Megan Fox aka Mikaela Banes (Video Game Voice) in "Transformers (2007) & Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)" aka Jennifer Check in "Jennifer's Body (2009)" aka Sophie Maes in "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)" aka Sydney Shanowski in "Hope & Faith (TV 2003--2006)" aka Carla in "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004)" aka Mary Jane in "Friends with Kids (2011)" aka Desi in "This Is 40 (Completed 2012)" (age 26)
Russia's narcotics chief, Victor Ivanov, announced Wednesday that a joint operation of Russian, Afghan and the US special forces captured several tonnes of narcotics and destroyed four drug labs in Afghanistan last week.
The teams discovered four drug labs, arrested 67 people and seized drugs worth more than $110 million, in the course of a two-week operation that ended on Monday,
Summarizing the operation, Ivanov said, "In total nearly three tonnes of hashish were seized. As a matter of fact, it's more than we seize annually in the Russian Federation, so it shows that the concentration of efforts on drug production sites is dozens, or maybe hundreds, of times more effective than elsewhere."
Ivanov, who has criticized US and NATO strategies, saying they should focus more on eradicating poppy crops, hopes to discuss the need for radical changes in fighting drugs at the next anti-drug conference in Peru's capital Lima in June.
[Tolo News] Three Taliban leaders were captured in a joint Afghan and NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... troops operation on Tuesday morning, Isaf said.
"An Afghan and coalition security force placed in durance vile Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! a Taliban leader during an operation in Pul-e-Alam district of Pashtun-infested Logar province today,"
it said in a statement.
The leader directed roadside kaboomings, suicide kabooms and other operations against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout the district.
He also coordinated for weapons, ammunition, explosives, and jacket wallahs for those attacks, and was planning an upcoming attack against a Red Thingy Centre in Pashtun-infested Logar province, it said.
The security force placed in durance vile Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! two additional gunnies as a result of this operation.
The second was captured in Aliabad district of Kunduz province.
The leader plans and organises roadside kaboomings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in Aliabad district.
He also provides weapons and ammunition to gunnies in the area and attempts to recruit new fighters from throughout the province.
The statement said that a Haqqani leader was captured in Sarobi district of Paktika ...which coincidentally borders South Wazoo... province in a joint operation conducted by Afghan and NATO troops operation.
The leader conducted attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in Sarobi, Gomal, and Omna districts.
He also provided weapons, ammunition and equipment to the gunnies under his control. The security force placed in durance vile Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! two additional gunnies as a result of this operation.
#1 How many times have they been captured before? How long before they're released?
Posted by Glenmore
Detaining them for a fortnight or less, getting the solicitors immediately involved, then releasing them provides a lovely respite from their labors. Cuts down on the Karzai bitching and moaning. It also keeps the long-term detainment totals in check. No need to push it to a point where the buggers pull a Sarpoza escape. Investigations, threats, bribes, bad press and all that.
[Tolo News] NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... invited Pakistain to join the alliance's biggest summit ever in Chicago starting Sunday after the announced the reopening of a key supply route through its territory into Afghanistan.
NATO said in a statement Tuesday that Pakistain has an important role to play in the future of Afghanistan, which is the focus of the meeting.
"Allies decided to invite President (Asif Ali) Zardari of Pakistain to Chicago to the meeting on Afghanistan," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in the statement.
"This meeting will underline the strong commitment of the international community to the people of Afghanistan and to its future. Pakistain has an important role to play in that future."
Pakistain said Tuesday that NATO supply trucks will be allowed to travel between Afghanistan and Pakistain by Wednesday evening.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen suggested on Friday that Pakistain could be excluded from the May 20-21 summit if it failed to reopen the supply routes to Afghanistan that it closed after 24 of its soldiers were killed by a NATO cross-border air attack November 26.
Pakistain's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ... Pakistain's erstwhile current prime minister, whose occasional feats of mental gymnastics can be awe-inspiring ... said that NATO is not a single nation and that while it was necessary to reopen the route he would be keeping a close eye on it.
"NATO is not limited to one nation, it's comprised of more than 40 nations - we will closely evaluate the reopening of the supply route and we also consider our parliaments advice. I think our efforts will fruitful," Gilani said.
I guess since the delegation won't be composed of 2 year old children or 80 year old grandmas in wheelchairs, TSA will have no problem waving a delegation from Pakland on to the connecting flights. No one from there is connected to terrorism. Perish the thought. /sarc off
Somehow people must be free I hope the day comes soon
Won't you please come to Chicago show your face
From the bottom of the ocean to the mountains of the moon
Won't you please come to Chicago no one else can take your place
-- Grahm Nash, "Chicago"
A private navy costing US$70 million (Dh257m) is being set up to escort merchant ships through the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden.
No word yet on tour packages...
It will comprise a fleet of 18 ships, based in Djibouti, and will offer to convoy merchant vessels along the Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor (IRTC). The fleet will be operated by the Convoy Escort Programme (CEP), a British company launched by the international shipping insurers Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) and the Lloyds of London underwriters Ascot.
Sounds like somebody worked out all the details and persuaded some of the nervous nells in the world ports to quit fretting over a few guns on ships...
Full funding will be in place by the end of next month, and the CEP hopes the fleet will be operational by December.
That seems to be taking a while...
