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18 Iraqi police killed in jailbreak
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Afghanistan
Afghan Army Battles TalibanInnocent Tribesmen at Border Crossing?
(Hat Tip to 4th Rail)

An Afghan army officer says government troops have killed at least 15 suspected Taleban fighters innocent tribesmen on their nightly stroll who crossed the border from neighboring Pakistan.
Don't shoot!! Don't shoot!! We are from the UN and we're here to help you!!!
The Afghan commander says his soldiers attacked the insurgents late Tuesday near the border town of Spin Boldak, in Kandahar province.
I am sure they were just lost. You know crossing those mountains can get pretty confusing.
Guess the jogging trail wasn't marked very well.
He said among the dead was Taleban commander Mullah Shien, who is believed to have led several attacks.
Mullah Shien. Is he any kin to Cindy Shien? Just asking.
The Afghan officer said at least four insurgents ran back across the border during the fighting.
Mommy, mommy. Those bad men are shooting at us!!
Afghanistan is urging Pakistan to do more to fight Taleban militants. The Kabul government's top diplomat, Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, speaking in Washington earlier this week, said Taleban training camps in Pakistan's tribal areas are a source of "instability and terror," posing a threat to the entire region.
Nah. Yah got that that wrong there Minister Abdullah Abdullah (not to be confused with Rosanna Rosanna Danna). Pakistan and the ISI are doing everything in their power to prevent Taleban from setting up shop in Pakistan. You got the wrong GPS coordinates plugged in.
If they aren't Paks, then the Paks won't care if we and the Afghans whack them, right?
The Afghan foreign minister blames Taleban leaders for cross-border attacks carried out by pro-Taleban militants based in Pakistan.
I wonder how many they would have killed if they claimed to be Christian converts?
With the warmer summer months approaching, insurgents from Afghanistan's ousted Taleban regime have vowed to increase their attacks on foreign forces and the western-backed government in Kabul.
Ahh, Spring. The sound of gunfire...the spell of Poppies and chordite!! It has to be Afghanistan!
American-led forces overthrew the hard-line Islamist Taleban regime in Afghanistan more than four years ago, after the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. Taleban-controlled Afghanistan had been the base of operations for Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terror network.
Ahhh...you've been watching too much Fox, and reading too many right-wing blogs. AQ ain't no threat. That's what Norman Mailer said.
Insurgents' continuing attacks against foreign forces in Afghanistan and the Kabul government have killed more than 1500 people during the past year - the highest death toll since 2001.
Can't be. Muslims don't kill muslims. Says so right in their Qoran.
Posted by: anymouse || 03/22/2006 18:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [406 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Mullah Shien. Is he any kin to Cindy Shien? Just asking."

Any relation to Martin Shien?
Posted by: doc || 03/22/2006 18:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Afghans defending their borders. Now that's progress.

I knew that Martin Sheen guy couldn't be trusted. I wonder what other family members he has working with the Taliban?
Posted by: Danking70 || 03/22/2006 19:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Keep it up. Defend your Border and your neighbors will get the message. Something we should apply too here in the US of A.
Posted by: SPoD || 03/22/2006 23:00 Comments || Top||


contact info for Afghanistan Re: case of Abdul Rahman
Embassy of Afghanistan in USA: http://www.embassyofafghanistan.org/

email addresses:
Info@embassyofafghanistan.org

Street address, phone and fax:
Embassy of Afghanistan
2341 Wyoming Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: 202.483.6410
Fax: 202.483.6488

I just tried the phone number. Its tough to get through the automatic voice message tree. Michele Maulkin gave this number: (202) 483-6410 which also leads to a voice message tree

Probably the best idea is a fax if you have a stand alone machine with redial capability.
Posted by: mhw || 03/22/2006 10:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [303 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If your an American, contact your congress-person. Contacting Afghan embassy is a waste of time.
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/22/2006 14:09 Comments || Top||

#2  Chalk up another tilt in the tipping point.
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/22/2006 18:26 Comments || Top||


Who will save Abdul Rahman?
We can at least try. From Michelle Malkin's readers:
Reader Daniel H. e-mails:

After reading your post I got off my duff and made a call to the Afghan embassy in Washington: (202) 483-6410. After being put on hold for 3 minutes an embassy staffer got on. I explained to him that I think that the prosecution and threats against Abdul Rahman's life are outrageous and that if he is executed this will have severe consequences for Afghan-U.S. relations.
Maybe believeing that I am someone important, someone with clout he was very apologetic, agreeing with my point, dismayed over what is happening, insisting that this is not the EMBASSY's policy, that freedom of conscience and religion ought to be respected. Now this is where it gets interesting/scary/encouraging: he said that he had been on the phone with Kabul, with someone in their foreign ministry, about this and that this person said something to the effect of "What is wrong with you? Aren't you a good Muslim. The man deserves it (meaning death)."

The embassy staffer said that he tried to reason with the Kabul official, and he once again asserted his own opinion that this prosecution is unjust and barbaric. I thanked him for his time and suggested he contact the American media about this and make his efforts known.

Now this conversation with the embassy staffer tells me a few things: 1)there are people in Kabul who are serious about prosecuting and executing Rahman, 2) this probably is not the opinion of the people in the Washington embassy, 3) the people in the Washington embassy are sensitive to pressure and will get the message through to people in Kabul (even if our own president and state department won't), 4) that concerned people should call the Afghan embassy in Washington and let it be known, without ambiguity, that if this man, Abdul Rahman, is harmed then the caller will do all that is possible to see the end of U.S. involvment in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and we will let the chips fall as they will. So, the short of it: Abdul Rahman's life is in serious danger.

