that al-Qaida leaders will never give up entirely on Iraq, but they may in the future see Afghanistan or some other location yet to be determined as a place where their resources may be more effectively employed.”
Special correspondents Zaid Sabah and Qais Mizher in Baghdad and Washington Post staff in Anbar province contributed to this report.
Foreign missions advise their nationals caution in India
In the wake of serial bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad and explosives being found in Gujarat’s Surat city, various embassies and missions in India have issued special advisories to their citizens to exercise ‘high degree of caution’ while travelling in the country.
From correspondents in Delhi, India, 31 Jul 2008 7:31 PM - (www.indiaenews.com)
In the wake of serial bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad and explosives being found in Gujarat’s Surat city, various embassies and missions in India have issued special advisories to their citizens to exercise ‘high degree of caution’ while travelling in the country.
In an advisory issued Wednesday, the US government has appealed to its citizens travelling or residing in India to maintain a high level of vigilance following serial blasts in the country.’
‘Several bombs were detected and defused Tuesday in Surat, Gujarat. The discovery of these bombs follows blasts in Bangalore in Karnataka and Ahmedabad in Gujarat that left 50 dead and many injured. Police are actively investigating bomb threats across the country, including in Kolkata and Chennai,’ the advisory said.
The advisory added: ‘The American citizens are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, remain aware of their surroundings, monitor local news reports, avoid crowded places, and take appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.’
Besides the US, many other countries, including Australia, Britain and Canada have issued similar travel alerts to their citizens.
‘We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in India because of the high risk of terrorist activity by militant groups,’ said the travel alert from the Australian government’s department of foreign affairs and trade.
The alert, issued after the serial blasts, urged Australians to avoid unnecessary local travel in the areas affected by the blasts and to heed the advice of local authorities.
Canada’s department of foreign affairs has appealed to its citizens to be vigilant during the days of national significance for India, such as Republic Day (January 26) and Independence Day (August 15), as militants have used such occasions to mount attacks in the past.
‘Celebration venues, prominent government buildings, public transport, places of worship and public areas are potential targets for such attacks,’ the advisory said.
Giving a detailed account of the terrorist attack after 2006, the advisory appeals to foreign citizens to avoid visiting places on the hit list of terrorists.
‘Cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Varanasi may be placed on heightened alert by local authorities at short notice. An increased police presence and tighter security restrictions may be imposed any time,’ the advisory by Canadian government said.
The violent protests by Gujjars in Rajasthan and demonstrations in Darjeeling have also found space in the advisory issued by Australia.
‘You should avoid protests and demonstrations throughout India as they may become violent. Australians are urged to monitor international and local media, to avoid protests where possible,’ the advisory said.
© Copyright 2008 India eNews (www.indiaenews.com). All Rights Reserved.
Busting the Anthrax Myth
July 30, 2008 | 1902 GMT
By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart
Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, chief medical officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, told a congressional subcommittee on July 22 that the risk of a large-scale biological attack on the nation is significant and that the U.S. government knows its terrorist enemies have sought to use biological agents as instruments of warfare. Runge also said that the United States believes that capability is within the terrorists reach.
Runge gave his testimony before a subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology that was holding a field hearing in Providence, R.I., to discuss the topic of Emerging Biological Threats and Public Health Preparedness.
During his testimony, Runge specifically pointed to al Qaeda as the most significant threat and testified that the United States had determined that the terrorist organization is seeking to develop and use a biological weapon to cause mass casualties in an attack. According to Runge, U.S. analysis indicates that anthrax is the most likely choice, and a successful single-city attack on an unprepared population could kill hundreds of thousands of citizens.
Later in his testimony, Runge remarked that many do not perceive the threat of bioterrorism to be as significant as that of a nuclear or conventional strike, even though such an attack could kill as many people as a nuclear detonation and have its own long-term environmental effects.
We must admit to being among those who do not perceive the threat of bioterrorism to be as significant as that posed by a nuclear strike. To be fair, it must be noted that we also do not see strikes using chemical or radiological weapons rising to the threshold of a true weapon of mass destruction either. The successful detonation of a nuclear weapon in an American city would be far more devastating than any of these other forms of attack.
