Hi there, !
Today Mon 01/24/2005 Sun 01/23/2005 Sat 01/22/2005 Fri 01/21/2005 Thu 01/20/2005 Wed 01/19/2005 Tue 01/18/2005 Archives
454600 articles and 1607265 comments are archived on Rantburg.

Today: 102 articles and 687 comments as of 18:57.
Post a news link    Post your own article   
Area: WoT Background    Non-WoT    Opinion    Local News        Posting Order
70 arrested for Gilgit attacks
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
4 00:00 Dishman [444] 
1 00:00 lex [281] 
7 00:00 lex [289] 
5 00:00 Grunter [471] 
0 [292] 
2 00:00 tu3031 [273] 
7 00:00 Ptah [420] 
6 00:00 eLarson [479] 
2 00:00 badanov [304] 
0 [291] 
4 00:00 Frank G [305] 
4 00:00 tex [279] 
1 00:00 tu3031 [303] 
6 00:00 Liberalhawk [286] 
8 00:00 Don [303] 
2 00:00 tu3031 [295] 
3 00:00 EoZ [292] 
0 [275] 
5 00:00 MacNails [319] 
1 00:00 tu3031 [284] 
1 00:00 EoZ [282] 
5 00:00 tu3031 [308] 
12 00:00 Zhang Fei [553] 
4 00:00 EoZ [286] 
7 00:00 2b [273] 
1 00:00 EoZ [278] 
0 [273] 
0 [288] 
0 [288] 
3 00:00 Spot [283] 
0 [312] 
0 [271] 
0 [323] 
Page 2: WoT Background
0 [279]
3 00:00 MacNails [292]
1 00:00 Cheaderhead [278]
2 00:00 Frank G [288]
4 00:00 Frank G [267]
2 00:00 lex [283]
10 00:00 smokeysinse [257]
2 00:00 CrazyFool [282]
0 [293]
1 00:00 Raj [271]
2 00:00 .com [292]
7 00:00 Robert Crawford [273]
3 00:00 Captain America [276]
13 00:00 Frank G [311]
16 00:00 Frank G [298]
0 [296]
5 00:00 Yosemite Sam [279]
17 00:00 Edward Yee [395]
1 00:00 2b [290]
0 [286]
5 00:00 Glereper Craviter7929 [819]
2 00:00 EoZ [271]
3 00:00 Anonymoose [271]
17 00:00 EoZ [269]
9 00:00 EoZ [278]
17 00:00 JosephMendiola [276]
1 00:00 Glereper Craviter7929 [276]
0 [265]
3 00:00 tu3031 [261]
7 00:00 RWV [247]
2 00:00 Yosemite Sam [263]
3 00:00 Johnnie Bartlette [275]
5 00:00 Kojo [266]
2 00:00 trailing wife [274]
108 00:00 Dishman [417]
1 00:00 Anonymoose [271]
1 00:00 tu3031 [276]
0 [275]
11 00:00 Fred [269]
2 00:00 gromgorru [265]
5 00:00 CrazyFool [253]
4 00:00 tu3031 [287]
Page 3: Non-WoT
1 00:00 .com [407]
0 [280]
41 00:00 Alaska Paul [432]
1 00:00 .com [429]
12 00:00 .com [288]
13 00:00 JosephMendiola [299]
10 00:00 Captain America [306]
26 00:00 lex [400]
7 00:00 Dishman [277]
4 00:00 Alaska Paul [419]
8 00:00 Frank G [271]
4 00:00 Frank G [288]
12 00:00 Don [281]
36 00:00 Alaska Paul [429]
1 00:00 Anonymoose [295]
4 00:00 Dishman [279]
2 00:00 tu3031 [299]
0 [290]
Page 4: Opinion
0 [282]
8 00:00 .com [297]
2 00:00 tu3031 [294]
1 00:00 Anonymoose [284]
5 00:00 MacNails [313]
0 [341]
71 00:00 Hupereger Clish6229 aka Jarhead [565]
9 00:00 .com [824]
Page 5: Local News
9 00:00 .com [514]
What would it cost to get rid of the blogads Fred ?
No offence , but they hinder loading time et al , and are just downright utter crap :P

Ad free is the only way to go (my opinion)
Posted by: MacNails || 01/21/2005 7:24:44 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A gentle suggestion: we give basic demographic info to Fred (postal codes, age, income, profession, marital status, maybe 3-4 product categories of high interest eg autos cameras travel investments), and Fred shops his audience to niche vendors looking to deliver targeted ads on a fee-for-performance basis to a highly educated, higher-than-average income, highly loyal online audience. The hit rate would be an order of magnitude, maybe two, higher than with Google Ads or other such crap.

I for one would glkadly submit my demographic profile to help Fred out. A lot more lucrative than a tip jar.
Posted by: lex || 01/21/2005 22:30 Comments || Top||

Saudi mosque 'bombing bid foiled'
Saudi security forces are hunting three men suspected to be al-Qaida members after thwarting what they believe was an attempt to blow up a mosque in the kingdom, a newspaper said. Acting on a tip-off late on Wednesday night that three men were behaving suspiciously near a mosque, police converged on al-Muwaya area but the suspects fled, Al-Riyadh newspaper reported on its website. The three, referred to by police as members of a deviant group - usually a reference to Usama bin Ladin's al-Qaida which is seeking to overthrow the Saudi ruling family - fled in a white jeep, the paper said. The men were apparently seen with some wires at a mosque near a police station on the road from Riyadh to Taif in the west of the country. The incident came on the eve of the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha, with an estimated three million pilgrims in the kingdom to perform the Hajj.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

Jaber Al-Ali home nested bomb gear; Terror funds from sources next door
Kuwait said Wednesday it had seized explosives material during a raid on a house in the latest of several such finds since gunbattles with suspected Islamist militants last week. Security forces "seized a quantity of explosive-making material, detonators and electric wires" after storming a house Wednesday evening in the Jaber Al-Ali district some 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Kuwait City, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the state KUNA news agency. The explosive materials, which were "ready for use," were similar to those seized in Umm al-Haiman, the statement said.
Kuwait seems to do things a bit differently from Soddy Arabia. The Soddies wait for a shootout, perhaps bang a couple Bad Guyz, surround a few others and scatch their heads when they get away. The Kuwaitis look like they're wringing as much info as they can get out of the Bad Boyz they rounded up, and they're actually acting on that info. I don't think they like shootouts in Kuwait.
Security forces uncovered a large arms cache in Umm al-Haiman, 70 kilometers south of Kuwait City, on Jan 15 following a clash with suspected extremists in which a Saudi militant was killed. The gunbattle, near the largest US military base in Kuwait, came five days after another shoot-out closer to the capital left two security officers dead. Two suspects, including the Saudi national, were killed in the two gunbattles, while up to 15 others, a number of them Saudi, were arrested, according to Interior Minister Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
That was when they met the very large men with the moustachios and truncheons...

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [323 views] Top|| File under:

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Putin orders international hunt for terrorist leaders
Russia must hunt down and arrest militant groups -- at home and abroad -- before they can commit any more acts of terror like the Beslan school massacre, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. "A whole series of terrorist acts organized and executed last year by international criminal groups showed the need for a radical restructuring of state security activity," Putin told a gathering of state prosecutors. "Today we need not just to act against terrorist acts themselves but also to do analytical work, to keep a step ahead, to identify in advance where potential conflict situations might spring up," he said in televised remarks.
So far he's only talked about it, exept for having Big Zem bumped off in Qatar. Though, come to think of it, we haven't done anything quite so obvious, either...
Putin also took a swipe at prosecutors for failing to get Chechen rebel leaders living in exile in Western countries extradited to stand trial at home. Prosecutors must "take pain-staking care with criminal prosecutions of people involved in terrorist acts and their preparation, including those who are abroad," Putin said. Russia's 10-year-old war with separatist rebels in Chechnya has spilled over into an escalating series of bombings, suicide attacks on passenger jets and hostage seizures that culminated in the Beslan bloodbath in September. The Kremlin says many in Chechnya's rebel leadership are plotting violent attacks from exile, and has made bringing them home for trial a priority. But a British court in 2003 threw out a request from Russian prosecutors to extradite exiled rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev on terrorism charges. The judge said the evidence against Zakayev was unreliable and probably obtained through torture.
Akhmed's a member of Maskhadov's "government." The burden of proof that he's not a terrorist should have been on him.
Last year, a court in Qatar jailed two Russian spies for assassinating another Chechen leader, in exile in the Gulf state. The two have since been handed back to Russia. Putin first said Russia's internal security system needed a radical overhaul after the Beslan massacre, but four months later has yet to disclose any details of the reform. Incompetence and corruption inside Russia's security services has been widespread for years, but failures in Beslan put them under the spotlight. Three policemen from the region are being prosecuted, but so far no senior officials. Victims' relatives protested near Beslan on Friday against what they said was a cover-up. Prosecutor-general Vladimir Ustinov, speaking at the gathering of prosecutors, said corrupt policemen were only a reflection of a broader social malaise. "When every day brings new reports of bribe-taking by a bureaucrat ... a policeman cannot be anything other than a direct product of a society which has lost its concept of sin and conscience," he said.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 11:28:54 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Dammit, Russia, don't go after "terrorist leaders", go after those who *inspire* "terrorist leaders", the instigators, the Mullahs. To destroy the weed, you cannot just destroy the seed, you must also destroy the root.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/21/2005 12:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Amen. These guys would stew in their own juices without the cash. Prolly be cesspool cleaners if they didn't have jihad and mullah moolah. Putty, you fuckwit, don't you get it? Your Iranian buddies are your worst enemy. Dipshit.
Posted by: .com || 01/21/2005 12:26 Comments || Top||

#3  Whoa, hey now! No need to get all unilateral there, Puthitler.
Posted by: BH || 01/21/2005 12:50 Comments || Top||

#4  " at home and abroad "

Abroad ?
Are we sure ? Putin may be going after past business associates.
Posted by: tex || 01/21/2005 12:53 Comments || Top||

Illegal immigration ring linked to Libya
A link with al Qaeda is one of the possibilities being studied by investigators in the context of the inquiry into an illegal immigration network between Libya and Italy which resulted in the issue of 29 provisional custody orders in Catanzaro this morning. However there is no proof of this yet. Fourteen of the 29 warrants have been served so far, ten of which on Egyptians, Sudanese and Moroccans resident in Crotone or in nearby Isola Capo Rizzuto. The other four warrants were served in Milan (three) and Bergamo (one), on non EU nationals. The other people involved live abroad and are members or aides in the organisation.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 12:38:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He always looks like he just came off a thousand day coke bender in this picture.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2005 17:03 Comments || Top||

