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Sheikh Yassin helizapped!
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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al-Ablaj communiques from translated al-Sharq al-Awsat
Robert Stevens of Alphabet City, the same guy who brought us the Milan wiretaps, also regularly posts FBIS translations on his newsgroup as well as his blog. This is one of them.

Al-Qa'ida Organization has claimed responsibility for the explosion that targeted the Mount Lebanon Hotel [Jabal Lubnan] in Baghdad the day before yesterday. Abu-Muhammad Al-Ablaj, Al-Qa'ida official responsible for training, said in an electronic message sent to Al-Sharq al-Awsat over the Internet yesterday "woe for the Americans and their allies of what is waiting for them in Iraq."

Al-Ablaj also said that those whom he described as "the Al-Qa'ida lions, who have had experience in destroying the headquarters of the Russian commanders and who are in Iraq to meet their enemies had planned and carried out the operation", which he regarded as evidence of the "American dilemma" in what he described as "the Iraqi quagmire."

Al-Ablaj said: The mujahidin's higher command is present in Iraq to face its
enemies and it is making them taste death and humiliation in the Caliphate's capital [Baghdad]. He added that Al-Qa'ida Organization's new strategy has given priority to fighting the United States and its allies in Iraq.

Al-Ablaj also said: The explosion which targeted the Mount Lebanon Hotel in the center of the Iraqi capital was carried out on the orders of Al-Qa'ida Organization's leadership, whose lions stick to these orders and carry them out perfectly. He added that what is coming will be greater" and "woes to the Americans and their allies in Iraq from a day that is coming nearer, so let them prepare their coffins even more."

In his electronic message, Al-Ablaj tried to distance his organization from the explosions in Karabla and Al-Kazimiyah, saying that his organization "does not target the Shia."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 6:20:45 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

Universities spy for MI5 on foreign students
Universities are routinely spying on foreign students in Britain in order to help the authorities to keep potential terrorists under surveillance, the Telegraph has learnt. Students’ emails are being intercepted and mobile telephone calls listened to in an attempt to ensure that terrorists do not use universities as cover for their activities. Special Branch and MI5 are running the vetting operation in co-operation with most of the country’s universities.
Sounds like sensible moves to me.
The scheme was quietly set up after the September 11 attacks in America, and goes much further than the controversial voluntary vetting system that was introduced in 1994 to prevent the transfer overseas of technology related to weapons of mass destruction. Under that scheme, some universities agreed to contact the Government when assessing applications from potential students from certain rogue states. Since September 11, however, the institutions have been asked to go further and secretly gather and assess information on foreigners studying at their institutions. The universities cannot be named for legal reasons. A close eye is kept on students from the "red flag" countries India, Pakistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Israel and North Korea. Applicants from those states are vetted, and asked to list their parents, previous study courses and employment. Those causing suspicion are then flagged for further monitoring. Details of students’ telephone numbers, email and home addresses are being passed by universities to the police, MI5 and the Foreign Office, said an official connected to British and American security. The official, who also has links to a leading university, said: "They are helping the security services look at students from the red flag countries. It’s pretty well known that it’s happening. "With all the forms students fill in it is not difficult to get their mobile phone numbers or emails, or find out what kind of activities they are doing or where they hang out." He said that the dramatic escalation in the terrorist threat since September 11 meant that spying on potential terrorists had become a key consideration. "You’ve got this situation now where if you’re from a certain country you will be under suspicion. And the more Madrid-type incidents there are the more this will be stepped up."

Suspected terrorists who have studied in Britain recently include the lecturers Dr Azahari Husin, 45, who went to Reading University, and Shamsul Bahri Hussein, 36, who read applied mechanics at Dundee. They are wanted in connection with the Bali bombings in October 2002, when 202 people, including 26 Britons, died. Ramzi Yousef, the al-Qa’eda plotter behind the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing that killed six people, studied engineering at Swansea.

One senior university official said: "Since September 11, we are co-operating with the security services in a much deeper way than before. We take it very seriously." In many large universities it is official policy to have a senior academic who liaises with the security service and police about students they suspect are carrying out undercover activities. MI5 and MI6 have also used academics to recruit British students. Now, Scotland Yard Special Branch officers monitor e-mails and mobile telephones and universities are expected to pass on suspicious meetings, activities or absences. Several students are believed to have been ordered to leave Britain as a result of such monitoring, after it was discovered that they had links to extremist groups. The policy has predictably angered some critics.
Let them seethe and be damned...
Ian Gibson, the Labour chairman of the Commons science and technology committee, said that his committee had heard evidence that foreign students were being spied on. "I think there will be a number of universities that are doing this," he said. "It goes absolutely against the principle of freedom in academia and allowing people to associate with whom they like or think what they like or bomb, gas, or nuke who they like." A Conservative member of the select committee, however, was more pragmatic about the surveillance. Robert Key, the MP for Salisbury, said: "Given the current security situation I wouldn’t be against it as long as the Government was in complete control of the situation."
Gibson has the Kerry view of the War on Terror. Key realizes we're at war. If I was making the rules, the students would be bounced as soon as there was suspicion. Britain doesn't owe them anything, and if they want to plot and conspire they can do it elsewhere.
Chris Weavers, a vice-president of the National Union of Students, said: "I think there needs to be very strong justification for any such surveillance. Just assuming that any individual from a certain country might be a risk is utterly unrealistic. However, he admitted: "We’ve seen many people from the United Kingdom who have been involved in terrorists attacks."
Yes. These waffles are very tasty.
It would not be legal for the police or security service to intercept directly e-mails or telephone calls without a warrant or permission from the Home Secretary. Both, however, are exempt from the Data Protection Act.
Posted by: Bulldog || 03/21/2004 10:13:13 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "A close eye is kept on students from the "red flag" countries India, Pakistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Israel and North Korea"

Yeah, gotta keep an eye on those Jooooos
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 10:47 Comments || Top||

#2  And Paleostinians.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 10:54 Comments || Top||

Down Under
Australia coy on search for Chechen bombmaker
Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock said intelligence authorities had neither confirmed nor denied they were searching for a Chechen explosive expert believed to be in Australia to help make a bomb. Terrorist suspect Willie Brigitte made the claim to French investigators, according to media reports today. Mr Ruddock said the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) had neither confirmed nor denied that it had launched a search for a Chechen explosive expert claimed by Brigitte as heading to Australia to help make a bomb. "I can’t comment on the status of ongoing inquiries. I can’t confirm or deny the status of them," he said.

Reports in News Ltd newspapers today cited a dossier prepared by French investigators in which Brigitte said he was sent to Sydney to help prepare for a major terrorist attack. According to the report, Brigitte claimed an informal terrorist recruitment network was operating in the western suburbs of Sydney. Brigitte, deported from Australia to France last year, has been linked to Pakistan terror group LeT, now specifically outlawed in Australia. Meanwhile, Muslim community spokesman Keysar Trad said today said that the Brigitte claims may have been marijuana-induced hallucinations. "Marijuana users escape into their imagination and have hallucinations," Mr Trad told AAP. "His wife says he uses marijuana regularly. We haven’t seen anything to substantiate these allegations, but for someone who’s a heavy marijuana user you wonder whether he just couldn’t work things out after the intense interrogation."
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 03/21/2004 7:07:26 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So they're saying he was an assassin?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/21/2004 19:43 Comments || Top||

#2  If the Chechen is also a chronic user of chronic, look for him at the midnight drive-thru's.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 21:16 Comments || Top||

Al Q tells Oz "We’ve got nukes"
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Osama bin Laden’s terror network claims to have bought ready-made nuclear weapons on the black market in central Asia, the biographer of al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader was quoted as telling an Australian television station.

In an interview scheduled to be televised on Monday, Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir said Ayman al-Zawahri claimed that "smart briefcase bombs" were available on the black market. It was not clear when the interview between Mir and al-Zawahri took place.
I’d love to have a smart briefcase. Even if I can’t be, my birefcase could.
U.S. intelligence agencies have long believed that al-Qaida attempted to acquire a nuclear device on the black market, but say there is no evidence it was successful.

In the interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp. television, parts of which were released Sunday, Mir recalled telling al-Zawahri it was difficult to believe that al-Qaida had nuclear weapons when the terror network didn’t have the equipment to maintain or use them.

"Dr Ayman al-Zawahri laughed and he said ’Mr. Mir, if you have $30 million, go to the black market in central Asia, contact any disgruntled Soviet scientist, and a lot of ... smart briefcase bombs are available,’" Mir said in the interview.
I bought one on e-Bay
"They have contacted us, we sent our people to Moscow, to Tashkent, to other central Asian states and they negotiated, and we purchased some suitcase bombs," Mir quoted al-Zawahri as saying.
But we’re saving them for a special occasion. Halloween.
Al-Qaida has never hidden its interest in acquiring nuclear weapons.
Dan Drezner has never his his interest in Selma Hayek. That doesn’t mean he’s getting any.
The U.S. federal indictment of bin Laden charges that as far back as 1992 he "and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain the components of nuclear weapons."
So has a Boy Scout. So what?
Bin Laden, in a November 2001 interview with a Pakistani journalist, boasted having hidden such components "as a deterrent." And in 1998, a Russian nuclear weapons design expert was investigated for allegedly working with bin Laden’s Taliban allies.

It was revealed last month that Pakistan’s top nuclear scientist had sold sensitive equipment and nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea, fueling fears the information could have also fallen into the hands of terrorists.
Surprising Zawahari didn’t stop here first. Perhaps Kahn should have advertised in the Yellow Pages.
Earlier, Mir told Australian media that al-Zawahri also claimed to have visited Australia to recruit militants and collect funds.

"In those days, in early 1996, he was on a mission to organize his network all over the world," Mir was quoted as saying. "He told me he stopped for a while in Darwin (in northern Australia), he was ... looking for help and collecting funds."

Australia’s Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the government could not rule out the possibility that al-Zawahri visited Australia in the 1990s under a different name.

"Under his own name or any known alias he hasn’t traveled to Australia," Ruddock told reporters Saturday. "That doesn’t mean to say that he may not have come under some other false documentation, or some other alias that’s not known to us."

Mir describe al-Zawahri as "the real brain behind Osama bin Laden."

"He is the real strategist, Osama bin Laden is only a front man," Mir was quoted as saying during the interview. "I think he is more dangerous than bin Laden."
Osama the face man. Just another empty burka.
Al-Zawahri - an Egyptian surgeon - is believed to be hiding in the rugged region around the Pakistan-Afghan border where U.S. and Pakistani troops are conducting a major operation against Taliban and al-Qaida forces.

He is said to have played a leading role in orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/21/2004 5:30:25 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [309 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Earlier postings today indicate that Al-Zawahiri may have been awarded his 72 virgins. I have mixed feelings about that because he won't be able to confirm or deny that AQ has nukes.
Posted by: GK || 03/21/2004 19:54 Comments || Top||

#2  I bought one on e-Bay

I did too but mine didn't work. Don't ever buy anything from KhanUCanTrust. That guy is a cheat.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 03/21/2004 21:02 Comments || Top||

#3  The briefcase may not have been lost by the Soviets what if an airline made one of their agents check the case because it wouldn't fit in the overhead rack and then ...
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 21:22 Comments || Top||

Schroeder Hands Over Party Leadership
BERLIN (AP) - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder handed the leadership of Germany's governing party to a trusted aide Sunday in a bid to heal party division, but he warned that he would continue efforts to trim the welfare state. Acknowledging he was "not an easy party leader," Schroeder highlighted his popular opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq but insisted he would not change his little-loved reform course in an emotional final speech as party chairman. "I did the job in truly difficult times," he said.
Pay attention, Zapatero.
An overwhelming 95 percent of delegates at a special conference endorsed his chosen successor, Franz Muentefering, the party's parliamentary leader and a figure closer to its core voters. Muentefering, 64, takes on the task of overcoming internal dissent, which recently has absorbed much of Schroeder's energy.

"There's no question that a change of leader is always a new beginning, but this change does nothing to alter the fact that our policies are necessary and right," Schroeder said in his speech. "We will stay on our course - what has been decided will not be changed."

Urging the party to "make it clearer what we have achieved," Schroeder, who has said he plans to seek a third term as chancellor in 2006, said his vehement opposition to last year's invasion of Iraq had been vindicated. "Today we can say that the policy we followed did not weaken us, it strengthened us - without destroying proven friendships and alliances," he said.
Lucky for you; despite your efforts.
Schroeder launched his reform drive last March as Germany's economy limped into a third year of near-zero growth. His plans, including higher health care fees and cuts to retirement and welfare benefits, met stiff resistance among leftists and his party's traditional labor union allies. Amid persistent internal sniping, and with the party's poll ratings stuck in a slump, Schroeder announced last month that he would turn over the party leadership. "I am certain that sharing out the work will lead to more unity and, as a consequence, greater success," he said Sunday.

Muentefering himself urged party members to unite behind the government's work. "Opposition is garbage - let others do that. We want to govern," he said.
Get ready to be in the opposition!
Posted by: Steve White || 03/21/2004 2:27:09 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

Holy War in Europe (Threatens Western Solidarity)
Heavy EFL
Europe’s jihadists are born from their imperfect assimilation into Western European societies, from the particular alienation that young Muslim males experience in Europe’s post-Christian, devoutly secular societies. The phenomenon is vastly more common among Arabs than among African or Asian Muslims. The reasons why these young, predominantly Arab males are drawn to the most militant expressions of Islam are complex and always personal. But their journey--which they usually begin as highly Westernized, modern-educated youths of little Islamic faith and end as practitioners of bin Ladenism--is a thoroughly European experience.

The jihadists of Europe have drunk deeply from the virulently anti-American left-wing currents of Continental thought and mixed it with the Islamic emotions of 1,400 years of competition with the Christian West. It’s a Molotov cocktail of the third-world socialist Frantz Fanon and the Muslim Brother Sayyid Qutb. ... the modern European experience seems much more likely to produce violent young Muslims than the American. Europe may be competitive with the worst breeding grounds in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. For Americans, after 9/11, this is obviously not just of academic interest. For the future of al Qaeda--if al Qaeda is to have a future where killing Americans en masse remains its transcendent raison d’être--is in Western Europe. September 11 could not have happened without a European base of operations... The bombings in Spain could easily produce a Europe-wide temptation to duck: While quietly assisting America in its counterterrorist efforts (the French have been superb allies in this regard since 9/11), they publicly would take as much distance as possible from the United States and ratchet up the "pro-Muslim," "pro-Arab" propaganda.
Sort of like their "support" in the second half of the cold war.
...It could dovetail nicely with the developing Democratic party campaign argument depicting Iraq as a mistake, as a digression from the war on terror that has made counterterrorism more difficult. Muslim holy warriors might still try to bomb American embassies or businesses in Europe, which of course could cause numerous European victims, but that would be better than having European passenger trains blown off their rails or Alpine highway tunnels firebombed. President Bush has said that we, the West, are all in this together. But this simply isn’t true. The néo-umma guerriÚre doesn’t really want to strike Spain, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Germany, Poland, or even France as much as it wants to bomb the United States. It would be a delicious irony if small bands of Muslim holy warriors in the twenty-first century accomplished the opposite of what the Ottomans, the most powerful of Islam’s empires, achieved in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The latter helped bring the West together; the former may help tear it apart.

