An Afghan and coalition security force detained a Taliban weapons supplier in the Chimtal district of Afghanistan's Balkh province Thursday, military officials reported. Great! You know what to do with him to minimize rescidivism. Balkh is situated in the northern part of Afghanistan; borders Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It'd be nice to know who his suppliers are before he met his demise.
The weapons supplier provided firearms, explosives and improvised explosive devices to Taliban insurgents throughout the region, officials said. At the time of his arrest, he was in the process of acquiring IEDs for upcoming attacks. It sure would be nice to have some way of making those explosives just do their thing at precisely the right moment.
The security force also detained another suspected insurgent during the operation, officials said. They should release him and announce to the public what a big help he's been.
Also on Thursday, officials confirmed that Taliban leader Nek Mohammad was killed July 1 in the Sar-e Pul district of Sar-e Pul province. Mohammad had served as a senior Taliban leader in the region and directed attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. Hopefully he's trying to figure out a good way to get that pineapple out of his butt right about now.
Officials also confirmed today that a Taliban leader known as Hamza was killed July 2 in the Ghazni district of Ghazni province. Hamza had managed several Taliban insurgents and coordinated attacks with other Taliban leaders throughout the region. Hopefully he and Nek are comiserating about common problems these days.
Three groups of would-be suicide kaboomers were cooled for a few years Please don't kill me! in the of Afghanistan's provinces in recent days, according to the National Directorate of Security (NDS).
NDS Deputy Spokesman Shafiullah Taheri said the groups were captured in the provinces they were intending to attack - Kunar and Pashtun-infested Logar in the east, and Faryab in the north.
The suicide attackers' arrests happened because of the full cooperation of people in the provinces, Taheri told a presser in Kabul.
One of the suicide attackers was sent to attack a meeting of Kunar residents over the recent shelling of missiles into the province, Taheri said.
"We cooled for a few years Please don't kill me! three group of faceless myrmidons with the cooperation of our people. The groups who were trying to target Kunar, Pashtun-infested Logar and Faryab provinces were all groups trained in insurgency in Pakistain," he added.
All the groups were cooled for a few years Please don't kill me! in possession of explosives and boom jackets, according to the NDS.
Meanwhile the NDS also cooled for a few years Please don't kill me! two group of kidnappers, but did not provide details.
"Two group of kidnappers were cooled for a few years Please don't kill me! by the NDS as well - the groups are common to many kidnapping cases," Taheri said at the press briefing.
An Al Qaeda leader was killed in a joint Afghan and NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... troops operation in eastern Kunar province ... which is right down the road from Chitral. Kunar is Haqqani country..... on Sunday, Isaf said on Tuesday.
"Afghan and coalition forces confirmed that the Al Qaeda leader known as Hanzallah was killed during a security operation in Watapur district of Kunar province, Sunday," Isaf said in a statement.
Hanzallah was a Saudi national and Al Qaeda leader who acted as a military advisor to bully boyz in Kunar, Nuristan and Laghman provinces and provided them with improvised bomb training, the statement said.
He was one of several Al Qaeda Islamic fascistikilled during the security operation, it added.
Meanwhile, ...back at the comedy club, Boogie was cracking himself up, but nobody else seemed to be getting the non-stop jokes... Afghan and NATO troops launched a military operation in Barmal district of Paktika ...which coincidentally borders South Wazoo... province on Tuesday in which several more bully boyz were killed via Arclight airstrike, the statement said.
"Afghan and coalition forces identified a group of armed myrmidons. The security force engaged the armed bully boyz with a precision Arclight airstrike, killing several of them," it said.
Also reported killed in Kunar (June 29 airstrike in Wataphur):
Ammar, a "Lashkar-e-Taiba insurgent leader", and
Khatab Shafiq, a Pakistani citizen who served as Lashkar-e-Taiba's leader for Kunar province.
Wataphur is not looking like a good spot for AQ R&R these days.
Unknown gunnies set fire to a girls' school in Afghanistan's western Herat ...a venerable old Persian-speaking city in western Afghanistan, populated mostly by Tadjiks, which is why it's not as blood-soaked as areas controlled by Pashtuns... province on Monday night, damaging property but not harming any people, local officials said.
Because in Pashtunistan that's what girls' schools are for.
The torching took place in the border town Islam Qala of Herat, a town which is the official port of entry from the neighboring town Taybad in Iran.
No one was harmed in the incident, but Tahari said much of the school, along with office supplies and books, were burned.
No group has grabbed credit for the attack and the motives are not clear, officials said.
