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Two South Africans accused of Al-Qaeda links
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
3 00:00 Gloque Elmang4914 [277] 
5 00:00 fever [698] 
1 00:00 Parabellum [258] 
2 00:00 mhw [259] 
1 00:00 gromgoru [263] 
4 00:00 Unort Sholusing6057 [269] 
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2 00:00 Frank G [253] 
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Page 2: WoT Background
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26 00:00 BA [359]
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5 00:00 trailing wife [325]
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3 00:00 Alaska Paul [248]
4 00:00 Nimble Spemble [257]
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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7 00:00 Nimble Spemble [249]
4 00:00 JosephMendiola [262]
10 00:00 Frank G [322]
1 00:00 JosephMendiola [383]
17 00:00 Phineter Thraviger [345]
4 00:00 Old Patriot [333]
9 00:00 BA [246]
10 00:00 KBK [346]
5 00:00 JosephMendiola [250]
1 00:00 ed [262]
6 00:00 Old Patriot [331]
6 00:00 mhw [329]
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Page 4: Opinion
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3 00:00 JosephMendiola [258]
3 00:00 Barbara Skolaut [259]
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Page 5: Local News
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5 00:00 Barbara Skolaut [251]
12 00:00 USN, ret. [320]
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2 00:00 Phineter Thraviger [245]
2 00:00 gromgoru [252]
14 00:00 USN, ret. [326]
1 00:00 RD [255]
Afghanistan
93 Afghans sent back
Ninety-three Afghan nationals were handed to their native authorities at the border by Pakistani law enforcement this Saturday. According to Police Inspector Mohammad Aslam, they had illegally entered Pakistan to cross into Iran. Apprehended with no travel documents, the inspector brought them to the Chaman border in his custody.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:


Africa Horn
American terrorists in Somalia
Intelligence sources tell us several Americans — or at least people holding U.S. passports — were captured among the 6,000 Islamists fighting on behalf of the ousted Islamic Courts Union (ICU) during the ongoing conflict in Somalia. The American passport holders are being held and interrogated in Kenya. According to our sources, one of the American Islamists had received pilot training in the past, an indication that he may be a terrorist who could be used in a future al Qaeda operation to hijack an aircraft and use it as a missile, as occurred during the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

The recent fighting by Ethiopian and transitional federal government forces against the partially ruling ICU forced thousands of Islamist fighters of the ICU to move south to Kismayo and Ras Kamboni, on the Kenyan border.

Army Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate intelligence committee in written testimony last week that Ethiopian forces were in hot pursuit of the Islamists. "Ethiopia likely intends to eliminate as many of the radical Islamists and their camps as possible before withdrawing," Gen. Maples said.

He said "multiple reports" from the region indicate "the presence of foreign trainers in Somalia from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Arabian Peninsula." "Al Qaeda is assessed to be assisting the radical Islamist elements of the [ICU] with leadership and training with hopes of establishing a future Talibanlike state," he said.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [346 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Ethiopia likely intends to eliminate as many of the radical Islamists and their camps as possible before withdrawing,"

I see a strategy to steal.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/21/2007 2:27 Comments || Top||

#2  I don't want any of these mooks back - eliminate them too
Posted by: Frank G || 01/21/2007 9:24 Comments || Top||

#3  What - is jihad no fun in the States, so they gotta go elsewhere to get a thrill?

Non-uniformed combatants: follow the Geneva Convetions and kill them. Rinse and repeat.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/21/2007 11:16 Comments || Top||

#4  So we automatically strip them of their citizenship, based on their fraudulent refugee claims, and give them the boot? In a sane world, we would.
Posted by: Sneaze Shaiting3550 || 01/21/2007 11:33 Comments || Top||


Somali gunman attacks Ethiopian troops, 4 die
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A Somali gunman opened fire on an Ethiopian military convoy in Mogadishu on Saturday, triggering a heavy shootout that caught civilians in the crossfire and killed at least four people, witnesses said. The attack -- following mortar strikes on the presidential palace on Friday -- was the latest in a guerrilla-style campaign against the Somali government and their Ethiopian military allies who drove Islamists out of the city.

Witnesses said that after the Somali attacker began firing with an AK-47, the Ethiopian convoy travelling through north Mogadishu opened up with an anti-aircraft gun. Panicked bystanders fled for cover and a tank ran over a minibus in the bloody melee, they said.

"We were just setting up our shops when this happened," said an injured woman, writhing from bullet wounds in her back at Mogadishu's Medina hospital. "A single gunman opened fire at the Ethiopian convoy, and the Ethiopians returned heavy fire."

Four people died and about a dozen were injured, the witnesses told Reuters, indicating it was civilians who were mainly affected. It was not known if the gunman died.
And clearly the Aethiop troops don't worry a lot about collateral damage ...
Posted by: Steve White || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The "civilains" will get the hang of this an will not tolerate gunnies in their midst one would think. I think this is the proper response to being attacked, better to be feared than loved works with muslims quite well as past history shows.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 01/21/2007 2:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Witnesses said that after the Somali attacker began firing with an AK-47, the Ethiopian convoy travelling through north Mogadishu opened up with an anti-aircraft gun.

