Former Taliban foreign minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil is hiding in neighboring Pakistan, says Afghanistan's interim Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah. Abdullah said that several "Taliban ministers and commanders fled to Pakistan" after the collapse of the Taliban regime in November last year and "are still hiding there." He's probably hiding under a bed, until the heat's off.
The next step in Afghanistan's shaky transition to democracy is in the hands of a 21-member commission of experts so obscure that even Hamid Karzai knows only four of its members. The independent panel, named to bewilderment even among Karzai's cabinet members, was picked by the United Nations to prepare a Loya Jirga, or grand council, that will in turn be charged with choosing the next government in June. "The two or three I know are very good people -- but I only know two or three of them," one baffled minister said. "This is not the way we do things in Afghanistan." The confusion applied to members as well. "I don't know how I was appointed," said Mahboba Hoqoqmal, a political scientist and women's rights lawyer who found herself named commission vice-chairperson. That should certainly work well. The new government obviously needs to be built on the expertise of political scientists and women's rights lawyers and NGOs, and not on those nasty old politicians and (God help us!) warlords who actually control the countryside. Once the ideology's written up, their guns and ammunition will be rendered impotent.
The UN has picked the members... whoch of course means that Afghanistan is fucking doomed. Never in the history of human endevours has there been an organisation with such a talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as the UN. Posted by Perry de Havilland 1/27/2002 9:15:28 PM
Depends on your definition of "victory," of course. Posted by Fred 1/27/2002 9:36:25 PM
When thousands rally in New York this week against the World Economic Forum, socially conscious activists will be among them â as well as, police say, hardened radicals and advocates of violent confrontation. With labor unionists, students, environmentalists, civil rights activists and all manner of self-proclaimed anarchists meeting in midtown, police are preparing for street dramas that may range from puppetry and tango-dancing to vandalism and service disruptions. "Many, many thousands, perhaps even more than that, are coming from practically every state," said Larry Holmes, a spokesman for Ramsey Clark group ANSWER, which stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. Yeah. The city needs that stuff. The country needs these traveling riots.
A tense prospect, but not an entirely negative development. Facing the reality of Ground Zero will be a big part of this event for the out-of-towners. Try looking at the peaceful elements involved as traditionalists, Fred. They don't want the new freedom, the freedom to be *envied* by the rest of the world. They want our traditional Four Freedoms, the vision of FDR that brought us through WWII, the freedom of an America whose Lady Liberty stands in encouragement and support of the world's wretched and oppressed ... Posted by contrapuntal_harmonies 1/29/2002 1:27:08 AM
But traditionalism degenerates to a combintion of blind reaction and ideological silliness. The logical outcome of the Four Freedoms is the world we live in now, because they've enabled us to build it. It's a world full of good things, and it's a world that's growing. Being "envied" by the rest of the world is a side effect.
The ones who really bother me are the black mask brigades, the kiddies who are there precisely for the "armed struggle" aspect of it. The line dividing them from the people we're fighting against - who are responsible for Ground Zero - is very fine, not in ideology but in world view. Posted by Fred 2/3/2002 7:13:38 PM
There are 130 women among the 1,300 U.S. military personnel at Guantanamo, and they perform much the same duties as the men. Unarmed female guards watch over the orange-clad inmates in Camp X-ray; medical workers administer care to the sick or injured; and women escort prisoners to bathrooms and showers. The women are replaced by male guards when the inmates undress. The Taliban who wouldn't allow women to study in Afghanistan and punished them if a veil slipped or an ankle showed now are getting orders from women guards and care from female doctors. "In their culture they get to tell their females what to do," said Pfc. Courtney Sletter, 21. "Well, they are now in a new culture, and I get to tell them what to do." Not only did jihad flop, and the Pure Islamic State get flushed, but now they're guarded by (gasp!) Girls with Guns. To make matters even worse, a babe runs the place. The Command Master Chief - what us (ex-)Army guys would call a Command Sergeant Major - is CMDMC Ellen Mustain. Cheeze. It almost woulda been better to get jobs. If they get sprung, what're the boys back at the mosque gonna say? (Link via Hawspipe)
At least 24 people have been killed and 37 wounded in incidents of inter-clan violence in southern Somalia. Seventeen people died and 31 were wounded in fighting pitting the Jiddo sub-clan against their Garre rivals in the Qoryoley district. Fighting between the two communities flared up Wednesday when cattle belonging to the Garre destroyed crops on farms owned by the Jiddo. Sixteen people, including five children, died in the violence. In another incident, seven people were killed and six wounded when militiamen of the Marehan clan fought with those of the Rahanwein group in Bardera town. It was not immediately clear what sparked the violence, if anything, and both groups were sending reinforcements to the town. Since I have the utmost respect for Somali "national" sovreignty, I'm perfectly happy to stand back and let them shoot each other up over nothing special. Let us know when you're done, boys, if there are any of you left.
