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76 killed in Iraq mosque attack
Today's Headlines
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 4: Opinion
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'Suicide attack' in Afghanistan
There has been a suicide car bomb attack outside the US military base in the capital of the Afghan province of Helmand, Lashkar Gah, officials say. The provincial governor told the BBC the attack was aimed at Dyncorp, a US company training the Afghan police force in poppy eradication work. The US military says three US nationals suffered minor injuries.

The BBC's Alistair Leithead in Kabul says this is the first such attack on the US base in Lashkar Gah. Of the three injured Americans, two were military personnel and one a civilian contractor, a US military statement said. It said the attacker died in the blast which completely destroyed his vehicle and a nearby truck. Britain is preparing to deploy 3,300 troops in Helmand in the coming months. The governor said the attack was the work of "al Qaeda and terrorists".
"Genius Holmes! How do you do it?"
Posted by: Steve || 04/07/2006 09:34 || Comments || Link || [17 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I take it the only death was the shaheed? Good.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/07/2006 9:46 Comments || Top||

#2  Maybe they ought to make the captured islamo- cockroaches clean up the mess?
Posted by: anymouse || 04/07/2006 10:00 Comments || Top||

#3  3 down, 597 to go
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 04/07/2006 18:48 Comments || Top||

172 al-Qaeda members to go on trial in Yemen
Yemen, which has convicted many suspected militants, will soon put on trial another 172 people for suspected links with Al-Qaeda and terrorism, an official weekly said Thursday.

Security agencies have referred to the public prosecution files about 172 people suspected of affiliation to Al-Qaeda and other terror groups, said September 26, mouthpiece of the defense ministry.

Some of them were arrested on suspicion of plotting armed attacks against domestic and foreign targets in Yemen, it said, quoting a security source.

The report said the prosecution was about to wrap up the interrogations and the suspects would go on trial "in the coming days," but it did not give a specific date.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 00:58 || Comments || Link || [24 views] Top|| File under:

#1  wow i read that as 1:72 AQ members go on trial. Didnt know airfix did that model set..
Posted by: ShepUK || 04/07/2006 5:29 Comments || Top||

#2  They aren't away yet, Yusef Islam. And even once convicted, Yemeni authorities are fond of releasing those who say they've seen the error of their ways, or because it's Ramadan, or because a tribal elder did some horsetrading. But at least this 172 are off the streets for a while, which is something.

But overall, I am much comforted at the large number of wannabe jihadis who've been arrested, convicted, expelled, shot, exploded, and just plain disappeared over the last few years since the world has been fighting the War on Terror in earnest. The numbers are in the multiple tens of thousands in Iraq alone, let alone Europe, North America and the Muslim Ummah. Even assuming that 1-2% of Muslims are actively involved in terror-related activities, the ones taken out of the game thus far, whether temporarily or permanently, are the most dangerous because they are the best trained and most aggressive. Those replacing them are no doubt equally ambitious, but they won't have had a decade or more to learn their jobs, there's a lot less money as funding sources continue to be exposed and shut down, and they won't have had the advantage of training by, eg Saddam Hussein's specialists and the equipment at Salaam Pak... although they can still make the pilgimage to Iran for a bit longer.

So most of the time I do feel better. On bad days I read things like the Dan Simmons tale posted yesterday and the day before, and I mourn the death and destruction should the Muslim world insist on total war... which they cannot in the end win, no more than the National Socialists or the International Communists before them.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/07/2006 7:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Haven't they finished their tunnel yet?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 04/07/2006 7:38 Comments || Top||

#4  lol yeah tunnel mayhem again coming. Maybe a rope bridge to the nearest mosque.
Posted by: ShepUK || 04/07/2006 8:23 Comments || Top||

#5  Forget it infidel swine, I will confess only after you pry my pick and shovel from my cold dead hands!
Posted by: Abu Miner || 04/07/2006 8:56 Comments || Top||

#6  If you've got nothing to say, then shut up.
Posted by: wxjames || 04/07/2006 9:17 Comments || Top||

#7  LOL Abu!
Posted by: 6 || 04/07/2006 10:08 Comments || Top||

#8  Seems like the ayrabs are going to experience the opposite problem the Chinese and Indians have - after all the killing of islamofruitcakes, the number of eligible men will be about 1/3 the number of eligible women, and the ones left were either too intelligent to fall for the jihad stupidity or too stupid to do the job. That doesn't sound too thrilling for the ayrab women, but it will probably help speed the impending collapse of "arab civilization".
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/07/2006 15:29 Comments || Top||

#9  Suddenly, I got nothin' to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 5:40 Comments || Top||

BD fines bank for terror funding
DHAKA: Bangladesh's central bank has fined the country's top Sharia-based commercial bank, Islami Bank, for transactions linked to Islamist militants. "A 100,000 taka ($1,425) fine was imposed on the IBBL under the anti-money laundering act after we had detected some transactions by them in violation of banking rules," an official with the Bangladesh Bank told Reuters on Thursday. "Although the amount is small, it is significant as the first penalty of the sort imposed by the central bank, which is investigating suspicious transactions in a number of banks," said the central bank official, who asked not to be identified.
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 00:52 || Comments || Link || [16 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I am impressed! But there are lots of Westernized Bangladeshis, who must realize that allowing their country to host jihadi, Saudi- or Pakistani-linked Muslim organizations cannot be good for their country.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/07/2006 7:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Suddenly, I got nothin' to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 5:10 Comments || Top||

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Gelayev follower captured in Chechnya
A militant of the gang led by filed commander Ruslan Gelayev was detained in the village of Aksai of Dagestan’s Khasavyurt region.

As Itar-Tass learnt at the press service of the Interior Ministry of the republic, the gunman was detained at home. “According to the available information, the 36-year-old Dagestani underwent training in one of the camps of illegal armed groups in the village of Gekalovka in Chechnya under the command of Ruslan Gelayev, the Itar-Tass interlocutor specified.

According to the Interior Ministry, “within Gelayev’s gang, the detainee participated in combat actions against federal forces and is a follower of the Islamic extremist trend.”

During an examination at the detainee’s house, which was conducted within the framework of a criminal case instituted in March this year according to the article “robbery” of the Russian Criminal Code, a RGD-5 grenade, a projectile for a VOG-25 under-barrel grenade launcher, 55 fire arms cartridges, two submachine-gun magazines, eight grams of marihuana and religious literature were seized.

The detainee confessed his participation in illegal armed groups. Investigators are engaged now in checking his involvement in acts of terrorism in Chechnya and Dagestan.

Criminal proceedings were instituted against the detainee.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 03:03 || Comments || Link || [27 views] Top|| File under:

More violence in Dagestan
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 01:03 || Comments || Link || [9 views] Top|| File under:

Saludayev sez Chechen victory is at hand
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 01:02 || Comments || Link || [13 views] Top|| File under:

Bombings rock Ingushetia
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 01:01 || Comments || Link || [12 views] Top|| File under:

Down Under
Al-Qaeda supporters active in New Zealand
Al Qaeda sympathisers with links to overseas extremists are living in New Zealand and increased vigilance is needed to keep the country free from terrorism, the Security Intelligence Service warns. The spy agency says there are also people in New Zealand who have participated in jihad - holy war - in countries such as Bosnia. And it has investigated links in New Zealand to technology used to support weapons of mass destruction programmes in other countries and has checked out people trying to raise funds for terrorist organisations. The information was revealed in the SIS's annual report, tabled in Parliament yesterday.

But one security analyst suggested it was alarmist and self-serving. Political studies senior lecturer Dr Paul Buchanan said the number of dangerous extremists could be "counted on one hand".

SIS head Richard Woods said New Zealand could not afford to be complacent, even though the agency was not aware of a specific terrorist threat against the country. He said last year's London bombings - carried out by British citizens - showed that the threat now lies within countries. "Whereas terrorist acts were previously directed by the al Qaeda core, that core has now been largely disrupted and its role has become more inspirational rather than managerial. Local groups now act independently, but still with devastating results." Mr Woods said increased vigilance was needed to make sure New Zealand was neither a victim nor the source of an act of terrorism.

The SIS refused to elaborate yesterday on what form the increase in vigilance would take. Mr Woods did say that support and information from the public were vital. "But no one can guarantee that that goal [preventing terrorism in New Zealand] will always be achieved."

The report warns that al Qaeda's new "inspirational approach" meant the threat could come from individuals already living in New Zealand. "Overseas experience has shown that terrorist threats in any country can develop quickly." The report notes that the vast majority of Muslims in New Zealand are "law-abiding members of the community who are of no security concern" and said the Islamic community had kept a check on the activities of radical Muslims. The report said the agency has 144 staff and a budget of $20 million. In the year to June 30, 19 domestic interception warrants - to obtain all forms of communication - were in force.

Dr Buchanan, from the University of Auckland, said the SIS report was an exercise in "bureaucratic self-justification". "Within it there are certainly some nuggets of truth about individuals who may be dangerous given their ideological disposition. But I think we could count the number of those people on one hand."

He said New Zealand had no history of conflict with any Islamic country or group and could not be compared to Britain, which had taken part in the invasion of Iraq. "I think it is outrageously alarmist," Dr Buchanan said. "If we continue to scapegoat native-born Muslim men, particularly Arab men, sooner or later some youth will become enraged and do something."

Green MP Keith Locke said there was no visible evidence in New Zealand to support the SIS's claims. "I think he [Richard Woods] is crying wolf and scaring the New Zealand population unnecessarily. It seems to be more of a job justification exercise."

What the SIS has monitored:

* Activities in New Zealand of a foreign national assessed to be a close associate of Islamic extremists in a foreign country.

* Apparent links between New Zealanders and international terrorist activities.

* Activities of individuals thought to be Islamic extremists.

* People trying to raise funds for terrorist organisations.

* Links to technology used to support weapons of mass destruction.

* Covert work by foreign intelligence organisations in NZ.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 00:57 || Comments || Link || [11 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Problem is not attacks within New Zealand. Problem is that it's Australia's complacent neighbor.
Posted by: Pappy || 04/07/2006 2:22 Comments || Top||

#2  So OZ has a Canada as well. I was un aware.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/07/2006 6:44 Comments || Top||

#3  "But one security analyst suggested it was alarmist and self-serving. Political studies senior lecturer Dr Paul Buchanan said the number of dangerous extremists could be "counted on one hand". Yeah, well that one hand can fly two planes into two skyscrapers. What a nitwit.

Posted by: Perfesser || 04/07/2006 10:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Suddenly, I got nothin' to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 5:08 Comments || Top||

Turkish boomer babe kills self, injures one in mosque blast
A female suicide bomber blew herself up Friday in front of a mosque in the Black Sea city of Ordu, injuring one person, police said. Another bomb exploded in southeastern Turkey as a vehicle passed by, wounding two people, officials said. The explosions followed the worst street rioting in Turkey in a decade, which has left 16 people dead, mostly Kurdish rioters. A militant Kurdish group had vowed to step up attacks to avenge those deaths.

Posted by: Seafarious || 04/07/2006 12:28 || Comments || Link || [17 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This sounds like something new - a Kurdish nationalist suicide bomber ?
Posted by: buwaya || 04/07/2006 12:46 Comments || Top||

#2  The PKK used female (and child) suicide bombings throughout the 1990s. They're a Marxist cult that you can find a pretty good primer on here. The PUK has fought against them alongside the Turks on numerous occasions - their version of an independent Kurdistan would look something like Pol Pot's Cambodia.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 13:24 Comments || Top||

FBIS: Italian plot thwarted by Moroccan secret police
An informed judiciary source has revealed the fate of nine Moroccan youths who were arrested in obscure circumstances in Moulay Rachid district, Casablanca, in the middle of last week. The same source says that the detained youths, who have been arrested by elements from the directorate of the security of the territory [DST, secret service] because of their links with an already captured Tunisian national, have been all brought before the investigating judge, in Sale court of appeal. The youths were investigated in detail in relation to accusations of setting up a criminal gang to prepare and use explosives, severely endangering public order and collecting money in order to finance acts of sabotage. The source adds that the Moroccan suspects as well as a Tunisian national called Mohamed Ben Hedi Msahel have been arrested in successive police raids after the discovery that the Tunisian national had been forging passports and had close ties with eight Moroccan youths.

Preliminary investigations showed that the nine arrested persons used to meet in circumstances described by the source as "suspicious", in a place rented by the Tunisian Mohamed Ben Hedi Msahel. The source further says that, in raids carried out in the work places of two accused and in houses in Moulay Rachid district, the police has found several cassettes, compact discs and Salafia Jihadia books which belong to the Tunisian national. The latter used to distribute them to the members of his group.

According to the same source, the Tunisian security services have asked their Moroccan counterparts to deport the Tunisian suspect to Tunisia, and it is quite possible that the Tunisian demand will be met given the existence of a memo of judiciary cooperation between Rabat and Tunis. However, the source rules out that the Tunisian demand will be met before the completion of the detailed investigations in Morocco, and the clarification of all facts regarding this case.

In this connection, the same judiciary source says that the police raids have been secretly prepared to ensure their success, and they came after the secret police had observed suspicious moves made by the nine arrested men. The latter have become closely connected and have started expanding their cell whose objectives remain unclear, so far. It is however assumed that the cell was busy making preparations for acts of sabotage against public services in Morocco.

Moreover, a source close to the family of one of the arrested men says that the police have arrived at his house in civilian clothes. They searched the house and took away with them Said Farez who was arrested while on his way to his vocational training school. The source adds that the police have arrested also Abdelhak Ettouri, Lahsene Mahater and Said Gharrar in the evening of the same day. The same source points out that the secret police men have used a kidnapping style in arresting the men in question, and this has led the relatives of the latter to take legal action and to ask the Ministry of Justice to launch an investigation into the kidnapping of the eight youths. This request was all the more relevant because the Ben Msik-Sidi Othman regional police directorate had denied any knowledge of the arrests of the youths.