You and everybody else can do something by calling the Afghan embassy - here is the phone number (202) 483-6410, please post it on your site; be polite but let them know that if Rahman is not freed and his life secured then this will be the end of your, the caller's, support for U.S. involvment with Afghanistan and you the caller will do everything possible to bring the end of this support about.

Oh, and when I called the White House and the State Department all I could
get was a recording. I suggest that callers contact their Senators (particularly Democratic ones; they will delight in making Bush and Rice squirm, but, hey, a life is at stake so I don't care about their, the Democratic Senator's, motives. Saving the life of Rahman and others like him is what counts.)


Debbie Schlussel e-mails:

After reading the letter from your reader, I, too, called the Afghani Embassy. The man I spoke with said that they got 50 calls about this today, and that they have no authority to save the man. They said there are only two people who can stop this: Mr. Shinwari, the Chief Justice, who is an old man and an intolerant Taliban remnant; or President Karzai, who can--but has not--removed him. Nice to know that all our soldiers' efforts and U.S. funds are being negated by a powerful remnant of the Taliban, not (why not?) replaced by Karzai.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [667 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I will move this post to tomorrow at midnight so the info is available during biz hours tomorrow.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/21/2006 17:54 Comments || Top||

#2  thanks Sea.
Posted by: RD || 03/21/2006 18:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Mr. Shinwari, the Chief Justice, who is an old man and an intolerant Taliban remnant; or President Karzai, who can--but has not--removed him.

This is not good.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/21/2006 18:54 Comments || Top||

#4  In an attempt to inform citizens of this man's plight I've written to several local and regional newspapers advising them of the Rahman trial. To date nothing has been published or reported on Rahman's case in these papers, though it is still early. I've written to several congressmen and both senators from my state (Ohio). I've written to the Afghan Ambassador, Said T. Jawad. I've written to my president, the Commander in Chief. I've asked for this man's unconditional freedom.

In the event this man is executed a line will have been crossed from which there will be no turning back. Believe me when I say the cartoon jihad of a few weeks ago pales in comparison to the importance of the outcome of the trial of Abdul Rahman.

I await the response of so called moderate Muslims within the USA on the fate of Mr. Rahman. I say this with all sincerity: the fate of all Muslims in the USA is directly tied to the fate of Abdul Rahman.
Posted by: Mark Z || 03/21/2006 19:05 Comments || Top||

#5  I fail to see why this case isn't being used as an international bellwether for showing how Islam is incompatible with all other religions.

The White House should be letting Americans know that this is why we are fighting theocratic regimes like the Taliban. If Karzai allows Rahman to be executed it will certainly be biting the hand that freed his country.

Again, I am forced to wonder just why it is that Bush finds himself so incapable of challenging another fundamentalist religion when it is clearly off of the rails. This reeks of moral relativism. I'd welcome any other rationalizations for this conspicuous inaction.

The cartoon jihad made it plenty clear that we are being confronted with an irrational and extremely violent religion in the form of Islam. Yet one more button could be stitched on the coat by connecting the dots between the cartoonists' death fatwahs and this death sentence for apostasy. What will it take for our government to finally begin painting Islamism with the tar brush it so richly deserves?
Posted by: Zenster || 03/21/2006 19:59 Comments || Top||

#6  I wrote the ambassador, too, and let him know in no uncertain terms that Americans are outraged and are going to be putting heavy pressure on our government to stop all aid to Afghanistan if they execute a man for changing from Muslim to Christian. Email chains are already starting.

And I'm not even a card-carrying Christian.

No aid to radical muslim governments-if our fight is to make any sense, this must be at the foundation.
Posted by: Jules || 03/21/2006 20:00 Comments || Top||

#7  sent an email to the ambassador - to my surprise, no reply
Posted by: Frank G || 03/21/2006 20:06 Comments || Top||

#8  The problem is - the Afghan elements who want to execute this guy DO NOT CARE if the west cuts off aid - or pulls out completely. That is EXACTLY what they want.

They couldn't care less about outraged infidels.

The ONLY way to address this is to successfully influence removal of the medieval judicial authority - prosecute him for GENOCIDE (it seems to me that genocide laws would apply - even if it is a population of just one individual - "last of the Mohicans").

Execution for apostacy needs to be declared an international crime - 'stuff the goddamn Muslim extremists back into their slime pits.

It is a short jump between executing apostates and executing non-believers in Islam. Muslims are advocating polygamy, and various other Sharia practices. The west needs to PROSECUTE such barbaric practices RUTHLESSLY.
Posted by: Lone Ranger || 03/21/2006 20:41 Comments || Top||

#9  Lone Ranger-what you say is the logical next step. A piece at a time.
Posted by: Jules || 03/21/2006 21:37 Comments || Top||

#10  The problem is - the Afghan elements who want to execute this guy DO NOT CARE if the west cuts off aid - or pulls out completely.

Those "Afghan elements" apparently are acting with approval of their president.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/21/2006 21:48 Comments || Top||

#11  So why is everyone here so shocked that Muslims in Afghanistan are following the Koran?
Posted by: Darrell || 03/21/2006 21:51 Comments || Top||

#12  Oh, and:

Execution for apostacy needs to be declared an international crime - 'stuff the goddamn Muslim extremists back into their slime pits.