People are starting to move freely in the Nuba mountains region of central Sudan in line with a cease-fire agreement between the government and rebel forces, a Sudanese newspaper reported. "The movement of citizens has started to take a natural form," Foreign Ministry undersecretary Mutrif Sidig was quoted as saying in the government-owned Al-Anbaa newspaper. "This is an indication of the success of the Switzerland (cease-fire) agreement." "Yep. Everything's fine here. No need for any military operations. How are you?"
Vice President Dick Cheney suggested Sunday that Yasser Arafat and his aides are working with Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah to get weapons for his Palestinian Authority. Cheney's comments followed remarks by U.S. special envoy to the Middle East Anthony Zinni, over the weekend, that Arafat is "an unreformed liar". Speaking in Washington, Zinni also compared him to a Mafia boss akin to New York Mafioso Carlo Gambino. Zinni also compared the Palestinian security service leaders to Mafia bosses who boast about their weapons and the number of people they have killed. Yasser? Lie? Never! Organized like the Mafia? Aw, c'mon! Actually, I can't believe he made such a definite statement of the obvious. He's a diplomat, after all.
Fifty-three people were injured and several were believed to have been killed in a suicide bombing in west Jerusalem. There was no immediate confirmation of any Israeli deaths. Three of the injured were in serious condition. The blast gutted the Freimann and Bein shoe shop, just metres from the Sbarro pizzeria on Jaffa Road where 15 people were killed plus the bomber in a Hamas suicide bombing on August 9. Shop-fronts were shattered, their glass and metal framework blown down the street as rescue workers rushed in to evacuate the injured, many of them covered in blood. The Palestinians do seem to be trying to get up to one a day. It also looks like they had one of those "we've got to get our numbers up" meetings. Keeping Israel provoked keeps the Arab yokels stirred up. It's reached the point now where it's out of Arafat's hands - he's become "irrelevant" to his own.
Hezbollah's television station Al Manar said that the suicide bomber responsible for the attack was 20-year-old Shinaz Amuri, a female student from Nablus. The dead Israeli was identified as 81-year-old Pinchus Toktaly, a tour guide. This was first suicide attack carried out by a woman. She studied at the A-Najach University in Nablus, defined as a "hothouse for suicide bomber" by the Shin Bet security services. At least six of the 120 suicide bombers who have carried out attacks against Israeli targets were students at the university, which is also considered a Hamas stronghold. No group took immediate responsibility for the blast, and Hamas leader in Gaza, Mahmoud Al Zahar, refused to say whether his organization was behind the bombing. Of the wounded, two were in serious condition, four sustained moderate wounds and the rest light injuries.
Interior ministry General Mikhail Rudchenko, who oversees the southern Russian adminstrative region, and his deputy identified only as General Davydov, died when their helicopter exploded over Chechnya. Preliminary evidence showed that the explosion was the result of "an act of terrorism," suggesting an attack by Chechen rebels. 11 people were on board the helicopter, which went down when it was flying over Chechnya's northern Nadterechny region, which fell under Russian control at the start of the 28-month Chechen war. The downing coincided with the five-year anniversary of the election of separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov as president, whose term officially expired Sunday. This is that arm of the terror war that the US tries to ignore. I believe Bush received Maskhadov last week. He should think real hard on this subject: the Russers supported us in Afghanistan, and the Chechens were among the most fanatical gunmen on the other side.
