KABUL - Seven mid-ranking Taleban prisoners have escaped from Afghanistans main high security jail, prison authorities said on Tuesday.
Did a Filipino contractor build this jail?
Ten warders are being questioned over their possible involvement in Sundays breakout from Pul-e-Charki jail near the capital, said the director of Afghanistan prisons, Abdul Salam Bakhshi.
Seven Taleban prisoners have escaped the jail on Sunday, Bakhshi told reporters in his Kabul office. They were mid-level to low-level Taleban.
Nine people, five guards and four inmates with suspected links to Al Qaeda and the Taleban died during a stand-off at Pul-e-Charki in December 2004.
Four foreign militants described as dangerous enemy combatants escaped from a heavily fortified jail at Bagram, the main US base in Afghanistan, in July last year. They have not been caught and the Taleban, the hardline regime ousted by US-led forces in late 2001 for sheltering Osama bin Laden, later said they were looking after them. One of those prisoners, Libyan Mohammad Hassan, defied the United States with an Internet-posted video in December.
SANAA, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Yemen has detained 19 people on suspicion of planning attacks against Westerners on the orders of the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a state-run Web site said on Tuesday. The September 26 site (www.26sep.net) quoted government sources as saying those held would be questioned before possibly standing trial for planning "sabotage and terrorist attacks" in the port of Aden.
"Several members of the group had returned from Iraq after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi told them to go back to Yemen and carry out terrorist attacks, including killing American citizens," the site quoted a source as saying.
If true, that might mean either; A: Zarq has enough gunnies in Iraq to do the job, or; B: He knows Iraq is lost and wants to use them where he thinks they might make a difference
It said one of the targets was the Aden Hotel and the suspects had bought arms, explosives and detonators.
Yemen, the ancestral home of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, joined the U.S.-led war on terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. The poor country has cracked down on al Qaeda-linked militants following attacks at home including the bombing in 2000 of the U.S. warship Cole and an attack in 2002 on the French supertanker Limburg, but some ordinary Yemenis still support al Qaeda's campaign against the West.
In an audio tape earlier this month attributed to Zarqawi, he urged Muslims in countries neighbouring Iraq and in Yemen to join the insurgency against U.S. forces and Baghdad's government. Bin Laden named Zarqawi as his deputy in Iraq after he pledged allegiance to the overall al Qaeda leader in 2004.
Police in India have arrested a man in connection with a series of bomb blasts in Bangladesh last August. Obaidur Rahman, described by police as an Islamic militant, was held in the state of West Bengal. But the state police say reports that they arrested a leader of the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) group, Sheikh Abdur Rahman, are not true. Two other suspects were also arrested with Obaidur Rahman in the police raid in Murshidabad district.
UPDATE: MUMBAI, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The head of a Bangladeshi Islamist group blamed for a wave of bomb blasts in that country has been arrested in neighbouring India, Indian police said on Tuesday. Shayek Abdur Rahman, head of the outlawed Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen group, was arrested in India's West Bengal state on Sunday, but police said the news had been kept a secret for the sake of the investigation. "We have arrested Shayek Abdur Rahman. We are interrogating him to find out his role in the multiple blasts in Bangladesh," Raj Kanojia, police inspector general, told Reuters by phone from Kolkata, capital of West Bengal.
Hope it is very painful
Rahman and another Islamist leader, Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai, who heads the radical Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh group, had been missing since nearly 500 bombs exploded simultaneously across Bangladesh on Aug. 17 last year.
A JMB ehser (trainer) and 'regional commander' was arrested from a mosque in Gaibandha town in the early hours of yesterday and two live bombs and five books on Islamic 'jihad' were recovered from his possession. Acting on a tip-off, a Rab team from Bogra raided Ayub Ali Ansari mosque in Sukhnagar area near Gaibandha circuit house and arrested Ziaur Rahman alias Badal alias Reaz Ahmed. Five of his accomplices escaped, police said. Last week, Joypurhat police arrested two ehsars of JMB (Jamaatul Mujahideen, Bangladesh).
Reaz is the son of Ismail Ali Kodalkathi village in Chapai Nawabganj district. He was handed over to police, who produced him before a Magistrate court yesterday, seeking 10 days' remand. The court granted seven days' remand, police said. During primary interrogation, Reaz told police that he joined JMB three years ago to establish Islamic rule in the country and was subsequently made its 'regional commander'. Recently, he came to Gaibandha with some of his aides to reorganise JMB activities and to boost morale of the militants, police said quoting him.
Police said they hope to extract important information from Reaz during remand. Police also suspects that JMB had a plan to do sabotage or kill any important person as the mosque from where he was arrested is only about 100 yards from the Deputy Commissioner's office. Ziaur's arrest has created an alarm in police. Arrest of three 'ehsars' in a week proves that they are trying to regroup in Gaibandha and Joypurhat districts, a high police official told this correspondent. Though Gaibandha police continued their hunt for Isamist militants, they could not make any significant progress in nabbing them.
Mufti Abdul Hannan, operations commander of banned Harkatul Jihad's (HuJi) Bangladesh chapter, was finally sent to the Dhaka Central Jail yesterday 112 days after his arrest. Meanwhile, Abdul Awal, son-in-law of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman, was shown arrested in another August 17 serial bomb blast case and taken on fresh remand. The Detective Branch (DB) of police accompanied by the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) produced Hannan and Awal before the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) on completion of their 10-day remand in a case filed for the blast at Mirpur Road near New Market on August 17 last year.
In the forwarding report, the investigation officer (IO) mentioned that the information obtained from Hannan and Awal is being verified and the two need to be confined to jail custody until the investigation completes. On hearing, Metropolitan Magistrate Shamsul Alam ordered to send Hannan to jail, as there was no further petition for remand. Seeking another 10-day remand, DB Inspector Hassan Ali, the IO of the blast case filed with Lalbagh Police Station, said Awal was directly involved with the August 17 serial blasts, including the one at Palashi Crossing in the capital. He needs to be interrogated further to find out vital clues to the case and the whereabouts of his accomplices, he said in the forwarding report.
Metropolitan Magistrate Shafique Anwar asked Awal whether he would say anything about the charges brought against him or appoint a lawyer to defend him. He refused to say anything and the magistrate placed him on a six-day remand for interrogation. Hannan has been remanded 15 times for 106 days since his arrest on October 1 last year. Awal was remanded for the 10th time, he has been on remand for 61 days since his arrest on November 18. Mufti Hannan, who dodged arrest for several years, was shown arrested in nine blast cases filed with Tejgaon, Ramna, Motijheel, New Market and Demra police stations. Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh's (JMB) Rajshahi regional chief Awal is a member of the outfit's highest tier Majlish-e-Shura and was captured from a Dinajpur-bound bus at Thakurgaon on November 18.
The government yesterday could not confirm the local media reports that police in the Indian state of West Bengal had arrested Shaekh Abdur Rahman, chief of banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), in 24 Parganas Sunday. Indian police, meantime, confirmed they had detained a man in West Bengal but did not say whether he was the hunted Bangladeshi militant kingpin, reports Reuters. State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar told reporters yesterday afternoon that he came to know of the developments from local newspapers. He said they are trying to be sure through the foreign ministry and diplomatic channels about what in fact has happened. But they have not got any such information confirming the reports yet.
Two Bangla and an English daily yesterday reported that police picked up Abdur Rahman, supreme leader of the banned Islamist militant group responsible for countrywide bomb blasts since August 17, from a hideout in Barasat on Sunday. According to the media reports, the West Bengal police arrested Mohsin, an operative of the Islamist outfit, in the 24 Parganas a few days ago. Acting on information obtained from him, they conducted a raid in Barasat Sunday and arrested Rahman. The Indian authorities had taken him to New Delhi for interrogation, the reports added. "We have picked up a man on Sunday. We still are verifying the whole thing and who he is," Reuters quoted Inspector General of West Bengal police Raj Kanojia as saying over phone from Kolkata. The police officer said the man was held in a southern district in West Bengal on Sunday but he did not confirm his nationality.
Jan 23: Acting on a tip-off, a team of RAB-5, Rajshahi in a raid arrested an Ehsar member and Gaibandha district commander of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) along with two live bombs and five jihadi books from Sukh Shanti bazaar area under Sadar thana of Gaibandha district around at 11.45 pm last night.
The arrested commander was identified as Ziaur Rahman alias Badal alias Reaz Ahmed, son of Islam Ali Mondal of Kodalkathi village under Chaipainawabganj district. During spirited interrogation Ziaur Rahman admitted that he had been engaged with the activities of JMB for the last three years and also involved in the bomb attacks on August 17. On June, 2005 he went to Gaibandha as the in-charge of district JMB.