The same source adds that, since they learned about the fate of their children and of the accusations made against them, their families have been in a state of shock and disarray caused by the arrests revealed by the judiciary authorities after indicting the nine detainees.

According to locals in Moulay Rachid district, this case came to the open early last week after the family of Said Farez had called for an investigation into his kidnapping by elements in civilian clothes who took him to an unknown destination. This case is the latest in a series of court cases brought before the judges of the Rabat court of appeal and involving the dismantling of terrorist plans at the stage of preparation.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 02:56 || Comments || Link || [12 views] Top|| File under:

FBIS: Italian election plot ordered by Binny
In coordination with the Rabat court of appeal public prosecution office, the national judiciary police brigade this week circulated a search warrant to catch an Algerian national called Amer Laarej. The latter is a member of the Algerian Salafia group for call and combat and is linked to a terrorist cell that has been dismantled by the Moroccan security services. Among the members of this cell figure a Tunisian national called Mohamed Ben Hedi Msahel and three Moroccans living in Italy and in France, who, according to the Moroccan police, have made plans to carry out terrorist attacks in Italy, France and Morocco.

Various border police stations have received photographs and information concerning the Algerian national who is wanted by the Moroccan police. This Algerian is known by aliases such as Ali El Jazairi and Slim El Ouahrani; he moves about with a false identity and, according to information received by the Moroccan national judiciary police, he lives in Italy and has links with members of Al-Qa'idah organization, with the Algerian Salafia group for call and combat and with the coordinator of Bin-Ladin's organization in Europe, a man known as Abu Hamza El Jazairi. He entered Morocco last February and infiltrated into Algeria from Morocco twice.

According to investigations carried out in Rabat, the Algerian Amer Laarej, whose photograph was found in the car of the Tunisian man currently under arrest, in the framework of this case, had a meeting with three Moroccans nationals in a cafe in Sale and he revealed to them the existence of a coordinated action between the Algerian group for call and combat and
illegal emigration networks to facilitate the infiltration of members of terrorist cells from Morocco into Algeria.

In this context, a suspect under arrest in Rabat admitted that Amer Laarej had infiltrated into Algeria for the first time with the help of a network specialized in illegal emigration and, for a fee, the latter took him to Maghnia, then to Oran then to a camp controlled by the Salafia group for call and combat.

Likewise, investigations conducted in Morocco with nine suspects revealed that the latter had made plans to attack the American Embassy in Rabat with explosives acquired by Amer Laarej alias Ali El Jazairi. The plan was for the explosives to be placed in a tunnel dug under the American Embassy, a feat that would have been strongly echoed and would have had powerful repercussions worldwide.

With regard to the acts of terrorism planned for by the Tunisian, the Algerian and the Moroccan national Anwar Mijrar in Europe, the Tunisian said, during police investigations in Rabat, that they included the blowing up of the headquarters of the French secret service, a restaurant and a cafe frequented by French Intelligence officers, the underground train line no. 14, the Francois Mitterrand library and La Defence trade centre in Paris. As for Italy, the terrorist cell led by the Tunisian national in question had planned to blow up the Bologna cathedral because, it is alleged, it contains caricatures
that are disparaging about the Messenger of God, may the prayers and peace of God be upon him. The same terrorist cell also planned to carry out acts of terrorism in Denmark. The Tunisian man had charged the Algerian Amer Taarej with the task of making the explosives.

Eight Moroccan nationals are on trial in the framework of this terrorism-related case, namely Abdelghani A, Abdelfattah H, Abdelhak T, Lahsene M, Adel G, A.K, Mohamed H and Said F. It is worth noting that Amer Laarej, together with the Tunisian national, infiltrated into Algeria last February and there they met a commander of the Algerian Armed Group, who handed them a letter meant to be delivered by the Tunisian, Msahel, to the commander of Al-Qa'idah organization in Europe, a man known by his alias: Abu Hamza El Jazairi. The letter makes it clear that Bin-Ladin approves of the terrorist operations planned to be carried out in Italy, in the other European countries and in Morocco.

The Algerian national now wanted by the Moroccan police read the above-mentioned letter and burned it in Algeria, but it was re-written by the Tunisian national during his interrogation by the Moroccan police.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 02:55 || Comments || Link || [14 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I recall the discussions after the Madrid bombimbs and how the weak on WoT Socialists won when before the bombings Aznar was a shoo-in. Some of us predicted there would be pre-election terror attacks for years to come.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/07/2006 3:04 Comments || Top||

#2  Well, as I noted here, the Bad Guys were remarkably up front about what they were planning to do for those who were taking them seriously:

Therefore we say that to force the Spanish government to withdraw from Iraq the resistance has to measured by painful strikes against their forces and accompanying this a informative campaign clarifying the truth of the situation inside Iraq, and we must absolutely gain from the approaching date of general elections in Spain in the third month of the coming year. We believe that the Spanish government will not endure two or three attacks as a maximum limit because it will be forced to withdraw afterwards due to the popular pressure on it, for if its forces remain after these strikes it is almost certain the Socialist forces will win the elections, as one of the main goals of the Socialist party will be the withdrawal of the Spanish troops . . . the dominoes will fall quickly, although the basic problem will remain of toppling the first piece.

-Iraq al-Jihad, circa August 2003

There's an assumption in certain quarters that just because these people are crazy that they're also stupid. While a lot of them are, there's also some very cunny malevolence at work among al-Qaeda's deep thinkers.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 3:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Completely agree Dan. A lot of them are smart and from their perspective fully justified in doing what they are doing.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/07/2006 3:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Oh my, I meant "cunning," not "cunny," which I believe may in fact be vulgar.

Okay, I'm going to bed now ...
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 3:23 Comments || Top||

#5  The bombings in Madrid were known by the Socialists beforehand. I wish Spain has the balls to investigate that. The whole thing was a setup to get rid of Aznar.
Posted by: wxjames || 04/07/2006 9:12 Comments || Top||

#6  Oh yes, the "Vote or and Die" campaign continues
Posted by: Captain America || 04/07/2006 9:34 Comments || Top||

#7  http://www.jokaroo.com/funnyvideos/italian_berlusconi_eats_snot.html
Posted by: Ulang Spereger4318 || 04/07/2006 13:33 Comments || Top||

#8  Dan,
Vulgar can be good!
Posted by: 3dc || 04/07/2006 21:26 Comments || Top||

#9  Suddenly, I got nothin' to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 5:00 Comments || Top||

Terrorist attacks set to hit Italy before elections
Italian authorities have thwarted terror plots against a church in Bologna and Milan's subway, the interior minister said yesterday, and a newspaper reported that the attacks were timed to happen before next week's elections.

"There was a terrorist plot that was to be carried out in our country and the monitoring and prevention action of our forces allowed us to thwart it," said Giuseppe Pisanu.

The plot involved seven people: three who had been expelled from Italy, two under arrest, one under surveillance and one at large, said Pisanu, speaking in Sardinia before the general elections on April 9 and 10.

Italians will be voting in national elections for the first time since the September 11 attacks in the United States. Bombings in Spain and Britain raised fears that Italy could also be targeted by Islamic terrorism because the country is part of the US-led coalition in Iraq.

The San Petronio basilica in Bologna, which was among the planned targets of the alleged plot, contains a fifteenth-century fresco Muslim groups have interpreted as insulting to Islam. Police arrested four Moroccans and an Italian at the basilica in 2002 and accused them of planning an attack there. The charges were later dropped.

The daily Corriere della Sera reported that the alleged plotters aimed to carry out the attacks before the elections.
The investigation stemmed from the arrest last month in Morocco of a Tunisian who lives in Milan, Corriere said. The man told investigators about the plan and Pisanu ordered the expulsions last week.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 01:13 || Comments || Link || [12 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Suddenly, I got nothin' to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 5:06 Comments || Top||

Pakistani madrassa reform is a sham. Wotta surprise
Although the Pakistani government vowed to reform the country's 13,000 madrassas or Islamic seminaries, little has actually changed. After the London bombings in July, when it was confirmed that two of the suicide bombers had travelled to Pakistan before the attacks and one of them was also shown to have visited a Pakistani madrassa, Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf said that all foreign students in the madrassas, some 1,400 of them, had to leave the country by the end of 2005. Months after the pronouncement, and after fierce opposition from Pakistan's religious parties, the reality on the ground is different.

"Visas are no longer issued to foreign students," Fayaz Ali Khan, the additional inspector general of police in the southern port city of Karachi told Adnkronos International (AKI). But Khan, head of the Special Branch, in-charge of intelligence and issuing the visas, admitted that "there are foreign students already present in the madrassas and they have been allowed to complete their studies".

However these steps back from the promises made to the West do actually correspond to an internal logic. Musharraf cannot deal with a full confrontation with the religious parties in the country that control the government in two out of four provinces and have a significant influence in the national parliament.

Currently, the federal government is in the middle of a troubling military stand-off, both in the south-western province of Baluchistan with clashes between Pakistani troops and tribal rebels as well as major offensives in the tribal region of Waziristan which lies on the Afghan-Pakistan border against pro-Taliban militants. The unrest can prove lethal for Musharraf, who the West see as the moderate force within Pakistan.

One of the more important madrassas in Karachi and among the largest in Pakistan, the Jamiatul Uloom Islamia of Binori Town, the school in which a large part of the Taliban studied, denies the pronouncements made by Islamabad.

‘"It is not true that foreign students are not allowed," said Abdul Razzak Sekandar, the elderly rector in Binori Town, in an interview with AKI. "Those who are already here remain and new students continue to arrive," he said.

Sekandar, who remembers his participation in 2004 at an Islamic religious seminar in Rome, also attended by Vatican and Italian government representatives, cites the UN charter which states that people should be allowed to study and practice their religion.

What's more, Sekandar argues, "foreign engineering and medicine students are allowed to come here to study, so why should be prevent those wishing to study religion."

To give an idea of the importance of Binori Town, the temple of the Deobandist school of Sunni orthodoxy - the most radical on the subcontinent - a few figures suffice.

Some 2,2000 students ranging in age from 5-20 years study and live on the premises. Binori Town alone controls another 16 major Koranic schools in Karachi and hundreds across Pakistan: It is an economically independent and hard to control entity, which has made its influence felt in the organisation of recent mass demonstrations against the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, published by a Danish newspaper, and deemed offensive to many Muslims.

"There were acts of violence, that is true" Sekandar admits, "but not by our students. On the contrary, the government appreciated our moderation."

However without calling into question the severe cordiality and good faith of Sekandar, not so long ago it was here that Osama Bin Laden reportedly met Mullah Omar, a regular guest was Omar Sheikh, the organiser of the kidnapping and killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl. Binori Town in recent years has had two of its mufti murdered, possibly victims of the unstoppable flow of reciprocal violence with the Shiite community, but also perhaps due to their own intransigence. The last rector, Nizamuddin Shamzai, killed two years ago on the steps of the madrassa, had issued a fatwa against Pakistani troops engaged alongside US forces hunting down Taliban and al-Qaeda figures in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. There are rumours that the powerful intelligence services (ISI) sent one of their hitmen to eliminate him.

Sekandar rejects any accusations of terrorism. "We believe in all the prophets and if a Muslim rejects one then he is outside Islam. The problem with the Jews and the Christians is that they believe in only one prophet. So who is the extremist?" He puts it down to "misconception" of madrassas by the West.

A similar concept was expressed recently by the religious affairs minister Ejaz ul-Haq, tasked with overseeing the reform of the madrassas. "No madrassa in the past has been involved in terrorism" he stated.

Ul-Haq, son of the late dictator, Zia ul-Haq, who from the 1970s began the forced Islamisation of 'Pakistan and gave a decisive push to the uncontrolled proliferation of the Koranic schools, also said that "the registration process is proceeding".

In reality, according to independent estimates, only 3,000 out of 13,000 madrassas have to date responded to the census imposed by the government.

This system grew beyond all reasonable control during the years of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan when, with the support of the various Pakistani regimes and funding from Saudi Arabia, hundreds of thousands of young mujahadeen were indoctrinated and sent off to fight the Russians.

Then after the 11 September, 2001 attacks in the US, the madrassas found themselves transformed overnight into dangerous jihadi assembly lines, in the eyes of the West, at least.

"Not all madrassas are extremist" said Pakistan's 'general-dictator', as Sekandar refers to Pervez Musharraf. The rector says he met the president several weeks earlier to discuss reforms and urged him to press the United Nations on the wave of the cartoon protests around the world, to adopt a resolution condemning blasphemy against all religions.

Musharraf is depicted as an enemy for his desire [so far not realised] to put the madrassas in order, keeping tabs on who studies there, obliging them to teach modern subjects such as English and science and making them provide information on where they receive funding. But he is also perceived as an interlocutor in the joint committee where representatives of government and of the five main theological schools that own madrassas meet to discuss the reforms.

'Planet madrassa' has become over the years an anomalous slice of Pakistan's non-existent welfare state, offering board, lodging and instruction, even if education is limited to studying the Koran, to 1.7 million Pakistani children, mainly from poor families.

It is free, as it is funded by Islamic charity, making up for the state' incapacity of provide education and support for Pakistanis of school age.

Children from five years of age learn the Koran by heart, repeating litanies of Arab verse, without understanding what it all means, only to have it explained through the filter of mullahs who are not always enlightened.

The equation madrassa = terrorism is undoubtedly a gross generalisation, but the problem remains serious, with the risks that generations of young people in Pakistan continue to grow up in a climate of diffidence and misunderstanding of the West- if not of outright hate towards all things Western .

