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Hizbullah Leader's Brother Killed In Syria Clashes
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghanistan
Afghan peace plans in limbo
AFGHAN President Hamid Karzai has been mulling his response to US efforts to repair damaged ties after a public spat over the Taliban opening an office in Qatar for peace talks.

Karzai and US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke twice by telephone after the Afghan government became enraged that the office was opened in a blaze of publicity and US officials were apparently about to arrive for talks.

The office used the formal name of "Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan" from the rebels' 1996-2001 government, and a Taliban spokesman at the opening press conference declined to say they supported the peace process.

"John Kerry assured that the Qatari government has removed the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan' sign from the Taliban office and the office is for peace talks only," a statement from Karzai's office said late on Wednesday.

Karzai told Kerry that Afghan public opinion was "extremely negative" over the way in which the Taliban office had been unveiled in an event that many experts described as an international publicity coup for the insurgents.

US deputy ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo told a UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan on Thursday that the office must not be treated as, or represent itself as, an embassy or other office representing the Afghan Taliban as an emirate, government, or sovereign.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday he hoped planned US-Taliban peace talks could start "sooner rather than later".

"I think peace talks could reinforce security gains and further contrib
Posted by: tipper || 06/20/2013 16:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under:


Taliban offer to release US soldier - Aypee
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/20/2013 09:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:


State Dept Confirms Taliban Concessions Within Hours of Fatal Attack on U.S. Troops
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/20/2013 09:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [317 views] Top|| File under:


'The Last Warlord - The Life and Legend of Dostum'
Follow-up to yesterday's posts ref General Abdul Rashid Dostum: A new book coming out in the fall from Professor Brian Glyn Williams, Department of Islamic History at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/20/2013 09:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:


US talks with Taliban in turmoil following Karzai kerfuffle
PEACE talks between US and Taliban officials have been plunged into chaos before they have even begun, as tensions surrounding the process continue to grow.

The proposed talks are now reportedly unlikely to take place today, as had been expected, following anger from Afghan President Hamid Karzai. A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the initial meeting was likely to be held in the "next few days," but would not be more specific.

Officials of Karzai's government have been angered by the opening of a Taliban political office in Doha on Tuesday, and said the US had violated assurances it would not give official status to the insurgents.

"As long as the peace process is not Afghan-led, the High Peace Council will not participate in the talks in Qatar," Karzai said in a statement, referring to a body he set up in 2010 to seek a negotiated peace with the Taliban.

Specifically, the officials objected to the ceremonial opening of the office - which included a prominent Taliban flag and a banner with the insurgent group's state name, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan - giving the impression that the Taliban had achieved some level of international political recognition.
What color was the tablecloth? What shape was the table?
The Taliban has said it does not recognise the government of Karzai.

A statement on Qatar's foreign ministry website last night clarified that the office which opened was called the "Political Bureau for Afghan Taliban in Doha" and not the "Political Bureau for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan".

The US and the Taliban had announced only this week that officials from both sides will meet in Doha, the capital of Qatar, in coming days, in a step forward for a stuttering peace process after 12 years of bloody and costly war between U.S.-led forces and the insurgents.

But the precise timing of the negotiations is now uncertain, while US officials work furiously to keep the nascent peace talks on track.

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Karzai on the phone, telling him his concerns were justified and that he would work to resolve the issue.
I imagine Jahwn was actually telling Karzai to sit down and shut up or he won't be allowed on the helicopter when it leaves Kabul in late 2014...
It remained to be seen how long Karzai's boycott of the peace process - of which he is said to be deeply sceptical - will last.

The announcement of the diplomatic moves on Tuesday had raised hopes that Karzai's government and the Taliban might enter their first-ever direct negotiations on Afghanistan's future, with Washington acting as a broker and Pakistan as a major outside player.

The Taliban has until now refused talks with Kabul, calling Karzai and his government puppets of the West. But a senior Afghan official said earlier the Taliban were now willing to consider talks with the government.
As long as they get everything they want...
US officials said that in the talks, America would stick to its insistence that the Taliban break ties with al Qaeda, end violence, and accept the Afghan constitution, including protection for women and minorities.
Unless that doesn't work, in which case it's all negotiable...
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/20/2013 08:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Obama wearing his golf attire and john Kerry in his yacht hat " hey Taliban fellows come to America to vote democrat and have free health care, free food, free housing, an electric car, and free lunch at free school."
Taliban ." We hate women and gays. Alah Acbar"
Obama "George bush ruined the peace talks.
Posted by: airandee || 06/20/2013 18:29 Comments || Top||


Qatar Says Taliban Office Not for 'Islamic Emirate'
[An Nahar] The Taliban office opened in Doha to facilitate peace talks does not carry the name of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," as it appeared earlier, Qatar said on Wednesday.

Afghanistan's Caped President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai
... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use...
denounced as a provocation the use of the formal name of the Islamist movement's government from 1996 until it was toppled in 2001.

"The office that was opened in Doha yesterday is the political office of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and is not the political office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," Qatar's foreign ministry said, quoted by QNA state news agency.