A case has been filed with the concerned thana in this connection.
'It was a dark and stormy night, rain sweeping across the streets of Kodakookalkathi in Tweenyweeny upsaila, in which our story begins, before dawn when roosters begin to think about crowing but it's really just too early since it's still too dark for them to spy a hen, whereupon a cry, really a whimper, settled over the drains of the street (which hadn't been swept in who knows how long, so you really had to watch where you stepped), a whimper of a man, a small man, not unlike an insurance salesman who has just heard that an important prospect has died prior to paying a lump-sum premium, uttering a single word, "rosebud".'
Terrorists are still hiding in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge, although the situation there has much improved in the past two or three years, Russian Ambassador Vladimir Chkhikvishvili told a news conference here on Monday.
"Russian and Georgian borderguards actively cooperate in border protection and the prevention of crossing by armed persons; secret services of the two countries maintain contacts. It helped improve the situation in the Pankisi Gorge, but, according to Russia's information, some terrorists are still staying there," Chkhikvishvili noted.
When asked to specify, the envoy said "I have no concrete information about their numbers; part of terrorists is staying in the Gorge, but their numbers are much smaller than two or three years ago."
Several armed groups from Chechnya, numbering 400 to 800 gunmen -- according to Tbilisi's reports - entered the Pankisi Gorge in 2001-2002. There were several international terrorists among them.
As a result of operations by Georgian police in August and September 2002, an overwhelming majority of militants left Georgia: some returned to Chechnya and others laid down arms and went to third countries.
Georgia detained several terrorists in 2002 and 2004 and extradited them to Russia.
Representatives of Georgian law-enforcement agencies have alleged in the past few months that there are no terrorists or illegal armed groups in the Pankisi Gorge.
BRUSSELS The trial of 11 people suspected of trying to overthrow the Turkish government began on Monday in Belgium. Fehriye Erdal and 10 others are believed to belong to the DHKP-C, an extreme left-wing Turkish group called the Marxist Revolutionary People's Liberation Army/Front (DHKPC), which the United States and European Union consider to be a terrorist organisation. The DHKPC wants to overthrow the current Turkish government and says it is prepared to use any means it can to do so. It has already claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks in Turkey, including two suicide bombings in 2001 that killed three Istanbul policemen and an Australian woman. It has also carried out attacks in Germany.
Tight security measures were organised at Bruges court. The media turned out on mass for the trial, however, the main suspect, Erdal, was not present to hear the opening remarks. The 11 suspects are being charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation, with belonging to a criminal organisation, fraud, the use of false documents and arms offences. Two of the suspects are also being prosecuted under Belgium's stricter new law against terrorism. Their trials will be another test of how Belgium's new law works.
A verdict has still to be returned in the case of 13 men, also charged under the new law, who were accused of providing backup for the Madrid and Casablanca bombings. Those suspects whose trial finished at the end of last year - will be announced guilty or not guilty on 16 February. They are accused of belonging to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, the GICM, a terrorist group which is believed to have links to Al Quaida and which is suspected of planning the attacks on Madrid's trains in March 2004 and the Casablanca bombings in May 2003.
Strasbourg, 24 Jan. (AKI) - There can be little doubt that European governments allowed the US Central Intelligence Agency to operate secret flights via European airspace or airports - on which abducted terror suspects were transported to countries where they were tortured, a key investigation has found. But no hard evidence has yet emerged for the existence of alleged secret 'CIA prisons' on European soil, according to the findings of a probe commissioned by the Council of Europe, the continent's top human rights watchdog.
"No cogent evidence has yet emerged of the existence in European detention camps like the one at Guantanamo Bay [Cuba]," said Dick Marty, a Swiss MP heading the probe. "On the other hand, it has been proved (and in fact never denied) that individuals have been abducted, deprived of their liberty and all rights and and transported to different destinations in Europe, to be handed over to countries in which they have suffered degrading treatment and torture," Marty continued. "It is highly unlikely that European governments, or at least their intelligence services, were unaware," he added.
There was a great coherent, convergent evidence pointing to the existence of a system of 'relocation' or 'outscourcing of torture', Marty said in preliminary report prepared for the 46-nation Council of Europe. Marty cited the case of the Egyptian, Abu Omar, a former imam, who was abducted by the CIA in broad daylight from the northern Italian city of Milan in 2003, flown to Egypt via Italian and German military bases, and once there, allegedly tortured. Over the weekend, Italy's justice minister Roberto Castelli gave the go-ahead for Italian magistrates to question 22 CIA agents in the United States in connection with Omar's illegal kidnapping (rendition), in a process of international cooperation between courts known as a rogatory.
The Council of Europe investigators are trying to obtain records from the European air safety body, Eurocontrol, that might track the flights of suspected CIA planes. They have not yet succeeded in doing so. The European Parliament last weeked set up a temporary committee to investigate the CIA 'renditions'. The 46-member parliamentary taskforce will collect and analyse information in close cooperation with the Council of Europe, and will seek to establish the exact level of knowledge or complicity of European governments.
The Washington Post newspaper in November broke the story, with allegations that the CIA had been running secret detention facilities in eight countries around the world, including the Eastern European countries of Romania and Poland - whose leaders have consistently denied hosting such prisons. US secertary of steate Condoleezza Rice has said that 'rendition' is a useful tool against terrorism, but says the US does not condone 'torture'.
Marty cited the case of the Egyptian, Abu Omar, a former imam, who was abducted by the CIA in broad daylight from the northern Italian city of Milan in 2003, flown to Egypt via Italian and German military bases, and once there, allegedly tortured.
You know, Moonbat or not, I have no problem with the CIA "Kidnapping" a terrorist/Imam/hate preacher and hauling him away.
It should happen a lot more.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
01/24/2006 14:20 Comments ||
"it has been proved"
-Little Dickie Marty
Lol, on Brit Hume's news hour just now, he stuck a pin in this "story" - the source of the info turns out to be Little DIckie's imagination. Nothing more. No proof, no source, nothing, zip, nada, zilch. He made the whole blustering tirade up.
NEW US military rules mean executions of condemned "war on terror" detainees could be carried out at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, the US army said.
The new rules authorize the army to set the location for executions "imposed by military courts-martial or military tribunals and authorised by the president of the United States".
"Enemy combatants could be affected by this regulation," said Sheldon Smith, a spokesman for the US Army.
Only 10 war-on-terror detainees have so far been charged and referred to special military commissions for trial, including Australian David Hicks. None are on capital charges.
Currently, seven military inmates are on death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. No date has been set for their execution.
The army said the changes in the regulations allow executions to be conducted at locations other than Fort Leavenworth, previously the only authorised site for executions.
The order signed January 17 by General Peter Schoomaker, the army chief of staff, said the changes were a "major revision" of the regulations.
Death penalty opponents said the measure appeared to be a "technical adjustment".
"I don't think there is anything imminent but eventually there might be," said Richard Deiter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Centre in Washington.
"I suspect it is aimed at the military tribunals in Guantanamo. They don't want to bring people from Guantanamo and put them on US soil," he said.
needle? Zodiac them outside Cuba's twelve mile limit and let them swim for it. Good for reef life. Good for America
Posted by: Frank G ||
01/24/2006 21:22 Comments ||
Don't need hardly no effort here. Just put the boyz in some richly scented swaddling clothes and invite them to the shore for a little swim. Those big fishes with the large, sharp teeth will handle the rest.
Well, that just proves all the "liberal" gripe about tortures there that all you idiot conservatives try to deny. The death penalty is the ultimate torture, and I'm sure the prisoners at Gitmo don't even deserve to be in there in the first place, and now they're even shipping others guys there from other prisons, only to die. When will it end? When will America stop being the barbaric, oppresive, imperialist aggressor? Besides, I don't see how the military can decide about who's guilty and who's not in this conflict, because they're biased, after all.
Got ya'! tee-hee :)
(just taking my new top-of-the-line keyboard out for a joy ride--it rocks! sorry if I shocked anyone for real . . . )
SRINAGAR, India - Indian troops killed two militants as the army continued a counter-insurgency crackdown near the border with Pakistani-controlled Kashmir ahead of Thursdays Republic Day celebrations, the army said on Tuesday. Two police were also injured in the gun battle in northern Kupwara, Indian army spokesman Colonel Hemant Juneja told AFP. Another gun battle sparked by a similar raid is (under way) in the same district, he said.
The raids are part of enhanced security operations ahead of Republic Day, which has been marked in the past by attacks by Muslim rebels opposed to Indian rule in Kashmir. January 26 marks the adoption in 1950 of Indias constitution.