In fact, based on the past history of nonstate actors conducting attacks using biological weapons, we remain skeptical that a nonstate actor could conduct a biological weapons strike capable of creating as many casualties as a large strike using conventional explosives such as the October 2002 Bali bombings that resulted in 202 deaths or the March 2004 train bombings in Madrid that killed 191.
We do not disagree with Runges statements that actors such as al Qaeda have demonstrated an interest in biological weapons. There is ample evidence that al Qaeda has a rudimentary biological weapons capability. However, there is a huge chasm of capability that separates intent and a rudimentary biological weapons program from a biological weapons program that is capable of killing hundreds of thousands of people.
Misconceptions About Biological Weapons
There are many misconceptions involving biological weapons. The three most common are that they are easy to obtain, that they are easy to deploy effectively, and that, when used, they always cause massive casualties.
While it is certainly true that there are many different types of actors who can easily gain access to rudimentary biological agents, there are far fewer actors who can actually isolate virulent strains of the agents, weaponize them and then effectively employ these agents in a manner that will realistically pose a significant threat of causing mass casualties. While organisms such as anthrax are present in the environment and are not difficult to obtain, more highly virulent strains of these tend to be far more difficult to locate, isolate and replicate. Such efforts require highly skilled individuals and sophisticated laboratory equipment.
Even incredibly deadly biological substances such as ricin and botulinum toxin are difficult to use in mass attacks. This difficulty arises when one attempts to take a rudimentary biological substance and then convert it into a weaponized form a form that is potent enough to be deadly and yet readily dispersed. Even if this weaponization hurdle can be overcome, once developed, the weaponized agent must then be integrated with a weapons system that can effectively take large quantities of the agent and evenly distribute it in lethal doses to the intended targets.
During the past several decades in the era of modern terrorism, biological weapons have been used very infrequently and with very little success. This fact alone serves to highlight the gap between the biological warfare misconceptions and reality. Militant groups desperately want to kill people and are constantly seeking new innovations that will allow them to kill larger numbers of people. Certainly if biological weapons were as easily obtained, as easily weaponized and as effective at producing mass casualties as commonly portrayed, militant groups would have used them far more frequently than they have.
Militant groups are generally adaptive and responsive to failure. If something works, they will use it. If it does not, they will seek more effective means of achieving their deadly goals. A good example of this was the rise and fall of the use of chlorine in militant attacks in Iraq.
As noted by Runge, the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis is readily available in nature and can be deadly if inhaled, if ingested or if it comes into contact with a persons skin. What constitutes a deadly dose of inhalation anthrax has not been precisely quantified, but is estimated to be somewhere between 8,000 and 50,000 spores. One gram of weaponized anthrax, such as that contained in the letters mailed to U.S. Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy in October 2001, can contain up to one trillion spores enough to cause somewhere between 20 and 100 million deaths. The letters mailed to Daschle and Leahy reportedly contained about one gram each for a total estimated quantity of two grams of anthrax spores: enough to have theoretically killed between 40 and 200 million people. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the current population of the United States is 304.7 million. In a worst-case scenario, the letters mailed to Daschle and Leahy theoretically contained enough anthrax spores to kill nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population.
Yet, in spite of their incredibly deadly potential, those letters (along with an estimated five other anthrax letters mailed in a prior wave to media outlets such as the New York Post and the major television networks) killed only five people; another 22 victims were infected by the spores but recovered after receiving medical treatment. This difference between the theoretical number of fatal victims hundreds of millions and the actual number of victims five highlights the challenges in effectively distributing even a highly virulent and weaponized strain of an organism to a large number of potential victims.
To summarize: obtaining a biological agent is fairly simple. Isolating a virulent strain and then weaponizing that strain is somewhat more difficult. But the key to biological warfare effectively distributing a weaponized agent to the intended target is the really difficult part of the process. Anyone planning a biological attack against a large target such as a city needs to be concerned about a host of factors such as dilution, wind velocity and direction, particle size and weight, the susceptibility of the disease to ultraviolet light, heat, dryness or even rain. Small-scale localized attacks such as the 2001 anthrax letters or the 1984 salmonella attack undertaken by the Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh cult are far easier to commit.
