The 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade (BFSB) is the old 525th Military Intelligence Brigade. The Brigade completed it's year long rotation in Afghanistan in the July 2011 timeframe. They did an outstanding job in the vicinity of FOB Spin Boldak and AFG Highway #4, monitoring the border crossings and interdicting Taliban infiltrators coming across the border from Chaman, Pakistan. Rest well Colonel! We'll see you on the high ground.
(Sh. M. Network) -- The administration of Banadir region under Somali government, declared Friday that the commanders of the Al Qaeda-linked Al shabab cut-throats have failed to continue their fighting in Somalia.
Speaking to the news hounds in Mogadishu, Somali capital, the governor of Banadir region Mohamud Ahmed Nur better known as 'Tarsan' ... his wife is named Jane...
said that top Al shabab leaders, mainly Ahmed Mohamud Godane, the groups chief and Fuad Mohammed Khalaf (Shongole) and Sheik Ali Dheere, the front man for Al shabab, all failed to organize further the guerilla-style war in the country.
Meanwhile, ...back at the abandoned silver mine, the water was up to Jack's neck and still rising... Mr. Tarsan called upon the leaders of Al shabab cut-throats to bring to a standstill for using the young children, to carry out the hit and run deadly attacks against Somali people, as he put it.
This remarks followed after some MPs in Somali parliament disclosed that Al shabab commanders in Jubba states of southern Somalia, asked locals to hand over them weapons and youngsters to step up fighting against Somali government and the African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... Mission in Somali (AMISOM ) forces.
WASHINGTON - International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde called Egyptian President-elect Mohamed Mursi to discuss the economic challenges facing Egypt and how the international lender can best help, a spokesperson for the IMF said on Friday.
"The MD reiterated that the IMF stands ready to support Egypt and looks forward to working closely with the authorities," the spokesperson said.
Of course they do. It's not their money. Big chunk from Europe and a big chunk from Uncle Sugar.
She also congratulated Mursi on his election as president, "which represents an important step forward in Egypt's transition," the spokesperson said.
However, no timetable has been set for an IMF staff visit to Egypt to discuss a $3.2 billion IMF loan. That "will depend on the formation of the government," the spokesperson said.
Brotherhood officials have said they plan to resume the previous government's stop-and-start negotiations for a $3.2 billion IMF loan. A staff visit to meet Mursi and members of his new government would be an essential part of that process.
"As we have said before, Egypt's economic situation is hopeless challenging," the IMF spokesperson said.
"Steps are required to re-establish confidence, restart growth, and safeguard macroeconomic stability, while protecting the most vulnerable. We will update our assessment when a staff team visits Egypt," the IMF spokesperson said.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Mali's desert north has fallen into the hands of Islamist hardliners in the past three months, sparking regional and international fears of a new haven for gunnies in north Africa.
The Islamic fascistiswept through the region amid a power vacuum created by a March 22 coup in the southern capital Bamako.
Ethnic Tuareg desert nomads and Al-Qaeda linked gunnies quickly took key towns in northern Mali, a land of ancient caravan routes that is also notorious for drugs and arms smuggling and kidnappings for ransom.
Since then, the hardline Islamists have largely usurped their former brothers-in-arms, the secular Tuareg group who have long demanded an independent homeland they call Azawad.
The Islamists, among them Al-Qaeda's regional franchise, have imposed strict shariah law and started destroying world heritage-listed religious monuments in the fabled city of Timbuktu.
West African group ECOWAS is considering sending an intervention force of more than 3,000 troops into Mali, sparking a threat from the Islamists that nations taking part will become targets.
Below are profiles of the main groups:
Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA)
The Tuareg, nomadic desert tribes known for their indigo turbans, have long felt marginalised and waged several rebellions in past decades, demanding independence for "Azawad", their ancestral homeland.
The MNLA formed in late 2011 when it was boosted by the return of armed, battle-hardened Tuareg who had fought as mercenaries for Libya's dictator Moamer Qadaffy before he was killed in last year's uprising.
In a series of lightening strikes after the March 22 coup, the MNLA seized the three northern cities of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu, joined in their campaign by Islamist rebel groups.
However, corruption finds a dozen alibis for its evil deeds... since then their Islamist battlefield allies pushed them out of Gao and Timbuktu to impose sharia law, an interest the MNLA does not share.
The MNLA is led by secretary general Bilal Ag Acherif and head of the political wing Mahmoud Ag Aghali, according to its website. In early June, it created a so-called Transitional Council of Azawad State, presided over by Bilal Ag Acherif.
Ansar Dine ('Defenders of Faith' in Arabic)
This new Islamist movement was formed by renowned Tuareg commander Iyad Ag Ghaly who led a 1990-95 rebellion.