"The shipping industry needs to stand up and be counted," said Angus Campbell, the CEP's chief executive and a former director of Overseas Shipholding Group, the world's second-biggest listed oil tanker company. "The time is now, not in four or five years' time."
Piracy in the region is costing the global economy an estimated US$7 billion a year. For the ship owners alone, every vessel sailing through the waters off Somalia is charged additional insurance premiums of between $50,000 and $80,000. Ships opting to carry their own armed guards can be charged an additional $18,000 and $60,000 per voyage by security companies.
Although the European Union is spending more than €8m (Dh37.94m) a year to maintain a naval force in the waters - EU NavFor - its warships still cannot provide close support to all merchant vessels.
The CEP, however, offers substantial savings to owners as well as protection from pirate attack. The CEP will buy insurance and use that to cover the ships in its convoys, so owners will no longer need to pay premiums, or hire security.
Instead, they will just pay a flat $30,000 to $40,000 per ship in the convoy.
The CEP is planning to buy seven 150-foot fast patrol boats, understood to be ex-Swedish Navy, and has already earmarked 11 former offshore supply vessels for purchase and conversion.
The ships will be equipped with fast semi-inflatables, called ribs, an array of non-lethal counter-measures, and 0.50 calibre heavy machine guns. They will be operated by a crew of five and carry eight armed security personnel each.
The programme will result in convoys of up to four merchant ships closely escorted by one CEP craft along the IRTC, with additional CEP ships in support, covering east and west-bound traffic.
I would assume that they'd be thoroughly networked with EU NAVFOR and with any US ships in the area. Be nice if they had some air cover available. A CEP mother ship with a helo on call would be just the thing...
Once in operation, the force will capable of escorting up to 470 ships a month through the Gulf of Aden, equivalent to about 25 per cent of current traffic.
"Our crews will undergo intensive training in how to implement a graduated response. We will be compliant with maritime law and will observe the International Maritime Organisation conventions, such as the Safety of Life at Sea treaty," said Mr Campbell. "We have had detailed discussions with the Royal Navy, who were a little concerned at first, but are now supportive, as are the British government."
Sean Woollerson, a partner in the marine, oil and gas division of JLT, said the description "private navy" did not apply to the CEP fleet.
The aim is to stop the pirates before they reach the merchant ship, and the emphasis is on non-lethal measures. Use of offensive weapons will be a last resort. "This is not a navy," said Mr Woollerson. "What we're trying to be is a deterrent force. Prevention is within our reach."
The plan has been put together during the past three and a half years and now involves 21 companies, including law firms, auditors and risk managers, as well as JLT and Ascot.
The CEP has agreed with the Cyprus Maritime Administration for its vessels to sail under the island's flag.
"Anything that can prevent piracy in this area is to be supported," Pottengal Mukundan, the chief executive of the Commercial Crime Services arm of the International Maritime Bureau, told the British newspaper TheMail on Sunday.
JLT is a leading British insurance business and was first established as a division of Jardine, Matheson and Company, which was founded in Canton [now known as Guangdong], China, in 1832.
Although floated off, Jardine still owns 40 per cent of JLT, which specialises in risk insurance, such as shipping, kidnap and ransom. JLT insures 14 per cent of the global shipping fleet and is a traded on the FTSE 250 Index.
"While this peril has always existed on the high seas, the scale and intensity of piracy in the Gulf of Aden has focused the attention of the shipping and insurance industries on this exposure," said the company's website regarding its involvement in the programme.
Hijacking these vessels is a pretty profitable business. It could escalate in intensity pretty quickly. In other words, most of the pirates are fairly lightly armed because they can be. This force, if it starts making a serious dent in the profits of the pirates, should expect to see a fairly significant escalation in the weapons and tactics used.
To some extent we might see some kind of symbiotic relationship develop much like we have with the drug cartels and the DEA where the two entities rely on each other. The security company might allow the pirates enough success to stay in business in order to keep the security company in business. The security companies would act as a barrier to competition for the more hard core pirates keeping the wannabe pirates out of the market and the hard core pirates keep the security company in business.
Note that the job of the security company is not to eliminate the pirates, it is to protect the ships so the company would actually have a vested economic interest in making sure the pirates aren't completely eliminated.