If a Western split doesn’t happen, then we will probably have the French to thank.
They know that Zacarias Moussaoui was once upon a time a good Frenchman. They know that more Khaled Kelkals are being born in the banlieues. They know that even the most dedicated Muslim holy warriors might sometimes have to settle for attacking the second best. But then again, Paris hated losing on Iraq. Many in the French elite--most prominently, the foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin--want the democratic experiment in Iraq to fail. With the American loss of Spain and the waffling in Poland, the French sense victory in Europe. It will be interesting to see whether France’s envy of American hegemony trumps its own experience and fear of Muslim holy warriors trying to blow their way into heaven.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/21/2004 3:45:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

They know that Zacarias Moussaoui was once upon a time a good Frenchman
And he obviously still is.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/21/2004 20:10 Comments || Top||

ETA wants new Spanish PM talks
THE militant Basque separatist group ETA today proposed talks with the incoming Socialist government, but a party spokesperson quickly rejected the call, saying it was "a communique by a terrorist group".
"We only kowtow to terrorists who have turbans!"
"We don’t give any kind of value" to ETA statements, the Socialist spokesperson said on condition of anonymity. ETA praised Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s plan to withdraw Spanish peacekeeping troops from Iraq as a "brave and valiant gesture", and said his government should also have a drastic change in policy on the issue of Basque autonomy, according to an ETA statement published in the San Sebastian-based newspaper Gara, which the group customarily chooses to air its views.
No sign of Al Qaeda - ETA synergy there. Of course not.
"Brave and valiant gestures are needed for Euskal Herria", or Basque country, it said. "It’s possible to achieve peace by reason and good sense." Otherwise, ETA intended to "keep fighting", the group warned.
With help from your masters, the Islamofascists, of course.
Posted by: tipper || 03/21/2004 9:21:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ETA got the message - they weren't booming enough people. Make it big and you can topple the gubbamint
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 10:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Unfortunately for ETA, the Socialists will want to show that the problem was not cojones but Americans, so they will come down on them like a ton of bricks. Better for ETA to make it appear that Islamofascists are intervening on their behalf by an old fashioned ETA bombing followed by an Islamofascist extravaganza that mentions the similarity of the plight of the Basque to that of the Iraqis and Paleostonians. Let Zappy then show proper dhimmitude. But he cannot have two masters.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/21/2004 10:49 Comments || Top||

#3  There was news on Rantburg in January that the Socialists were already meeting with ETA. They will have to wait some time before they can announce publicly whatever accommodation they made before the election.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 19:40 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Kerry on the Record: NAFTA Joins in the Flip-Flop Parade
Posted by: .com || 03/21/2004 01:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

Fred and Boris dicuss Zionism

Posted by: Gentile Warrior || 03/21/2004 8:43 Comments || Top||

#2  That sounds about right.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 9:03 Comments || Top||

#3  By the way, once is amusing, twice is stoopid. I do have to worry about bandwidth, y'know.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 9:09 Comments || Top||

#4  I like it! can you animate it? LOL
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 9:09 Comments || Top||

#5  Fred, don't worry about bandwidth, the image is stored elsewhere, take a look. BTW, I would never do anything to harm anyone, all I want is equal partnership in America.

Posted by: Gentile Warrior || 03/21/2004 9:22 Comments || Top||

#6  where did Rantburg get that pic thats at the top of the main page next to the title,the one of a guy thrashing another,brilliant pic,perhaps you could put some more of those up alongside it.Think there brilliant :)
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/21/2004 9:35 Comments || Top||

#7  That's from the masthead on Page 2. I used to use it on the comments screen, too.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 10:03 Comments || Top||

#8  Fred, I think this guy's passed over the line from trolling and annoying to theft of computer services. I'm sure his local police have quite a thick file on him already, but it might not hurt to add another page.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/21/2004 10:43 Comments || Top||

#9  Where's the original Fred? It looks like an old German woodcut.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/21/2004 11:04 Comments || Top||

#10  Came from a clipart book...
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 11:07 Comments || Top||

#11  ...all I want is equal partnership in America. I imagine that these Boris already dominates MasterbateForPeace.com how much more of the net does he think he can handle?
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 19:44 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Guantánamo Detainees Deliver Intelligence Gains
Military officials say prisoners at the detention center here have provided a stream of intelligence to interrogators during the past two years, including detailed information about Al Qaeda's recruitment of Muslim men in Europe. Military and intelligence officials also said those detainees who were cooperative had provided information about Al Qaeda's chemical and biological weapons efforts, had spoken about the training of suicide bombers, and had described Al Qaeda's use of charities to raise money for its aims.
Lots of bricks for the wall here.
"We have been able as a result of information gained here to take operational actions, even military campaigns," said Steve Rodriguez, a veteran intelligence officer who oversees the interrogation teams. "There are instances of learning about active cells, and we have taken action to see that the cell was broken," he said, in one of a series of interviews given to a reporter on an arranged tour. Another American official said analysts had been able to understand a kind of network in Europe that selected young Muslims, who were later drawn into Al Qaeda by imams and Islamic cultural centers and eventually sent to Afghanistan. He said this information has been sent on in recent months to European counterparts. The sweeping assertions about the value of the detention center at Guantánamo respond to criticism of the operation, in the United States and abroad. Released detainees have also made allegations of mistreatment.
Except that there's a difference between an accusation and a fact...
Apparently in an effort to counter the criticism, officials offered to talk in far greater detail than before about their interrogation techniques and what they say are important intelligence harvests from the detainees. The officials denied the specific allegations of mistreatment made by prisoners recently returned to Britain whose accounts appeared in British newspapers and from Afghans who spoke to The New York Times in Kabul.
No hookers?
Their accounts detail enforced privation, petty cruelty, beatings and planned humiliations. There is no way so far to verify the situation of the detainees as described by the American officials, nor the charges of mistreatment.
Except to compare who's complaining and who they allege beat them.
The first military tribunals for some prisoners at Guantánamo may begin this summer, an event that is expected to draw new criticism. Many groups have challenged the legal basis the United States has cited to justify the detentions.
You can "challenge" anything you want. My knees "challenge" the law of gravity when I stand up. Gravity always prevails.
Speaking of the intelligence gleaned, Mr. Rodriguez contended that it was still useful, despite the fact that some of the detainees had been at Guantánamo for nearly two years. "I thought that when I first came here, there would be little to gain," he said. "But when they talk about what happens in certain operational theaters, the locations of certain pathways, that information doesn't perish." He said a large number of the 610 detainees had not been cooperative with interrogators. At least 50, he said, were "ardent jihadists and have no qualms about telling you that if they got out, they would go and kill more Americans."
"Thanks for telling us that, Mahmoud, and let us introduce you to your new life-long companion, a twenty-kilo ball and a brand-new chain!"
Mr. Rodriguez's emphasis on the dozens of the most hard-core detainees raises a significant question about Guantánamo: Does the prison camp also house many innocents who were swept up in the chaotic aftermath of the Afghanistan war? Human rights groups and relatives of those detained have said the United States has committed a gross injustice by imprisoning many people who were in Afghanistan or Pakistan for reasons other than joining the Taliban or fighting for Al Qaeda.
Who knew we'd sweep up so many tourists in Afghanistan?
And humanitarians, like that nice Mr. Khadr and his family...
Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the departing commander of the Joint Task Force, which runs the prison camp at Guantánamo, categorically denied the allegations. He said he was confident that all the men there had been properly screened and fit the definition of an enemy combatant. "These people have a number of cover stories," he said. "I can say with certainty that the British detainees were here for an appropriate reason." Mr. Rodriguez said, "If I were to believe the stories they tell me at first, then 90 percent of them are innocent rug merchants."
Wardens in civilian prisons hear the same stories.
The released detainees said some prisoners had been treated brutally by soldiers from the Immediate Reaction Force, a group of seven members called to prison cells when an inmates refused to obey an order. One carries a plexiglass shield, and the rest have elbow and knee pads. Such actions, officials said, occur three times a week on average and are always videotaped. General Miller acknowledged a handful of occasions when the handling was judged to have been too rough, but said no one was left seriously injured. He said one military policeman had been court-martialed for overreacting when an inmate threw excrement on him. The soldier was acquitted.
Short of beating the sob to death, how would it be possible to 'over-react'?
The detention system at Guantánamo is intended to make the prisoners as compliant as possible. The detainees are schooled in a system of rewards and penalties calibrated to their behavior, including potential access to books and puzzles or being deprived of towels and a toothbrush.
Threatening 'em with dental plaque? Quelle horror! That'll bring out Amnesty Int'l for sure.
For instance, most prisoners are not allowed to exercise in their 6-by-8-foot cells, but get twice-weekly 20-minute periods for exercising and showering. But if the camp authorities decide that detainees are becoming cooperative, they are given more time out of their cells. The International Committee of the Red Cross Thingy, the only outside group that visits the detainees, has not publicly complained about physical mistreatment. But it has said the prolonged detention without any certainty for the inmates about their future is inhumane and psychologically debilitating.
So's living with the thought that you could be car boomed at any time. So's living with the thought that someone could chop your head off because you're not a wahhabi. That's why they call these guys terrorists.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/21/2004 12:38:38 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  proper response to ICRC, which allows the Red Crescent but not Mogen Adom David? STFU racist pigs!
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 9:22 Comments || Top||

#2  "...and a toothbrush."

Well at least now we know the tales of torture for the British citizens are true. After all, the US gave them toothbrushes, and expected them to actually brush their teeth!
Posted by: OldSpook || 03/21/2004 9:53 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Military Parades Captured Bandits From Jolo
Military officials paraded yesterday a captured Abu Sayyaf militant in this southern port city, as security forces continued to hunt down members of the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group blamed for the series of kidnappings and killings in the strife-torn region...
This is the same thing as the previous post on the subject, but I just love the headline...

"Sir! The Fife and Drum Corps has captured two banditti! They were hiding behind the float!"
"Very good, Sergeant Major! Any word from the band?"
"Two prisoners, sir! They were in the bass drum!"
"How about the color guard?"
"No prisoners yet, sir, but they're on the lookout!"
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 10:52:58 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  LOL, is it me or has the inline been double snarky the last 47 hrs... starting with the poor ape individual?
Posted by: Shipman || 03/21/2004 20:44 Comments || Top||

4 Abu Sayyaf rounded up
Philippine forces have captured four Abu Sayyaf Muslim rebels allegedly involved in kidnapping and killing foreigners, officials said Saturday. Brigadier General Gabriel Habacon, chief of the anti-Abu Sayyaf Task Force Comet, said his men captured Michael Pajiji, alleged to have helped kidnap 21 Westerners, Malaysians and Filipinos from Malaysian resorts in Sipadan in April, 2000. Pajiji was arrested Monday on the southern island of Jolo where the hostages had been held but his capture was only revealed after he had been questioned. Most of the Sipadan hostages were freed in Jolo only after hefty ransom payments were made. Pajiji admitted to reporters that he was a member of the Abu Sayyaf but insisted that he only joined in 2002.
"Nope. Nope. Wudn't me. Before that I was doin' humanitarian work in Afghanistan."
Meanwhile, regional police director Chief Superintendent Servando Hizon said three other Abu Sayyaf members had been captured in the southern city of Zamboanga and the nearby island of Basilan earlier in the week. Alih Alkis, who helped in the abduction of four Americans, was caught Tuesday in Zamboanga City, Hizon said. Alkis had allegedly helped detain American Jeffrey Schilling in Jolo in 2000 and later helped abduct Americans Guillermo Sobero and missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham and 17 Filipinos from a resort in the western island of Palawan in 2001. Schilling was eventually rescued but Sobero was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf while Martin Burnham was killed in the rescue operation that recovered his wife. ``Alkis was tagged as among those who beheaded the American hostage,'' Hizon added. Two other Abu Sayyaf members captured included Kissinger Hocson Tan, who took part in the Palawan abductions, and Abdullah Masuhud who allegedly helped the Abu Sayyaf fight off pursuing troops in Basilan island while they were holding Sobero and the Burnhams, Hizon said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 2:22:25 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Anti-Defamation League is fighting anti-Goyism world-wide.

Posted by: Gentile Warrior || 03/21/2004 7:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Mindanao is crawling with anti-Goys, isn't it?
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 8:19 Comments || Top||

Powell tells Syria to pullout from Lebanon
US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Saturday called or Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon so that its small neighbour could enjoy “full sovereignty”.
Keep pounding them, Colin...
“Syria has been in Lebanon for a number of years. We have always made it clear that we would like to see Syria withdraw from Lebanon, for Lebanon to enjoy full sovereignty over its land and over its people,” Powell told reporters at Kuwait International Airport. Powell said that Washington was not interested in force-feeding democratic reform to the Middle East. The administration of US President George W Bush believes a deficit in political and economic freedom in the Muslim world is a key factor fuelling terrorism and has said it intends to promote democratic reform in the Middle East. “It must come from within the region,” Powell said.
See what I mean about using "democracy" as shorthand?
“It must come from each country examining its own history, its own culture, its own state, social and political development and making a judgement as to how it is going to go forward into the future.” Powell was speaking ahead of leaving Kuwait where he held talks with the leaders of the Gulf Arab state which recently said it welcomes reforms in the Middle East but that they must be home-grown not imposed from outside.
The problem is that some of the soil isn't at all conducive to growing reforms. They'll have to be imported.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 12:32:35 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  'Bout time!
Hope this is only our opening salvo!
(And how tragic we left Lebanon to these people 20 years ago in the first place. Hope there's something there left to salvage.)
Posted by: Jen || 03/21/2004 17:57 Comments || Top||

#2  The WOT will proceed in an orderly fashion. Syria has no business in Lebanon. Pushing them back is the next step toward Peace in the Middle East. We don't have an argument for pushing the WOT into Syria or Iran or NK, but Lebanon is illegally occupied. I think Colin is implying diplomatically that we will be taking up temporary residence in Lebanon. We can do this the nice way or...
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 20:06 Comments || Top||

#3  "Powell tells Syria to pullout from Lebanon"

Occupatis interruptus?
Posted by: Tibor || 03/21/2004 23:10 Comments || Top||

#4  We would but we...ummmmmmmmm... can't find our keys.
Posted by: Syria || 03/21/2004 23:28 Comments || Top||

Syrian Authorities Release 600 Kurds After Unrest
Syrian authorities have released around 600 Syrian Kurds arrested over a week of deadly unrest that began on March 12, the head a banned Kurdish party said yesterday. “We have been informed of the liberation of 600 people arrested last Saturday in Dumar, west of Damascus, during clashes with the police,” said Abdul Aziz Dawd, secretary-general of the banned Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party. Dawd added that around 1,500 other Kurds are still being detained in the northeastern province of Hassake and Alepp on the northwest.

The trouble broke out at a football match in Qamishli, 600 kilometers northeast of Damascus on the Turkish border, when Arab tribesmen taunted Kurds with slogans against Iraqi Kurdish leaders and brandished portraits of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Interior Minister Ali Hammud said a total of 25 people had been killed in the unrest, but a KDPP official, Abdel Hamid Darwish, put the figure at 40. And a statement by Muhammad Sawan, who heads the Kurdish Gathering for Democracy and Unity, was the first public indication that the Kurdish unrest had spread to the outskirts of the Syrian capital. The release was not confirmed by the Syrian government, which has not given any figure for the number of people detained since riots among members of the Kurdish minority and police and Arabs began on March 12.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 10:45:13 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

Terror Networks
Hamid Mir sez Binny's got nukes
Osama bin Laden's terror network claims to have bought ready-made nuclear weapons on a Central Asian black market, the biographer of al Qaeda's No. 2 leader was quoted telling an Australian television station. In an interview scheduled to be televised Monday, Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir said Ayman al-Zawahri claimed "smart briefcase bombs" are available on the black market. It was not clear when the interview between Mir and al-Zawahri took place.
November, 2001. Apparently the writer was too lazy to look it up. But I don't write for a major news service, so I could find it in under a minute.
U.S. intelligence agencies have long believed al Qaeda attempted to acquire a nuclear device on the black market but said there is no evidence they ever succeeded. In the interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp. television, parts of which were released Sunday, Mir recalled telling al-Zawahri it was difficult to believe al Qaeda had nuclear weapons when the terror network didn't have the equipment to maintain or use them. "Dr. Ayman al-Zawahri laughed and he said: 'Mr. Mir, if you have $30 million, go to the black market in Central Asia, contact any disgruntled Soviet scientist and a lot of ... smart briefcase bombs are available,'" Mir said in the interview. "They have contacted us, we sent our people to Moscow, to Tashkent, to other Central Asian states and they negotiated and we purchased some suitcase bombs," Mir quoted al-Zawahri saying. Al-Zawahri's boast would not in itself prove the al Qaeda has actually succeeded in acquiring nuclear weapons.
What part of "purchased some suitcase bombs" doesn't fit with that thesis?
Al Qaeda has never hidden its interest in acquiring nuclear weapons. The U.S. government indictment of bin Laden charges as far back as 1992 he "and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain the components of nuclear weapons." And in 1998, a Russian nuclear weapons design expert was investigated for allegedly working with bin Laden's Taliban allies. It was revealed last month Pakistan's top nuclear scientist sold sensitive equipment and nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea, fuelling fears the information could have also fallen into the hands of terrorists.
If al-Qaeda has nukes of any sort, I'd expect them to have come from Abdul Qadeer Khan, ready-made, just light the fuse...
Mir describe al-Zawahri as "the real brain behind Osama bin Laden." "He is the real strategist, Osama bin Laden is only a frontman," Mir was quoted saying during the interview. "I think he is more dangerous than bin Laden."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 12:24:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought the suitcase nukes were supposed to be a myth?
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 03/21/2004 1:18 Comments || Top||

#2  more arab camelshit braggadocio--why use civilian planes if you have a suitcase bomb-its more likely al zawahiri's head turns up in a suitcase carried by taskforce 121 to be delivered to the pentagon than aq has a suitcase A bomb
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 03/21/2004 1:19 Comments || Top||

#3  what i last read on the subject of suitcase nukes suggested that Russia during the cold war left 100 or more 'suitcase nuke' in American cities so if there was ever a 3rd world war they could detonate them in sneaky first strike. I understand that the ex head of the KGB (i think) actually publicly said/says around half of these suitcases have gone missing - no one knows what happened to them according to him> Hes on record as saying all this.A good bit of googling should dig up more details. From memory i think the suitcase nukes are said to use the components from soviet 230mm (i think) nuclear artillary shells.Scarey stuff but i'm not convinced binny and his buddies have one and even if they did i'm not sure they'd be able to use it,i'd imagine thier 'locked and coded' as such to prevent meddaling.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/21/2004 5:13 Comments || Top||

#4  I believe that Al Qaeda bought and paid for suitcase nukes. I don't believe that they work. Remember the old Russian proverb, "Trust, but verify?" Hopefully, there are Russian scientists having a good laugh at their seaside villas bought with Al Qaeda money.
Posted by: Anonymous || 03/21/2004 8:32 Comments || Top||

#5  I guess a "Smart Briefcase Bomb" delivers itself?
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 9:35 Comments || Top||

#6  One overlooked thing:

These suitcase nukes were put together in the late 1970's and early to mid 1980's, at best.

