KABUL - A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-rigged car into a military convoy on Tuesday, killing three American soldiers and three Afghan civilians in eastern Afghanistan. The attack against the American convoy came in eastern Kapisa province, an stronghold of insurgents loyal to the Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
"I was driving my motorbike when I saw the car with a young man with a beard and white cap," said Sayed Najibullah, a 22-year-old shopkeeper. Najibullah said he heard the explosion minutes after the man, in a Toyota Corolla, waved him past.
Three U.S. troops were killed in the explosion, said Tech. Sgt. Chuck Marsh, a U.S. military spokesman. The soldiers served with NATO's International Security Assistance Force. Three civilians also died and two others were wounded, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
In the eastern Logar province, meanwhile, U.S. and Afghan troops called in airstrikes on two groups of militants, killing 13 insurgents Tuesday, the U.S military statement said.
Separately, in the eastern Khost province, a convoy of Afghan and American troops killed the driver of a car when the vehicle did not slow down in response to shouts to stop and warning shots, said Chief Petty Officer Brian Naranjo, a U.S. forces spokesman. "They fired to stop the vehicle and killed the driver," Naranjo said.
In the south, U.S. forces said they killed eight Taliban fighters in a clash Uruzgan province on Monday. The coalition said two of its troops and three Afghan policemen were wounded during the clash. They were undergoing medical treatment and were in stable condition. The troops were on patrol when Taliban fighters attacked with small-arms fire and heavy machine-guns.
EYL, Somalia, May 26 (Reuters) - Driving a luxury 4x4 car and smoking imported cigarettes with an expensive satellite phone at his side, Mohamed Said fears his flashy lifestyle as a Somali pirate could be about to come to an end.
The 35-year-old has no regrets about joining one of the gangs operating out of the pirate lair of Eyl, a former fishing village that overlooks the Indian Ocean and the strategic shipping lanes linking Europe to Asia through the Gulf of Aden.
Their attacks have driven up insurance costs and delayed U.N. aid deliveries. But Said's career has brought him riches he could never have imagined as an impoverished fisherman.
He and his colleagues have hijacked nearly 30 vessels this year, meaning 2009 is on course to be even worse than last year, when pirates from the Horn of Africa nation seized 42 ships.
But the crime wave has prompted a hurried deployment in the region by foreign navies, thwarting several attacks -- and now the weather is turning too, making the seas rougher and the pirates' prey harder to hunt."My biggest fear is that the piracy business will have to stop. The weather will be terrible in the coming days and the warships have increased in number," Said told Reuters in Eyl. Goddamn climate change...
"I have experienced the bitter-sweetness of piracy," he added, pointing out that his car, satellite telephone and speedboat were all paid for with his cut from ransoms. I've laughed, I've cried, I've bought lotsa toys...
But the last few weeks have not been so successful. He knows he was lucky to get off scot-free after being captured once. "I recently went to sea ... but all of my last three attempts have been in vain. I was even caught by a Portuguese warship, but fortunately they released me and my friends."
NATO forces have been disarming and releasing gunmen detained during its anti-piracy operation. Said is well aware that if it had been a different warship, he might well be dead, or facing trial in a courtroom far from home.
Last week, a Somali teenager accused of holding a U.S. ship's captain hostage during a foiled hijacking denied 10 charges in New York including piracy and kidnapping. Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse was the sole surviving accused pirate after the U.S. military said its snipers shot dead three of his companions during an operation to rescue the captain. Said? What...does Reuters think they died of swine flu?
Even after the weather improves, Said worries that the foreign navies might make the pirates' business impossible. "If dozens of warships remain in our waters, our work will be as futile as a chameleon trying to catch a fly," he said. Hmmmmm. Sounds like somebody's been watching Kung Fu on Somalian TV...
Lighting an imported Benson & Hedges cigarette and unwrapping a roll of leafy khat, a mild narcotic popular in the Horn of Africa, he says he is holding out for his share in a $1.7 million ransom being demanded for a hijacked German ship.
At small cafes on Eyl's dusty, unpaved streets, pirates are also swapping gossip about negotiations in progress for the release of a Dutch ship. The buccaneers want $2.5 million, but the owners have only offered $1.5 million so far. "If they give me some cash I will clear my debts. You know khat is expensive here," he said, chewing on a twig from the bunch wrapped in banana leaves, then puffing on his cigarette. Those who have must enjoy their earnings, while the have-nots die of hunger and worry," Said added with a shrug. "I wish this merry life would last forever. But I'm afraid that circumstances may force me to give up piracy completely."
