Several Egyptian members of the squad of militants that lay bloody siege to an Algerian gas complex last week also took part in the deadly attack on the United States Mission in Libya in September, a senior Algerian official said Tuesday
The Egyptians involved in both attacks were killed by Algerian forces during the four-day ordeal that ended in the deaths of at least 38 hostages and 29 kidnappers, the official said. But three of the militants were captured alive, and one of them described the Egyptians' role in both assaults under interrogation by the Algerian security services, the official said.
If confirmed, the link between two of the most brazen assaults in recent memory would reinforce the transborder character of the jihadist groups now striking across the Sahara. American officials have long warned that the region's volatile mix of porous borders, turbulent states, weapons and ranks of fighters with similar ideologies creates a dangerous landscape in which extremists are trying to collaborate across vast distances.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday about the Libyan attack that killed the American ambassador and three staff members, raised the specter of regional cooperation among extremists soon after the mission in Benghazi was overrun.
In particular, she said the Islamist militant takeover of northern Mali had created a "safe haven" for terrorists to "extend their reach" and work with other extremists in North Africa, "as we tragically saw in Benghazi," though she offered no clear evidence of such ties.
Now the Algerians say the plot to seize the gas complex in the desert was hatched in northern Mali as well. Indeed, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the veteran militant who has claimed overall responsibility for the siege, is believed to be based there.
But the Algerian official did not say why the captured kidnapper's assertion -- that some fighters had taken part in both the Benghazi and Algerian attacks -- should be considered trustworthy. Nor did he say whether it was obtained under duress.
Instead, he focused on the chaos unleashed by the recent uprisings throughout the region, leaving large ungoverned areas where extremists can flourish.
"This is the result of the Arab Spring," said the official said, who spoke on condition of anonymity because investigations into the hostage crisis were still under way. "I hope the Americans are conscious of this."
These guys weren't enraged by some cheezy YouTube video. These guys are hard boyz, ideological as all hell, and -- by virtue of natural selection -- good at what they do.
Be it Mali, Algeria, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, or Mauritania, they'll go where the opportunities are to spread their ideology and kill infidels, in either order.
That's why the video matters -- we have to get past the idea that we're the ones who are wrong.
We are not wrong. They are just evil.
Posted by: Steve White ||
Thank goodness for Rand Paul today, pointing out that Hillary is incompetent. Yet he didn't go far enough.
When Hillary said she didn't know anything about the weapons being moved through the consulate, and our personnel doing this, she was LYING. She should have been called on it. I wish Senator Paul had done so.
Our current administration has no honor and no integrity. Someone needs to proclaim this to their faces. It's time to speak truth to power.
Posted by: Steve White ||
When Hillary said she didn't know anything about the weapons being moved through the consulate, and our personnel doing this, she was LYING
Given the US ambassador's relations with then-Libyan rebel groups, it's likely that that weapons or materiel were being supplied at some point to Libyans, either by the US or through proxies. That may be the reason there is stonewalling now.
To repeat myself from earlier posts: I'm not convinced that there was gun-running at the time the consulate was attacked. It could have also been weapons-flow monitoring, or (more likely) attempts to control or stop the flow of weapons (or types of weapons) to groups like Al Nusura. It's also likely possible that foreign governments are involved; the disclosure of which would likely cause crisis or emarassment to the US administration and/or to the US Government.
Pappy, I've been suggesting much the same - there HAD to have been a real reason for the flagrantly obvious initial lies, and for Romney to shut up with his campaign criticism the way he did. It doesn't have to be a reason we approve of, but it would be stupid to just attribute it to stupidity.
Issue a subpoena to the former Combatant Commander, General Ham and let him, under oath, provide a detailed timeline; the 5-W's, (who, what, when, where, and why). Special emphasis on the conduct or rather non-conduct of the standing Non-Combatant Evacuation (NEO) plan.
What we are seeing on teevee today is pure, political theater.
Suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists rebels on Tuesday ambushed a group of government soldiers and injuring seven in the troubled province of Basilan in the southern Philippines.