29 arrested in illegal immigration bust - may be linked to al-Qaeda
A series of arrest warrants have been issued by magistrates in Catanzaro for 29 people who are believed to belong to a criminal organisation bringing immigrants into Italy illegally. The suspects, some of whom are suspected of crimes of enslavemnet and kidnapping, are considered responsible for an intense flow of immigrants from Libya towards Italy. The arrests were carried out by police officers from Crotone in various cities in Italy and some North African countries. The warrants were issued at the conclusion of complex inquiries carried out by a specially set up group involving detectives from Crotone, Milan and Bergamo. The suspects are of North African origin, and are all accused of criminal association, human trafficking and aiding and abetting the entry of illegal immigrants into Italy and kidnapping with request for ransom. The inquiries, in collaboration with the secret services, have revealed roles, means and strategies of a criminal group with operating bases in Egypt and Libya and ramifications in Italy, active predominantly in Calabria and Lombardy. The gang concentrated migrants in Egypt before transferring them to Libya where they embarked in the direction of the Italian coast, in particular the Island of Lampedusa. Details of the operation will be revealed at a press conference this morning. There is also a theory that those arrested have links to al Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalism.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 12:37:28 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

#1  My advice to the Italians is
Start methodically deporting every practicing moslem
who entered Itally in the last 10 years, unless you want your lovely country to turn into a hellhole in 20 years like what would happen to France and the Netherlads for sure.
Posted by: EoZ || 01/21/2005 11:42 Comments || Top||

Five Kurdish rebels killed in southeast Turkey
DIYARBAKIR: Turkish security forces have killed five Kurdish guerrillas in a clash in southeastern Turkey, a security official said on Thursday. Fighting broke out late on Wednesday in the mountains of remote Sirnak province, near the Iraqi border, and an operation against the rebels was continuing, the official said. The rebels belonged to the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), he said. The PKK launched an armed campaign against the Turkish state in 1984, and more than 30,000 people, mostly Kurds, have been killed in the violence in the mainly Kurdish southeast. Fighting dropped off significantly in 1999 when Turkey captured PKK commander Abdullah Ocalan, but the PKK called off its unilateral ceasefire in 2004, threatening to wreck the southeast's fragile peace.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

Great White North
Abdullah Khadr in jug
After four years on the run, the eldest son of Canada's most infamous terrorist has been arrested by Pakistani police and handed over to American authorities, his lawyer charged yesterday.
I'm innoncent. I wuz framed....I wuz.
According to his family, Abdullah Khadr was apprehended in mid-October and charged with being a member of al-Qaeda. He was transferred into FBI custody after Canadian officials refused to intervene, his lawyer, Dennis Edney, claims in a letter to the Foreign Affairs Minister

Given that the Canadians have not shown themselves to particularly concerned about islamic terrorist...that says a volume.
For years, the Khadr family has been thorny file for Canadian authorities.
Put the word out the family is against gay marriage and they would be all be in jail.
The late-Ahmed Said Khadr, the family patriarch, was a well-known al-Qaeda financier who split his time between Toronto and the mountains of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Makes you want to puke with cockroaches like that floating around free.
Posted by: anymouse || 01/21/2005 2:26:56 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: WoT
FBI adds names to Boston suspect list
The FBI added the names of nine Chinese people and one other man to the list of those being sought for questioning about a possible terror plot targeting Boston.

Joe Parris, a spokesman for the FBI, said Thursday that the names "were developed as a result of the ongoing investigation" but did not signal that credible evidence has emerged indicating such a plot actually exists.

"Information is still uncorroborated and from a source of unknown reliability and motive," Parris said.

The names are part of the same anonymous tip that led the authorities to announce Wednesday that they are seeking to question four other Chinese and two Iraqis. The new names bring to 16 the people being sought for questioning.

A federal law enforcement official in Washington, speaking condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation, said the tip had been received by the California Highway Patrol. The informer claimed that the four Chinese, two men and two women, had entered the United States from Mexico and were awaiting a shipment of "nuclear oxide" that would follow them to Boston.

The official said the nuclear oxide could be a reference to material used to make a "dirty bomb" that would spew radiation over a wide area.

Michael Sullivan, the federal prosecutor based in Boston, said Thursday that the authorities had learned more background about the original four Chinese, but "it makes us no more alarmed this morning, this afternoon, than we were yesterday."

"They're not wanted at this point in time for any crimes because there's no evidence at this point in time that they've committed any crimes," Sullivan said. "We're not certain exactly where they are. We can't even say for certain that they're in the country."

The White House chief of staff, Andrew Card, said he discussed the manhunt with President George W. Bush during an Oval Office meeting a few hours before his inauguration for a second term. Card did not provide details on what was said.

The four Chinese previously named by the FBI were identified as Zengrong Lin, Wen Quin Zheng, Xiujin Chen and Guozhi Lin. The authorities said none of the names had appeared on previous watch lists of terror suspects. The bureau also released pictures of those four but not of the others being sought.

One woman was among the nine new Chinese names added: Yu Xian Weng, a woman either 40 or 41 years old. The others were all men: Quinquan or Quiquan Lin, 21; Liqiang Liang, 28; Min Xiu Xie, 27; Xiang or Xing Wei Liu, 22; Mei Xia Dong, 21; Xiuming Chen; Cheng Yin Liu; and Zao Yun Wang.

The final name on the new FBI list was José Ernesto Belträn Quiñones, of unknown age or national origin.

In Boston, there were visible signs of stepped-up security, including the searching of vehicles as they entered some underground parking garages and the posting of pictures of the Chinese suspects in the booths where subway tokens are sold by transit employees.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 10:42:02 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It still makes no sense to me that a Chinese team would come here bent on a terror attack. Here are two more AP articles that give a some additional details.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/21/2005 13:11 Comments || Top||

#2  1) Just because they're Chinese doesn't mean they're not Muslim.

2) Even if they're not Muslim doesn't mean they're not terrorists.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 01/21/2005 13:42 Comments || Top||

#3  It's just so damn hard for a terrorist to take a holiday these days!
Posted by: Bulldog || 01/21/2005 13:44 Comments || Top||

#4  How about shutting the friggin border down instead of hunting them once they get in? Or is that too simplistic?
Posted by: Frank G || 01/21/2005 13:52 Comments || Top||

Threat raises suspicion: Caller's motives being scrutinized
This smelled from the beginning.
A mysterious man who told authorities that four Chinese nationals and two Iraqis were planning a nuclear attack on Boston also named a man known to the DEA, supporting investigators' suspicions that the caller was using the terrorist threat for his own gain.
According to three law enforcement sources familiar with three cell phone calls the unidentified man made earlier this week to the California Highway Patrol, the caller named a ``white male'' who was under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration. ``It could be a drug deal gone bad and he's using this threat of a terrorist attack to bring a ton of heat down on someone,'' one source said. ``It could be someone getting dimed out because someone is (angry).''
Meanwhile, the FBI yesterday added the names of 10 Chinese to the list of those being sought for questioning in the possible terror plot. Two law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the names were part of the same anonymous tip. The officials said the tip remains uncorroborated and there is no credible evidence that such a plot exists. U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan said investigators have learned more about the original four Chinese nationals which has tainted the validity of the caller's claim they are terrorists bound for Boston through New York.
``It makes us no more alarmed . . . than we were (Wednesday),'' said Sullivan, who declined to say what investigators have uncovered. ``They don't appear on anybody's watch list. They're not people of interest until we got an unnamed, unknown caller with regard to identifying these people as somebody that were smuggled into the country. We can't even confirm at this point in time that those individuals are in the country.''
Sources said the Spanish-speaking caller made at least one 911 call from Mexico to California authorities followed by two other calls in which he said the four Chinese nationals - Zengrong Lin, Wen Quin Zheng, Xiujin Chen and Guozhi Lin - were planning an attack on Boston with two Iraqis. The caller dropped a package over the border containing pictures and birth dates of the Chinese nationals - two men and two women - but provided no information about the Iraqis, including their gender.
Real convienient to have those names and pictures.
Sources said the photographs appear to be from Mexican visas or from passports. One source said one of the Chinese women was placed in Mexico on Jan. 11. Federal, state and local authorities have been following reports of numerous sightings of the Chinese men and women ranging from the Cape and Islands to Western Massachusetts but none have been substantiated, multiple sources said.
The four Chinese nationals, who were born a year apart between 1981 and 1984, were reported by the Mexican caller to be chemists and that the nuclear material was supposed to follow them across the U.S. border ``within four to five days'' to be used in a ``dirty bomb,'' sources said.
Investigators have not discounted the possibility that a terrorist attack is being mounted, but evidence is leading them to believe that the caller had his own motive. ``It could also be that the people he smuggled ripped him off or that he is trying to take out a rival coyote (smuggler),'' one source said.
That was what I thought.
The San Diego Union News reported the caller said the aliens were smuggled through a tunnel 120 miles from the city.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2005 11:37:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The San Diego Union News reported the caller said the aliens were smuggled through a tunnel 120 miles from the city.

Is it possible that the mexican smugglers have been carefully reviewing some Paleo terror manuals lately ?
This may not be so surprising in view of the booklets recently published by the Mexican gov'mint.
Posted by: EoZ || 01/21/2005 11:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Nah. They've been using tunnels for a long time. Usually for drugs, though.
Posted by: growler || 01/21/2005 12:04 Comments || Top||

#3  Meanwhile, the FBI yesterday added the names of 10 Chinese to the list of those being sought for questioning in the possible terror plot.

Bet they all live in the same apartment...
Posted by: Raj || 01/21/2005 12:43 Comments || Top||

#4  Why are tunnels allowed under our border? Surely something can be done about that -- if archaeologists can use imaging machines to find artifacts underground, mightn't something a little stronger find the emptiness that is a tunnel?
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/21/2005 13:50 Comments || Top||

#5  lotta territory to cover, TW - the tunnels are usually from a building/warehouse on the developed side of Mex. to same here. and 20'-30' down to blur ground penetrating radar
Posted by: Frank G || 01/21/2005 17:24 Comments || Top||

#6  and going that far down to avoid radar is something that all those neolithic guys who established the archaelogical sites simply never thought of doing :)
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 01/21/2005 17:42 Comments || Top||

Focus changes in charges against sheikh
Nearly two years ago, Attorney General John Ashcroft personally announced to Congress that federal prosecutors had filed terrorism-financing charges against a Yemeni sheik and his aide. Law enforcement officials indicated that the sheik, Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad, had used a Brooklyn mosque to help funnel millions of dollars to Al Qaeda and had boasted that he had personally delivered $20 million to Osama bin Laden. But as a federal judge in Brooklyn began questioning jurors yesterday for the scheduled start of testimony next week, pretrial filings suggest the prosecutors are pursuing a somewhat different, and even pared-down, case.

The allegations about Al Qaeda and ties to Mr. bin Laden have faded in importance to the case, the filings from lawyers on both sides have indicated. It now appears that the prosecutors will not even mention the supposed $20 million delivery to Mr. bin Laden. The trial is expected to focus far more than had been expected on the sheik's ties to Hamas, a group that has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States government, but that also has charitable operations. The connection to Hamas was mentioned when the charges were filed, but it drew far less attention. Though it seems clear that the prosecutors still believe the sheik had Al Qaeda connections, some practical problems appear to be at play, stemming from the nettlesome art of fitting a complex case that was announced in a burst of publicity to the sober realities of the courtroom, and limiting the amount of proof they can introduce on the issue of Al Qaeda.