[Maghrebia] Five Moroccans face trial in Algeria next month for allegedly trying to join al-Qaeda, El Khabar reported on Monday (May 25th). Algerian authorities reportedly tracked the suspects to Algiers, Boumerdes, Tizi Ouzou and Bejaia. The Moroccans allegedly told an imam they were in those cities to make contact with jihadist groups. The suspects, however, denied terrorism accusations, telling investigators that they travelled to Algeria as illegal immigrants in transit to Italy.
Posted by: Fred ||
05/26/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa
Three more BDR soldiers made confessional statements to separate courts of chief metropolitan magistrate in connection with the Peelkhana carnage case yesterday.
Betcha they weren't waterboarded.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday produced 71 more BDR soldiers to the CMM court after the end of their five-day remand and the court sent them to the jail as there was no appeal for further remand for them.
A total of 1,407 people, most of them soldiers, have so far been arrested in connection with the case regarding the rebellion at Peelkhana headquarters and 109 of them, including three civilians, have so far made their confessional statements to the court. A total of 174 people are now on remand under the custody of CID police in Dhaka.
Outside the capital, a total of 1,723 soldiers have so far been arrested in 30 districts for their suspected involvement in the rebellion on the second day at their respective battalion and sector headquarters.
Posted by: Steve White ||
05/26/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under:
SEOUL, South Korea North Korea launched tests Tuesday of two more short-range missiles a day after detonating a nuclear bomb underground, a news report said, pushing the regimes confrontation with world powers further despite the threat of U.N. Security Council action.
Two missiles one ground-to-air, the other ground-to-ship with a range of about 80 miles were test-fired from an east coast launch pad, South Koreas Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unnamed government official.
South Korean spy chief Won Sei-hoon had informed lawmakers earlier Tuesday that a missile test was likely, according to the office of Park Young-sun, a legislator who attended the closed-door briefing.
Yonhap reported that North Korea was preparing to launch a third missile from a west coast site, again citing an unnamed official.
North Korea appeared to be displaying its might a day after conducting an underground atomic test in the northeast that the U.N. Security Council condemned as a clear violation of a 2006 resolution banning the regime from developing its nuclear program. France called for new sanctions, while the U.S. and Japan pushed for strong action against North Korea for testing a bomb that Russian officials said was comparable in power to those that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
South Korea, meanwhile, announced it would join a maritime web of more than 90 nations that intercept ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction a move North Korea warned would constitute an act of war.
North Korea had threatened in recent weeks to carry out a nuclear test and fire long-range missiles unless the Security Council apologized for condemning Pyongyangs April 5 launch of a rocket the U.S., Japan and other nations called a test of its long-range missile technology. The North has said it put a satellite into orbit as part of its peaceful space development program.
Monday mornings nuclear test appeared to catch the world by surprise, but Won told lawmakers that Beijing and Washington knew Pyongyang was planning a test some 20-25 minutes before it was carried out, said Choi Kyu-ha, an aide to lawmaker Park.
Won said Pyongyang warned it would test the bomb unless the head of the Security Council offered an immediate apology. Russia said the test went off at 9:54 a.m. local time (0054 GMT) Monday. Won confirmed that two short-range missile tests from an east coast launch pad followed. Yonhap reported that three missile tests were carried out Monday, and two more Tuesday.
"This is the first time we've had no advance information from the U.S. military regarding North Korea's missile or nuclear [programs]," a dismayed senior Self-Defense Forces official said following a meeting at the Defense Ministry on Monday afternoon.
Japan relies on the United States and South Korea for information on North Korea.
But the senior SDF official believes Japan may have been passed over in the flow of information regarding earlier signs of North Korea's latest test.
"It's believed South Korea picked up signs of a nuclear test several days before it was conducted," the official said. "I can't seriously believe South Korea wouldn't have informed the U.S. military of this activity. It's possible Japan was left out of the South Korea-United States-Japan route."
The nuclear test came less than a month after Japan and the United States had collaborated closely with regard to the April 5 missile firing.
However, another senior SDF official felt the United States might have known of the test in advance and did not pass on that information to Japan. "The U.S. military has various information-gathering methods and I can't believe they couldn't obtain information before [the test]," the official said.
This situation, in which Washington may have failed to provide information to Tokyo, could be said to have exposed the parlous nature of the U.S.-Japan alliance.
The latest test, which came on the back of last month's ballistic missile launch, could rekindle domestic debate on whether Japan should possess the ability to strike enemy bases within the scope of its defense-only policy.
However, North Korea would not be the only country to oppose a Japan with a strong offensive capability. Countries such as China, Russia and South Korea also would surely protest if Japan took a more aggressive military stance.
The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama remains indecisive about what kind of policy it should adopt toward North Korea. Under the circumstances, will the Unites States back Japan in its effort to deal with North Korea? To put that anxiety to rest, it is essential to maintain the Japan-U.S. alliance as a strong bond of bilateral security.