INF1/ 150ft patrol boat, Swedish. 150ft is Corvette size, generally with larger minimum crews than cited (25+ enlisted, 14+ officers). Expensive to operate in numbers cited (7). //
H/ Reporter Error. //
NARR/ Terminology error. RHIB, not "rib". This indicates the reporter got the data verbally (not written). Further indicates the reporter is not familiar with military naval terminology, particularly riverine, patrol and brown water operations. Also, larger ships of the cited size, unless mine layers or transports, are generally armed with more than two (2) 12.7mm (.50 cal) HMG. //
CON: Type is probably correct: fast patrol boat. Length reported is likely in error. Reporter may be accustomed to meters, and converted to feet for an American publication. 50 Feet is the likely length, reporter treated it as 50m and made the rough conversion to 150ft. //
SUM/ The CB90 is the best candidate for the boat in question for these operations. GFiven the correct lenght of 50 feet, it meets all the other ideal operational and logistical considerations. Fast, maneuverable, can host an RHIB and combat crew(see below for cargo capacity), is crewed with 8 as cited. Armor can withstand typical Somali pirate attacks, up to and including RPG7, although the latter could pose a problem were it to hit near the waterline or bridge. It is also well enough armed, and can operate heavy weaponry as needed (Hellfire missiles, see below, c.f. Norweigan Naval tests elsewhere). Armament of twin 12.7 HMG (50 cal) is sufficient given multiple craft in operation on the same convoy. Logistically, large enough to do the job, but light enough footprint to reduce cost and supply consumption on a low intensity operation. Additionally, consider CB90 can use a simple (inexpensive) small freighter as a support ship for this sort of operation, plus the proximity of 4 (estimated) large container/tankers nearby in convoy for additional logistics support. //
ACMNT/ There are many CB90 in service world wide. The USN that operates 2 of these as "Riverine Command Boats" and the Mexican navy operates approximately 40. Sweden is known to have 200, so they might have spares. Sweden and the manufacturer have been known to lease them out for security operations (c.f. German Navy and operations against Greenpeace RHIB threats). There are also 15+ with the Malaysian navy to the east of the AO for hiring of trained support personnel on a temporary basis. //
REF/ [D]esigned to operate as a fast attack boat, patrol boat and special operations support vessel. Heavy machine guns are mounted in fixed installations, or stabilized and remotely controlled from a monitor in the wheelhouse. The boat can also carry mines or Hellfire missiles [emphasis added], and a gyro-stabilized twin-barrel 12-cm mortar. The boats have a loading capacity of 21 armed soldiers or up to 4.5 tons of cargo. The boat uses two waterjet propulsion units, equipped with two MAN D2842 LE410 main engines, each with a medium duty rating of 810 kW and two Rolls-Royce Kamewa FF-410 with waterjets, the 16 meter boat has a sprint speed of 50 knots and a cruise at 42 kt, and high maneuverability.//
RMKS: This fake report (SWAGREP) brought to you by an overly inquisitive OldSpook's curiosity and a HUGE amount of being bored. //
Under-estimating the intelligence and will of your opponent is always a bad idea.
The Somali pirates have been making millions of dollars a year for several years now. They would be stupid not to buy armaments to defend their positions.
I predict an arms race. And I expect (hope, anyway) the pirate's financial backers might be exposed.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike ||
Defending thier position is fine - its preventing them from having a viable ability to attack that this accomplishes. Deterrent needs to be sufficient, and this, coupled with larger (NATO and national) naval assets in the area (look up CTF-150), are very likely to make any attempts at vessel seizure not only unsuccessful, but fatal.
Its a deterrent. All they need to do is put up a sufficient fight, and buy time for NATO/USN forces to respond.
The only way the "defense" enters into it is if we (meaning the US/UK) go ashore or bomb the crap out of the docks and boatyards. And honestly, following the money is likely to be the more effective path in terms of getting the real bad guys behind this. The skinnies that die at sea are just cannon fodder for the ones pulling the strings.
One other thing: the "non lethal" stuff is window dressing to assuage legal concerns. "Warning shots" may end up "accidentally" without enough lead and too low... Some interpretations of Common Law and Maritime law allows pirates to be summarily executed. And this is a private company, working in international waters or under "universal jurisdiction" in unpoliced territorial waters (Somalia for example).
"In 2011, 31 ransoms were paid to Somali pirates, totaling around $160 million. The average ransom was approximately $5 million"
Those are the REPORTED cases. You can buy a lot of weaponry for $160 million/year. Each event is a potential $5 million job so you can afford to spend a million or two PER JOB in the execution of it if that is what it takes. I am not sure the private company can afford to spend that kind of money per defense on top of the overhead in vigilance between attacks.
When the pirates aren't pirating, they aren't spending any money but the security company IS because it doesn't know from where/when the next attack is going to come.
My guess is they won't be contracted by the shippers themselves but by the insurance companies.
If I were this security company, I would also use drones to extend my horizon a bit. In fact, I would love to have drones in the air pretty much the entire time and track the comings and goings of vessels from Somalia. When there is an attack somewhere, just rewind the tape and find out where it came from (might be a different place from where it goes after an attack).
Or outfit what amounts to a couple of civilian J-STARS and just watch traffic for a while with no interdiction until you establish exactly where they are operating out of.
Problem with all these scenarios is that it eventually becomes obvious that if we really wanted to shut down these pirates, we could, but for some reason we aren't.
That leads me to believe there's probably also some sort of "protection" racket operating in conjunction with the pirates that has some major pull. $160 million a year is also a lot of campaign donations to politicians ... globally ... and if you are making nearly as much of protection as off the piracy, make that $320 million.
That we even still have this problem stinks. If you see politicians moving to shut this company down, that will stink even more.
The article itself says it is an Insurance company that set this up. They sell lower cost insurance to the shipper if the shipper contracts their "pet" security company to convoy them. For the insurance company, short of hiring some former SOCOM/SAS types and killing a lot of people in the chain of violence that are behind this, its a cost effective move for them.
(Sh. M. Network)-Heavily armed police forces in battlewagons loyal toSomalia's northern semi-autonomous administration of Puntland ...a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe in the Nugaal province. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998. Puntland and the equally autonomous Somaliland seem to have avoided the clan rivalries and warlordism that have typified the rest of Somalia, which puts both places high on the list for Islamic subversion... have carried out on Tuesday morning a security operation in Garowe town, reports said.
Ali Hirse, the governor of Nugal province told news hounds on Tuesday in Garowe town those Operations at several neighborhoods in the town were handled illegal weapons by the army. He also welcomed the ongoing security operations.