"The official name agreed to open this office was the political office of the Taliban in Doha."

Taliban representatives and Qatari officials on Tuesday opened the office in Doha, in a ceremony that featured a large poster reading "the opening of the political office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Doha".

Taliban front man Zabiullah Mujahid told Agence La Belle France Presse that the office was intended "to open dialogue between the Taliban and the world".
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [408 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  OTOH the Taliban still refer to the "Islamic Emirate of AfghAnistan", despite what Qatar or any other Muslim Govt. says.

* FYI DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > TALIBAN "UNAWARE' OF THEIR POLITICAL OFFICE IN QATAR.

Nobody told them anything about it - OOOOOOOOO
PPPPPPPPSSSSSIES.

Well, clearly someone(s) must get their Name(s) mentioned to Allan at evening prayers tonite.

and

* RUSSIA TODAY > US TO OPEN DIRECT DEALINGS WID TALIBAN AFTER DECADES-LONG FAILURE TO CONTROL MINERAL-RICH REGION.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 06/20/2013 1:18 Comments || Top||

#2  "too soon"
Posted by: Frank G || 06/20/2013 8:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Send UN & Chinese Non-Aligned Movement Reps Into The Peace Talks With The International Red Cross & The Red Crescent Society & The Arab League & The Aga Khan Reps - Also
Posted by: Glusmohlrt tse Tukarinng7562 || 06/20/2013 19:03 Comments || Top||


Afghan government to shun U.S. talks with Taliban
[REUTERS] Afghanistan's Caped President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai
... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use...
said on Wednesday his government would not join U.S. peace talks with the Taliban and halted negotiations with Washington on a troop pact, underscoring the fragile nature of hopes for a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.

The United States and the Taliban have said officials from both sides will meet in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on Thursday, in a step forward for a stuttering grinding of the peace processor after 12 years `,of bloody and costly war between U.S.-led forces and the bad turbans.

But Afghan officials, angered by the opening of a Taliban political office in Doha on Tuesday, said the United States had violated assurances it would not give official status to the bad turbans.

"As long as the grinding of the peace processor is not Afghan-led, the High Peace Council will not participate in the talks in Qatar," Karzai said in a statement, referring to a body he set up in 2010 to seek a negotiated peace with the Taliban.
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [357 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  Looks like Karzai + Kabul Govt. have put the Bammer Admin on "damage control" vee the Taliban talks.

* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > TALIBAN REJECT ALL US DEMANDS | HUMBLED US MAKES CONCESSIONS TO TALIBAN TO START TALKS - TIMES OF INDIA.

* RELATED WORLD NEWS > [Telegraph.UK] US DROPS DEMAND TALIBAN RENOUNCE AL-QAEDA TO ALLOW TALKS TO PROGRESS.

* WAFF > [StrategyPage] TALIBAN DIVIDED ON MAKING PEACE.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 06/20/2013 1:08 Comments || Top||

#2  OOOOPPPPSSSSS, forgot GUARDIAN.UK > US RUSHES TO MOLLIFY HAMID KARZAI FOR [salvaging] PEACE TALKS WID TALIBAN.

Runnin' + Shuttlin' to talk to Karzai to change his views.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 06/20/2013 1:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Karzi worried that he may have to share some of the ching and the attendant difficulties that may present him....
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 06/20/2013 13:14 Comments || Top||

#4  ...nah, he's been talking in the back with them, thus the curse on the Americans who'd force his hands.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 06/20/2013 16:56 Comments || Top||


Africa North
New U.S. Ambassador Arrives in Libya
[An Nahar] The new U.S. ambassador to Libya arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday, an embassy source said, nine months after her predecessor and three other Americans were killed in an Islamist attack in Benghazi.

Career diplomat Deborah Jones will present her credentials on Thursday to the General National Congress, Libya's highest political and legislative authority, state news agency LANA said.

Jones succeeds Chris Stevens, a popular figure among the Libyan people, who was killed along with the other three when Islamists overran the Benghazi mission and a nearby CIA annex on September 13.
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Report: 30 Armed Islamic Jihad Operatives Entered Sinai From Gaza
[Ynet] Senior Egyptian army sources reported that 30 Islamic Jihad
...created after many members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood decided the organization was becoming too moderate. Operations were conducted out of Egypt until 1981 when the group was exiled after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. They worked out of Gaza until they were exiled to Lebanon in 1987, where they clove tightly to Hezbollah. In 1989 they moved to Damascus, where they remain a subsidiary of Hezbollah...
operatives from Gazoo infiltrated into the Sinai Peninsula. According to the Paleostinian news agency Maan, the operatives were well armed, and security forces in the area have raised the alert to emergency level.

According to Egyptian security reports, there is concern that members of the Jihad will attack security headquarters in coordination with planned protests against the rule of President Mohammed Morsi.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [346 views] Top|| File under: Islamic Jihad

#1  Forty years later...
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/20/2013 10:23 Comments || Top||


Egypt-Syria Diplomatic Cut Creates Havoc For Refugees
[IsraelTimes] Egyptian President Morsi explained that he cut diplomatic ties partly over the involvement of Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah fighters in the Syrian civil war in support of President Bashar Assad.

