[New York Times] Given who she really was, military officials had little choice in how they described Shannon Kent. They said only that she was a "cryptologic technician," which anyone might assume meant that her most breakneck work was behind a desk.
In reality, she spent much of her professional life wearing body armor and toting an M4 rifle, a Sig Sauer pistol strapped to her thigh, on operations with Navy SEALs and other elite forces ‐ until a suicide bombing took her life last month in northeastern Syria.
She was, in all but name, part of the military’s top-tier Special Operations forces. Officially a chief petty officer in the Navy, she actually worked closely with the nation’s most secretive intelligence outfit, the National Security Agency, to target leaders of the Islamic State.
The last few years have seen a profound shift in attitudes toward women in combat roles. Since 2016, combat jobs have been open to female service members, and they have been permitted to try out for Special Operations units. More than a dozen have completed the Army’s Ranger school, one of the most challenging in the military. Some have graduated from infantry officer courses, and even command combat units. And in November, a woman completed the Army’s grueling Special Forces Assessment and Selection course, the initial step to becoming a Green Beret.
Yet Chief Kent illustrates an unspoken truth: that for many years women have been doing military jobs as dangerous, secretive and specialized as anything men do.
She would sometimes muse that conversation ‐ even with people who had top security clearances ‐ would be simpler if she could just join a Special Operations unit.
Posted by: Frank G ||
02/10/2019 7:48 Comments ||
Women have served in Tier-1 Special Operations Force units for many years. The circumstances surrounding the tragic deaths of these brave Americans is being investigated and the appropriate force protection training measures have been reinforced.
If someone wants to kill you and they are willing to sacrifice their own life to accomplish their goal, serious injury and death are oftentimes unavoidable.
granted that ISIS is evil and their leaders are extra evil
does it make strategic sense to keep killing the last of ISIS in Syria when a lot of what ISIS does in Syria is kill other terrorists, e.g., al nusra, and agents of Assad
Posted by: lord garth ||
02/10/2019 13:05 Comments ||
In a war of all against all, it seems to me that removing one party is not terribly significant, lord garth. And in the end there will still be Assad’s Syrian army (plus auxillieries) and the Kurds to go after and be killed by.
That the Muslim students did this is not surprising. That both school and government authorities are investigating and punishing them is shocking.
[AlAhram] Egyptian authorities have said they are investigating those involved in a YouTube video that appeared to mock Christian prayers and hymns.
The video was titled "Four al-Azhar Students Mock Copts" and was filmed in the home of one of the students in Sharqiya governorate on 31 January.
It involved four people, including a student at a 6 October city religious institute and a student at an al-Azhar institute in Sharqiya.
During investigations, the students confessed to filming the video for comedic reasons, and said they had no intention of insulting the Christian religion or its followers.
The four students appeared in another video posted on YouTube on 8 February where they apologised to the Coptic community and regretted the filming of the first video.
“So sorry we were caught!”
Authorities said they were undertaking necessary legal procedures regarding the incident.
Al-Azhar university officials have referred the institute student to a disciplinary committee, and have denied the student has any relationship with a Ministry of Religious Endowments official in Sharqiya, as claimed by some on social media.
[AnNahar] Nigeria's Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... started out as an Islamic anti-corruption group but mutated into an IS affiliate waging a lethal insurgency.
Here is some background about the jihadists, whom Muhammadu Buhari vowed to defeat when he became president in 2015 but remain a threat as he seeks a second term.
Continued on Page 49
Just a heads up in case you’ve been investing in Saudi, Egyptian, or Lebanese government bonds, dear Reader. This couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of jihad-supporting and -hosting nations.
[AnNahar] Public debt has rapidly increased in many Arab countries since the 2008 global financial crisis, due to persistently high budget deficits, the International Monetary Fund warned Saturday.
"Unfortunately, the region has yet to fully recover from the global financial crisis and other big economic dislocations over the past decade," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.
"Among oil importers, (economic) growth has picked up, but it is still below pre-crisis levels," she told the Arab Fiscal Forum in Dubai.
Lagarde said public debt among Arab oil importing nations had increased from 64 percent to 85 percent of Gross Domestic Product in the decade since 2008.
Nearly half of these countries now have public debt of over 90 percent of GDP, she said.
Public debt among oil exporters -- including the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council -- rose from 13 percent of GDP to 33 percent of GDP, accelerated by the crash in oil prices around five years ago, Lagarde said.