Officials said the attack sparked a gun battle in the town of Ungkaya Pukan. Col. Rodrigo Gregorio, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said, "The fire fight lasted for 20 minutes. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to military hospital in Zamboanga City."
He said the ambush occurred at around 7:40 a.m. in the village of Bohe Pahu and came the day after the Philippine Army and Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels in Basilan held a peace pact.
Gregorio said, "We suspect that this is the handiwork of peace spoilers, particularly the Abu Sayyaf rebels who wanted to destroy the significant headway that we achieved from the successful meetings with the MILF on January 4 and January 21.
"The Abu Sayyaf wanted to make a strong statement that they are still round and wanted the Armed Forces to act indiscriminately and impair the ongoing peace talks between the Philippine government and the MILF," he added, referring to the ambush.
He said the 104th Infantry Brigade in Basilan will closely coordinate with the MILF and local authorities to address the situation in the Muslim province.
Gregorio said, "The 104th Infantry Brigade will act prudently and observe maximum restraint while planning jointly with the local government and MILF on how we can finally eradicate the Abu Sayyaf menace and violent attacks that greatly affect the relative peace that we had achieved from the Bangsamoro agreement."
[Dawn] Two activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement ...English: United National Movement, generally known as MQM, is the 3rd largest political party and the largest secular political party in Pakistain with particular strength in Sindh. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the target of the Pak Army's Operation Cleanup leaving thousands of urdu speaking civilians dead... were bumped off in a targeted attack in North Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... on Monday, police said, claiming to have enjugged Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages! one of the attackers.
MQM activists Mohammad Adnan, 35, and Amir Iqbal, 30, both KMC employees of the North Bloody Karachi town office, were targeted near Do-Minute Chowrangi while they were heading to their office, said North Bloody Karachi SP Syed Salman Hussain.
They were followed by two men riding a cycle of violence within the remit of the Khawaja Ajmair Nagri cop shoppe before being shot at, the officials said. Both activists sustained gunshot wounds in the head and died at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, the police added.
"After hearing the gunshots, two police constables posted at a nearby Soneri Bank fired at the fleeing attackers," the SP said. "One of the suspected attackers fell from the bike, while his accomplice managed to flee," he added.
The maimed suspect, identified as Sajid, was said to be associated with 'gang warfare', the officer said.
He added that a 9mm pistol was seized from his possession.
Muttahida Quami Movement chief Altaf Hussain condemned the killing of Mohammad Adnan and Amir Iqbal, workers of the New Bloody Karachi sector, unit 142, of the party's organizational structure.
He expressed his sympathies with the grieving family and said the sacrifice rendered by elected representatives and workers of the MQM would not go in vain.
Condemning the murder, the co-ordination committee of the MQM called it a continuation of the evil conspiracy aimed at destabilising the city's peace.
The coordination committee said that certain elements were targeting elected representatives and workers of the MQM as well as leaders and activists of other political and religious parties in order to destabilise the country.
It demanded that President Asif Ali Ten Percent Zardari ... husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, who has been singularly lacking in curiosity about who done her in ... , Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Interior Minister Rehman Malik Pak politician, Interior Minister under the Gilani government. Malik is a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intelligence officer who rose to head the FIA during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure. Malik was tossed from his FIA job in 1998 after documenting the breath-taking corruption of the Sharif family. By unhappy coincidence Nawaz Sharif became PM at just that moment and Malik moved to London one step ahead of the button men. He had to give up the interior ministry job because he held dual Brit citizenship. , Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah take notice of the killings of the MQM workers by 'terrorists'.
The committee also sought severe action against the faceless myrmidons who were involved in the killing of elected representatives, office-bearers and workers of the MQM.
Three killed in Lyari
Three men were found rubbed out at separate places in Lyari ...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot.... on Monday, police said.
The police added that a body bearing torture marks was found near Rahmania Chowk within the remit of the Kalri cop shoppe.
The victim, believed to be in his early 20s, had been subjected to torture and shot in the head, the police said. They shifted the body to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi for medico-legal formalities.