The decision created an additional hardship for thousands of Syrian refugees who have found shelter in Egypt, many hoping to go on to third countries, and others hoping to return home someday.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that more than 77,000 Syrian refugees have made their way to Egypt.

The break in relations means the refugees have nowhere to turn for consular services like renewing passports and obtaining official documents.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [321 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Eight Islamists Among 17 Governors Appointed By Morsi
[IsraelTimes] Egypt's president on Sunday appointed 17 new provincial governors, including seven members of his Moslem Brüderbund, adding to its already considerable power in the legislative and executive branches.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [338 views] Top|| File under:

#1  egypt has a total of 27 provinces

in the most recent vote for the legislature, islamist candidates (in some cases more than one islamist was running) received more than 50% of the vote in all but 6 provinces

Posted by: lord garth || 06/20/2013 0:20 Comments || Top||


Security Sources: Egypt's Sinai On High Alert
[Maan] Egypt has declared a state of alert in the Sinai after myrmidon Islamist fighters set up a military base in the peninsula, Egyptian security officials said Monday.

Egyptian forces and police have imposed curfews on Sinai cities el-Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah. Military helicopters were seen hovering over the cities, a Ma'an news hound said.

Militants from Egypt, Paleostine and Mali affiliated to Jihadist groups and al-Qaeda have deployed heavily in bunkers in a desert area in central Sinai, Egyptian security officials told Ma'an.

Around 30 "dangerous" Death Eaters affiliated to Jihadist and Takfiri
...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who most be killed...
groups entered Sinai through tunnels from the Gazoo Strip to join the camp, the officials said.

The Death Eaters have large amounts of ammunition and weapons, suggesting they plan to join demonstrations against the Moslem Brüderbund planned for June 30, the security sources added.

Sinai clan chiefs have formed a popular committee in north Sinai to protect protect strategic facilities and public properties during the planned protests.

Abdul-Hamid Salami, chief of the al-Fawakhiriya clan in el-Arish, said Friday that clan dignitaries would hold an emergency meeting on Monday with army and police commanders to discuss ways to protect the peninsula against security chaos.

"We have learned a good lesson from the previous experience during the Jan. 25 revolution," Salami told Ma'an.

"We will sacrifice our souls to protect all security facilities in Sinai, and will not allow Paleostinians to infiltrate through smuggling tunnels seeking to support a certain party at the expense of the Egyptian people.

"We hereby warn in advance that the people of Sinai will defy any external elements and prevent them by force from destroying Sinai or reaching Cairo."
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [367 views] Top|| File under:


Arabia
UAE Charges 30 Egyptians, Emiratis over Brotherhood Cell
[An Nahar] A group of 30 Egyptians and Emiratis have been charged by the UAE authorities for allegedly setting up an illegal branch of Egypt's Islamist Moslem Brüderbund, a prosecutor said on Wednesday.

The suspects have been referred to the Gulf nation's State Security Court, prosecutor Ahmed al-Dhanhani said.

He accused the group of having "established and managed a branch for ... the international organization of Egypt's Moslem Brüderbund, without a permit".

The founders of the branch set up an administrative structure aimed at recruiting members for the Moslem Brüderbund, strengthening its presence in the UAE and maintaining allegiance to the main party, he said.

The group also "raised money through donations, Zakat (Islamic alms), and membership fees to support" the Moslem Brüderbund, he added.

Around a dozen Egyptians, some of them doctors, engineers and university professors, belonging to the group had been nabbed
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
between November 2012 and January 2013, according to Human Rights Watch
... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world...
The tossed in the calaboose
Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out!
group was also linked to a separate network of around 94 Emirati Islamists, including 13 women, who are on trial for forming a "secret organization plotting to overthrow the regime".

Most or all of the 94 defendants are members of Al-Islah association, which UAE authorities say is linked to the Moslem Brüderbund.

Wednesday's statement by the prosecution said the 30-member group "received financial support from the secret organization".

The case of the arrested Egyptians has sparked a sharp deterioration in relations between Abu Dhabi and Cairo, already strained since the June 2012 election of Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, as Egypt's president.
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [331 views] Top|| File under: Muslim Brotherhood


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Kyrgyzstan votes to end U.S. lease on Manas airbase, a key facility for Afghanistan war drawdown
Kyrgyzstan has voted to end the United States' lease on an airbase key to supplying military operations in nearby Afghanistan.

Lawmakers in the mountainous Central Asian republic voted 91-5 Thursday in favor of ending the agreement in June 2014 to lease the Manas Transit Center. The bill will come into force when it is signed by President Almazbek Atambayev, who has repeatedly pledged to end the lease.

The move comes despite U.S. expectations that the base would remain in exchange for higher rent. The United States pays $60 million annually for the base.