The International Crisis group, a respected think tank which is generally attentive to and critical of power in Pakistan, wrote in a recent report: "Militancy is only one part of the madrassa problem. The jihadi phenomenon is independent of them and most jihadis do not come from these schools. The pro-jihad madrassas limit themselves to supporting the Jihadi movement, mainly in terms of recruitment. Most schools do not provide any military training, but sew the seeds of extremists in the minds of students."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 02:37 || Comments || Link || [25 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Seriously, did anyone really believe that Mushy was going to tackle this problem?

Allen Akeebar!
Posted by: Lancasters Over Dresden || 04/07/2006 7:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Fayaz Ali Khan, the additional inspector general of police

First step; kill everyone named "Khan." Quite the troublesome lot, they are.

Actually, this news disillusioned me about as badly as when I found out that Hulk Hogan used steroids.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/07/2006 11:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Please, allow me to comment without troubling the moderator. [ON-TOPIC, YET ABUSIVE COMMENTS DELETED]. Thank you for your kind attention.
Posted by: Perfesser || 04/07/2006 20:05 Comments || Top||

#4  This fellow will full a madrassa of his own...

As reported in an Urdu daily newspaper, Maulvi Mohammad Afzal, 40, has succeeded in fathering 48 children off his four wives. The maulvi is a primary school teacher in Lahore and has been blessed with 24 pairs of twins, each wife having always given birth to two babies at a time.

The maulvi has now moved the Lahore High Court, through his learned council M D Tahir, advocate, to be allowed to take a further five wives so that he can father more pairs of twins with a view to entering the Guinness Book of Records. The maulvi has further petitioned the Government of Pakistan for a special and handsome stipend to support his burgeoning family.

The petition is now before the honourable judges of the Lahore High Court and they are considering the plea of the portly maulvi who in the picture accompanying the news report appears to be the very essence of piety with his flowing facial hair, skull cap and pudgy, frowning countenance.
Posted by: john || 04/07/2006 20:51 Comments || Top||

#5  heh heh perfesser
Posted by: 6 || 04/07/2006 21:20 Comments || Top||

#6  Suddenly, I got nothin' to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 5:03 Comments || Top||


Zenster's post has been copied and sent to Homeland Security's tip desk, as genocide advocacy. I see a lot of that here. "Glazed over" means: attacked by N-weapons. Fred Pruitt must wear a Nazi uniform in the privacy of his rooming house. What a fucking piece of shit. Fuck all of you degenerate freaks. No wonder Germans are attacking your website. You pigs deserve it, and each other. FUCK YOU ALL.
Posted by: Noamist || 04/07/2006 16:48 Comments || Top||

Uneasy calm descends over Miranshah
"It's calm, sir!"
"Yes. Too calm!"
An uneasy calm prevailed Friday in a volatile tribal region in northwestern Pakistan where fighting earlier this week between security forces and suspected pro-Taleban militants left 40 militants dead, residents said. Friday marked the first time in the past 24 hours that the sound of gunshots hadn’t reverberated around North Waziristan, of which Miran Shah is the main town, said tribal elder Subhan Allah. Elders were to meet later Friday to discuss how Pakistani military operations could be avoided in future, he said. Local authorities displayed only eight of the slain rebels’ bodies at a government compound Thursday, and relatives took them to neighboring South Waziristan for burial, said Allah.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 02:31 || Comments || Link || [20 views] Top|| File under:

#1  isnt' that headline the essence of every BBC, NPR and AP piece? Underneath the happy surface lurks a dark and sinister plot.
Posted by: 2b || 04/07/2006 12:11 Comments || Top||

Thousands of Sipah-e-Sahaba members descend on Islamabad
Sipah-e-Sahaba has thousands of members? Dear God ...
Thousands of activists from an outlawed Sunni Muslim militant group rallied in Pakistan's capital, calling for the establishment of an Islamic theocracy in the country and across the world.

Activists of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) openly distributed pamphlets preaching jihad, or holy war, and hatred against minority Shi'ites in Islamabad as their leaders delivered fiery speeches to a crowd of around 5,000 late on Thursday.

They also sold video compact discs of beheadings of American soldiers in Iraq, militant activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan at the rally, which they said was convened to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad this month.

One of the organisers thanked the Islamabad administration for allowing the rally, which was held under floodlights in a bus depot, with hundreds of riot police watching on.

The group is known to have close links with Jaish-e-Mohammad, a key militant group fighting in Indian-ruled Kashmir and an organisation that has forged links with al Qaeda.

The rally was also addressed by Zaheer-ul-Islam Abbasi, a former general who was sacked and arrested in 1995 for trying to topple the government of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the military's top brass with an aim to enforce a Taliban-like rule in the country.

"The concept of nation state is an obstacle in the way of establishment of Khilafat (puritanical Islamic rule)," he said.

"We will start establishment of Khilafat in Pakistan and then will do so across the world," he vowed.

Last July, President Pervez Musharraf ordered a major crackdown against clerics and organisations inciting sectarian violence, having already banned SSP, or "Army of the Companions of the Prophet Mohammad" in 2002.

Some of the crowd briefly chanted anti-Shi'ite slogans, until they were told to refrain by their leaders.

They also swore allegiance to their late leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, a fiery pro-Taliban cleric who was assassinated in Islamabad in 2003, and founder of their militant organisation, Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, who was killed in 1980s.

On Thursday, a prominent Shi'ite Muslim cleric narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in the southern city of Karachi after his car was hit by a remote-controlled bomb.

Authorities have launched several crackdowns on militant outfits since Pakistan joined a U.S.-led war on terrorism in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States, but critics say that the steps taken have been half-hearted and many groups have resurfaced under new names.

Like other groups, SSP remerged under the new name of Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan or Islamic Nation of Pakistan.

Founded in the 1980s, it wants Pakistan to be officially declared a Sunni Muslim state.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 02:29 || Comments || Link || [20 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's a good thing dogs can lick their own balls. That part about eating their own butt nuggets, however, is a bit much.
Posted by: Criger Shaling7432 || 04/07/2006 5:05 Comments || Top||

#2  This must be the very low profile
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 04/07/2006 5:49 Comments || Top||

#3  The good news announces itself, Yusef Islam. The bad is what we need to keep track of, to know how the war is going against those who use terror in their efforts to expand the Ummah and establish the Caliphate. We welcome those Muslims who understand that their religion is as personal and private as whatever faith or non-faith others may choose, and that the rules of Islam must be subject to the secular laws of the nation. Those that insist that the laws of Islam (which I understand means submission, not peace) will rule over all, believers and non-believers alike, can go to Hell, or to a country more congenial to their way of thinking, whichever they choose. And those Muslims that try to proselytize me will be treated the same as anyone else who tries to pursuade me: I assess areas of ignorance and assign homework.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/07/2006 7:51 Comments || Top||

#4  "Yusef Islam" is MBD (Man Bites Dog) trolling, again.
Posted by: Criger Shaling7432 || 04/07/2006 7:59 Comments || Top||

#5  One MOAB, please.
Posted by: wxjames || 04/07/2006 9:15 Comments || Top||

#6  'Those that insist that the laws of Islam (which I understand means submission, not peace)

It means both, IIUC, just as Shalom means peace, but is also fullness. completion Shalem. In Islam one attains peace by submission to Allah, just as in Judaism one attains peace, a state of completing oneself, by studying and following Torah.

If we misread that and think that the name of Islam is about political domination, then we have forfeited the meaning of Islam to precisely those like Sipah e sahaba who want to establish a caliphate, and we make it more difficult to reach out to those who dont.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/07/2006 13:08 Comments || Top||

#7  If we misread that and think that the name of Islam is about political domination,

I think the problem is that the clerics in the mosque misread it to mean submission and are preaching that worldwide in the mosques. It's a bit as if a good percentage of the local churches started preaching that the will of God was to kill Jews and Muslims and subject the government to the laws of the church and a good number of follwers began to implement their suggestions. That becomes a problem that needs to be identified and dealt with, and I think you'd have a problem with Christians doing that, even though its not the true meaning of Christianity. For some reason, you have deluded yourself that that is just not happening in mosques, since you don't want it to be so.

I agree with you that the majority of Muslims are just good, ordinary folks. That's not really the issue that faces us today in the form of suicide bombs, advances in nuclear technology and attempts to redefine our freedoms, repress free speech and allow for the subjugation of women here and world wide, now is it?

Optimism is good. Denial of reality is bad.
Posted by: 2b || 04/07/2006 13:30 Comments || Top||

#8  As ive said before, only a minority of muslims beleive in the seperation of Islam and state. By the same token only a minority of muslims believe in reestablishing the Caliphate, or in forcing jews and christians around the world to dhimmitude. Rather most muslims living in muslim countries would like their countries to recognize islam as the official religion of the country, and recognize SOME aspects of Sharia, esp family and inheritance law, as state law. I dont like the latter, and i dont think the latter helps those countries to advance, but its NOT what the current war is about.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/07/2006 14:43 Comments || Top||

#9  Yeah, whatever. I wouldn't want to put a rain cloud over your happy world, LH. Everyone is good. No one is bad. Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite.
Posted by: 2b || 04/07/2006 19:00 Comments || Top||

#10  Suddenly, I got nothin' to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 5:02 Comments || Top||

#11  Suddenly, I don't have anything to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 12:56 Comments || Top||

Rocket attacks on FC check-posts
QUETTA: Militants fired several rockets on security check-posts in Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Sibbi and Pir Koh on Thursday, but caused no casualties or major damage. The militants targeted security forces but the rockets landed in open spaces. The security forces retaliated but the attackers fled.
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 00:28 || Comments || Link || [17 views] Top|| File under:

Pipeline in Hub explodes
QUETTA: A part of the main gas pipeline in Hub exploded late on Thursday. No casualty was reported and authorities are investigating the cause of the blast. Police officials said that a boundary wall near the pipeline had been damaged and small parts of the pipeline had spread in the area. They said that preliminary investigations revealed did not show any signs of sabotage. "The pipeline might have exploded because of the gas pressure," they added. Police and gas company officials from Karachi have cordoned off the area and repair has started.

Also, a man identifying himself as Meerak Baloch, a Baloch Liberation Army representative, claimed responsibility for the blast. He said that BLA activists had planted explosives around the pipeline and blown it up. Provincial government officials were not available for comment.
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || [23 views] Top|| File under:

#1  why are they blowing up pipelines all the time in Pakistan?
What is the gain?
Posted by: 3dc || 04/07/2006 1:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Because these Baluchis are bad Muslems: doing damage to infrastracture instead of blowing up kindergardens --- phui.
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/07/2006 6:11 Comments || Top||

#3  [kiss], How about the Paks protecting their own frickin pipelines...Perv can afford it, all he has to do is cash some of his Swiss coupons.

Posted by: RD || 04/07/2006 6:49 Comments || Top||

#4  These Balochis are in the pay of al-Qaeda. The US must intervene to protect the pipelines. Pakistanis need these supplies.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 5:29 Comments || Top||

Mengal's arms licences cancelled
The Interior Ministry on Thursday cancelled the arms licenses issued to Sardar Akhtar Mengal, the former chief minister of Balochistan. A statement from the ministry said that licences issued to Mengal by the federal and the provincial governments stand cancelled. The licences were cancelled because security personnel have been manhandled and confined at the former chief minister's residence in Karachi, the statement said.
No elk hunting for Akhtar this year
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || [18 views] Top|| File under:

Pak claims 40 fighters killed
Pakistani forces have killed at least 40 pro-Taliban militants in a tribal region near the Afghan border, the military said. Major-General Shaukat Sultan, a military spokesman, told Reuters on Thursday: "Latest information shows that at least 40 miscreants were killed." Army sources had earlier put the tally at 16.

Pakistani forces launched a counter-offensive using helicopter gunships on Wednesday after militants killed four paramilitary troops in an attack on their post in the Shawal area of North Waziristan. Shawal is about 50km west of North Waziristan's main town of Miranshah. A statement from the administration of tribal affairs in North West Frontier Province said 19 militants were arrested and they all came from North and South Waziristan. It said about 150 militants were involved in the fighting.

Tensions have been running high in North Waziristan since last month's clashes in which around 200 tribesmen were killed. The tribesmen were answering a call to arms by militant Muslim clerics after a special forces attack on an al-Qaeda camp.
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || [19 views] Top|| File under:

Debka sez: American troops pour into Iraqi Shiite towns of Najef and Karbala
The US military command in Iraq dispatched large-scale Marine forces with armor, tank and helicopter support to the two Shiite shrine cities south of Baghdad before dawn Friday, April 7. DEBKAfile’s military sources report the action followed a threat by radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr to overrun the Shiite cities and Baghdad’s Shiite suburb, if the Americans force the Iran-backed interim prime minister Ibrahim Jaafari to step down.

Armed Shiite tribesman have smuggled senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and his staff out of the city and harm’s way, amid fears the Mehdi Army may take him hostage. The tribes have taken him under their protection.

While US forces took control of central Najef, they are keeping to Karbala’s western suburbs; Sadr’s men occupy the center and are building military positions.

In the summer of 2004, US and Iraqi forces crushed a rebellion staged by Sadr at the head of his militia. DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal that since this defeat, the Mehdi Army has developed into the strongest and best equipped armed force in Iraq, outgunning its two Shiite rivals, the Badr Force and Wolves Brigades. The buildup is entirely the work of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and undercover agents.