(May. 27, 2009)
Assuming they're NOT criminally stupid, it's apparent they WANT to be attacked and invaded, there's no other easy way to eliminate excess population, and gain world sympathy (And cash, never forget cash) they're looking at other American conquered territories, Japan for example, and have decided it's better to lose to Americans, than starve and actually work at making a living, We Americans can be foolishly generous to defeated (former) Enemies.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
05/26/2009 22:28 Comments ||
C'mon, boys. What happened to that "last drop of blood" shit? What would Mo say? Mo say, "we're getting our asses handed to us? Time for a hudna!"
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- The Pakistani Taliban -- under pressure in fighting with the military -- said Tuesday it wants to return to a peace deal that recently collapsed. That collapse sparked the ongoing massive military operation, a Taliban spokesman said Tuesday.
Taliban militants in Swat Valley have announced that they are willing to disarm if the Pakistani government allows sharia, or Islamic law, to be implemented in the region, a spokesman for Taliban mediator Sufi Mohammed said. ...and if ya can't trust Sufi, who can you trust?
The government rejected the offer, saying the Taliban must pull out of Swat or face arrest, state information minister Syed Sumsam Ali Shah Bukhari said Tuesday. According to Bukhari, the offer shows that the Taliban's morale is down and they are retreating.
The lastest round of fighting has killed an estimated 1,100 Taliban militants and 75 Pakistani security personnel, Pakistan's military said Tuesday. Another 226 Pakistani security personnel have been wounded, the military said.
Mohammed negotiated the previous deal between the Taliban and the government, which called for the same arrangement. So whaddya say, guys? Let's let bygones be bygones, hokay?
That deal fell apart because the Taliban refused to disarm and moved into the Buner district, located outside of the region that the government allowed them to control.
The government has said it will only allow sharia if it does not contradict Pakistan's constitution. There are many interpretations of Islamic law, but the Taliban's version has curbed human rights, forcing women indoors, men to grow beards, and shops to stop selling movies and music.
The military operation against the Taliban in northwest Pakistan has resulted in the exodus of more than 2.4 million civilians since May 2.
The Taliban urged Mingora residents on Monday to return to the town where they promised not to attack the security forces because of concern for the safety of civilians. Asked if that meant a ceasefire, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said, "No... Our aides will remain there in Mingora." "We will fight for the enforcement of sharia law till the last drop of our blood," he told AFP.
The security forces took control of Pakistan's only ski resort of Malam Jabba on Monday as street battles continued for the control of the main town of Mingora.
"Malam Jabba, located on main line of communication connects Swat Valley with Mansehra, was being used as a training centre and logistic base by terrorists," the ISPR said in a statement. It said four Taliban were killed and eight arrested in 24 hours of fighting.
Troops launched an offensive from Kanju to secure Kabal, where Taliban run training facilities and the fleeing Taliban from Mingora took refuge. "The forces were facing stiff resistance," the military said.
In Mingora, troops now control the area from Fizaghat to Watakai, where they killed two Taliban, seized a police armoured vehicle, and defused several bombs on Monday.
The security forces resumed the search and destroy operation in the former Taliban headquarters of Peochar, where two Taliban were killed and five arrested.
The troops also control the Qambar ridge overlooking Mingora and the Grid station, Amankot area, and the T-junction in Saidu Khawar.
The Taliban are seeking money, men and weapons from the residents of the conflict-hit areas, urging them to "live and die together" fighting against the security forces, a resident of Kanju town in Swat district said Monday.
"The Taliban appear to have been running short of money, men and weapons to fight the army for long as they are seeking a fighter from each family, a Kalashnikov, or a Rs 50,000 donation," said Bakht Rawan, whose original name has been withheld for security reasons.
Kanju is strategically located south of Mingora and has access to the Kabal and Matta tehsils. The Taliban held the town before the security forces took it back on May 22.
Rawan said the Taliban held a jirga with residents of Hazara area (in Kabal tehsil) at a mosque on Saturday and told them they were running short of ammunition and also needed Kalashnikovs. They urged the people not to leave for safer places. "Let's live and die together," the Taliban commanders told the villagers who have however decided to migrate.
"Let's live and die together," the Taliban commanders told the villagers who have however decided to migrate.
The common folk appear to grasp the same concept of the Imam who always seems to be still standing while a lot of his followers have gone on to martyrdomland. "No, no Achmed, after you. I'm just a humble farmer like my father and his father who knows his place in life. Besides someone must be here to sing the songs of your great sacrifice and glory."
Pakistan has freed all arrested leaders of the Jamat-ud-Dawa the parent body of the Lashkar-E-Taiba in a clear and open violation of UN sanctions. We absolutely knew, had no doubt, not one lick of doubt, that this was coming.