Hmmm, this sounds familar....Ah yes, from the Untouchables:

You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.
Posted by: jabbathetutt || 01/21/2007 12:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Maybe one of the RABs can pay a visit to make a proper "crossfire."
Posted by: Jackal || 01/21/2007 18:54 Comments || Top||


Somalia: Heavy weight warlord lays down weapons
Not the one from yesterday, this one is 'heavy weight'!
(SomaliNet) One of the most feared warlords in Somalia Saturday has handed over his weapons and militiamen to the interim government – he is fifth faction leader who laid down his arms as part of disarmament program by the transitional federal government.

Mohamed Omar Habeb known as ‘Mohamed Dhere’ the chairperson of the authority in Jowhar city some 90km (55 miles) north of the Somalia capital handed 23 pick up tracks mounted with anti aircraft guns to the Somalia chief army General Ismael Qasim Naji.
What is that in battle wagon terms? 'Squadron'? 'Troop'? 'Company'? 'Whole shitload'?
Speaking at a ceremony of handing over the weapons, Mohamed Dhere announced that he had surrendered his weapons and militia to the federal government and is ready to work with it to restore law and order. He also ordered 220 of his militiamen to join the government.
Thus maintaining his swat. He's now Mr. Inside.
Mohamed Dhere, who was member of the defeated anti terror alliance, was ousted from Jowhar by the Islamic Courts in early June 2006.
Bet he's now got it all back.
Government military officials who spoke at the scene commended Mohamed Dhere for how he had cordially let his weapons to the government and his readiness to help establish peace and stability in the country.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder what the Craftsman Truck boyz could come up with if for some bizzare reason the US had a need for technicals.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/21/2007 2:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Shipman, check out Roadrunner operations during the Vietnam War. The US had gun trucks for convoy escort and ambush suppression, and they were the closest the US has had to technicals. Also check, "http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/JulAug03/
gun_trucks.htm" for pictures of the Vietnam era gun trucks.
Posted by: Shieldwolf || 01/21/2007 4:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Cool links ShieldWolf, thanks.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/21/2007 8:45 Comments || Top||

#4  A couple (at least) have been recreated/restored and make the rounds of weekend events link. Only one original remains at Ft. Eustis. The Ace of Spades mounted a mini-gun.

link

Ft. Eustis
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/21/2007 9:51 Comments || Top||

#5  What is that in battle wagon terms? 'Squadron'? 'Troop'? 'Company'? 'Whole shitload'?

Target-rich environment.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 01/21/2007 10:56 Comments || Top||

#6  I like this one better. It would make a GREAT convoy protector. Don't know how much ammo it carries, but I'm sure it's enough to spoil someone's entire day.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 01/21/2007 11:02 Comments || Top||

#7  Gun trucks in Iraq

Eat your hearts out Somalis
Posted by: ed || 01/21/2007 11:08 Comments || Top||

#8  "http://www.olive-drab.com/od_other_firearms_mg_m2_quad50.php" has pictures of a Quad 50 being used for convoy escort/gun truck. The US Army also called out from retirement/National Guard storage the M42Duster tank, for area defense of firebases and limited road protection duties - "http://www.mystae.com/reflections/vietnam/duster.html". Even Vulcan 20mm Gatling guns saw use as ground fire weapons {see link above}.
Posted by: Shieldwolf || 01/21/2007 18:37 Comments || Top||


Africa Subsaharan
Two South Africans accused of Al-Qaeda links
Two South African Muslims of Indian origin have been accused of having links with the Al-Qaeda by the US in a document submitted to the UN, a media report here said. The US has submitted documents to the UN that alleges that Farhad Ahmed Dockrat, a cleric and a businessman from Pretoria and Junaid Ismail Dockrat, a dentist from Johannesburg are cousins with links with the Al-Qaeda network.

The US claimed that Farhad Dockrat in 2001 had given USD100,000 to the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan for transmission to the Al Akhtar Trust headquarters in Pakistan, which had been identified as a fund-raiser for the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times said on Sunday. The Trust has been identified as a Special Designated Global Terrorist group (in terms of the Executive Order 13224), designed to block financial and material support to terrorists and their facilitators, the US said.

Junaid Dockrat has been accused of being in contact with Al Qaeda's late operations chief Hamza Rabia and co-ordinating the travel of South Africans to Pakistan to train with the terror group. However, both have rejected the allegations. "I have never paid any money to Al-Qaeda in my life. If one is Muslim and had Muslim concerns at heart, then one is considered a terrorist by the US," said Farhad Dockrat.

"We are public figures, law abiding citizens. I will absolutely contest this. I am not involved in funding Al-Qaeda. Nobody has come to me to explain why the US has put me on the list", said Junaid Dockrat.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 11:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [698 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Whats the odds they're card-carrying ANC members too?
Posted by: fever || 01/21/2007 16:04 Comments || Top||

#2  We'll see a lot more al Qaeda critters crawling out of the woodwork in SA in the next five years.