It comes as threats against schools seem to be increasing, with poisoning of school students a frequent occurrence in the last three months.
White Muslim convert Richard Dart and a former police community support officer were among six people arrested for allegedly plotting a terror attack in Britain.
Richard Dart, who was radicalised by the cleric Anjem Choudary, was held following police raids in east and west London.
A former PCSO and two of his brothers, who were living just over a mile from the Olympic site in Stratford, were also among those detained during the police and MI5 operation to prevent a suspected terror assault.
One of the brothers was Tasered by officers. Counter-terrorism police had first searched their home last November.
The Daily Telegraph understands the police moved over fears that a group had obtained a sword which could potentially be used in a terrorist attack.
Mr Dart, 29, the son of Dorset teachers, featured in a BBC documentary last year filmed by his own brother about his conversion. During the film, called My Brother the Islamist, he was seen protesting about British soldiers in Afghanistan and accused them of being "murderers".
He also called for Sharia law to be established in Britain, as well as saying that one of his friends used to be "in the police", but is not any more. Mr Dart has changed his name to Salahuddin al Britani. Salahuddin comes from the medieval leader who drove King Richard I from Jerusalem during the Crusades.
It emerged last year that the former BBC security guard was living off state benefits in a luxury flat in Mile End, east London.
Anjem Choudary said he had converted Mr Dart but had not been in contact with him for more than a year.
The six, which included one woman, were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism after police raids during the early hours of Thursday, July 5.
Neighbours in Stratford said one of the brothers was Jahangir Alom, 26, who served as a former Metropolitan community support officer between May 2007 and September 2009. He is understood to also go under the name of Abu Khalid.
In 2010, Mr Khalid appeared in a YouTube video to say why he had stopped being a PCSO and had become an Islamic fundamentalist.
In the film he explains that he realized he was leading a "misguided" life after meeting with some "brothers". He said as a PCSO he was involved in stop and searches and that he now realised he was "implementing kuffur (enemies of Islam) law on the streets of London".
The other two brothers arrested are understood to be Mohammed Alomgir, 24, and Moybur Alom, 18. Mr Alomgir was hit with a police Taser during the arrests but did not require hospital treatment.
At the same time, in Ealing, west London, a 29-year-old man, believed to be Mr Dart, was arrested in the street, while a 21-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were held at separate residential premises.
Police insisted that the arrests were not linked to the Olympics and that an attack was not believed to be imminent.
The suspects had been monitored by counter-terrorism officers and MI5 for some time and the arrests were part of a pre-planned intelligence operation.
Update Seven men held in UK over terror offenses Seven men have been arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences in Britain after a routine vehicle search turned up firearms and weapons, police said Friday.
THE arrests, which took place earlier this week in South Yorkshire in northern England, were announced one day after officers in London detained six other terror suspects using stun guns and smoke grenades in early-morning swoops, including one on a home close to London's Olympic Park.
Police insist that the 13 arrests in recent days did not involve threats to the Olympics set to begin in three weeks, but the counter-terror sweeps - and a false alarm on Thursday that involved a bus filled with passengers - have raised anxiety in the run-up to the games.
Not sure if this is a terrorist incident or just a loonie, but it sounds like the former...
LONDON: Armed police and dozens of emergency vehicles closed off a section of the M6 highway in both directions on Thursday following an incident on a passenger bus in central England.
Police said they were not conducting a counterterrorism operation, but details on the incident at the Weeford toll plaza in the West Midlands, 116 miles (187 kilometers) north of London, were sketchy as the morning stretched on. Britain's Ministry of Defense confirmed it was providing support to the police -- including an army bomb disposal team -- "under routine military assistance procedures."
Dozens of fire trucks, police and emergency vehicles were on the scene, where the bus was pulled over onto a shoulder of the highway. Aerial footage showed what appeared to be passengers sitting on the ground in a marked-off square, spaced apart from each other. Dog handlers roamed about, and someone in a hazardous materials suit was seen entering the bus and searching around the seats with a flashlight.
Megabus, the company that operates the bus, confirmed it was helping police with regard to "an allegation made against a passenger " on one of its buses en route from Preston to London. It said the bus had 48 passengers booked for travel and was due to arrive at London's Victoria Station at 0955 GMT (5:55 a.m. EDT).
The BBC, citing unidentified sources, reported that the incident involved a passenger who poured a substance into a box, causing fumes.
For a map, click here. For a map of Durango state, click here.
By Chris Covert
A total of seven individuals were killed in ongoing drug and gang related violence in Durango state since July 3rd, including two Durango state police agents, according to news reports posted on the website of El Siglo de Durango news daily.