"The oil exporters have not fully recovered from the dramatic oil price shock of 2014," she said. "Modest growth continues, but the outlook is highly uncertain."
Lagarde said oil producing countries should look to renewable energy in the coming decades, in line with the Gay Paree Agreement on climate change, which stipulates a reduction in greenhouse emissions.
The IMF last month lowered its economic growth forecasts for 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... -- the world's top crude exporter -- and the wider Middle East and North Africa region due to a renewed fall in oil prices, low output and geopolitical tensions.
Lagarde welcomed both spending and revenue reforms, including the introduction of a value added-tax (VAT) and excise duty by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
But she urged more reforms, anti-corruption measures and transparency.
"The economic path ahead for the region is challenging," she added.
I think Egypt’s economy is getting somwhat better, AlanC, now they’re producing their own oil and natural gas. And they’ve been reducing subsidies for bread and fuel and such, while the IMF is about to release another tranche of the big loan they guaranteed after General Sisi replaced that Mohammed Brotherhood stooge, Morsi.
1) Iran sells fuel 2Turkey (under sanctions sale is allowed, but proceeds r frozen) 2) Vene sells gold 2Turkey 3) Turkey smuggles gold 2Iran as payment in kind 4) Iran uses gold 2quietly purchase stuff from the rest of the world, bypassing USD restrictions https://t.co/PVqOikO8Cg
[Daily Caller] Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Friday called for the Department of Homeland Security to be completely defunded.
In a Friday evening tweet, the Somalia-born Minnesota lawmaker also called President Trump "Individual 1" and his proposed border barrier "hateful."
"When Democrats stood our ground last month, we proved that Individual 1 does not have the public support to ram his hateful wall through Congress," Omar tweeted. "Let’s stand firm: #Not1Dollar for DHS."
Fox News reported that, while many Democrats have called to abolish ICE, "there hasn’t been a strong demand to defund the entire Department of Homeland Security, which also includes the Transportation Safety Administration, Secret Service, Coast Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency."
Would ĺike to humbly submit a suggestion. A new major category that will boost Rantburg's prominence substantialy, "Law and Order" or "Law Enforcement".
With recent BLM anti-police activities, the abolish ICE agenda by AOC, today hundreds of Texas lawmen lining their police cars to form a wall at Eagle Pass and Washington State Sheriffs refusing to enforce radical gun control, these patriots would have a home here at Rantburg other than just "Non-WoT".
[Al Jazeera] A Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row in Pakistain has been transferred from a secret location near the capital to another in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... , but is still unable to leave the country to join her daughters in Canada, a friend said on Saturday.
Aman Ullah, who spoke to Aasia Bibi by telephone Friday, said the 54-year-old Bibi is being held in a room in the southern port city.
He said Bibi, who faces death threats, is frustrated and frightened, uncertain of when she will be able to leave Pakistain.
"She has no indication of when she will leave ... they are not telling her why she cannot leave," said Ullah.
He fled the country on Friday after receiving threats from those angered by his assistance to Bibi, which began while she was on death row.
Ullah has been a liaison between Bibi and European diplomats, who have sought to assist her. The News Agency that Dare Not be Named news agency spoke to Bibi by telephone with Ullah's assistance following her October acquittal, which was upheld last month.
Posted by: Fred ||
02/10/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[DAWN] Faisalabad ...formerly known as Lyallpur, the third largest metropolis in Pakistain, the second largest in Punjab after Lahore. It is named after some Arab because the Paks didn't have anybody notable of their own to name it after... has returned to the list of districts affected by polio ...Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. Between 1840 and the 1950s, polio was a worldwide epidemic. Since the development of polio vaccines the disease has been largely wiped out in the civilized world. However, since the vaccine is known to make Moslem pee-pees shrink and renders females sterile, bookish, and unsubmissive it is not widely used by the turban and automatic weapons set... virus. One of the reasons seems to be a major decline in the targeting of children in the city.
According to a recent survey, an average of 50 per cent drop was reported in the immunisation coverage in Faisalabad where poliovirus has been detected after over two years, lamented a bigwig while talking to Dawn.
He said that experts believed that the Punjab 1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots.... government’s lack of interest towards combating the crippling disease was another reason for the returning of the virus. There were three high-risk districts in Punjab, including Lahore, Rawalpindi and Dera Ghazi Khan, where experts were already struggling to eradicate the disease.