Indian troops in Kashmirs winter capital of Jammu last week seized weapons including assault rifles, hand grenades and explosives from an area close to the Maulana Azad Stadium, where celebrations are planned. The find might have helped us foil a terrorist strike on or ahead of Republic Day, a police spokesman said. Police and army checkpoints have been set up at major crossings in Srinagar and roads sealed around Bakshi Stadium, the main venue for Thursdays celebrations, for vehicle searches and identity checks. Residents around the stadium were being asked to register with police amid house-to-house searches. Tens of thousands of people have died in Kashmir since the eruption of an insurgency against Indian rule in 1989.
MUNICH - Susanne Osthoff, 43, the German woman who was freed a month ago from captivity in Iraq, had in her possession ransom money that was earlier paid for her release, a weekly news magazine claimed Saturday. The account, to be published on Monday in Focus, said Osthoff, whose account of her ordeal as a hostage has puzzled Germans, could not be reached for comment on the claims. Germany has said previously it does not pay ransoms.
Focus said Osthoff, a freelance archaeologist and aid worker who has converted to Islam and has lived in Iraq for many years, was driven after her release to the German embassy in Baghdad to freshen up. As she took a shower, embassy
staff saw thousands of U.S. dollars in her clothing. The banknotes were held together with elastic bands. German police later checked the serial numbers on the notes and established they were the same as on the ransom money, Focus said.
Oops! But, wait, I thought there was no ransom?
Osthoff spoke earlier this month of a ransom having been offered to the Iraqi group that held her captive for three weeks, but the German government declined to comment on her account. The magazine said German diplomats in Baghdad had informed the Foreign Office immediately about the find.
Asked by Deutsche Presse-Agentur to confirm the story Saturday, both the Foreign Office and German federal police declined comment. The journalist who wrote the story, Hubert Gude, told DPA it was based on multiple sources "that are absolutely reliable". German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank- Walter Steinmeier have both said Germany was not open to extortion and refused on principle to pay ransoms.
Osthoff, who was freed December 18, has given a series of contradictory interviews about her ordeal, once fully veiled and at other times in western clothing and makeup. Germans were puzzled that she did not meet with her daughter until weeks after her release.
Two German engineers have been kidnapped in northern Iraq, police say.
The men were taken early on Tuesday from the house they were staying in at a detergent plant near the large refinery in Baiji. Police believe they were taken north to Mosul. Road blocks were set up but failed to find the men. Baiji, 180km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, has seen much insurgent activity aimed at disrupting oil distribution in recent months.
The Germans were led away by gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms, a police official told the Reuters news agency. Thomas de Maiziere, the German chancellor's chief-of-staff confirmed the kidnapping of the two men, saying they were both from the city of Leipzig. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the government had set up a crisis team to deal with the abduction.
"Gustaf, have the bank stand by."
The kidnap of the two men follows the release of Susanne Osthoff, a German archaeologist abducted in northern Iraq in November. Mr Steinmeier said media reports that a ransom had been paid to free her might have encouraged the latest kidnapping. The German government says it does not pay ransoms to secure the release of hostages.
A 3,000-strong militia has been created in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, central Iraq, to protect civilians from insurgent violence, a tribal chieftan in surrounding Anbar province told Adnkronos International (AKI), speaking on condition of anonymity. "The formation of the new militia was decided in conjunction with the US-led coalition, and is aimed at protecting people in the area and repelling terrorist elements," the chieftan said.
On Sunday, several armed groups fighting against Iraq's transitional government and its US-led coalition force backers of Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi's al-Qaeda linked group. The groups in a statement posted on the Internet said they had severed all links with the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi, who is suspected of masterminding some of the bloodiest attacks in Iraq.
On 5 January, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a police recruiting centre in Ramadi, killing around 60 people and injured some 60. Some 1,000 applicants were queuing at a police recruitment drive.
In early December, US and Iraqi forces launched a military operation in Ramadi, which lies west of Baghdad, the day after insurgents staged a show of strength. Residents said hundreds of militants set up checkpoints throughout the city and fired mortars and rockets at US bases and government offices.
The US military played down the scale of the attack, however, saying it had not resulted in damage or casualties.
*scratches head* can't figure out where their loyalties lie, but obscurity in that regard is par for this area. As long as they don't harbor a death wish and shoot at our troops, but DO shoot at terrorists, i suppose it's okay.
In a further sign of the rifts emerging within Iraq's insurgency, Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has stepped aside as the head of a new council of radical groups in favor of an Iraqi, according to a posting on a Web site used by Al Qaeda and other insurgent groups.
The statement, whose authenticity could not be independently verified, said Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi, "who is Iraqi," had taken over from al-Zarqawi as "emir" of the new Mujahedeen Shura, or Council, which groups six extremist organizations including Al Qaeda and whose creation was announced last week.
The formation of the council and the appointment of an Iraqi to lead it come at a time of deepening divisions within Iraq's insurgency over ways to respond to the new realities of post-election Iraq and how to prepare for the day when U.S. troops start going home.
Most notably, some Iraqi nationalist insurgent groups are turning against al-Zarqawi and his foreign Arab volunteers, whose spectacular suicide bombings have served the insurgency's goals well until now but whose Islamic extremism has come to be seen as a liability by rebels whose aim increasingly is to secure a role for Sunni Iraqis in the new political order.
A statement announcing the formation of the council a week ago, issued by al-Zarqawi's chief spokesman, explained that the council's purpose was to "unite the approach of the mujahedeen in order to dismiss all the differences and disagreements and controversies," an acknowledgement of the rifts that have opened up within the insurgency in recent months.
Though there was no way of independently verifying the information, the Web site is the main one used by Al Qaeda in Iraq to post news, claims of responsibility and videotapes of attacks. Since the council was formed, the claims of responsibility that previously were posted by Al Qaeda have been made in the name of the Mujahedeen Council.
On Friday, the site's administrator named al-Baghdadi as the leader of the council, which comprises Al Qaeda in Iraq, an affiliated group called the Victorious Sect Brigade, and four lesser-known allied groups. Leading Iraqi nationalist groups, such as Ansar al-Sunnah, the Islamic Army and the 20th Revolution Brigades, are not included.
A subsequent posting explained: "What Sheik Abu Musab did when giving up the title of Emir, this is a favor by the Emir of Slaughter to block the road to all those who say he is a foreigner." The Emir of Slaughter is an honorific used by extremists to refer to al-Zarqawi, America's most wanted man in Iraq with a $25 million bounty on his head.
"He [al-Zarqawi] must be really under pressure," said Mustafa al-Ani, director of the Center for Counterterrorism at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center. "There's been a lot of talk since the election about divisions between Iraqi mujahedeen and Al Qaeda, and this is to prove that even the Arab mujahedeen are led by an Iraqi and not a foreigner."
Al Qaeda in Iraq also is looking ahead to the day when U.S. forces leave and is starting to realize it needs to form alliances and structures to further its dream of establishing a Taliban-style Islamic state in Iraq, said Jaafar al-Taie, a Jordan-based analyst who closely monitors the insurgency.
"For the first time, the U.S. is on the defensive and is about to withdraw, so they're restructuring," he said. "It's an attempt to expand the breadth of Al Qaeda politically and militarily. You give Al Qaeda an Iraqi face, you give it a different dimension."
There was no indication that al-Zarqawi's leadership of his own group, Al Qaeda in Iraq, is being challenged. The identity of al-Baghdadi, an apparent pseudonym signifying that he is from Baghdad, is not known, and it cannot be said with certainty that he even exists, al-Ani said.
The real question now is whether the new council marks the emergence of a joint leadership of Al Qaeda and its allies, in which al-Zarqawi's influence is diminished, or whether the naming of an Iraqi leader simply represents a propaganda effort to fend off accusations by other insurgents that Al Qaeda is a foreign organization.
Either way, it is clear that al-Zarqawi is feeling squeezed by the Iraqi insurgents whose goals are starting to diverge sharply from those of their former ally. Some insurgent groups have been reaching out to the U.S. and the Iraqi government with a view to launching negotiations to end their violent rebellion in return for concessions that would secure a role for the Sunni minority in an Iraq now dominated politically by Shiites and Kurds.
"For the Iraqi mujahedeen, it's not killing for the sake of killing but to put pressure on the political process, in order to secure their position," al-Ani said. "They had a common strategy with Al Qaeda to get rid of the Americans, but that's not the question of the future. Zarqawi has no interest in any political settlement."
In Ramadi, the capital of insurgent-infested Anbar province, Iraqi insurgent groups have fought sporadic clashes with Al Qaeda supporters in recent months, and local tribal leaders have been talking to the Americans with hopes of forging a common strategy against Al Qaeda.
