[NYT] NAIROBI, Kenya -- The plot was hatched weeks or months ago on Somali soil, by the Shabab's "external operations arm," officials say. A team of English-speaking foreign fighters was carefully selected, along with a target: Nairobi's gleaming Westgate mall.
The building's blueprints were studied, down to the ventilation ducts. The attack was rehearsed and the team dispatched, slipping undetected through Kenya's porous borders, often patrolled by underpaid -- and deeply corrupt -- border guards. Note: Underpaid employees are the real problem.
A day or two before the attack, powerful belt-fed machine guns were secretly stashed in a shop in the mall with the help of a colluding employee, officials say. At least one militant had even packed a change of clothes so he could slip out with fleeing civilians after the killings were done.
That is the picture emerging from American security officials of the massacre at the Westgate mall, which killed scores of people over the weekend. After a four-day standoff, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya claimed Tuesday to have finally "ashamed and defeated our attackers," declaring that the last militants still holed up inside the mall had been killed, though the bodies of many civilians, perhaps dozens, had yet to be recovered. "Shamed and defeated" are they? Typical mindless tribal boasting and bravado.
Mr. Kenyatta said that "intelligence reports had suggested that a British woman and two or three American citizens may have been involved," but that he could not confirm those reports. American officials said that they had not determined the identities of the attackers and were awaiting DNA tests and footage from the mall's security cameras, but that they did know the massacre had been meticulously planned to draw "maximum exposure."
"They had people in there, they had stuff inside there," said an American security official who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly. "This was all ready to go when the shooters walked in."
Kenya is now entering an official three-day period of mourning to mark one of the most unsettling episodes in its recent history. The authorities here, in a country widely perceived as an oasis of peace and prosperity in a troubled region, are struggling to answer how 10 to 15 Islamist extremists could lay siege to a shopping mall, killing more than 60 civilians with military-grade weaponry, then hold off Kenyan security forces for days. The virtual Afri "Oasis of Peace", yes of course.
On multiple occasions, the Kenyan government said the mall was under its control, only to have fighting burst out again. Earlier on Tuesday, the Shabab, the Somali Islamist group that has taken responsibility for the attack, bragged in a Twitter message that their fighters were "still holding their ground."
Western security officials fear that several fighters slipped out of the mall during the mayhem of the attack, dropping their guns and disguising themselves as civilians, an account echoed by some witnesses. A fear is it? Generally an assumption made by professionals and dealt with early on, via a multi-ringed security perimeter.
And the death toll could keep going up. The Kenya Red Cross said Tuesday that more than 50 people were missing.
The way the attack was carried out may have had something to do with the recent killing of Omar Hammami, a Shabab fighter who grew up in Alabama and became a phantomlike figure across the Somali deserts, known by his nom de guerre: Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, "the American." Mr. Hammami was fatally shot by another wing of the Shabab less than two weeks ago.
One reason for the rift was Mr. Hammami's complaints that the Shabab had become too brutal toward fellow Muslims under the leadership of the group's emir, Ahmed Abdi Godane. That brutality, Mr. Hammami said, was the reason the Shabab had become so unpopular in Somalia and lost so much territory recently.
Stig Jarle Hansen, a Norwegian researcher who has published a book on the Shabab, said this rift might explain why the militants in the Nairobi mall decided to spare the lives of many Muslims. In the past, the Shabab have killed countless Muslims in Somalia with suicide bombs and buried Muslim girls up to their necks in sand and stoned them.
"Even Osama bin Laden criticized Godane for being too harsh," Mr. Hansen said. "This attack might have been Godane's way of saying, 'See, I'm not so harsh -- to Muslims.' " A wealth of information and TTP's here. Hopefully it will be validated, fully researched and studied.
When the New York Times is good, they are very, very good. The problem is wading through the beautifully written fantasies the editorial staff prefers.
After the Chechen attack at Beslan, they discovered that the terrorists had pre-positioned weapons under the floorboards of the auditorium.
The Kremlin ordered similar assembly sites searched for weapons. They found weapons hidden in a school auditorium in St. Petersburg.
If the Kenyans are smart, they'll search other assembly points for hidden weapons.
Posted by: Frozen Al ||
09/25/2013 16:32 Comments ||
why cross borders when there's already colonies of islamic infection inside the border?
I can think of a half-dozen reasons why it would be advantageous to bring in overseas-trained terrorists via the 'illegals route' than to rely on in-country assets. One would use in-country assets as support instead.
[ZA.NEWS.YAHOO] A British detective gave evidence Tuesday in Kenya at the trial of suspected British bully boy Jermaine Grant, accused of ties to Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab and plotting attacks. Wow. Not the best time to be on trial in Kenya for terrorism.