All U.S. troops moving in and out of Afghanistan travel through Manas. Large numbers of troops are set to flow through the facility as part of the withdrawal of most international troops next year.
Posted by: tipper || 06/20/2013 12:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [454 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think one of the bills just came due for the current regime's support of Al Qaeda in Syria.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/20/2013 13:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Snowy, I assume you mean OUR regime not Kyrgystan's regime, right?
Posted by: AlanC || 06/20/2013 15:27 Comments || Top||

#3  All part of Champs plan.
Posted by: Bobby || 06/20/2013 21:58 Comments || Top||


Government
Kerry Off on Mega Mideast, Asia Tour
[An Nahar] U.S. Secretary of State John F. I was in Vietnam, you know Kerry
Former Senator-for-Life from Massachussetts, self-defined war hero, speaker of French, owner of a lucky hat, conqueror of Cambodia, and current Secretary of State...
leaves Friday on a 12-day trip during which he will return to the Middle East, hold high-level talks in Southeast Asia and make his first visit to India.

At the start of his seven-nation tour, Kerry will head first for Doha to meet with top Qatari leaders and take part in a meeting of the core ministers from the Friends of Syria group, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Wednesday.

The top U.S. diplomat will then travel to India from June 23-25 for his first official visit since taking up his post on February 1 to chair the fourth annual U.S.-India strategic dialogue.

The forum is a way of "reflecting the strong strategic partnership between our countries," Psaki said, adding they will discuss issues ranging from security and defense to science, climate change and economic ties, as well as space cooperation.

From Delhi, Kerry will travel 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 the Soddy national face...
to meet top Saudi officials, before heading to Kuwait City on June 26.

From June 27 to 29, the U.S. secretary of state will return to the Middle East region with a stop in Jordan before making his fifth visit to Israel to meet Israeli and Paleostinian leaders.

Kerry is trying to coax the two sides to resume negotiations frozen for almost three years, and has being pursuing what he calls "a quiet strategy" to kickstart the grinding of the peace processor.

He had been forced to postpone the trip to Israel planned for earlier this month as the U.S. administration weighed the crisis in Syria.

But in his first few months in office, he will now have visited Israel more times than his predecessor Hillary Clinton
... sometimes described as America's Blond Eminence and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another Al Haig ...
during her whole four-year tenure.

From Jerusalem, Kerry will head to Brunei from June 30 to July 2 for meetings with Asian leaders including annual ASEAN-U.S. talks as well as the ASEAN regional forum and a foreign ministers meeting of the East Asia Summit.

He is due to return to Washington on July 2.
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [454 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Happy, happy, joy, joy.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/20/2013 10:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Following in the footsteps of that other great SOS, Hillary Clinton--standing on the shoulders of giants while dodging dangers. Wow!
Posted by: JohnQC || 06/20/2013 10:31 Comments || Top||

#3  "serpentine! run serpentine!"
Posted by: Frank G || 06/20/2013 10:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Can he make it a 12-year trip instead?
Posted by: Pappy || 06/20/2013 11:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Hope Ta-RAAAY-za remembered to pack his kneepads....
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 06/20/2013 13:07 Comments || Top||

#6  Can he make it a 12-year trip instead?

"A THREE HOUR TOUR, A THREE HOUR TOUR!!!!!"
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/20/2013 13:46 Comments || Top||

#7  Greeaat, more ketchup diplomacy. I'm sure he took his purse stuffed with our money.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 06/20/2013 15:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Can he make it a 12-year trip instead?

People like Jawn Kerry represent the cream of our intellectual, diplomatic and cultural institutions. (stop laughing, I'm going somewhere with this!) As such, and because we are a rich and prosperous nation, it is selfish to keep him to ourselves. I propose we send him on long-term missions to troubled nations such as Syria and Egypt to guide their progress towards peace and modernity. And yes, he can take Hillary with him.
Posted by: SteveS || 06/20/2013 20:22 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
CIA deputy director resigns, replaced by Obama puppet
Under the bus, you!
CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell resigned from his post Wednesday, after managing the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair, and defending the agency's performance over the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

Morell was passed over for the top CIA spot by President Obama in favor of his counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, who announced Morell's departure Wednesday. Brennan said Morell will be replaced by Avril Haines, currently a deputy assistant to the president and legal adviser at the National Security Council.

Morell agreed to the State Department's request to remove a reference to militants in a controversial memo of talking points about the Libya attack.
Dozens of emails that the White House released a month ago show Morell’s involvement in circulating the revised points. In one email, he noted the State Department had "deep concerns" about referencing prior "warnings."

A page of hand-written notes showed Morell scratching out mentions of Al Qaeda, the experience of fighters in Libya, Islamic extremists and a warning to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on the eve of the attacks of calls for a demonstration. Ultimately, all of that was scrubbed from the talking points. The final version said "extremists" participated, without mentioning prior attacks and warnings in the region.