It is also important to remember that anthrax is not some sort of untreatable super disease. While anthrax does form hardy spores that can remain inert for a period of time, the disease is not easily transmitted from person to person, and therefore is unlikely to create an epidemic outside of the area targeted by the attack. Anthrax infections can be treated by the use of readily available antibiotics. The spores incubation period also permits time for early treatment if the attack is noticed.
The deadliest known anthrax incident in recent years occurred in 1979 when an accidental release of aerosolized spores from a Soviet biological weapons facility in Sverdlovsk affected some 94 people reportedly killing 68 of them. This facility was one of dozens of laboratories that were part of the Soviet Unions massive and well-funded biological weapons program, one that employed thousands of the countrys brightest scientists. In fact, it was the largest biological weapons program in history.
Perhaps the largest attempt by a nonstate actor to cause mass casualties using anthrax was the series of attacks conducted in 1993 by the Japanese cult group Aum Shinrikyo in Tokyo.
In the late 1980s, Aums team of trained scientists spent millions of dollars to develop a series of state-of-the-art biological weapons research and production laboratories. The group experimented with botulinum toxin, anthrax, cholera and Q fever and even tried to acquire the Ebola virus. The group hoped to produce enough biological agent to trigger a global Armageddon. Its first attempts at unleashing mega-death on the world involved the use of botulinum toxin. In April 1990, the group used a fleet of three trucks equipped with aerosol sprayers to release liquid botulinum toxin on targets that included the Imperial Palace, the National Diet of Japan, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, two U.S. naval bases and the airport in Narita. In spite of the massive quantities of toxin released, there were no mass casualties, and, in fact, nobody outside of the cult was even aware the attacks had taken place.
When the botulinum operations failed to produce results, Aums scientists went back to the drawing board and retooled their biological weapons facilities to produce anthrax. By mid-1993, they were ready to launch attacks involving anthrax; between June and August of 1993, the group sprayed thousands of gallons of aerosolized liquid anthrax in Tokyo. This time, Aum not only employed its fleet of sprayer trucks but also used aerosol sprayers mounted on the roof of their headquarters to disperse a cloud of aerosolized anthrax over the city. Again, the attacks produced no results and were not even noticed. It was only after the groups successful 1995 subway attacks using sarin nerve agent that a Japanese government investigation discovered that the 1990 and 1993 biological attacks had occurred.
Biological Weapons Production
Aum Shinrikyos team of highly trained scientists worked under ideal conditions in a first-world country with a virtually unlimited budget. They were able to travel the world in search of deadly organisms and even received technical advice from former Soviet scientists. The team worked in large, modern laboratory facilities to produce substantial quantities of biological weapons. They were able to operate these facilities inside industrial parks and openly order the large quantities of laboratory equipment they required. Yet, in spite of the millions of dollars the group spent on its biological weapons program and the lack of any meaningful interference from the Japanese government Aum still experienced problems in creating virulent biological agents and also found it difficult to dispense those agents effectively.
Today, al Qaeda finds itself operating in a very different environment than that experienced by Aum Shinrikyo in 1993. At that time, nobody was looking for Aum or its biological and chemical weapons program. By contrast, since the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States and its allies have actively pursued al Qaeda leaders and sought to dismantle and defang the organization. The United States and its allies have focused a considerable amount of resources in tracking and disassembling al Qaedas chemical and biological warfare efforts. The al Qaeda network has had millions of dollars of its assets seized in a number of countries, and it no longer has the safe haven of Afghanistan from which to operate. The chemical and biological facilities the group established in the 1990s in Afghanistan such as the Deronta training camp, where cyanide and other toxins were used to kill dogs, and a crude anthrax production facility in Kandahar have been found and destroyed by U.S. troops.
Operating in the badlands along the Pakistani-Afghan border, al Qaeda cannot easily build large modern factories capable of producing large quantities of agents or toxins. Such fixed facilities are expensive and consume a lot of resources. Even if al Qaeda had the spare capacity to invest in such facilities, the fixed nature of them means that they could be compromised and quickly destroyed by the United States.