The move followed an order issued by the security committee of Nugal region for Puntland administration against the insecurity acts and illegal weapons which were being held in Garowe town, the capital city of Somalia's self-governing State of Puntland.
I(Sh.M.Network)- A remote-controlled bomb went off inKenya's Dhagahley refugee camp locates near Somalia border on Tuesday, killing five police officer and wounding many others, witnesses said.
The news reports indicated that the blast occurred at the Dagahaley camp, one of three that make up the Dadaab complex, the world's largest refugee settlement.
Dadaab refugee complex now is home to some 460,000 people, most of them Somalis who have fled two decades of conflict and famine in their war-ridden horn of Africa nation.
Two Kenyan military vehicles were destroyed in the blast after hitting by IEDs (improvised bomb) that have been hidden under the ground in Dhagahley camp, according the locals.
The group has claimed yet the responsibility for the attack, but the worsening security situation in the camps forced the United Nations ...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks... to suspend non-lifesaving operations at them in October.
[Al Ahram] The EU Naval Force (EU Navfor) said it had carried out an overnight raid on Somali pirate targets using helicopters and surveillance aircraft. The Somali-based pirates responded by threatening to kill crew being held on more than a dozen hijacked vessels if they were attacked again.
It was the first time EU Navfor had taken its fight against the pirates to Somali soil since its mandate was expanded earlier this year to allow strikes on land as well as sea. At risk are more than 300 hostages of various nationalies held by the pirates, who have so far generally refrained from killing crew as they seek multi-million dollar ransoms.
A Somali pirate who identified himself as Abdi told Rooters a helizaped the central Somali coastline near Hardhere, a known pirate haven.
"An unidentified helicopter destroyed five of our speedboats early in the morning. There were no casualties. We were setting off from the shore when the helizaped us. We bravely ran away without counter-attacking," he said.
"If we are attacked while with hostages, we shall take any necessary step to save ourselves, we may also kill the hostages if we miss other options to survive," Abdi told Rooters.
Read "Jefferson's War," an account of the US govt in the Med vs the Barbary Pirates. It's very similar to what we see today. The only thing different is that tribute is not demanded, only ransom. The problem was finally solved when the US Navy came in and shelled the bases and brought the message home. Most of the European powers paid tribute for a shaky treaty. Even Britain and France. They could have ended the Barbary menace if they quit fighting each other.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
"We'll kill the hostages!"
"Go ahead. They don't mean shit to me. But afterwards... Well, lets just say I'd be very unhappy."
(Sh. M. Network)-Unknown Armed men have shot to death on Monday night a civilian Bus driver in Somalia's lawless capital,Mogadishu, locals confirmed.
Eyewitnesses told Shabelle Media station that the victim, Abdullah Mohammed Igale, was killed about 8:00 pm local time at Ex- Coca-Cola area in Hodon district, Banadir region of Somalia.
The assailants reportedly beat feet from the shooting area before dozens of Somali soldiers have arrived and conduct a search manhunt operation to arrest those carried out the murder.
The motive of the killing is not yet established. Such coordinated killing against civilians has been on the rise since the Islamist beturbanned goons quit from Mogadishu in august last year 2011 in a result of major an offensive by Au and Somali forces.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Orders for men to grow their beards and to trim moustaches have been given by cut-throats loyal to Al-Shabaab. ... the Islamic version of the old Somali warlord... The radical Islamist group is opposing the Transitional Federal Government in Mudug region in Central Somalia.
The fanatical cut-throats also instructed residents to strictly attend prayers at mosques.
"Following calls by muezzin, all men are ordered to join the prayers at mosques," said a militia leader at Bud-bud area in Mudug region.
He added that persons moving around or engaged in businesses would be punished.
Usually, failure to comply with Al-Shabaab orders attracts flogging of offenders in public.
Other offences such as theft, robbery and adultery may be punishable limb amputations or put to death by stoning.
On Sunday, Mr Abshir Dini Awale, the minister of interior and security affairs of Galmudug, ...a semiautonomous region in central Somalia, bordering Puntland on the north. Galmudug is not trying to obtain international recognition as a separate nation, but rather considers itself autonomous within the larger Somali federalism, for what that's worth... a semi autonomous fiefdom in Central Somalia, announced the infiltration in parts of its territory by cut-throats loyal to Al-Shabaab.
He confirmed that heavily armed cut-throats seized some settlements in the eastern side of Mugug region.
A Libyan government spokesman says clashes in a western city have left six dead and at least 20 injured.
Nasser al-Manei said unidentified assailants attacked an airport and a hospital on Wednesday in Ghadamis near the Algerian border, some 450 kilometers (280) southwest of the capital Tripoli. He says the attackers came from outside the city.
He did not say what caused the violence, but clashes have been common since last year's overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. They have involved rival members of the militias that fought his regime as well as different groups with grievances dating to his time in power
Ghadamis is inhabited by Berbers, an ethnic group who occupy most of the country's western desert mountains and who were long suppressed by Gadhafi.
[Al Ahram] Cairo airport authorities announced a state of emergency on Tuesday morning in order to carry out extensive bomb-detection procedures following a bomb threat on an airplane heading to the Nigerian city of Lagos.