The tensions have risen sharply since a suicide bombing blamed on Al Qaeda earlier this month targeted police recruits in the city. Most of the 56 people killed were local Sunnis responding to a call by tribal leaders to sign up for a government security force they previously had shunned, and there have since been a number of tit-for-tat assassinations of leading figures on both sides.
Exploiting rifts between Iraqi Sunni insurgents, whom the U.S. military refers to as "rejectionists," and the Al Qaeda radicals is a central plank in the U.S. military's exit strategy, and American officials point to the tensions in Ramadi as evidence that it is working.
"We've seen recently indications that the locals in Ramadi are taking actions themselves against the terrorists and foreign fighters," Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said at a media briefing last week. "We're finding indications where the Iraqi rejectionists are taking up arms and personally providing information against terrorists and foreign fighters."
But, he cautioned, Al Qaeda in Iraq remains a formidable force with the capacity to deliver the kind of devastating suicide attacks that have made al-Zarqawi Iraq's most wanted terrorist.
"Zarqawi and the terrorists and foreign fighters, to which we attribute all the suicide attacks, still has a significant capability to surge acts of violence," he said.
I know how he feels. Go to enough of these rubber chicken events and you decide you just can't play the game anymore. Not even the gold watch is worth the tedium. Geriatric gasbags droning on and on endlessly... Makes a guy wanna 'splode, y'know?
This is starting to sound like a classic corporate re-org. First the CEO steps down. Then the company tries to rebrand itself. Then its market share goes all to hell. Guess the "Al Qaida In Iraq" thing is not working so well. I eagerly await Al Qaida Classic.
The statement, whose authenticity could not be independently verified, said Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi, "who is Iraqi," had taken over from al-Zarqawi as "emir" of the new Mujahedeen Shura, or Council . . .
In other words: "Drop the JDAM on Rashid, not on me! He's the one you want!"
Sounds to me like Zarq may be giving up on Iraq and planning to go elsewhere. Either it's gotten too hot for him, or he's exhausted his welcome, or both. We need to keep an eye open for him showing up somewhere else, possibly in Pakistan or Lebanon.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
01/24/2006 16:46 Comments ||
Congratulations, now die.
Posted by: Captain America ||
01/24/2006 16:51 Comments ||
He'll probably end up as a color commentator on al-Jazeera for a year or so, then land on his feet as an offensive coordinator somewhere.
Jaafar al-Taie, a Jordan-based analyst who closely monitors the insurgency:
"For the first time, the U.S. is on the defensive and is about to withdraw, so they're restructuring," he said. "It's an attempt to expand the breadth of Al Qaeda politically and militarily. You give Al Qaeda an Iraqi face, you give it a different dimension."
Sounds like this guy spends too much time watching CNN and reading the Daily KOS. I'm not sure where else he would get the idea that the US is on the defensive and that we would leave before most of al Quaeda is dead.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi nationalist rebels in the Sunni Arab city of Ramadi have turned against their former al Qaeda allies after a bomb attack this month killed 80 people, sparking tit-for-tat assassinations. Residents told Reuters on Monday at least three prominent figures on both sides were among those killed after local insurgent groups formed an alliance against al Qaeda, blaming it for massacring police recruits in Ramadi on January 5.
"There was a meeting right after the bombings," one Ramadi resident familiar with the events said. "Tribal leaders and political figures gathered to form the Anbar Revolutionaries to fight al Qaeda in Anbar and force them to leave the province. "Since then there has been all-out war between them," said the resident in the capital of the sprawling western desert province of Anbar, speaking anonymously for fear of reprisals.
Local Iraqi officials confirmed residents' accounts of events but declined to comment publicly.
Not quite knowing on which side their bread is buttered.
The bloodshed is the latest example of a trend U.S. military commanders and diplomats have been pointing to optimistically in recent months as a sign that some militants may be ready to pursue negotiable demands through the new Sunni Arab engagement in parliament after taking part in last month's election.
On Thursday, three local Islamist groups around Ramadi -- the 1920 Brigades, the Mujahideen Army and the Islamic Movement for Iraq's Mujahideen -- also met to distance themselves from their fellow Islamists in Qaeda, joining the shift against al Qaeda led by more secular, tribal and nationalist groups.
"I mean, we know we're a little crazy, but dem boyz is nuts!"
The pan-Arab Al Hayat newspaper quoted a statement from six Iraqi armed groups on Monday announcing they had united to form the "People's Cell" to confront Zarqawi and preserve security in the Anbar province. The statement condemned "armed operations which target innocents" and affirmed "a halt to cooperation with al Qaeda."
Both sides have distributed leaflets in the city of half a million claiming killings of opponents."Qaeda announces the killing of someone in the Revolutionaries and then the others announce they have killed someone in Qaeda," the resident said.
Perhaps you guys should have a 2-for-1 sale?
Another resident following events closely said: "The conflict is now clear between the militant groups and al Qaeda; the Anbar Revolutionaries who were formed after the attacks say they want to eliminate al Qaeda from Anbar."
Well, this is certainly a win/win for us anyway. The more Al-Q die at the hands of the Sunnis, the better; the more Sunni/Baathist die at the hand of Al-Q, the better. The only party that is kind of stuck in the middle is the local Iraqi population; and this can end in a mess for the local Iraqi police/military, since if the Sunni/Baathist do win, they gain political clout.
The bottom line is Iraq needs Secular government. The Al Qaeda's, radical Sunni's and Sadr supporters are all dangerous. Alawi had the best formula and he's out. I hate to say but a return to a moderate Baath Style goverment may be the best approach. Also, Kurdish independence is probably not a bad idea.
The difference between a moderate Baath gov't and Saddam Hussein's Baath gov't is the number of people who disappear in the night. Not an acceptable outcome. The secularists need to keep telling tales of Taliban excesses, so that the Iraqis understand that the battle isn't between Secular Fascist and Islamist, but between moderates of all beliefs and extremists. I think it is coming, though, as the Sunni and Shiite leaders horsetrade to set up the new government, and see the extremists continue to blow people up.
It's that old 'at least the trains ran on time' nostalgia, tw. Never mind that the old Iraqi Baathist government was quite comfortable being in bed with religious extremists and terrorists. Or that the Syrian Baathists are cozying up to the Iranian mullahs. It's the 'Secularism' that counts.
Iraqi Liberal Capitalism.
In the words of All American Bowl Turner.... Sometimes you gotta fake it, till yu make it.
If the US/Coalition can keep enough troops to force the Iraqi's to pretend to be normal perhaps it will rub off.
BAGHDAD - Three US troops were killed in two separate roadside bomb attacks across Iraq in the last two days, the US military said on Monday.
One US soldier was killed Monday by a roadside bomb blast in southwest Baghdad, while two US airmen died in a similar roadside bomb attack on Sunday near Taji, some 12 miles north of Baghdad. The military said the soldier was killed Monday while on a dismounted patrol.
Three heroes. My gratitude to them and my deep sympathies to their families.
The local news lead off with the usual MSM meme about one of the heros dying in Iraq. Only to be followed by three local murders/killings. Sort of loses its intended anti-war spin when the bloodletting with even less meaning is occuring in your own backyard.
Oh, and considering they killed a number of Marines moving in a 14ton track last fall, its just not the Hummers. As we up grade the armor, the enemy just works to upgrade the explosives. Its a technological race done in war since the start of the 20th century. However, the bigger bombs become fewer in number as they're harder to put together and move.
And, you always patrol. The moment you stop patrolling is when you surrender the terrain to the enemy. When you hunker down behind the wire, your defense starts at the wire. If they're in the wire, its too late. When you patrol, you push the enemy back the distance you cover. Offense versus defense. If you're in the defense the enemy dictates the time, place, and location when he's going to fight. If you're in the offense, you dictate the particulars.
Enemy fighters attacked a Baghdad mosque, and U.S. forces detained a gunman with possible links to an improvised explosive device they were securing in separate incidents yesterday. U.S. troops also discovered a weapons cache Jan. 20.
Terrorists fired mortars at a mosque in north-central Baghdad at about 6:40 p.m. yesterday. Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, accompanied by coalition forces, observed at least five mortar rounds impact near a mosque in the Adhamiyah neighborhood. All rounds appear to have impacted near the mosque with none impacting the mosque directly. Local officials are assessing the damage.
Soldiers with the Illinois National Guard and Marines from 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) captured a weapons cache and detained two suspected insurgents during a combat patrol Jan. 20 near the city of Qaryat al Jaffah. The cache consisted of 82 mm mortar rounds, artillery and mortar fuses, wire, armor-piercing machine-gun rounds, rocket-propelled grenades with boosters and a launcher, hand grenades, 57 mm rockets, 122 mm artillery shells, and small-arms rounds. Marine Corps military dogs were used in the caches' search and discovery.