Two unidentified men were found executed near a remote village in Santiago Papsquiaros municipality Wednesday. A third victim was found at the site but was still alive. The site was on the road from Santiago Papasquiaros to Tepehuanes near the village of Sandia. All three victims were in their 30s. A Mexican Army unit was later dispatched to set up a protective cordon around the hospital where the third victim was taken for medical treatment.
A man in his 40os was found shot to death in Durango municipality Tuesday. Miguel Mercado Luna, 45 was found near the village of El Pino shot four times.
Two unidentified Durango Policia Estatal Preventiva (PEP) police agents and two presumed criminal elements were killed in a firefight in Tepehuanes municipality Thursday morning. The two PEP agents were on road patrol near Quebrada de Capulines when they were attacked by small arms fire. The news report said others were wounded in the exchange of gunfire, and that the confrontation may be related to detentions which took place earlier in Santiago Papasquiaros municipality.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
Six terrorists militants and a federal serviceman were killed in two operations in the republic of Dagestan, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAC) said on Wednesday. All the terrorists militants killed were identified, including a gang leader, Murad Abdurakhmanov.
The NAC said local residents were evacuated and no civilians were wounded during the two counter-terrorism operations, which were carried out separately in the towns of Khasavurt and Kaspiisk. In both operations, security troops had come under intense fire from the terrorists militants.
The US killed 17 suspected "militants" in a strike in an area of the Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan that is known to host la Qaeda's top leaders.
The remotely piloted Predators or the more heavily armed Reapers fired several missiles at a compound in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, according to Retuers. Pakistani officials told Dawn that 17 people, all "suspected militants," were killed in the strike. I wonder why the officials are saying the dead were all militants? And not kittens and kiddies? And how many more such statemets will we get for our $1 billion?
The target of today's strike has not been disclosed. No senior al Qaeda or Taliban leaders have been reported killed in the strike. No problem, get the cannon-fodder used to looking up at the sky all the time, worried about sudden death, and perhaps they'll decide to become auto mechanics instead.
QUETTA: Two persons were gunned down in Quetta while two others, including a manger of motorcycle company, were kidnapped from Hub Town of Balochistan, on Thursday. According to police, unidentified armed men riding a motorbike opened indiscriminate fire on a man at Baloch Khan Chowk of Pakhtunabad area of Quetta. Resultantly, he sustained critical wounds and was moved to Quetta Civil Hospital for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries. The assailants fled from the scene after committing the crime.
The deceased was identified as Siddiqullah. Police said the deceased was an Afghan national and a rickshaw driver by profession. However, motive behind his killing was yet to be ascertained. Police have registered a case against unidentified people and further investigations were underway.
Meanwhile, a man was killed in Faizabad area of Sariyab Road of Quetta. According to the police, the man, identified as Abdul Malik Abro, was sitting in his shop in Faizabad area when unidentified armed men opened fire on him. Resultantly, he was killed on the spot. "Which spot?"
The body was shifted to the Civil Hospital for autopsy. The deceased was an employee of the Health Department.
"The deceased received bullets in his head and chest which was cause of his death," hospital sources said. A case has been registered against the unidentified persons and investigation is underway.
In another incident, unidentified people kidnapped the manager of a motorcycle company and his driver from Hub, industrial town of Balochistan. Hanif Afshani was on his way along with his driver Nawaz in Hub when armed men intercepted him at gunpoint and escaped towards undisclosed location after bundling both of them into their vehicle. Police suspected that it could be a case of kidnapping for ransom, however, kidnappers had not demanded any ransom amount so far, sources in Hub said.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Hanif Khetran was kidnapped at gunpoint by unidentified gunmen from Barkhan district when he was on his way home. Police have registered cases and started investigation into the incidents.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Thursday defended the decision to reopen the Ground Lines of Communications (GLOCs), which allowed NATO supplies through Pakistani territory, saying it was taken in the best national interest and in the light of the recommendations of parliament. Besides, they need the cash...
The prime minister expressed these views while talking to Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who called on him at the Prime Minister's House. The PML-Q leaders had supported the government's decision to reopen NATO supplies.
Raja said, "As the withdrawal of the NATO and ISAF forces gets underway, Pakistan wants to facilitate the process in the interest of regional peace and stability." He said that peace and stability in Afghanistan was closely linked to peace and stability in Pakistan.
The prime minister said that Pakistan was a partner of the international community and playing its leading role against forces of terrorism as a frontline state.