Senior administration officials told reporters that Morell made the changes to the talking points because of his own concerns that they could prejudge an FBI investigation into who was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Morell also drew criticism for stating that the CIA's interrogation program produced some useful information.
Posted by: Skidmark || 06/20/2013 06:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [340 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yet another mil or intel person replaced with an Obamanaut. Barry and Erdogan must be exchanging notes.
Posted by: SteveS || 06/20/2013 12:57 Comments || Top||

#2  But he has a mandate! Obama, that is. So anything he does the People support.

So says the media, anyway...
Posted by: Bobby || 06/20/2013 15:19 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Bayonne man who lied to feds investigating would-be terrorists sentenced to 18 months
A Bayonne man was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for lying to federal officials investigating a North Bergen man and an Elmwood Park man who were planning to kill on behalf of a Somalia terrorist group.

Mohamed Osman, 21, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise on Sept. 15, 2010, to making materially false statements to investigators in a matter involving international terrorism. Osman could have been sentenced to up to 8 years in prison.

In addition to the prison term, Debevoise ordered Osman to serve three years of supervised release.

Mohamed Alessa, of North Bergen, and Carlos E. Almonte were convicted of a conspiracy to travel from New Jersey to kill on behalf of al-Shabab, a terrorist group. In April, Alessa, now 23, was sentenced to 22 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release; and Almonte, now 27, was sentenced to 20 years and the same lifetime of supervision.

Osman admitted that during his contacts with Alessa and Almonte he had become aware of their "ideology and beliefs," officials said.

Osman also said he had heard Alessa say he would begin killing in the United States if he was unable to do it abroad, officials aid. Osman also admitted that he knew it was against the law to make false statements to the investigators.

Authorities say that during a June 2010 interview with members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, Osman falsely denied knowing about Alessa and Almonte’s plans to travel to Somalia to fight against government and multinational peacekeeping forces there.
Posted by: tipper || 06/20/2013 13:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [363 views] Top|| File under:

#1  However, if you're a registered Donk you can lie blindly to any Congressional committee and get off with just a denunciation in a couple second quip on the evening news.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 06/20/2013 16:59 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
'JI to impart military training to civilians'
[Pak Daily Times] Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
Finance Minister Sirajul Haq has said that Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
would impart military training to men and women aged between 18 and 35 years as part of its strategy to promote the spirit of jihad in the nation and the armed forces.

Speaking at a news conference, he said that the party was not shy of supporting its commitment. He said the JI wanted to implement its training programme because it believed that the armed forces alone could not protect the country. The Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf
...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations....
is a partner of the JI in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government.
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Russia warns West against arming Syrian rebels
Russia warned the West on Thursday that arms to Syrian opposition forces will end up in the hands of extremists, amid reports that Moscow has readied a shipment of fighter jets for the Syrian government.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the radical al-Nusra Front - an outfit that has been listed by the United States as a terrorist group - would handle weapons earmarked for the opposition.

"The overwhelming number of weapons that get to Syria will be distributed by Jabhat al-Nusra," he said in an interview with the Rossia-24 television channel, according to Russian news agencies.

Russia, Syria's key arms supplier, has strongly criticized military support for the rebels, while defending as legitimate its own arms sales to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Lavrov reiterated that Moscow would honor all weapons deals with the Syrian government.

"We're fulfilling all our contracts," Lavrov said. Asked about the controversial shipment of S-300 air defence systems, he merely said that "those contracts have not been fully realised."

The advanced surface-to-air missiles are designed to counter aircraft and cruise missiles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow postponed the S-300 missiles in order "not to destroy the strategic balance."

A media report said Thursday however that a batch of Russian combat training jets is ready for shipment to Syria.
Posted by: tipper || 06/20/2013 12:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [343 views] Top|| File under:


New "Moderate" Iran Prez Plotted '94 Bombing of Joooz in Argentina
Iranian President-elect Hassan Rowhani was on the special Iranian government committee that plotted the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, according to an indictment by the Argentine government prosecutor investigating the case.
described in all the right places™ as a "moderate"
The AMIA bombing is considered the deadliest terrorist attack in Argentina’s history, killing 85 and wounding hundreds more. The Argentine government had accused the Iranian government of planning the attack and Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah of carrying it out. Numerous former and current Iranian officials are wanted by Interpol in connection with the bombing.
so arrest him when he leaves the country
Former Iranian intelligence official Abolghasem Mesbahi, who defected from Iran in the late 1990s, testified that the decision to launch the attack was made within a special operations committee connected to the powerful Supreme National Security Council in August 1993.
but that was a Long Time Ago™, so no harm, no foul
Posted by: Frank G || 06/20/2013 07:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [345 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Doesn't make him non-moderate---it's only Jews Zionist thug oppressors.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/20/2013 10:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Did Kirchner have any comments about this, but does she only care about Argentinia when she can use it as an excuse to gore British oxen?
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/20/2013 11:27 Comments || Top||


Experts Says Limited U.S. Arms to Syria Unlikely to Harm Israel
[An Nahar] U.S. plans to arm Syrian rebels have raised fears in Israel that the weapons could fall into the wrong hands, but analysts played down the threat -- provided no big guns are involved.