If al Qaeda could somehow create and hide a fixed biological weapons facility in Pakistans Federally Administered Tribal Areas or North-West Frontier Province, it would still face the daunting task of transporting large quantities of biological agents from the Pakistani badlands to targets in the United States or Europe. Al Qaeda operatives certainly can create and transport small quantities of these compounds, but not enough to wreak the kind of massive damage it desires.
Al Qaedas lead chemical and biological weapons expert, Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, was reportedly killed on July 28, 2008, by a U.S. missile strike on his home in Pakistan. Al-Sayid, who had a $5 million dollar bounty on his head, was initially reported to have been one of those killed in the January 2006 strike in Damadola. If he was indeed killed, his death should be another significant blow to the groups biological warfare efforts.
Of course, we must recognize that the jihadist threat goes just beyond the al Qaeda core. As we have been writing for several years now, al Qaeda has undergone a metamorphosis from a smaller core group of professional operatives into an operational model that encourages independent grassroots jihadists to conduct attacks. The core al Qaeda group, through men like al-Sayid, has published manuals in hard copy and on the Internet that provide instructions on how to manufacture rudimentary biological weapons.
It is our belief that independent jihadist cells and lone-wolf jihadists will almost certainly attempt to brew up some of the recipes from the al Qaeda cookbook. There also exists a very real threat that a jihadist sympathizer could obtain a small quantity of deadly biological organisms by infiltrating a research facility.
This means that we likely will see some limited attempts at employing biological weapons. That does not mean, however, that such attacks will be large-scale or create mass casualties.
The Bottom Line
While there has been much consternation and alarm-raising over the potential for widespread proliferation of biological weapons and the possible use of such weapons on a massive scale, there are significant constraints on such designs. The current dearth of substantial biological weapons programs and arsenals by governments worldwide, and the even smaller number of cases in which systems were actually used, seems to belie or at least bring into question the intense concern about such programs.
While we would like to believe that countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia have halted their biological warfare programs for some noble ideological or humanitarian reason, we simply cant. If biological weapons were in practice as effective as some would lead us to believe, these states would surely maintain stockpiles of them, just as they have maintained their nuclear weapons programs. Biological weapons programs were abandoned because they proved to be not as effective as advertised and because conventional munitions proved to provide more bang for the buck.
In some ways, the psychological fear of a super weapon undetectable, microscopic, easily delivered and extremely deadly shapes assessment of the threat, more so than an objective understanding of actual capability and intent (not to mention the extreme difficulties of ever creating some sort of a super bug). Conventional weapons systems, and unconventional tactics, continue to be the most cost-effective and proven methods of warfare, whether between state actors or between state and nonstate actors. Nuclear weapons have also been shown to have true weapons of mass destruction power.
To help keep the cost-benefit calculation of a biological warfare program in perspective, consider that Seung-Hui Cho, the man who committed the shooting at Virginia Tech, killed 32 people more than six times as many as were killed by the 2001 anthrax letters. John Mohammed, the so-called D.C. Sniper, was able to cause a considerable amount of panic and kill twice as many people (10) by simply purchasing and using one assault rifle. Compare Mohammeds effort and expenses to that of the Aum Shinrikyo anthrax program that took years of work by a huge team and millions of dollars to develop but infected no one.
Now, just because biological weapons are not all they are cracked up to be does not mean that efforts to undermine the biological warfare plans and efforts of militant groups such as al Qaeda should not continue or that programs to detect such agents or develop more effective treatments and vaccines should be halted. Even though an anthrax attack probably will not kill huge numbers of people, as we saw in the case of the anthrax letters, such an attack can be quite disruptive. Cleaning up after such an attack is expensive and takes considerable time and effort. Like a dirty bomb, an anthrax attack will more likely serve as a weapon of mass disruption and not a weapon of mass destruction.
Due to the disruption and the potential for some deaths as a result of an anthrax attack, the threat against the United States does remain a significant concern. However, the threat it represents is not as great as that of conventional attacks using firearms and explosives against soft targets, and it certainly does not rise anywhere near the level of a threat posed by a terrorist attack using a nuclear weapon.