I think Muzzies in SA feel even less allegience to the R of SA than the UK or France's Muzz populations feel towards their respective "nations".
Posted by: JDB || 01/21/2007 16:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Considering how tight the ANC was with a variety of Arab/Muslim terrorist groups, and the commonality of terrorist methods used by both groups, it is an extremely high probability that these two are card-carrying ANC cadre. Remember, the ANC was the first group to popularize "necklacing" - putting a gasoline-soaked tire around someone's neck and setting it alight while the person was alive and conscious. The ANC was also noted for panga attacks on helpless women, especially after the cadres were done gang-raping them.
Posted by: Shieldwolf || 01/21/2007 18:17 Comments || Top||

#4  As it happens, South Africa is a free-for-all, Mossie/PC violence zone. Just 'cos they gonna kill you, dont mean they're not ok.
Posted by: fever || 01/21/2007 19:49 Comments || Top||

#5  *PIMF

Just 'cos they gonna kill you, dont NOT mean they're not ok.
Posted by: fever || 01/21/2007 19:51 Comments || Top||


Britain
Five Algerian terror suspects agree to leave UK
Five Algerian men being held without trial on suspicion of terrorism have agreed to be voluntarily deported from Britain, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Saturday. It said the men were part of a group of 27 foreign nations being held on the grounds they are a threat to national security, several of whom have been held in custody without trial for more than four years. Britain's Home Office refused to confirm whether any suspects had agreed to voluntary deportation and said it would not comment on the status of the 27 being held.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [253 views] Top|| File under:

#1  several of whom have been held in custody without trial for more than four years

What's the British version of Guantanamo?
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/21/2007 11:25 Comments || Top||

#2  the Isle of Lucy
Posted by: Frank G || 01/21/2007 11:52 Comments || Top||


Europe
Teenager 'confesses to killing of journalist'
A teenager detained over the killing of an ethnic Armenian journalist has confessed to the killing, the prosecutor said today. Police captured the suspect - identified as Ogun Samast - in the Black Sea city of Samsun late last night, a day after Hrant Dink was gunned down in broad daylight outside his newspaper's office in Istanbul.

The killing stunned the nation and highlighted the precarious state of freedom of expression in a country that is vying for European Union membership.

Police said the youth was captured following a tip from his father after pictures were broadcast on Turkish television. Chief prosecutor Ahmet Cokcinar said the teenager had confessed to killing Dink during initial questioning in Samsun. He refused to give any further details. "All I can say is that Samast confessed during his questioning yesterday," Cokcinar said.

Samast, who is 16 or 17 years old, was apparently on his way by bus from Istanbul back to his home town of Trabzon when he was caught. Police escorted him on a private plane back to Istanbul where he was taken to a police station for further questioning, police said.

The photograph, taken by a security camera two blocks from the scene of Dink's shooting, had been broadcast across Turkey, and showed the suspect allegedly toting a gun and running from the scene. Video footage showed paramilitary police at the Samsun bus station inspecting a pistol and then placing it into an evidence bag. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Samast was arrested with the gun believed to have been used in the killing.

Most Turks have assumed that 52-year-old Dink, editor of the Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos, was targeted for his public statements calling the killing of Armenians by Turks in the early 20th century genocide. Nationalists consider such statements an insult to Turkey's honour and a threat to its unity, and Dink had been showered with insults and threats.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 11:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  LGF is all over this one.
Posted by: Parabellum || 01/21/2007 18:25 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Four arrested with explosives in India
Four people were arrested with 6 kg (13.2 lb) of powerful explosives near a crowded railway station in Mumbai on Saturday, six months after a string of train bombings that killed 186 people in the financial hub.

The arrests were made near the Andheri station, one of the busiest halts on Mumbai’s suburban railway network, following a tip-off by intelligence agencies, police said. “We can not say now if these people are just carriers of the explosives or they were planning any attack,” said a senior officer, who declined to be identified.

The seizure came days before India’s Jan. 26 Republic Day, when anti-India militants and separatists have traditionally unleashed violence and called for boycotts of the celebrations. Seven bombs ripped through trains and stations on Mumbai’s local railway network last July, for which investigating agencies have blamed Pakistan-based Islamist militants fighting Indian rule in the northern revolt-torn region of Kashmir.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let me guess---militant Buddhists?
Posted by: gromgoru || 01/21/2007 5:31 Comments || Top||


Nuggets from the Urdu Press
Milk of a goat cures all
According to daily Khabrain, a car mechanic Mohammad Ramazan in Kasur is using a strange goat as a messiah to cure all the diseases in the world. He printed an ad and distributed handbills in which he asserted that he bought a goat that has two tits that give milk. He gave this milk to a sick girl and she recovered immediately. A blind woman massaged her eyes with that milk and she gained her eyesight. He said this milk is the miracle of God. After this ad, a lot of sick people are coming to his house and he is collecting nazrana from these patients. He said he would build a mosque with the money.
"Where you gonna build it?"
"Monte Carlo."
No other sects in NWFP
According to daily Khabrain, the minister for religious affairs Amir Liaqat Ali said that NWFP maulanas want to divide the nation. He said, the government of NWFP doesn’t like to see Maulana Muneeb ur Rehman as chairman of Central Ruet-e-Hilal committee. He said that experts of astonomy were consulted during the reign of righteous Caliphs and all the provincial and zonal Ruet-e-Hilal committees formed by NWFP government are illegal. He said Eid can’t be celebrated following Saudi Arabia. He said all the sects are represented in central Ruet-e-Hilal committee while the zonal Ruet-e-Hilal committee of NWFP doesn’t have ahle tashe or ahle hadith ulema.