Hampering the prosecutors especially is the fact that their main informer, Mohamed Alanssi, a Yemeni man with a troubled history, set himself on fire outside the White House in November. That strange act drew attention to a history that included legal troubles and bad debts. It meant that he would be a troublesome witness, and the prosecutors have suggested that they may not call him. It was Mr. Alanssi who told federal agents about some of the allegations about the sheik's supposed ties to Al Qaeda, including the claim about the delivery of $20 million, and those claims may not be admissible if he does not testify. The apparent change in emphasis has opened a door for the defense to argue that the case is an effort by prosecutors to make it appear that they have an Al Qaeda operative in the dock in Brooklyn who was a direct threat to the United States.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 12:41:31 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [319 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Going for the do-able, much like Bush at the U.N. When men are guilty of as many things as these two are, it doesn't really matter what they are convicted of, so long as they are put away for a very long time. How many gansters have been put away for tax evasion?
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/21/2005 11:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Is that a swordhilt or the latest in Middle Eastern codpieces?
Posted by: whitecollar redneck || 01/21/2005 20:58 Comments || Top||

#3  ...or is he glad to see us?
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2005 21:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Well, if he's a Sikh, it's his religious duty to wear a dagger right over his, um, penknife.
Posted by: .com || 01/21/2005 21:02 Comments || Top||

#5  group hug?
Posted by: MacNails || 01/21/2005 21:02 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Indonesia kills 120 rebels in devastated Aceh, tsunami toll nears 220,000
Indonesia's military said it had killed 120 separatist rebels over the past two weeks in tsunami-devastated Aceh province, despite pledges by both sides to focus on a massive relief effort rather than fighting. "Over the past two weeks we have been forced to kill 120 GAM (Free Aceh Movement) members and seized their weapons," army chief General Ryamizard Ryacudu said, claiming they had been stealing relief supplies. GAM has declared its own ceasefire and both it and the Jakarta government have expressed interest in sitting down for peace talks after the disaster killed 166,760 people in Aceh and elsewhere in north Sumatra. Rebel spokesman Sofyan Daud said that only six of his men had actually been killed, insisting most of those killed by the military were civilians -- a familiar but unverifiable claim by the insurgents.

The United States called for a political answer to the decades-old struggle in Aceh, a conflict that continued even after the region took the full force of the December 26 earthquake and the waves it created. Confirming some of the worst fears over the scale of the disaster, Indonesia's health ministry upped its death toll by almost 70,000 late Wednesday. The toll across the Indian Ocean is now close to 222,000. The Indonesian figure, reached when thousands said to be missing were listed as dead, conflicted with a tally of 115,000 from the social affairs department. However it appeared to be reaching the numbers that officials including the UN's chief humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland, had predicted. Egeland said in early January, when Indonesia's toll was around 90,000, that the figure would rise "exponentially" here after a more thorough assessment of the damage. As efforts continued around the Indian Ocean basin to help the suffering, Egeland said cash pledged by donor countries was beginning to roll in. Donor nations promised billions of dollars after the tsunamis, but the United Nations on January 6 appealed for 977 million of the sum to immediately meet needs of survivors. "The donor response has never, ever been better or more generous or more immediate," Egeland told a conference on disaster reduction in Kobe, Japan.

The United States, which has led foreign military operations that have been the backbone of relief operations in Aceh, indicated it would begin winding down its relief operations "right now". The commander of US forces in the Pacific Admiral Thomas B. Fargo told a news conference "there have been no deadlines or datelines established" but that two months was probably long enough for the main military aid effort. "My observation here is that we are pretty much past the immediate relief phase and we're rapidly moving towards rehabilitation and reconstruction. We will start right now transferring functions to the appropriate host nation and international organisations," he said.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: God Save The World || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [553 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It didn't take long for the bitter fractious hate to resume between the Indonesian military and the GAM! I am so glad now, I didn't give a dime!! This one was just a warning, the next one may be a 9.8...sufficient to wipe away the hate; like it did on ancient Crete!
Posted by: smn || 01/21/2005 1:04 Comments || Top||

#2  So....are these 120 deaders part of the tsunami toll? Or do they get their own little classification?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/21/2005 1:37 Comments || Top||

#3  Given the reaction to our showing up to help, I thought the following cartoon caption in the Columbia, SC The State was apt:

"Q: If the loss of memory is called amnesia, what is the loss of gratitude?"
"A: Indonesia."

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 01/21/2005 7:34 Comments || Top||

#4  The United States called for a political answer to the decades-old struggle in Aceh,

Reminds me of my mom. My sister and I would be fighting/screaming in the back of the house..and every once in a while it would be enough to rouse her from her book and she'd call out, "Now, now, children! Play nicely!"
Posted by: 2b || 01/21/2005 7:40 Comments || Top||

#5  2b, did your mother really say that? So did mine! Perhaps they attended the same parenting class.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/21/2005 8:25 Comments || Top||

#6  smn: It didn't take long for the bitter fractious hate to resume between the Indonesian military and the GAM! I am so glad now, I didn't give a dime!! This one was just a warning, the next one may be a 9.8...sufficient to wipe away the hate; like it did on ancient Crete!

This isn't hate. It's war. Both sides are playing for keeps. They're fighting over two things that won't go away just because of the tsunami - (1) Aceh's drive for independence and (2) oil on Sumatra which the Acehnese want along with their independence. The honorable truce you hear about in the movies is the exception, not the rule. If Aceh pulls it off, the Indonesian federation could break apart, given that it's made up of nationalities that speak hundreds of distinct languages. There is this simplistic view among journalists that this war is just a misunderstanding or a children's squabble. It's not - and the outcome will decide whether Indonesia will continue to exist as a unitary state.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/21/2005 9:48 Comments || Top||

#7  Both sides are equally roguish...they can murder without accountability in this 'Africa of South Asia'. There's nothing much to choose between them.
Even their plagiarized national motto (which nobody observe seriously)called Panca Sila has inserted their monotheistic deity where it did not actually belong. All hypes and no Spirit of another mossieland.
Posted by: Duh || 01/21/2005 9:59 Comments || Top||

#8  My 2 youngest use to fight over ownership of this ratty old pillow,after months of dealing with this on-going battle I took care of the problem.
Threw the danm thing away!
Posted by: Raptor || 01/21/2005 9:59 Comments || Top||

#9  If Indonesia breaks apart, the resulting war over boundaries (or from a Javanese standpoint, a war of unification) could kill tens of millions, and make Yugoslavia look like a cakewalk. This is definitely not a children's squabble - the truth is that many of the wars that determined Europe's current borders and established strong nation-states with a strong sense of national identity were not fought in Asia because of European imperialism.

These national rivalries lay dormant for hundreds of years. They may yet rise to the surface. Those who say that these are meaningless squabbles ought to look at a map of Europe. The European nation-states are tiny compared to their Asian counterparts, the primary reason being that many Asian states are the artificial remnants of European empires completely unrelated to linguistic or ethnic boundaries. The Europeans have left, but the lingustic and ethnic differences - the same kinds that differentiate the European nation states and were the subject of hundreds of European wars of self-determination / empire - have not been sorted out. Aceh is just the tip of the iceberg.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/21/2005 10:45 Comments || Top||

#10  Zhang,

Credit where credit is due. You are precisely right. Also, such warfare and bloodshed (although having greater impact on Australia) would directly and adversely impact U.S. interests (shipping, etc.)
Posted by: cingold || 01/21/2005 11:53 Comments || Top||

#11  The other feature of the Asian map is the last remianing empire in the World, China. While not the result of European imperialism, is it susceptible to the same centripital forces as Indonesia, in your opinion, ZF?
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/21/2005 11:58 Comments || Top||

#12  MD: The other feature of the Asian map is the last remianing empire in the World, China. While not the result of European imperialism, is it susceptible to the same centripital forces as Indonesia, in your opinion, ZF?

Much as it pains me to say it, I think not. Unlike Asian countries like India and Indonesia, which owe their existence as unitary states to the European powers, Chinese empire was built and kept together by the Chinese and sinified kingdoms on its borders (as Rome was in the later stages of its history). Various pretenders (i.e. claimants) have (more or less) maintained the unity of the Chinese state for over 2000 years. The Chinese state has stayed together because it has mastered the art of holding together an empire - providing a degree of autonomy while pulling back on the reins when the provinces become too unruly.

In addition, the idea of a unitary Chinese state has had an extremely strong hold on the minds of the population over the milennia. Various European kings have lay claim to being inheritors of the Roman empire. None have succeeded. The hold of ethnic-linguistic differences have proved so strong that even the Irish did not deign to remain part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. What would it take to get Europeans to become part of the Roman empire? EU or no EU, I can't see it happening. That's the power of nationalism - of the kind that ensures that the majority ethno-linguistic group of a given country get to set the mores of that country, i.e. that French gets spoken in France, German in Germany, etc. By contrast, the Chinese empire has not yet encountered nationalism - which is why every pretender to the throne has succeeded in unifying the Chinese empire - with brief interruptions lasting a total of perhaps two hundred years, for about 2200 years.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/21/2005 23:51 Comments || Top||

Sri Lanka
LTTE releases new photos, sez Prabhakaran alive
The reclusive leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas has appeared in public for the first time since the tsunami, quelling rumours that he had been killed in the disaster, a pro-rebel website reported. Velupillai Prabhakaran had met relief workers in the northern town of Kilinochchi on Monday, Tamilnet.com said. It carried a picture showing him in combat fatigues chairing a meeting. "Although our people have suffered through severe hardships, we are shocked by the scale of destruction and loss of life the tsunami has inflicted on our people," it quoted Prabhakaran as saying. Rumours that Prabhakaran had been among the more than 38,000 Sri Lankans killed in the tsunami have swirled around Colombo and were once even reported by the state radio.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 10:34:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

Ambulance blows up at wedding
AN explosives-laden ambulance has blown up at a wedding near Iraq's rebel bastion of Mahmudiyah, wounding at least 42 people.

"A booby-trapped ambulance driven by a suicide bomber blew up at 7.55pm (3.55am AEDT) in a place where a wedding party was taking place," police said.

The blast took place in an area named Qasr al-Awsat, around 20km south of Baghdad.

There were no immediate reports of any dead.
Posted by: tipper || 01/21/2005 8:53:38 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [444 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I hate it when that happens. And it's too damned common, too.
Posted by: .com || 01/21/2005 21:00 Comments || Top||

#2  So is "Can you top this?" going on over there at weddings now?
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2005 21:02 Comments || Top||

#3  Maybe the ambulance was bringing the RPG fireworks and they had a work accident. Probably saved some people from the vertical return of the vertically fired RPGs in celebration.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 01/21/2005 22:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Taking lessons from the Paleos, I see.
Posted by: Dishman || 01/21/2005 23:04 Comments || Top||

First ID Officer Earns Silver Star
After leading his platoon through a fierce onslaught, enemy fire pounding them from every direction, 1st Lt. Neil Prakash went back in for more.

First Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. John R.S. Batiste joined Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment at FOB Scunion Jan. 14 to award this 24-year-old tank platoon leader one of the military's highest honors - the Silver Star Medal. "An incredible officer, his accomplishments on 24 June are clearly heroic," said Batiste. "He sets a very high standard for every one of us. I guarantee veterans of the past are standing very tall right now."

Although born in India and maintaining strong ties to the Indian community, Prakash was raised in Syracuse, New York, in what he called a very patriotic American household. An ROTC cadet at Johns Hopkins University, he planned to follow in the footsteps of his mother, father and older brother - all doctors - and attend medical school. But after attending an ROTC Branch Orientation during his senior year, he knew what he was meant to do.

"There was this colonel, he was armored cav, so he had a Stetson and spurs," said Prakash. "He was standing on his tank and he was like 'alright listen up you (&$(@$#^, if you want 72 tons of pure power underneath you
' and he just went off." Prakash made up his mind on the spot and has never regretted it since, he said.

And on the morning of June 24, he was ready.

After spending all night and morning patrolling and setting up observation posts around the city, 1st platoon pulled in to FOB Scunion at about 10:00 a.m. "Capt. Fowler came sprinting over, all out of wind, and says 'Alright, the whole company is going in to Ba'qubah,'" said Prakash. "I've just been given the order. Ba'qubah is under siege - the police station, the CMOC - all have been attacked, so we're going in." The company geared up and by 10:45 a.m., was maneuvering south into Ba'qubah with 1st platoon in the lead. They were to seize and secure a set of twin bridges and set up a blocking position to prevent the enemy from reinforcing.

As they advanced toward their objective, they began receiving reports of enemy activity in the city. Four-man RPG teams had been spotted on rooftops, as well as dismounted enemy infantry in alleyways. They were told to expect IED and RPG ambushes by a well-trained enemy who meant to stand and fight. "This was the first time I even got a little bit nervous. I mean, ever, since I got here," said Prakash. "I just got this weird feeling. Everything was silent, there was no movement. And then all of the sudden something blew up behind me." It took the crew about one hour to fight their way through the next one kilometer stretch of road. Official battle reports count 23 IEDs and 20-25 RPG teams in that short distance, as well as multiple machine-gun nests, and enemy dismounts armed with small arms and hand grenades.

Because enemy dismounts were attempting to throw hand grenades into the tank's open hatches, Prakash ordered the tanks to open protected mode — bringing the hatches down, leaving them open only a crack. As the lead vehicle, Prakash's tank took the brunt of the attack, sustaining blasts from multiple IEDs and at least seven standard and armor piercing RPGs. The enemy fired mainly at the lead tanks, aiming for the few vulnerable spots. One round blew the navigation system completely off of the vehicle, while another well-aimed blast disabled his turret. Although unable to rotate the turret, Prakash continued in the lead, navigating with a map and maneuvering his tank in order to continue engaging the enemy with the main weapon system and his .50 caliber machine-gun. He watched as men on rooftops sprayed down at his tank with machine-guns and small arms.

"I just remember thinking, 'I hope these bullets don't go in this one inch of space,'" said Prakash. "Looking out the hatch, I'm spraying guys and they're just falling. They would just drop - no blood, no nothing. We just kept rolling, getting shot at from everywhere."

The platoon was finally ordered to turn around and head back north in order to maintain contact with the enemy and to establish a defensive perimeter, allowing a recovery team to retrieve a downed vehicle. Prakash took the opportunity to move his tank back to FOB Scunion for repairs and provide escort for medical evacuations. After assisting with repairs, he and his crew immediately moved back into position and requested to resume the lead.

Moving south back through the city, they encountered no resistance. Once they neared their objective, however, Prakash identified and engaged an enemy re-supply truck, destroying the vehicle and its contents. "We blasted it with a main round from about 100 meters away. The thing just blew to shreds," he said. "You could see the tubes from the launchers go flying in the air." The men encountered no further resistance as they moved to the objective, where they established a blocking position until they were relieved the following morning.

By battle's end, the platoon was responsible for 25 confirmed destroyed enemy and an estimated 50 to 60 additional destroyed enemy personnel. Prakash was personally credited with the destruction of eight enemy strong-points, one enemy re-supply vehicle, and multiple enemy dismounts. "He led the way," said Alpha Company Commander Capt. Paul Fowler. "He's a pleasure to command because he doesn't require very much direction. He uses his own judgment and he's simply an outstanding young lieutenant."
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 01/21/2005 4:41:19 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like this guy is having entirely too much fun. Congratulations Lt Prakash.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/21/2005 17:17 Comments || Top||

#2  agreed mrs davis and let him have some more fun, good job lieutenant give em hell
Posted by: smokeysinse || 01/21/2005 17:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Do does the Lt. get a book/movie deal? ....didn't think so.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 01/21/2005 17:25 Comments || Top||

#4  I just love this! Sorry muj-boys, Lt. Prakesh is on the job.
Posted by: Remoteman || 01/21/2005 18:00 Comments || Top||

#5  Oh Rex, if not Hollywood, then maybe the Indian movie industry. That is huge!
Posted by: Remoteman || 01/21/2005 18:02 Comments || Top||

#6  Just so that all of you know -- here's Lt. Prakesh's blog:


Posted by: Edward Yee || 01/21/2005 18:20 Comments || Top||

#7  Candidate for national political office. Smart, resourceful, honest.

God bless this nation that has such a deep pool of such talented young leaders to draw from. I can't wait for the Iraq War vets to come home and transform our politics.
Posted by: lex || 01/21/2005 18:28 Comments || Top||

Text Messaging Lets Iraqis Tip Authorities
The tip came in fast, telegraph-terse, and discreet. Maj. Mohammed Salman Abass Ali al-Zobaidi of the Iraqi National Guard scrolled down to read it: "Black four-door Excalibur. Behind cinema." From cell phone screen to local authorities: Acting on the recent text message tip to the Iraqi National Guard commander, police in a nearby town tracked down a black car behind the theater, and arrested the driver for suspected links to insurgent attacks. In the volatile Shiite-Sunni towns south of Baghdad known as the "triangle of death," Iraqi civilians increasingly are letting their thumbs do the talking, via Arabic text messages sent from the safety of their homes, Iraqi security forces and U.S. Marines say.

At a time when U.S. and Iraqi security forces are desperate for information on attacks - preferably in advance - mobile phone text messages allow civilians to pass on information from a discreet distance, their identities shielded from security forces and their neighbors. Although a cell phone displays the caller's number, phone records are so chaotic in Iraq that chances are slim anyone could track down a tipster. And text messages can be sent to the most trusted officer, a far safer avenue than calling a police station that might be riddled with informants. "Many, many people tell us about the terrorists with this," al-Zobaidi said, tapping his black cell phone and thumbing down to show more messages. "All the time, I hear his phone - beep beep beep beep, beep beep beep beep," said Sgt. Eddie Risner of Ocala, Fla., part of a Marine contingent working with guardsmen to try to block attacks and put a credible Iraqi security force on the street.

Iskandariyah, a mixed Shiite-Sunni city of about 100,000 that controls major transport links between Baghdad and southern Iraq, became notorious last year for its frequent bombings. Marines recorded as many as 200 car bombs and other attacks in a month, including a single bomb last spring that killed dozens of Iraqi recruits. U.S. and Iraqi officials insist they are getting more tips from Iraqis about insurgent activity since the Americans transferred sovereignty to an interim government last June. Interior Minister Falah Hassan al-Naqib said recently that calls to an insurgency hot line have produced a number of arrests, although officials refuse to give figures. In Iskandariyah, Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit say they've halved the daily attack rate - in large part through constant patrols devoted to hunts for bombs, weapons caches and possible insurgents. On this day, Marines found three bombs the hard way - by running across them on patrols, and by having at least one blow up as they drove by. There were no injuries.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve || 01/21/2005 3:14:34 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is good. Simple but effective solution with real results.
Posted by: Chase Unomotch9553 || 01/21/2005 15:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Damn, damn! Way good! Who controls the towers controls the network (war)
Posted by: Shipman || 01/21/2005 16:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Can this be cooped by the bad guys?
Posted by: Captain America || 01/21/2005 22:02 Comments || Top||

#4  I would think so. Why wouldn't the fascists send in bogus alerts to put the police off the scent?
Posted by: lex || 01/21/2005 22:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Then it would become worthwhile to start tracking callers.
Posted by: Grunter || 01/21/2005 23:14 Comments || Top||

Palestinian security forces deployed in Gaza
Palestinian security forces took up positions in northern Gaza on Friday under orders from President Mahmoud Abbas to curb militant attacks as part of his plan to end bloodshed and revive peacemaking.

The deployment of hundreds of paramilitary police, preceded by cease-fire talks between Abbas and militants and a sharp drop in violence in Gaza, was the clearest sign of renewed security cooperation with Israel in more than four years of fighting.

"Talks with Hamas are positive and are continuing," Abbas's office said in a statement, referring to the powerful Islamic group that says it will only agree to a truce if Israel ceases all military activity in Gaza.

Wearing berets and carrying assault rifles, Palestinian security men entered the border towns of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya and other parts of northern Gaza to prevent rocket and mortar bomb attacks on Jewish settlements and southern Israel.

"This is great. I hope it's going to be the beginning of calm at last," said Abu Tayseer al-Bakhri, 51, who lives near the border fence with Israel.

Reducing bloodshed is crucial to keeping alive peace hopes stirred by the Jan. 9 election of Abbas to succeed Arafat on a platform of ending fighting.

Any peace will be fragile in a densely populated area where a single explosion or clash could cause a chain reaction. Israel has warned the Palestinians resuming strikes against settlements and towns would lead to a large-scale military operation in Gaza.

"Our orders are clear: to control these areas and to stop attacks," said Ismail al-Dahdouh, a senior officer, after briefing security personnel on the most extensive deployment of Palestinian forces in Gaza in more than four years.

But asked what would happen if his men encountered militants out to harm Israelis, Dahdouh told Reuters: "We will avoid clashing with them and we will talk to them in a positive way."

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who briefly broke off contacts with the new Palestinian leadership after a Gaza attack killed six Israelis last week, sent greetings to Abbas on the occasion of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

"Abbas responded by saying he appreciated Sharon's kind wishes and urged him to work together to achieve peace for the Palestinians and the Israelis," Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat said.
Aides to Abbas said he had discussed with militant leaders in Gaza this week the need for restraint to help ensure Israel pulls Jewish settlers out of the territory this year as planned -- a step it says it will not take "under fire."

In a sign that Abbas's efforts could be working, militants have not launched a rocket or mortar bomb in Gaza since Tuesday.

"The factions are waiting to see what Abbas has (to offer)," said a spokesman for the militant Popular Resistance Committees, also linking the lull to Eid al-Adha, which ends on Sunday.

In Beit Hanoun, where the Israeli army has carried out punishing raids against militants, paramilitary police inspected vehicles in a scene repeated across northern Gaza.

Israel's army chief, Moshe Yaalon, called the deployment a "positive development." Abbas's office said Palestinian security forces would move into southern Gaza in the next 48 hours.