Never happen. I expect trials -- either in European courts or in some transnational forum -- for blasphemy in the next five to ten years. The idea of treating sharia's penalty for apostasy as a crime against humanity is a non-starter.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/21/2006 21:51 Comments || Top||

#13  Well, we're not shocked, Darrell-more like disgusted, and tired of providing blood, muscle and money to free a country run by Islamic murderers, only to have the new government prepared to execute a man for being a Christian. We hoped there was such a thing possible as a moderate Muslim country. My hope was apparently misplaced.

I suppose you have a point-maybe Karzai's government has been doing this all along and we didn't get outraged because the apostate didn't have a name, an identity. But now our imagination gap has been filled-we are introduced to a real, live, breathing apostate, and we want to fight to stop his execution.
Posted by: Jules || 03/21/2006 22:02 Comments || Top||

#14  We suffer the delusion that installing a fragile democracy is the alchemy necessary to turn semi-literate 7th century barbarians into pseudo 21st century Judeo-Christian-values Americans. I would love to see the man spared, but that will not change the culture that would kill him. "Islam" is "submission" and he refuses to submit. We should not be tolerating Islam working its way into these governments and constitutions -- it is a major blunder.
Posted by: Darrell || 03/21/2006 22:18 Comments || Top||

#15  Compare Islam's place in Afghanistan to the Emperor's place in Japan. The Constitution of Japan, Article 1:
"The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power."
Posted by: Darrell || 03/21/2006 22:25 Comments || Top||

#16  It's no delusion, it's the American Way. It had to be tried. I know, hindsight is nigh unto perfect, but we had to try. They may even figure it out, someday, but in many respects that is immaterial, here and now. Regardless, we had to do what we believe is right, to be who we are, and we have.
Posted by: Angack Sperong2266 || 03/21/2006 22:38 Comments || Top||

#17 
Sad truth. No constitution, no democracy.
Posted by: Master of Obvious || 03/22/2006 0:25 Comments || Top||

#18  AS 2266 nails it. We had to try - it's who we are and what we believe. However, being right doesn't mean you win. In regards to Iraq, we will most likely have to take solice in that we tried, and in so doing demonstrated that Islamic principles and democracy are completely incompatible. The truth will be laid bare, and the enemy finally disrobed....only the willfully blind will be unaware. Unfortunately, much of our govt. is so afflicted.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 03/22/2006 1:12 Comments || Top||

#19  I expect trials -- either in European courts or in some transnational forum -- for blasphemy in the next five to ten years.

The Euros backed themselves into a corner on this because they have laws against blasphemy and certain nuts, on both sides, will be screaming that these laws should be enforced. Don't forget that the Church in Europe is as much under attack as is Islam here. It's unfortunate, but such are the times.

As for Mr. Rahman, some took notice, but it's probably not enough.
Posted by: Rafael || 03/22/2006 1:46 Comments || Top||

#20  From the above link: One German official promised to intervene if necessary. Another, Development Minister Heide Wieczorek-Zeul, said, "We will do everything possible to save the life of Abdul Rahman," according to Reuters.
Posted by: Rafael || 03/22/2006 1:48 Comments || Top||

#21  "...it's probably not enough..."

Let's not give up yet on Mr. Rahman, Rafael. I understand, I think, where you're coming from, but the fight for his life isn't over yet.
Posted by: Jules || 03/22/2006 2:07 Comments || Top||

#22  it's probably not enough.

eh?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/22/2006 7:55 Comments || Top||

#23  maybe Karzai's government has been doing this all along and we didn't get outraged because the apostate didn't have a name, an identity

Or maybe this is part of a renewed push by the Taliban to undermine and bring down the Karzai elected government. By attacking Karzai, it's quite possible you are playing into the Taliban's hands.

I'm not convinced of this, but it's plausible and worth keeping in mind as a possibility.
Posted by: lotp || 03/22/2006 8:07 Comments || Top||

#24  He must be crazy to convert from Islam to Christianity.

That's not me, that's an Afghan State Prosecutor.
See the story. The trial has been "suspended" and he is to be examined. No dates or anything, just this sudden announcement as the rats scurry for cover.

Moayuddin Baluch, a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, said Rahman would undergo a psychological examination.

"Doctors must examine him," he said. "If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped."


Perfect exit for Karzai & Co: He's crazy.

Seems to me that he definitely must insane. I mean, just ask yourself, "Who would actually choose to leave glorious Islam?"
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 8:15 Comments || Top||

#25  If that's the fig leaf he needs, then let Karzai call him crazy. That should qualify him for Yale. Maybe he and the Taliban can swap stories at Skull and Bones.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/22/2006 8:28 Comments || Top||

#26  Probably the govt will use the insanity defense to put off the death penalty. The insanity defense has been used in a few other cases to prevent death sentences from being carried out where the west was watching.

However, I think at some point the Salafist elements will not buy into this defense. The fact that there are multiple 'death to apostate' verses in the koran and if there are no insanity defense for apostates in the hadiths or sunna, it will make them really seeth.