Homeland security resources are very limited and have been shrinking as we move further from 9/11 and as other items begin to take precedence in the federal budget. This means that an array of different programs is being forced to scramble for an ever-shrinking piece of the funding pie. In such an environment, it is often a temptation to overstate the threat. Such overstatements are harmful because they can sometimes prevent a rational distribution of resources and prevent resources from being allocated to where they are needed most.
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“’Trashman’ Nabbed For YouTube Threats
Feds: New Yorker posted videos claiming he poisoned Gerber baby food”
August 1, 2008
Note: The following text is a quote:
New Orleans Woman Sentenced to Prison for Aiding and Abetting Unregistered Agent of China
WASHINGTON Yu Xin Kang, age 33, of New Orleans, La., was sentenced today in the Eastern District of Virginia to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release for aiding and abetting an unregistered agent of a foreign government, namely the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), in violation of 18 U.S.C., Sections 2 and 951. Kang pleaded guilty to this offense on May 28, 2008, after being arrested by federal authorities on Feb. 11, 2008.
Patrick Rowan, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg of the Eastern District of Virginia; and Arthur M. Cummings, II, Executive Assistant Director of the FBIs National Security Branch, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema imposed the sentence.
According to a Statement of Facts filed in Court with Kangs Plea Agreement, the criminal conduct spanned the time period of March 2007 to Feb. 11, 2008. During this period, Kang, a citizen of the PRC and a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States, aided and abetted Tai Shen Kuo in acting in the United States as an agent of the government of the PRC without prior notification to the Attorney General.
Kuo, a naturalized U.S. citizen and New Orleans businessman, maintained a close relationship with an official of the government of the PRC and provided him with sensitive U.S. government information, including national defense information. The PRC official directed Kuo in this effort, giving him instructions on information and documents to collect and paying him approximately $50,000.00 for completing those tasks. Kuo, as an unregistered agent of the PRC, operated within the United States under the PRC officials direction, committing numerous acts of espionage during the time period of the conspiracy.
For her part, Kang assisted Kuo by periodically serving as a conduit for information between Kuo and the PRC official. The PRC official regularly asked Kuo to use Kang as an intermediary for the delivery of information and documents from the United States. In addition, Kuo occasionally met with the PRC official inside Kangs Beijing apartment, and on at least one occasion, Kuo left a sealed envelope containing U.S. Defense Department documents inside Kangs Beijing apartment for later retrieval by the PRC official. Kang understood that the PRC official was affiliated with the PRC government and worked on military matters for the PRC.
Kuo obtained national defense information from Gregg W. Bergersen a Weapons Systems Policy Analyst at the Arlington, Va.-based Defense Security Cooperation Agency, an agency within the Department of Defense on several occasions. The information pertained primarily to U.S. military sales to Taiwan and U.S. military communications security and was classified at the Secret level.
During the course of the conspiracy, Kuo cultivated a friendship with Bergersen, bestowing on him gifts, cash payments, dinners, and trips to such places as Las Vegas. Kuo also led Bergersen to believe that he would make Bergersen a part owner or an employee of a company selling U.S. defense technology to Taiwan after Bergersens retirement from government service. Unbeknownst to Bergersen, Kuo passed along to the PRC official the documents and information Bergersen had provided him.
On July 11, 2008, Bergersen was sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years supervised release after pleading guilty on March 31, 2008 to conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 793(d), (g).
On May 13, 2008, Tai Shen Kuo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government, namely, the PRC, in violation of 18 U.S.C., Section 794(a), (c). Kuo is scheduled to be sentenced on August 8, 2008 and faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) provided substantial assistance and cooperation throughout the course of the investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neil Hammerstrom and Aaron Zebley from the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Trial Attorney Ryan Fayhee from the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Departments National Security Division.
“FBI and TSA Conclude Major Terrorism and Transportation Conference in New York”
(August 1, 2008)
Note: The following text is a quote:
Coalition Troops Detain Suspects; Iraqi Police Seize Explosives
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2008 Coalition forces captured 17 suspected al-Qaida terrorists during operations in Baghdad and Mosul today, while Iraqi police found an assortment of explosives in Baghdad, military officials said.