He said that prolonged deadlock over the issue of NATO supplies could have hurt the country's relations with the NATO countries, which included friendly countries as well as brotherly Muslim countries such as Turkey, Qatar and UAE.
Raja referred to passage of legislation from the European parliament, which would enhance market access for the Pakistani exports from 2014 onwards under the Generalised System of Preference (Plus), which, he said, would not have been possible without the active support of some of the EU countries who are part of NATO. He said that it was for the first time in the country's history that a bipartisan parliamentary consensus had been evolved on the broad contours of foreign policy.
Raja said that Pakistan made it clear that its red-lines should be respected and added in the same context that the new terms of engagement as approved by parliament were visibly heeded to by the US and NATO countries.
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain supported the government's decision to reopen NATO supplies, adding that no country could afford international diplomatic isolation.
He said that the presence of US, NATO, ISAF forces in Afghanistan represented about 50 countries of the world under the UN mandate, including brotherly Islamic countries such as Turkey. The PML-Q leader said that the diplomatic impasse over the issue could have created problems for Pakistan at the UN.
NEW DELHI: Pakistan on Thursday strongly rejected suggestions that any of its state agencies was involved in acts of terrorism in India, at the conclusion of the two countries' foreign secretaries talks.
The two sides ended two days of peace talks with vows to keep their dialogue on track despite renewed tensions over the alleged role of Pakistani "state actors" in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The talks between Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani covered terrorism, confidence-building measures and the South Asian rivals' core territorial dispute over divided Kashmir.
The two top civil servants in their respective ministries said they would meet again in Islamabad to pave the way for foreign minister-level talks in September. The talks in New Delhi were clouded by charges arising from India's recent arrest of Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, suspected of being a key handler for the Mumbai attackers who killed 166 people in India's financial capital.
India says Ansari has admitted helping to coordinate the deadly assault from a command post in Karachi, and his testimony has renewed Indian accusations that "state elements" in Pakistan were involved. At a joint news conference, Jilani insisted the charge was baseless. "I would very strongly reject any insinuation of any involvement of any state agency in acts of terrorism in India," Jilani said. "If we keep accusing each other, that will be of no benefit, and we will not find any result," he added.
His remarks were a response to specific allegations levelled on Wednesday -- as the foreign secretary talks began -- by Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram who argued that Ansari's evidence could only lead to one conclusion. "It is no longer possible to deny that though the incident happened in Mumbai, there was a control room in Pakistan before and during the incident," Chidambaram said. "It is clear that (Pakistani) state actors were there," he added.
KARACHI: Eight people, including an activist of the Mohajir Quami Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H), fell prey to ongoing wave of target killing in the city on Thursday.
An activist of the MQM-H was shot dead at Landhi No 6 within the precincts of Landhi police station. A police official informed that Syed Farooq, 29, son of Syed Badshah, was sitting outside his house when unidentified motorcyclists shot him. The culprits managed to flee,while Farooq breathed his last while being shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC). An active worker of Landhi unit 80, Farooq, got married four months ago. Panic and fear gripped the locality following the incident.
Khalid Hameed, spokesman of the MQM-H, condemned the killing of party-man and demanded of the government to arrest those involved.
Separately, a cable operator was shot dead near Telephone Exchange, New Karachi within the limits of New Karachi police station. SHO Ashraf Gujjar said that the victim, Amir Khan, 28, son of Naseem Khan, was shot dead by unidentified pillion riders. The victim received three bullets whereas the culprits managed to flee from the scene. The body was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) for an autopsy.
A man was killed within the limits of Garden police station. According to police, Nasir, 22, son of Afzal, was on his way home in Usmanabad when an armed man shot him fatally in the temple. He died instantly while the body was shifted to the ASH for postmortem.
No respite on the spiritual night as five more people, including father and son, were killed and two others injured in four different incidents in Machhar Colony.
SHO Madad Ali Zardari informed that unidentified culprits opened targeted firing and left six people in critical condition. The injured were rushed to the Civil Hospital Karachi, where during treatment Haji Noor, 58, Siraj Mian, 30, Moin, 32, and Sohail, 31, succumbed to their injuries, while the condition of Ilyas, 27, and Khalid, 31, was stated as critical.
The SHO said that Haji Noor and Siraj were killed inside their home. He claimed that their killer was identified as Fareed Tunda member of Badshah Group who fled under the cover of darkness. He disclosed that police succeeded to apprehend three culprits and seized weapons from their possession.
The SHO said that initial investigation revealed that a group of Lyari gangsters was behind the incidents. Following the bloodshed, panic and fear creep up around the area as people compelled to stay homes.