Posted by: mhw || 03/22/2006 8:30 Comments || Top||

#27  I said "We suffer the delusion that installing a fragile democracy is the alchemy necessary to turn semi-literate 7th century barbarians into pseudo 21st century Judeo-Christian-values Americans." I did not mean to imply that we should not have installed the fragile democracy -- only that cultures are extremely slow to change and that we are expecting miracles. In the grand scheme of things, it is not all that long ago that Western religions were putting people to death for their beliefs.
Posted by: Darrell || 03/22/2006 8:34 Comments || Top||

#28  However, being right doesn't mean you win
Something to remember.
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 8:48 Comments || Top||

#29  The ability to think or to believe something is a normal human function, and therefore, what we would consider a 'God given right'.
Therefore, I move that we banish Islam from the face of the earth if it kills this man for practicing his God given right to choose a belief.
We can start by killing pointing a finger at any muslim we may encounter.
Faster please.
Posted by: wxjames || 03/22/2006 9:22 Comments || Top||

#30  "The idea of treating sharia's penalty for apostasy as a crime against humanity is a non-starter." No, the ancient Islamic "death for apostacy" and the related "submit or die" policies are more like the ideas of "Ubermenschen" and the "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere", something that world wars are fought over.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/22/2006 10:12 Comments || Top||

#31  "By attacking Karzai, it's quite possible you are playing into the Taliban's hands."

That doesn't mean we lighten up; it means that other, "inhuman" tactics on our part are now to be considered. Let's not imitate our more nuanced cousins and sacrifice what we value for fear of offending. This is a part of what we have been fighting for-destruction of the idea that you can kill a man for not being a Muslim. We all know that what you say is a possibility, but let's not get distracted.
Posted by: Jules || 03/22/2006 10:12 Comments || Top||

#32  The ONLY way to address this is to successfully influence removal of the medieval judicial authority - prosecute him for GENOCIDE (it seems to me that genocide laws would apply - even if it is a population of just one individual - "last of the Mohicans").

Great starting point, Lone Ranger, irrespective of RC's (albeit justifiable) cynicism. I have railed long and hard about the coming Global Cultural Genocide™ awaiting us if Islam is not contained or vanquished.

It is a short jump between executing apostates and executing non-believers in Islam. Muslims are advocating polygamy, and various other Sharia practices. The west needs to PROSECUTE such barbaric practices RUTHLESSLY.

Yup, just like the British suppressed suttee in India. Sir Charles Napier had it about right when he said:

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

To He|| with moral relativism.

I'm still curious as to why nobody here has a single good explanation for why the White House is so thunderously silent on this matter. As I mentioned before, this is a golden opportunity to begin connecting up all of dots with respect to Islam's violent behavior. Were it not for the GWoT it would seem as though our government is, literally, giving tacit approval to all of these barbaric practices. I'd sure as he|| like to know why.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 11:23 Comments || Top||

#33  The wrong question. The real question is: Who will save Afganistan?
Posted by: Captain America || 03/22/2006 11:35 Comments || Top||

#34  Zenster - Lol, what makes you think the President didn't have a heart to heart with Karzai? Nimble Spemble in #25 probably hit the mark.

Afghanistan is part of the experiment. It is a work in progress. Pronouncements may make you happy, but they are nothing compared to deeds. You seem to seek confrontation, while W seeks problem resolution. Here's a bone for you - be happy he has done the right thing with Musharraf. The splashy bits are of their own making, W was rather subtle there, too. Slowly the rhetoric and public pronouncements will evolve. It's already underway in bilateral arrangements (i.e. Pakistan) and at the UN (think Bolton) and in "Palestine" (funding to Hamas). I don't doubt for a second that W knows all we know, and much much more, and would like nothing better than to be plain spoken at all times. That is his natural style. But...
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 11:38 Comments || Top||

#35  Let's review-why did 9/11 happen? Why did the Cole bombing happen? etc

Straight from the horse's mouth-the "corrupt" West is not living under Mohammed's laws. All non-believers must be eliminated/removed.
Posted by: Jules || 03/22/2006 11:59 Comments || Top||

#36  Zenster - Lol, what makes you think the President didn't have a heart to heart with Karzai?

Mebbe he did, but this is a glorious opportunity to rip the mask off of Islam. Bush has a thousand different mouthpieces that could do this. Instead, all we've been treated to was a mealy-mouthed State Department condemnation of the cartoons instead of flaying alive the cartoon jihad and its intention of eliminating free speech.

Rahman is a golden chance for Bush to promote his own Christianity in a more proper light than he has in the past. He can do it without all the "crusader" trappings he mistakenly donned at the outset of this mess. This is the exact time to push for religious freedom in all Islamic countries. The Pope has summoned forth the moral courage to do so and Bush should find it within himself as well. There is no better avenue towards justifiably banning Islam than to show its genocidal and mono-cultural intentions for all to see. That is not what is happening.

I do not believe that I am being too impatient, either. As with Iran, numerous crises are hitting a tipping point and to ignore the impact value, as these critical levers are thrown, simply wastes vital moments of clarity much needed by the average public regarding their own ability to understand what they are confronted with.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 12:02 Comments || Top||

#37  I get an Afghanistan Newsletter every morning through a Yahoo group. I didn't subscribe, but there have been a couple of interesting things in it, so I haven't unsubscribed, either. Here's one of today's articles:

Afghan Convert May Be Unfit for Trial
By DANIEL COONEY, Associated Press Writer
KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan man facing a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity may be mentally unfit to stand trial, a state prosecutor said Wednesday.