Saturday, April 8, formal talks aimed at breaking Iraq’s political stalemate begin in Baghdad between a US delegation headed by ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and an Iranian delegation. Jaafari’s refusal to stand aside is the main hurdle in the way of a unity government.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/07/2006 17:52 || Comments || Link || [16 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I don't know how the double post happened. I don't think it was something I did.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/07/2006 18:04 Comments || Top||

#2  And I just noticed it has been posted already. My apologies and mods please delete.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/07/2006 18:42 Comments || Top||

Debka sez: American troops pour into Iraqi Shiite towns of Najef and Karbala
The US military command in Iraq dispatched large-scale Marine forces with armor, tank and helicopter support to the two Shiite shrine cities south of Baghdad before dawn Friday, April 7. DEBKAfile’s military sources report the action followed a threat by radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr to overrun the Shiite cities and Baghdad’s Shiite suburb, if the Americans force the Iran-backed interim prime minister Ibrahim Jaafari to step down.

Armed Shiite tribesman have smuggled senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and his staff out of the city and harm’s way, amid fears the Mehdi Army may take him hostage. The tribes have taken him under their protection.

While US forces took control of central Najef, they are keeping to Karbala’s western suburbs; Sadr’s men occupy the center and are building military positions.

In the summer of 2004, US and Iraqi forces crushed a rebellion staged by Sadr at the head of his militia. DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal that since this defeat, the Mehdi Army has developed into the strongest and best equipped armed force in Iraq, outgunning its two Shiite rivals, the Badr Force and Wolves Brigades. The buildup is entirely the work of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and undercover agents.

Saturday, April 8, formal talks aimed at breaking Iraq’s political stalemate begin in Baghdad between a US delegation headed by ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and an Iranian delegation. Jaafari’s refusal to stand aside is the main hurdle in the way of a unity government.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/07/2006 17:52 || Comments || Link || [15 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Should have killed him in the last rinse and wash cycle.
Posted by: 3dc || 04/07/2006 17:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Pop him. DO IT NOW.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/07/2006 18:13 Comments || Top||

#3  This time

Finish the job.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 04/07/2006 18:36 Comments || Top||

#4  get DNA to identify the corpse - he obviously has no dental records
Posted by: Frank G || 04/07/2006 19:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Jeez, Frank - that was mean.

I love it! :-D
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 04/07/2006 19:49 Comments || Top||

#6  Iran's Mullahs want regional and ultimately global
Empire, so whether Sunni, non-Iranian Shia, Kurd or Palestinian, etal., any hope of sovereignty or democracy will be befuddled and compromised, i.e. squashed, under the PC label of [Iran-led] Universal/Global Islam. Occidental or Oriental, Westernist or Eurasianist/Asianist, etc. we're all future subjugated Iranian Shia peons iff the Mullahs succeed.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/07/2006 20:27 Comments || Top||

Marines Attempt to Stabilize Syrian Border
QAIM, Iraq (AP) -- U.S. Marines along the volatile Syrian border have largely abandoned big bases to fan out over a dozen smaller outposts within cities - part of a resurrected Vietnam-era strategy to live among civilians and mentor local soldiers. Hundreds of Marines now live in 13 "battle positions" in five riverside cities, near where the Euphrates River enters Iraq from Syria. The new positioning allows them to launch more patrols - especially foot patrols - but also increases their exposure to attacks because they travel in smaller numbers.

The strategy, implemented after a large-scale U.S. and Iraqi offensive in the area last November, is in part a reaction against a common U.S. military tactic in Iraq of relying on patrols that depart from sprawling bases on the edges of cities. "You've got to be in the towns, live among the people, eat with them ... until the people start telling you where the bad people are," said Lt. Col. Julian D. Alford. "If you live on the (bases) outside the city and come in for patrols, you're not going to win this."
It's the old "Hearts and Minds" program
But the new strategy also illustrates how the situation in Iraq varies dramatically from region to region. As opposed to most areas of Iraq where U.S. troops are starting to hand over bases to Iraqi troops, this majority Sunni far western portion of Anbar province lags behind - with sufficient numbers of U.S. and Iraqi troops having just arrived. U.S. commanders view the border region as key because they say foreign fighters coming from Syria can be intercepted here before they reach more populated parts of Iraq. Suicide bombings in Baghdad and other cities have dropped because of this strategy, commanders say.

Alford, who commands the 3rd Battalion, 6th Regiment that oversees this area, says the strategy of "spreading out" was modeled after the Vietnam-era CAPs program, or Combined Action Platoon. That program based small groups of Marines inside villages to train South Vietnamese soldiers who gradually assumed greater security responsibilities. Alford said he decided to implement the plan during a predeployment trip to the area last year. "It's worked to a 'T,'" he said.

Marines say the constant local presence helps with outreach efforts to local tribesmen who only recently actively supported the insurgency. Marines now hold regular meetings with tribal leaders and have started their first major reconstruction projects, beginning with a project that paid local workers to clean up debris from the November assault.

An Iraqi army brigade that arrived in October with about 2,000 soldiers has been dispersed across the area, and Marines have begun training the Iraqi soldiers - some fresh out of boot camp and most from the Shiite south rather than from the Sunni areas around here. So far, however, the Iraqis remain largely dependent on U.S. forces to lead missions and provide critical supplies such as food and ammunition.

In the city of Husaybah, Marines try to a have a foot patrol on the streets at all times, usually made of an equal number of Marines and Iraqis. They roam neighborhoods littered with rubble left over from fighting, and operate from two bases, including a U.S.-Iraqi base within an abandoned train station. Alford asserted that with additional training the current Iraqi soldiers could soon largely control the area with fewer American troops - as long as U.S. logistics support, airpower and reinforcements continue.

In addition to the Iraqi soldiers put here, police recruiting drives have drawn hundreds of local residents in recent weeks, part of plans to establish a force of at least 600 officers. Insurgent attacks in the area have sharply decreased since the November offensive, but violence still flares on occasion. One suicide car bombing last month killed two Marines. And near one American outpost in Husaybah, a rocket was recently found on a school rooftop and pointed at the Americans' location.

"There hasn't been that much activity since the operation, but they're trickling back," said Lance Cpl. Daniel Turner of Laurel, Md., as he searched other nearby schools. With the wide dispersion of troops, greater responsibilities have been delegated to young Marines who oversee their platoons on bases miles away from their commanders. Alford says his job is just to make sure the Marine outposts have food, water and general guidance.

"This is a sergeants' and lieutenants' war - they're the ones who are going to win this thing," he said.
Posted by: Steve || 04/07/2006 10:25 || Comments || Link || [17 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Devolving the war further into an episode of 'Cops'.

Once people get used to honest soldiers and police (with the US soldiers keeping them honest), it will be a lot harder to return to a state of corruption once it is Iraqi only. People will complain instead of shrugging it off.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/07/2006 11:10 Comments || Top||

#2  "So when are y'all leavin'?"
"We ain't leavin'."
Posted by: Perfesser || 04/07/2006 13:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Marines Attempt to Stabilize Syrian Border

Works better if you do this in Damascus. The boys' attention factor is much higher.
Posted by: Grereper Clinemp9546 || 04/07/2006 22:23 Comments || Top||

40 76 killed in Iraq mosque attack
At least 40 people have died in a suicide bombing attack on a Shia mosque in Baghdad, Iraqi police said today. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the Buratha mosque in the north of the capital, one inside the building and the other outside, Reuters reported. Sky News said at least 47 people had been killed in the blast. Reports suggested between 35 and 40 people had been wounded in the attack.
Rat bastards.
The mosque belongs to the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the most powerful party in the country's ruling Shia Alliance. Police Major Falah al-Mohammedawi said at least 30 people had been injured, based on casualty figures from three hospitals. Officials said shrapnel found at the scene suggested the blasts could have been caused by an explosive vest. However, some reports suggested the attack could have been a combination of mortar fire and a stationary bomb.
They were dressed like women:
The three bombers were wearing suicide vests. One detonated an explosive inside the hallway of the mosque, another at the main entrance and the third outside the site as worshippers were leaving, police said. Police Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohammedawi said the blasts were caused by two suicide attackers wearing black abayas at the Buratha mosque, which is affiliated with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the main Shiite party.

Jalal Eddin al-Sagheer, the preacher at the mosque and one of the country's leading politicians, said there were three assailants. One came through the women's security checkpoint and blew up first, he said. Another raced into the mosque's courtyard while a third came to his office before detonating themselves, said al-Sagheer, who was not injured. He accused Sunni politicians and clerics of waging "a campaign of distortions and lies against the Buratha mosque, claiming that it includes Sunni prisoners and mass graves of Sunnis."
Posted by: Steve White || 04/07/2006 10:23 || Comments || Link || [14 views] Top|| File under:

#1  so where was Jalal? Not in his office or the courtyard or the mosque - not a scratch on him. And just as prayers ended. - his prayers one assumes. Seems way to "lucky" given the devastation.

I ask Jalal a few questions about this.
Posted by: Shuns Uleating3851 || 04/07/2006 13:28 Comments || Top||

#2  You know, I don't want to tell people how to run their religion, but a new paradigm on proper dress, and proper female dress in particular, might prove less deadly. I remember some story about the assassination of an Afghan leader whose killers hid swords under flowing robes. How's about bermuda shorts and a tee?
Posted by: Perfesser || 04/07/2006 15:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Scratch a mad muzzie find a tranzi.
Posted by: 6 || 04/07/2006 16:12 Comments || Top||

#4  I don't know why, but I suspect Tater's behind this one. SCIRI is trying to force Jafaari to step down, and that's Tater's main man. I'd be watching that sneaky SOB like a hawk if I was Sistani - and I'd keep him very, very close beside me at all times.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/07/2006 16:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Intersting speculation from Omar at Iraq the Model http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/
Posted by: Sherry || 04/07/2006 17:36 Comments || Top||

#6  you read my thoughts OP!
Posted by: RD || 04/07/2006 23:33 Comments || Top||

Mosque Explosion Kills 46 in Iraq
Two suicide attackers wearing women's cloaks blew themselves up Friday in a Shiite mosque in northern Baghdad, killing at least 46 people and wounding scores, police said. It was the second major attack against Shiite targets in as many days. The violence came as U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad warned that Iraq faces the possibility of sectarian civil war if efforts to build a national unity government do not succeed, and that such a conflict could affect the entire Middle East.

Police Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohammedawi said the blasts occurred at the Buratha mosque, which is affiliated with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the main Shiite party. First reports said the explosions were caused by mortar fire, but al- Mohammedawi said police had confirmed they were suicide attacks.

The attack occurred as worshippers were leaving at the end of Friday prayers, the main weekly religious service. Earlier Friday, the Interior Ministry cautioned people in Baghdad to avoid crowds near mosques and markets due to a car bomb threat. A prominent Shiite politician, Jalal Eddin al-Sagheer, was among the worshippers but police said he was unhurt. Rescuers carried the bodies from the mosque compound on makeshift wooden wheelbarrows and loaded them on the backs of pickup trucks. The Baghdad city council urged Iraqis to donate blood for those wounded.

On Thursday, a car bomb exploded about 300 yards from the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf, the most sacred shrine in Iraq for Shiite Muslims. Ten people were killed, police said.

The attack Friday was likely to increase tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, already at a high level following the Feb. 22 blast at a Shiite shrine in Samarra and reprisal killings. That bombing triggered a war of reprisal attacks against Sunni mosques and clerics. "This explosion is trying to provoke Iraqis to sectarian sedition through bombing the mosques," said Salah Abdul-Razzaq, a Baghdad city council member.

The Interior Ministry, which oversees police, said it had received intelligence that insurgents were preparing to set off seven car bombs in Baghdad. Al-Mohammedawi said the alert would remain until the bombs were discovered and deactivated. Security forces were searching the city, with orders to protect holy sites and be on the lookout for suspicious cars, the statement said. Citizens were urged to "be cautious, and to avoid gatherings or crowds while leaving markets, mosques and churches."

The statement also warned that legal measures would be taken against "any security official who fails to take the necessary procedures to foil any terrorist attack in his area." The ministry faces accusations of militia infiltration in its ranks. Other car bombs were possibly heading to some southern Iraqi provinces as well, the statement said, putting security forces in the south on high alert.

Khalilzad, meanwhile, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that political contacts among Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders were improving, but that within the general population, "polarization along sectarian lines" was intensifying _ in part due to the role of armed militias. He warned that "a sectarian war in Iraq" could draw in neighboring countries, "affecting the entire region." "That's a possibility if we don't do everything we can to make this country work," Khalilzad said. "What's happening here has huge implications for the region and the world."

He said the best way to prevent such a conflict was to form a government including representatives of all groups. That effort has stalled over Sunni and Kurdish opposition to the Shiite candidate to lead the government, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. Khalilzad avoided any criticism of al-Jaafari. He said there were many competent Iraqis capable of leading the government "and Prime Minister al-Jaafari certainly is one of them." Khalilzad said the international community must do everything possible "to make this country work" because failure "would have the most serious consequences for the Iraqis, for sure, but also for the region and for the world." Rising sectarian tensions _ worsened by armed, religiously based militias and death squads _ have emerged as a significant threat to U.S. efforts to form a stable society in Iraq.

Last month, Khalilzad said that "more Iraqis are dying today from the militia violence than from the terrorists," meaning Sunni-dominated insurgents. In the BBC interview, Khalilzad cited the role of armed militias in sharpening sectarian tensions. "There are lots of unauthorized military formation such as militias ... of course, the insurgent groups that are a kind of militia and then of course terrorists that everybody is united against," he said. "What I was saying to the Iraqis is that for the success of Iraq, this problem of unauthorized military formations have to be dealt with."

He said U.S. officials were working with the Iraqis to develop a plan for curbing militias and would insist that it be implemented. Khalilzad also confirmed the Americans had been meeting with groups linked to the Sunni-dominated insurgency. He would not specify the groups nor say when and where the meetings were held. But he said they did not include Saddam Hussein loyalists or "terrorists," presumably religiously based extremists of al-Qaida in Iraq or the Ansar al-Sunnah Army.