Jamaat members getting salaries from NA
As reported in daily Khabrian, the leader of Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, and other 26 members of Jamaat Islami, haven’t informed the assembly secretariat about their decision of not taking their salaries. Only one member of Jamaat Islami. Mohammad Hussain Mehanti has informed the secretariat and the assembly secretary didn’t transfer his salary into his account. The salary of Qazi Hussain Ahmad and one lac rupees of privileges have been transferred to Al Khidmat foundation. Other members who didn’t inform the secretariat include Liaqat Baloch, Farid Ahmad Paracha, Hanif Aslam, Raheela Samia Qazi, Hafiz Suleman Butt, Abdul Akbar Chitrali and others.

Man raped by two Kuwaiti women
According to daily Nawa-i-Waqt, a higher court in Kuwait sentenced two women to seven years in prison for raping and beating a man. According to a newspaper, ‘Alrai’, the man, was beaten up and injected with drugs for potency. He presented his medical certificates that proved the sexual assault. Earlier the lower court awarded 15 years imprisonment to both the women.

Fatwa to kill female staff of NGOs
According to daily Jang, the chairperson of human rights commission Asma Jehangir, wrote a letter to interior minister Aftab Sher Pao in which she pointed to a fatwa issued by Mufti Khalid Shah of Dara Adam Khel to kill the women associated with NGO’s and United Nation. International Red Cross and human rights organizations are termed as agents of Jews and West. Mufti Khalid asked the Muslim Umma to kill women worker of NGOs and called it a sacred duty of Muslim. He also urged Muslim to use heavy guns, destroy their houses, attack their cars and loot their homes. She also wrote that one maulana issued a fatwa in Hazara and warned all female NGO staff to leave the area. Asma Jehangir said these mullahs write their sect, name and address and paste their fatwa on the walls. NWFP government registered cases against them but is not taking any action against them. There were three women NGO workers killed during the year 2006.

Revenge of a Cobra
According to daily Express, a newly married couple died of snake bite. Hamad Butt and his wife Salma saw a couple of cobra snakes on the banks of Chenab. Hamad killed the female snake with a stone and the male snake ran away. After a while, when they were busy talking to each other, the same snake appeared before them and bit them. The couple died in a few hours.

Our emotions are hurt again
As reported in daily Express, The Cartoon Network has created a cartoon series with the character of the Prophet Moses to instigate the emotions of Muslims. The cartoon series that would destroy the religious thinking of children and would start from Sunday. The satanic plan by cartoon network has hurt the emotions of Muslims in Pakistan. People have started calling newspapers and said that cartoon of the prophet Moses are blasphemous. Some people asked the cable operators not to show cartoon network and asked the parents to watch the kids and not allow them to watch the channel.

UN resolutions are useless!
As reported in daily Express, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan who advocates Kashmir become a part of Pakistan, has said the United Nations resolutions have become redundant. He said Pakistan can leave the UN resolutions as a strategy when Bharat is stuck on Attot ang rhetoric and we are stuck with UN resolutions. He said we can’t wait for another 50 years for a referendum for the right of self determination. He said the purpose of UN resolutions is to solve the Kashmir issue.

Women’s bill will destroy households
As reported in daily Nawa-i-Waqt, a wife named Nasim hit her husband with a heavy stick and opened a wound in his head when he stopped her from going to bazaar. The injured husband, Razzaq, was brought to a hospital where he lamented that Women’s Protection Bill is responsible for his wounds. He said now a lot of households would be destroyed because of this bill.

Old habits die hard
According to daily Khabrain, the provincial minister for religious affairs, Maulana Amanaullah Haqqani, has said the celebration of Eid on two days is an old issue and can’t be solved in a few days. He said there is no example of Central Ruet-e-Hilal committee during the reign of the righteous Caliphs. If there was such a practice then they should inform us.

Mother of three marries a Pakistani boy
As reported in daily Express, the American lady Domana Mary Petit, who married a Pakistani boy Amir Khan after their love affair on the internet, was already married and had three children from her first husband. She said she has got a divorce from her first husband. She came to Pakistan and married Amir Khan with the consent of his parents. She submitted her marriage certificate and her statement in a civil court.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I've got a nasty cold. I'll take one order of magic goat milk to go.
Posted by: PBMcL || 01/21/2007 0:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Are we really sure those nukes will ignite?
Posted by: Shipman || 01/21/2007 2:34 Comments || Top||

#3 
Milk of a goat cures all
..and feta be gud ummmm...
***
Man raped by two Kuwaiti women
Earlier the lower court awarded 15 years imprisonment to both the women.

i wonder if Burkas were involved?
*****

Moby Serpent Allegory

#1) Hamad Butt and his wife Salma Butt saw a couple of Cobra Snakes on the banks of Chenab.

#2) Hamad Butt killed the female snake with a stone and the male snake ran away.

#3) After a while, when Mr. and Mrs. Butt were busy talking to each other, the same snake appeared before them and bit them.

#4) The Butt couple died in a few hours.

Moral: Don't ever talk to Butts or you'll get a serious case of the ass.
Posted by: RD || 01/21/2007 3:27 Comments || Top||

#4  Hamad killed the female snake with a stone and the male snake ran away. After a while...
the same snake appeared before them and bit them. The couple died in a few hours.