Abdul Rahman, 41, has been charged with rejecting Islam, a crime under this country's Islamic laws. His trial started last week and he confessed to becoming a Christian 16 years ago. If convicted, he could be executed.

But prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said questions have been raised about his mental fitness. "We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn't talk like a normal person," he told The Associated Press.

Moayuddin Baluch, a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, said Rahman would undergo a psychological examination. "Doctors must examine him," he said. "If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped."

It was not immediately clear when he would be examined or when the trial would resume. Authorities have barred attempts by the AP to see Rahman and he is not believed to have a lawyer. A Western diplomat in Kabul and a human rights advocate — both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter — said the government was desperately searching for a way to drop the case because of the reaction it has caused.

The United States, Britain and other countries that have troops in Afghanistan have voiced concern about Rahman's fate. The Bush administration Tuesday issued a subdued appeal to Kabul to let Rahman practice his faith in safety. German Roman Catholic Cardinal Karl Lehmann said the trial sent an "alarming signal" about freedom of worship in Afghanistan.

The case is believed to be the first of its kind in Afghanistan and highlights a struggle between religious conservatives and reformists over what shape Islam should take there four years after the ouster of the fundamentalist Taliban regime. Afghanistan's constitution is based on Shariah law, which is interpreted by many Muslims to require that any Muslim who rejects Islam be sentenced to death. The state-sponsored Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has called for Rahman to be punished, arguing he clearly violated Islamic law.

The case has received widespread attention in Afghanistan where many people are demanding Rahman be severely punished. "For 30 years, we have fought religious wars in this country and there is no way we are going to allow an Afghan to insult us by becoming Christian," said Mohammed Jan, 38, who lives opposite Rahman's father, Abdul Manan, in Kabul. "This has brought so much shame."

Rahman is believed to have converted from Islam to Christianity while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. He then moved to Germany for nine years before returning to Kabul in 2002, after the ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime. Police arrested him last month after discovering him in possession of a Bible during questioning over a dispute for custody of his two daughters. Prosecutors have offered to drop the charges if Rahman converts back to Islam, but he has refused.
___
Associated Press correspondent Amir Shah contributed to this report.


I also wrote to the Afghani Ambassador. I offered the suggestion that Mr. Rahman be expelled from Afghanistan and never allowed to return, and that his family, if willing, leave with him. I would encourag the US and any other nation with religious freedom to open their doors to this obviously good man.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/22/2006 12:04 Comments || Top||

#38  OK, folks, let's say the "court" declares Abdul Rahman insane and allows him to live.

What happens next time someone declares their apostasy in Afghanistan?

Are we going to have to raise a furor everytime? When the West stops paying attention, what happens? The killing will start right back up, that's what.

OK, this fellow's life may have been saved. That's good. But it's still a death-penalty offense to leave Islam, and sooner than we like to think, that sentence will be imposed.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/22/2006 12:05 Comments || Top||

#39  Moayuddin Baluch, a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, said Rahman would undergo a psychological examination.

"Doctors must examine him," he said. "If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped."


I would be very interested in the Afghani's DSM. Must be one hell of a document. Aside from that, the Afghans learned from the Soviets about taking so-called troublemakers out of circulation by declaring them insane.

A democratic government requires a relatively sophistocated populace. The majority rules, but respects the rights of the minority. Heck, we in the US have had a great deal of difficulty making it work for these last 200+ years.

These backward places, like Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc are ideal breeding grounds and safe bases for the likes of Al Q because they are easily manipulated by Islam, tribalism and some money thrown in to get one's way.

Transforming them into something better for all is a major major social project. And there are very few helping us.

Our main goal is to make us more secure from the likes of these terrorists. It keeps coming back to resources, and the main resource is money. And that leads us back to Iran and Saudi Arabia, who are spreading it around. We are using all our treasure to fight those who receive much of our treasure from oil.

The case of Abdul Rahman is similar to one I posted somewhere on RB near the beginning. There was a newspaper editor in the NWFP who spoke his mind and pointed out the errors of the ways of the jihadis. For this deed he was murdered. Mr. Rahman's plight is a wake-up call for all of us, esp. in Europe. You will not get anywhere using reason with these Islamic nutcases, but they do understand power.

Sorry for the rambling rant. People who are given the gift of freedom and use it as a tool to destroy who they consider infidels really upset me.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/22/2006 12:17 Comments || Top||

#40  What RC said. A one time deal to look the other way is useless.
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 12:18 Comments || Top||

#41  Exactly, RC, which is why I am howling for some sort of substantive position being taken with respect to this subtle sort of genocide.

Islamic dominated nations need to be read the riot act and have it known that freedom of religion is the order of the day if they wish to participate on the world stage. The Pope has got it right and Bush, et al, should follow his lead. The Rahman case is made to order for the sequence of events needed in highlighting death sentences for apostasy, the burning of Christian churches overseas and the beheading of Christian schoolgirls.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 12:21 Comments || Top||

#42  All good points, Zenster, OP, and RC. What I'm saying is that it is easy to sit here in the cradle of freedom and criticize when we don't know 1% of what W does. Who knows what's in play there at his very minute?

I suspect that this situation actually means that Afghanistan is lost, as far as Freedom is concerned. The non-Taleban Afghans appreciate the help in getting rid of the Taleban, trading one lot of obvious psychopaths for a lesser lot -- but deep down they're all Taleban at heart, just a little squishier about it.