The servicemembers make up what is known as Task Force Blackhawk. Prior to their current assignment, the unit was attached to Multinational Force Baghdad, working near the Iraqi capital, where they captured more than 30 weapons caches.
Five suspected terrorists were detained, four suspected bombers and a gunman were captured in northern Iraq Jan. 19-22.
Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division were recovering a vehicle damaged by an improvised explosive device near Hawijah Thursday morning when they began taking small arms fire. The Soldiers returned fire, forcing the gunman to run away flee. A patrol that was en route to the site chased and stopped the suspects vehicle and a search revealed a sniper rifle and a rocket propelled grenade launcher with a warhead.
Soldiers from the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division detained four terrorists after an IED the men were transporting detonated prematurely. The Soldiers were alerted to the incident when their patrol was flagged down by two local men who were transporting a wounded man. The Soldiers took the man to a nearby military medical facility and a second patrol was sent to investigate the explosion.
When the patrol arrived at the site they found three other uninjured men who admitted that they and the wounded man were transporting the IED.
Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division captured four suspects believed to be involved with an explosion that ripped through the As Siniyah city government building Jan. 19. A tip led the Soldiers to two homes in the area, where the men were detained without incident.
A big thank you to Mahmoud the Weasel.
The explosion occurred just before 8 p.m. local time in the small city west of Bayji. The building was reportedly leveled by the blast, but no injuries were reported to coalition forces. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
Soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team captured a terrorist gunman after a brief car chase through Mosul Jan. 22. The Soldiers were securing an IED they had discovered while patrolling in the city, when they started receiving small arms fire from an unknown source. As they searched the area for the shooter, the patrol took more gunfire from a nearby car.
Soldiers pursued the car through the city and engaged it with well-aimed rifle fire, causing the driver to lose control and crash. The suspect fled the scene on foot and tried to hide among a group of local men, but the troopers identified the gunman and took him into custody.
NABLUS, West Bank - A member of the ruling Fatah factions campaign team in the largest West Bank city was shot dead on Tuesday on the eve of the Palestinian general election, security and medical sources said.
Yummm, pass the butter, please
Ahmed Hassuneh, 36, who was working on the campaign for Fatahs main candidate in Nablus, Ghassan al-Shakaa, was shot in the head in the early hours after confronting gunmen who had opened fire on his house.
"Hey, stop shooting at my... BANG! ..house..rosebud "
Several of Shakaas billboards have been sabotaged in recent days in the build-up to Wednesdays general election which sees Fatah facing a first major challenge to its grip on power from the Islamist movement Hamas. Shakaa, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisations ruling executive committee, resigned as mayor of Nablus in 2004 in protest at the security chaos which had made parts of the northern city no go areas after nightfall.
JAKARTA - Indonesian police on Tuesday said they had arrested another man suspected of assisting a fugitive Malaysian extremist involved in last Octobers Bali suicide bombings. A man named Catur was arrested in the Central Java capital of Semarang by elite anti-terror police and their local counterparts, national police deputy spokesman Anton Bahrul Alam told reporters.
Several other Bali bombing suspects have been nabbed in the same city.
Alam said that Catur was suspected of assisting Malaysian fugitive Noordin Mohammad Top, but police were still interrogating him. Alam said Noordin would hopefully soon be captured. He moves around, but we already know who the people around him are, he said, adding that Noordin tapped into networks in each area he visited. Alam said one man arrested last week in connection with the attacks had been released due to a lack of evidence but must periodically report to police.
Ten people were currently detained on suspicion of involvement in the latest Bali bombings, six on Java and four on the island of Bali itself, while police continued hunting for more suspects, he said. One of the detained suspects had been in possession of a revolver used by two others to rob a cellular phone shop, he added.
Experts believe Noordin and Azahari, who was killed by police in a raid on his hideout in Java last November, may have split from JI to form an even more radical offshoot.
What, blowing up innocent people having dinner isn't evil enough?
THE leader of an Al-Qaeda-linked terror group may be hiding out on a violent southern Philippine island and pose a threat when US troops hold joint military exercises with Filipino soldiers there next month, officials said Monday.
Abu Sayyaf leader Khaddafy Janjalani, who is on Washington's list of wanted terrorists, may have fled to Jolo island with his men late last year to escape a monthslong military offensive in nearby Maguindanao province, according to security officials monitoring his movement.
The terror group, blamed for deadly bomb attacks and ransom kidnappings in the Philippines, is regarded as the primary threat to the US troops during the upcoming drills on Jolo, said Marine Brigadier General Ben Dolorfino. Some of the group's victims have been Americans.
Dolorfino said the military was trying to confirm reports of Janjalani's presence there.
Two other security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said there were strong indications Janjalani had joined the group of guerrillas led by Radulan Sahiron, a one-armed militant hiding in the island's rain forest near Patikul.
Security for the Americans during the drills has been a nagging concern on Jolo, considered a no man's land because of a surfeit of unlicensed guns, frequent bloodshed and a bitter history with US forces.
Muslim villagers in Jolo oppose the drills, which will focus on medical missions, construction of schools and public works projects like excavating wells.
The locals still talk about a violent campaign to quell native islanders resisting US rule in the early 1900s.
The exercises in Jolo are part of a larger group of exercises called "Balikatan" that are taking place throughout the Philippines. In Jolo, at least 250 American military personnel will join a larger Philippine military contingent. The exercises start February 20.
The Jolo faction of a larger Muslim rebel group that signed a peace accord with the government in 1996, the Moro National Liberation Front, has pledged not to disrupt the US exercises and offered to provide security for the Americans, he said.
Janjalani and Sahiron have worked together for years, this is not new, just an attempt by some in the Armed forces of the Philippines to keep us off their little gold mine. They never attacked the troops on Basilan, when we were heavily outnumbered, and in the last four years only detonated one bomb directed at US troops. Janjalani knows if they attacked it would be his last stand, the Marines there would counter attack. The threat level on Jolo is high and I would expect a bombing of the market the week prior to the exersize to try and frighten the politicos. But to outright attack our troops? They know better than that but if they get the chance to grab a hostage they will. I would not want to be a US reporter on Jolo that week, or in Zamboanga for that matter.
Posted by: 49 Pan ||
01/24/2006 14:14 Comments ||
Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels ambushed and killed three soldiers in Sri Lankas restive east yesterday, as a Norwegian peace broker began a last-ditch bid to avert a slide back into civil war.
US Under-secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns branded the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) a reprehensible terrorist group keeping this country on the edge of war. We do believe the Tamil population has legitimate grievances, Burns said after talks with government leaders in Colombo.
And he underlined the need for the government to make sure that there is no official support for the paramilitary groups which attack the LTTE and its supporters.
But he added: Full responsibility here lies on the LTTE ... the organisation has to choose peace instead of the reprehensible policies of the last 10-20 years. The major part of the burden for peace rests on the organisation, Burns insisted. In contrast, he called the government democratic and responsible, enjoying strong US support.
Burns said the LTTE carried out yesterdays attack in the east coast district of Batticaloa, where four people had died and 23 were wounded last Thursday.
The latest blast, which also wounded four soldiers sweeping a highway for mines, raised to 149 the number of people killed in an upsurge of violence since December.
Burns also met yesterday with Norways top peace envoy Erik Solheim, who arrived in a fresh bid to jump-start an ailing peace process amid fears that the bloodshed could reignite full-scale war.
Solheim, Oslos international development minister, was to travel to LTTE-held territory tomorrow for talks with Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The talks in the rebel-held northern town of Kilinochchi would focus on the current situation and ground realities, said the LTTEs chief negotiator Anton Balasingham.
After months of arguing over a venue for peace talks, a government official said it was hoped a deal would be struck for a face-to-face meeting soon with the LTTE in either Oslo or Geneva after a near three-year break.
Solheim will be told that we are ready to compromise on the venue issue in the interest of getting talks started, said the official, asking not to be named.
The venue did not matter, Solheim said. It could be in Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Colombo, Bangkok, EU, Norway, South Africa and even if they want to meet on the Moon we are ready, he said.
The important thing is what is to be discussed, but not the venue. Solheim added his voice to Burns in calling for an end to the bloodshed.
Everyone is worried about the present deterioration in the security situation in Sri Lanka. The key is to stop and reduce the killings, he said.
LTTE commander in chief Prabakharan warned President Mahinda Rajapakse last November to grant the minority Tamils autonomy or face war in 2006.
Violence has soared since Rajapakse won elections that same month, pledging to rein in the LTTE and review Norways much-criticised role as peace-broker.
But on the ground the LTTE has forced troops onto the defensive and Rajapakse has had to look to Norway for help in launching negotiations.
US ambassador to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Lunstead issued a veiled warning to the LTTE in an article published in yesterdays Wall Street Journal Asia which presumed the rebels were behind most of the bloodshed.