After passengers had boarded the plane, a cabin crew member discovered a bomb warning on the mirror of the plane's bathroom, propelling airport security to search the plane again and announce a state of general emergency.
The forty-six passengers aboard the plane were evacuated as security services also ordered all baggage to be searched a second time.
[Yemen Post] The security authorities have been placed on high alert in Yemen's capital after the interior ministry got information an Al-Qaeda bomber was reported to have entered Sanaa to carry out attacks.
The ministry said it had obtained information that Abdullah Muhammad Jabir Al-Shabwani had infiltrated into the capital for a car kaboom.
The suspect has a Land Cruiser car 2009, it said, pointing out that the security authorities have been placed on high alert and ordered to take necessary measures including precise checking at exits and entries to face sabotage and terrorist attacks.
Meantime, the army is continuing an offensive on Al-Qaeda gunnies in southern and southeastern regions including Abyan ...a governorate of Yemen. The region was a base to the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army terrorist group until it dropped the name and joined al-Qaeda. Its capital is Zinjibar. In March 2011, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula declared the governate an Islamic Emirate after seizing control of the region. The New York Times fastidiously reported that those in control, while Islamic hard boyz, are not in fact al-Qaeda, but something else that looks, tastes, smells, and acts the same. Yemeni government forces launched an effort to re-establish control of the region when President-for-Life Saleh was tossed and the carnage continues... , where the gunnies seized some key towns last year.
On Monday, at least 22 gunnies were killed when the forces advanced in Zinjibar, the capital, and other towns clear gunnies from them.
The expanded operations started on Saturday after fierce battles with the gunnies in the past weeks in which hundreds of gunnies were killed and injured.
[Yemen Post] The Yemeni forces with support from popular fighters on Monday regained control of a key position of Al-Qaeda amid raging battles against the Death Eaters in the south.
The forces this morning retook the Yasouf mountain in the Lawder city, one of the strategic positions of the Death Eaters in Abyan ...a governorate of Yemen. The region was a base to the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army terrorist group until it dropped the name and joined al-Qaeda. Its capital is Zinjibar. In March 2011, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula declared the governate an Islamic Emirate after seizing control of the region. The New York Times fastidiously reported that those in control, while Islamic hard boyz, are not in fact al-Qaeda, but something else that looks, tastes, smells, and acts the same. Yemeni government forces launched an effort to re-establish control of the region when President-for-Life Saleh was tossed and the carnage continues... province, and Arclight airstrikes also targeted other positions killing more than a dozen Death Eaters and civilians, according to informed sources.
The forces carried out two Arclight airstrikes in the Jaar city, one of the bad boy strongholds, including one, which has been used as a medical center for the bad boys, the sources said.
Furthermore, the army distributed publications urging the locals to support the forces, who are continuing an offensive to clear Death Eaters from Abyan province, they added.
Exploiting the unrest last year, Al-Qaeda seized some towns in Abyan including the capital Zinjibar and declared them as Islamic emirates. Since June, the Death Eaters have ruled the province and have been fighting the forces to apply the Sharia law.
Almost a month ago, the army in association with the popular fighters waged fierce battles against the Death Eaters who have tried to expand their presence in Abyan and nearby provinces.
Hundreds of Death Eaters have been killed and injured including big shots.
More recently, the army has stepped up the offensive and the forces have so far advanced toward some towns and key positions of the bad boys. About 25.000 troops are participating in the offensive to retake control of Abyan province.
"The Yemeni forces with help from local patriots are doing great and it is a matter of time to retake control of the areas held by the bad boys," military sources said.
Over four days, the forces have regained some parts in Zinjibar, the capital, and have approached from other towns held by the bad boys.
For a map, click here. For a map of Zacatecas state, click here. To read the Rantburg.com story on the 49 individuals found butchered in Cadereyta, Nuevo Leon on Mother's Day, click here. To read the Rantburg.com report on the connection between the Cadereyta massacre and the massacre in Jalisco state days before, click here.
By Chris Covert
Messages appearing in the Mexican state of Zacatecas claim that the Los Zetas criminal organization is not responsible for the 49 individuals found butchered along a highway near Monterrey on Mother's Day, according to web news reports.
The blankets with messages painted on them, colloquially known as narcopintas or narcomantas claim responsibility for two other mass murders, a Mexican Mother's Day massacre in a remote community south of Guadalajara in Jalisco state May 9th, and a number of killings in Nuevo Laredo in Tamaualipas state 10 days ago. The messages appeared in Zacatecas, Fresnillo, Guadalupe and Jerez early Tuesday morning, but were quickly removed by local police.
A story by this writer appearing in Borderland Beat and in Rantburg.com Sunday said that evidence from web and private sources pointed to a Los Zetas plan for a massive Mother's Day display of brutality against Los Zetas opponents. Like the 18 dead found in Jalisco state, at least some of the victims were probably innocents who were kidnapped, tortured to death, then transported two days before their discovery to Cadereyta.
Los Zetas, and an alliance of Gulf Cartel and Sinaloa Cartel have been in a death grip since 2010. Both sides use innocents, such as migrants and other random individuals to torture and kill in a gruesome manner for bloody displays meant to terrorize the other, while claiming, falsely, the victims were operatives from the rival gangs. Instead of terrorizing one another, criminal gangs instead wind up terrorizing the general populace.