A 17-year-old Israeli died on Friday of wounds she suffered in a rocket attack on the border town of Sderot last week.

Israel, meanwhile, partially reopened Gaza's Rafah crossing with Egypt, which was closed in December when militants bombed an army post at the terminal, killing five soldiers. Thousands of Palestinians stuck in Egypt will be allowed to return home.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 10:40:36 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The fox is guarding the henhouse.
Posted by: legolas || 01/21/2005 12:25 Comments || Top||

#2  But asked what would happen if his men encountered militants out to harm Israelis, Dahdouh told Reuters: "We will avoid clashing with them and we will talk to them in a positive way."

Yeah, this'll work. Doubt we'll see any "crossfires" with this crew.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2005 17:18 Comments || Top||

Zarqawi calls for long struggle
Iraq's most feared terrorist leader urged his followers yesterday to be patient and prepare for a long struggle against the Americans, promising in an audiotape posted on the Internet that ''ferocious wars . . . take their time" but victory was assured.

Elsewhere, US troops launched raids around the northern city of Mosul, killing five suspected insurgents, in a bid to rein in guerrillas and safeguard the Jan. 30 national election. Iraqi forces sealed off main routes into Baghdad a day after a wave of car bombings.

The 90-minute message, purportedly from Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, seemed to be aimed at rallying his forces after the loss of their base in Fallujah and at marshaling support as Iraqis prepare for their first election since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.

''Fighters who have taken the path of jihad have to realize the nature and the demands of the battle toward the required goal," the speaker said. ''This group has to be patient in the path that it has taken and . . . not to hurry victory. The promise of God will be fulfilled no matter what."

The speaker also acknowledged that a leading Al Qaeda commander in Fallujah, Omar Hadid, had been killed fighting the Americans when the city fell to a US-Iraqi assault. Hadid was thought to have escaped the fighting.

''Ferocious wars are not determined by the outcome of days or weeks," the speaker on the tape said. ''They take their time until it's time to announce the victory."

Zarqawi is the leader of an Al Qaeda affiliate that was responsible for kidnapping and beheading several foreigners, including Americans, before the fall of their Fallujah base. The United States has offered a $25 million reward for Zarqawi's capture or death, the same as for Osama bin Laden.

In a separate statement, Zarqawi's group claimed responsibility for an explosion yesterday that injured five British soldiers and an undetermined number of Iraqis at a supply base in southern Iraq outside Basra. A Web statement said the attack was a suicide operation in retaliation for alleged British abuse of prisoners.

The authenticity of that statement also could not be determined, and the British military gave no reason for the blast. Three British soldiers are on trial at a British base in Germany for allegedly abusing Iraqi prisoners in May 2003.

In the audiotape, Zarqawi also denounced Iraqi Shi'ites for fighting alongside US troops, an apparent attempt to inflame sectarian tensions ahead of the vote. The elections have been embraced by majority Shi'ites but rejected by many minority Sunnis, who say it should be postponed because of the violence.

The speaker berated Shi'ites for fighting their Sunni countrymen in Fallujah ''with the blessing" of the most prominent Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

''They broke into the safe houses of God," the speaker said of Shi'ites, who comprise about 60 percent of the country's estimated 25 million people. ''They defiled them and they hung the photos of their Satan, al-Sistani, on the walls and they spitefully wrote, 'Today, your land; tomorrow it will be your honor.' "

Even as insurgents press attacks aimed at rendering the election a failure, a new public opinion survey suggests that an overwhelming majority of Iraqis continue to say they intend to vote. The poll, which was conducted in late December and early January for the International Republican Institute, found 80 percent of respondents saying they were likely to vote, a rate that has held roughly steady for months.

The 64 percent who said they were ''very likely" to vote was a dip of about seven percentage points from a November survey, while those ''somewhat likely" to vote jumped five points.

In Mosul, Army troops killed five suspected insurgents yesterday and provided security for Iraqi National Guardsmen who raided a mosque and recovered a cache of weapons, the military said. US troops also detained nine people and seized weapons in overnight sweeps in the city.

Later yesterday, insurgents shelled a Mosul hospital where US and Iraqi forces had taken up positions in an annex, hospital director Faris Hani said. Doctors and patients fled, and no casualties were reported.

Three Iraqi army soldiers were killed yesterday by a roadside bomb in the city of Samarra, the US military reported.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 11:24:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [420 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The promise of God will be fulfilled no matter what." Then why fight and die. It will come no matter what...
Posted by: plainslow || 01/21/2005 13:22 Comments || Top||

#2  "Notice me! Notice me!" al- Zarqawi screamed as he stamped his tiny feet in impotent rage. "I told you not to vote, I did! Obey me! Allah is on my side, do you hear!"
Posted by: Mike || 01/21/2005 13:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Destruction of the Infidels has been delayed while Allan attends to more impotent important matters.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/21/2005 13:35 Comments || Top||

#4  I call for a Zarqawi's long neck, after it has been swinging in a noose.
Posted by: Remoteman || 01/21/2005 16:29 Comments || Top||

#5  The struggle will be long and ferocious! I will be here in Damascus Teheran secret headquarters watching porn on the satellite planning our next strikes against the Infidels! Make sure to write and let me know how you make out! I am always behind you!
Posted by: al- Zarqawi || 01/21/2005 16:49 Comments || Top||

#6  Iraq’s most feared terrorist leader urged his followers yesterday to be patient and prepare for a long struggle against the Americans, promising in an audiotape posted on the Internet that ’’ferocious wars . . . take their time" but victory was assured.

"Do your duty, Suckers....I mean, Jihadis!!"
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/21/2005 21:17 Comments || Top||

#7  When Bush talks about the WOT and the long haul, it's interpreted by the MSM as a sign of a weak hand. So, when Zar-sqawki starts squawking about the long haul, are we to interpret THAT as a sign of weakness too?
Posted by: Ptah || 01/21/2005 23:30 Comments || Top||

Zarqawi beheads Iraqi soldier in Ramadi
Militants loyal to al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi beheaded an Iraqi soldier in a rebel stronghold in broad daylight on Friday and left a note warning other Iraqi troops to quit, witnesses said.

They said nine men pulled up in two cars to the center of Ramadi, dragged the soldier out of one of the vehicles and cut off his head as residents looked on.

They left the body, dressed in army fatigues, in the street with the severed head placed on the torso.

A note was found at the scene purporting to be from Zarqawi's group, Al Qaeda Organization of Holy War in Iraq, warning Iraqi soldiers, National Guards and police that a similar fate awaited them.

Iraq's fledgling security forces have borne the brunt of attacks by insurgents who accuse them of collaborating with U.S.-led forces they want to expel from Iraq.

Insurgents often clash with U.S. and Iraqi troops in Ramadi, a restive city some 110 km (68 miles) west of the capital, where anti-American sentiment runs high.

Earlier on Friday, residents tore up leaflets U.S. troops were handing out in Ramadi encouraging people to vote.

Interest in the elections is low in Sunni Muslim Ramadi, where few voters have registered and a low turnout is expected amid widespread violence and intimidation.

An influential Sunni group of clerics has urged Iraqis not to vote in protest against U.S. attacks on Sunni cities, and the country's main Sunni party has pulled out of the running.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 11:06:31 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  An easy solution to this is to set up polling stations far outside, but within walking distance, of the city limits, in large, open areas, with people dispersed at wide intervals and snipers deployed to both shoot anybody who runs and those who try to set up indirect weapons to menace the polling station. People can enter the polling area from anywhere in a large circle around it, waiting to be waved over a few at a time. Anyone who tries to observe the voters or note names is arrested and held for many months.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/21/2005 12:17 Comments || Top||

#2  The ACLU hear about this? Maybe they can sue him.
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2005 12:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Article: Interest in the elections is low in Sunni Muslim Ramadi, where few voters have registered and a low turnout is expected amid widespread violence and intimidation.

These guys will come to realize what many people in democracies have discovered over the years - just because you don't vote doesn't mean that people you don't like won't take office.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/21/2005 16:46 Comments || Top||

#4  These guys are just the bitterest , sorest losers any man could possibily hope (never) to meet .

My thoughts go out to every Iraqi soldier that has decided to fight these impotent , angry , delusioned , deranged rats .
Posted by: MacNails || 01/21/2005 18:54 Comments || Top||

#5  "Ramadi, the Next Fallujah™"
Posted by: Frank G || 01/21/2005 18:55 Comments || Top||

#6  Talk about voter disenfranchisement! Rev. Jackson... aren't you going to say anything? Reverend? hello?hello?
Posted by: eLarson || 01/21/2005 23:30 Comments || Top||

Iraq mosque bomber kills 14
A suicide car bomber has killed 14 Shi'ite worshippers as they were leaving a Baghdad mosque, ratcheting up tension between's Iraq's religious communities just nine days before landmark elections. In a sign of the insurgents' confidence, a group beheaded an Iraqi soldier in broad daylight in the restive rebel town of Ramadi. They left the body, still dressed in army fatigues, in the street with the severed head placed on the torso and a note warning other Iraqi troops to quit.

The bomb, which exploded at a small green-domed mosque in western Baghdad on Friday as the faithful finished praying, wounded 40 people including children, doctors said. The emergency room of a nearby hospital was filled with bloodied bodies.

Militants threatening to kill eight Chinese hostages said in a new video tape they would treat them "mercifully" if China, which opposed the U.S.-led war to overthrow Saddam Hussein, banned all Chinese nationals from entering Iraq. China responded by appealing to "friendship between the Chinese people and the Iraqi people" and pointed out it had already advised its nationals to leave Iraq. The men, who came to Iraq in search of work, were abducted earlier this month. Their captors have threatened them with death unless Beijing explains what they were doing in Iraq.

Islamist militants have stepped up violence ahead of Iraq's first multi-party election in nearly half a century, scheduled for January 30. They have also targeted the mosques of rival Muslims in what officials say is a bid to plunge Iraq into a sectarian civil war. The Baghdad mosque bombing, timed to coincide with the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, is the latest in a string of attacks targeting leaders, mosques and parties representing Shi'ites, who make up 60 percent of Iraq's population.

Shi'ites are expected to finish on top in the election to the 275-seat national assembly after decades of oppression during Saddam's Sunni-dominant rule. Several Sunni Arab parties say they will boycott the poll because it is not safe for supporters to vote in Sunni areas. In the last month, a dozen people died in a car bomb outside the offices of a leading Shi'ite political party and two people considered close to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's foremost Shi'ite cleric, have also been killed. Sistani has overseen the formation of a Shi'ite-led alliance to contest the poll and has ordered his followers to vote. Leaders of both communities have urged Iraqis to oppose militants such as Jordan's Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Zarqawi, who is allied to al Qaeda and active in Iraq, told Washington in an audio tape posted on the Internet on Thursday that the war would drag on for "months and years", and he dismissed Sistani as an "imam of atheism". His group has claimed responsibility for many of the most deadly attacks in Iraq over the past year, including the beheading of several foreign hostages. Iraq's Justice Minister Malek Dohan al-Hasan said his own Shi'ite community should allow the Sunni minority a share in Iraq's leadership after next Sunday's vote. "I ask the Shi'ites to look around them. You are in an Arab Sunni region. Who will come to your aide if you monopolise power?," he told Reuters in an interview.