That means they are all approaching 20 years or more in age.

Nuclear weapons decay. They hose the electronics up. They eventually hose up the detonator explosives since they are in close proximity wih the radioactive core. And eventually the decay makes the pit (core) "less pure", possibly to the point where it will not sustain fission.

Thats why the US has big plants to reprocess the warheads on our nuclear weapons.

Also, not to be overlooked, is that nuclear weapons are based on easily and readily replicated scientific facts, but extrememly difficult engineerign problem, and requires intricate & robust electronics and machine-work.

Having the raw materials and knowing you can make a thing go boom, versus actually making a nuclear explosive device - those are two nearly completely different things.
Posted by: OldSpook || 03/21/2004 10:13 Comments || Top||

#7  ..Old Spook speaks extreme wisdom. Even the simplest and most reliable warheads in the US inventory are - to put it gently - maintenance intensive. Without going into too much detail, they require fairly sophisticated storage and upkeep, none of which Al-Q is likely to have. A large portion of the old Soviet missile force was absolutely useless within a surprisingly short period of time after the collapse - if Binny and the boyz have suitcase bombs (not impossible, but unlikely for a bunch of reasons, and they would be fairly hefty suitcases, not briefcases), all they are is expensive doorstops.
And re the gasbag I mean, Hamid Mir, let me give a quick logic test: If it was possible to get these things into the US to explode one - not bluster about hidden bombs and capabilities - why hasn't it already been done? I'm very sure OS knows the answer to that, and it's not hard for anyone else to figure out in a general manner.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 03/21/2004 10:38 Comments || Top||

#8  You guys took the words outta my mouth. It is highly unlikely that AQ could maintain a nuke even if they were to get one. In addition there is no way for them to test a nuke without detonating it so most likely if they did actually buy something from the russians it was suitcases full of radioative medical material.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/21/2004 17:26 Comments || Top||

#9  I am sure Old Spook knows far more than me about how nuclear devices are built than I do. However, I do know something about electronics. Atomic bombs were built before the invention of the transistor, and what we understand today by electronics. Prior to this time computers used big, hot and very unreliable valves, which certainly would not be used in building a bomb. Therefore is possible to build a bomb with just fissionable material and explosives. The radio-active material may well hose up the explosives but that would take some time, and means you would take a just-in-time approach of incorporating the explosives near to the time of detonation. Safety is hardly an issue to suicidal jihadis.

It is dangerous to assume that because a particular way of doing something is the standard or usual way, it is therefore the only way.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/21/2004 17:36 Comments || Top||

#10  Having the raw materials and knowing you can make a thing go boom, versus actually making a nuclear explosive device - those are two nearly completely different things.

I agree, but just exploding a device that contains some Uranium would be enought to cause major panic. If they were smart, then would then announce this was a demonstration of a capability to deliver a nuclear bomb. Also if they were smart they would do it in a European capital. Doing it in the USA would almost certainly result in shutting down nuclear facilities in Iran, Nork, etc. by force.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/21/2004 18:30 Comments || Top||

#11  Shouldn't these suitcase a-bombs be detectable? If it's possible to detect medical radioactive waste in a garbage truck (there's a lot crossing the border into Detroit from Canada), it should be possible to detect a suitcase bomb.
Posted by: Rafael || 03/21/2004 22:12 Comments || Top||

#12  If they had them, I think we'd already know. The hard way...
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/21/2004 23:30 Comments || Top||

Fox News: Spiritual Asshat YASSIN CROAKED!!!
Details to come. Just announced in a "flash"...

Ululation may commence!!!

Hamas has issued a statement threatening to kill every Israeli in their homes. Dire Revenge™ will be coming. Sharon is reported to have personally approved the zap, which means they'll be trying to get him too. This isn't going to be pretty, no matter how much it was needed.
Posted by: .com || 03/21/2004 10:49:03 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1569 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ululululululu!!!
Posted by: ed || 03/21/2004 22:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Wheelchair swarm in progress!

Posted by: .com || 03/21/2004 22:51 Comments || Top||

#3  Looks like Ol' Saruman is finally pushing up daisies.

About damned time.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 22:51 Comments || Top||

#4  I said earlier: "why isn't he dead yet?"

apparently I wasn't alone
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 22:52 Comments || Top||

Next, Arafish! Go IDF!!!
Posted by: Jen || 03/21/2004 22:54 Comments || Top||

#6  Bwahahahahaha... Will Rantisi be next?
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/21/2004 22:58 Comments || Top||

#7  Hey kiddies have some candy...the holy man of Hamas just got holier...
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/21/2004 22:59 Comments || Top||

#8  Helizapped! Banged the bitch! Moulderin' in the grave! Hurrah!
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 23:00 Comments || Top||

#9  GARDAMMIT, I thought I had a headline, but way too slow I be. Oh well, the important thing is...


Whoo!!! Pass out the candy! :)
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 03/21/2004 23:00 Comments || Top||

#10  YES!!!!

I think we owe some Israelis a big party.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/21/2004 23:01 Comments || Top||

#11  Moron Fox News Reporter in Jerusalem, Jennifer Griffin, calls this a "major escalation". Uh ya think? F**lin Duh. There's excitement mixed with sympathy in her voice - very typical for someone who has interviewed the deceased motherfucker numerous times and never found his asshattedness to be intimidating. Now saying he had absolutely no remorse for the suicide bombings, yet you can still hear the sympathy. Breaks me up - that she didn't die with him - doing an in-depth piece.

She says this is a very big deal, yadda3, and that RantSissy will prolly take over as Hamas leader in Gaza. Fine, WTF cares?

Wheelchair swarm! Unique moment in greasing murderous assholes! Hallelujah! Eat a Mav, mofo!
Posted by: .com || 03/21/2004 23:02 Comments || Top||

#12  Did Christmas come early?? Holy shit. Arafat just pooped in his diapers.
Posted by: Rafael || 03/21/2004 23:05 Comments || Top||

#13  I just asked my wife if it is wrong that, on hearing that Yassin had been killed, I had thrown my arms up in the air and said "Yes!"
Posted by: Tibor || 03/21/2004 23:05 Comments || Top||

#14  bet Rantissi can't buy life insurance now...damn shame

(/sarcasm off)
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 23:05 Comments || Top||

#15  Wheelchair swarm indeed! Rantburg swarm in kind!
Posted by: Lucky || 03/21/2004 23:08 Comments || Top||

#16  I like to think that the Israelis are dancing in the streets now, too!
Can't stop ululating, swarming cars or passing out candy!
Where's my AK-47 so I can fire it into the air?!
Happy happy joy joy!!
Posted by: Jen || 03/21/2004 23:12 Comments || Top||

#17  It has taken quite a while for the swarm to coalesce... cuz he was hit coming out of the moskkk after the Fajr prayer - you know, the one that happens at o'dark 30...

And being such good Mooslims there was almost nobody else around...

Allah's Will. Saruman Eats a Mav. Cool. Good call, Allah.
Posted by: .com || 03/21/2004 23:14 Comments || Top||

#18  Coolness.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 03/21/2004 23:14 Comments || Top||

#19  Jen,

The difference to appreciate is that the Israelis will not be dancing in the streets, though they have cause to.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/21/2004 23:15 Comments || Top||

#20  That's one off the deadpool list...
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 23:15 Comments || Top||

#21  Burn in hell you son of a bitch!! Ululululululu!!!
Posted by: Doc8404 || 03/21/2004 23:16 Comments || Top||

#22  Very cool Jen. As long as you shoot your AK straight up in the air there shouldn't be any problem. What goes up, stays up. Don't know why, but damn, facts is facts!
Posted by: Lucky || 03/21/2004 23:16 Comments || Top||

#23  Whoo-hoo! Happy happy joy joy!

Feeling a little warm, asshole?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/21/2004 23:20 Comments || Top||

#24  Jen,

Per Fox, "Gunfire was heard in the Sabra (search) neighborhood where Yassin lives."

Perhaps the Paleos are celbrating also. Or just any reason to shoot in the air to see who can be killed at random.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/21/2004 23:20 Comments || Top||

#25  So who's next?
Mr. Rantissi, Mr. Arafat any comment?
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/21/2004 23:22 Comments || Top||

#26  New Special Olympics catagory: Fastest saying "Oh shit".
Posted by: Charles || 03/21/2004 23:24 Comments || Top||

#27  Dire Revenge™ will be coming next. They'll turn themselves inside out to kill as many as possible.

On the other hand, we get to watch the succession struggle, too. And maybe a push at just the right point will set off the large-scale shoot-em-ups that the Paleos have been working up to among themselves.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 23:26 Comments || Top||

#28  Arafish definitely and could we get Erekhat, too, please?
(I hate that guy)

In the spirit of that Special Olympics comment, wouldn't it have been great if Yassin could have been pushed off the deck of the Achille Lauro?
Posted by: Jen || 03/21/2004 23:27 Comments || Top||

#29  "Gunfire was heard in the Sabra neighborhood where Yassin lives."

Either a power struggle now that a vacuum exists, or the surviving bodyguards are being 'fired'.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/21/2004 23:27 Comments || Top||

#30  I didn't see Fred say this yet so I will - "Say hello to Himmler for us!"
Posted by: PBMcL || 03/21/2004 23:31 Comments || Top||

#31  Fat Lady's up, so I guess that makes it official.
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/21/2004 23:36 Comments || Top||

#32  Y-y-y-y-ea-a-a-a-a-a-h-h-h, bab-beeeeeee!!!

I'm so pleased, so very, very pleased!

Yassin Rantisi Arafat -- who's next for the delete tags?
Posted by: Steve White || 03/21/2004 23:39 Comments || Top||

#33  CNN International is spinning Yassin as a 'moderate'. Unbelievable!
Posted by: phil_b || 03/21/2004 23:40 Comments || Top||

#34  AH-64: When you absolutely, positively have to smoke a murdering Islamic mutherf*cker, accept no substitutes.

Tonight I raise a glass of wine in toast to the pilots and the planners of the airstrike. You all made the world just a little safer.
Posted by: badanov || 03/21/2004 23:43 Comments || Top||

#35  phil_b - Yep, they're definitely playing up the absurd fiction of the political wing vs the militant wing. This is the immediate fallback position, I guess, for the apologists and symps. Certainly works for the Eeeewwwww, eh?
Posted by: .com || 03/21/2004 23:49 Comments || Top||

#36  CBS2 (NYC) just reported it too (they're on Zawahiri and the suitcase nuke now) -- they're leaving it at "reported to", but nothing to deny it ...

Posted by: Edward Yee || 03/21/2004 23:51 Comments || Top||

#37  I bet he didn't even see it coming (the missile) :)
Posted by: Rafael || 03/21/2004 23:57 Comments || Top||

#38  Let's hope not.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 03/22/2004 0:01 Comments || Top||

#39  OMG Wikipedia just confirmed it ...


"Yassin was killed in another Israeli attack on March 22, 2004 as his car was hit by missiles from helicopter gunships as part of an ongoing Israeli retaliation against Hamas-sponsored suicide bombings. The Sheik was leaving an early morning prayer session when the missiles hit. The Shiek was instantly killed, and two of his sons were injured. The attack followed Sheik Yassin's taunt that Israel's response to the Ashdod suicide bombers was weak, and that Hamas will only gain strength on account of Israel's weak response."
Posted by: Edward Yee || 03/22/2004 0:12 Comments || Top||

#40  Erakat on CNN has a severe attack of nostalgia for the roadmap. Sorry toooooo late!
Posted by: phil_b || 03/22/2004 0:17 Comments || Top||

#41  Yaeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Alpha Foxtrot Romeo!!!!
That ought to get the paleos in a tizzy. Especially when they cannot think anything through. Cause, meet effect.

How do you do? Were's da parts man?
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/22/2004 3:02 Comments || Top||

#42  Israel is a ZioNazi colonialist imperialist land grab in the middle east. The UK and the UN had no right to "give" part of Palestine to Israel and to colude with the ethic cleansing of that land...
You will reap what you sew... Violence Breads Violence. Zionism is Ethnocracy. Neither the USA nor Israel are democratic nations. They are imperialist war criminals and pirates.
Posted by: PeaceNik || 03/22/2004 3:32 Comments || Top||

#43  So, peacenik, we take it that the UN Vote to establish Israel is now meaningless, along with that "august" institution?

The israelis are there to stay. Put your money where your mouth is, go to the west bank, and stand in front of an armored bulldozer to express your solidarity with people who think it's marevellous to blow themselves up and into heaven, riding on the shrapnel riddled bodies of JOOOOOS.
Posted by: Ptah || 03/22/2004 5:39 Comments || Top||

#44  Yes...it is our turn to be gleeful...as we should...as I recall the scene in the West Bank and Gaza on 9-11 where there was celebrations in the streets over our grave losses. May the Paleos suffer another 3,000 days like this one.
Posted by: TerrorHunter4Ever || 03/22/2004 8:49 Comments || Top||

#37 I bet he didn't even see it coming (the missile) :)
Posted by: Rafael

#38 Let's hope not.
Posted by: Mr. Davis
Let's hope so. At least then he would have experienced a second or two of the same terror he's unleashed on so many innocent Israelis.

Ding, dong, the warlock's dead! Ulululululululululu :-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/22/2004 15:29 Comments || Top||

#46  Or just any reason to shoot in the air to see who can be killed at random.

Bravo. Author! Sadly, this probably will be lost entirely upon the person it was directed at.

Does anyone else get a feeling Yassin had just finished another session of froth laden prayer for an endless violent cycle in the Middle East before emerging on schedule from that mosque?

A person must be very careful about what they wish for ...

Posted by: Zenster || 04/02/2004 20:21 Comments || Top||

U.S. Arrests Man Linked to Iraq Bombing
U.S. soldiers arrested three related men in this central Iraqi town early Monday, including one suspected militant linked to a roadside bomb attack in Tikrit earlier this month that killed two American soldiers. Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, out of Germany, arrested the three men — all members of the same family — during a pre-dawn raid on their downtown Tikrit house. About 40 soldiers stormed into the modest home, quickly detaining and blindfolding the men and moving the women and children in the house into a separate room before searching the premises.