"We are talking to people who are willing to accept this new Iraq, to lay down their arms, to cooperate in the fight against terrorists," he said.

Khalilzad said he believed those contacts were responsible for a decline in the number of attacks against U.S. and coalition forces. Last month, they suffered their lowest monthly death toll in Iraq since February 2005, although the casualty rate has increased somewhat in the first week of April. But the ambassador also acknowledged that U.S. and Iraqi officials were "a long way" from an agreement with Sunni-led insurgents that might bring an end to the war.

U.S. officials have in the past confirmed contacts with people who claimed to have links with the insurgents. It was unclear whether these contacts included insurgent commanders or simply intermediaries who support the war against coalition forces.
Posted by: Steve || 04/07/2006 10:17 || Comments || Link || [12 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In'shallah!
Posted by: borgboy || 04/07/2006 13:29 Comments || Top||

Iraq’s Sadr blames US for Najaf bombing
KUFA, Iraq - Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Friday blamed US-led coalition forces for the rampant violence across Iraq, including the deadly car bombing in the holy city of Najaf a day before. “This is not the first time that the occupation forces and their death squads have resorted to killings,” the cleric said during the weekly prayers at the mosque of Kufa, the twin city of Najaf. He was referring to Thursday’s car bombing in Najaf.

Ten people were killed and 42 wounded when a car bomb exploded close to the revered Imam Ali shrine in the heart of Najaf and near Sadr’s offices and those of top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani. The bomb went off in the parking lot near the entrance of the Wadi Salam (Valley of Peace) cemetery, forcing authorities to impose an immediate curfew in a bid to stem any outbreak of sectarian violence. Sadr also blamed the coalition forces for the sectarian strife, charging that “they are killing religious Shiite clerics in order to start a sectarian strife”.

US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad was particularly targeted by Sadr in his sermon. “His (Khalilzad’s) presence in all the political meetings is a clear intervention of the US in Iraqi affairs,” Sadr said. He also suggested a plan for a phased withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. “To begin with they should exit the cities and take positions outside the cities and hand over security for the cities to the Iraqi forces,” said the firebrand cleric.

In August 2004, Sadr led a bloody revolt against US forces in which hundreds of his Mehdi Army militiamen were killed. He has since adopted a political role and is one of the main supporters of incumbent Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari.
Posted by: Steve || 04/07/2006 09:44 || Comments || Link || [14 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sadr = Murtha = Kerry
Posted by: Captain America || 04/07/2006 10:38 Comments || Top||

#2  That Sadr's still breathing, years after he earned the dirt nap with his first assassination of a rival who wasn't a paid agent, "is a clear intervention of Iran in Iraqi affairs." Perhaps this time it will be finished properly.
Posted by: Thalet Angeng7414 || 04/07/2006 10:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Why is he still around? Iraq can have a stable government, or a land filled with sectarian militias, but NOT BOTH.
Posted by: Crusader || 04/07/2006 11:14 Comments || Top||

#4  Two words: Iranian tool.
Posted by: Darrell || 04/07/2006 12:25 Comments || Top||

#5  Suggest we covertly provide a few select Iraqi soldiers with Barret M-107s.
Posted by: RWV || 04/07/2006 13:06 Comments || Top||

Marines move into Najef
DEBKAfile Exclusive: American troops pour into Iraqi Shiite towns of Najef and Karbala to meet radical Sadrist militia threat. The US military command in Iraq dispatched large-scale Marine forces with armor, tank and helicopter support to the two Shiite shrine cities south of Baghdad before dawn Friday, April 7. DEBKAfile’s military sources report the action followed a threat by radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr to overrun the Shiite cities and Baghdad’s Shiite suburb, if the Americans force the Iran-backed interim prime minister Ibrahim Jaafari to step down.

Armed Shiite tribesman have smuggled senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and his staff out of the city and harm’s way, amid fears the Mehdi Army may take him hostage. The tribes have taken him under their protection.

While US forces took control of central Najef, they are keeping to Karbala’s western suburbs; Sadr’s men occupy the center and are building military positions.

In the summer of 2004, US and Iraqi forces crushed a rebellion staged by Sadr at the head of his militia. DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal that since this defeat, the Mehdi Army has developed into the strongest and best equipped armed force in Iraq, outgunning its two Shiite rivals, the Badr Force and Wolves Brigades. The buildup is entirely the work of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and undercover agents.

Saturday, April 8, formal talks aimed at breaking Iraq’s political stalemate begin in Baghdad between a US delegation headed by ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and an Iranian delegation. Jaafari’s refusal to stand aside is the main hurdle in the way of a unity government.
Posted by: Steve || 04/07/2006 09:37 || Comments || Link || [21 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thank goodness for the MSM, which reported the problems posed by Sadr's militias, so that the military could act on that information.
Posted by: Perfesser || 04/07/2006 9:49 Comments || Top||

#2  We may be headed to the bifurcation point with the radical elements. Who wins will determine th direction of Iraq...will it be Iran and his sock puppet Tater, or the Iraqi people? Time will tell.
Posted by: anymouse || 04/07/2006 10:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Jaafari must be in a dither about now...
Posted by: Thalet Angeng7414 || 04/07/2006 10:27 Comments || Top||

#4  This move has been long telegraphed and woefully necessary. Anyone for mashed taters?
Posted by: Captain America || 04/07/2006 10:41 Comments || Top||

#5  I will wait for confirmation from another source.
Posted by: ed || 04/07/2006 10:41 Comments || Top||

#6  Good point.
Posted by: Thalet Angeng7414 || 04/07/2006 10:43 Comments || Top||

#7  hmmm looks like smash tater time, this time he dies.
Posted by: djohn66 || 04/07/2006 10:57 Comments || Top||

#8  I suspect we left tater in just this position for the singular reason that we knew the Iranians would continue to use him as their tool. This now means that they have invested lots of money, resources and manpower into the spud that could have been directed elsewhere and to much greater damage.

Undoubtedly, we have also been keeping tabs on everything that surrounds tater. This means that when we move in, it will set back the Iranian schemes by at least a year.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/07/2006 11:18 Comments || Top||

#9  interesting thought, I like it.
Posted by: 2b || 04/07/2006 12:39 Comments || Top||

#10  "I've got my knights, bishops, and rooks all in this one spot on the board. What can you do with those weakling pawns?"
Posted by: Perfesser || 04/07/2006 12:59 Comments || Top||

#11  Imagine playing a game where you control knights and pawns, and the visitors have Marines on their side. Hmmmmm...let's break for talks.
Posted by: wxjames || 04/07/2006 14:44 Comments || Top||

#12  Marine piece looks like a pawn and shows up anywhere on the board you like. Also steals movement ability from its own side.
Posted by: 6 || 04/07/2006 16:21 Comments || Top||

#13  The US has no business being in Iraq. Only 1 person per day has died at the hands of a terrorist since 9-11. That is hardly reason for all the expense and deployment and human rights violations. No wonder you people are so paranoid and defensive. The WOT is indefensible. The Bush Crime Family are worse than gangsters.
Posted by: Noamist || 04/07/2006 16:42 Comments || Top||

Shi'ites may turn to Sistani to force Jafaari out
Iraq's embattled prime minister vowed Thursday to pursue his bid for a second term despite pressure from home and abroad to step down, signaling no early end to the standoff blocking a crucial national unity government.

Shiite politicians suggested they may turn to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the sole figure with the authority to make a decision that risks shattering Shiite unity.

In a brutal reminder of the stakes if Iraqi leaders cannot reverse the slide toward chaos, a car bomb exploded Thursday in the country's most sacred Shiite city, Najaf, killing 10 people and wounding more than 30.

Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told reporters he would relinquish his mandate only if parliament refuses to approve him or if the seven groups within the Shiite alliance withdraw their nomination, which he won by a single vote in a caucus in February.

The Shiite bloc controls 130 of the 275 parliament seats, enough for first crack at the prime minister's job but not enough to govern without Sunni and Kurdish partners. But the Sunnis and Kurds demand that al-Jaafari be replaced, blaming him for the sharp rise in sectarian tensions that threatens to plunge the country into civil war.

Al-Jaafari has refused to stand down despite pressure from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who personally urged the Iraqis to break the logjam during a two-day visit this week.

Shiite officials fear a showdown over al-Jaafari could tear apart the Shiite alliance and risk a violent reaction from radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who runs the feared Mahdi Army militia and is a key supporter of the prime minister.

To break the deadlock, Sunni and Kurdish politicians suggested that parliament convene Wednesday to decide al-Jaafari's fate. But Shiite officials decided Thursday to delay the session until all Iraqi parties agree on nominees for other posts, including the national president and speaker of parliament, Shiite politician Khalid al-Attiyah said.

Al-Attiyah said the impasse had become “very complicated” and al-Jaafari's supporters within the alliance want to ask the advice of al-Sistani, the country's most respected Shiite cleric.

That would give Shiite politicians political cover and could avoid a showdown with al-Sadr.

It is uncertain, however, whether al-Sistani wants to become involved in an internal Shiite political struggle. Unlike his counterparts in Iran, he has long maintained that clerics should remain above politics and instead offer moral guidance.

Al-Sistani's aides have said the Iranian-born cleric has become frustrated with the performance of Shiite religious parties, which dominate the outgoing government, and with the rising tensions between Shiites and Sunnis.

But the weakness of Iraqi political institutions, which were revived only after the 2003 collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, has prompted al-Sistani to take stands on political issues, especially during the early months of the U.S. occupation.

Al-Sistani's repeated demands for elections forced several changes in the U.S. blueprint for restoring Iraqi sovereignty and prompted the Americans to speed up their timetable for the first nationwide ballot in January 2005.

Turning to al-Sistani, however, would be a tacit acknowledgment by Shiite political leaders that they lack both the stature and the political legitimacy to make difficult and potentially divisive decisions.

The Americans have long acknowledged his pre-eminent leadership role within the Shiite community, which accounts for about 60 percent of Iraq's 27 million people. Last month President Bush sent a letter to al-Sistani thanking him for appealing for calm.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has met with most top Iraqi politicians about forming a new government, but the ayatollah has steadfastly refused to meet with any American official.

During her visit to Baghdad, Rice praised al-Sistani for helping to curb Shiite reprisals against Sunni extremists responsible for car bombs and suicide attacks that have killed hundreds of Shiite civilians.

The latest attack occurred Thursday afternoon in Najaf, where al-Sistani lives in virtual seclusion 100 miles south of Baghdad. Police and witnesses said the blast took place about 330 yards from the Imam Ali mosque, the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad's son-in-law and one of the most sacred shrines for Shiites.

Police sealed off much of central Najaf and ordered people to leave for fear other bombs may be hidden there. Such attacks are rare in Najaf, which is tightly controlled by police and Shiite security guards, and are seen by Shiites as a grave provocation because of the city's stature.

In a statement, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack condemned the bombing but asked “all Iraqis to exercise restraint in the wake of this tragedy, and to pursue justice in accordance with the laws and constitution of Iraq.”

The bombing of the golden dome of a Shiite shrine in Samarra on Feb. 22 triggered a deadly wave of reprisal attacks against Sunni mosques and clerics.

At least 11 other people were killed Thursday across Iraq, including four Iraqi police and soldiers. The civilian deaths included five Shiite truck drivers ambushed south of the capital and two people shot dead in Baghdad, police said.

In addition, the bodies of five men – four in Baghdad and one in Kirkuk – were found Thursday, apparent victims of sectarian killings, police said. It was uncertain when they died.

Two Sunni Arab politicians – Khalaf al-Ilyan, head of the National Dialogue Council, and Saleh al-Mutlaq – said Thursday that close relatives had disappeared.

“Al-Qaeda in Iraq is behind this to put pressures on us to quit the political process as they previously threatened us not to take part in it,” al-Ilyan told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military announced the arrest of an insurgent leader believed responsible for many of the attacks against Shiites and for the February 2005 kidnapping of Italian journalist Guiliana Sgrena.

Mohammed Hila Hammad Obeidi, also known as Abu Ayman, was arrested last month south of Baghdad, but the announcement was delayed until DNA tests confirmed his identity, the U.S. statement said.

Obeidi, a former member of Saddam's intelligence service, allegedly commanded the Secret Islamic Army in Babil province south of Baghdad and is believed to have ties to the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Sgrena was freed after a month's captivity. The Italian agent who secured her release was killed by U.S. gunfire as they headed to Baghdad airport on March 4, 2005.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 01:20 || Comments || Link || [13 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That Sistani hasn't already acted against Jaafari and Jabr is telling. They're Qom moles. It's no secret Jaafari's less than worthless - Sistani should've acted long ago. It's now blindingly clear that Jabr's a Mullah tool, as well.

Sistani knows this. Knew this. Knows of more such agents. And yet his megaholiness sits on his hands. Gosh, wonder why. Shia twits. Sunni twits. Baathist twits. Foreign Caliphatist twits. Fucking Arabs. Fucking Islam. Disgusting worthless asshole scum the lot of em. Can't change their fucking diapers without help and don't have the simple sense to do it in the first place.

It must really suck like a bilge pump to have to make nice with creatures whose IQ is less than your shoe size, Condi. What a terrible job.
Posted by: Criger Shaling7432 || 04/07/2006 5:03 Comments || Top||

#2  I may try to cure my nicotine addiction with alcohol.
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/07/2006 9:02 Comments || Top||

#3  "Al-Sistani's aides have said the Iranian-born cleric has become frustrated with the performance of Shiite religious parties, which dominate the outgoing government, and with the rising tensions between Shiites and Sunnis."