The body of another unidentified man stuffed in a gunny bag was found at Kashti Chowk within the remit of the Napier cop shoppe.
The body bore torture marks besides a gunshot wound, the police said. They shifted the body to Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi for medico-legal formalities.
The police believed that both victims had been kidnapped and killed before their bodies were dumped.
In yet another incident, the body of a young man was found near Crown Cinema within the remit of the Kalri cop shoppe on Monday morning, officials said.
They added that the victim had also been rubbed out.
The body was shifted to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi where he was identified as Abid Pervaiz.
The officials said he was wanted in a drug case by the New Bloody Karachi police.
The police said that the victim had gone out on Sunday night, but didn't return home.
A senior police officer of the area said the killing seemed to be the result of flexing of muscles by two political groups.
[Dawn] A security man was killed and another received injuries when snuffies fired at their vehicle in Bazaar-Zakhakhel area in Khyber Agency on Monday.
Officials said that a group of coppers was attacked by snuffies when they were fetching water from a natural spring in the area. One of them was killed on the spot while another injured. The injured security man was shifted to a hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, ...back at the palazzo, Count Guido stepped from behind the suit of armor, rapier in hand. Ciccolini snarled and reached for his own weapon... unidentified persons blew up a government school in Bara on Monday, officials said. They said that the incident took place in Merikhel village of Akkakhel when a group of snuffies planted explosives inside the government high school Gul Zameer Kallay in the wee hours of Monday.
The kaboom caused damage to a major portion of the school structure, one of the oldest government buildings in the area.
Local sources said that the school was situated only 300 metres away from Jansi camp where hundreds of security personnel were stationed. They said that a can, stuffed with kaboom, remained unwent kaboom! in the school till midday but the forces did not bother to remove it. The can was later taken away by bad boys, who came back in a vehicle, they added.
[Dawn] At least four security personnel were maimed on Tuesday when an Army vehicle was targeted with a remote-controlled blast in North Wazoo tribal region.
Officials said the army vehicle was travelling from Spinwam to Mir Ali when it was targeted with a remote controlled improvised bomb (IED). The officials added that the military vehicle was "badly damaged" in the blast and confirmed that four soldiers were maimed in the kaboom.
The injured were shifted to the hospital and security forces launched a search operation in the area soon after the kaboom.
North Waziristan, which is close to the Pakistain-Afghanistan border, is one of seven regions in Pakistain's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), governed by tribal laws.
An orc insurgency led by the Pak Taliban plagues the region while the area is said to be infested with hard boys, including the al Qaeda, Taliban and other armed orc organizations.
[Al Ahram] A wave of attacks in and around Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... and in northern Iraq killed 17 people and maimed dozens of others on Tuesday, shattering a relative calm after a spate of deadly attacks last week.
The violence comes amid a political crisis that has pitted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against several of his erstwhile government partners and with more than four weeks of anti-government protests in Sunni majority areas hardening opposition against the Shiite leader's rule.
Tuesday's bloodiest blasts struck an army checkpoint south of Storied Baghdad, a military base north of the capital, and a mostly Shiite neighbourhood in the city's north, security and medical officials said.
No group grabbed credit, but Sunni beturbanned goons often launch attacks in a bid to destabilise the government and push Iraq back towards the sectarian violence that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.
In the bloodiest attack, six people were killed when a boom-mobileexploded near an army camp in the town of Taji, 25 kilometres (15 miles) north of Storied Baghdad, an army officer and a medical official said.
At least 20 other people were maimed.
South of the capital in the town of Mahmudiyah, at least five people were killed and 14 others maimed by a suicide boom-mobile, officials said.
Mahmudiyah lies within a confessionally mixed region known as the "Triangle of Death" because of the frequency of Death Eater attacks during the worst of Iraq's insurgency in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion.
A boom-mobile near a market in the north Storied Baghdad neighbourhood of Shuala killed five people and maimed 12, while four shootings and bombings in Diyala province left an anti-Qaeda militiaman dead and at least six other people hurt.