The "shame" comment in OP's post is what tipped it for me. I was holding out hope, but that sorta drove a spike through it.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 12:21 Comments || Top||

#43  Yale, in all fairness, should accept this guy as a student. Then they can deport him to Yale, and he can room with the Taliban student. Then they would get a balanced view of Afghanistan
Posted by: plainslow || 03/22/2006 12:35 Comments || Top||

#44  What I'm saying is that it is easy to sit here in the cradle of freedom and criticize when we don't know 1% of what W does.

I'll grant there's a lot we don't know, and much we don't need to know, but W's losing his base by not standing up for what he claims to be doing.

How can we be bringing freedom to people when we turn around and let them kill someone for changing religions? How can we honestly say we believe in liberty and then issue whining statements like the State Department's on the cartoons?

Heinlein wrote, "You can't enslave a free man. Only person can do that to a man is himself. The most you can do to a free man is to kill him." Well, we're learning a corollary: "You can't free a slave. Only person that can do that for a man is himself. The most you can do for a slave is break his chains."

Islam means submission; Muslims count themselves as slaves to Allah (when a western-educated, self-described moderate Muslim describes herself thus, I believe her). They're willing slaves. We can't free them; we can only break their chains. As soon as we stop breaking their chains, they'll forge a new set.

They have to want to be free, and while there are quite a few who do, there appear to be many, many more who don't.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/22/2006 12:53 Comments || Top||

#45  I agree with CC3500, the shame comment is an eye opener. I don't know how they beat this lunacy into the people, but Islam is totally illogical, and the end game is only all muslim, but all muslim what ? All muslim pre-historic tribe ?
It's almost like 'when there is no other belief, then Islam will be the true belief' WTF ?
Where does believing in this lunacy, Islam, get us ? Obviously, all scientific research and development comes to an end. Pottery making may be big.
Posted by: wxjames || 03/22/2006 12:54 Comments || Top||

#46  Understand, RC, and I agree with you all. Today is turning out to be kinda rotten because it's hard to give up on something you really hoped against hope would prove worthwhile. I surrender my hopes for Islam. Two golden opportunities and all we get is shit, death, hate, spew - Islam, in other words. Day after day, story after story, it's endless and defies logic or sympathy. I don't know if I even feel pity when I encounter things like the shame comment. Nation-building is out and breaking bad regimes is in, for me, now. Live and learn. I'm learning. Excellent commentary, BTW. Thanks folks.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 13:03 Comments || Top||

#47  What I'm saying is that it is easy to sit here in the cradle of freedom and criticize when we don't know 1% of what W does. Who knows what's in play there at his very minute?

With all due respect, it's simply not enough. We've got the perfect examples of everything that is wrong with Islam staring us in the face. World leadership has begun to understand the threat, yet it does eff-all to broadcast this knowledge and begin rallying non-Muslims to the cause of ensuring that Islam must reform itself.

This is not acceptable. If harsh measures are not taken now, they will be of little, if any, use further downstream. As with RC's capable argument against the insanity figleaf being given to the Afghans, all camouflage that Islam uses to cloak its barbarous "honor killings", "suicide murders", "female circumcision" and hideous abuse of women in general must be ripped away, now!

The cartoons did a splendid job of this and yet many Western leaders merely caved over the issue, even though it was a no-brainer to stand up for our freedom of speech. This must not happen again. "Behind the scenes" diplomacy is nice, but does nothing to educate the public on how to identify the enemy and comprehend the dangerous threat that Islam presents to all non-Muslim people.

For how much I rail against Bush's over-emphasis upon religiosity it is simply astonishing that, now that Christianity is appropriately cast as victim in the international spotlight, there is still almost stupifying inaction with respect to condemnation of Islam's complete and total disallowal regarding religious freedom. What gives?

This is Bush's singular opportunity to finally shed the mantle of "crusader" that he so idiotically adopted at the outset of this new World War and instead assume a righteous posture as defender of all other world faiths against absurd Muslim intransigence. He is nothing short of stupid not to.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 13:12 Comments || Top||

#48  Zenster, the moment Bush takes on the Muslims to defend a Christian is when his identity as a Crusader IS ESTABLISHED.

How the Crusades were conducted was a damn shame and a dishonor, but the original motives and the original call for the Crusades (protect fellow believers in practicing their religion and defending the West) were noble and right: Islam was, AND CONTINUES TO BE, a religious and a political threat to the West because it embodies both religion AND politics.

Rahman is getting the attention because he's a Christian. I'm a Christian, but we (and that includes me) should be screaming equally loudly if he was facing the death penalty because he had converted to Bhuddism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, or Disconcordianism.
Posted by: Ptah || 03/22/2006 14:48 Comments || Top||

#49   I agree with CC3500, the shame comment is an eye opener.

Please remember, all, that this is a culture which views shame or humiliation as something worse than death.

Zenster, the moment Bush takes on the Muslims to defend a Christian is when his identity as a Crusader IS ESTABLISHED.

I disagree, Ptah. By initially adopting the notion of a "Crusade Against Terrorism", Bush made a blunder of monumental proportions. However speedily he attempted to shed that nomenclature, its negative resonance stuck like epoxy with all of the hostile Arabic cultures. Bush's continuing portrayal of America as a Christian nation and his own propulsion of Christian agendas (i.e., gay marriage prohibition, Intelligent Design) only served to further entrench this admittedly wrong perception.