There can be a role for the LTTE in the future development of Sri Lanka, but only if it returns to the peace table, renounces terrorism in word and deed, and becomes a responsible participant in Sri Lankas future, Lunstead wrote.
If the LTTE chooses to abandon peace, the cost of a return to war will be high. Through our modest military training and assistance programmes, we are helping to build a stronger, more capable and more determined Sri Lankan military.
US Under-secretary of State Nicholas Burns said Tiger attacks on the military were ruining the lives of ordinary people, many of whom fear a two-decade civil war that has already killed over 64,000 people could reignite.
We are a friend of this country, he told a news conference in Colombo. We support its territorial integrity ... The people of this country ought not to have to live for another 15 to 20 years with this reprehensible terrorist group keeping the country perched on the edge of war.
Burns said the U.S. hoped to finalise a financial aid package to Sri Lanka aimed at helping it rebuild after the 2004 tsunami and was also involved in training Sri Lankan soldiers.
The US already brands the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) de facto rulers of a seventh of Sri Lanka as a banned terrorist group alongside Al Qaeda, but Burns said there were significant differences between the two.
He said the US realised the islands Tamil minority, who dominate the poor and tsunami-hit north and east, had legitimate grievances but that the Tigers must still abandon violence. Al Qaeda had no basis for negotiations with the U.S., he said.
We hope the LTTE will understand that it will have no relationship with my government and indeed no effective relationship with any country in this world as long as it seeks to redress its own grievances through the barrel of a gun, he said.
Beirut, 24 Jan. (AKI) - Threats to use car bombs against UN premises, embassies, security forces and Palestinian leaders in Lebanon have been made by a previously unknown group calling itself "The Black Tigers - the millitary wing of al-Qaeda in Lebanon", a division of Zarqawi Inc. A statement released by the group Tuesday, and seen by Adnkronos International (AKI), threatens imminent attacks against a wide range of targets.
"We will strike with car bombs all the offices of the UN inside and outside the [Palestinian refugee camp] Sabra and Shatila and we will hit many foreign embassies" says one of the ten points in the 'first statement' by the group.
"For some time we have been committed to entering Sabra and Shatila, a 'symbol' for Palestinians in Lebanon and known world wide".
The camp was the scene of one of the most brutal incidents in Lebanon, shortly after Israel's invasion in 1982. Israeli-allied Lebanese Christian Phalange militiamen rampaged through the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps, killing hundreds, possibly thousands of people. "It [the camp] needs reform and this warning must be taken seriously. Today we are admonishing, while tomorrow we will proceed with the elimination of tens [of people] as God is our witness" the statement reads.
They're threatening to kill thousands of Palestinians? Oh. Gosh. Darn.
The statement by the group claimning to represent al-Qaeda in Lebanon goes on to issue a series of warnings; against Lebanese army officials "not to infiltrate the Palestinian camps with their informers and urging Palestinian factions in Lebanon to 'return to Islam because their leaders are an easy target for our warriors".
Please. Please. Please!
There is also a threat against Walid ben Talal [a Saudi prince with Lebanese citizenship and a pan-Arab media magnate] and anyone working with him - if they enter the camps, it says, they will be poisoned.
As well as political and security threats, there are also "moral" warnings; to women from the camps not to go to the red light areas in Beirut, frequented by foreign intelligence agents; to outlets selling alcohol, that their premises will be blown up; to pirate CD vendors; and to the camp pharmacy accused of handing out 'drugs' and giving medicines without prescriptions.
The unknown group also names some of the people they want to eliminate; collaborators of Abbas Zaki, the PA minister for Palestinian refugees; Ghassan Abdallah, a leading Palestinian official in Lebanon, and Khaled Aref, the Palestinian movement Fatah's representative in southern Lebanon.
"Ulema (muslim clerics) who do not respect their faith and who steal our goods" are also cited as objectives, as are Lebanese security officials , "who exploited our fighting brothers who went to Syria and Iraq" and "Were paid more than 800,000 dollars". The message concludes with a call for the Lebanese state to support the 'brother combatants" who want to go to Iraq and "fight the infidels".
For some years there have been suspicions about thte possible presence of al-Qaeda in Lebanon, and in particular in the camps, like Ein Hilwe, near Sidon, where the Israelis allege that there are elements of Bin Laden's network coming from Afghanistan. In 2004, a plot for an attack against the Italian embassy in Beirut, was attributed to a presumed al-Qaeda cell.
Last December the Lebanese security forces arrested13 people -seven Syrians, four Lebanese, a Saudi and a Palestinian - suspected of being members of the al-Qaeda network and found in possession of arms and plans for future attacks.
A senior Iranian official threatened that Tehran may forcibly prevent oil export via the Straits of Hormuz if the UN imposed economic sanctions due to Iran's nuclear program, an Iranian news Web site said on Monday.
This is the first time an Iranian official makes military threats in a public statement on Tehran's recent disagreements with the West.
The news site, affiliated with the radical student movement in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was once a member, quoted Mohammed-Nabi Rudaki, deputy chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.
According to the report, Rudaki said that "if Europe does not act wisely with the Iranian nuclear portfolio and it is referred to the UN Security Council and economic or air travel restrictions are imposed unjustly, we have the power to halt oil supply to the last drop from the shores of the Persian Gulf via the Straits of Hormuz."
25% of the world's oil production passes through the Straits of Hormuz, which connect the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean. The meaning of Rudaki's threat is that not only will Tehran stop its oil production from reaching the West, it may also use force to prevent the other oil prodoucers in the region (the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait) from exporting to the West.
Raduki also warned that his country might quit from its membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A senior Iranian official threatened that Tehran may forcibly prevent oil export via the Straits of Hormuz if the UN imposed economic sanctions due to Iran's nuclear program, an Iranian news Web site said on Monday.
Really?? Iran would forcibly prevent oil export? I'd like to see them take their best shot at it.
These guys are practically asking for a boot in the face.
"He's talking like he's gonna get an apendectomy when he's really gonna get an enema."
This one has causus belli written all over it. If the blockade actually occurs, the very first static target we hit should be Kargh Island*. This will cripple Iran's economy and oil export ability for years.
* I recommend severing all feeder pipelines first in case of the government toppling quickly. Then economic order could be restored immediately, if desired. In a protracted scenario, the entire pumping complex should be leveled to substantially cripple Iran's economy.
When I was a naval officer (ASWO), we ran allot of scenarios dealing with just this situation. Their diesel subs can be a real threat if they are not caught in their pens - they could seal off the straights pretty easy by sinking a couple oil tankers at the right spots and can be a bitch to find since they can shot while sitting on the bottom. Another thing we always were concerned about were the Silkworm installations - but with today's precision airstrikes, they might not be the threat they were 11 years ago. They can really screw things up though with sinking a tanker in the right spot.
Here comes $6 a gallon gas.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam ||
01/24/2006 11:54 Comments ||
The Iranians may not be that stupid. But hte way their President is talking, it sounds like he is -- or, like Osama bin Laden, believes that if he starts a big enough fight, Allah Himself will take a hand in the battle.
Of course, it doesn't look like bin Laden had Allah's personal private phone number. But he is a Sunni extremist, so perhaps President A. doesn't see that example as relevant to his own situation. But then, so few politicians are elected for their ability to see deeper into a stone than the rest of us.
Would not such an action constitute an act of war by Iran against ALL the nations of the Gulf of Arabia (Iraq, Kuwait, KSA, Qatar, UAE etc.? Would it not make possible a much broader coalition than Bush the elder assembled in GWI?
Would it trigger a broad Sunni-Shia war? On which side would Iraq fall? What about the masses of marginalized Shia in KSA - would they rise up? It strikes me that Iran may be interested in a lot more than just bearding the western dragon.
They tried it once before during the Tanker War of the mid 80s. It's a shame our communal memory is so short, otherwise we'd remember that the Iranian Navy actually tried to take on the USS Enterprise CVBG and got its clock cleaned with at least two frigates sunk, one seriously damaged, and a bunch of oil field outposts blown away the old-fashioned way by naval gunfire. Now IIRC they have mobile and fixed SS-N-2 Silkworm mounts up and down the Straits. Look for them to be gone real quick if the MMs decide to get froggy.
The threat alone will do horrendous economic damage (picture the cost per gallon going up $3-4 in a day again like after Katrina) and if they actually do sink a tanker, that'll be it - $10/gallon, anyone?
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
01/24/2006 12:06 Comments ||
The Navy has been searching for a role for a long time and holding the Persian Pershing Gulf seems a suitable challenge.
Also, without oil exports of their own, how can they keep their allies like China in the game ?