Maybe the Grand Ayatollah has figured out that squeezing all the Shiite parties together was a mistake? I think his fear was that if the Shiite parties went their own way, the only way to stop Sadr would be a coalition of anti-Sadr shia with the sunnis, seculars and Kurds. And he didnt want to rely on Sunnis and seculars. Esp Sunnis. So the UIA would give the Shia a dominant role, and force Sadr to support Sistanis people. Instead the UIA is being used by Sadr to subordinate Sistanis people to Jaafari, who has become Sadrs man. Sadr has checked Sistani, using Sistanis own game. The only way out is to give up on Shia unity, break the UIA, and accept the Sunni-secular-Kurd alliance.

Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/07/2006 9:53 Comments || Top||

#4  This reminds me of something, but I can't quite remember.
Posted by: Perfesser || 04/07/2006 10:01 Comments || Top||

#5  Horrible precedent.
Posted by: mojo || 04/07/2006 10:07 Comments || Top||

#6  Oh, the sweet irony. He refused to take care of Tater in the beginning, now his tribe is against him and he needs Iraqis - people who want to modernize - for help.

Democracy makes strange bedfellows. Sistani's an old dog having to learn new tricks.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 04/07/2006 10:32 Comments || Top||

#7  Maybe Jaafari will cave, but Sadr'll refuse the offer. The Shiite martyr thingie. If we were dealing with Sicilians, this would be helluva lot easier.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/07/2006 10:33 Comments || Top||

#8  Oh, youre thinking of Sistani as the undertaker. And us as the Don. Hmmm. Diff is, Don Corleone can REALLY offer protection. While Al Khoie's blood lies unavenged. THAT was the first big disaster of the occupation.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/07/2006 10:35 Comments || Top||

#9  If youre the Don, and you want respect, you GOTTA protect anyone who gives you homage. Whatever it takes. We aint the Don of Iraq. No one is, right now.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/07/2006 10:37 Comments || Top||

#10  If we were the Don, we would have responded to our enemies' targeting of families by targeting families ourselves.

You can't say we're incompetent tribal dictators on one hand and then expect us to follow liberal-democracy (in the civilizational rather than political sense) rules of conduct in the other.

The Don didn't come from constitutional democracy, he came from a "Blood washes Blood" society.
Posted by: Phil || 04/07/2006 10:45 Comments || Top||

#11  And remember where the Mafia first took hold in the US: Post-reconstruction, Klan-run New Orleans.
Posted by: Phil || 04/07/2006 10:52 Comments || Top||

#12  Actually, I think of Sistani as the Don. Who are we? I guess the Capos.
Posted by: Perfesser || 04/07/2006 13:02 Comments || Top||

#13  In a sense Tater has proved useful in that he has scared a lot of Iraqis into abandoning their purely secularist agenda.

Now if he would only die tragically (maybe choking while eating a piece of lamb).
Posted by: mhw || 04/07/2006 14:38 Comments || Top||

Car bomb kills 13 in Iraq
A car bomb has exploded in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, killing at least 13 people and wounding about 40 others. Police said the blast occurred on Thursday between an ancient cemetery and the Imam Ali shrine, one of the most sacred Shia sites. The mosque was not damaged. "When the black Opel car exploded, I could only see human flesh flying in the air," said Mahmoud Mohsin, 38, a drinks seller, who was being treated in hospital for head wounds. Hospital officials said the bomb killed 13 people and wounded about 40 others, but police put the death toll at 15. A Reuters correspondent saw 10 bodies and body parts on the ground. Najaf is 160km south of Baghdad.

In February, the bombing of another Shia shrine in the town of Samarra touched off reprisals and pushed Iraq to the edge of a full-blown sectarian conflict.
And they're still trying, aren't they?
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || [10 views] Top|| File under:

US Redirecting Paestinian Aid
How's this for an idea? Send the redirected aid to Iranian resistance groups? Or use it to establish free speech scholarships for Middle Eastern students? Anyone have any other bright ideas?
Posted by: Tibor || 04/07/2006 17:24 || Comments || Link || [15 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "My pocket" would work, Tibor.

As a alternate, they could send it to Fred, no strings attached.

That would certainly be a better use of our money.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 04/07/2006 19:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Money is fungible. Whether it buys bricks or food, still goes to those who want to kill us. Send the money and Green Berets to southern Sudan.
Posted by: ed || 04/07/2006 20:24 Comments || Top||

EU suspends aid to Palestinians
The European Union has cut off direct aid payments to the Hamas-led Palestinian government because of its refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel, the EU's executive office said Friday.

Hamas said the decision amounts to collective punishment of Palestinian people. The 25-nation EU is the largest international donor to Palestinian Authority. "We call on the EU not to adopt such decisions and policies, which we consider collective punishment against the Palestinian people, because they exercised their democratic right through elections," said legislator Mushir al-Masri, head of Hamas' parliament faction.

European Commission spokeswoman Emma Udwin said some $36.9 million marked for release later this year was at stake. She added that the temporary aid cut-off would not affect humanitarian aid sent to non-governmental organizations or to U.N. relief agencies. "For the time being there are no payments to or through the Palestinian authority," she said.

The decision affects aid coming from the EU general budget, not individual European countries. EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss Monday how European countries should deal with aid in the long-term.

"The EU will need to develop some new strategy, some new measures, some new decisions," Udwin told reporters. "While this decision-making process is under way ... we are adopting a policy of maximum prudence." She said the Commission's decision to halt the aid did not prejudge the ministers' decision. But she noted that Hamas had failed to meet the EU's conditions for continued aid -- recognition of Israel, nonviolence and acceptance of existing agreements.

Since Hamas' victory in January parliamentary elections, the United States and the European Union have threatened to cut of $1 billion in aid unless the Islamic militant group changes its policies toward Israel. Canada became the first government besides Israel to cut off financial assistance the day Hamas formally took power.

The EU Commission front-loaded $143 million in urgent aid for to the former Fatah-led Palestinian government in February. It included $21.6 million in direct aid to the caretaker Palestinian government. The rest went to help pay energy and other essential utility bills and fund health and education projects through the U.N. Relief and Works Agency.

EU officials said it received a promise from the former Palestinian government and confirmation from the World Bank that the direct aid was spent before the Hamas-led government took office.
Posted by: ed || 04/07/2006 10:42 || Comments || Link || [22 views] Top|| File under:

#1  squeeeeeze
Posted by: Frank G || 04/07/2006 10:56 Comments || Top||

#2  "Hamas said the decision amounts to collective punishment of Palestinian people."
Wow! They actually get the message!
Posted by: Darrell || 04/07/2006 11:44 Comments || Top||

#3  EU officials said it received a promise from the former Palestinian government and confirmation from the World Bank that the direct aid was spent before the Hamas-led government took office.

On guns and ammunition, no doubt. Still, an unexpected and nice hairparting shot by the EU. Knowing that Fatah pumped itself up just before the handover almost makes me smile. [reaches for popcorn]
Posted by: Zenster || 04/07/2006 11:48 Comments || Top||

#4  and kudos to Condi Rice, for the ongoing diplo reconcialiation with the EU, and the Israeli govt, whose continued restraint in the face of provocation is paying dividends.

Of couse neither could have done it without the bullheaded stubborness of Hamas.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/07/2006 11:53 Comments || Top||

#5  The Palestinians, who are basically non-productive at best and collecting international welfare, democratically chose heightened levels of animosity and belligerence. And they are shocked -- yes, shocked -- that their welfare checks do not continue. Muslims are blowing up people in London, burning cars across France, and stalking cartoonists in Denmark, and the Palestinians, who are firing rockets into Israel, are shocked -- yes, shocked -- that their welfare checks do not continue. Their collective IQ must be about 11.
Posted by: Darrell || 04/07/2006 11:54 Comments || Top||

#6  Maybe the Palestinians will finally get a clue that they aren't global wards of other nations but a nation themselves. They elected Hamas to govern them. They got what they voted for. Besides, the EU is going to need that money to keep France afloat. Maybe next time they'll vote for someone who will provide them with services and jobs instead of promises to wipe Israel off the map.
Posted by: 2b || 04/07/2006 12:04 Comments || Top||

#7  Their collective IQ must be about 11.

This is commonly known as a "shoe-sized IQ."
Posted by: Zenster || 04/07/2006 12:17 Comments || Top||

#8  hey, baby, its a wild world
Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/07/2006 13:00 Comments || Top||

#9  He's being followed by a sinktrap shadow...
Posted by: Darrell || 04/07/2006 14:42 Comments || Top||

#10  Believe me, they'll sell the indirect aid and use the proceeds to buy weapons. There was an article here or somewhere else a few months ago documenting that very thing: Paleos selling EU food aid for cash. Now the proceeds from those sales were probably lining the pockets of some Fatah fatcat. No doubt that the much less corrupt Hamas (rolls eyes, spits) will funnel the cash to the "resistance" instead. Not to mention all of the "zakat" that's still flowing to them from the Saudis and Iranians.

Beseige them and starve them. The ones that surrender can be put on barges. Tow the barges and anchor them in the middle of the Persian Gulf. If the Gulf Muslims love them so much, they can take them in.
Posted by: 11A5S || 04/07/2006 15:10 Comments || Top||

#11  Let 'em WORK for a living.

I have to.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 04/07/2006 19:52 Comments || Top||

#12  Suddenly, I don't have anything to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 12:50 Comments || Top||

#13  WOT? Now the so-called war on terror is starving a whole people. Give the Palestinians all that they need.

Only 1 person per day has died at the hands of terrorists, since 9-11. WOT is an expensive joke. WOT defenders are 100% crybabies, whose mothers spanked them into deviant obsessions. Peace.
Posted by: Noamist || 04/07/2006 16:44 Comments || Top||

Israel launches air raids on Gaza
Israeli helicopters have attacked several targets in the Gaza Strip, including offices of the armed wing of the Fatah movement. There were no reports of casualties after the three overnight air raids. They followed rocket attacks on Israeli towns, which Israel blamed on the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the armed offshoot of Fatah.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian man was killed overnight by Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Nablus. Israeli military sources said soldiers exchanged fire with gunmen during an overnight raid to arrest wanted militants in the town, adding that two Israeli soldiers were wounded. Palestinian witnesses said the dead man was not known to be linked to any militant group, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Two of the Israeli air raids targeted offices of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Gaza City. The third raid was against a helicopter launch pad. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades are the armed wing of the Fatah movement of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Israel blamed the group for firing several rockets at Israeli towns on Thursday. One of the rockets hit a factory near the town of Ashkelon, setting it ablaze. Another landed in the town of Sderot, but causing no injuries, the Israeli army said.

Additional: Israeli air force drops leaflets advising Palestinians to evacuate northern Gaza to escape bombardment. Earlier Friday, two Qassam missiles were fired from N. Gaza after a night of Israeli Air Force strikes against Fatah offices in Beit Lahiya, missile sites, and helipad in Gaza City. The missiles landed harmlessly outside Carmieh and south of Ashkelon. Thursday, a Qassam missile from Gaza sets factory on fire at Kibbutz Zikkim south of Ashkelon. Wednesday, 7 missiles exploded on the Israeli side of the border.
Posted by: Steve || 04/07/2006 09:32 || Comments || Link || [10 views] Top|| File under:

#1  carpet bomb a stretch wider than Qassam's range and warn the rest - increase the range, we increase the bombing...oh, we also reserve the homes and offices of all terrorists, "armed wing" or not
Posted by: Frank G || 04/07/2006 21:31 Comments || Top||

Russian Defense Minister: Iran Doesn't Have “Secret” Ballistic Missiles
Although Iran said Wednesday that it had successfully test-fired a “top secret” missile, the third in a week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov does not believe Iran has such weapons.

“I would like to assure everybody: Iran does not have intercontinental ballistic missiles, it has medium-range missiles. There are an ever-increasing number of states in the world who possess medium-range missiles and only two countries in the world — Russia and the U.S. — do not and cannot possess them,” Ivanov said.

Ivanov also expressed the hope that the Iranian nuclear dossier would be settled through diplomatic efforts.

The report by Iranian state television called the last missile an “ultra-horizon” weapon and said it could be fired from all military helicopters and jet fighters.

Last week, Iran said it tested the Fajr-3 missile, which it said could evade radar and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads.

Iran also has announced tests of two new torpedoes. Some military analysts in Moscow said the high-speed torpedoes were probably Russian-built and might have been acquired from China or Kyrgyzstan.
Posted by: Captain America || 04/07/2006 11:03 || Comments || Link || [17 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yeah, we know. We filed this claim right alongside the equally laughable Russian claims of last year.
Posted by: Thalet Angeng7414 || 04/07/2006 11:10 Comments || Top||

#2  No secret missiles. So? Just the open ones we know about.
Posted by: SR-71 || 04/07/2006 11:26 Comments || Top||

#3  The Russians don't know about the Double Secret Probation missiles.
Posted by: Ayatollah Wormer || 04/07/2006 11:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Moscow Bob?
Posted by: Xbalanke || 04/07/2006 12:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Inside Iranian Missile Command.
Posted by: doc || 04/07/2006 15:21 Comments || Top||

#6  Will say again that with America in the process of deploying operational laser- and missle-based GMD, etal. traditional Cold War ICBM attacks are now mostly relegated to Second Strike/Follow-on Strike status, wilful "bolts-fron-the blue" mass saturation strikes notwithstanding. Priority for now goes to Commando-PYWAR + Land-Attack Cruise/UW land-attack nuke/NBC missle forces. Between now and 2015-2020 the preferred agenda is to destabilize America unto [Anti-Amer American]Socialism and OWG-SWO without necessarily destroying her. The Russo-Chinese "WAR ZONE/BATTLE ZONE" "local war" strategem emphasizes POLITICAL VICTORY-METHODISMS OVER MILITARY-VIOLENT - in essence, this means that America's enemies and aligned give higher support and priority to anti-American Americans/Fifth Columnists already within the NPE and Econ-Mil-Indus Sectors, etc. To paraphrase ANN COULTER on FNC, the Dems want to wait until America loses a city or cities before taking any action ion response, and even iff America does lose a city or cities wid massive casualties, its debatable whether the Dems and Left will still take any action to avenge America's losses!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/07/2006 20:50 Comments || Top||

#7  Hi ya Joe! We're rarely coherent awake at the same time.
Posted by: 6 || 04/07/2006 21:27 Comments || Top||

Watch Out, Iran: Next Step Is To Sanction Your Nuts
Iran has until the end of April to abandon its nuclear-weapons program and comply with international atomic energy agreements or face increased international sanctions, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said yesterday.