Must've been a Hindoo snake---A Muslem one would've just start looking for another female.
Posted by: gromgoru || 01/21/2007 5:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Hamad killed the female snake with a stone

Was it burried up to its neck, in approved Islamic fashion?
Posted by: Jackal || 01/21/2007 8:59 Comments || Top||


Bomb kills 2, wounds 7 in India’s Assam
GUWAHATI, India - A motorcycle bomb killed two people and wounded seven in a crowded market in India’s troubled northeastern state of Assam on Saturday, police said. They said suspected rebels belonging to the separatist United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) were behind the explosion in Tinsukia town, about 600 km (370 miles) east of the state’s main city, Guwahati.

“The bomb was kept on a motorbike on the roadside,” a police officer told Reuters by telephone from Tinsukia. A man died on the spot while another succumbed to his injuries in a hospital, he added.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:


Iraq
Copter Crash Makes for Third Deadliest Day
BAGHDAD, Iraq - At least 24 Americans died in Iraq on Saturday — the third deadliest single day for U.S. troops since the war began in March 2003. That total included four soldiers and a Marine killed in the violent Anbar province whose deaths were announced Sunday.

The gunmen who killed five U.S. troops in the Shiite holy city of Karbala wore military uniforms and used vehicles commonly driven by foreign dignitaries — an apparent attempt to impersonate Americans, Iraqi officials said Sunday. Saturday's carnage also included 12 soldiers killed in a Blackhawk helicopter crash northeast of Baghdad and two slain in roadside bombings.

The U.S. military statement about the Karbala attack said "an illegally armed militia group" attacked the provincial headquarters building with grenades, small arms and "indirect fire," which usually means mortars or rockets.

"A meeting was taking place at the time of the attack to ensure the security of Shiite pilgrims participating in the Ashoura commemorations," said a statement from Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, deputy commander of the Multi-National Division-Baghdad.

Thousands of Shiite pilgrims are flocking to the city to mark the 10-day Ashoura festival commemorating the death of one of Shiite Islam's most sacred saints, Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

Provincial Gov. Akeel al-Khazaali, who was not at the security meeting, said the gunmen were able to drive their black SUVs through a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, 50 miles south of Baghdad, because police assumed it was a diplomatic convoy and informed headquarters that it was coming.

"The group used percussion bombs and broke into the building, killed five Americans and kidnapped two others, then fled," the governor said, adding that Iraqi troops later found one of the SUVs with three bodies dressed in military uniforms.

The U.S. military, which has said that five U.S. soldiers were killed and three were wounded while repelling the attack, denied that two U.S. troops were kidnapped. Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a military spokesman, said all American forces "were accounted for after the action."

A security official in Karbala, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the information to the media, said the gunmen drove to Babil province after the attack. The Babil police commander confirmed that they entered the region before disappearing. Although Babil province is predominantly Shiite, some parts of it, just south of Baghdad, are Sunni and insurgents are known to be active there.

Saturday was the deadliest day for U.S. forces in two years. It was also the third-highest of any single day since the war began in March 2003, eclipsed only by 37 U.S. deaths on Jan. 26, 2005, and 28 on the third day of the U.S. invasion.
Posted by: Bobby || 01/21/2007 11:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Taking the fight to the enemy has a high cost. Rest in the peace you've earnt, with our thanks.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/21/2007 12:35 Comments || Top||

#2  I say we help them bleed their heads.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/21/2007 13:54 Comments || Top||

#3  All heros in my book for just being there.
Posted by: Gloque Elmang4914 || 01/21/2007 19:00 Comments || Top||


3 more Iranians bagged in Mosul
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraqi police detained three Iranians who were found without documentation in the northern city of Mosul, a provincial commander said Sunday. The three were seized Saturday after they were found without passports while riding with a Kurdish driver, said Maj. Gen. Wathiq al-Hamdani, the police commander for Ninevah province.

He said they claimed they had authorization to travel in the adjacent Kurdish-controlled region but mistakenly entered Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad. Al-Hamdani said the three were under investigation.
Soon to be declared 'diplomats'.
Posted by: RD || 01/21/2007 06:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  According to debka
US Task Force 16 launched to break up widespread web of Iranian penetration of Iraq
According to US News and World Report, the special operations force, created to target Iranians trafficking arms to and training Shiite militias – notably Moqtada Sadr’s Mehdi Army - is modeled on Task Force 15, whose mission is to capture or kill al Qaeda operatives and Baathist insurgents. It is formed of SEALs, Army Delta Force soldiers and CIA operatives and operates in line with the Bush get-tough policy with the networks operated by Iran and Syria.