In todays operations:
— Fifteen suspected terrorists were captured in a village southwest of Mosul.
— In Baghdad, coalition forces captured an alleged al-Qaida associate, as well as an additional suspected terrorist.
— Iraqi police found nine roadside bombs designed to pierce armor-hulled vehicles, 10 1-pound blocks of explosive material, three 20-kilogram bags of explosives and bomb-making materials in the Kadamiyah area of Baghdad.
In operations yesterday, U.S. soldiers in Baghdad detained two suspected criminals for questioning. The operation resulted in the surrender of another suspect.
Also yesterday, Iraqi soldiers seized a sniper rifle, an AK-47 assault rifle, an AK-47 short stalk, a rocket-propelled grenade round, and two hand grenades in the Kadamiyah area of Baghdad.
During July 30 operations:
— Iraqi soldiers detained a suspected al-Qaida financier during an operation in Sadiyah. Three other suspected terrorists were detained during the operation.
— U.S. soldiers detained a suspected Iranian-backed special groups criminal near the Jihad community in Baghdads Rashid district. Five other suspects also were detained.
— U.S. soldiers detained a suspect after discovering possible bomb-making materials in his home in Baghdads Risalah neighborhood.
— Iraq security forces captured three suspected terrorists in separate operations: The Mosul special weapons and tactics team captured a suspected mid-level al-Qaida operative in Namrood; the Fallujah SWAT squad captured a suspected al-Qaida member during an operation in Fallujah; and to the north of Baghdad, Iraqi National Police captured a suspected al-Qaida leader.
In July 29 operations:
— An Iraqi special operations and weapons team from Haditha detained a suspected al-Qaida terrorist in Barwanah, northwest of Baghdad.
— Iraqi special operations forces detained two suspected terrorists north of Baghdad.
— Iraqi special operations forces detained four suspected al-Qaida members in Tahwila, northwest of Baghdad. One of the detainees is linked to coordinating the movement of weapons and people between the Diyala and Udaim river valleys.
In July 28 operations:
— An Iraqi SWAT team detained a suspected al-Qaida operative and two other suspects in Mosul.
— Iraqi soldiers detained a suspected al-Qaida financier northwest of Mosul.
— Muqdadiyahs Iraqi SWAT team detained a suspected al-Qaida financier.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)
“Forces Continue to Keep al-Qaida Off-Balance, Admiral Says”
By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2008
Note: The following text is a quote:
Afghan National Police Detain Militants in Paktika Province
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2008 Afghan National Police, with support from coalition forces, detained almost a dozen insurgents yesterday in Afghanistans Paktika province after finding evidence they were roadside-bomb facilitators, military officials reported.
After separate attacks on coalition and Afghan National Army vehicles, informants provided information that led to seven individuals who were responsible for the bombs. Traces of explosives were found in the detainees vehicle, officials said.
In other news, local sources in the provinces Ahmed Kheyl district pinpointed the location of several insurgents responsible for setting up illegal checkpoints used for stealing goods from local travelers. Four suspects were detained as a result of this information, officials said.
(From a Combined Joint Task Force 101 news release.)
“Pakistani military abandons forts in South Waziristan”
By BILL ROGGIO
August 1, 2008 10:45 AM
THANKS to fanfan for the updated info on the beheader on the bus in Canada.
Man Charged in Greyhound Bus Killing
CFRA News Staff
Friday, August 1, 2008
The RCMP have laid charges in the horrific killing of a passenger on board a Greyhound bus in Manitoba.
Foty-year-old Vince Weiguang Li, has been charged with second-degree murder. Li, who is from Edmonton, will appear in a provincial court on Friday.
Friends are identifying the victim of the attack as 22-year-old Tim McLean.
He is described as an easygoing carnival worker from Winnipeg.
Passengers report the man was stabbed 40 to 50 times and then decapitated.
RCMP have revealed very little about the attack, but do say they have no idea what triggered it.
1,097 posted on August 1, 2008 7:17:07 AM PDT by fanfan (SCC:Canadians have constitutional protection to all opinions, as long as they are based on the facts)
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