Washington said last week that it would provide Syria's rebels with military support in the form of small arms after it determined that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons.

U.S. President Barack Obama
I am the change that you seek...
on Wednesday declined to categorize the arms the U.S. will send to the rebels.

"I cannot and will not comment on specifics on our programs related to the Syrian opposition," Obama said, at a presser in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
...current chancellor of Germany. She was educated in East Germany when is was still run by commies, but in 1989 got involved with the growing democracy movement when the Berlin Wall fell. Merkel is sometimes referred to by Germans as Mom...

Two months ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged caution over such plans saying it "presents the question of which rebels and which weapons?"

And Israel's former deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon has repeatedly warned that such a move would be a "mistake."

Other Israeli officials have drawn parallels with Afghanistan in the 1980s, when U.S. supplies to Mujahedeen fighting the Russians found their way years later to al-Qaeda.

Analysts said the extent of the threat to Israel depended on what weaponry was involved and where it ended up.

"If it means the provision of small arms and ammunition, such as RPGs and mortars... I don't think that's going to mean anything for Israel, and am not even sure it will for the rebels," said Jonathan Spyer, senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv.

Even "if some of those weapons reach the hands of extreme jihadist elements, such as Al-Nusra Front (in the Golan Heights) ... it is not a major strategic threat, but rather an irritant," he said.
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [312 views] Top|| File under: al-Nusra

#1  "Not a major strategic threat, but rather an irritant" > Uh, uh, YEAH!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 06/20/2013 0:55 Comments || Top||

#2  And Israel's former deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon has repeatedly warned that such a move would be a "mistake."

Any involvement in this conflict by the US is a "mistake".
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/20/2013 5:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Any arms going to Israel's enemies is a possible threat.
Posted by: JohnQC || 06/20/2013 10:36 Comments || Top||


Popular Nasserite Organization Chief Warns of Sectarian Strife in Sidon
[An Nahar] Popular Nasserite Organization head Osama Saad stressed on Wednesday that the security deterioration in the southern city of Sidon endangers the civil peace and aims at creating a sectarian civil war.

He expressed regret in a presser over the security, stability and economy losses in the city, a day after festivities erupted between Salafist holy man Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir and the Hizbullah-affiliated Resistance Brigades in the suburb of Abra.

"The attack launched by al-Asir supporters forced people to evacuate their homes," Saad said.

The official reject attempts to involve Sidon in "sectarian sedition."

Saad slammed "those who intervened to protect people who aim at destabilizing the situation in the city," accusing al-Mustaqbal
... the Future Movement, political party led by Saad Hariri...
movement and other Islamists of participating in Tuesday's incidents.

Clashes erupted on Tuesday afternoon between supporters of Asir, the imam of Sidon's Bilal bin Rabah Mosque, and the Resistance
That'd be the Hezbullies, natch...
Brigades in the Sidon neighborhood of Abra, leaving at least one person dead and four others maimed.

The Lebanese army deployed in Sidon as the violence comes amid soaring sectarian tensions in Leb that have escalated because of the raging war in neighboring Syria.

The army said several people were maimed by the gunfire.

Asir, who espouses an austere form of Sunni Islam, is known for his opposition to Hizbullah.
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

#1  I thought the City Elders of NOT-ZION SIDON denied the presence of Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra in their city???

* FYI WORLD NEWS > [CNN.com] ANALYST: AL-QAEDA AFFILIATE IN SYRIA [Al-Nusra] IS THE BEST-EQUIPPED BRANCH OF THE GROUP.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 06/20/2013 1:01 Comments || Top||


Sidon Scholars Urge Disbanding of 'Groups Operating under Resistance Name'
[An Nahar] Mufti of Sidon Sheikh Ahmed Nassar on Wednesday warned that "the seditions that have been moving from one Lebanese area to another, especially those of a sectarian nature," have spread to the southern city of Sidon.

The city has become under the mercy of "a few individuals who have criminal records and who have been provided with paid protection," Nassar said.

"They escalated tensions in Sidon and its suburbs through stirring festivities and deliberate provocations without any deterrence or accountability, so a battle erupted and things went out of control across Sidon as gunnies from all parties and sides deployed on the streets," he added.

One person was killed and at least four others were maimed in armed festivities on Tuesday between supporters of Islamist holy man Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir and the Hizbullah-affiliated Resistance Brigades.

"Who will the security deterioration serve, for whose sake blood was spilled and on what basis the fighting stopped? It is the policy of local and regional political messages and the works of puppets being manipulated by unseen hands in Leb and abroad," the Sunni Mohammedan mufti added.

"We reject sedition which only serves the goals of the merchants of arms, blood and interests and we consider that involvement in stirring sedition is haram (forbidden in Islam), just like taking part in it," Nassar went on to say.

He called on the army and security forces to "strike with the hand of right and justice those who transgressed against citizens and who are well-known sedition advocates, or else people will continue to take things into their own hands."