The Colombian capital was tense, with downtown streets deserted and police on high alert, after a bomb hidden on a bicycle blew up, killing five and injuring 21 in Bogota. Another booby-trapped bicycle and a bomb hidden in a supermarket cart were discovered and defused by police before they exploded. The explosion occurred in a restaurant popular with police officers. No one had claimed responsibility for the blast Saturday but security forces attributed them to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Intelligence sources also blamed the FARC for destroying electricity towers near Bogota over the last week, and blowing up a valve on a dam that holds water for the capital last Sunday. "These are not revolutionary acts, they are against civilians. They are terrorist acts. And, I repeat, acts which the international community and Colombians reject," President Andres Pastrana fumed. Political, religious or a combination of the two, terrorists are terrorists.
The Observer newspaper said that brutal scenes of Algerian army conscripts being killed were being distributed on video in Britain's mosques as part of a radical Muslim recruitment drive. It said the video, titled simply 'Algeria', contained footage of an attack on an Algerian government convoy, showed mutilated corpses and repeatedly used shots of a wounded conscript having his throat cut. The paper said the video was annotated with Arabic script with injunctions such as; "Fight them until the sentence of God is carried out on Earth," and "You have to kill in the name of Allah until you are killed." It also shows more mundane aspects of everyday life among the radical Salafist Group for Preaching and Fighting. London's Metropolitan Police said, "If the Observer wishes to take this video to a police station, then police will be only too interested in taking a look at it, as with anything that may have criminal images on it." Police would then determine whether the distribution of the video broke any laws. The coppers might want to take a little more proactive stance on such things. No doubt those being forcibly ejected from this vale of tears aren't British subjects, but the recruiting of crazed killers would seem to have some impact on the nation's internal security.
Afghan security forces have seized an arms cache of a Kashmiri militant group in a village close to the Pakistani border, Radio Afghanistan reported. Hand grenades, anti-personnel mines, mortar shells and many rounds of ammunition belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba group were found in the Zarkano district of Kunar province. I love that: "Radio Afghanistan" and "Afghan security forces." Gosh, they're a real country!
Two Palestinian militant groups claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in downtown Tel Aviv that wounded at least 25 people. In a statement issued jointly with Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Islamic Jihad identified the bomber who attacked on Friday as one of its members, Safwat Abdurrahman Khalil. "This heroic operation was carried out with the participation of the Brown Hands group in the central command of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades," said the statement. Islamic Jihad supplied the snuffy and al-Aqsa supplied the dynamite. How cozy.
Explosions and gunfire erupted in the Indonesian city of Ambon soon after a government minister visited to evaluate peace efforts between Christians and Muslims. No deaths or injuries were reported. The bomb blasts occurred about midnight, shortly after top security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and senior welfare minister Jusuf Kalla ended their visit. Fighting between Muslims and Christians in the eastern city erupted in January 1999, then widened to the surrounding islands of Maluku. Both sides say conflict is fanned by the paramilitary Islamic group Laskar Jihad. In May 2000, large numbers of militants began arriving in Maluku, about 1,600 miles northeast of Jakarta. "Don't be bringin' none of that reconciliation stuff around here!" That jihad stuff sure is fun. It's a lot better than getting a job and working for a living.
Fighting flared in the Indonesian province of Aceh, and four separatist insurgents were killed. The Indonesian Red Cross also found three unidentified bodies in Aceh, bringing the death toll in the restive province to more than 100 this year. Good thing there aren't any terrorist networks in Indonesia.
The London School of Economics has nurtured at least three men linked to al-Qaeda, according to intelligence information reportedly being studied by the British police. Two of the men are linked to Kashmiri militancy and are at large, while the third was arrested in Delhi last month for alleged involvement in the December 13 attack on the Indian Parliament. The LSE connection, which has been dubbed the London School of Extremists link, was forged in the early â90s. The most prominent of the so-called LSE three is the middle-class, intellectual militant from London, Ahmed Omar Sheikh, who was released by the Indian government in the Indian Airlines Kandahar hostage swap in 1999. He is now said to be linked to last weekâs shooting outside Kolkataâs United States Information Service centre and is alleged to have been part of the financial trail leading to the chief World Trade Centre hijacker Mohammed Atta. According to The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Sheikhâs unnamed Kashmir-sympathizing fellow LSE student played an equally important role in fuelling militancy in Kashmir by functioning as a key recruiting agent for the militant groups in 1992. The paper inaccurately names Jaish-e Mohammed as the main grouping supported by the LSEâs radical Islamists, but Jaish was not in existence at the time. The LSE campus is more likely to have supplied Harkat-ul Ansar or Al Faran, the decapitators of some foreign tourists in the mid-90s. Wonder how much of the "link" is a coincidence of attendance, and how much has to do with what is actually taught?