Rahman is getting the attention because he's a Christian. I'm a Christian, but we (and that includes me) should be screaming equally loudly if he was facing the death penalty because he had converted to Bhuddism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, or Disconcordianism.

I could not agree with you more and continue to admire the exceptionally level-headed views you espouse as a Christian, Ptah.

I feel this is a prime opportunity for Bush to discard any stigma of being a Crusader. By touting the importance of religious pluralism and emphasizing its role as a qualifying criteria for all nations wishing to play upon the world stage, Bush could adopt the mantle of one who defends the right to exist of all tolerance-based religions and correctly downplay his own fundamentalist Christian tenets which he has overemphasized for way too long.

I do not foresee many other chances like this, coming as it does on the tail of the cartoon jihad. For once, amongst its incessant perfidy, Islam has ripped its own mask off in a starkly public manner over the cartoons. This is just one more button on the straightjacket coat of all-consuming antipathy that Islam is donning before our watching eyes.

It is time to call a spade a spade. Any further dallying or pandering only weakens our moral resolve and basis in fact for action against these cretins.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 15:14 Comments || Top||

#50  Zenster, the jihadis were calling us "Crusaders" before Bush came to office. It's not about how religious he is, it's that we come from a Christian culture.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/22/2006 15:29 Comments || Top||

#51  I'll not argue too loudly with you, RC. Incidentally, have you grown more cynical of late or is it just that recent events finally tipped the scales for you?

I happen to feel that Bush has this vital chance to espouse the value of religious pluralism and his silence is denuding him of moral authority.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 15:37 Comments || Top||

#52  Gosh, the long-winded guys on cable with the perfect hair have nothing on you, Zenster. Your last 5 or 6 posts are the same - a litanty - originally a religious term. You're rather religious, in that give me a break zealous way, do you realize that? Point, taken, Every time.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 15:44 Comments || Top||

#53  The only reason I tend to reiterate my point is that very few of the people who routinely bash me for supposedly hating Bush (which I do not) are amazingly silent in the face of his inaction over this issue. If this is not due to his overemphasis upon religiosity, what is it due to? Please know that I have no intention of flogging a particular subject to death. This board is sufficiently intelligent to deserve better. I'm just sort of curious how so few who normally defend Bush at the drop of a hat are conspicuously silent right now. I'll refrain from any further inquiries in this thread.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 15:57 Comments || Top||

#54  Again, point taken.

Perhaps they are like me - unhappy with the situation and waiting to see what is actually going on rather than editorializing in a vacuum. Perhaps they know you're often insufferable. I've been reading Rantburg for quite awhile, I've read hundreds of your posts. They evolve and you NEVER EVER admit to it, a trait I cannot abide. I think you're just pining for the opportunity to say "neener neener" in 35,000 words or more.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 16:10 Comments || Top||

#55  Robert, I just want to note that the Heinlein quote and your modification make this thread for me. Well said.

This is actually a situation where I'm glad us peepul are taking the lead in expressing outrage over this situation in Afghanistan. The Muslim world needs to understand that their problem with the West is not going to go away when Mr. Bush leaves office, and non-Muslims need to realize the problem is not of Bush's making. I saw stories this morning in the Washington Times, Fox News, and USA Today, all on the front page above the fold (ok, not on the front page of Fox, but still). Also at Instapundit, with a link (as I recall) to CNN. CNN and USA Today mean the story is getting international play.

I haven't had a chance to check today, but I really wonder what the international media are saying about this. The threat by some NATO countries to pull out of Afghanistan if this man is executed quite shocks me, considering how indulgent Germany and France, et al, have been with Muslims in general. They may well have been looking for an excuse to disengage, but even so.

And it is interesting that this poor Afghani converted to Christianity many years since, but it only became an issue when he sought to regain custody of the two daughters he left behind when he'd gone to find work.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/22/2006 16:29 Comments || Top||

#56  They evolve and you NEVER EVER admit to it

Do tell. What sort of evolving would that be?
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 16:30 Comments || Top||

#57  I really wonder what the international media are saying about this.

Polish newspaper reports that Rahman's life will be saved, be declaring him insane. Whatever works I guess. The pressure came from the US, Canada, Italy, the UK and Germany.

It seems German press is all over this, others probably as well.
Posted by: Rafael || 03/22/2006 16:50 Comments || Top||

#58  ...by declaring him insane. It seems he will also be spared any punishment whatsoever.

Woohoo! I like being wrong in cases like this. I didn't think the pressure would work.
Posted by: Rafael || 03/22/2006 16:52 Comments || Top||

#59  seems as if the good guys are currently winning this round (which is pretty important because, among other things a life is at stake).

Michelle Malkin reports that CAIR is on the side of saving Abdul Rahman's life (although I can't find it on CAIR's website). This issue will haunt the next Org of Islamic States conference even though most of the potentates will do their best to avoid the issue.

If Abdul R does win it may blowback into the cartoon case because blasphemy and apostacy are so closely related.
Posted by: mhw || 03/22/2006 16:57 Comments || Top||

#60  by declaring him insane.

Ever see the inside of an Islamic insane asylum? Probably makes Olde Bedlam of yore look like a four star Hilton.

As RC so amply pointed out. This is not a useful solution. Worst of all, I can this poor sap being turned loose from jail and getting stoned to death by an angry mob waiting outside the prison gates. I can just hear the police inspector saying; "How could we know they'd do that?"
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 17:01 Comments || Top||

#61  I think you're just pining for the opportunity to say "neener neener" in 35,000 words or more.