The messages posted in Zacatecas state demanded that security forces investigate the crime in Cadereyta. The messages claim misspellings of Gulf cartel names in a second set of messages left at the scene of the Cadereyta massacre are evidence that Los Zetas did not commit the crime.
However, anonymous sources have responded by asking how the second set of messages were known if Los Zetas did not write them. The contents of the second set of narcopintas were withheld from the public.
Los Zetas have decentralized criminal operations with plaza bosses who act independently. Often, one hand does not know what the other is doing. The mass murders in San Fernando municipality in Tamaulipas state between August 2010 and the summer of 2011, which claimed the lives of 193 individuals, is a very good example.
That Los Zetas group killed a number of individuals when the plaza boss caught wind that the Gulf Cartel was bringing up shooters from the south. A number of those victims were innocents transiting between Reynosa on the border and Ciudad Victoria and Tampico in the south.
Uncredited reports at the time said the Los Zetas effort was a recruiting drive where women were sequestered, raped, then murdered, and the remaining men were pitted, one against the other for the right to survive as a shooter for Los Zetas.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news fro Rantburg.com
Both sides use innocents, such as migrants and other random individuals to torture and kill in a gruesome manner for bloody displays meant to terrorize the other, while claiming, falsely, the victims were operatives from the rival gangs. Instead of terrorizing one another, criminal gangs instead wind up terrorizing the general populace.
So both sides believe the other is bad at math?
Los Zetas have decentralized criminal operations with plaza bosses who act independently. Often, one hand does not know what the other is doing.
North Korea appears to have stopped a 16-day campaign to jam GPS signals in the South. "No GPS jamming signals have been detected since Monday," a high-ranking government source here said.
The signals, which started on April 28, originated from the border city of Kaesong in the North. "We cannot rule out that the jamming will start again, and we are also making preparations in case the North resorts to other provocations," the source said.
South Korean officials believe a meeting on Monday between President Lee Myung-bak and Chinese President Hu Jintao may have prompted the North to halt the jamming signals. Or maybe the PRC just pulled the switch on the equipment.
An assistant village leader was killed by a terrorist gunman while at a teashop in Pattani province on Tuesday morning. Ma-aduran Chelong, 35, was drinking tea at the teashop in his village when a terrorist gunman riding pillion on a motorcycle opened fire on him with handgun. The terrorists attackers then fled.
Mr Ma-aduran was hit twice and died at the teashop.
A 64-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting in Pattani province late Tuesday morning. Sommart Kesaro was returning home by motorcycle on the Pattani-Narathiwat road when he was attacked by two terrorists men on another motorbike.
A terrorist gunman riding pillion on the motorcycle fired on him with a pistol and then the terrorists assailants fled. Sommart was hit several times in his torso and died at the spot.
Syria's anti-regime revolt entered its 15th month on Tuesday amid relentless violence that has killed more than 12,000 people and growing fears by Arab countries that a U.N.-backed peace plan will fail.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said another 12 people were killed Tuesday in violence across the country, including four in the coastal city of Banias, a child in Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... province and five people in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour.
The bloodshed comes despite a truce brokered by U.N.-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... as part of a six-point plan aimed at ending violence that has swept Syria since March 2011, when the uprising against Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... began.
The United Nations ...an organization which on balance has done more bad than good, with the good not done well and the bad done thoroughly... has accused both sides to the conflict of violating the ceasefire and warned that the country was edging closer to full-blown civil war.
The Syrian government maintains that foreign-backed "armed terrorist groups" are behind the unrest aiming to undermine the regime and scuttle attempts at political reform.
Officials on Tuesday said slightly more than half of eligible voters had taken part in legislative elections held earlier this month but boycotted by the opposition and described as "ludicrous" by Washington.
Khalaf al-Azzawi, head of the electoral commission, said turnout stood at 51.26 percent for the May 7 vote which he described as "transparent and democratic."
The elections marked the first "multi-party" vote in five decades and followed the adoption in February of a new constitution. Nine parties were created, and seven had candidates vying for a parliamentary seat.
In Riyadh, Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... 's foreign minister warned Monday that confidence in Annan's peace mission was fading fast because of the bloodshed.
"Confidence in the efforts of the international envoy is falling rapidly because fighting and bloodshed continue," Prince Saud al-Faisal told news hounds after Riyadh hosted a summit of Arab leaders of the Gulf.
Part of Annan's six-point plan includes the deployment in flashpoint areas of around 300 U.N. military observers. By Sunday, 189 observers were on the ground, the U.N. mission in Syria said.
Although the number of casualties has decreased since the deployment of the observers, the violence has not stopped.
According to the Britannia-based Observatory, more than 12,000 people, the majority of them civilians, have died since the uprising began on March 15 last year, including more than 900 killed since the April 12 truce.
A source in the Syrian National Council, Syria's main exiled opposition umbrella group, said meanwhile that Burhan Ghalioun was elected as the coalition's chief in a vote held in Rome on Tuesday.
Ghalioun garnered 21 votes in the leadership battle while another opposition figure, Georges Sabra, won 11 of the 40 votes cast by members of the general secretariat, the source said.
Ghalioun has led the coalition since it was founded in October 2011 by the consensus of its members, rather than through election.
Unrest spilled over into neighboring Leb at the weekend, where political parties are divided, with one side backing the Syrian opposition and the other Assad's regime.