He then became a key player in peace talks between the government and Tuareg during a 2006-2007 rebellion.
Ansar Dine made its presence on the northern battlefield known in February with the release of a video seen by AFP in which it said it wanted to impose sharia law in Mali and named Ag Ghaly its commander.
Both the Tuareg and Ansar Dine fought together for Kidal and Timbuktu.
In both cases, Ghaly made a triumphant entrance and planted ominous black flags bearing Arabic symbols around the captured towns.
In Timbuktu, his forces chased out the MNLA and ordered women to cover themselves with veils, saying they did not want independence, but Islamic law.
Long said to have ties to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Ag Ghaly's military victories have seen him flanked by the orc group's most notorious leaders.
Ag Ghaly, described in US diplomatic cables as an unpredictable and "inscrutable character", had at one point been in the government's good books, and was sent by Bamako as an envoy to 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... He was reportedly expelled from that country in 2010 for having links to jihadists. While he appears to have abandoned the Tuareg national cause, the details of why remain murky.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
AQIM stems from a group started in the late 1990s by radical Algerian Islamists, who in 2007 formally subscribed to Al-Qaeda's ideology.
These Islamists, numbering around 300, have spun a tight network across tribal and business lines that stretch across the sub-Sahara Sahel zone, supporting poor communities and protecting traffickers.
They are comfortable operating in the harsh desert terrain and have made millions of dollars from ransoms of European hostages.
Along with a splinter group, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), AQIM has been holding more than a dozen Western hostages.
A notorious AQIM leader, the Algerian Mokhtar Belmokhtar who has been sentenced to death for attacks in his home country, has appeared in Timbuktu alongside Ag Ghaly.
He is known as "the uncatchable" or "Mister Marlboro" for his smuggling activities.
Also operating in the Sahel -- often in a symbiotic relationship with AQIM and Tuareg tribes -- are various criminal groups involved in drugs and weapons trafficking who could benefit from the political disarray.
The offshoot MUJAO kidnapped seven Algerian diplomats in Gao in April.
This week it grabbed credit for an attack against Algerian paramilitary police that killed one person and maimed three.
On Friday it threatened countries who would join an intervention force, warning that its branches "in several countries are ready to strike the interests of countries that intend to participate in the force of ECOWAS".
[Yemen Post] About 70% of the inhabitants of Jaar town have returned to their homes after the army drove Al-Qaeda cut-throats out of the town and other strongholds in the southern 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, deputy governor of Abyan province, Ahmed Al-Rahawi, said on Saturday. I'm starting to think the Paks should hire the the Yemenis to clean out their Wazoos. But that would mean the Paks were serious about it.
The 26 Sept website quoted the official as saying the return started immediately after the authorities restored all basic services in the town and its suburbs coinciding with securing all roads leading to Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan.
Al-Qaeda seized Zinjibar and the strategic town of Jaar and declared them Islamic emirates in mid-2011, but the armed forces with direct support from the US and tribal fighters cleared the cut-throats from all parts in Abyan.
Hundreds of cut-throats including big shots were killed in the offensive, which has been continued in nearby provinces, mainly Shabwa, to have a militancy-free Yemen.
Al-Rahawi said other citizens have been unable to return to their homes because of landmines, which were planted by cut-throats inside homes, farms and deserted areas, according to the website.
On Friday, Abyan governor, Jamal Al-Aqil, said technical teams from GCC countries have arrived in Yemen to help remove all landmines in Abyan. "The GCC help comes because removing the mines and helping the people return are top priorities," he said.
Tens of people have been killed in landmine kabooms in the past few weeks, just as they started to return to and check their properties, triggering calls on the displaced not to rush back for now.
Al-Rahawi said the inhabitants of Zinjibar have been warned not to return until the authorities remove thousands of landmines in the capital, pointing out that a committee was formed to count those who were killed and went missing when Al-Qaeda seized the towns.
More than 270,000 people fled Abyan during the war on Al-Qaeda to Aden and nearby provinces.
[Yemen Post] A senior Yemeni lawyer Mohammad Naji Alaw has demanded President Abdurabu Mansour Hadi ...the second and possibly the last president of Yemen, successor to former President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh... and Interior Minister Abdul-Qadir Qahtan to investigate repeated escapes of Al-Qaeda prisoners from Yemeni jails.
in remarks to Akhbar Alyawam Newspaper, Alaw accused some security services including intelligence services of standing behind the escaped of al-Qaeda inmates.
Yemen witnessed last week two escapes of al-Qaeda prisoners as ten prisoners escaped an Aden jail and 23 others managed to escape from a jail in port city of Hodeidah.