Posted by: gromgoru || 01/21/2007 9:49 Comments || Top||


Report: 15 Sunni insurgents killed in Iraq
Elite Iraqi police forces dropped off by US helicopters staged a raid against an al-Qaida-linked Sunni militant group on Saturday, killing 15 insurgents and capturing five others, the Interior Ministry said. The quick-reaction Iraqi force, backed by gunfire from the helicopters, met fierce resistance from the members of the militant group who were hiding in two abandoned houses in the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Dora in southern Baghdad, ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf said. The US military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds good. About 5 of these a day would sound better. Almost like a war, or something. Civil affairs interventions and good-will medical days and small reconst. projects etc. etc. are just peachy, in the right circumstances, but I fear they're pretty ineffective in Sunni areas or gang-dominated areas of any stripe absent a fair amount of killing and ruthlessness. The "minds" of the majority are quite rationally focused on survival in the medium and long term, and 'til the enemy loses its power to intimidate all collateral efforts are a waste of time. Their "hearts" aren't important, and usually not reachable anyways.
Posted by: Verlaine || 01/21/2007 2:38 Comments || Top||

#2  I myself would have preferred to see a zero behind that number.
Posted by: Mike N. || 01/21/2007 4:52 Comments || Top||

#3  It's a start....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/21/2007 11:14 Comments || Top||

#4  We need more of this now, our politicians are starting to see cut and run as an option. There is little time left to make a measurable difference, and helicopter crashes are hard to absorb.
Posted by: wxjames || 01/21/2007 18:22 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Islamic Jihad Launches Rockets at Israel
Islamic Jihad militants launched homemade rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Sunday in retaliation for Israel's continuing military operations against their group in the West Bank. The rocket attacks came despite a two-month-old cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.

The group said it fired seven homemade rockets toward the Israeli towns of Sderot and Ashkelon. The Israeli army said several mortar shells had landed in empty areas in Israel on Sunday morning, causing no injuries.
Posted by: ryuge || 01/21/2007 08:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The rocket attacks came despite a two-month-old cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.

Since when has Pali rocket-firing into Israel been considered a cease-fire violation? Only Israel can violate cease-fires.
Posted by: xbalanke || 01/21/2007 10:21 Comments || Top||

#2  Rockets are not exactly the same thing as mortars.

The mortars used by IJ are typically fired from tubes; they are usually set up in the courtyards or backyards of residential buildings.
Posted by: mhw || 01/21/2007 12:09 Comments || Top||


Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan troops move deeper into Tamil rebel territory
Sri Lankan troops Saturday moved deeper into rebel territory after the capture of a strategic coastal town from Tamil Tigers in fighting that killed 376 combatants, the defence ministry said. The troops built new defences in the former rebel bastion of Vakarai in northeast Batticaloa and prepared to advance further north after weeks of heavy clashes involving artillery duels, Sri Lankan airforce jets and special commandos, the ministry said. “Sri Lankan troops are advancing further north, while consolidating the defences in the Vakarai town area,” the military said without giving details. Military sources said ground troops were moving on several flanks to secure a stretch of land along the coastline in a bid to cut off rebel supplies in the multi-ethnic eastern region.

Separately in overnight fighting in the nearby district of Trincomalee, four soldiers were killed and three wounded in a rebel mortar bomb attack, the ministry said. They also said a suspected Tiger rebel was killed in a confrontation with troops in Trincomalee, adding that rebel losses were believed to be higher. “Two T-56 assault rifles, one RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade), two tents and several LTTE uniforms were recovered by troops in a subsequent search operation,” the statement said.

Sri Lankan troops captured Vakarai as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) pulled out of the enclave in the face of the military advance after weeks of fighting that killed at least 45 security forces and 331 Tiger rebels in the town, where the guerrillas had run their own police and civil administration. “Following an hour-long effort (Friday) the Sri Lanka army troops finally liberated the Vakarai town and hospital which was used as an artillery launching pad by the terrorists,” a military statement said Friday.

The LTTE made no direct reference to the fall of Vakarai, but said they withdrew from a key location along the main A-15 road leading to Vakarai. “The LTTE decided to pull back from its Panichchankeni position which is on the access route to Vakarai,” the LTTE said. It said army shelling had killed 93 civilians in November and December alone.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said 10,000 to 15,000 civilians trapped in the combat zone began fleeing Friday. “Early this morning, these people started fleeing south towards Batticaloa,” the ICRC said. Vakarai is 65 kilometres (40 miles) north of Batticaloa, capital of the district of the same name.

Three weeks ago, Sri Lanka’s army chief Sarath Fonseka said he planned to clear the island’s multi-ethnic eastern region of Tiger rebels. Vakarai originally housed about 35,000 civilians, but an estimated 20,000 had fled fighting the area in recent weeks. The United Nations and other charities had asked the Tigers to allow civilians to leave and also urged the military to avoid targeting non-combatants. An escalation in violence since December 2005 has killed over 3,800 people, despite a Norwegian-arranged truce in place since 2002.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [349 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Leb army uncovers 75 hidden Grad missiles
The Lebanese army uncovered 75 Grad missiles in southern Lebanon, local security forces reported on Saturday. The missiles were found on Friday night in a flourmill in the village of Al-Biri and most likely belonged to the Islamic group al Jama al Islamiya. The owner of the mill was arrested, along with his wife, son, cousin and other suspects. It appeared that the missiles had been hidden for over 10 years near the Israeli border.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [358 views] Top|| File under:

#1  destroy the missiles in place, the mill goes too
Posted by: Frank G || 01/21/2007 0:03 Comments || Top||

#2  the missiles had been hidden for over 10 years
Probably useless by now, explaining why the "discovery" was allowed (cf. debka on Hizb vs UNIFIL).
Posted by: gromgoru || 01/21/2007 5:12 Comments || Top||

#3  They weren't property of the Hezbullies, either.
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 10:34 Comments || Top||