Nine people were killed in the mainly Sunni Moslem northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of thich is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... after sectarian festivities erupted on Saturday between residents of rival neighborhoods.
Calm was restored by early Tuesday after the army deployed and gunnies withdrew from the majority Sunni Moslem district of Bab el-Tabbaneh, and Jabal Mohsen, where the majority of residents are from the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam and loyal to Assad's regime.
[An Nahar] Burhan Ghalioun was elected on Tuesday as head of the exiled opposition coalition, the Syrian National Council, an SNC source told AFP.
Ghalioun garnered 21 votes in the leadership battle while another opposition figure, Georges Sabra, won 11 of the 40 votes cast by members of the general secretariat, the source said.
Ghalioun has led the coalition since it was founded in October 2011 by the consensus of its members, rather than through election. Up until now, the SNC's executive committee had taken charge of choosing a head for the coalition.
The SNC is Syria's main opposition umbrella group ranged against the regime of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Trampler of Homs...
The vote was held in Rome, where exiled university professor Ghalioun and other SNC members were meeting.
Unlike Sabra, Ghalioun is not affiliated to any political party.
Left-leaning and Arab nationalist in his thinking, Ghalioun was deemed capable of representing a coalition composed of multiple tendencies, including Islamists, nationalists, liberals and independents.
He is also accepted by the Syrian Moslem Brüderbund, who are part of the SNC.
[An Nahar] General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim on Tuesday confirmed media reports that the arrest of Salafist activist Shadi al-Mawlawi was coordinated with a Western security agency, noting that al-Qaeda exists in Leb and hinting that Mawlawi is a Qaeda member.
Speaking to the correspondents of Arab newspapers in Leb, Ibrahim said: "As to Mawlawi's case, I believe that the issue is thorny and weighty, and we have been following up on the case since 13 days without informing anyone in Leb because confidentiality is an essential part of our job. This case has major repercussions and local and international aspects."
Mawlawi's arrest on Saturday in the northern city of Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of thich is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... by General Security agents had infuriated the city's Islamists and sparked three days of deadly festivities that left nine people dead and more than 90 maimed.
Ibrahim added: "I'm under the authority of the judiciary and not under the authority of the leaders of streets and alleys. Whenever I receive a judicial warrant I will enforce it and I will not care about the possible reactions, because when I'm covered by the law and the judiciary, red lines cease to exist."
"Should the warrant come from those against whom my mission is supposed to take place, then there will be no more a state neither a judiciary ... I have a mission which I consider to be sacred and it was for the sake of the people of the North and those who have staged a sit-in there," he went on to say.
Asked whether the placed in durance vile Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! cell had links to the recently intercepted arms ship Lutfallah II, Ibrahim said: "Not at all. There is no relation between the two issues, but I want to declare now that the purpose behind the (arrest) operation has nothing whatsoever to do with Syria, and everything that has been said about orders from Syria or Hizbullah is totally untrue."
And asked whether the General Security had committed a mistake by arresting Mawlawi in that manner, Ibrahim said: "We had a big mission and the officer in charge put the sacredness of his mission above all else, especially that we had orders to lure him and capture him using the appropriate method."
The General Security chief explained that Mawlawi's arrest was not an easy task, "as he was armed and escorted by gunnies who immediately fled upon his arrest, and therefore the officer had to think of the best possible way to arrest him."
Ibrahim revealed that Mawlawi "is a member of a terrorist network, and according to the law, whenever we have information about any individual practicing security and political activities that violate the Lebanese laws we would be obligated to arrest him."
"Therefore, we placed in durance vile Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! the suspect who received sympathy from several parties. Each party has its approach ... some people sympathize with him because they think like him, but that doesn't mean I have a problem with people who think, as we're in a democratic country and we are proud of that. My problem is with those practicing terrorism," he added.
"A media report has revealed today that we coordinated with an embassy or a Western security agency. That is true ... They accused us of receiving orders from Syria and Hizbullah, but we're not in anyone's service. We are in the service of the law in Leb," Ibrahim said.
"This case was coordinated with a major world power, and I believe a major world power will not tackle a security issue in a sectarian manner ... and those who know the director general of General Security and his past and career know that I have nothing to do with sectarianism," he added.
[An Nahar] A convoy of U.N. truce observers came under kaboom in a Syrian town on Tuesday during a funeral procession in which a monitoring group said regime forces "massacred" 20 people.
The incidents took place as Syria's anti-regime revolt entered a 15th month of relentless violence that has killed more than 12,000 people and amid growing fears that a U.N.-backed peace plan will fail.
The blast occurred as the convoy made its way along a narrow street in Khan Sheikhoun, a town in Idlib province, said activists, rebels and a watchdog.
U.N. front man Martin Nesirky said the bomb went kaboom! in front of the convoy and that three vehicles were damaged but no casualties were reported.
Ahmad Fawzi, front man for U.N.-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... , said the U.N. supervisory mission had sent a patrol to help the stranded monitors.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 26 people other people were killed around the country.
"The Syrian regime committed a massacre Tuesday during a visit by U.N. monitors to Khan Sheikhoun," in the northwestern province, said the Britannia-based watchdog.
It was the second roadside kabooming involving the observers' vehicles in less than a week, after a convoy in the flashpoint southern city of Daraa maimed six Syrian soldiers on Wednesday.