Meanwhile,
...back at the pond, Gloria slowly backed away from the eight-foot bull frog. If the creature croaked she would surely be deafened...
a meeting for Sidon's Sunni Mohammedan scholars condemned "the regrettable security incidents that happened yesterday and led to the martyrdom of an innocent citizen and the wounding of several others."

"The firing of shells proves that there are parties who do not value human life and civil peace, and the deployment of gunnies is a rejected act," said a statement issued after the meeting and recited by Bassam Hammoud, the political official of the Jamaa Islamiya in the South.

"Groups operating under the banner of the Resistance
That'd be the Hezbullies, natch...
must be quickly disbanded and gunnies must be deployed under any pretext and the state must not abandon its responsibilities," added the statement.

It warned that some parties are seeking to "turn Haret Saida into a 'new Jabal Mohsen' in the face of Sidon's residents."

It called on political parties to "rein in their members in order to prevent strife."

The city's MP Bahia Hariri also held a presser on Wednesday afternoon to comment on Tuesday's events.

"The repercussions of Sidon's events are harsh on the city and on Leb," Hariri warned, stressing that political conflicts should be "democratic and avoid turning into armed festivities."

The al-Mustaqbal
... the Future Movement, political party led by Saad Hariri...
politician stated her rejection of "all illegal arms in the city and of politically covering the perpetrators."

She vowed to work hard to avoid the recurrence of these incidents.

"Huge efforts are exerted to prevent a recurrence of this abnormal situation and the state should take action against anyone who took part in it."

"Sidon will always be a city of religious coexistence."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Sub-Security Council of Sidon deplored "the rhetoric of sectarian sedition that is being practiced by some well-known parties."

After a meeting in the southern city, the sub-council called on political officials to "lift the cover off the gunnies who took part in yesterday's festivities and to help the state preserve security."

The conferees also condemned "the irresponsible acts and the meaningless fighting that took place yesterday in the Abra region, which disrupted calm, paralyzed the commercial and economic activity and terrorized the citizens."

"No one can stay silent over this issue at all given its dangerous repercussions on civil peace," they added.

The sub-council stressed that it will "prevent all armed activities by any party," urging political forces to "shoulder their responsibilities and resort to the rhetoric of reason and the principle of the state."

It also decided to "intensify security patrols in the city of Sidon and the areas of the festivities, especially the Abra area, to preserve security and stability," reminding that "banners that incite sectarian sentiments must be removed."
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [458 views] Top|| File under: Harkatul Mujahideen


Iran says appeals for 'jihad' in Syria fuel radicalism
[REUTERS] Calls by Sunni Mohammedan holy mans for a holy war against the Syrian government and its Shi'ite allies are fuelling radicalism in the region, a senior Iranian official said on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, prominent holy man Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi
...crackpot Egyptian Islamist theologian. He is best known for his program Shariah and Life on Al Jazeera, with an estimated audience of 60 million kindred souls worldwide. He is also well-known for IslamOnline, which occasionally advocates things like slavery and thumping the old lady with a rod no thicker than an inch, and has published more than 120 books, including Islam: The Future Civilization. Joe has long had a prominent role within the intellectual leadership of the Moslem Brüderbund. Some of his views have been controversial in the West, though less so among the rubes of the Mysterious East, and he was refused entry to the United Kingdom in 2008. In 2004, 2,500 Muslim academics from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and from the Palestinian territories condemned Qaradawi, and accused him of giving Islam a bad name....
called for jihad in Syria after fighters from Shi'ite Lebanese group Hezbollah intervened to help Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor. If he'd stuck with it he'd have had a good practice by now...
, in a move which stoked sectarian tensions.

Shi'ite Iran, a close ally of Assad and backer of Hezbollah, has accused Arab and Western states of fomenting terrorism in Syria by arming rebels caught up in the two-year-old revolt.

"There were steps and fatwas from holy mans like Mr Qaradawi, these fatwas escalate and encourage apostasy and radicalism in the region," Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iranian Deputy Minister for Arab and Foreign Affairs, told news hounds in Kuwait.

The Syrian conflict is widening a divide in the Middle East between the two main denominations of Islam.

Kuwait, which lies across the Gulf from Iran, has voiced concern that the Syrian crisis is heightening sectarian tension and becoming a battlefield for regional powers.

Abdollahian said bully boyz in Syria have been attacking all sects and creating rifts between communities. He called for a political solution to the crisis which has killed more than 90,000 people.

Abdollahian, who was in the Gulf Arab state to meet with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah, denied that Iran was giving military aid to the Syrian army.

"We give economic, political and media support to Syria," he said. Hezbollah was involved only to protect the Lebanese-Syrian border and to shield Lebanese living in Syria from violence, he said.
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [353 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  pot calling kettle black.

Actually, I'm for any conflict that has muslims killing each other. The sooner and more, the better.
Posted by: Mikey Hunt || 06/20/2013 0:58 Comments || Top||


Michel Samaha's Trial Kicks Off
[An Nahar] The trial of former Information Minister Michel Samaha, who is in jug, and of two wanted Syrian officers kicked off at the military court in Beirut on Wednesday.