#4  WMDs ?
Posted by: wxjames || 01/21/2007 18:23 Comments || Top||


Good morning...
Annan returns to Ghana, urged to run for presidentWill accept Palestinian state on ’67 borders: HaniyehBaitullah vows 'bloodier' spring offensive in AfghanistanDialogue cannot replace guns: LeTLeb army uncovers 75 hidden Grad missilesSri Lankan troops move deeper into Tamil rebel territoryAmerican terrorists in SomaliaIranian forces ready for any threat
Posted by: Fred || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hey I must say - very well done. really
Lisa
Posted by: LisaVilask || 01/21/2007 4:32 Comments || Top||

#2  :>
Posted by: Shipman || 01/21/2007 8:42 Comments || Top||

#3  There is something about lace that really gets my attention.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 01/21/2007 9:22 Comments || Top||

#4  nice i like the new orleans reference also under siege by the "government" or lack there of...brad
Posted by: Unort Sholusing6057 || 01/21/2007 14:51 Comments || Top||


Rantburg style guide reminders
A few simple reminders as we get into the new year:

  • Provide a source for your post. If you don't your post will be deleted. None of the moderators have enough time to look for the source of your post.

  • Shorter, not longer, titles. Remember, the URL does NOT go into the title box. Snarky and catchy titles are fine.

  • File it in the right place. If it's about the current intifada in Frankistan, don't file it under 'Great White North'.

  • We focus on the WoT and matters related to the WoT. That includes general thuggery around the world, such as Zim-bob-we, and the politics surrounding the WoT. The farther away it is from that, the less likely people here want to read it here on Rantburg. We assume y'all read other weblogs for the other news. Wierd animal stories, of course, are always welcome: they go into the SAST as a 'non-WoT' item. But domestic issues in Australia, surface crawlers on Mars, and the general state of Lindsey Lohan's rehab shouldn't be posted here. Unless Fred does it in which case it's okay.

  • Opinion pieces go into the 'Opinion' category. Tricky, eh? This includes blog pieces. Some exceptions exist: VDH, Lileks, and Marc Steyn can go into any appropriate category. All the rest go into Opinion. And that's not an invitation for other blog-owners to post stuff in Opinion just to advertise their own blog.

  • Please format the post. Help us make the post readable. Think of it as a chance to teach English composition to the MSM. Delete the fluff and the stuff we already know. If there are no line breaks, put some in. If there are too many line breaks, take some out. Some gentle editing to make a post readable helps all of us, especially the moderators who then don't have to go back and re-edit stuff.

  • No ellipses and no 'snips'. Readers assume you're editing the post to just the good stuff (see above). Therefore you don't need ellipses or [SNIP]'s to tell us that you edited the post. Since you gave us the source URL (right?) a reader can always go to the original.

  • Your comments are in hilite (yellow) text. Use the 'HILITE' button. Start your comments on a separate line.
    If you do it will look like this.
    Don't put a leading line space before or after, as illustrated. And don't bury it like this. Do not use italics instead of hilite. Do not insert FONT commands: Fred has already settled the proper font and size for your snark.

  • Strikout text can be placed in-line in the text. Some here complain when we use too much of it. Unless you've got a sure-fire 'mad-libs' winner, use strikeout text sparingly.

  • Don't embed pics from outside Rantburg. We have an ever-expanding library of pics (even after Fred cleans out the attic we have more than when we started). Embedding a pic with a URL takes bandwidth and it may upset the owner of the site from where you're getting the image. If it's an absolutely great pic e-mail us with it and we'll get it in.
    Outside posts also die, in many cases. A Rantburg image will be around as long as there's a Rantburg.
  • Check for duplicates before you post. I miss that one myself sometimes (thanks to Emily and Steve for the gentle 'gotchas').

    And as always, thanks for all your support. You make Rantburg a special place.
  • Posted by: Steve White || 01/21/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [326 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  I had been considering emailing you some fun photos to use, but after learning about your large inventory will hold off on doing so.
    As always, thanks for the tips.
    Posted by: Jan || 01/21/2007 1:16 Comments || Top||

    #2  Shorter, not longer, titles.

    I read that last part as titties at first. I'm glad we got that cleared up.
    Posted by: Thoth || 01/21/2007 1:51 Comments || Top||

    #3  Barkeep, I'll have some of what Thoth is drinking.
    Posted by: GK || 01/21/2007 2:13 Comments || Top||

    #4  Any way we can browse you inventory of photos when we are posting an article?
    Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/21/2007 5:20 Comments || Top||

    #5  I would like to make two recommendations, Fred, to make things easier for new visitors and those of us whose memory is suffering increasing age-related bit-dropping errors.

    1. I suggest putting a link to this article, or a summary thereof, either in the yellow-colored side-bar or as a link in the article entry page.

    2. While you're at it, could you put in a link to a page with the moderator color coding chart?
    Posted by: Ptah || 01/21/2007 7:40 Comments || Top||

    #6  AoS is clearly on the march.

    But it might be wise to reconsider one assumption:

    We assume y'all read other weblogs for the other news.

    For many. Rantburg is the only reliable source of snark on the web.