Security was high for the trial in the port city of Mombasa, with Kenya on edge as the bloody siege at a Nairobi shopping mall, claimed by the Shabaab, runs into its fourth day with forces of Evil claiming to still hold hostages.
Grant was tossed in the slammer Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! in December 2011 in Mombasa with various chemicals, batteries and switches, which prosecutors say he planned to use to make explosives.
Robert John Garrick, one of three detectives to testify from London's Scotland Yard police, described how he and colleagues searched Grant's house in Mombasa for chemicals after he was arrested.
Separate chemicals including battery acid were found, which when combined can produce explosives, Garrick told the court.
Prosecutors have accused Grant, a 30-year-old Mohammedan convert, of working with fellow Briton Samantha Lewthwaite -- the runaway widow of British jacket wallah Germaine Lindsay, who went kaboom! on a London Underground train on July 7, 2005, killing 26 people.
Lewthwaite, a 29-year-old mother-of-three and daughter of a British soldier, is wanted by Kenyan police and has been named in media reports as one of the possible attackers in the ongoing Westgate mall siege in Nairobi.
Grant is believed to have become radicalised as a teenager in the same British prison where "shoe bomber" Richard Reid first turned to Islam.
Reid, who claimed he was an Al-Qaeda recruit, is serving a life sentence in the United States for trying to blow up a flight from Gay Paree to Miami in December 2001.
Grant is charged along with his Kenyan wife, Warda Breik Islam, and two other Kenyans. He has denied the charges.
The trial continues Wednesday.
In December 2011 Grant pleaded guilty to charges of being in the country illegally and lying about his nationality, for which he was sentenced to two jail terms of two years, to run concurrently.
However, Switzerland makes more than cheese... he was acquitted of robbery charges in a separate trial in Nairobi on September 13 this year.
The charges in that case included robbery with violence and raiding a cop shoppe over an incident in 2008, when Grant was arrested trying to enter war-torn Somalia dressed as a woman and later escaped custody in a shootout.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/25/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda
From Monday, but the story is still of interest, expecially given thoughts of how we would handle such a thing at home. Key points:
o Was having coffee at Westgate mall when it was attacked on Saturday
o He returned to building a dozen times despite intense gunfire
o Man, who can't be named for security reasons, was pictured with victims
Kenya mall terrorists 'burnt victims' faces and cut off their hands to prevent identification' as reports emerge of woman hostage being sexually abused at gunpoint in front of children
From Monday, but the story is still of interest, expecially given thoughts of how we would handle such a thing at home:
Another witness, Kamille Kaur, was with several dozen children for a cookery competition on the malls second floor when the attack began. Her son, 12, and daughter, 8, were injured as gunmen opened fire. She said adults were like animals, climbing over the children to get out.
What a contrast to the stuff our hero was made of, returning many times courageously underfire--I'd like to think we would handle it nationally with the Right Stuff but then, not many could or would recite the Koran in Arabic even if willing to renounce their faith. We could have a lot of sacrificial Lutherans at the Mall of America simply because of principle or we could have the good folk that have taught their kids hunter safety make trophies of them all before SWAT stormed in, but then these are law-abiding folks respecting a gun-free zone. Most mall security is retired pensioners while many malls and airports employ the disgruntled immigrants DHS is worried about, allowing weapons to be stored in locked closets, and after-hours access.
[MAGHAREBIA] Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) appointed a Mauritanian and an Algerian to replace its slain chiefs, ANI reported on Monday (September 23rd), citing a source from northern Mali.
Algerian national Said Abou Moughatil replaces Abdelhamid Abou Zeid as head of the Tariq Ibn Ziyad katibat. As field commander of the terror group's Sahara emirate, Abou Zeid (real name Mohamed Ghadir) was responsible for beheading British hostage Edwin Dyer in 2009 and 78-year-old Frenchie Michel Germaneau in 2010.
[An Nahar] A Bahraini court sentenced a U.S. citizen of Arab origin to 10 years in prison Tuesday for attempting to murder coppers last year, his lawyer said.
Taqi al-Meydan, 25, was also convicted of burning a police vehicle and taking part in a street protest, said Mohammed al-Jishi.
The court also tossed in the clink Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try! two other defendants for 10 years on similar charges.
Meydan was tossed in the calaboose Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! in October 2012 during a demonstration in a Shiite village near Manama and pleaded innocent. No, no! Certainly not! to the charges, Jishi said.
He will appeal the verdict, which the lawyer said was "unexpected because the evidence against him is very weak."
Meydan, born in 1988 in the United States to a Saudi father and Bahraini mother, moved to Bahrain after completing his education in the United States.
It doesn't do to be unconnected in places like that. Things can happen to the unconnected.