Pieces of metal were littered across the scene of the Storied Baghdad attack, with several cars badly damaged or completely burned, an AFP journalist said.
Six Kurdish security officers were also maimed by a roadside kaboom in the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu.
The violence came after four days of relative calm in Iraq following a spate of attacks claimed by Al-Qaeda's front group, the Islamic State of Iraq, that left at least 88 people dead on January 15-17, according to an AFP tally.
The thug group is widely seen as weaker than during the peak of Iraq's sectarian bloodshed from 2006 to 2008, but is still capable of carrying out mass-casualty attacks on a regular basis.
Iraq's political crisis has pitted Maliki against several of his ministers who have accused him of authoritarianism and sectarianism just months ahead of key provincial elections.
[MAGHAREBIA] Eleven Tunisians were among 32 snuffies who carried out the In Amenas attack, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalik Sellal said on Monday (January 21st).
The announcement came four days after Tunisian security services dismantled a terrorist network in the south-eastern area of Medenine, along the border with Libya and Algeria.
The anti-terror unit seized hand grenade capsules, a quantity of TNT kaboom, a group of detonators, anti-tank mines and illumination fireworks. They also confiscated more than 1 kilometre of explosive fuse, 1,800 bullets of two different calibres, Kalashnikov cartridges, goggles, military uniforms, communication devices and mattresses for military training.
The suspects allegedly operated an arms-smuggling ring in several regions of the country.
"Tunisia is apparently turning into a corridor for the passage of Libyan weapons to northern Mali," President Moncef Marzouki said in an interview with La Belle France24.
Tunisian jihadists have ties with regional terrorist forces, the president noted.
The Medenine operation, which coincided with the brazen attack on the Algerian gas field, raises the spectre of a growing transnational terror network that seeks to destabilise the region and recruit fighter for Mali.
"The number of Tunisian jihadists is now estimated in thousands, including some fighting in Syria, and some others in Mali," said Mohamed Ben Zikri, a professor of international relations. "This is natural because the salafist groups have taken advantage of disappointment and despair among Tunisian young people, especially those who were released from prisons, to attract and recruit them for terrorist organizations."
He argued that the Tunisian government and society must brace themselves for the jihadists' return to Tunisia "and what can happen after".
[Bangla Daily Star] A robber was killed in a "shootout" with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at the Sundarbans of Bagerhat yesterday (Tuesday) morning.
The dead was identified as Zakir Hossain alias Chhoto, 38, leader of robber gang Chhoto Bahini.
The elite force also recovered six foreign-made firearms, 43 bullets, 13 cartridges and a huge amount of foods, said Maj Sabbir Rahman Osmani, deputy commander of Rab-8. Sounds like they were knocking over local convenience stores... The Hamburglars... Alas no shutter gun, but the RAB recovered a 'huge amount of foods', which I take (from the plural) to be more than a single breath mint...
[Al Ahram] Syrian warplanes and tanks shelled rebel strongholds in the province of Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... on Tuesday, a watchdog said, as a pro-regime daily reported festivities in a camp housing Paleostinian refugees.
Fighte jets launched strikes on the town of Douma, northeast of Damascus, and overflew parts of Eastern Ghuta region, home to some of the rebel Free Syrian Army's fiercest and best-organised groups, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The army, as part of its campaign to suppress the insurgency near Damascus once and for all, used tanks to pound the towns of Daraya and Moadamiyat al-Sham, southwest of the capital, and Yalda and Beit Sahem, just to the city's south.
Meanwhile, ...back at the desert island, Irene was indignant at the thought of doing such a thing without benefit of clergy... a pro-regime newspaper made a rare, open admission of the air force's use of strikes in Damascus province.
"The Syrian army has continued to chase gunnies from their lairs, in battles using all kinds of weapons, including artillery and air power," said Al-Watan.
Pretty soon they'll be battling the rebels from their lairs a block away from the Presidential Palace...
It also reported that tension prevailed in the Yarmuk camp housing Paleostinian refugees in the capital.