In southern Iraq, an Italian soldier was killed when the helicopter he was travelling in was hit by ground fire near Nassiriya, an Italian defence official said. Italy has around 3,200 soldiers based in Iraq, the largest contingent after the United States and Britain. The death was the first among Italian troops since May last year. Many Iraqis are likely to regard the election as a distraction from the problems they face on a daily basis. Most of Baghdad has been without water this week, the electricity supply is sporadic and, despite Iraq's oil riches, people are forced to queue for hours for fuel.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 11:04:55 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [304 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Al Reuters again:

"In a sign of the insurgents’ confidence, a group beheaded an Iraqi soldier in broad daylight in the restive rebel town of Ramadi"

So, a hit-and-run atrocity is a sign of confidence? This is a good example of media bias actually inciting an atrocity by predictably applying an irrationally positive and emotionally loaded interpretation. I wonder if it was a sign of confidence when a Somali mob tore three Reuters correspondants to pieces in Mogadishu in 1993?

"Many Iraqis are likely to regard the election as a distraction from the problems they face on a daily basis."

How many? This is so vague as to be meaningless. Since when does Al Reuters speak for Iraqi opinion, anyway, and why insert this speculative and unsupported pronoucement into a news story?

Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 01/21/2005 16:42 Comments || Top||

#2  AC: This is "journalism" Reuters style and very common amoungst fifth columnist "news" people.
Posted by: badanov || 01/21/2005 16:54 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Al-Qaeda renews recruiting drive in Bangladesh
Al Qaeda has renewed its drive to recruit Jehadis for Iraq war from Jamat-e-Islam (JEI) cadres in Bangladesh, official sources said here today.
JI in Bangla is backdoor linked to JI in Pakland, of course...
An official release, quoting Border Security Force (BSF), said that a group of Islamic fundamentalists consisting of members of Al Qaeda have come to Moulavi Bazar in Bangladesh recently to recruit Jehadis for Iraq war from JEI cadres of that country. They held a meeting in the house of a doctor, Safiqul Rehaman, JEI president of Kulaura in Sylhet district, and chalked out their next course of action. During the first week of January, four youths -- Kalimuddin, Moitur Mian, Asim Khan and Basir Mian - all resident of Moulavi Bazar district, were recruited by the activists of Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islam (HUJI) having close links with JEI. After the recruitment the youths were sent to Naikhongchari under Bandarban district of Chittagong hill tracts, where about 50 such cadres are now undergoing rigorous training, the statement added. It said that the Muslim fundamentalist organisations in Bangladesh are running short of Jehadis to be sent to Iraq. Both JEI and HUJI are now under tremendous pressure from the donation giving groups
That would be the Soddies, of course...
of countries and are hastily recruiting youths for imparting Jehadi training before sending them to Islamic front of Iraq. Meanwhile, a large number of training and base camps had been set up by the militants of Northeastern region of India in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in south-east Bangladesh. The BSF had already given a list of about 200 such camps to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and requested them to demolish these camps and hand over the Indian militants to New Delhi. The militant outfits of Tripura - National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)- alone set up about 50 camps in various parts of Bangladesh, especially in CHT. However, a large number of militants mostly belonging to various factions of NLFT have deserted their Bangladeshi camps and surrendered to the Tripura government during the past several months.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 11:03:17 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [303 views] Top|| File under:

#1  CSI:Bangladesh better get a new coat of wax on the Crossfire Express
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2005 14:35 Comments || Top||

Guard Member Who Challenged Active-Duty Policy Volunteers to Re-Enlist
A soldier who sued the Army for requiring him to serve past the date of his enlistment contract apparently wants to stick with the military, after all. Spc. David Qualls, 35, has volunteered for another six-year stint in the National Guard, Capt. Kristine Munn, a National Guard spokeswoman, said Thursday. "It's interesting, knowing his past," Munn said. She said she wasn't sure if Qualls would qualify. Qualls is now back in Iraq after he and seven other unnamed U.S. soldiers filed a lawsuit last month challenging the military's "stop loss" policy, which allows the extension of active-duty deployments during times of war or national emergencies. The lawsuit, filed while Qualls was on leave, argues that the enlistment contracts are misleading because they make no explicit reference to the policy. The eight soldiers are believed to be the first active-duty personnel to file such a lawsuit. A judge denied Qualls' request for a restraining order after the government argued that allowing Qualls to stay on leave would set a dangerous precedent. Munn, the guard spokeswoman, said wasn't sure if Qualls would qualify for an extension.
I'd keep him. If he's back in Iraq, and wants to re-up, it seems he agrees we are doing the right thing. He just disagrees on the over use of "stop loss", which I agree should be changed by adding a couple more divisions.
Posted by: Steve || 01/21/2005 9:20:28 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [303 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Army or any branch should not turn away those who wish to VOLUNTIARLY serve and defend our country. Enrollment into the armed forces is down 20 - 25% in all branches. The U.S. armed forces is advertising all over the place for new recruits. This is only more BEAUCRATIC BULLSHIT.

Andrea Jackson
Posted by: belphegor || 01/21/2005 9:46 Comments || Top||

#2  Guess he just lost his status as "antiwar hero."
Posted by: Mike || 01/21/2005 9:46 Comments || Top||

#3  His lawsuit makes a basic legal error. According to the Constitution, the US Congress *alone* determines the composition of the armed forces. This means that Common Law, Contract Law, and many other accepted civilian rights and privileges do not apply. For example, that is why the armed services can essentially hold you in 'involuntary servitude', and intentionally place you in hazardous situations; and why anyone can legally be excluded from service, despite their race, color, national origin, sex, sexual preference, weight, disability, citizenship, prior criminal record, and even on "morality" grounds. The courts can only intervene is there is a disagreement between Congress and the President (who is responsible for the UCMJ) over composition, or if Congress allows the courts to involve themselves.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/21/2005 10:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Sorry,B but there is a drop in reserve and NG numbers only. The active component has met its 2004 goals. The 2005 figures will be altered by the [finally]Congressional action to increase the Army's numbers by about 24k new slots. Going to be a challenge to fill all those. And no, its not just new bodies, but includes additional retention of middle and upper grade personnel to fill the command slots of any new formations created.
Second, the military will not just take anyone. Their experience in the 70's with problem children taught them to recruit and retain only those who will truely commit to the team. Been there, seen it done it.
Guess this child got the message of the law - TITLE 10 > Subtitle A > PART II > CHAPTER 39 > para. 671a Members: service extension during war

Unless terminated at an earlier date by the Secretary concerned, the period of active service of any member of an armed force is extended for the duration of any war in which the United States may be engaged and for six months thereafter.

So at this time, all releases are at the discretion of the service secretaries. Considering the vast majority are handled in a manner not much different than they were in the anti-bellum period, is remarkable.
Posted by: Don || 01/21/2005 10:26 Comments || Top||

#5  Recently, I heard that the waiting list to be a Marine recruit is six months. Of course, if you're in a hurry, there's always SOG. But if you go there, you don't get a snappy dress uniform and a shiny chrome "sa-ward". You do get to go to exotic foreign lands and meet strange and interesting people, though.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/21/2005 12:34 Comments || Top||

#6  You do get to go to exotic foreign lands and meet strange and interesting people, though.
And kill them..
Posted by: Steve || 01/21/2005 13:30 Comments || Top||

#7  Not necessarily, Steve. It is dependent on their "strangeness", that is how far are they remote from a decent human being.
Posted by: Sobiesky || 01/21/2005 15:32 Comments || Top||

#8  Not quite correct Moose. Article I, Section 8 makes military law, Title 10 USC and its subset the UCMJ the power of Congress. Our founding fathers still had nightmares from Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth. So while the Pres is C-in-C and can make policy, the writers of Constitution made sure that Congress had approval of commissioned officers, control of the funding of the armed forces, and made the law.
Posted by: Don || 01/21/2005 18:54 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Tales From The Bangladesh Police Blotter
Terrorists kill UPDF member
Jan 20 : A villager was killed and four others were injured by armed terrorists at Headman Para village of Kutukchhari union, about 25 kilometers away from the district headquarters last night. The villager was identified as Juddha Moni Chakma, 34, son of Rajmoni Chakma. The armed terrorists numbering 20/25 went to his house at around 8 pm yesterday (Wednesday) with a plea of taking dinner and at one stage they gunned down him. After confirming his death the terrorists ran away from the scene, security sources said. The four people, who were injured, escaped to avoid arrest, sources added. His body was sent to Rangamati General Hospital for autopsy. A case was lodged with Kotwali police in this connection.

Five killed in crossfire
Three alleged outlaws and two criminals were killed in 'shootouts' during police actions in Kushtia, Satkhira, Bogra and Dhaka yesterday. Of the outlaws two were top cadres of Biplobi Communist Party (BCP) while one was from Janajuddho faction of Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML), the police said. Nine policemen were also injured during the shootouts, the police claimed. The law-enforcers seized five firearms along with ammunition from the spots. According to press reports, 40 people were killed in the last three weeks in the ongoing anticrime operations carried out by Rapid Action Battalion, Cobra, Cheetah and the police throughout the country.

Two muggers stopped a rickshaw at Shantinagar at about 6:45am and snatched Tk 20,654 in cash from its passengers -- havilder Shahjahan Mia and lance nayek Abdur Rakib of Motijheel Police Station who were going to Titatuli in plain clothes.
Stuckup a couple of plainclothes cops, did they?
When the muggers were fleeing, the victims raised an alarm and a team of patrol police chased the two. Police said mugger Mohammad Hanif, 36, and his accomplice opened fire as the cops surrounded them at Pir Shaheber Goli (lane). A shootout ensued when the policemen retaliated and both the muggers sustained bullet injuries. The policemen took them to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) where doctors declared Hanif dead, police sources said. Hanif received two bullets in the chest and his accomplice, who is undergoing treatment at the DMCH under police guard, received two in the legs.
That'll slow him down
The police said two sub-inspectors, Mahbub Morshed and Harun, and constable Jafar were wounded in the shootout. They recovered one revolver, three bullets, two spent bullets and the looted money from Hanif's possession. But locals said the policemen beat up the two muggers after arresting them at Pir Shaheber Goli. "I heard a couple of gunshots a few minutes later," said a local shopkeeper.
Bangla cops abusing suspects? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!