This strategy is a self destruct lunacy, exactly what Allan's followers gravitate toward.
It also brings our Navy and Air Force into the fray. It's senseless, which is why they are leaning that way.
maybe,and it's a big maybe, in case of a miltary attack, iranians could wound or sink an american ship by a mixture of luck and bravado(be it silkworm, a lucky hit by a sub or RPG mounted zodiacs).
The beauty of modern US warfare doctrine, is that gradual response is not in fashion.Hit an american miltary vessel, and in 48 hrs you won't be having any naval or airforce to be able to repeat it.
As for the price of oil, well, we 've handled the spikes in the past, and actually, since no country can afford a big hike, there will be a global consensus to get rid of the threat quickly and once for all.
The "strenght" of the iranian position is in the bluff. the moment they really act, they will be finished.
And that's exactly why they won't...
The Iranians have allot of missiles, subs, aircraft, and attack boats that could reek havoc, BUT that will be short lived and if the US hits first very limited if at all.
This capability mixed with Iran's open declarations that if they see war as imminent they will hit first is exactly why I think our attacking them first with no telegraph is crucial. The alternative albeit a PR boom is just very costly. Even if they do hit US firs the LLL's will just scream we forced them to do it like Japan blah blah blah you just cant win with the hardcore LLL's blind Bushilter hatred.
I think we are going to wake up one day to Bush on TV announcing our attack on Iran not the people but the gov, WMD, military, terrorist, and their leadership. Months of aerial bombardment followed by a no-fly-zone all over Iran and opportunity strikes with SOF insertion and support to any western friendly groups that pop up in the nation.
Until then we get to watch the EU/UN get punked out by the Iranian's on a daily basis
Iran maybe crazy like a fox. If this simply isn't a threat for China etc to avert their eyes to Iran's nuclear weapons program, then Iran is deliberately trying to start an external confict...why? A rally round the flag effect at home?
I suggest this threat is directed primarily at China. But I truly doubt it is a very good idea to do so. By taking the long view, and allowing a more reasonable regime to occur in Iran, would be to ensure the long-term flow of oil to China.
In addition to the domestic issues, take a look at the price of oil. Rattling scimitars pays off twice for the Iraqis; higher revenue, credit with allies for jerking the evil Americans around. And it undermines the confidence of everybody, especially the GCC, when they jerk us around and the donks rush to their support by bashing BusHitler. It is actually great brinksmanship and should make everyone reconsider the lunatic talk about A-jad. He's crazy like a fox.
Good comment NS, but brinksmanship is a dangerous game. It demands that everyone perform the dance steps with absolute care lest someone's toes gets stepped upon. I am concerned that there are some non-fox crazies in the Iranian henhouse that might not have the skill to play the game.
gotta love an Iranian coastal town called Sink - the new Atlantis after we're through. Goes along with Bam in an earthquake zone
Posted by: Frank G ||
01/24/2006 13:41 Comments ||
I also forgot to mention their mine capability - had to look it up to refresh my memory - been a while but here you go...
They have over 3,000 EM-52. The EM-52 is operational in deep water such as the Persian Gulf. When the hull of a ship passes over the device the mine is triggered and a rocket is fired at the hull. Placed in choke points such as the Strait of Hormuz, this device could be devastating. I can be laid by either surface ship or their 3 Kilo class subs.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam ||
01/24/2006 13:45 Comments ||
Yosemite Sam, can our dophin corps do anything about the mines?
When the hull of a ship passes over the device the mine is triggered and a rocket is fired at the hull.
Fabricate some really big iron-hulled flat bottom barges filled with compartmentalized flotation devices. They could take a hit without sinking. Better yet, use extremely compact ultra-high-gauss emitters on Zodiacs to trigger the mines. Use either of these configurations as sweeping and activation drones.
What's more, if Iran begins laying mines, immediately hole all vessels involved in such activities as and act of war. I doubt there'd be much brou-ha-ha from surrounding exporters.
Nimble Spemble is right. All they have to do is rattle some sabre's, and they get more for the only thing they really have the west wants. Just hope for both our sakes, they realize they have to back off. Maybe as long as Europe is in front, they know they are safe.
Perhaps the Iranians are concerned about global warming?
Really,$100 a barrel oil makes ALOT of things that dont look terribly economical, look economical. Everything from universal broadband for telecommuting, to mass transit, to large scale ethanol, to fuel from waste, etc, etc. This is a good way to shoot the long term interests of ALL oil exporters in the foot.
I honestly don't know. When I was active our plans and war games never included dolphin corps - we "used" allot of mine sweepers continuously patroling the straits like they did durning the tanker wars of the late 80's. My gut tells me no though and I'd assume the Iranians would stick to the plans from when I was active and mine the hell out of the straits of Hormuz because it was simple and effective.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam ||
01/24/2006 14:51 Comments ||
A good opportunity to show Chavez, Jong Il, Morales, and name-your-favorite power-crazed hyphenated-blowhard the consequences of saber-rattling.
Regarding the threat of blocking the Strait of Hormuz by sinking tankers in the shipping lanes: going by the map in post 24, there is at peast 25 miles width of water 50 meters plus deep. I make the width of the lanes about 2 miles. If tankers were sunk in the lanes, the offensive threat would be swiftly dealt with, and then there is plenty of scope to simply move the lanes.
If Iran doesn't have the naval assets to control the Gulf, and it doesn't, it will not be able to block the Straits of Hormuz.
Liberalhawk - If the Iraninnies are concerned about global warming, we can help there. Remember how in the Eighties we were all supposed to be scared of nuclear winter? Nukes block out the sun and cool the atmosphere. Two birds with one stone, if you catch my drift...
A sunken tanker might be quickly cleared by a nuke, and I'm sure we're watching for the first and last mine to be laid. Oh, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mohammed-Nabi Rudaki will likely be dead in six months, one way or another.
Posted by: Neutron Tom ||
01/24/2006 15:09 Comments ||
Re: Desert Blondie #10 comment. The US military was going to create total confusion and chaos in Iran during the hostage rescue in 1979 or there abouts. They were ready to go with the warplanes. Only the helicopter hitting the Herc at night, starting the fire at Desert One resulted in a scrubbed mission.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
01/24/2006 15:13 Comments ||
Also, without oil exports of their own, how can they keep their allies like China in the game ?
Now we know why China was in such a hurry to fill their strategic reserves.
Posted by: Robert Crawford ||
01/24/2006 15:17 Comments ||
That sounds like of room but to tankers its not. It takes approx. 4 miles to stop a tanker going 15knts thats 800' long and displaces around 200,000 tons.
But then again, the world wants oil bad so they'd probably find a way to get it through and I honestly don't think any of this will really come into play.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam ||
01/24/2006 15:18 Comments ||
What a fantastic opportunity for the MSM. Come on, all together now, "Quagmire!"
Looking at the map in #24, that's all pretty flat land on the Arabian side, isn't it? You could dig a canal right through the Emirates and bypass the Straits completely. It would be expensive, and take a while to complete -- but it's far less digging than the Panama Canal, across easier terrain, with 100 years of advancement in earthmoving technology on your side.
Why dig, just lay the pipe on the ground. The world will hate Iran by then and they will be chastised and isolated. This threat makes no sense. They are beginning to resemble a spoiled brat misbehaving for attention.
Grunter is right. The Philip Channel, Singapore Strait is about half the width and carries twice as much traffic. Lanes could be created around one sunk tanker it would take 2 or 3 in the right location to block the Hormuz Strait.
Otherwise, I say we liberate the occupied North Omani territories.
I go to bed, wake up and lookie here! I have a feeling Iran is getting really old in lots of oil dependent capitols right about now. This will focus everyone attention.
Iran doesn't get it. The oil must flow. Everyone one is quite willing to pay for it. If it doesn't flow their are plenty who will quite willing to take it. I don't think China will react as everyone thinks it will. It has a huge population that wants motor bikes, cars tv and conditioned air. You know the things that make a modern life. While China may block a UNSC referal or resolution there are things it can do to make the MM lives short and painful.
Blocking the Straits of Hormuz would give everyone the excuse they are waiting for.
AQ and the MMs are coordinating on this. This is just not a coincidence.
The Iranians may be able to seal off the Persian Gulf for awhile, but only until US aircraft can destroy the Chinese-manufactured "Silkworm" anti-ship missile batteries that have been deployed into semi-hardened facilities all along the Straits of Hormuz and the southern end of the Gulf. I think this is the area where Iran wants to deploy all those new surface-to-air missile systems they're trying to get from Russia. All Russia has to do is say "no" to those, and Iran will be in a world of hurt.