Soldiers were seeking two men suspected of direct involvement in the March 13 roadside bomb blast that killed Cpt. John F. Kurth, 31, of Columbus, Wis., and Spc. Jason C. Ford, 21, of Bowie, Md., said Lt. Col. Jeff Sinclair. The U.S. military was led to the house by information given to them by a man arrested several days ago in connection with the incident. Only one of the two targeted individuals was captured, but two other men were held for further questioning. All three were taken to a detention facility inside the main U.S. military in base in Tikrit. Sinclair said the military believes the targeted men are involved in "anti-coalition activities" and have "some connection" with the March 13 bombing. The soldiers were killed on the first day that Sinclair’s unit took over security in Saddam Hussein’s restive hometown, which is located within the so called Sunni triangle, a hotbed of anti-coalition activity.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 9:51:07 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  More evidence of Ranburg's censorship of truth while Americans die in Iraq on basis of Zionist lies.
Posted by: Anonymous || 03/21/2004 23:22 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Pakistan tightens al-Qaeda net
CSM and EFL, but adds some more details.
But Pakistani and US officials have backed off from the claim that Osama bin Laden's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri is the "high-value target" surrounded by the 7,000-strong Pakistani deployment. They say another important jihadist could be holed up in the compound: Qari Tahir Yaldash, a founding member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) who has allied his organization with Al Qaeda. Either way, officials and experts say, it is part of the joint US- Pakistani military strategy to remove every potential site Al Qaeda and Taliban remnants use to organize, train, recruit, plan, and control their activities. And if they catch the top leaders in their net, all the better.

In fact, the fighting that continued into Sunday is concentrated in about a 30 square mile area near the city of Wana, around the villages of Shin Warsak, Daza Gundai, Kallu Shah, Ghaw Khawa, and Khari Kot. It is not clear, however, how many Al Qaeda and Taliban militants have congregated in the area. And it's not known how many of them have "melted" into the local population, or indeed originally came from here. Locals say, for example, that some 10,000 tribesmen from Wana alone participated in the decades-long war in Afghanistan. Pakistani officials say some 400 to 500 Al Qaeda militants are engaged in the fighting. Local tribal sources say the foreign militants also have been recruiting and training some 2,500 tribesmen, which locals call the Men of Al Qaeda. "They are professional fighters with tremendous patience," says Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain, who is in charge of the Pakistani military operation.

The Pakistani military launched the operation - helicopter gunships striking the fortress-like mud houses from the air, while thousands of ground forces encircled the five villages - in the areas that are ruled by the four most notorious, local tribal leaders known to sympathize with Al Qaeda: Noor-ul Islam, Naik Mohammad, Mohammad Sharif, and Maulvi Abbas. The four belong to the Yar Gul Khel, a subgroup of the ZaliKhel clan of Akhmedzai Wazir tribe, which fought against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and is believed to be leading the resistance to the Pakistani military onslaught. "Mujahideen are divided in groups and fighting with guerrilla warfare tactics," says tribesman Mohammad Niaz Khan, who fled from the fighting. "They have automatic weapons, hand grenades, and explosives strapped to their bodies."

Thousands of villagers, like Mr. Khan, are trying to escape - with children, chickens, and goats - in cars, trucks, and donkey carts, as thousands more are trapped in the area. "For us, the sky and earth are both spitting fire," says villager Dilawar Khan, sitting next to his four injured children at a local hospital. "From the sky, helicopters are targeting us, and from the ground mujahideen are firing. We poor tribesmen are sandwiched between Al Qaeda and Pakistani forces." That surely is not the intent of the Pakistani mission. But it was initiated to get the militants moving. Before this operation was launched, US military officials in Afghanistan, as well as Pakistani officials, telegraphed the campaign. That, some experts say, was part of wartime information operations. When the militants fear an attack, it often gets them moving, or perhaps make a call that could be traced. In either case, they could be targeted. "They were obviously sending a message," says Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel and a military strategist. "I think they wanted Osama bin Laden to hear the message and move.... The recent announcement that Mr. Zawahiri was encircled could have had a similar objective. It may have had the purpose of just getting him to use a cellphone."

But Pakistani officials are playing down the claim Mr. bin Laden's No. 2 may be encircled, although they continue to say the level of resistance offered by militants suggests there could be a "high value target" in the area. "Whenever there is senior militant leader spending a night somewhere, then his armed men guard several houses in the surroundings," says a government official. "On the day that is what happened and they fired on paramilitaries from everywhere. We thought there could be a senior leader hiding there." Tribal sources, however, say Zawahiri could have escaped. Last Tuesday, a convoy of two bullet-proof, twin-cabin pick-up trucks broke through a security cordon. These tribal elders say that could have been Zawahiri or the IMU's current leader, Mr. Yaldash. "He seems to have been injured and appears to be holed up somewhere in that area, but the other two drivers of the vehicles were killed," says a tribal source. The tribesman says both men are known to visit the area. "Zawahiri was seen in the area in the recent past and visited Waziristan in disguise every four to six weeks," says a tribal elder on the condition of anonymity. Sometimes he would visit on horseback. [And] Tahir Yaldash is very popular among mujahideen for his leadership qualities, fiery speeches."

"We have intercepted messages in Arabic, Chechen, and Uzbek languages," says General Hussain. "We have arrested a Chechen and recovered huge arms and ammunition. We believe that some of them were providing training to locals for suicide bombings." Hussain wouldn't say what has been learned so far from those captured - reportedly about 100. But he says, "We have received valuable information from the arrested militants." The negotiations to end the fighting and turn over the Al Qaeda fighters is scheduled to begin Monday. Tribal elders are trying to help. "It is up to Zalikhel tribe now to act quickly to save Waziristan turning into Afghanistan and to save the region and tribesmen from destruction," says Azam Khan, a top government official in South Waziristan. Saliab Meshud, a sociologist and writer in South Waziristan, worries though, that the fighting could spread and that there will be more bloodshed - especially if it moves into the mountains. "It seems Pakistani security forces are committed to eliminate Al Qaeda guerrillas at any cost," he says. "And mujahideen will fight till their last as they will not surrender."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 6:40:10 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

US ambassador urges Pakistani crackdown on Taliban
Senior Taliban are still plotting attacks on Afghan and US targets from safe havens in Pakistan, the US ambassador in Kabul said on Sunday, urging Islamabad to clamp down on Taliban fugitives, as well as Al Qaeda leaders. “We know several key Taliban figures are there and there is some sense that some of the remaining Al Qaeda leaders are in the border area on the other side,” Zalmay Khalizad said. “It doesn’t serve Pakistan’s interest for them to operate in Pakistan and to come across and attack Afghanistan or the coalition forces here,” Khalizad said in an interview. Khalizad said the US was “very encouraged” by an ongoing Pakistani offensive against hundreds of foreign fighters and allied Afghan tribesmen in villages in South Waziristan. Khalizad also cited a statement by Afghan President Hamid Karzai late last year that Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar had been spotted in a mosque of Quetta.

Pakistan on Sunday denied that its security forces were allowing men to cross its border with Afghanistan unchecked. Abdul Rauf Chaudhry, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said that Pakistani paramilitary rangers and troops were alert and guarding the border to prevent any “miscreants” from crossing illegally. He said guards might allow local tribesmen they recognize to cross to visit relatives. “There are many tribes near the Pakistan-Afghan border. People belonging to these tribes are usually not discouraged by the government from visiting their relatives,” he said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 6:38:47 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

Mujahideen-e-Islam threatens Waziris
A Jihadi organisation named “Mujahideen-e-Islam” (MI) is motivating tribesmen to boycott the official jirgas, and is insisting on armed resistance against the forces conducting operations on behalf of the US, sources from Waziristan told Daily Times on Sunday. Sources from Wana disclosed that MI was distributing pamphlets in tribal areas, appealing to the people to protect the Mujahideen. A local journalist from Waziristan, Mannan Khan, told Daily Times that the organisation distributed the pamphlets on March 19 and warned the journalists that if they did not publish the contents of the pamphlets, they would be punished. The pamphlets said that the Mujahideen were safe, fighting for Allah, and called for tribesmen to come out from their houses and fight against the enemies of Islam who were either Jews, Christians or their agents in Pakistani government.

A tribal area resident said that people could not recognise MI men because their activities were secret and would not appear openly in public. They distributed pamphlets in the “Shab Nama”, style. ‘Shab Nama’ was a technique to deliver pamphlets about Mujahideen’s activities at night. The identity of Mujahideen-e-Islam was still not clear, but sources said some months ago that Afghan leader Gulbadin Hikmatyar had formed an organization “Fidaeen-e-Islam” for recruiting new Mujahideen, which was also active in the tribal areas. There was a possibility of its being the same organisation, sources added.
Threats in the middle of the night, no discernible actions or competence, yep, sounds like Hek's boyz to me ...
However, the rebel tribes from South Waziristan were also planning to form a lashkar to protect Al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects as well as the tribesmen demanded by the government. According to the sources these rebel tribesmen could be in contact with MI men.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 6:35:51 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

Religious pressure and cash protect al-Qaeda in Pakistan
From a mosque high on an Afghan border mountain, tribal elder Mohammed Safai pointed Sunday to what he said was an Al Qaeda training camp, on Salor Gai mountain, he said - just across the frontier in Pakistan. One by one, fellow Afghan tribal leaders around him ticked off the names of surrounding Pakistani villages that they say are sheltering Al Qaeda and Taliban: Bahna village. Shakul. Mangadthai. Their Pakistani Pashtun brothers across the way know the terror camps and hiding places just as well, the Afghan Pashtun elders said. But the tribal elders in Pakistan will likely never tell — silenced by the Pashtunwalli code of honour, by Al Qaeda money, and by a fierce distrust of the far-off Pakistani government with its different ethnic groups, Pashtun leaders said. “The Pakistani forces are doing operations against Al Qaeda and Taliban, but I don’t think they will be successful,” Safai said. “The tribal area people, they are sympathizers with Al Qaeda and Taliban. They are not showing the exact location where Al Qaeda is hiding.” “You know the Al Qaeda people, they are so rich - they are giving so much money to the people who are giving shelter to Al Qaeda and Taliban,” added Mirowgain Khan, like Safai, an Afghan elder of the Pashtun Kharoti tribe.

Pakistan’s influential and virulently anti-American Jamaat-e-Islami religious party is helping seal the silence, circulating among Pakistani border villages to encourage the Pashtun there to be faithful hosts to their Al Qaeda and Taliban guests, say the Afghans, who have lived out their lives within sight of the tribal areas, crossing over to them at will. In South Wazirstan, local officials and residents said they had no idea whether there was an Al Qaeda camp on Salor Gai, as the Afghans charge. On Thursday, Safai said, six Al Qaeda fighters seeking escape from the Pakistan operation fled here, to these villages around a US military outpost at Shkin. Safai sent tribal gunmen, chasing off five of the men, and capturing a sixth, he said. The man was Al Qaeda, a Chechen, speaking a little Pashto and Dari, the two leading languages in Afghanistan. Tribal men took an AK-47 and seven grenades off the fugitives, and turned the Chechen over to the US military at Shkin.

Around Shkin, tribal elders were worried Sunday after they were warned in an anonymous letter passed to them that their villages would be rocketed if they failed to release the Chechen. The elders repeat a common complaint of Afghans here in Paktika province, on the border - that neither side, Pakistan or Afghan, does anything to close the frontier to Taliban and Al Qaeda, crossing freely. In two days in the border mountains of Paktika, an Associated Press reporter saw no Afghan troops in the countryside, and only one or two vehicles of American forces. Afghans here insist they welcome the American forces, seeing them as the promise of reconstruction, aid and security - but said they needed to seek help from locals who know the hundreds of cross-border trails. “If they want to stop the Al Qaeda, they have to get support of the local people, living and belong to this area. They know all the ways,” Safai said.

Pakistan says its paramilitary and soldiers are alert against any “miscreants” crossing the border. “Our people, who are guarding the border, know these tribesmen very well,” Abdul Rauf Chaudhry, spokesman for Pakistan’s Interior Ministry, said in Islamabad, the Pakistan capital. Looking at Salor Gai mountain, Safai scoffed. “If you wanted to, you could walk from there to Kabul, and not hit a single checkpoint,” he said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 6:32:17 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

25 al-Qaeda in custody in Islamabad and Rawalpindi
Law enforcement agencies arrested 75 people for their alleged links with Al Qaeda, in raids at various places in the twin cities and adjoining areas on Sunday. Fifty people were released after investigation and 25 were taken to an undisclosed location, sources said. The Islamabad and Rawalpindi police and Punjab Constabulary made surprise raids at various Afghan slums in the outskirts of the twin cities to arrest Al Qaeda suspects who might have escaped the military operation in Wana. Police raided afghan slums and other areas including I-11, Shah Allahditta, Noorpur Shahan, Chauntra and Rawat.

The special branch and area police also visited various seminaries in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and checked students’ rooms and their luggage, sources said. Police officials asked the area people to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to arrest suspects. Rawalpindi District Police Officer Syed Murvat Ali Shah told Daily Times that the search operation would continue until the area was purged of miscreants. He said that he had directed the police high ups to hold meetings with the area notables, and consult with them on the situation.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 6:28:52 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

Pakistan joins naval bid against al-Qaeda
Pakistan has agreed to allow coalition ships to hunt Al-Qaeda fighters deep inside its territorial waters, in an unprecedented move that will let British and American ships sail close to the country's coast. President Pervez Musharraf's decision to let the British-led naval task force patrol in Pakistani waters, within the official 19.2km limit, reflects fears that terrorists will try to escape by sea from the latest military offensive being waged against them, the London Telegraph reported. General Musharraf has committed Pakistan's navy to join ships from seven nations in a coalition task force that is guarding the Arabian Sea against the illicit movement of people, weapons and drugs - all vital elements of terrorist networks, the report said.

When the Taleban regime was toppled in Afghanistan in 2001, hundreds of Al-Qaeda militants fled south from the mountains to the unguarded coastlines of Pakistan and Iran, escaping by boat to the Gulf, Yemen and the Horn of Africa. Washington and London are determined to ensure that it does not happen again as United States forces launch Operation Mountain Storm in Afghanistan's mountainous frontier belt, and Pakistani troops pursue their fresh offensive against Osama bin Laden and senior Al-Qaeda lieutenants. Diplomats in both capitals regard Gen Musharraf's decision as a significant breakthrough. It came after talks in Islamabad last week between Gen Musharraf and Admiral Sir Alan West, Britain's Chief of Naval Staff. The maritime campaign to deny terrorists a free run of the oceans had been made a top priority in recent weeks, said Sir Alan. 'The whole point of coming somewhere like this is to show that terrorists cannot dictate what we do or where we go,' he told the Telegraph, speaking aboard the frigate Grafton in Karachi. The Pakistani port city, a known hub for Al-Qaeda terrorists and homegrown militants, has been plagued by violence and bomb attacks against Western targets.

At the heart of Operation Enduring Freedom, which was launched after the Sept 11 attacks, is the so-called HIV (high interest vessels) database. Among other suspicious ships, the database holds details of about a dozen freighters - some up to 91.2m in length - that are believed to be under the control of Al-Qaeda or its supporters. One dhow, which is at present thought to be moving along the East African coast, has 'Al-Qaeda links', according to naval officials, and is believed to be carrying explosives for a terrorist attack. 'We are still getting to grips with the scale of the problem,' Sir Alan said. 'The smuggling of drugs, terrorists and arms are inter-related.'
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 6:26:00 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  One dhow, which is at present thought to be moving along the East African coast, has 'Al-Qaeda links', according to naval officials, and is believed to be carrying explosives for a terrorist attack.
Sounds like a job for the Sand Piper.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/21/2004 20:11 Comments || Top||

1993 Iraqi document lists bin Laden as collaborator
We have obtained a document discovered in Iraq from the files of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS). The report provides new evidence of links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The 1993 document, in Arabic, bears the logo of the Iraqi intelligence agency and is labeled "top secret" on each of its 20 pages. The report is a list of IIS agents who are described as "collaborators." On page 14, the report states that among the collaborators is "the Saudi Osama bin Laden." The document states that bin Laden is a "Saudi businessman and is in charge of the Saudi opposition in Afghanistan." "And he is in good relationship with our section in Syria," the document states, under the signature "Jabar." The document was obtained by the Iraqi National Congress and first disclosed on the CBS program "60 Minutes" by INC leader Ahmed Chalabi. A U.S. official said the document appears authentic.
This is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which that Binny originally planned to have al-Qaeda fight Saddam in Kuwait rather than relying on a Western coalition. In addition, for those familiar with the various theories as to who Ramzi Yousef actually is it is worth pointing out that he was trying to blow up the WTC in 1993 and that a member of his cell fled to Baghdad after the failedbombing.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 6:17:21 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We also know that some people have been faking Iraqi documents for sale to news organisations.That's why I'd wait a while before closing the case on Binny-Saddam connection.
Posted by: El Id || 03/21/2004 18:46 Comments || Top||

#2  "The document was obtained by the Iraqi National Congress and first disclosed on the CBS program "60 Minutes" by INC leader Ahmed Chalabi."