Video uploaded to YouTube by activists showed a convoy of U.N. vehicles surrounded by dozens of people before a blast was heard and a puff of smoke went up in front of the leading U.N.-marked jeep.
It was unclear from the footage if there were any casualties, and the vehicle drove away despite damage to its hood.
The authenticity of the video could not be verified.
Activists said the U.N. convoy had come under attack and one car was hit by a shell, prompting the monitors to quickly leave the area.
Major Sami al-Kurdi, a front man for the rebel Free Syrian Army, told Agence La Belle France Presse the monitors had arrived during the funeral and that their presence had encouraged more mourners to turn out and join the procession.
"The regime dared to attack the procession, however, and then targeted the vehicles of the U.N. observers from a regime checkpoint," he said.
The United Nations ...An organization originally established to war on dictatorships which was promptly infiltrated by dictatorships and is now held in thrall to dictatorships... reaffirmed its condemnation of any violence against the monitors.
"This mission is there to help the people of Syria, to help ensure that the six-point plan is implemented," Nesirky said, referring to Annan's peace plan. "Anything that interrupts their work and endangers the lives of U.N. personnel is something we would condemn."
The latest bloodshed comes despite a truce brokered by Annan as part of a six-point plan aimed at ending violence that has swept Syria since March 2011, when the uprising against Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor... broke out.
The United Nations has accused both sides to the conflict of violating the ceasefire and warned Syria was edging closer to full-blown civil war.
Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... maintains that foreign-backed "armed terrorist groups" are behind the unrest, trying to undermine the regime and scuttle attempts at political reform.
Meanwhile, ...back at the wreckage, Captain Poindexter awoke groggily, his hand still stuck in the Ming vase... Annan urged Syria to stop delaying an agreement on allowing U.N. access to more than one million Syrians in need of assistance, saying the process had been "very slow."
Annan "remains extremely concerned about the plight of one million Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance," said U.N. front man Martin Nesirky.
In Riyadh, Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... 's foreign minister warned on Monday that confidence in Annan's peace mission was fading fast because of the bloodshed.
Part of Annan's plan includes the deployment in flashpoint areas of about 300 U.N. military observers, and their number reached more than 200 on Tuesday, said the mission's chief, Major General Robert Mood.
Although the number of casualties has decreased since the observers began trickling into Syria in mid-April, the violence has not stopped.
The Observatory says more than 12,000 people, the majority of them civilians, have died since the uprising began on March 15 last year, including more than 900 killed since the April 12 truce.
In addition, foreign doctors returning from a secret mission inside Syria reported people maimed in the regime's crackdown on dissent, as well as the medics who treat them, risk arrest and even torture.
"The aim of the Syrian army was clearly to kill the maimed and those suspected of treating them," said one doctor on the team from Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), which entered Syria illegally after failing to get government permission.
In neighboring Leb, the army deployed in sectors of the northern city of Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of thich is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... after nine people were killed in three days of sectarian violence between groups who support and oppose Syria's regime.
Troops entered Syria Street, the frontline of fighting between a majority Sunni Moslem district and another that is mostly Alawite, an offshoot of Islam to which Assad belongs.
[Emirates 24/7] Syrian activists say regime forces fired on a funeral procession in the presence of U.N. observers, causing many casualties.
The activists said the observers were not among the maimed Tuesday, but their vehicles were damaged.
A U.N. front man confirmed the observers were caught up in the country's violence on Tuesday and their cars sustained damage. But Ahmad Fawzi, a front man for special envoy Kofi Annan, ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... had no other details.
An Idlib-based activist, Fadi al-Yassin, said he witnessed the attack on the funeral and saw that the observers were there.
The Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing a network of sources on the ground, also reported the attack.
[Emirates 24/7] Syrian forces are targeting medical workers and patients who were maimed in the 14-month-old conflict, forcing doctors to scramble to help the injured in makeshift clinics, an international aid agency warned on Tuesday.
Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, which is not authorised to work in Syria, sent teams into the country secretly. They reached the rebellious areas of Homs and Idlib, where they found patients and doctors at risk of attack and arrest.
``Being caught with patients is like being caught with a weapon,'' the group quoted an orthopedic surgeon as saying in an Idlib village. ``The atmosphere in most medical facilities is extremely tense; health care workers send maimed patients home and provide only first aid so that facilities can be evacuated quickly in the event of a military operation.''
Homs and Idlib have been among the hardest hit regions in Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad's Despoiler of Deraa... military crackdown and rebel attacks on soldiers and other regime targets.
Doctors Without Borders called on all parties in the conflict to fully respect the maimed, health workers and medical facilities.
There have been previous reports of authorities targeting medical facilities, health workers and their patients in Syria. The reports indicate many of the injured forgo treatment because they fear being tossed in the clink Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please! and tortured if they seek care at government-controlled medical facilities.
``A number of Syrian colleagues are reported to be missing,'' said Marie-Noelle Rodrigue, MSF's director of operations in Gay Paree. ``The authorities and all parties to the conflict must ensure that medical workers can operate without fear of retribution and that maimed people can safely seek and receive immediate lifesaving care, without resorting to inadequate improvised clinics for fear of arrest, or worse.''
An MSF surgeon said his team in Idlib had to flee a public hospital in 10 minutes after being notified of an imminent attack.
``We saw militarised health care facilities, meaning that access to medical care depends on which side you belong,'' said Brice de le Vingne, MSF's director of operations in Brussels.