Our Kushtia correspondent reports: The police arrested BCP cadres Raj Ali, 40, and Laltu Biswas, 32, at Berbaradi village in Sadar upazila at around 5:00pm on Tuesday. During interrogation, they told the police about firearms hidden in Shibpur village.
Say goodbye, boys
The police said when they started for Shibpur at around 4:00am to seize the firearms, the BCP cadres ambushed them in a betel-leaf garden.
Nice dark garden, 4:00am, a sudden ambush, hey, it could happen!
"The policemen also opened fire to save their life," said a local police officer.
Uh huh
He said Raj and Laltu were caught in crossfire when they tried to flee jumping from the police van.
"Hey, quit shoving me.....Ouch, ouch...Rosebud.."
Both died on the spot receiving several bullets.
In the back..
Two police personnel were also injured in the incident, police claimed.
"Just look at that hangnail, boy I bet that smarts!"
The law-enforcers retrieved a shutter gun and seven bullets from the spot. Raj was accused in 11 cases including seven for murder and Laltu in seven cases with two for murder, the police said.

Absconding Janajuddho operative Kartik Chandra Rishi, 40, was killed in 'crossfire' between his accomplices and the police in Tala upazila at 3:40am yesterday.
The night shift has been busy again
Our Satkhira correspondent said the police had arrested him from his house at Amanullahpur in the upazila on Wednesday. The police said Kartik admitted that his accomplices were hiding in a bush near Ziala Natta with several illegal firearms.
"It's the third bush on the left behind the deserted warehouse. Can I finish writing my will now?"
Following the tip-off, the police rushed to the village in the early hours yesterday to arrest the gang.
"If we hurry, we can wack Kartik and still make last call"
When the police team reached the spot, Kartik's accomplices opened fire to free him from the custody. "Police also opened fire and Kartik fell in the line of fire," said Shah Mashiur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Tala Police Station.
Just happened to be between the bad guys and the cops guns. Honest
Kartik sustained several bullets and died on the spot, he added. The OC claimed that police constables Humayun Kabir and Nazrul Islam were injured during the shootout and they seized a pipe-gun and three cartridges from the spot. Superintendent of Police at Satkhira Abdur Rahim said Kartik was released on bail recently after serving in jail for the murder of freedom fighters Sheikh Nurul Islam and Alauddin on October 4, 1995. He was also accused of three other criminal charges.

Alleged criminal Sayed Ali, 42, was killed in 'crossfire' between his accomplices and the police at Borochapra village in Dupchanchia upazila yesterday morning. Dupchanchia police arrested Sayed, a convicted criminal, in Naruli bus stand area of Bogra town at 11:45pm on Wednesday. Acting on his information, the police went to the house of Abdur Rahman Rana alias Rana Dacoit, a former leader of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, at Barochapra on Talor-Altafnagar Road, to recover illegal firearms.
We know where this is going
As they reached there at 2:30am, the armed accomplices of Sayed opened fire on the police who retaliated in self-defence. Sayed, hit by several bullets in the head, chest and back while trying to escape with handcuff, died on the spot, the police said.
"He's dead, Jimsab!"
Police constables Abdul Kader and Zakir also sustained injury during the gunfight and the police seized one gun, one shutter gun, eight bullets, five cartridges, one axe and three swords the criminals left at the spot before fleeing.
As usual, the "crossfiree" is dead on the spot and the "crossfirers" get away scotfree after "dropping" their guns
Posted by: Steve || 01/21/2005 8:35:36 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I love crossfire! Before these "incidents" it used to be just a ridiculous show on CNN...
Posted by: Frank G || 01/21/2005 10:34 Comments || Top||

#2  They always say some cops were "injured". Do they have to stand around and draw straws to see who takes one in the foot or wherever?
"Your turn, Achmed. I got shot in the ass last week."
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2005 16:55 Comments || Top||

Palestinian Police to Deploy on Border
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - The planned deployment of Palestinian forces on the Gaza-Israel frontier could be a first step toward a wider return of Palestinians' insecurity control in their areas of Gaza and the West Bank - the situation before fighting broke out with Israel in 2000, the Palestinian foreign minister said Thursday.

Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath made the assessment after Israel and the Palestinians resumed security coordination, agreeing on a Palestinian plan aimed at preventing rocket from Gaza into Israel. Palestinian officials said about 1,000 police would be positioned, starting Friday, in the areas of northern Gaza where militants have fired dozens of rockets at Israeli communities just beyond the fence. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz approved the deployment.
"Hey Mahmoud, look at that! Another rocket launch towards the evil Zionists!"
"Yep, Ahmed, it's a glorious day, ain't it?"
Maj. Gen. Moussa Arafat, a Palestinian security chief, outlined the deployment to The Associated Press. ``In the first stage, it will be in the north, and then we will move into the south,'' he said. Arafat presented the plan to his Israeli counterpart in a late-night meeting on Wednesday, signaling renewal of security cooperation.
And if you can't trust a man named Arafat, who can you trust?
The prospect of Palestinian police taking action to rein in militants quelled calls in Israel for immediate military action to stop the rocket fire.

A period of calm could lead to peace negotiations, starting with coordination of Israel's planned pullout from Gaza in the summer - but renewed violence would likely trigger an Israeli military offensive, already approved by Israeli leaders.
More cause ---> effect training.
Greeting Gaza worshippers after morning prayers for the Feast of the Sacrifice holiday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said, ``We believe in peace, and we believe in negotiations, and we want to reach peace through negotiations.'' Abbas also met Thursday with his security chiefs to work out the final details of the plan to prevent rocket fire and other attacks on Israeli towns.

The deployment agreement could be the ``beginning of the process of trying to coordinate so that Palestinian Authority can redeploy its forces in all Palestinian areas, at least in Gaza, and then in the West Bank,'' Shaath said. Such a redeployment could restore the situation that preceded the outbreak of fighting in September 2000. In its response to the violence, Israel sent troops into the West Bank and Gaza, retaking areas handed over to the Palestinians under interim peace deals.

In further signs of easing tensions, the army reopened the Gaza checkpoint targeted in a suicide bombing on Tuesday. Israeli military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border would be opened to incoming traffic on Friday. The crossing has been closed since a Dec. 12 attack on the Israeli military post there killed five soldiers.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/21/2005 1:06:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  whats the/ over under on the assassination of arafat's cousin moussa--first they put a rocket up his ass--then they try to hit a settlement--it is written
Posted by: SON OF TOLUI || 01/21/2005 3:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Lets put osama as head of security at the pentagon too, the really sad thing is that this was probably our (US) idea.
Posted by: legolas || 01/21/2005 6:57 Comments || Top||

#3  ``We believe in peace, and we believe in negotiations, and we want to reach peace through negotiations.''

And if negotiations fail we can always start the third Intifada, praise be unto Allah !
Posted by: EoZ || 01/21/2005 12:10 Comments || Top||

Al-Qaeda kills Briton, Swede in Iraq
The Al-Qaeda linked Army of Ansar al-Sunna claimed it had murdered a Briton and a Swede in Iraq, in a statement post on an Islamist website. The Army of Ansar al-Sunna "kidnapped two agents ... working for an intelligence service of the infidel forces in the region of Beiji" and executed them, said the statement, whose authenticity could not be verified.

A British employee of a private security firm was killed Wednesday in an ambush in central Iraq, according to his company. The man, who was not identified, was killed along with an Iraqi colleague as they travelled in a convoy near a power station complex, while another foreign national was missing, it said. A US military official said the attack took place south of Beiji, an oil-refining city north of Baghdad.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 01/21/2005 12:39:24 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
Nuggets from the Urdu press
'Progressives' have become 'enlightened'
Writing in Jang, Abdul Qadir Hassan stated that the Progressives of yore have become Enlightened of today. They have jumped on to the political stage and are singing songs of Indo-Pakistan friendship in which Indian culture will triumph over Pakistan's. They want the beards to disappear and want to yank the chadar from Pakistani women. They praise America for killing Muslims. They are the old Taraqi Pasand (Progressive) who once used to land in Moscow. Now they have changed flights and are landing in Washington. They have changed their name to Roshan Khayal (Enlightened) because now America is supreme.

Warning to local pimps
Writing in Nawa-e-Waqt, Dr Zahur Ahmad Azhar stated that the pimps of India living in Pakistan forgot that in India Muslims were being crushed by Advanis, Modis and Thakarays and if they saw Jinnah today they would cling to him and beg him to liberate them from this slavery. The pimps in Pakistan who spoke against the idea of Pakistan should get the Labhu Ram of India to recognise the right of self-determination of the Muslims of India. If they can't do that they should know that Labhu Ram is relying on the pimps of Pakistan to deprive Pakistani Muslims of their rights too.

Cunning Jews and Hindus and simple Muslims
Leader of Jamat-e-Islami Punjab Hafiz Idrees wrote in Khabrain that Jews were clever (shaatir), Hindus were cunning (makkaar) and the Muslims were simpletons (sada-loh). Secret agencies RAW and MOSSAD were saheliyan (girl friends) and America was their mistress. The triangle was a triangle of evil. Israeli and Indian armies were cooperating to crush the Muslims of Kashmir while India was getting weapons from Israel to intimidate Pakistan.

Christians got it wrong!
Writing on Christmas Day in Khabrain, Dr Israr Ahmad stated that Christians were wrong when they said that Christ was crucified. According to the Holy Quran he was not crucified but raised to Heaven. He quoted Gospel of Barnabas to prove that angels had come down to raise Christ to Heaven before he could be crucified. Christians were actually deceived by Allah into believing that he was crucified. Dr Israr asserted that Pakistan was being undermined by an 'indigenous' Zionist lobby and that was Qadianis. The Christians of Pakistan should remain alert against them and their doctrine that Christ had run away to India and to Kashmir.

Astrologers predict crisis in 2005
According to daily Pakistan, astrologers in Lahore had predicted that in the year 2005 President Bush would be assassinated and will therefore not be able to complete his second term. In the UK, Tony Blair will have a heart attack. In Iraq, Saddam would be freed and American troops would flee. In Pakistan, President Musharraf will take off his uniform and announce the building of Kalabagh Dam. Nawaz Sharif and Pir Pagaro will become ill and Jamali will get a special job. The year 2005 will be the year of elections and Benazir and Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan. Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh will resign and Sonia Gandhi will become the new prime minister.

A 'political' goat for Sheikh Rashid
According to Sarerahe in Nawa-e-Waqt, a goat entered the public meeting being addressed by federal information minister Sheikh Rashid at Lal Haveli in Rawalpindi. After they saw the goat the audience were distracted and started running around after the goat. A wag said that it was actually Asif Zardari after the dheel, to which the minister replied that they should be careful about what they said because there were journalists present in the audience who would report the matter. He added that the goat be a political goat. Sarerahe stated that goat (bakri) meant coward in Urdu, but politicians were named according to their habits. One cleric who took diesel concessions from the government was called Maulvi Diesel while another cleric who stole rockets was called Mullah Racketi.
Mullah Diesel is our good friend Fazlur Rehman
Posted by: Paul Moloney || 01/21/2005 12:24:38 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...that's Dee-ZELL....

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 01/21/2005 0:36 Comments || Top||

#2  God I don't know what to do when I can't get these enlightening nuggets. It's like a day without a Bangladeshi "crossfire."
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 01/21/2005 5:24 Comments || Top||

#3  "They have jumped on to the political stage and are singing songs of Indo-Pakistan friendship in which Indian culture will triumph over Pakistan’s. They want the beards to disappear and want to yank the chadar from Pakistani women. "

Strange friendship...
Posted by: TomAnon || 01/21/2005 8:32 Comments || Top||

#4  Even stranger, that really is what the Qur'an says about the cruxifiction!