Pardon my skepticism, but I would find this report much more credible if we had discovered this document ourselves. I don't trust Arabs; all too often they seem to have only a tenuous grasp of the concept of "truth."
Posted by: Dave D. || 03/21/2004 19:27 Comments || Top||

#3  I find your racial slur ridiculous and ignorant - but you're talking about Chalabi, so I'll let it pass.
Posted by: CTD || 03/21/2004 22:01 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Yet another cease-fire in Waziristan ...
After five days of fierce fighting and heavy casualties on both sides, the Pakistani military turned today to tribal elders to try to persuade hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters surrounded in the mountainous border region to surrender. The military called a temporary cease-fire while it held a jirga, or traditional tribal council, of all regional tribes in the town of Wana, said Brig. Mehmood Shah, the security chief in Pakistan's tribal areas. It was agreed at the meeting, he said, that elders would try to mediate a surrender of the armed militants and the release of some 14 soldiers and government officials they are holding hostage.
Those hostages are likely the only reason, Pak perfidy aside, why the villages haven't been turned into paste. This is also the third cease-fire, by my count.
The move was clearly prompted by the rising anger of local people to the military action that has killed at least 17 Pakistani soldiers and some 25 militants as well as a number of civilians. A family of 12 people, including women and children, was reported killed when their vehicle came under fire on Saturday as they were leaving their home. But the military's change of tactic may also be because it has made slow progress in the face of unexpectedly fierce resistance from the foreign militants. Brigadier Shah said Sunday that resistance appeared to be dying down and intercepted communications between the militants suggested that they were running out of ammunition. Yet he also conceded that it could take a month to clean up the area of resistance, where 500 to 600 militants and local tribesman are scattered over some 20 square miles of terrain. "The search could wind up in a couple of days but the clean-up operation to flush out foreign militants from the area could last for about a month," he said in an interview in the city of Peshawar. Reports were received six weeks ago that either Mr. Zawahiri or even Osama bin Laden was hiding in the Shawal Mountains, which lie on the border between North and South Waziristan and Afghanistan, two Pakistani officials said in recent interviews. But the Qaeda leader left the area before the lead could be pursued, and is now believed to be moving through the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Pakistani officials said.
If he's heading for Afghanistan, Task Force 121 will be happy to welcome him there.
Instead the Pakistanis have run up against hardened Uzbek fighters, remnants of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group and strong ally of the Taliban that favors traditional guerrilla fighting over terrorism. Pakistani officials are now acknowledging what Afghan officials have been saying for a year, namely that the Uzbeks, along with some Arabs and other Russian-speaking fighters, have been sheltering in the tribal areas of south Waziristan since escaping Afghanistan in spring 2002.
I'm shocked! Who could have possibly thought that?
They are the last effective group of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which has been all but crushed, despite a few reported incidents in Central Asia attributed to the movement. Yet the Uzbeks remain among the toughest fighters the Taliban, Afghanistan's former rulers, ever commanded. Afghan intelligence officials have blamed many of the cross-border attacks inflicted on Afghan and American military positions in southeastern Afghanistan in the last year on these fighters. The Uzbeks have also clashed with Pakistani forces in Azam Warzak, the scene of the current fighting, before — in June 2002, when 30 to 40 fighters escaped from a farmhouse where they had been surrounded. A week later, Pakistani forces ambushed a vehicle full of Uzbeks in north Waziristan.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 6:13:04 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under:

UK Sunday Times saying T-Force 121 Shot al-Zawahiri Dead
More on the "Ayman's Dead" story...
A senior American official involved in the hunt for Bin Laden said that al-Zawahiri may already be dead. According to his version of events, the Egyptian was in the escaping car and was shot by Taskforce 121, the shadowy rapid reaction force comprising special forces and CIA agents that had helped to capture Saddam Hussein last December. The body, he said, had been retrieved from the wreckage and was undergoing DNA tests to confirm whether it was that of al-Zawahiri. In deference to the US forces’ hosts, any announcement was being delayed to make it look as if it were a Pakistani-run operation, as well as to have time to use any information garnered to capture other fighters.
Makes sense to me... if it's true. This is a lot of salt to take, though. Not good for the blood pressure...
Members of Taskforce 121 — whose existence is so secret that their area Camp Vance in the main US base of Bagram is a no-go area to all other US military — were moved to the firebase of Shkin last week, on the Afghan border with Pakistan just a few miles from Wana. Their numbers were boosted by bringing some members back from Iraq.
Posted by: ne1469 || 03/21/2004 5:44:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [351 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yeah, they're super-secret.Make sure you don't tell anyone..
Posted by: El Id || 03/21/2004 18:14 Comments || Top||

#2  They don't even tell Delta Force about them.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 18:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Part of this story is that Zawahiri's son is detained in Bagram, and they are going to use his son's DNA for the test. Last I heard his son had not been captured. I was also unaware that the two "donors" had to be at teh same military base for a DNA test.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 19:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Al Zawahiri's brother, Mohammed, is being held by the Eqyptians. I wouldn't think a sample would be too hard to obtain if one is not already on hand.
Posted by: GK || 03/21/2004 19:49 Comments || Top||

#5  There was a story that he had been captured and was spilling his gutz. The Talibs said it wasn't so, but that just means it's 50-50 it was. This story keeps trying to sneak back; home begins to stir within my manly chest, before being sternly smacked back down...
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 20:00 Comments || Top||

#6  Fred, did you mean hope?
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 20:08 Comments || Top||

#7  was in the escaping car

Sokay,... let try again later. Remember to put up road blocks so the simple (albeit mechnically inclined) woodcutters don't slip away ina motor vehicles.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/21/2004 20:14 Comments || Top||

#8  GK -- I heard a few weeks ago that the US took a sample from AZ's brother in Egypt.

This whole story is consistent with what Col. David Hunt has been saying on Fox. And the idea that the Pakis found the car shot up and crashed into a wall is entirely consistent with a TF 121 deniable (shoot,) snatch and grab on Pak territory.
Posted by: Tibor || 03/21/2004 20:49 Comments || Top||

#9  Ummmm... Yeah. Hope. I got hope in my manly chest, thumbs where my fingers should be.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 21:24 Comments || Top||

#10  As I posted a few days ago: things will be clarified sooner or later, once the people at the top of the chain decide to do so.

I don't wish to violate a friend's confidence. Or my old oaths. So I cannot say and can neither confirm nor deny anything.

Dammit. Guys dont ask me.

Hang in there - a free press eventually gets to things.
Posted by: OldSpook || 03/22/2004 1:23 Comments || Top||

Doubt as Zawahiri reported killed; DNA test underway
EFL I heard on FOX news that Al-Zawahri had been killed and that Americans had the body for DNA testing. A Google of the news turned up this Article. Salt advised.
March 22, 2004
PAKISTAN intelligence services yesterday interrogated more than 100 fighters arrested in the fiercest battle with al-Qa’ida suspects and their local tribal supporters, amid claims the "high-value target" they were protecting might be a central Asian militant leader. But a US official said the al-Qa’ida No 2, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, might have been killed in the fighting.
When this hoedown first started we heard he might have been wounded.
Military intelligence agencies were questioning Uzbeks, Chechens, Arabs and local Pashtun tribesmen arrested during a fierce four-day assault on al-Qa’ida hideouts in Pakistan’s wild northwest tribal belt on the Afghan frontier... Major General Sultan refused to speculate. "I would not give any kind of assessment on this because already a lot of hype has been created," he said... But there has not been any confirmed sighting of Zawahiri, and there was speculation the Egyptian surgeon might already be dead. According to the unnamed US official, Zawahiri was shot by US special forces while trying to flee. The official said the body was undergoing DNA tests, but an announcement was being delayed in deference to the Pakistanis.
I also heard the U.S. was denying this, perhaps just because nobody wants to stick his neck out.
Posted by: GK || 03/21/2004 5:45:37 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder if aliens from the planet Islamazoid have DNA.
Posted by: mhw || 03/21/2004 17:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Ijaz was saying that the point of discussion now is diplomacy. There are ongoing high level talks as to how Pakistan can be credited with the kill. To his knowledge there a five high-level AQ body guards that have been sighted in the ruckus. He thinks it would be extremely unlikely that a five man entourage would accompany a low-level schmuck. I don't know how they would have identified the bodyguards if they are still at large.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 19:15 Comments || Top||

#3  In general, if this kind of enemy makes a stand and fights for, what, five days, it means there's something they want to protect. They COULD have just melted away, offering no or token resistance.

Something or somebody important was there. Now the question is if they got away or not.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/21/2004 19:25 Comments || Top||

#4  I hope the majority of the fodder end up roto-tilled. A massive mow down of the snuffies won't effect the AQ bombing/terror capability but military operations in Afghanistan require a minimum number of bozos humping AKs.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 20:13 Comments || Top||

#5  They were protecting the last operational X-Box in the tribal areas.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/21/2004 20:15 Comments || Top||

#6  I do not give a rat's behind as to who gets the credit. What I want to see is Zawahiri taken off the oxygen inhaling list. The Waziristanis need to realize that if they harbor maggots like Zawa, they are the enemy, too. Just like GWB told the Taliban. They do respect power, especially overwheling power. They will never love or respect us.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/21/2004 20:32 Comments || Top||

#7  Judges: 9.9 - 9.8 - 9.9 - 9.7 - 10.0

Posted by: Anonymous || 03/21/2004 20:44 Comments || Top||

#8  AP, if the story is true, then you need not worry about Zawahiri anymore. If we're being helpful enough to Pakistan to lay the groundwork for continued exterminations, they can have Morgan Fairchild make the announcement in the buff.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 20:47 Comments || Top||

#9  Shipman: LOL!

Anonymous: Was the 9.7 from the East German judge?
Posted by: Tibor || 03/21/2004 20:51 Comments || Top||

#10  no the french judge ;)
Posted by: Capt Joe || 03/21/2004 22:21 Comments || Top||

Hamas ready to participate in elections after withdrawal from Gaza
The Spiritual leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin announced on Sunday the movement's readiness to participate in the Palestinian elections only after the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. In press statements in Gaza, Sheikh Yassin said that "when the Palestinian territories are liberated, Hamas will participate in the elections," indicating that the movement is currently setting a plan aiming to organize relations between Palestinians in Gaza Strip after the Israeli pullout.
Getting the religious police together, are they?
Upon answering a question about the possibility of Hamas' participation in administering the Strip, Sheikh Yassin commented "we will participate democratically in the elections." He explained that his movement's participation depends on the Israeli withdrawal, adding that they will not participle in the authority as long as there is an occupation, and emphasizing that the Palestinian resistance will continue.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 5:13:20 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [379 views] Top|| File under:

#1  why isn't he dead yet?
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 17:34 Comments || Top||

#2  He didn't elaborate on the kind of "participation"? Like blowing up voting booths, killing the "wrong" candidates etc.

This guy must have a fast wheelchair.
Posted by: True German Ally || 03/21/2004 17:54 Comments || Top||

#3  Yassin's phrase,

"... they will not participle in the authority as long as there is an occupation,..."

essentially makes everything said before this inoperative because 'occupation' means Israel in control of Tel Aviv.
Posted by: mhw || 03/21/2004 17:57 Comments || Top||

#4  Frank G -- Impeccable timing on your comment.
Posted by: Tibor || 03/21/2004 23:08 Comments || Top||

#5  ...and then he blew up.
I guess this is what we'd call a moot point.
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/21/2004 23:19 Comments || Top||

#6  The ultimate in Over Take By Events.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/22/2004 6:38 Comments || Top||

Africa: Subsaharan
Uganda Troops Kill More Than 50 Rebels
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) - Government troops backed by helicopter gunships fought fierce battles with rebels in northern Uganda, killing more than 50 insurgents, the army spokesman said Sunday.
Any of 'em named "Kony"?
The fighting took place near the border with Sudan on Saturday as rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army crossed into Uganda, said Maj. Shaban Bantariza. It was not possible to contact the shadowy rebel group for comment.
Too busy bleeding right now.
Bantariza said Saturday's fighting took place near Bibia, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) north of the capital, Kampala. "These groups of rebels were crossing (the border) to fight within Uganda," Bantariza said. "We killed them in two encounters that took place at the same time and by dusk, we had counted 52 bodies. We had no causalities."
There's an exchange ratio that warms a general's heart.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/21/2004 4:21:21 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

Likud Tepid on Sharon Gaza Withdrawal Plan
JERUSALEM (AP) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented his proposal for a Gaza Strip withdrawal to Cabinet ministers from his Likud Party on Sunday, which met significant opposition but apparently not enough to sink the plan, participants said. Since Sharon said last month he is considering withdrawing from much of Gaza if peace efforts remain frozen, fighting has intensified in the strip, with both sides trying to claim victory. Sharon presented his withdrawal proposal to 13 Likud ministers on Sunday and promised to hold a vote on it in the full 24-member Cabinet once he has received U.S. backing.

For now, the Bush administration has withheld judgment, saying it is still studying the idea, but that it will not back any unilateral actions that could disrupt the U.S.-led "road map" peace plan. Sharon aides have met frequently in recent weeks with Bush advisers to discuss the plan.

In Sunday's meeting, it became apparent that seven or eight Likud ministers oppose the plan or will support it only if certain conditions are met, said Uzi Landau, a minister without portfolio and one of the opponents. However, the full Cabinet, which also has ministers from both moderate and ultra-nationalist coalition parties, would likely approve the plan by one or two votes, political analysts said.

Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen as the leader of the hawkish wing of Likud, gave his qualified support, and this suggested other opponents might eventually fall in line. "I wouldn't necessarily have initiated this process, but it is already on the table," Netanyahu said of the withdrawal plan. He said Israel should now try to minimize the security risks involved.

Some Likud ministers said their support depends on U.S. guarantees to Israel. Sharon reportedly seeks Washington's backing for annexing large Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank in a final peace deal, in exchange for a Gaza withdrawal. "At the moment, it doesn't look like there is anything close to this (such a promise), and therefore we will examine it based on the American guarantees," Education Minister Limor Livnat, another opponent, told The Associated Press.
Bush can't promise that openly.
Netanyahu said the United States must clearly state its opposition to the return of Palestinian refugees to homes in what is now Israel. Other ministers said a Gaza pullout would increase the motivation of militants to attack Israelis.

Sharon may have an easier time passing the plan in parliament than in his Cabinet. Shimon Peres, who heads the moderate opposition Labor Party, said Sunday that Labor would support any proposal to dismantle settlements. "If this government ... leaves Gaza, we will vote in favor in the parliament. If this government wants to dismantle settlements, we will vote in favor," Peres told reporters.
Sounds increasingly like a done deal.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/21/2004 4:15:00 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [391 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The sooner they're out, the better for them.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 16:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Shimon Peres, who heads the moderate opposition Labor Party, said Sunday that Labor would support any proposal to dismantle settlements.

Moderate? How about rabidly left-wing?
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/21/2004 22:26 Comments || Top||

#3  When it's the AP viewing the Left, it's always 'moderate'.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/21/2004 23:34 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
As Many As 500 Rebels Killed in Nepal
Nepalese government forces killed as many as 500 rebels, and at least 18 police and soldiers died in some of the fiercest fighting since a cease-fire collapsed last year, officials reported on Sunday. Hundreds of rebels swarmed into Beni, a mountain town 175 miles west of Katmandu, the capital, and battled security forces for nearly 12 hours before being chased away by reinforcements, according to Army Spokesman Col. Deepak Gurung. Rebels attacked the town's jail, bombed the district administration office and set fire to the police station. They also attacked an army camp using automatic rifles and mortars, Gurung said. Eleven soldiers and seven policemen were killed in the fighting, and two soldiers and 16 policemen were injured, Gurung said. "We believe at least 500 rebels could have died in the encounter," Gurung said. It was impossible to independently confirm the army's claim because the area was sealed by the military.
I'd settle for half.
The guerrillas also bombed a bridge on the road leading to the town and knocked down the telecommunications tower.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/21/2004 4:10:28 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The commie press gangs will be hitting a Kindergarten near you. When the European countries lost an entire generation during WWI at least most of them were old enough to drink a beer. Recruiting in middle school is just sick.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 20:26 Comments || Top||

Zeyad’s account of Basrah car boom
From "Healing Iraq". Edited for brevity.
I guess most of you have heard about the Basrah bombing incident on thursday by now. I was pretty close to the area of the explosion that day. Around 3 in the afternoon there was an enormous blast which violently shaked the windows of the Internet cafe where I was sitting comfortably cursing the connection speed. It came as some sort of a surprise since you would rarely ever hear explosions in Basrah.