Saudi Arabia has admitted it made mistakes concerning the September 11 attacks on the United States but insists it cannot be held responsible for the terrorist atrocities. "We are closely examining our mistakes, but in placing the blame for the events of September on one country, Saudi Arabia, the Western media is committing an injustice with great consequences," the kingdom's foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said. "If something good is to come of September, it is that all parties concerned will look at themselves and see what they can do to avoid a repetition of such crises." The minister did not elaborate on the nature of the Saudi authorities mistakes. Asked what Saudi Arabia was doing to rein in bin Laden's supporters, Prince Saud said: "Those implicated in criminal activities are being searched for. But he added: "We are trying to recover and put back on the right path those Saudis who, manipulated by certain people, have joined the ranks of al-Qaeda." Unattributed mistakes result in unattributed blame. One of the mistakes the Saudis have made is to use the Palestinians as an excuse for any kind of violence, extremism or unreason. The effects are at best tenuously related to the ascribed cause. We hope these are the mistakes he's talking about.
Since a body can receive 40-80 stripes for boozing, and lose a head for groping boys, perhaps you could "recover and put back on the right path" the fellows who are financing al-Qaeda using the same means. Probably after 80 hard ones on the bare doop, a princelet would think twice before writing his next check to the "Fund for Restoring Muslim Greatness in Finland." That would also demonstrate to the world the effectiveness of sharia.
We could use a few more specifics from the Prince on how to "recover and put back on the right path ... [those who] have joined the ranks of al-Qaeda." I was rather in favor of their suggestion to withdraw US troops from the Mecca area until this whole madness happened. Now that I'm starting to consider how many idiots are running around with nukes, etc., I'm beginning to think the US may be doing Islam a favor by refusing to cut and run. A little more openness in discussion of the facts by the Saudis might go a long way. Posted by A reader 1/28/2002 1:44:15 AM
Yemen released a Muslim Briton jailed on terrorism charges at the end of his three-year term, after which he returned to London. Mohammed Mustafa Kamel, son of a London-based Muslim activist who is himself wanted for trial in the Arab state, arrived at Heathrow Airport on a Yemeni flight from Sanaa. "He has served a three-year sentence for a crime he did not commit, following a clear cut miscarriage of justice which has been acknowledged by the British Government," his mouthpiece said. "He will clear his name. He holds the British Government responsible for not acting sufficiently robustly on his behalf." A Yemeni court in 1999 convicted Kamel and seven other Britons of Pakistani or Arab origin on charges of forming an armed group to carry out terrorist acts in Yemen. After initially confessing, the eight retracted and said they came to Yemen to improve their Arabic and study the Koran. How sad. He was jugged, so he couldn't go take part in the late festivities in Afghanistan. He would no doubt have been improving his Arabic and studying the Koran there, too, just like our own Johnny Jihad.
German prosecutors said they were considering launching criminal proceedings against a German resident being held by United States forces on suspicion of fighting for the Taliban or al Qaeda. The magazine Spiegel reported that the man was a 19-year-old of Turkish origin. "The young Turkish man, born and raised on the Weser (the river running through Bremen), reportedly flew to Pakistan from Frankfurt on October 3... the Americans suspect him of being a Taliban fighter or having links to the bin Laden organization al Qaeda," Spiegel said. Federal prosecutors said they were waiting for information from colleagues in Bremen and could not give any further details. Interior Minister Otto Schily said on Tuesday that German police were following up to 20,000 leads on the continued presence of al Qaeda networks in the country. Kinda makes you wonder how many Afghans were in Afghanistan. Also makes you wonder who paid for his ticket, who arranged his lodging, and who set up his passage into the country from Pakistan. Flying off to jihad and potting a few American Zionist-Imperialists ain't what it's cracked up to be, is it?
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.