Samaha, who is considered close to the Syrian regime, was tossed in the clink
I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece!
in August last year for planning attacks in Leb along with Syrian security chief General Ali Mamlouk and a colonel known only by his first name as Adnan.

They were indicted in February this year "for transporting explosives from Syria to Leb in an attempt to assassinate Lebanese political and religious leaders."

A military magistrate said in his indictment that Samaha and Mamlouk should be given the death penalty.

They were also accused of targeting "Syrian gunnies" and "smugglers" in the northern Akkar region that lies near the border with Syria.

Investigators have said that explosives were found in Samaha's car.

According to the indictment, they were delivered by Adnan to Samaha in Syria with the approval of Mamlouk.

Samaha is also accused of "inciting sectarian strife."

Arrest warrants have been issued for Mamlouk and Adnan, whose full identity hasn't been established yet.
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [304 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria


Asir Does Not Rule out Military Option if Hizbullah Apartments in Sidon are Not Vacated
[An Nahar] Imam of Sidon's Bilal bin Rabah Mosque Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir accused on Wednesday the army of "defending" alleged apartments owned by Hizbullah gunnies in the southern city.

He demanded during a presser that these apartments be vacated before Monday, saying: "The military option is one of several available to us should our demand fail to be met."

He hoped that the residents of the city would follow reason "in order to thwart greater dangers that are looming in the future."

"I am not issuing threats as we are all bound to coexist in Leb," he stressed.

"Do not support the oppressor against the oppressed," demanded Asir.

He then recounted how he had demanded that the Hizbullah apartments be vacated seven months ago.

His demand was met with a vow by caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel to fulfill the request within 15 days, but he failed to do so.

On Tuesday's festivities between Asir's supporters and members of the Hizbullah-affiliated Resistance Brigades in the Sidon neighborhood of Abra, he said that the unrest started when Mahmoud al-Sous shot up a number of shops and attacked youths in the area.

He accused him of carrying out his actions in collaboration with the army intelligence, rejecting the army statement on the clash and revealing that photographs of Sous and the members of the branch had been taken.

The unrest on Tuesday left at least one person dead and four others maimed.

Voice of Leb radio (93.3) said the fighting broke out between Asir supporters and "Mahmoud al-Sous' group, which belongs to the Resistance
That'd be the Hezbullies, natch...
Brigades."

The Lebanese army deployed in Sidon as the violence comes amid soaring sectarian tensions in Leb that have escalated because of the raging war in neighboring Syria.

The army said several people were maimed by the gunfire.

He has alleged several times that the group uses several apartments in Abra to stockpile weapons and house fighters.
Posted by: Fred || 06/20/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [443 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

#1  Sure looks like a fake beard to me.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/20/2013 23:10 Comments || Top||


StrategyPage: Status of the Syrian Air Force

The Syrian Air Force has suffered major losses in the last year, as the aircraft and helicopters were unleashed on rebels (and civilian supporters) and took a beating. Of the 370 usable fixed wing war planes the Syrian Air Force had two years ago, about half are now out of action because of combat losses or wear and tear. Nearly two-thirds of the 360 helicopters are gone, for the same reasons.

Syrian Air Force losses have been heavy, with some 400 aircrew dead, captured, or missing. Nearly a hundred fixed wing and over a hundred helicopters have been lost. About half of these aircraft were captured or destroyed on the ground as rebels attacked, and often captured, air bases. The jets (and a few transports) were hit while landing and taking off, and this threat often led to airbases being abandoned, with aircraft incapable (because of damage or lack of spare parts) of flying out being destroyed or just left behind. The rebels have about a dozen flyable helicopters and some helicopter pilots have defected, but there is not really a rebel “air force” just yet.

The air force is rapidly disappearing because of combat and operational (accidents and poor maintenance) losses. At this point the government has nothing to lose and simply regards the remaining aircraft as similar to diminishing ammo supplies. Use it or lose it to advancing rebels.
Posted by: 3dc || 06/20/2013 01:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [373 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It makes me really wonder why a no fly zone over Syria would be so difficult to police. Once the few Syrian air bases are taken out, what is left?

Posted by: BernardZ || 06/20/2013 10:20 Comments || Top||

#2  S-300 BernardZ.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/20/2013 10:22 Comments || Top||

#3  I wouldn't put it past Team Rebels to fire at anything that flies. Some maybe even on purpose; knowing exactly what they are firing at.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 06/20/2013 13:15 Comments || Top||

#4  Honestly, given Arab maintenance standards, I would have thought the attrition rate would have been much higher than that. Do they have Russian mercs on their airbases keeping their frames taped together?
Posted by: Mitch H. || 06/20/2013 15:32 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
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Thu 2013-06-20
  Hizbullah Leader's Brother Killed In Syria Clashes
Wed 2013-06-19
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Mon 2013-06-17
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Fri 2013-06-14
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Mon 2013-06-10
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Sun 2013-06-09
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Sat 2013-06-08
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Fri 2013-06-07
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