Alaw, who is also chief of Hood Organization for Rights and Freedoms, affirmed that the escapes of Al-Qaeda prisoners were pre-planned, pointing out that officials of the former regime were involved in facilitating the escape of Al-Qaeda inmates.
He called for forming judicial committees to investigate the subsequent escape incidents, stressing that those jails from which the prisoners escaped enjoy good protection and guard.
Alaw, who is a high-ranking leader of the Islamic Islah party, expressed concern ...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended... s about the escapes, indicating that the officials of the jails have not never been investigated about the escape processes and how they were carried out.
He cited that about 80 Al-Qaeda prisoners previously beat feet from a jail of Hadramout ...the formerly independent Qu'aiti state and sultanate, annexed by Communist South Yemen in 1968, encompassing a region along the Gulf of Aden, extending eastwards to the borders of the Dhofar region of Oman. The people are called Hadhramis and speak Hadhrami Arabic. The city Tarimis estimated to contain the highest concentration of descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (PTUI) anywhere in the world, approximately seven in every square yard... governorate and dozens others beat feet from Aden and Sana'a in past years, emphasizing that no official was tried about such escapes.
"Abdul-Karim Al-Iryani (a veteran Yemeni politician) once said that Al-Qaeda is made up inside the Political Security (anintelligence service), this process is still ongoing, and these escapes are a part of that" he added.
Terrorist group recruited a western Islamic radical in an attempt to evade security procedures
Al Qaeda intended to use a radicalised Norwegian Islamic convert to attack U.S. planes in the build-up to the London Games
A terrorist plot to blow up a U.S. passenger jet timed to coincide with the Olympics has been uncovered by security agencies, according to intelligence sources.
Al Qaeda intended to use a radicalised Norwegian Islamic convert to attack U.S. planes in the build-up to the London Games - which start in 26 days on July 27 - it is understood.
The plan centred on using the so-called 'clean skin' -- a terrorist with no previous criminal record and are unlikely to raise suspicions among the security services -- in order to evade airport security.
'If you are blowing up aeroplanes you are likely to be killing Brits or having a big impact on the European or British economy. [So it] would in effect be an attack against Britain,' a Whitehall official told the Sunday Times.
It is believed the suspect tasked with the attack uses the Islamic name Muslim Abu Abdurrahman, had converted to Islam in 2008, and was recruited in a terrorist training camp in Yemen, sources told the Sunday Times.
It is not thought to have been aimed specifically at the Olympics in London, but security forces protecting the Games said intelligence on any possible threat was constantly reviewed.
Terrorists from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP), based in Yemen, are understood to be behind this latest plot. The same group were revealed to have been behind at least four other attempted attacks in the last four years.
[Dawn] Pakistan's military establishment and the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) have resolved that territories of Pakistan and Afghanistan will no longer be used as safe havens for cross-border attacks.
The commitment was made at a meeting of top military officers of the two sides. According to a joint statement of the Pakistan Army and Isaf issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Friday, Isaf Commander General John R. Allen, who had arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday, held a detailed meeting with Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
The ISRP spokesman quoted Gen Allen as saying: "This visit helped advance our efforts to achieve the regional stability. Additionally, the meeting provided us a perfect opportunity to refocus our attention on our continuing efforts to eliminate the corrosive effects of extremists operating on both sides of the border."
The purpose of the trip was to build on the positive momentum established during last month's meeting of the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Isaf Tripartite Commission.
During the tripartite gathering, the first such discussion in nearly a year, commanders and key staff discussed issues of tactical, operational and strategic importance, including cross-border cooperation. The meeting served as an opportunity to renew everyone's desire to address topics and issues of mutual importance.
During the current visit, the commanders specifically discussed the mutual progress being made to eliminate terrorism, combat extremism and ensure that territories of both Pakistan and Afghanistan are no longer used as safe havens for cross-border attacks. "The commanders also discussed current operational realities," the military spokesman said.
The US military authorities have already described the meeting between commanders of the two sides as "very productive".
Pakistan-US relations hit their lowest ebb after the November Nato air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at the Salala checkpost near the Afghan border. The attack led to suspension of Nato supplies by Pakistan.
Gen Allen's visit took place two days after militants from Afghanistan attacked a checkpost in Dir and killed six security personnel.
According to informed sources, General Kayani forcefully raised the issue with Gen Allen and said such incidents would cause further deterioration in the already strained relationship between Pakistan and the United States.
The PLO announced Saturday that it has begun proceeding to call an emergency meeting of the United Nations ...where theory meets practice and practice loses... Security Council to discuss Israel's settlement policy.
"The PLO Executive Committee decided to call the Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to discuss settlements... in home of getting a resolution saying that the colonization must stops," a PA statement said.