But the Qadianis seem a little out there.
Posted by: Asedwich || 01/21/2005 8:46 Comments || Top||

#5  The all new Progressives...now with "Enlightenment"!!
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2005 9:06 Comments || Top||

Two Palestinian martyrs at the Mintar crossing
Zionist occupation sources reported Wednesday that two Palestinians were killed at the Mintar crossing to the east of Gaza city. The sources said that occupation forces fired at two Palestinians who they claimed were trying to cross into the 1948 occupied areas killing them instantly. Meanwhile, Zionist occupation authorities handed over on Thursday the remains of three Palestinians killed by the occupation forces at the same crossing last week.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They are eating white raizins now.
Posted by: gromgorru || 01/21/2005 6:19 Comments || Top||

#2  I was thinking they were white raisinz.
Posted by: legolas || 01/21/2005 6:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Looks like the boys might want to find another crossing. Maybe they should ask a friendly Pali cop on border patrol for "guidance".
Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2005 9:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Is It Ullulating season agin ?
Posted by: EoZ || 01/21/2005 12:12 Comments || Top||

Hamas leaders, Abu Mazen hold "positive talks" in Gaza
Hamas spokespersons in the Gaza Strip have described a two-hour Tuesday night's meeting with the newly-elected PA president Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza as "constructive and positive." Taking part in the secret late-night meeting were Hamas leaders Mahmoud al Zahar, Ismael Haniya and Taysir Abu Ras. Palestinian Legislative Council member Ziad Abu Mare also attended the meeting. "The meeting was positive and constructive, both sides reasserted their commitment to safeguarding the supreme Palestinian national interests and Hamas promised to study proposals to calm the situation," said Sami Abu Zuhri.

He said Islamic resistance leaders in Gaza would hold consultations with the movement's abroad-based leaders, including Khalid Mishaal, Hamas's politburo chief. According to sources in Gaza, Hamas leaders told Abu Mazen during the meeting that Hamas wouldn't do anything that undermines Palestinian national interests. The Islamic leaders also told the PA chief that Hamas's military wing, the Izzedin al Qassam Brigades, would be willing to suspend the resistance if and when the Zionists stopped their aggression against Palestinian population centers. Prior to the meeting, Abbas met with the chiefs of PA security agencies in Gaza as well as a number of Fatah leaders. Abbas reportedly ordered them to deploy "security personnel" along the "friction points" between the Israeli occupation forces and Palestinian population centers for the purpose of preventing the launching of Qassam missiles on Zionist targets. Abbas and other Palestinian leaders said any ceasefire in the Gaza Strip would have to be reciprocal.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hmmmm.....why, it's almost too good to be true.

I see only two possible scenarios - Abbas offered these guys something "worth their while" in the new govt. of Palestine...or something is cooking behind the scenes.

Hey Sharon, if they want to shake your hand, be sure to watch your back.
Posted by: 2b || 01/21/2005 6:05 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm kinda stumped here. With the PA collecting guns, and a good number of the terrorist factions willing to work together, this really consolidates Abbas' power. I'm not naive enough to think that Abbas has the welfare of the Palestinian people in mind here. Nor do I miss the fact that the ceasefire is a house of cards. But a new dynamic is clearly in play.

I'm not sure what's really happening here.
Posted by: 2b || 01/21/2005 6:13 Comments || Top||

#3  I didn't read the article to say that they are currently collecting guns, only that they plan to do so. Many plans have been announced over the years; I don't recall any that were actually implemented.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/21/2005 8:58 Comments || Top||

#4  Theyre not collecting guns, but they ARE deploying Pal forces to the Gaza border. We have yet to see if they are effective. It seems not unreasonable to force the Hamasniks to actually defy Pal forces at the border, rather than begin to gun collecting raids "unprovoked" - unfortunately lots of the Pal populace, while they got the idea that the rocket attacks hurt THEM, still think of the Hamasniks as legitimate.
Posted by: Liberalhawk || 01/21/2005 9:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Paleos talk. And promise. And posture. The true indication of a real change would be corroborated evidence that the PA has actually done something that supports either the roadmap or other Israeli/PA understandings -- like disarming terror organizations, stopping an attack on Israel or actually arresting bad guys (and keeping them arrested).
Posted by: PlanetDan || 01/21/2005 14:48 Comments || Top||

#6  A co-worker came in today wearing a black-n-white keffiyeh. I was speechless. He was also wearing a kilt so not sure how serious he is...
Posted by: Seafarious || 01/21/2005 15:09 Comments || Top||

#7  isn't today Robbie Burns day?
Posted by: 2b || 01/21/2005 15:16 Comments || Top||

Aqsa Martyrs commander refuses truce
One of the prominent commanders of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, military wing of the Fatah Movement, has refused PA leadership's call for a halt to resistance operations against occupation. Abu Mohammed last night said that in his capacity as the general commander of the Brigades in the West Bank he described such a statement as a stab in the back of resistance. He said that approving such a call was a free bonus to the Zionist premier Ariel Sharon and his government that only encouraged the occupation army to commit more massacres in lines of the Palestinian people. Zakariya Zabidi, the commander of the Aqsa Martyrs in Jenin city, had earlier yesterday declared approval of the PA call and ordered a halt to all armed attacks in the 1948 occupied lands. Zabidi said that if "Israel" reciprocated then his Brigades would declare a comprehensive ceasefire.
Dang, and Fred called Thursday, too ...
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Abu Mohammed says this... Zubeidi says that...
Whatta bunch of small millitia's where every schmuck with a gun and an ammo belt can declare the nearest five blocks as his part of town...

and we're supposed to negotiate with them ???
Posted by: EoZ || 01/21/2005 12:29 Comments || Top||

UK, Iraqi security workers killed in ambush
A British security worker and an Iraqi colleague were killed on Wednesday in an ambush by Iraqi insurgents and a third worker, also a foreign national, is missing, their security firm said. They were travelling in convoy near a power station complex they were protecting south of the central Iraqi city of Beiji. Dr David Claridge, managing director of London-based Janusian Security Risk Management, said: "We deeply regret the loss of our colleagues in Iraq." In a statement released through Britain's Press Association news agency, Claridge said: "We can confirm that two of our colleagues, a Briton and an Iraqi, have been killed and a third man, also a foreign national, is missing."
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
Troops bulldoze Sui houses
Security forces on Thursday demolished houses used by tribesmen to launch a bloody attack on gas installations in Balochistan. Militiamen used bulldozers to raze the houses near Sui, residents said. "We are bulldozing those houses from where the rockets were fired," Balochistan Home Minister Mir Shoaib Nusherwani told Reuters. "We are trying to secure the areas near the gas field." Residents of Sui, which is about 400 km east of Quetta, said security forces stepped up security before demolishing the houses. "The gas field has been sealed off and helicopters are hovering over it," resident Niaz Bugti told Reuters. Nawab Bugti told Daily Times earlier that army troops and 17 tanks had reached Sui in the morning and sealed off the town before starting search operations. He said the government had announced compensation of Rs 50,000 for each concrete house demolished, but none for mud houses. The action came a day after police sought arrest warrants against 36 tribesmen for launching the January 11 attack on the Sui field in which as many as 15 people died and the main purification plant and pipelines were damaged. The wanted group included a son and a grandson of powerful tribal leader and regional political figure Nawab Akbar Bugti.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Where is the Worldwide condemnation?
Posted by: gromgorru || 01/21/2005 6:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Bulldozing homes, collective punishment, surrounding towns, imposing military curfews and military incursions. I though Israel was in cahoots with India. Kind of ironic Pakistan is using the same tactics. Perhaps Europe can deploy some of their human shields to Balochistan. Better yet where is Amnesty, Human Rights Watch? Where is the outcry on the Muslim Street? No burning effigies of Sultan Shaukat? Must be a Zionist-American conspiracy.
Posted by: Rightwing || 01/21/2005 9:39 Comments || Top||

#3  Where is St. Pancake when you need her?
Posted by: Spot || 01/21/2005 9:44 Comments || Top||

Pakistani driver and 2 assistants killed in Taliban attack
QUETTA: A Pakistani driver and his two assistants were killed in a suspected Taliban attack on a fuel truck heading to the main US base in southern Afghanistan. The attackers fled after the 10 pm (local time) assault on Wednesday in the Dabari area of Spin Boldak district in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, district chief Fazaluddin Agha said on Thursday. Speaking by phone, Agha said the fuel container truck, travelling from Pakistan, had been heading to Kandahar to supply the American military base there. He said such trucks had come under fire in the past. The body of the driver was sent to the border town of Chaman. Agha said that Afghan government forces were deployed to Dabari after the attack, but made no arrests.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [312 views] Top|| File under:

70 arrested for Gilgit attacks
GILGIT: Police arrested 70 people for suspected involvement in an outbreak of violence in Gilgit and Skardu in which 17 people died, officials said on Thursday. "We have arrested 70 people so far during day and night raids for their suspected involvement in the riots in Gilgit and the destruction in Skardu," local police chief Sakiullah Tareen told AFP by phone. More raids were planned and police were close to catching all the culprits, he added. Security was in place for Eidul Azha, he said. Gilgit has been under a shoot-on-sight curfew since the violence, which authorities relaxed from 24-hour to six-hour on Tuesday. Local authorities were helping 16 Afghan engineers stranded in the area for the last 13 days to leave as soon as possible. They were booked on a Pakistani International Airlines flight on Friday.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2005 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

Who's in the News

E-Mail Me

The Classics
The O Club
Rantburg Store
The Bloids
The Never-ending Story
Gulf War I
The Way We Were


On Sale now!

A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Scooter McGruder
john frum
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Frank G
Alaska Paul

Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2005-01-21
  70 arrested for Gilgit attacks
Thu 2005-01-20
  Senate Panel Gives Rice Confirmation Nod
Wed 2005-01-19
  Kuwait detains 25 militants
Tue 2005-01-18
  Eight Indicted on Terror Charges in Spain
Mon 2005-01-17
  Algeria signs deal to end Berber conflict
Sun 2005-01-16
  Jersey Family of Four Murdered
Sat 2005-01-15
  Agha Ziauddin laid to rest in Gilgit: 240 arrested, 24 injured
Fri 2005-01-14
  Graner guilty
Thu 2005-01-13
  Iran warns IAEA not to spy on military sites
Wed 2005-01-12
  Zahhar: Abbas has no authorization to end resistance
Tue 2005-01-11
  Abbas Extends Hand of Peace to Israel. Really.
Mon 2005-01-10
  Sudanese Celebrate Peace Treaty Signing
Sun 2005-01-09
  Paleos vote
Sat 2005-01-08
  Commander of Salafi Forces in Fallujah Killed
Fri 2005-01-07
  Abbas Calls for Peace Talks With Israel

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.
WoT Background (42)    Non-WoT (18)    Opinion (8)    Local News (1)    (0)