Separately, a man was killed in North Karachi within the limits of Ajmair Nagri police station. Police said Muhammad Alam, 40, was shot dead by unidentified persons in North Karachi, sector 5-D-1. The body was moved to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
Police have named a primary suspect believed to be behind the three bombs that went off in Narathiwat province on Wednesday evening, which left 12 people wounded, three of them seriously. Police said Ropi Useng was head of the terrorist insurgent groups responsible for the attacks.
Two suspects were caught on security camera while throwing bombs at a pavilion in the public park where the bombings took place. Two homemade bombs packed in empty tins were tossed into the pavilion to lure the police to the scene. When they arrived a third bomb was detonated.
Police also found a mobile phone SIM card at the scene which they used to track the suspects behind the attacks.
A combined unit of 30 police officers and military rangers yesterday morning raided a house in Ban Yaba and detained one suspect, identified only as Abdulloh, for questioning.
It is not yet known if the man, who recently had returned from Malaysia, was charged in connection with the attacks. Police said that only if it was proven later that he was not involved in the attacks, the suspect would be released.
Three of the 12 wounded victims from the bombs remained hospitalised yesterday.
BAGHDAD -- Iraq's top diplomat on Thursday said he had "solid information" that al-Qaida militants were crossing from Iraq to Syria to carry out attacks, warning of a violent spillover that could shake the Middle East.
Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Baghdad had for years urged Damascus to clamp down on militant traffic as Sunni fighters headed from Syria to aid the Iraqi insurgency.
"Now their direction is the other way around," Zebari told reporters in Baghdad. "We have solid information and intelligence that members of al-Qaida's terrorist network have gone to Syria," he said, without elaborating. "Our main concern, to be honest with you, is about the spill over -- about extremist, terrorist groups taking root in neighboring countries."
Manaf Tlas, one of Syrian President Bashar Assad's closest friends and most trusted military colleagues, who is also the son of the Assad regime's former long-serving defense minister, has defected from the Assad regime and fled to Turkey, in what one analyst described Thursday as the gravest blow yet to Assad's regime.
Manaf Tlas and Bashar Assad have been friends since childhood, and the Tlas family, who are Sunni Muslims, have played a critical role in maintaining support for the Alawite Muslim Assads within the Syrian Sunni community. Colonel Tlas was a battalion commander in Assad's elite Republican Guard.
According to Israel's Channel 2 news, Tlas's father Mustafa, who was the Syrian army's chief of staff from 1968-1972, and then served as minister of defense from 1972-2004, has also abandoned Bashar Assad, though more discreetly. "He had slipped quietly away to Paris," said Channel 2′s Ehud Yaari, a respected Arab affairs analyst.
Likely a stop in Zurich along the way...
Many other members of the Tlas family hold senior positions up to and including the rank of general in the Syrian army, Yaari said, and it was hard to imagine that they would long continue in those positions now that Manaf Tlas had defected.
If they're smart they're already in Paris...
Manaf Tlas held failed talks with Syrian opposition leaders soon after anti-Assad unrest erupted in March of last year, the BBC reported at the time. Tlas was quoted then as saying that while Syria needed reform, Bashar Assad was the reformers' best hope.
Manaf's brother, Firas, is a billionaire businessman and part of the Sunni merchant class who have hitherto widely supported the Assad regime, Yaari noted. Now based in Dubai, Firas has lately been in contact with the Syrian opposition, Yaari said.
Dubai isn't Paris but it'll do...
Yaari said Syrian state media briefly reported online on Manaf's defection earlier Thursday, calling him a traitor, but then removed the item and had since issued no official comment.
Gen Tlas has been under a form of house arrest since May 2011 because he opposed the security solution that the regime has been implementing, sources say.
My guess is that anyone Sunni Arab in any kind of senior role is a figurehead supervised by an Alawite (political) commissar. In other words, he gets a slice of the graft but not the power associated with his position.
Dictators don't have any friends. They can't afford them.
They don't get much in the way of retirement benefits either. No gold watch for Assad. Well, I used to say Qdaffy should have found himself a nice little dacha on the outskirts of Moscow. But he waited too long to go for it. Maybe someday soon we'll get to see if Pencilneck is any smarter.
Maybe someday soon we'll get to see if Pencilneck is any smarter.
If he can get Russia to ward off a NATO intervention, he will crush the rebels. Gaddafi's mistake was in cosying up to the West; his comeuppance was a matter of time after that. The world has discovered that the West will support a Hitler as long as he comes to power via the ballot box.
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.