Tankers are big targets. The first time one gets taken out either by an anti-ship missile, the entire Persian Gulf will become a US lake. Today's the time to start hammering them - not after they've got all their ducks in a row.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
01/24/2006 18:35 Comments ||
semi-hardened = Moab proving grounds
Posted by: Frank G ||
01/24/2006 18:41 Comments ||
What George Bush should do right now is to go to Congress and ask for authority to call up the entire Retired Reserve force for 180 days. Issue every single person a military weapon and ammunition. Have the retirees take over ALL stateside operations, as well as deploying them along the northern and southern borders and in beachfront towns. The US military would immediately jump from 2 million to 12-15 million armed troops, free up every recruiter, trainer, honor guard, and whatever other "overhead" forces there may be that are needed for fighting. Put the nation on a war footing, and tell Iran to either back down or be booted down. The best way to deal with this is to call their bluff. Recalling the retired reserve, activating ALL the National Guard and Reserve forces, and putting troops on standby for deployment anywhere they need would send a rather stern message to a bunch of wannabe warriors.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
01/24/2006 18:55 Comments ||
No way, OP. Iran would back down and then be right back at it again as soon as we reduced forces. Meanwhile, those centrifuges would still be spinning. No, this one is going to require that Ahmadinejad and Rudaki and the MMs be vaporized.
Tankers are very difficult to sink, it's unlikely a single Silkworm (or for that matter a Harpoon) would do any more than freak out the owners of the ship. Mines and torpedos are a different story. Would'nt worry too much about torpedos since the Iranian Navy will have a short yet exciting life if conflict breaks out. Mines, keep an eye out.
Tehran, 24 Jan. (AKI) - At least six people were killed in a double bomb explosion in Iran's south-western city of Ahvaz on Tuesday, Iranian state television reported. An undisclosed number of people were wounded in the blasts which damaged a state environmental agency and a bank in the city which is the capital of the oil-rich Khuzestan province. Ahvaz was hit by a wave of bomb attacks in June and October last year that the government blamed on Iranian Arab extremists whom it claimed were being supported by foreign governments, such as Britain. The October bombings killed six people and those in June killed at least eight people.
In recent weeks, Iran has repeatedly accused Britain of provoking unrest in the Khuzestan province, which borders that part of Iraq where 8,500 British soldiers are based as part of the United States-led military coalition. Britain has denied any involvement in the disturbances in Khuzestan.
Advanced Russian missile systems and toxins allegedly procured by al Qaeda from Chechnya may be linked to Osama bin Laden's recent threat against the United States, some analysts say. Others insist the information should be downplayed.
On Oct. 29, 2005, French counter-terrorism officials reported that a group called the "Chechen network," had smuggled Russian-made surface-to-air missiles into Europe as part of a plot to strike down French airplanes. Adnan Muhammad Sadik, alias Abu Atiya, a captured al Qaeda suspect, said during an interrogation by French authorities that the group procured Russian-made man-portable SA-18 Igla missiles from Chechnya along with botulin, ricin, cyanide and other toxins. The weapons were never found. Atiya is currently in Jordanian custody.
During that same time period, the Abu-Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which are headed by Iraqi terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the top terrorist in Iraq, and in charge of al Qaeda operations in Europe and North America, threatened an attack against the "land of the Romans." An Internet statement from the Brigades said the group would attack with missiles and unidentified poisons. The posting was under the name of Saif al-Adel, al Qaeda's top military commander and al-Zarqawi's superior.
Earlier this month, Hudson Institute research analyst Christopher L. Brown told Cybercast News Service that after analyzing available al Qaeda communications, he was "99 percent" certain al Qaeda was planning an imminent attack, and that the U.S. was the likeliest target. He also said it was possible the missing weapons from the "Chechen network" had been smuggled into the U.S.
On Thursday, Brown elaborated : "There is a question of whether they would risk moving the missiles, since the SA-18s are very expensive on the black market, especially considering cheaper SA-7s are available in Central America and would do the same job," he said.
The main reason a terrorist group would choose to use the SA-18 over the SA-7, Brown said, is if the target had countermeasures in effect. Examples of aircraft with countermeasures would be military jets or El-Al Israel Airlines commercial jets.
But other experts have suggested that the "Chechen network" information may not be that significant. Despite the fact that French anti-terrorism expert Judge Jean-Louis Brugiere warned that members of the "Chechen network" were experts in chemical warfare, analyst Dr. Andrew McGregor insisted that it was all a myth developed for political ends.
In December of 2004, McGregor, director of Aberfoyle International Security Analysis in Toronto, Canada, wrote a report published by the Jamestown Foundation, accusing the media of repeating "every unproven allegation from unnamed intelligence sources."
"This house of cards was saluted by Britain, Russia, the U.S. and eventually even the Georgians as it served to advance the interests of each," wrote McGregor.
"The British government was trying to justify an unpopular decision to join the Iraq war, and Russia was able to implicate Georgia in a Chechen-al-Qaeda network of terror, invoking 'the common cause' of the anti-terror coalition in support of their methods in Chechnya," McGregor added.
"The U.S. trained Georgian troops essential for the protection of the two new oil pipelines [were] about to cross Georgia under the cloak of counter-terrorist assistance, while using the Zarqawi chemical threat to drum up support in the United Nations," he wrote.
Some downplayed the missile threat after Oct. 29, 2005, when the French newspaper Liberation (formerly the Communist Party newspaper) quoted an unnamed "judicial source" as saying the information obtained from Atiya was vague and third-hand.
However, on Jan. 14, French reporter Jean Chichizola of Le Figaro reported on the contents of the Atiya file prepared by French anti-terrorism judges, and said the original information about the missile threat was confirmed. He also reported that Atiya claimed to have convinced those involved to use the missiles against the U.S. rather than France, although the latter could not be confirmed.
Olivier Guitta, an international terrorism financing expert, told Cybercast News Service that the Jan. 12 speech by French President Jacques Chirac was related to the missile threat. Chirac warned that France would consider a nuclear response to any state-sponsored terrorist attack on its soil. Guitta said that French anti-terrorism agents believe a major terrorist attack in Paris is imminent and that it is being sponsored by Iran. "They have been on high alert since October," said Guitta, "working non-stop to prevent whatever is coming. They were very scared." Guitta also said that it is believed Iran would use a proxy group such as Hezbollah to launch the attack.
The SA-18 missile represents several advancements over previous models, including extended range and altitude. According to military information posted on the Internet, the missiles carry a 2 kilogram high-explosive warhead and its improved speed allows it to strike faster moving targets.
The SA-18 reportedly has a maximum range of 3.2 miles and a maximum altitude of 11,500 feet. The missile uses a passive infrared homing device designed to give it increased protection against electro-optical jammers. According to published data, the probability of a kill against an unprotected fighter jet is estimated at 30-48 percent, and the used of infrared jammers degrades that to 24-30 percent.
Al-Qaeda began training in the production and use of chemical weapons, since their Taleban protectors came to power. Yet our leaders let their front-men play jihad in our backyards, in the name of "freedom of conscience." Instead of joking about al-Muhijiroun, etc, we should have shot those animals on sight. If offices of the Muslim Students Assn terrorists remain open after Chem war commences on US soil, then we might as well surrender, if our leaders are that morally blind.
Since we're not even 24 hours into the new server, we can use this space to let me know about the little digital cockroaches as they crawl out. I think I swatted the worst of the swarm last night, but I know I didn't get all of them...
(1) Still can't preview, no matter what I try. (2) See first post to the story about the man who died on the subway. I had posted a comment that turned out to have a mistake in it, and the next post got mixed with it and appears as a comment instead of an article.
SELECT * FROM tblTwar WHERE (ucase(rQuote) LIKE '%BOLIVIA%') order by rDate desc Error in query: SELECT * FROM tblTwar WHERE (ucase(rQuote) LIKE '%BOLIVIA%') order by rDate desc . Table 'rantburg.tblTwar' doesn't exist
Sounds like everything's as it should be, Fred...sorry 6 :-)
Posted by: Frank G ||
01/24/2006 19:04 Comments ||
I'm looking at the CPU activity right now. CPU usage is in the 3 percent range/user, 4 percent system, which is utterly unlike what my Win box used to show. Since this is my development box, it's only got 512M of memory, and memory usage is running around 475M. I'm guessing that if the memory usage spikes, that's what causes the beast to sieze up.
I'm going to back up the Win box tonight and then start building Debian on it. Having 2 gigs of memory should clear up the remaining problems. Until then, I'll keep an eye on the thing. As long as it doesn't crash in the middle of the night I'll be able to bring it back up PDQ.
Also, are you aware linux caches disk pages in memory? Sort of a virtual disk and throws them away when you need to load more stuff. If you look at total memory it should always be near 100%. Process memory is where it gets interesting in linux.
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.