The official said the environmental samples collected from Faisalabad’s Achkera pumping stations had tested positive for polio, with linkages found to the virus already circulating in Lahore, prompting calls for quick vaccination of children.
"Poliovirus circulation in a given area represents the existence of unimmunised children, who missed vaccination during routine immunisation and door-to-door anti-polio campaigns," the official said.
Posted by: Fred ||
02/10/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[DAWN] The first addition in the list of proscribed organizations made by 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.... (PTI) government has taken the total number of banned outfits to 67.
The latest addition to the list is Yemen-based al-Rahmah Welfare Trust Organisation (ARWTO) and the reason for its placement on the list of terrorist outfits is said to be its links with Al Qaeda.
A federal minister when contacted told Dawn that ARWTO was found to be having links with Al Qaeda.
According to an updated list of proscribed organizations placed by the National Counter Terrorism Authority on its website, ARWTO was formally outlawed on Dec 13, 2018. The only other addition in the list during that year was that of Jundullah, that had been proscribed on Jan 31, 2018. Jundullah had been formed by Abdol Malek Regi who had been captured and executed in Iran in 2010.
Posted by: Fred ||
02/10/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda
[Jpost] It’s quite a welcome to Tel Aviv: A giant billboard with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
"I don’t recycle bottles," read the billboard installed Thursday near Tel Aviv’s La Guardia Interchange with additional text reading "Nasrallah has been stuck in a bunker for 12 years, what’s your excuse? Recycle bottles!"
If one didn’t know any better one could think the leader of the Lebanese Shiite terror organization is running in Israel’s upcoming elections, but no, it’s an ad campaign put out by the ELA Recycling Corporation which aims to encourage Israeli citizens to recycle plastic bottles.
In addition to the billboard, of which several have been installed in Tel Aviv, the company also released a video of Nasrallah lamenting that he is not able to recycle and has placed ads on the radio.
[PULSE.NG] Their home countries don't want them and holding trials in Syria isn't an option: now suspected foreign jihadists could end up facing tough justice over the border in Iraq.
Both countries have suffered for years at the hands of the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group and Iraqi courts have already meted out hefty sentences to hundreds of foreigners detained on its soil, often after lighting-quick trials.
As the final shred of the once-sprawling jihadist "caliphate" crumbles in eastern Syria, Kurdish-led forces backed by the US have captured hundreds more diehard imported muscle.
The American military -- which spearheads an international coalition fighting IS -- has in the past shown itself willing to hand those captured in Syria to the authorities in Iraq.
In August AFP attended the Baghdad trial of 58-year-old French citizen Lahcene Gueboudj, who said he had been spirited from Syria to Iraq by US troops.
Belkis Wille of Human Rights Watch said the organization knows of at least five instances in which US forces handed foreign detainees over to Iraq's Counter Terrorism Service.
They include Australian and Lebanese citizens transported out of Kurdish-controlled areas, at least one of whom was eventually sentenced to death in Iraq.
Iraqi justice can be harsh and its courts have doled out death or life sentences to hundreds of foreigners accused of being IS members, including some 100 women.
Others who come from Syria can expect similar treatment.
"They are at risk of torture and unfair trials in Iraq," Wille warned.
'SECRET DEAL' The fate of imported muscle in Syria has come into sharper focus since President Donald Trump ...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States... 's announcement in December that the US will withdraw its troops from the war-torn country.
Washington has stepped up pressure on its reluctant allies to bring home hundreds of jihadists, but the issue is politically sensitive in countries like Britannia and La Belle France.
Governments have been grappling for weeks with the question of imported muscle detained by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who have warned that they may not be able to guard their jails once US troops leave.
La Belle France, hit by repeated deadly IS attacks, has so far opposed returning jihadists. But since Trump's announcement, Gay Paree has said it is studying "all options".
On a visit to Iraq this week, French Defence Minister Florence Parly warned of the need "to avoid some jihadists ending up in the wild and dispersing".
Hisham al-Hashimi, a researcher on jihadist movements, told AFP that a deal appears to have been struck with Iraq "at the very highest level and in secret" to tackle the issue.
Such a pact allows imported muscle' countries of origin to avoid politically fraught repatriations; in exchange, Iraq will receive "ultra modern arms and crucial military equipment", Hashimi said.
"Iraq can put anyone on trial who passed through its territory, even if they didn't fight there and just headed to Syria," he said.
Posted by: Fred ||
02/10/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
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.