Everyone left their seats hurriedly and went out to look. We saw black plumes of smoke rising from Istiqlal street which lies parallel to the one where we were standing. And since I knew a few people at that area, I immediately hailed a taxi to take me to the scene. People were rushing from all directions heading there. Old men, women, kids, bicycles, cars, everything. You would expect that people would actually run away as far as possible from the explosion area. But no, certainly Iraqis wouldn’t.

When I arrived, there was already quite a crowd gathered in front of the hotel where the rigged car exploded. It was an ’82 model Mercedes, and it was apparently not a suicide attack since the car, or what had remained of it, was in the middle of the street in front of the Marbid hotel. Basrah IP and Brits had arrived and were trying to keep the crowd away from the site but no use. They shouted from loud speakers that another rigged car might still be around, but no one budged from their positions.

All of a sudden there was a commotion. Two bearded guys were being dragged amidst the crowd by the police. It seemed that they were suspects. The mob got enraged and someone shouted "Don’t let the British take them away! Kill the Wahhabi bastards now!". Everyone stormed forward and slippers and shoes were thrown at the two bewildered men. Someone sprang out of nowhere and stabbed one of them in the back, and that was that. He got trampled by the angry crowd, and I saw knives, sticks, and qamat (long blades) flashing. The police half heartedly attempted to dissipate them, but it was only until Brits started firing in the air that they left him, but he was obviously dead then, only a bloody mess was left of him. They were put into a British Land Rover and taken away. It turned out later that they had nothing to do with the attack.

The mob looked deadly and dangerous. They proceeded to throw stones and shoes at the British while shouting "Hussein, Hussein". There was shooting again so I slipped away for cover. The area was surrounded so it looked like I was trapped. Even reporters and camera men were shoved away by the British soldiers. I was now very close to the burnt Mercedes, I moved on trying to get as far away as possible from the crowd and I was treading carefully over shattered glass. At one point I felt the ground was slippery, so I looked down and almost got sick. I was walking on a pool of blood. Some bystanders pointed out something, I thought that I would better not look, but curiosity beat me. It was half a human head. It belonged to a once bald person, and his brain and what looked like his guts were all over the place and on the walls. He was the old man that sold groceries in front of the hotel. I recalled buying bananas from him once with Omar and AYS when we used to stay at these hotels at the time we first visited Basrah two months ago.

The explosion itself did not cause much damage to the surrounding buildings. It looked like an amateurish attempt since it only succeeded in breaking windows. However, 3 people were killed and 20 injured. It could have been much more worse if the timing was different. Istiqlal street is a very busy one where several hotels housing foreign reconstruction workers are located. Other people mentioned that a British patrol was meant to be targetted by the explosion.
Posted by: Dar || 03/21/2004 12:15:29 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [337 views] Top|| File under:

#1  My son told me Friday that he had heard a distant, powerful explosion on Thursday, from where he's stationed near Umm Qasr; I wonder if what he heard was that car bomb. He allows as how it's just a wee bit scary at times over there...
Posted by: Dave D. || 03/21/2004 18:54 Comments || Top||

#2  The story sounds slightly embellished. If only three dies what would be the odds of stepping on half a head?
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 19:48 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Azam Tariq murder suspect remanded for five days
Azzam Tariq: I'm glad he's the late.Member of the National Assembly Amanullaha Sial, one of the main suspects in the Maulana Azam Tariq murder case has received a five day physical remand. Rawalpindi Anti-Terrorism Court’s Safder Hussain Malik remanded Mr Sial for five days on Saturday. The judge declined a request from an investigation officer for a seven day physical remand for Mr Sial. Mr Sial, who was brought to the court under tight security, told the judge that he suffers from several diseases, including high blood pressure and an eye infection.
Hmmm... Tough, ain't it? Poor, old loony, murderous Azzam Tariq suffers from rigor mortis and decomposition. Not that I mind, particularly...
The court ordered the investigation officer to provide Mr Sial medical help during his physical remand. The court also directed the investigation officer to produce Mr Sial on March 25. A federal investigation team took Mr Sial to an undisclosed location for questioning about Maulana Azam Tariq’s murder. Zulifqar Naqvi, defence counsel for the accused, appeared before the court and stated that the investigation team had not examined the location where the plan was developed to murder Azam Tariq. He said the complainant had mentioned in the statement he gave to the investigation officer that the murder plan was allegedly hatched at the house of Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the acting president of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal.
Expect his car to boom soon. If Qazi's involved, you know all the witnesses are gonna be dead...
He added that according to the complainant, Allama Sajid Naqvi, president of the Pakistan Islami Tehrek, was present at the MMA supreme council meeting at Mr Ahmed’s residence when the murder plan was developed.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 12:02:20 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So the MMA decided to wack the pro-Musharaff Islamist?
Or they are serious about cracking down on sectarianism in the country..
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 03/21/2004 17:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Somehow I doubt they're actually gonna hang anything on Qazi.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 17:05 Comments || Top||

#3  This guy alive but poor Jabari dead as a doorknob.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/21/2004 20:16 Comments || Top||

2 Indian troops killed, 38 injured in Kashmir blast
A remote-controlled bomb hidden in a motorcycle exploded as an Indian army convoy passed by on Saturday, killing two soldiers and injuring 40 people in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, police said. The motorcycle was parked on a bridge near the town of Manasbal, about 35 kilometres northwest of Srinagar, police officer Suhail Ahmed said. The blast blew one of the army trucks off the bridge, he said. “The truck caught fire and plunged into the river like a ball of fire,” he said. The attack wounded 38 soldiers, seven of them seriously, he added. Two civilian passers-by were also injured. A local police officer said two Hizbul Mujahedin, in a claim of responsibility made to Kashmiri media, boasted it had killed 10 troops and wounded 40 more. In a separate gunbattle on Saturday, Indian soldiers killed one suspected guerrilla in Dangerpora, a village about 65 kilometres south of Srinagar. Police said the slain militant belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba. In nearby Nawkar forests, one captured militant was killed in crossfire between suspected militants and soldiers, police said.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 12:00:22 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

3 killed trying to make bomb
Three men who were apparently trying to make a bomb in a remote village in Balochistan died on Saturday, when the device exploded, a government official said. “We believe that the three men who died in the explosion were apparently making a bomb,” said Allah Bakhsh, the official. He would not elaborate.
What's to elaborate? They forgot whether it was red-to-black or green-to-black. Happens all the time.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 11:58:49 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And that's why one should always use the Mad Bomber Uniform Wiring Code (tm).
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 03/21/2004 17:40 Comments || Top||

#2  What is this red you speak of infidel?
Posted by: Osama bin Bleedin || 03/21/2004 20:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Ohm's law of electricity was created by an infidel, so disregard, class, and go about your work, using the steps laid down by your Imam....
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/21/2004 20:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Too bad. When you make that particular mistake, you can't even take the Heath Kit back to Radio Shack for a refund.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 20:59 Comments || Top||

Africa: North
Moroccan Islamists Call Spain’s Bombers ‘Alien Products’
Moroccan Islamist leaders yesterday dismissed as “alien products” compatriots accused of masterminding the Madrid train bombings. Spanish police, following indications of an Al-Qaeda link in the March 11 attacks on commuter trains that killed 202, have rounded up six Moroccans among 10 suspects. “Islamists in Morocco don’t believe in violence, those Moroccans suspected in the Madrid bombings ... are alien products,” said Fathallah Arsalane, spokesman for the North African kingdom’s largest Islamist group, Al-Adl Wal-Ihsane.
When your first statement's patently ridiculous, people assume that the rest of what you have to say is ridiculous, too...
The Moroccan government has made no official comment on the Madrid arrests apart from providing the identities of those detained so far. The latest three Moroccan suspects were accused in a Spanish court on Friday of 190 murders, but denied any links to Al-Qaeda and said they were asleep at the time of the attacks. One of the Moroccans seen as a main suspect — Jamal Zougam — blubbered wept in court before returning to pray in his cell, court sources said. Another, Mohamed Bekkali, shouted he was innocent.
Was he actually praying? Or just banging his head on the floor?
Moroccan officials, backed by some security experts, have cautioned against drawing a direct link between the Madrid bombings and attacks in Casablanca last year that killed 45 people, including 12 suicide bombers. A government spokesman stressed on Friday that the latest three Moroccan suspects had lived in Spain for years. Zougam, 30, has been living there since he was 10 and only came back to his native town of Tangiers for holidays.
Posted by: Fred || 03/21/2004 10:30:21 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Alien products heh? There's a reason Star Wars was filmed there.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/21/2004 10:56 Comments || Top||

#2  12 self-boomers to kill 45 isn't much of a yield. Doesn't sound like the same mastermind at least.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 19:26 Comments || Top||

Palestinian High Court unfreezes terror funds
JPost - Reg Req’d - Guess Yasser needs $ to buy the new spring line of boomer belts - in pastels
The Palestinian High Court of Justice on Sunday unfroze the accounts of nine Palestinian charities that the United States and Israel suspect fund terror groups.
"Paleostinian High Court of Justice" is oxymoronic if anything every was...
The Palestinian Authority froze the 39 bank accounts last August under pressure from U.S. President George W. Bush, who was reacting to a suicide bombing that killed 21 people in Jerusalem.
"Roadmap, schmoadmap"
Israel has said the charities channel funds from abroad to the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which have carried out dozens of suicide bombings during more than three years of fighting with Israel. The first stage of the U.S.-backed "roadkill" "road map" peace plan requires the Palestinian Authority to crack down on the militant groups, but it has not yet done so.
and won’t
In its ruling Sunday, the Palestinian court said that it found no legal reason for the continued freezing of the groups’ accounts. The decision came in light of a new procedure that will empower the Palestinian Monetary Authority, which oversees the administration of banks, to inspect the charities’ distribution of funds.
meaning the PMA gets their cut
The Palestinian Authority must grant final approval to the court’s decision. It was not immediately clear if this approval would come. The authority has not approved several recent High Court decisions related to Palestinian militants.
meaning the PA will get their cut
When the accounts were frozen last Aug. 24, then-Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas said he believed that two of the charities - Al Jamiya Al Islamiya and As-Salah - were fronts for Hamas. At the time, Bush froze the U.S. accounts of five Palestinian charities, including those working with the two groups. The chairman of As-Salah, Ahmed Kurad, denied Sunday that his group, which assists an estimated 5,000 Palestinians, was related to Hamas.
"no, no, we’re Islamic Jihad"
"We are working to help our Palestinian people, the poor families," Kurad said. "All allegations that we belong to this or that party are false."
then his lips, well, you know...
The Palestinian Authority’s decision to freeze the accounts last summer sparked angry demonstrations by poor Palestinians.
with Hamas gun barrels in their backs
The other seven charities whose accounts were unfrozen were: the Islamic Young Women’s Association, the Social Care Committee, the Palestinian Student Friends Association, the Islamic Charity for Zakat, Al Mujamma Al Islami, Al Nour Charity Association and Al Aqsa Charity Association.
sounds clean to me
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 9:48:06 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

Lesson? Don’t Wear a boomer Belt to A Gunfight
Israeli troops exchanged fire with Hamas militants Sunday, leaving four members of the Islamic militant group and a bystander dead, as Israel’s offensive in the coastal strip entered its sixth day, the army and Palestinian doctors said. One Hamas fugitive exploded as soldiers fired at him, and the military said the man apparently wore a bomb or an explosives belt. The man’s wife was also killed in the blast.
Also Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon briefed ministers of his Likud Party on the details of his proposal to unilaterally withdraw from much of Gaza and parts of the West Bank if peace efforts remain stalled. Since Sharon announced details of his plan last month, violence in Gaza has increased, with both Israel and militants stepping up attacks to try to paint the withdrawal as a victory. Israel began a new offensive into Gaza after a twin suicide bombing by two Gaza militants killed 10 people in the Israeli port of Ashdod on March 14.

In a raid early Sunday, troops entered an area near the town of Khan Younis and surrounded the compound where a member of Hamas was hiding, the army said. As the man and his wife tried to flee, troops fired at him and he exploded. Palestinian doctors said they received the legless body of Hamas activist Basem Kadeeh and said his wife was killed by the shrapnel. Three other Hamas members died during a gunbattle with the Israelis, the hospital said. The Israeli military said it destroyed three structures in the compound, including Kadeeh’s house and a workshop where militants made rockets, mortars and missiles.

Militants attacked the troops with rockets and gunfire, the army said. Hospital officials said 16 Palestinians were wounded, including five hurt by flying stones caused by the building demolitions. Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat condemned the raid. "At a time when everyone is concentrating on disengagement from Gaza, the Israeli army is actually re-engaging and reoccupying Gaza," he said
OWW! Fy Lifs!
I think even Saeb must feel stoopid condemning a raid in which a guy gets shot and explodes. In most normal areas of the world a boom belt is not an article of casual attire.
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 9:17:26 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/21/2004 9:28 Comments || Top||

#2  They received his 'legless' body? Shouldn't that be 'just his legs' - or did he think he was wearing some natty legwarmers?
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 03/21/2004 10:14 Comments || Top||

#3  Like WOW, honey, come along with me; this party is gonna be a real BLAST, man!
Posted by: GK || 03/21/2004 10:36 Comments || Top||

#4  Gonna be hard to enjoy yer 72 virgins with the missus right there, nagging you throughout eternity. hehehe
Posted by: BH || 03/21/2004 11:06 Comments || Top||

#5  Must have been using a dead-man's switch...
Posted by: snellenr || 03/21/2004 21:41 Comments || Top||

Africa: Subsaharan
2 American missionaries killed in Uganda
A missionary couple from Wisconsin and a Ugandan student were killed Thursday night by gunmen at an evangelical mission college in northwestern Uganda, college officials said yesterday. Warren and Donna Pett, both 49, former dairy farmers from Mukwonago, Wis., were killed when men in military fatigues and armed with AK-47 rifles attacked the Esther Evangelistical School of Technology, about 420 miles from Kampala. "Buildings were burnt and other property destroyed," said William Stough, a senior official at the college, run by the African Inland Mission and the Ugandan aid group Here Is Life. "They taught agriculture and other technical subjects at the school," Stough said, adding they had been in Yumbe for close to a year.

"They were totally and entirely dedicated to their Lord," said their son Saul in Mukwonago. "This is where he put them. We know they're home. That's the most consolation we have right now." Ugandan army spokesman Major Shaban Bantariza said it was unlikely the Lord's Resistance Army, which slaughtered more than 200 civilians living in a refugee camp Feb. 21, was involved in the attack. "The information we have is that this was about competition for land, that the evangelical mission wanted to build a church on land that the villagers wanted for other purposes, but this is not yet confirmed," he said.
Just a reminder that Africa's got enough problems without the LRA...
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 2:36:25 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Anti-Defamation League is fighting anti-Goyism world-wide.

Posted by: Gentile Warrior || 03/21/2004 7:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Boris seems to have conquered that jock-itch problem he was having yesterday and has returned to his main battle: trying to convince himself he's not a paranoid schizophrenic.
Posted by: Dave D. || 03/21/2004 7:52 Comments || Top||

#3  I used to think missionaries should mind their own business. In many of these Muslim/African countries, people who convert to Christianity can be killed as infidels and their family shunned. All religions were basically the same, I thought. They teach the lessons of how to cope with the ups and downs of life and about afterlife. Belief in one is as good as another.

But now I'm starting to understand the value in the work of a missionary. Christian values produce free democratic countries like Europe and the USA. Faith, hope, chairty, forgiveness, sacrifice.

Muslim countries never have advanced beyond the time of Christ.

May God bless their souls!
Posted by: B || 03/21/2004 8:15 Comments || Top||

Caucasus Corpse Count
Five soldiers and three police were killed in the latest fighting in Chechnya, an official said Saturday, as Russian forces blocked off the regional capital Grozny for operations to weed out suspected rebel sympathisers. Police were also searching for traitors among their ranks as part of the Grozny sweep, the official in the pro-Moscow Chechen administration said on condition of anonymity. In the past 24 hours, rebels fired 20 times on military checkpoints - killing five troops and wounding seven, the official said. Three police were killed and three wounded in other clashes with rebels, including an exchange of fire Friday in Grozny. Two power company workers driving a truck were also injured Friday when their truck was ambushed near the village of Samashki, the official said. Russian artillery shelled suspected rebel bases in three districts, and at least 180 people were detained Friday in sweep operations.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 2:20:04 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
US forces bomb compound in Uruzgan
.S. warplanes and ground forces killed five suspected Taliban fighters at a compound in central Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Sunday. The U.S. attack occurred Friday in Uruzgan province, an isolated mountain area with a heavy presence of Taliban fighters. ``We were going into their stronghold, the heart of the Taliban, disrupting them,'' U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty said in Kabul, the capital.