    Who is Lindsey Lohan?
    Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/21/2007 8:10 Comments || Top||

    #7  I like Ptah's suggestion and would add to it a 1-2-3 simple guide for how to post articles correctly (for us tech idijts). I know that once I coped a URL and placed it in the article but I did it wrong. Also, some of us are fortunate enough to have Macs for our creative work but unfortunate enough to have those same Macs for communications and text work; any suggestions on how to make formatting work from a Mac would be appreciated (can't underline, can't bold, etc.)
    Posted by: Jules || 01/21/2007 10:24 Comments || Top||

    #8  Who is Lindsey Lohan?

    Miss Lohan is that poor unfortunate who doesn't realize that the sovereign rememdy for a hangover is two Exedrin washed down with a bloody mary.
    Posted by: trailing wife || 01/21/2007 11:00 Comments || Top||

    #9  Type in the html code, bold is < strong>text< /strong> (without the spaces)etc. Use the preview button to see if you got it correctly.
    Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/21/2007 11:00 Comments || Top||

    #10  To access the the picture archive:

    Click on the Submit an article thingy near the top of page 1.

    When that page pops up, look to the top left, and you'll see the word Photos. Click on that and you'll get thumbnails of the hundreds of photos/pictures/visual resources Fred keeps on file.

    Nb: right below the Photos link at the top left of the page, in even bigger letters, it says Before you post, read this! Click on that to read Fred's rules for submissions.
    Posted by: trailing wife || 01/21/2007 11:16 Comments || Top||

    #11  I have noticed that Mods allow 1 totally off-topic post per day. I suppose bratty, over-paid celebrities are Kultur Kampf material, but 1 is enough.
    Posted by: Sneaze Shaiting3550 || 01/21/2007 11:22 Comments || Top||

    #12  Is there a way to check urls for dups? It can be hard to find them if the submitter snarks up the original title.

    It would be nice to have a category for Iran.
    Posted by: KBK || 01/21/2007 11:30 Comments || Top||

    #13  Thanks for reminding me! I got an e-mail at work last week with a picture that's perfect for Rantburg, but never got a chance to forward it for consideration. Done now.

    Fred, it's up to you, but I think it would be useful for certain political stories about Kennedy, Pelosi, Kerry, etc. :-D
    Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/21/2007 11:31 Comments || Top||

    #14  And how is Lindsey? I mean, two days of rehab and we've heard nothing! NOTHING!
    Posted by: tu3031 || 01/21/2007 11:32 Comments || Top||

    #15  And we are blessed for it, #14 tu.
    Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/21/2007 11:39 Comments || Top||

    #16  We focus on the WoT and matters related to the WoT

    The farther away it is from that, the less likely people here want to read it here on Rantburg


    Dunno. Paris Hilton and the Rosie/Trump stuff gets lots of attention
    Posted by: Intrinsicpilot || 01/21/2007 11:58 Comments || Top||

    #17  Thanks, NS. I simply gotta take an HTML course one of these days. I copied your comments and will keep them by my computer.
    Posted by: Jules || 01/21/2007 12:21 Comments || Top||

    #18  It would be nice to have a category for Iran.

    It's lumped in with Lebanon and Syria. At this point it's more appropriate*.

    *Besides, regardless of how much Dinnerjacket sez how important they are, Iran doesn't deserve a category of its own IMNSHO.
    Posted by: Pappy || 01/21/2007 14:54 Comments || Top||

    #19  Only when I got to the 'Burg did I get style, and I thank ye for that.
    Posted by: fever || 01/21/2007 19:54 Comments || Top||

    #20  Here, here, fever!

    Thanks to all of you here and guiding me to get some style too! Not the "leggings for men" type style, but a way to vent some steam at the idiocy that abounds in our own nation! Gives me hope that "We the People" will actually have a future on this here ground we live on!
    Posted by: BA || 01/21/2007 21:21 Comments || Top||



    Who's in the News
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    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
    Seafarious
    Pappy
    lotp
    Scooter McGruder
    john frum
    tu3031
    badanov
    sherry
    ryuge
    GolfBravoUSMC
    Bright Pebbles
    trailing wife
    Gloria
    Fred
    Besoeker
    Glenmore
    Frank G
    3dc
    Skidmark
    Alaska Paul

    Two weeks of WOT
    Sun 2007-01-21
      Two South Africans accused of Al-Qaeda links
    Sat 2007-01-20
      Shootout near presidential palace in Mog
    Fri 2007-01-19
      Tater aide arrested in Baghdad
    Thu 2007-01-18
      Mullah Hanif sez Mullah Omar lives in Quetta
    Wed 2007-01-17
      Halutz quits
    Tue 2007-01-16
      Yemen kills al-Qaeda fugitive
    Mon 2007-01-15
      Barzan and al-Bandar hanged; Barzan's head pops off
    Sun 2007-01-14
      Somalia: Lawmakers impose martial law
    Sat 2007-01-13
      Last Somali Islamist base falls
    Fri 2007-01-12
      Two US aircraft carrier groups plus Patriot missile bn planned for ME
    Thu 2007-01-11
      US Warships picking up Al-Q hardboyz at sea
    Wed 2007-01-10
      Troop Surge Already Under Way
    Tue 2007-01-09
      Major battle on Haifa street in Baghdad
    Mon 2007-01-08
      US Gunship Hits Al-Qaeda In Somalia
    Sun 2007-01-07
      Iraqi Papers Sunday: Iranian Coup Plot Foiled?

    Better than the average link...



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