The U.N. Security Council's ability to come together and bring pressure on Tehran would reflect whether the international forum would play a major role in protecting the United States and its allies, Ambassador John R. Bolton told reporters at a State Department Correspondents Association breakfast meeting yesterday.

"Iran is a good test case," he said. If Iran refused to conform to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations, Mr. Bolton said, the likely next step would be a U.N. resolution that would be legally binding on Iran, followed by a resolution that would consider sanctions.

Mr. Bolton described the U.S. approach as "calibrated, gradual and reversible," but warned that if the U.N. council failed to deal effectively with Iran, Washington would have to look at alternatives.

"We are pursuing a variety of options outside the Security Council right now," he said, echoing statements he made to The Washington Times in November. "It is simply prudent planning to be looking at other options," he said yesterday.

Mr. Bolton said the United States could tighten sanctions against Iran that were eased under the Clinton administration, allowing for the import of Persian rugs and pistachio nuts.
Posted by: Captain America || 04/07/2006 10:21 || Comments || Link || [29 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Iran certainly does have a lot of nuts.
Posted by: Uninenter Phease2820 || 04/07/2006 10:32 Comments || Top||

#2  We got plenty of domestic nuts. No need to increase our net nut imports at this time.
Posted by: Seafarious || 04/07/2006 10:45 Comments || Top||

#3  How about "I'm being followed by a cruise missile, cruise missile cruise missile", Yusef?
Posted by: mojo || 04/07/2006 12:57 Comments || Top||

#4  If i ever lose my nukes, i wont cry, and I wont puke.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 04/07/2006 13:02 Comments || Top||

#5  :>
Posted by: 6 || 04/07/2006 16:44 Comments || Top||

#6  From memory, Pistachios are Iran's biggest export after oil and gas. Sanctions would hurt.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/07/2006 19:08 Comments || Top||

#7  "Watch Out, Iran: Next Step Is To Sanction Your Nuts"

In a vise, I hope.

Oh wait, you meant pistacios.

I was thing of something a little different.... ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 04/07/2006 20:03 Comments || Top||

#8  Ah! I remember those old Khat Stevens lyrics from yester-year. For me, it was easy to see how early 70's pinko rock singers (with multiple hits) like khat; were treated like gods world-wide.They all had to flee somewhere I guess; but why did khat suddenly flee to the welcoming arms of allah. Git 'er done, motherfucker
Posted by: Asymmetrical Triangulation || 04/07/2006 21:25 Comments || Top||

#9  Suddenly, I don't have anything to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 12:52 Comments || Top||

Iran will defend nuclear program to “last drop of blood’
TEHERAN - Iran will defend its controversial nuclear program to its “last drop of blood” and refuse to suspend uranium enrichment as demanded by the UN Security Council, a senior cleric said on Friday. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, meanwhile, were due in Iran later the same day to visit the Islamic republic’s uranium enrichment facility and other sites.

“We want our rights and nothing more, and we will resist until our last drop of blood,” Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khatami said in a Friday prayer sermon broadcast on state radio.
Ok, that works for me
“They want to create a crisis. The Security Council, which ought to be an instrument of justice, wants to create insecurity and injustice,” the ultra-conservative cleric charged. “They have set a one-month deadline for us to suspend our research on enrichment. They can set a one-month delay, one for a year or whatever they want. We will not renounce our rights.”

A non-binding statement approved unanimously by the world body on March 29 gave the Islamic republic 30 days to abandon the sensitive nuclear work, but without issuing a threat of sanctions. Iran has refused to freeze its nuclear research and development -- which includes uranium enrichment -- that it resumed in January, insisting on nuclear technology for peaceful purposes as its right. Teheran vehemently denies it has ambitions of building a nuclear bomb and says its nuclear energy program is purely peaceful.

Meanwhile, Khatami said the past week of Iranian military maneuvers in the strategic Gulf, in which missiles were tested, aimed to show that “if the enemies try to attack Islamic Iran, they will receive a severe smacking.”

The IAEA visit starting Friday was planned months ago and is not linked to the Security Council statement of late March, Aliasghar Soltanieh, Iran’s representative to the IAEA said, quoted by the semi-official news agency Mehr.
“The inspections to be carried out in the coming days are routine inspections within the framework of the (nuclear) Non-Proliferation Treaty and not linked to the statement,” he said.

IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei said on Thursday he hoped for ”cooperation and transparency” from Teheran over its nuclear power standoff. “There are still outstanding issues in Iran that we need to clarify,” he told a Madrid news conference. “I hope we will get the maximum cooperation and transparency from Iran that will enable us to provide a positive report, but I can only tell you that when our inspectors come back,” he said. “We have seen issues in Iran that we need to understand before we can say that we are satisfied that all activities in Iran are exclusively for peaceful purposes,” he added.
Posted by: Steve || 04/07/2006 09:48 || Comments || Link || [19 views] Top|| File under:

#1  OK.

One last blood drop coming up.

Would you prefer cruise missles or B-52s?

We aim to please. :-D
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 04/07/2006 9:57 Comments || Top||

#2  I don't believe that anybody has suggested denying them nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. One problem is that they refuse to allow the kinds of accounting and inspections that would verify their peaceful intent. Another is that their construction (bunkers, etc.) suggests military intent. Another is that their parallel programs (missiles, explosives, etc.) suggest military intent. Another is that their words suggest military intent -- very aggressive military intent. And finally, vowing to defend a peaceful nuclear energy program to your "last drop of blood" in a country that is rich in natural gas energy makes absolutely no sense at all. Bombs away.
Posted by: Darrell || 04/07/2006 10:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Make it so
Posted by: Captain America || 04/07/2006 10:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Iran will defend nuclear program to “last drop of blood’

This can be arranged.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/07/2006 11:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Promises, promises.
Posted by: Perfesser || 04/07/2006 20:01 Comments || Top||

#6  "They want to create a crisis" - NOOOOOOOOOOOO, Britney, by Madonna's underwear, JFK, and the band AEROSMITH and a Tehas/Texas-sized Asteroid, etal. in 1968 say it t'aint so!? How does Britney, D *** IT, keep getting herself into these things???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/07/2006 20:56 Comments || Top||

#7  Gotta be windowpane. Still have 2 500 microgram doses in the freezer, waiting for the Mars mission.
Posted by: 6 || 04/07/2006 21:30 Comments || Top||

#8  Mickey Mouse blotter
Posted by: Frank G || 04/07/2006 21:46 Comments || Top||

Shahab-3 is a modified North Korean missile
Iran has successfully developed ballistic missiles with the capability to carry nuclear warheads.

Detailed analysis of recent test firings of the Shahab-3 ballistic missile by military experts has concluded that Iran has been able to modify the nose cone to carry a basic nuclear bomb. The discovery will intensify international pressure on Teheran to provide a comprehensive breakdown of its nuclear research programme.

Last week, the United Nations Security Council gave Iran 30 days to freeze its uranium enrichment programme that many experts believe is part of a clandestine attempt to produce nuclear weapons.

Iran denies it is trying to acquire a nuclear arsenal. But ballistic missile experts advising the United States say it has succeeded in reconfiguring the Shahab-3 to carry nuclear weapons.

The Shahab-3 is a modified version of North Korea's Nodong missile which itself is based on the old Soviet-made Scud.

The Nodong, which Iran secretly acquired from North Korea in the mid-1990s, is designed to carry a conventional warhead. But Iranian engineers have been working for several years to adapt the Shahab-3 to carry nuclear weapons.

"This is a major breakthrough for the Iranians," said a senior US official. "They have been trying to do this for years and now they have succeeded. It is a very disturbing development."

The Shahab 3 has a range of 800 miles, enabling it to hit a wide range of targets throughout the Middle East - including Israel.

Apart from modifying the nose cone, Iranian technicians are also trying to make a number of technical adjustments that will enable the missile to travel a greater distance.

Western intelligence officials believe that Iran is receiving assistance from teams of Russian and Chinese experts with experience of developing nuclear weapons. Experts who have studied the latest version of the Shahab have identified modifications to the nose cone.

Instead of the single cone normally attached to this type of missile, the new Shahab has three cones, or a triconic, warhead. A triconic warhead allows the missile to accommodate a nuclear device and this type of warhead is normally found only in nuclear weapons.

According to the new research, the Iranian warhead is designed to carry a spherical nuclear weapon that would be detonated 2,000 feet above the ground, similar to the Hiroshima bomb.

Although US defence officials believe that Iran is several years away from acquiring nuclear weapons, they point out that the warhead could hold a version of the nuclear bomb Pakistan is known to have developed. Iran has acquired a detailed breakdown of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

The development of the Shahab-3 is just one element of a wide-ranging missile development programme.

In 2003 the Iranians concluded another secret deal with North Korea to buy the Taepo Dong 2 missile, which has a range of 2,200 miles and would enable Iran to hit targets in mainland Europe.

Earlier this week the Iranians announced that they had successfully test-fired a new missile, the Fajr-3, which has the capability to evade radar systems and carry multiple warheads.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 03:00 || Comments || Link || [16 views] Top|| File under:

#1  An Iranian copy of a Nork copy of a Chinese copy of an 1980es Soviet missile.
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/07/2006 6:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Exactly, run for your life!

Posted by: Criger Shaling7432 || 04/07/2006 6:07 Comments || Top||

#3  Doesn't matter if its designed by von braun and the CEP is a mile, if its tipped with an abomb then the mad mullahs are a clear and present danger.
Posted by: pihkalbadger || 04/07/2006 11:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Imagine the American Donks in Congress, saying that there's 'No Dongs", No Dongs'

Nice name, 'NoDongs' made for Donks to say so.
Posted by: Duh! || 04/07/2006 14:59 Comments || Top||

#5  ITs Uranium, NOT Plutonium, etc. ergo NO WMDS IN IRAN, ergo the USA under Dubya-GOP is making yet another arrogant, Male Brute, America only, Fed only, Fascist = defective bratty Half-A-Communist, imperfect Socialist "mistake". See what happens, America, when Great/Saint Bill Clinton doesn't have a Mother around.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/07/2006 21:28 Comments || Top||

#6  But will it open up, swallow an Apollo capsule and return to the volcano fortress with the unfortunate captives inside? If not, they are only mostly evil....work on it MM's, and you can join the Truly Evil™ ranks
Posted by: Frank G || 04/07/2006 22:08 Comments || Top||

Outrage Outage again...
Yesterday's outage was courtesy of bvoe.de ( and, in Munich, who decided to send a continuous stream of queries to Thugburg for Abu Musab Zarqawi. Give them a big finger hand.
Another nominee for the Richard Cranium Award.

I've blocked their access to the site, but they're hitting port 80 multiple times a second, trying to get in, from both servers. You should be able to get in without problem at rantburg.com:81 or rantburg.com:8080. Connecting to wotresearch.com (but without a port number) will also take you there.
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || [27 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm sorry that you constantly have to deal with these folks. Thanks for staying on top of it and keeping the 'burg open.
It's very much appreciated.
Posted by: Jan || 04/07/2006 0:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Nights like this, I think seriously of closing up shop. I used to have a life...
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 0:54 Comments || Top||

#3  Little shitheads.

Anything we can do to help out, Fred?
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 0:56 Comments || Top||

#4  Not much. I've literally been fighting this battle for a couple years.
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 1:07 Comments || Top||

#5  One place that site visits a lot (other than the ones on the o-club) is:

This guy has his wedding photos on the site. He is a Malaysian Muslim (gathered from the burka and styles)

look at the large amount of traveling this guy does. Although they may be visiting him for "TEXTURE FILES". Textures would make great "PADS" for encryption...

September - October 2005
Will and Mayang went to Denmark, Norway and Sweden

June 2005
Will and Mayang went to the Glastonbury Festival

June 2005
Mayang visited France

April 2005
Mayang visited Portugal

October 2004
We visited Morocco and spent some time in the Sahara

August 2004
We visited Thailand, Cambodia (including Angkor Wat) and Vietnam.

June 2004
We visited Sarawak, East Malaysia. See the pictures.

June 2004
We visited Sabah and climbed Mount Kinabalu. See the pictures.

May 2004
Our texture web site is now very popular. Statistics show that over 2000 people each day visit to download textures!

August 2003
We visited England again. See the pictures.