On Friday, U.S. and Afghan forces returned to the area and took fire from a Taliban compound. U.S. forces returned fire, and called in A-10 attack planes and B-1 bombers before sending in ground forces, Hilferty said. No U.S. casualties were reported during the operation and one woman was wounded inside the compound, he said. The U.S. forces found a ton of weapons, including rockets, mines and ``bomb-making material,'' from the compound, Hilferty said. American forces also searched houses in the area, and detained several people, he said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 2:17:45 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  a ton? Nice catch!
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 8:55 Comments || Top||

Patriotic Iraqis taking things into their own hands
This appears to be a good thing on the surface but in actuality it’s a dangerous trend. Convincing an armed vigilante group to abandon violence after the terrorist threat has subsided may prove to be a problem. I think this group will end up being trouble down the road even though they may help provide security and crack down on terrorist in ways we can’t today.
BAGHDAD—Twenty men slinging Kalashnikovs, Sterling sub-machineguns, and an assortment of pistols sauntered down a main street in the Baghdad neighborhood of al-Adhamiya one recent Friday afternoon ready for business. As locals watch anxiously, the men tore down pro-Baathist and anti-Coalition posters, a common sight in this pro-Saddam district. Then they replaced the posters with leaflets of their own, vowing attacks on "terrorists" and their allies in the name of a militia called the "Black Flag".

Group members say they will act against suspected insurgents in place of the United States-led Coalition and the Iraqi police, who they say lack the street-level intelligence to deal with their enemies effectively.
Black Flag claims 5,000 members across the country – including adherents in half-a-dozen Baghdad neighborhoods. Although this claim is impossible to verify, IWPR has met members of the groups in three different locations across west Baghdad. As well as al-Adhamiya, IWPR has seen Black Flag leaflets in al-Karkh, a west Baghdad neighborhood that is a centre of Baathist activity, the outlying mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods of al-Bayaa and al-Adel, and the central Bab al-Sharji market.
"We will target the symbols of terrorism, who are known to everyone except the police and the Americans," he said. "We will target those who assist them in person, or through satellite channels like al-Arabiya.”

Al-Arabiya has been accused by both Iraqis and US officials of cooperating with anti-Coalition guerrillas, either by filming their operations or broadcasting their manifestos. H.A. claims to have a list of 21 names of people it suspects in the al-Hurriya district alone, most of them from two predominantly Sunni tribes.

"We will make war against the terrorist leaders, [and] we have much information and evidence proving their involvement with some tribal leaders allied with them against the democratic, patriotic forces," said one Black Flag flyer posted in al-Hurriya.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/21/2004 1:12:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The "Baygon" Brigade? Or more of a "no prisoners" kinda black flag? We'll see who turns up dead, I guess. I agree vigelantes are not a good thing, in general, but the frustration index there must be pretty high.
Posted by: mojo || 03/21/2004 1:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Sounds like they're just trying to prevent car bombs from going off in their neighborhoods. If they organize this right, in the manner of the posses of the old West, it could be a good thing for the eradication of the terrorists living among them.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/21/2004 2:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Home defense is every man's right. Arabs are incredible drama queens so I'm not surprised that this is their "solution", as opposed to cooperating with the police. Of course, the odds are fairly good the police are riddled with people of questionable loyalties. It's possible that in some areas this is their only means of dealing with the killers who have targeted them.

Time will tell if they are what they claim - or a new problem, such as some self-styled Arab mafia.
Posted by: .com || 03/21/2004 5:43 Comments || Top||

#4  The investigation of the Mt Lebanon hotel bombing may uncover some link between the Islamists and sympathizers at Al J or Al Arabiya.

It will hard to keep the black flags in order after that happens.
Posted by: mhw || 03/21/2004 8:30 Comments || Top||

#5  Hell, if you want something done, do it yourself. I bet if these guys went in to Coalition HQ with a detailed map of Ba'ath and AQ members, positions, loyalties, and arms caches, it would either be rejected as unreliable, or only acted on after several bombs went off, killing the informers.
Posted by: gromky || 03/21/2004 23:07 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Pakistani helicopters hit al-Qaeda
It's Reuters, of course, but don't they seem a bit more antsy than usual in this article?
Pakistani army helicopters fired on suspected al Qaeda militants in mountains near the Afghan border today as Pakistani forces pressed on with a campaign to expel foreign militants. Dozens of people have been killed in battles since Tuesday including 13 civilians, many of them women and children, who some officials said were killed in an attack by a helicopter gunship.
And don't forget the baby ducks ...
''First there was small-arms fire, perhaps targeting the helicopters,'' one witness near the fighting in Pakistan's wild tribal west, said of today's firing. ''Then the helicopters hit back. We heard loud explosions.'' Overnight attacks on the militants, who have been defending clusters of heavily fortified mud-walled compounds, were not as intense as the previous night, residents in the area said. The military said the battle to the west of the town of Wana was just one step in their campaign, and fresh targets would be dealt with soon. ''The operation is continuing,'' said military spokesman Major-General Shaukat Sultan. But in an attack likely to inflame anger in the area, 13 civilians died on Saturday when their vehicles were fired on. A senior security official said militants had fired on the vehicles but two local officials said an army helicopter had attacked them after troops had come under attack.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 12:27:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  they were given plenty of warning to let the women and children leave the compounds but the jihadis use them as human shields all the time--allah will sort it out--blah blah--moab anyone
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 03/21/2004 1:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Let's rethink this best ally this side of NATO biz... see next article.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/21/2004 10:46 Comments || Top||

#3  There are no Ayman al-Zawahri or Osama bin-Laden holed up there, just some Pakistani tribals. But you wouldn't know that listening to the Pakistanis...just another ploy to pass the $3billion 'aid package' through Congress to a country where the majority don't seem to have a very favorable view of us.
Posted by: Steve || 03/21/2004 10:58 Comments || Top||

#4  I don't know... I think there is a really good chance that there is more to this than we know right now. One thing I'm curious about is the report that the AQ guys are negotiating for the return of 2 dead bodies... why the hell would they want dead bodies?... unless they were important people maybe. Not neccesarily #1 or #2 but I think they got someone important there and there may be more holed up. One thing I'm pretty confident about is that we're not being told the whole story.
Posted by: Damn_Proud_American || 03/21/2004 17:19 Comments || Top||

Africa: Horn
Quit threat at Somali peace talks
A powerful group of leaders at the Somalia peace talks has threatened to withdraw, accusing regional mediators of interference. Peace talks being held in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, were due to be reaching their final stages. But differences have emerged over how to set up the first recognised national government in Somalia for 13 years. More than a dozen leaders say too many political factions have been given a say in the selection of parliament. Under the proposed peace deal, agreed by rival warlords in January, clan leaders would select a parliament that would in turn elect a president to lead a transitional government. Elections would be held after five years. Militia leader Hussein Aideed, a spokesman for the chiefs threatening to rebel, on Saturday accused mediators of trying to impose their will on the Somali people. "The ownership of the peace process was taken away from the Somalis and the whole course of events is now driven by imposition of instructive statements," he told a news conference.
What did he say?
"If the situation is not rectified we are threatening to withdraw." The Nairobi talks are the 14th attempt to reach a peace deal for Somalia since the overthrow of President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
Wonder who has the record for most consecutive failed peace attempts? Congo? Angola? It's gotta be in Africa somewhere.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/21/2004 12:32:23 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Somebody must have told the negotiators that three hours of khat-napping per day was unacceptable. A withdrawal would mean having to return to Somalia. There will be no withdrawal.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 19:23 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
India riled by US-Pakistan ties
India has expressed disappointment at a decision by the United States to upgrade its relations with India's neighbour and rival, Pakistan, without informing India in advance. A statement from the Foreign Ministry in Delhi said Washington's designation of Pakistan as a major non-Nato ally would have "significant implications for India/US relations". These are strong words from India, clearly rattled at Washington's decision to bestow this new status on Pakistan. The reaction is a sign of the ever sensitive relations the two sub-continental rivals have with each other and with the world's only super power. The new status will put Pakistan in the company of such key American allies as Israel, Japan and Jordan. It will give Islamabad access to US-owned military stockpiles on its territory and privileged rights to US military training. The announcement was hardly a surprise - America and Pakistan have enjoyed special ties since the 1950s - but the timing shocked India. The news came from the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, while visiting Islamabad on Thursday. Just a day earlier, he had left India. While here, Mr Powell said Indian/American ties, including military ones, were perhaps better than ever before. But Saturday's frosty statement said he had not shared with Delhi this new decision on Pakistan.
Wonder why Powell didn't forewarn them?
It comes as India prepares for general elections in a month's time. The governing Bharatiya Janata Party is seeking to play up a feel good factor in the country, including India's own aspirations to super power status. But Delhi took two days to give this response - a day after the opposition Congress party called the decision on Pakistan "a public repudiation of India".
They'll get over it.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/21/2004 12:24:44 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But India's been making nice with Israel lately. Ariel Sharon traveled to India several months ago to finalize the sale of several Phalcon early warning spy planes.
According to Ha'aretz, the Times of India reported in January that the White House had made clear to Indian officials that it supported the sale by Israel to India of the Phalcon and Arrow anti-missile systems. "Seemingly overriding objections from the State Department, White House officials told their Indian counterparts that Washington did not oppose the transaction," the paper wrote.
To me, this sounds like GWB & Co. are trying to keep the India - Pakistan scales balanced...
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/21/2004 0:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Besides, the US said nothing when the Indian leader sidled up to Hu Jintao and said (and I paraphrase) "when China and India stand together, the world will have to listen" - "the world" being Indian code for the US. The Indians are trying to play the US off against the other powers, giving the US as little as possible, while going for maximum advantage. The announcement on Pakistan is just the US's way of telling them that India's zero contribution to the relationship is not going to cut it.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/21/2004 2:22 Comments || Top||

#3  The Pakistani Army created the Taliban and used serving and retired special forces to coordinate the Talib's military conquest of Afghanistan. The Pak Army has been selling nuke technology to North Korea, Libya, Iran and others. The ISI has been running a proxy war against the Indians in Kashmir for the past decade, and give safe haven to wanted terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim.
The Indians have been whining about all this for a decade, and then eventually, all their allegations turned out to be true, and yet somehow Pakistan is still a 'Frontline state in the war on terrorism'.
I can understand why they would be pissed.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 03/21/2004 2:58 Comments || Top||

#4  personally i think India would be best not to whine about this, they have close military ties with Russia for a start,get on fairly well with the US and thier only proper threat is China. Pervs position in Military terms is alot weaker then India.Perhaps India are just fishing for a response from America on more Military hardware or joint Indian/American exersises like the recent 'Cope India' joint exercise.who knows maybe thier just stating the fact they don't like cooperation between the America and Pak.Besides a few old block 15 F-16's arn't gonna pose a threat to india with late model flankers and mirage 2000's.
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/21/2004 7:02 Comments || Top||

#5  India should be a natural ally of the US, but has always embraced the other sides, and kept us at arms length, even opposing us in kneejerk fashion. This game of playing us off against first the Soviets, then the Chinese, is getting old, and doesn't help India at all. If the Islamists overrun Pak's leadership, India'll be calling us, not the Chinese
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 9:54 Comments || Top||

#6  Pakistan has something that India can never have geography, i.e. the border with Afghanistan. Which BTW means a stable AQ free Afghanistan is absolutely not in Pakistan's interest, because once that occurs Pakistan reverts from being part of the solution to being part of the problem.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/21/2004 19:10 Comments || Top||

#7  Our military aid to Pakistan has excluded technology that would improve their abilities vis-à-vis India. We have allowed Israel to supply AWACS equivalent technology to India. Now we have patted Pakistan on the head. India seems to be getting the better of the deal.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 20:55 Comments || Top||

Pakistani cordon now 60 kilometers
Commanders say they have trapped the fighters in a 60 kilometer (37 mile) circumference cordon around two villages in the semi-autonomous northwest tribal region, within 20 kilometers of the Afghan border.
It just keeps getting bigger and bigger, doesn't it ...
Hussain said he had no idea of the nationality or identity of the senior Al-Qaeda figure and could not rule out the possibility he may have escaped. "We are doing our best but no cordon can be absolutely waterproof. Any foreign Al-Qaeda element is a high-value target to me." Troops Saturday were searching homes for Al-Qaeda suspects and their supporters in the villages of Shin Warzak and Kalushah, inside the cordon. Hussain accused the local Yargulkhel clan, a sub-tribe of the Pasthun tribes who straddle both sides of the border, of supporting the "terrorists" and vowed to punish them. "The Yargukhel, who are totally involved in criminal activities, are part of the local support network for the terrorists," he said.

Afghan commanders in southeast border provinces of Paktia, Paktika and Khost, facing Pakistan's South Waziristan and North Waziristan, said US forces had stepped up activities in recent days. "There is increased activity by American forces in Paktika province and along the Afghan-Pakistan border," border commander Zakim Khan told AFP. "The Americans have increased their activities in Khost recently," Khost governor Hakim Taniwal said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 12:20:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

Yar! We be Yargulkhels!!
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 03/21/2004 0:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Any foreign Al-Qaeda element is a high-value target to me.

Is this guy for real? Some foreign jihadi fresh off the plane at Karachi is a high-value target? Jeebus.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/21/2004 0:59 Comments || Top||

#3  free the yargulkhel--its a massacre--el cubo rant
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 03/21/2004 1:06 Comments || Top||

#4  "The Yargukhel, who are totally involved in criminal activities, are part of the local support network for the terrorists," he said

Basically the only industries in the whole FATA are smuggling, drug trafficing, gun manufacturing and kidnapping.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 03/21/2004 1:08 Comments || Top||

#5  It is obvious the Pakistanis have BIN LADEN, his number two and a who lot of other al-Qa'ida bottled up. What is being described in the news media paints the picture of the al-Qaida version of the Alamo. This is looking good. The only question is will bin Laden's remains be intact or in bits. THIS IS GREAT NEWS!!!
Posted by: Anonymous || 03/21/2004 3:19 Comments || Top||

#6  The Encyclopedia Britannica sure isn't written like this anymore

The Waziris are the largest tribe on the frontier, but their state of civilization is very low. They are a race of robbers and murderers, and the Waziri name is execrated even by the neighboring Mahommedan tribes. Mahommedans from a settled district often regard Waziris as utter barbarians, and seem inclined to deny their title to belong to the faith. They have been described as being free-born and murderous, hotheaded and light-hearted, self-respecting but vain. The poverty of their country and the effort required to gain a subsistence in it have made the Waziris a hardy and enduring race. Their physique is uncommonly good, and though on the average short of stature, some extremely tall and large men are to be found amongst them. They are generally deep-chested and compact of build, with a powerful muscular development common to the whole body, and not confined to the lower limbs as is the case with some hill tribes of the Himalayas.

Broken ground and tortuous ravines, by making crime easy and precaution against attack difficult, have fostered violence among the people and developed in them an extraordinary faculty of prudence and alertness. In consequence of his isolation the Waziri has become independent, self-reliant and democratic in sentiment. Through the inaccessibility of his own country to lowlanders, combined with the proximity of open and fertile tracts inhabited by races of inferior stamina, he has developed into a confirmed raider; and the passage through his country of mountain footpaths, connecting India with Afghanistan, has made him by frequent opportunity a hereditary highwayman as well. The women enjoy more freedom than amongst most Pathan tribes, and are frequently unfaithful. The ordinary punishment of adultery is to put the woman to death, and to cut off half the right foot of the man. Amongst Waziris also, as amongst other Pathans, the blood-feud is a national institution.
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 03/21/2004 3:51 Comments || Top||

#7  This "high value target" talk is all crap.
Posted by: UncleWar || 03/21/2004 9:46 Comments || Top||

#8  High value is a relative term depenging on who is placing the value - and its also relative to whomever happens to be in the area at the moment, which is subject to change. The Pakistani "cordon" is probably very much like a sieve at night.
Posted by: OldSpook || 03/21/2004 10:01 Comments || Top||

#9  actually I place "high entertainment value" on a lot of dead turbans, even if they are mid-level to fodder.
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 10:44 Comments || Top||

#10  Does a target rich environment work better than HVT. 10 miles across is not that large an area, if drones are available. Will MOAB's, Daisy Cutters and AC-130 strikes open a new chapter in tribal blood feud? Continual battles where the snuffies die and the upper echelon bolt to safety hamper future recruitment drives.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 20:40 Comments || Top||

#11  A 60 km circumference divided by 6000 troops gives a spacing of 10 meters (32.821 feet LOL)betweem soldiers, on the average.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/21/2004 20:40 Comments || Top||

Telegraph sez Yuldash is high-value target
Bin Laden's number two is no longer believed to be the man cornered in Pakistan. Massoud Ansari and Philip Sherwell report on the other leading al-Qa'eda figure suspected of leading the resistance.