In August, King Hamad ...King of Bahrain (since 14 February 2002), having previously been its emir (from 6 March 1999). He is a Sunni, while the rest of Bahrain is predominantly Shiite... decreed stiffer penalties for "terror acts" in the country rocked by a Shiite-led uprising since 2011.
These include a minimum 10-year jail term for an attempted bombing. If casualties result, the sentence can be life imprisonment or death.
The Shiite opposition is calling for a demonstration on Friday, following the arrest last week of former opposition MP Khalil Marzooq, accused of links to Shiite "extremists."
[An Nahar] Al-Qaeda suspects freed 21 coppers they captured during a deadly attack against security personnel in southern Yemen last week, a security official said Tuesday.
"Al-Qaeda snuffies released the 21 captured coppers following tribal mediation," the official told Agence La Belle France Presse.
A tribal source confirmed the release in Mahfad, a rugged mountainous region between the southern provinces of Abyan ...a governorate of Yemen. The region was a base to the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army terrorist group until it dropped the name and joined al-Qaeda. Its capital is Zinjibar. In March 2011, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula declared the governate an Islamic Emirate after seizing control of the region. The New York Times fastidiously reported that those in control, while Islamic hard boyz, are not in fact al-Qaeda, but something else that looks, tastes, smells, and acts the same. Yemeni government forces launched an effort to re-establish control of the region when President-for-Life Saleh was tossed and the carnage continues... and Shabwa.
He said the captors "received nothing in return."
The snuffies captured the coppers in a Friday attack at a special forces camp in Maifaa, in Shabwa province.
The attack, in which eight coppers died, was one of three spectacular assaults that killed 56 security personnel.
The deadliest one was on an army camp responsible for ensuring security at Shabwa oilfields, and the third targeted an army checkpoint in al-Nushaima area.
Troops foiled a fourth attack using a bomb-laden vehicle that was heading towards the key Balhaf gas terminal.
Security was beefed up in Balhaf the following day, and witnesses reported Tuesday that Yemeni jets were still flying over the area without carrying out any raids.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/25/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Arabia
[Dawn] A policeman was killed in violence in a Malir locality following the custodial death of a suspect whom the police described as a gangster as well as a member of the outlawed Baloch Liberation Army in the early hours of Monday.
The death of suspect Naveed Baloch in police custody late Sunday night triggered a violent protest in the area, where relatives and area residents blocked the National Highway and attacked the Malir City cop shoppe in the early hours of Monday.
According to area DSP Rao Mohammed Iqbal, the Malir City police placed in durance vile Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! suspect Baloch for allegedly possessing narcotics.
His health deteriorated in the police lock-up and he was being taken for treatment to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre when he died, he added.
As the news of his death reached the area, gunnies surrounded the cop shoppe and threw a grenade on a parked police mobile van. The van driver, Farman Ali, 35, drove the mobile to some distance as he feared that the attackers might torch it. However, those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things... two gunnies riding a cycle of violence chased and killed him, the police said.
The victim, who hailed from Swat, was father of five.
Malir City SHO Ali Hasan Sheikh said that a policeman, Asghar, lost his one eye in the attack.
He said seven passers-by were hurt and the attackers also maimed an elder of the area, identified as Baba Ilyas, who tried to control the situation.
The area SHO said that the suspect Baloch was allegedly involved in murder, extortion and narcotics cases.
He claimed that he was a gangster and associated with the banned BLA.
Heavy contingents of the police reached the scene and conducted a targeted operation in several localities following the incident and detained 31 suspects, said SSP-Malir Nasir Aftab.
A post-mortem examination of suspect Baloch was carried out at the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... in the presence of a judicial magistrate.
Hospital sources said that his death was 'unnatural'.
They said that the body bore marks of torture.
However, those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things... the cause of death was reserved till the report of the chemical examination of viscera.
[Dawn] Maulana Abdul Aziz, the chief holy man of Lal Masjid, was acquitted from his last case on Monday by a judicial magistrate of Islamabad, Mohammad Naveed Khan.
Since 2001, 27 different cases had been registered against Maulana Aziz, and the last one was registered on April 1, 2007 by the Kohsar police.
The first of the 27 cases against Maulana Abdul Aziz and his associates was registered on September 28, 2001, for delivering fiery ...a single two-syllable word carrying connotations of both incoherence and viciousness. A fiery delivery implies an audience of rubes and yokels, preferably forming up into a mob... speeches.
Between 2001 and 2005, the police registered 10 cases of which five were registered under different sections of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997.
The remaining five were withdrawn before 2007.
However, some men learn by reading. A few learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves... 22 cases were later registered against the holy man between January and July, 2007.
The last case registered against the holy man stated that he had threatened shopkeepers of Aabpara and Jinnah Super for selling movies containing indecent content.