I think somebody should be profiling those servers and doing social network analysis on those servers... (HINT TO NSA)

Posted by: 3dc || 04/07/2006 1:08 Comments || Top||

#6  In all seriousness, if there are any particularly notorious folks who keep popping up, drop me an e-mail and I'll see if there's anything I can do.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 04/07/2006 1:10 Comments || Top||

#7  Drop all requests from all German and French IP Blocks. To bad a few have to wreck it for everyone but that tough for the Germans and French.
Posted by: SPoD || 04/07/2006 1:14 Comments || Top||

#8  Fred my brother in law builds servers with various operating systems for businesses and data folks. I'll call him tomorrow or drive over and ask him about IP port attacks and what can be done. 'puters and software are *NOT* my field of expertise.
The hit counter shows the current IPs onbord, does anyone else get pinged at RB besides me?
Posted by: RD || 04/07/2006 1:26 Comments || Top||

#9  http://fixingtheweb.com/
to block countries and problem areas in linux

"ip-to-country" database file from ip-to-country.webhosting.info or the "geoip" database file from www.maxmind.com.
Posted by: 3dc || 04/07/2006 1:28 Comments || Top||

#10  of course you could attempt to convince all your users to use a real abnormal port like 8081 and block off all others.
Posted by: 3dc || 04/07/2006 1:35 Comments || Top||

#11  3dc still on board?
resolved to - -
netname: DE-TELEKOM-971222
descr: Provider Local Registry
country: DE
admin-c: DTAG-RIPE
tech-c: DTAG-RIPE
mnt-lower: DTAG-NIC
mnt-routes: DTAG-RR
source: RIPE # Filtered
organisation: ORG-DTA2-RIPE
org-name: Deutsche Telekom AG
org-type: LIR
address: Ammerlaender Heerstrasse 138
address: D-26129
address: Oldenburg
address: Germany
Posted by: RD || 04/07/2006 1:43 Comments || Top||

#12  Don't give the bastards the satisfaction, Fred.
Posted by: Iblis || 04/07/2006 1:43 Comments || Top||

#13  domain: mayang.com
owner: william smith
organization: william owen smith
email: domainadmin@willsmith.org
address: the laurels
address: little bourton
city: banbury
state: oxon
postal-code: ox17 1rq
country: GB
phone: +44 1295 750000
admin-c: domainadmin@willsmith.org#0
tech-c: domainadmin@willsmith.org#0
billing-c: domainadmin@willsmith.org#0
nserver: b.ns.joker.com
nserver: c.ns.joker.com
nserver: a.ns.joker.com
status: lock
created: 2000-04-13 10:53:31 UTC
modified: 2005-06-17 18:20:07 UTC
expires: 2010-04-13 10:53:31 UTC

contact-hdl: domainadmin@willsmith.org#0
person: will smith
email: domainadmin@willsmith.org
address: the laurels
address: little bourton
city: banbury
state: --
country: GB
phone: +44 1295 750000

source: joker.com live whois service
query-time: 0.040898
db-updated: 2006-04-07 05:47:11
NOTE: By submitting a WHOIS query, you agree to abide by the following
NOTE: terms of use: You agree that you may use this data only for lawful
NOTE: purposes and that under no circumstances will you use this data to:
NOTE: (1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass
NOTE: unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via direct mail,
NOTE: e-mail, telephone, or facsimile; or (2) enable high volume, automated,
NOTE: electronic processes that apply to Joker.com (or its computer systems).
NOTE: The compilation, repackaging, dissemination or other use of this data
NOTE: is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Joker.com.

Posted by: RD || 04/07/2006 1:48 Comments || Top||

#14 resolved to -
descr: Zettl GmbH CNC Praezisiions- und Sonderwerkzeuge
country: DE
admin-c: TS20391-RIPE
tech-c: TS20391-RIPE
mnt-by: DTAG-NIC
source: RIPE # Filtered
person: Thomas Sraega
address: Zettl GmbH CNC Praezisiions- und Sonderwerkzeuge
address: Westendstr. 3
address: 87488 Betzigau
address: GERMANY
phone: +498315744456
fax-no: +498315744494
e-mail: edv@mimatic-zettl.de
nic-hdl: TS20391-RIPE
mnt-by: DTAG-NIC
source: RIPE # Filtered
% Information related to ''
descr: Deutsche Telekom AG, Internet service provider
origin: AS3320
member-of: AS3320:RS-PA-TELEKOM
mnt-by: DTAG-RR
source: RIPE # Filtered
Posted by: RD || 04/07/2006 2:09 Comments || Top||

#15  for an amateur thats my best shot, LOL!

mods plz delete as needed thanks.
Posted by: RD || 04/07/2006 2:11 Comments || Top||

role: Deutsche Telekom LIR Role Account
address: Deutsche Telekom AG
address: Internet Services
a bit more,
resolved to -

address: Ammerlaender Heerstrasse 138
address: DE 26129 Oldenburg
address: Germany
phone: +49 441 234 4501
fax-no: +49 441 234 4589
e-mail: lir.nic@t-com.net
Posted by: RD || 04/07/2006 2:20 Comments || Top||

#17  The hit counter shows the current IPs onbord, does anyone else get pinged at RB besides me?

I was pinged a few days ago.
Posted by: 2b || 04/07/2006 2:46 Comments || Top||

#18  What is pinging, and how would I know if it happened to me?
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/07/2006 7:09 Comments || Top||

#19  Pinging is geek for "change in life." You're far to junior to experience pinging.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/07/2006 7:29 Comments || Top||

#20  Flatterer! ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/07/2006 7:40 Comments || Top||

#21  You must bedoing something awfully good for these folks to try so hard to stop it.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 04/07/2006 8:01 Comments || Top||

#22  I wouldn't block off at the country level, either Germany (TGA) or France (JFM): They're the poor people who NEED the information you provide and the insights we provide on this wonderful site of yours, Fred. Many, many thanks. Do know that you have an influence wider than you imagine.

That's WHY they are going after you.
Posted by: Ptah || 04/07/2006 8:25 Comments || Top||

#23  You should probably look at publish through proxy and/or packet filtering on your FW / DMZ.

Ultimatley you are going to have to use one of those sentinel generators, as RB allows query direct from web. We all know these, basically generates a random image with text in it, when you search you put that text string in and your params.

I doubt this is too much impact to real users of the site, as when a Human searches for something they really mean it, the bots are just trying DB / Connection DoS attack.

Anyway, you add the image generator to your search logic and this mostly goes away.
Posted by: bombay || 04/07/2006 9:03 Comments || Top||

#24  Fred,
Your site is the finest and most complete open source site out there. Thats why they are after you. Hang in there, we need your services here.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 04/07/2006 9:09 Comments || Top||

#25  I'm an amature at this but it seems you keep getting hit on the search end of the site, Thugburg etc... Password protect that part of your site and charge us to use it. Might stop the trolls from attacking.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 04/07/2006 9:12 Comments || Top||

#26  Don't need to do that (user, pass, seurity), one little 4 or 3 char image generator is all that is needed.

The system generates an image with a word in it as part of the image, not text.

Humans can read this, and enter the word / chars. Bots cannot. Each time the search page is rendered, a new word is generated in the image.

The user then enters the word/chars generated plus their search params. This will kill DB DoS attacks in their tracks.

Another huge plus, Fred, will NOT have to maintain a user security module (passwords, etc).

These image generators are well known and proven to stop these types of attacks.
Posted by: bombay || 04/07/2006 9:17 Comments || Top||

#27  Here is an example, ironic actually, but geektools had problems with their WhoIS DB being DoS and used for malicious reasons. They've recently gone to an image generator. Anyway, you can see what I am talking about in action here :

Posted by: bombay || 04/07/2006 9:21 Comments || Top||

#28  That sounds like it might be a good solution. I'll look into it over the weekend.
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 9:26 Comments || Top||

#29  Time to hit the paypal site here. Hope it helps.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 04/07/2006 9:29 Comments || Top||

#30  Thanks for the reminder, 49Pan. I just dropped $20. It's not enough by a long shot, but hope it helps.

Fred, have I mentioned that not only are you a mensch, you are a GOD!? ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 04/07/2006 10:05 Comments || Top||

#31  look at the large amount of traveling this guy does.

These poor oppressed muslims are real globe trotters !
Posted by: jim#6 || 04/07/2006 10:24 Comments || Top||

#32  Should this be reported to the relevent authorities? I mean this guy sure seems like a Zealot of some sort, the Osamanaut type. lol wouldnt it be funny if you read in a few years about the man they caught meddling with net sites and now sits in Gauntanamo Bay ,lol.
Posted by: ShepUK || 04/07/2006 11:01 Comments || Top||

#33  trailing wife, "ping" is a Unix operating system term that describes one user port sending out a signal to detect if another specific port address on the system (or internet) is functioning / available. It comes from the old sonar term for bouncing acoustic signals off of an underwater object and looking for reflected signals in order to determine range and heading.

Some definitions: (from the e blogger site)

ACK /ak/ interj.
[from the ASCII mnemonic for 0000110]
1. Acknowledge. Used to register one's presence (compare mainstream *Yo!*). An appropriate response to {ping} or {ENQ}.

The opposite of ACK would be NAK or "not acknowledge".
Posted by: Zenster || 04/07/2006 12:10 Comments || Top||

#34  A good explaination of what is happening here.
I don't think it is those two sites (bvoe.de).
Symptoms sound like a reflection attack. See the link above for an explaination.
In a reflection attack you point to a null site, closed sockets or whatever as yourself.
(HE DID IT -->)
Posted by: 3dc || 04/07/2006 12:11 Comments || Top||

#35  I'm considering him a bad bot, rather than a DOS. I've seen him before, before I learned how to use IP Tables. He and a machine out of U. of Thessaloniki were the reason I had Thugburg closed down before. I reopened it after I banned Thessaloniki.
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 12:24 Comments || Top||

#36  I banned Thessaloniki
Sounds like a first person tell all or an Ouzo Punk song.
Posted by: 6 || 04/07/2006 12:45 Comments || Top||

#37  Yuseless islame gets the fleas of a thousand camels award.
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 04/07/2006 13:50 Comments || Top||

#38  Send a nasty message to Deutche Telecom. The Germans have nasty laws about this kind of sh$$. They also have the option of pressing legal charges and HEAVY billing costs (EU3000/min) to someone doing this. They also have the NEED to put a stop to this, because it reflects badly upon them and their clients. Who knows, they may even decide to mirror your site for a year for free to recompense you for your troubles. Or, they might decide you're a nuisance and ignore you. If the latter happens, wait until you're hit again, and report it and DT GMBH refusal to do anything to the German government. SH$$ will REALLY happen, then. Oh, and they'll do the investigating to see if it's more than just a routine DoS attack.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/07/2006 15:22 Comments || Top||

#39  Full sinktrap today.
Must have something to do with free speech advocating supressive lefty moonbat sun spot activity.
Posted by: wxjames || 04/07/2006 18:02 Comments || Top||

#40  Just to make clear, the '.com' above isn't THE .com. Just a troll trying to be clever.
Posted by: lotp || 04/07/2006 18:37 Comments || Top||

#41  One ping, Vasily.

Just 1.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 04/07/2006 18:39 Comments || Top||

Redacted by moderator. Comments may be redacted for trolling, violation of standards of good manners, or plain stupidity. Please correct the condition that applies and try again. Contents may be viewed in the
sinktrap. Further violations may result in
Posted by: .com || 04/07/2006 18:42 Comments || Top||

#43  LtD, right? Posting from a court library in B.C.?

Posted by: SA4511 || 04/07/2006 18:59 Comments || Top||

#44  I think his blood pressure is rising. Let's see if the moderators can make it pop his head off.
Posted by: Darrell || 04/07/2006 19:03 Comments || Top||

#45  He's just killing time before meeting with his probation officer. Obviously another Religion of Peace-phyllic pedophile.
Posted by: ed || 04/07/2006 19:17 Comments || Top||

#46  do wild pigs eat their children?
Posted by: 2b || 04/07/2006 19:22 Comments || Top||

#47  Fred,

I related the port attack problems to the brother-inlaw [the best I could].

He said bombays approach would work in most instances but that it would depend on the seriousness of the attack, you may eventually need a SonicWALL packet-filtering Gateway...

but if memory serves you purchased one a few months ago correct?
Posted by: RD || 04/07/2006 19:34 Comments || Top||

#48  It wasn't a Sonic Wall. I cheaped out.
Posted by: Fred || 04/07/2006 19:48 Comments || Top||

#49  TZ-170. Good enough, usually. If anyone knows of better, specify. How much do you need?
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 04/07/2006 20:26 Comments || Top||

#50  To be honest, we had to ditch SonicWall in favor of Cisco because of problems with a full time VPN we needed to establish with LM (Lockheed). Security and Performance were far better as a side benifit, though cost was pretty high compared.

Anyway, you might want to look at PIX (there are some issues, but you can take care of easily via rules and proper setup). If you are considering a swap or addition give it a consider and let me know as I got some great vendors who can get you a deal on minimially used (ie. 6 months).
Posted by: bombay || 04/07/2006 21:37 Comments || Top||

#51  Hi Bombay,

I don't do VPN so haven't had probs that I notice. TZ-170 is slow compared to others that cost more (packets processed/sec, yes?) but bang for buck is good all things considered for single server if not a bank. If Fred isn't doing VPN (Fred please correct), and is only doing this server, with those constraints (correctable by Fred) what is best then? I am ALWAYS willing to listen to others solutions who have same probs, and only want to help Fred here.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 04/07/2006 22:28 Comments || Top||

#52  Suddenly, I got nothin' to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 5:46 Comments || Top||

#53  Suddenly, I don't have anything to say.
Posted by: Yusef Islam || 04/07/2006 13:20 Comments || Top||

#54  [This comment not actually posted by RB regular]
Posted by: .com || 04/07/2006 16:58 Comments || Top||

#55  ***
Posted by: Conservative Dining || 04/07/2006 16:52 Comments || Top||

#56  Bullshit! You are a cocksucker and a fucking pimp.

Since 9-11: only 1 person per day has died at the hands of a terrorist. Does that justify the $500,000,000,000 costs?

You cockroaches are the fucking trolls. Don't eat your children you wild pigs.
Posted by: .com || 04/07/2006 18:42 Comments || Top||

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