A radical Uzbek mullah who is one of Osama bin Laden's most important lieutenants is believed to be the senior al-Qa'eda figure leading the resistance to a ferocious five-day Pakistani offensive in Waziristan, the Telegraph has learned. As heavy artillery and Cobra helicopter gunships were deployed yesterday against an international brigade of Islamic fanatics, officials in Pakistan and Afghanistan identified Tahir Yuldash, the leader of several hundred Central Asian Islamic fundamentalist fighters, as the key figure being protected by up to 400 al-Qa'eda militants. Yuldash, a founder of the hardline Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, teamed up with bin Laden in Afghanistan but has been based in Pakistani tribal areas since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001. His cordon of bodyguards is fighting the Pakistani onslaught with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

While Yuldash would be a prized captive, Pakistan faced criticism last night for at first suggesting that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian doctor who is bin Laden's right-hand man, was trapped in the vicious firefight being waged along a chain of mud fortresses in the lawless border terrain of South Waziristan. As they backed away from their claims yesterday, it was unclear whether al-Zawahiri - one of the suspected masterminds of the September 11 attacks - had been at the scene and managed to escape, or whether he was not there at all. Western officials were concerned that senior al-Qa'eda figures - a Chechen rebel leader known only as Daniar is also believed to have been embroiled in the fighting - may have slipped through the Pakistani security cordon. Yet their disappointment with the Pakistanis will be tempered by the knowledge that the CIA apparently identified the area as a likely hide-out for al-Zawahiri as long ago as December, but Washington took the decision to hold off from mounting an immediate operation.

According to villagers, the ranks of fighters in Waziristan included Arabs, Chechens, Afghans, Uzbeks and Chinese Uighurs. "There has been deafening firing every day," Dilawer Khan, a resident of the nearby town of Wana, told The Sunday Telegraph. "Helicopter gunships have been dropping bombs all morning at Kaloosha and Zaragandai." The Pakistanis also claimed to have taken 100 prisoners during the offensive, although it is unclear how many are suspected al-Qa'eda operatives and how many are local tribal allies. "Many suspects who have been in the area a long time know the local language so we cannot immediately ascertain their nationalities," said Brig Mehmood Shah, the senior security commander for the border zone.

One intelligence official said that last week's events would have troubling echoes of Tora Bora for President Bush if it transpired that al-Zawahiri had been in the area. The Telegraph has learned that the battleground - about 10 square miles of remote villages and mud compounds - came to the CIA's attention last December. Local tribesmen told US operatives on the ground that al-Zawahiri was sheltering near the settlements of Kaloosha, Azam Warsak, Shin Warsak and Zarangadai. The information was backed up by at least one electronically-intercepted message indicating that al-Zawahiri was in the area. Yet intelligence officials said that a decision was made in Washington not to take any immediate action. "The atrocious weather meant that any attack would be difficult and slow, giving al-Zawahiri plenty of chance to escape," said one official. "Secondly, plans were already being finalised for the current spring offensives. Thirdly, the CIA hoped to hear through local contacts that bin Laden had arrived in the area to meet his deputy. They wanted the chance to kill or capture both."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 12:14:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What?! Another lie from Faux News pumped out by Condi and Rummy? I'm shocked
Posted by: NotMike Moore || 03/21/2004 5:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Huh?
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 03/21/2004 9:01 Comments || Top||

#3  "the CIA apparently identified the area as a likely hide-out for al-Zawahiri as long ago as December, but Washington took the decision to hold off from mounting an immediate operation."

sounds like it was written by Madeleine Halfbright, Richard Clarke, any of the other Clinton history re-writers, or NMM even. I see...Washington decided not to attack the territory in Pakland, huh?
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2004 9:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Hi NMM it's heating up over at BlogFoeAmerica isn't it? Did you see what Alex from Minnesota said yesterday? Yikes!
Taking back America by typing drunken at 5:18 a.m.
NC took it on the chin yesterday.
Posted by: Shipman || 03/21/2004 10:51 Comments || Top||

Waziristan may be IMU's last stand
The hunt for terrorists on Pakistan's frontier appears to be narrowing on an Uzbek terror group that once trained in Afghanistan. The region is the last believed refuge of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, or IMU, which seeks to overthrow the secular government of the former Soviet republic.
As a fully-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda, as it happens ...
IMU militants have become a part of the community in South Waziristan and married local women, said Ahmed Rashid, author of "Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia." They have also used the province as a base for assaults across the border on U.S. forces in Afghanistan, he said.
Makes sense, everybody else does ...
Rashid said Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, do not use non-Arabs to protect them - making it unlikely that al-Zawahri is in the area, as Pakistani officials had earlier claimed.
Only members of the Master Race can be trusted, and them not much...
The presence of the IMU could also explain the ferocity of the fighting, Rashid said, because the group simply has nowhere else to go: U.S. forces are waiting on the border to scoop up fleeing terrorists, Central Asia is too far away and the IMU's links to Pakistani fundamentalist groups who might help them are weak.
You might want to tell that to the MMA and Hamid Gul, who appear to be quite peeved over this latest turn of events. Think they'll just roll over and give up now that Ayman is out of harm's way?
The group was once believed to have 1,000 to 1,500 members, but experts and diplomats in the region say they now number only a few hundred at most.
And ain't nobody gonna mourn their demise ...
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 12:08:36 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  why hasn't that islamist midget hamid gul been put into a desktop paper schredder by now?
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 03/21/2004 1:10 Comments || Top||

#2  I don't know about Bin Laden eschewing non-Arab snuffies. He married into an Afghan clan to achieve a protected status. You can't be moving large numbers of non-Pashtu speaking jihadis though Pakistan without someone spilling the beans. Regardless, zapping one of the AQ hydra heads is a good stroke.
Posted by: Super Hose || 03/21/2004 21:06 Comments || Top||

Mystery man may be Chechen or Uzbek - new info
A suspected senior al Qaeda member whom the Pakistani army thought it had surrounded in a remote area on the Afghan border is probably a Chechen or Uzbek militant leader, a Pakistani commander said on Saturday. An intelligence source said earlier two Chechen militants, identified as Danyar and Quaran Ata, were believed to be in the area and there was a possibility a prominent Uzbek militant, Tahir Yaldashev, was with them.

Earlier, Pakistan troops and helicopters rained fire on the rebels in their well-fortified compounds. "They are extremely professional fighters. They wait for our troops to move within five to seven meters and then open fire," Hussain said. "They are taking us from every direction whenever our troops have moved in and we are not knowing if the locals are with us," he said. "With an undefined target like this, it is practically chasing shadows." Hussain said the battle would soon be over but his forces had other targets in their campaign to sweep foreign militants out of Pakistan's often lawless and largely autonomous tribal lands. "It is going to be an unending operation. It is a series of operations we are going to launch," he said.

Hardline Islamic clerics have denounced the attack, warning it could breed terror strikes. Dozens of students in the western town of Dera Ismail Khan protested against it on Saturday. "The government has made this drama for the benefit of the USA," said protester Sherbaz Ansari. "The result is the tribal people have suffered. We are sure there are no terrorists in our area, no al Qaeda."
So what's with the shootouts, Sherbaz?
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 12:06:15 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The title reminds me of that board game from the early 70's called Mystery Date. Someone should update for the WOT and call it Mystery Jihad.

You have some compound surrounded, and based on your movement around the board you find out if the guy in the hidey hole is OBL, some high Chechen, or possibly just innocent villagers.
Posted by: Milton Bradley || 03/21/2004 1:17 Comments || Top||

#2  how the fuck is anyone 'onnocent if thier firing weapons at troops of thier countrys goverment,as shit as it may be.Would you expect to be treated as innocent if you had an AK-47 or perhaps the Jihadi special the RPG and were firing it at your countrys goverments troops?To even be in possesion of such weapons would probably put you inside prison for several years in the country your from. Truth is none of us sat at our computers or even for that mater in the media news rooms know exactly who or what creatures lurk within the ever expanding 'compound'.I think Perv will fear to much of a loss of face over this so he'll start battering them real hard over the coming days with warplanes and artillary,lets hope so anyway
Posted by: Jon Shep U.K || 03/21/2004 9:11 Comments || Top||

#3  Mr. Bradley is it true that you designed the user interface for Windows XP?
Posted by: Shipman || 03/21/2004 10:53 Comments || Top||

#4  we got hamas spiritual leader.
Posted by: Anonymous || 03/21/2004 23:18 Comments || Top||

Pakistan doesn't have a clue who's holed up in Waziristan
As helicopters circled overhead and gunfire crackled in the distance, a Pakistani general said today many of the al-Qaida fighters surrounded near the Afghan border were Chechen or Uzbek, and he was uncertain whether they included Osama bin Laden's Egyptian deputy Ayman al-Zawahri. Although Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain hedged on the identity of the senior figure, he said he still believed a "high-value" terrorist target remained in the trap and had not escaped across the border into Afghanistan.
No doubt, somebody has to stick around to give orders. But if Ayman was in town, my guess is that he left during one of the cease-fires ...
The operation in the arid, rugged terrain of South Waziristan raged into its fifth day with no sign of surrender from 400 to 500 foreign fighters and local tribesmen facing a thunderous barrage of artillery by night and Cobra helicopter gunship fire by day.
Quite a demonstration of the Pak army's competence when presented with an actual military problem, rather than just staging a coup...
Hussain said 5,000 to 6,000 Pakistani troops were deployed in Pakistan's largest anti-terror campaign, conducted across a 25-square-mile swath of territory within 10 miles of the Afghan frontier.
I assume Task Force 121 is waiting happily on the other side.
About 2,500 soldiers were fighting the militants and the rest conducting searches, he said. Pakistani officials said a dozen American personnel are helping with technical intelligence and surveillance. "I would not rule out any possibility, but with this level of resistance, even after 48 hours (of bombardment), I believe the high-value target is still there," Hussain told about 40 journalists flown by Pakistan's military to this town about three miles from the battle. He said the fighters were a blend of foreigners and members of the local Yargul Khel tribe, and that this was the first of a series of operations to clear the lawless tribal region of militants.
Basically, it's al-Qaeda and whatever's left of the IMU with their Pashtun flunkies. Just like old times ...
The military also showed journalists in Wana belongings and equipment seized from a Chechen fighter who was killed, including grenades, detonators, a traditional pakor hat and prayer beads. Also displayed were four locally made rifles, a dozen grenades, AK-47s and boxes of Soviet-era ammunition seized from tribesmen. The Pakistani army has intercepted some radio conversations of militants inside the encampment -- mostly in the Chechen and Uzbek languages and some in Arabic. One radio intercept in Uzbek or Chechen said a man wounded when he tried unsuccessfully to flee the area in a vehicle on the first day of the operation would need "four men to carry him and 10 or 11 people to protect him," Hussain revealed. That raised suspicion the man was important and "most likely Chechen or Uzbek, as the intercepts were in those languages," he said. Al-Zawahri is Egyptian, and would be expected to have mostly Arabic-speaking protectors. But Hussain said it was possible a figure like al-Zawahri would be guarded by fighters of different nationalities. He also said the protected man could have been a top local tribesman.
That last part fits with the Debka account, at any rate. Our public knowledge of Binny's praetorian guard is scant at best except for the number of controllers that keep coming out of it, but there are said to be Chechens in it.
Last year, Russian authorities revealed that al-Zawahri was detained in Dagestan in 1997 after visiting Chechnya under an assumed name and held in a pretrial detention center for a few months. He was released and expelled from Russia after authorities failed to establish his identity.
To where? Egypt already had a price on his head ...
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/21/2004 12:00:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is where the real threat is... The threat from Pakistan, and from it's unstable goverment, to the world is much great than any threat that the former Iraqi regime may have posed.
Posted by: Aakash || 03/21/2004 0:18 Comments || Top||

#2  The threat from Pakistan, and from it's unstable goverment, to the world is much great than any threat that the former Iraqi regime may have posed.

Actually, no. Unlike Iraq, Pakistan is surrounded by strong countries on every side - Iran, China, India and now US-occupied Afghanistan. Unlike Iraq, Pakistan does not have oil, which limits the resources it can devote to developing weapons technology. Unlike Iraq, Pakistan is not close to (and can't threaten) 2/3 of the world's oil reserves. Also, unlike pre-war Iraq, Pakistan is cooperating with the US on weapons of mass destruction. More to the point, unlike Iraq, Pakistan has had a long history of cooperating with the US against Soviet expansionism - these decades-long ties are water under the bridge, but have left some memory of the good old days in the Pakistani establishment.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/21/2004 0:56 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm not going to respond to this right now, but I'll provide a link to a lengthy comment post that I wrote some months ago, regarding this subject.

Here are some relevant resources:

The Bush administration's policies regarding rogue regimes like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are hypocrital, and these policies are contributing to problems overseas.
Posted by: Aakash || 03/21/2004 4:08 Comments || Top||

#4  STFU, u commie indie. U were Russia's bitch for a long time and ever since they went kapoot u were humping the US leg. Pakis hv been and are staunch ally of US. Had US not ditched Pakis in favor of forging close ties with ur cuntry (note spelling) then we would hv been a much prosperous and developed nation without these iliterate jihadis and other assholes afghis and foreign fighters lounging around. Even now is not too late for US to ditch the bitch. Economically too the US is now facing joblessness in IT and other sectors due to shifiting of major corps to the region with penny workers. And who hv spoiled the market almost in all other countries as well for decent, experienced professional trying to earn a good living. Where i live, we get chartered a/c from India willing to work for an office boy's salary. And don't even ask about the MBAs, they would work for food and shelter only. Might even clean ur car for free.
Posted by: sakattack || 03/21/2004 8:44 Comments || Top||

#5  It's not 'hypocritical' when you're forced to choose among unpleasant options. It's called reality. Try some.
Posted by: UncleWar || 03/21/2004 9:53 Comments || Top||

#6  Unlike Iraq, Pakistan does not have oil, which limits the resources it can devote to developing weapons technology.
But they don't need oil when they can barter their nukey-tech to Jong-il in exchange for The Idiots Guide To The No-Dong. How d'you think they developed the Ghauri so fast? Don't forget KRL's strenuous efforts to turn every rogue state from the DMZ to the Atlantic into a nuclear power... OK, that's a bit unfair, AFAIK they never tried to sell stuff to Omar Hasan al-Bashir (be grateful for small mercies!)
Posted by: Dave || 03/21/2004 18:41 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2004-03-21
  Sheikh Yassin helizapped!
Sat 2004-03-20
  Annan proposes investigation of oil-for-food program
Fri 2004-03-19
  Aymen cornered in Waziristan. Or not.
Thu 2004-03-18
  "The conquest of Madrid"
Wed 2004-03-17
  Baghdad Hotel Boomed - At least 10 dead
Tue 2004-03-16
  Troops and Tanks Poised on Gaza Border
Mon 2004-03-15
  Spain will withdraw troops from Iraq
Sun 2004-03-14
  Iran bans nuke inspectors
Sat 2004-03-13
  Syrian security forces kill 30 people during clashes
Fri 2004-03-12
  Conflicting clues on Madrid booms
Thu 2004-03-11
  Over 170 dead in Madrid booms
Wed 2004-03-10
  Maskhadov may surrender soon - Kadyrov
Tue 2004-03-09
  Rigor mortis for Abu Abbas
Mon 2004-03-08
  Iraqi Council Signs Interim Constitution
Sun 2004-03-07
  Ayman's kid sings!

Better than the average link...

Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
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