In this regard, the prosecution produced 60 witnesses against Maulana Aziz.
However, some men learn by reading. A few learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves... when the relevant witnesses, including the shopkeepers, were produced before the court, they disowned the prosecution's story and claimed that Maulana Aziz had never threatened them or visited their shops.
Maulana Wajihullah advocate, counsel of Maulana Aziz, after the holy man's acquittal told Dawn that former president General (retired) Pervez Perv Musharraf ... former dictator of Pakistain, who was less dictatorial and corrupt than any Pak civilian government to date ... had forced the police to register fake cases against the holy man and his family members.
He said Maulana Aziz and his family members had now been acquitted from all fake cases but Gen Musharraf himself was still facing trials.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/25/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
Frank Pentageli: "I don't - I never knew no godfather. I got my own family, senator"
Posted by: Frank G ||
09/25/2013 11:13 Comments ||
[Dawn] At least two people were killed Tuesday when mortar shells fired from Afghanistan fell into the Ghulam Khan Tehsil region of North Wazoo tribal agency.
Sources told DawnNews that a total of six mortal shells were fired from Afghanistan and fell into the Bangi Dar area near the Afghan border. One of the mortar shells fell on a house in Bangi Dar and, according to preliminary reports, two people were killed and another was injured in the attack.
The injured person was shifted to a local hospital whereas residents of the area were summoned to help retrieve the dead bodies from the rubble of the house.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/25/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan
[Bangkok Post] Two police officers providing security for teachers were wounded by a bomb explosion on a road in Yala province on Tuesday morning. Witnesses reported a team of policemen were patroling along the Yaha-Kabang road when the roadside bomb exploded. Hidden gunmen opened fire on police before fleeing.
[An Nahar] Military Tribunal Judge Imad al-Zein issued on Tuesday arrest warrants against two Syrians accused of preparing explosives, and targeting cars passing along the Masnaa road.
According to the state-run National News Agency, al-Zein completed interrogations with the detainees, who are charged with belonging to an armed terrorist group, preparing explosives, targeting vehicles and arms trade.
The two Syrians were identified as Firas Zaitoun and Ons Majzoub.
The number of detainees reached five and three others charged in absentia.
One man was killed and three others maimed in the July 16 attack that targeted a convoy belonging to Hizbullah on the Masnaa road.
It was the fourth time that a vehicle had been targeted by an bomb in the Bekaa region, which is a stronghold of Hizbullah.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/25/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[An Nahar] Al-Manar television revealed on Tuesday new clues in the investigation of Beirut's southern suburbs bombing on August 15.
The deadly car kaboom killed at least 22 people and maimed 325 others in Beirut's Rweiss neighborhood.
"The details behind the bombing were revealed once the path the booby-trapped car had passed through was discovered," al-Manar said during its evening newscast, noting that the operation "was extended over three stages."
It explained: "In the first stage, a BMW car was purchased by Nada al-Salman, who is from Alieh but a resident of (the Beirut neighborhood of) Msaitbeh. Then, a man who hails from (the Bekaa town of) Arsal bought it."
"The car got later in the hands of Omar al-Atrash, also from Arsal."
Al-Manar said security forces have interrogated al-Salman.
"But investigation revealed that she has nothing to do with the blast," al-Manar remarked.
The same source continued: "In the second stage, Syrian nationals booby-trapped the car, changed its color from black to silver, and replaced its number plate in a garage in Arsal."
"These transformations were done under the supervision of al-Atrash."
In the last stage, three days before the blast, witnesses saw Mohammed Jassem al-Karaouni driving the car in the Bekaa town and the following day, it was seen the Beirut neighborhood of Cola, according to al-Manar.
"The car entered the Rweiss region minutes before the kaboom. The driver parked it and left."
Al-Manar added that Military Tribunal Judge Imad al-Zein will be investigating this case, noting however, that the General Prosecution did not give him the suspects' names "despite identifying them."
Judicial sources told the Hizbullah TV channel that details surrounding the explosive used in the bombing "should be revealed soon."
"What was revealed so far is great and should be followed-up with the arrest of the suspects," the sources said, according to al-Manar.
Hizbullah leader His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah The satrap of the Medes and the Persians in Leb... had said on Monday investigation into the attack showed Sunni Death Eaters affiliated with the Syrian opposition were behind it.
"We have reached conclusive results, as promised," he said.
"It is a takfir ...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who most be killed... i group working within the framework of the Syrian opposition and located on Syrian soil," he added, saying both Lebanese and Syrian nationals were involved in the attack.
"I think that official security forces have reached the same conclusion," said Nasrallah.
Posted by: Fred ||
09/25/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Salafists
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.