"The situation in the Yarmuk camp, where gunnies have flocked, is still tense, and festivities between Paleostinian (pro-regime) popular committees and gangs have continued," Al-Watan reported, citing fleeing residents.
There was "an acute bread shortage, as bakeries have come to a standstill" in the camp.
Yarmuk witnessed fierce festivities in December when warplanes staged two air strikes on the densely populated camp, leading thousands of people to flee.
Despite bids to demilitarise the area, festivities pitting rebels fighting the regime of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... against the army and pro-regime Paleostinian militia have been reported.
Elsewhere, at least 56 fighters were killed in six days of fighting in the majority Kurdish city of Ras al-Ain, on the Turkish border, said the Observatory which uses a network of doctors, medics and lawyers on the ground for its reporting.
Tuesday's violence came a day after at least 178 people were killed in violence across Syria, including 31 pro-regime hard boyz who died in a suicide kaboom in the town of Salamiyeh, in the central province of Hama, the Britannia-based watchdog said.
[Tolo News] At least 14 Taliban snuffies including three foreigners have been killed and 21 other snuffies maimed in a US Arclight airstrike in eastern Nuristan province on Monday afternoon, Afghan local officials said Tuesday.
The Arclight airstrike happened in the Dahan Baz Gul area of Nuristan's Kamdish district when Taliban snuffies were at a gathering, provincial police chief Ghulaam Mullah told TOLOnews, adding that the strike was carried out by drone.
Isaf Joint Command told TOLOnews it had no operational reporting of any Arclight airstrike in Nuristan, and so could not confirm whether there had been a drone attack.
The police chief said there were no civilians casualties in the strike.
Chief of Kamdish border police Zone 7 Shamsuddin Nuristani confirmed the Arclight airstrike and the casualties: "Fourteen Taliban snuffies were killed and 21 others were maimed."
Kamdish district shares a border with Pakistain and snuffies frequently target local troops.
Isaf said that recent military operations in the east that resulted in thug deaths were two separate operations in eastern Kunar on Sunday.
Joint Afghan and coalition forces conducted two operations in the Ghaz-e Abad district, and both operations resulted in the death of two thugs, a front man told TOLOnews Tuesday.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Hubba Hubba Club, Nunzio wondered: Where the hell was Chumbaloni? And where was his $600?... combined Afghan and coalition forces have captured three local Taliban capos, Isaf's operational update said Tuesday.
A Taliban leader was tossed in the slammer Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages! in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand ...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan... province and another was captured in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province on Tuesday.
A third leader was arrested on Sunday in Kandahar's Maiwand district although his identity as a Taliban leader was not confirmed until Tuesday, the statement said.
Police have launched a search for two young men caught on surveillance cameras fatally shooting a 12-year-old boy in Pattani's Nong Chik district on Monday night.
The boy was shot in the head while traveling on a motorcycle driven by his mother on Highway 42 at 9:30 p.m. The boy's stepfather, who was sitting behind him, was also wounded in the attack.
Police said the family were followed by two men on a motorcycle. The pillion rider opened fire with a 9 mm pistol, striking the boy in the head and the stepfather in the body and the right shoulder.
Pol Lt Col Somchai Janyang, acting police chief at Nong Chick station, said surveillance cameras had filmed the two suspected gunmen. Police have identified the suspects but have not released their names.
Authorities have beefed up security on Highway 42 to curb frequent attacks by terrorists insurgents on the route.
Meanwhile, in Pattani's Khok Pho district, three volunteer rangers were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion yesterday.
The blast happened on a local road near Ban Pa Bon School. The three rangers providing security for teachers in front of the school were injured, none seriously.
The attackers planted the bomb in a metal box weighing 3 kilograms to target soldiers guarding the school. The blast was triggered by a mobile phone signal.
Authorities blamed the separatist group Runda Kumpulan Kecil for the attack. The school cancelled all classes.
Four suspects traveled to the area on Monday night and showed up at a tea shop in the village, authorities said. They were believed to have come from Songkhla's Saba Yoi district and arranged the attack with local terrorists insurgents.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.