The Lashkar top brass was rounded up after New Delhi protested in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. That was a process known as "going through the motions."
After India approached the UN, the UN Security Council had proscribed the Jamaat under resolution 1267 paving the way for the arrests. Among those who are released is Hamir Hamza, the JuD's chief strategist. I believe he's also a signatory to Binny's declaration of war on us infidels in which al-Qaeda is established.
Also released are Saeed's key aides Abdul Rehman, the head of the information wing, Qazi, Kashif, Niaz, Balouch and Mufti. Actions like this don't make sense unless LeT is regarded as a resource by the government, especially in light of the fact that the Pak government's other "resources" have slipped their leash and are conducting open warfare against the government in the west.
Mumbai was a legitimate casus belli, inviting retaliation at least in kind by the government of India. The only defense the Paks could present -- and they presented it at the time -- was that the attacks had nothing to do with the government of Pakistan, but were the work of non-state actors. While that sort of argument can be accepted, it put the requirement on Pak to suppress LeT and its parent organization, which is what the UNSC resolution demands. Otherwise they're simply saying "We don't care. We're not going to stop them from attacking you."
In fact, as we know and the Indos certainly know, it's not really that they don't care, but that they're maintaining those "non-state actors" with Pak government money and resources for the specific purpose of subverting India. They provide artillery support for infiltrators, they provide military and naval trainers, they provide arms and ammunition, and they're actively complicit in recruiting cannon fodder like Ajmal Amir Qasab. India's torment is Pak government policy.
BAGHDAD An American soldier, a State Department employee and an American civilian working for the Department of Defense were all killed Monday afternoon when the vehicle they were riding in was struck by a roadside bomb as it traveled through the city of Falluja west of Baghdad, American officials said Tuesday.
Two civilians working for the Department of Defense were wounded in the attack, according to the officials.
The incident took place just three miles from the bridge where in March of 2004, four American contractors were killed their bodies burned and mutilated and dragged through the street in front of frenzied mobs. The image of two of the workers charred bodies strung up from the bridge spurred calls for action from Americans at home and was a major factor in the American militarys decision to launch the first major offensive against the city several months later.
It would take four often bloody years and another major assault, but when the Marines finally prepared to leave their sprawling base on the outskirts of the city in December, the military expressed high hopes that the pacification of the former heart of the insurgency would demonstrate that the security gains would hold even as the American role was reduced.
While the situation in Falluja remains more stable than it had been when the contractors were killed in 2004, there is concern expressed by both political leaders and tribal leaders that if the Sunni insurgents who later reconciled with the Americans are not made to feel like they have a place in the central government, they will once again turn to violence.
Christopher R. Hill, the newly appointed Ambassador to Iraq, responded swiftly to the Monday killings, issuing a statement condemning the attack.
We and all who are working for a brighter future for Iraq condemn this terrible attack in the strongest possible terms, he said. We remain committed as ever to helping Iraqis achieve the peace, stability and prosperity that will make such acts of terror a thing of the past.
The Americans were driving along a road used mainly by the military when their car was struck by an improvised explosive device, according to local Iraqi security officials.Another attack on an convoy of contractors in Falluja took place a week ago by assailants with grenades but no on ewas killed, according to the security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
The attack on Monday took place as the Americans were returning from an inspection of a wastewater treatment plant under construction in Falluja, which Ambassador Hill said was the largest and most complex U.S. government funded project in Anbar province.
Terrence Barnich, who worked at the United States Embassy in Baghdad as the deputy director of the Iraq Transition Assistance, was one of those killed in the attack. A resident of Chicago, Mr. Barnich was hired for the job in January 2007, according to State Department officials.
The names of the civilian working for the defense department and the American soldier were being withheld pending notification of relatives.
On this day in history: May 26th.
1830 The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress; it is signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.
1857 Dred Scott is emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners.
1868 The impeachment trial of U.S. President Andrew Johnson ends, with Johnson being found not guilty by one vote.
1889 Opening of the first Eiffel Tower elevator to the public.
1896 Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
1938 The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its first session.
1940 Battle of Dunkirk In France, Allied forces begin a massive evacuation from Dunkirk, France.
1970 The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 becomes the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2.
1972 The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
1986 The European Community adopts the European flag.
1992 Charles Geschke, co-founder of Adobe Systems, Inc. is kidnapped at gunpoint from the Adobe parking lot in Mountain View, California for $650,000 and is held hostage in a rented house in Hollister, California. The FBI rescues him four days later.
2004 The New York Times publishes an admission of journalistic failings, claiming that its flawed reporting and lack of skeptism towards sources during the buildup to the 2003 war in Iraq helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
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.