Ah, yes. The so-called "hidden agenda" theory some of the whiners put forward hereabouts. How novel.

This certainly explains how I've cast my support behind Bush to fight any charges of impeachment should he have the wisdom to unilaterally (with or without congressional approval) initiate an attack upon Iran's nuclear facilities. Yup, it all makes sense now.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 17:04 Comments || Top||

#62  Do tell. What sort of evolving would that be?

Slow process looking this stuff up. Rantburg doesn't help very much in this regard, so I was forced to use Google.

There's your first appearance where you referred to President Bush as "shrub". I saw that link posted a short while back and must admit I got a kick out of it. Seems you were pegged the minute you crawled in the door and you eventually revealed your Bush hatred in all its raging glory.

Oooh, this one was fun, too. Again about Bush - laden with your peculiar brand of secularist hyperbole and the ever-popular "selected not elected" meme. Lol, I hadn't seen this one before, but it's a classic.

All I felt like looking up for you. They suffice.

Both of these are far far different than what you post nowadays. I agree with much of what you post now, in fact. Is that evolution? I thought so and was giving you the benefit of the doubt. Why you wouldn't admit to it is beyond me - everyone else I've ever met who sentient evolves as the circumstances change.

I did, in this thread, in fact. Hurt like a bitch, too, lol. Low tolerance for pain?
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 17:11 Comments || Top||

#63  Where have I ever denied that my mode of thought has not evolved? Ever notice the public thanks I've given to Rantburg for solid insights as to how the MSM is so biased? Ever notice how I cheerfully gave Bush his due once he won an undisputed election? Ever notice how I said that "the better man" won the 2004 election? Ever notice how, in my interactions with .com I have been obliged to abandon my previous support for any existence of the Mythical Moderate Muslim™? Yes, my position has evolved. My disgust at how both sides of the aisle conduct themselves hasn't nearly as much, but that's another matter.

As to throwing my first posts up, nice try, but my repeated expressions of appreciation for Rantburg and Fred's admirable support for freedom of speech should be self-explanatory. If you are so opaque as to remain ignorant of this, the problem may be located at your end of the keyboard.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 17:37 Comments || Top||

#64  Where have I ever denied that my mode of thought has not evolved?

Of course, that would be without the double negative:

Where have I ever denied that my mode of thought has evolved?
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 17:40 Comments || Top||

#65  The email, fax, phone campaign, may be making an impact. If successful for this man, our efforts could help establish a precedent in Afghanistan for future (and, hopefully, more positive) treatment for those who convert. I received the following response to an email I sent to the embassy:
RESPONSE TO PUBLIC INQUIRIES ABOUT MR. ABDUL RAHMAN

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Embassy of Afghanistan greatly appreciates public concern about Mr. Abdul Rahman. We have received a significant number of inquiries about Mr. Rahman’s case, which initially involved a civil lawsuit in child custody filed by his family.

Please note that the Government of Afghanistan is fully aware of and pursuing the best ways to resolve Mr. Rahman’s case judicially. It is too early to draw any conclusion about the punishment, and we appreciate public understanding of the sensitivity of religious issues.

Afghanistan’s judicial system is currently evaluating questions raised about the mental fitness of Mr. Rahman, the results of which may end the proceedings. Hence we kindly request that the judicial process be given time to resolve Mr. Rahman’s case.

The Constitution of Afghanistan provides protection for freedom of religion. The Government of Afghanistan will ensure that the constitutional rights of its citizens, international principles, and the due judicial process are respected and implemented.
Posted by: cingold || 03/22/2006 17:41 Comments || Top||

#66  Thanks, cingold. The last paragraph is what I was looking for from them. Rule of Law via the Constitution rather than Sharia is the ticket.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 17:45 Comments || Top||

#67  Article II, section 2 of the Afghani Constitution:
"(2) Followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law."
Posted by: eLarson || 03/22/2006 20:28 Comments || Top||

#68  Yeah but if you're already a follower of Islam, you're SOL.
Posted by: Rafael || 03/22/2006 21:31 Comments || Top||

#69  ...if you're already a follower of Islam, and want to convert to some other religion...
Posted by: Rafael || 03/22/2006 21:32 Comments || Top||

#70  Off topic:
Hey, Creater Crater3500, would you be so kind as to google me, too? I've been trying to find my first post -- just for giggles and sentimentality -- and while I just moments ago discovered that "trailing wife" is actually a term of art (apparently they are all decorative, thick as two short planks, and diplomatic wives with household staff problems... one of whom wrote a book about it. Had I known that, I would've called myself something else, since I merely followed Mr. Wife halfway round the world and back again), I can't find any of my posts the way you did Zenster's. Feel free to send the results to my email address, instead of wasting everyone's precious reading time here.

Thanks ever so much!
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/22/2006 21:52 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Workers Riot at Site of Dubai Skyscraper
Construction on a skyscraper expected to be the world's tallest was interrupted when Asian workers upset over low wages and poor treatment smashed cars and offices in a riot that an official said Wednesday caused nearly $1 million in damage.

The stoppage triggered a sympathy strike at Dubai International Airport, with thousands of laborers building a new terminal also laying down their tools, officials said.

Some 2,500 workers who are building the Burj Dubai tower and surrounding housing developments chased and beat security officers Tuesday night, smashed computers and files in offices, and destroyed about two dozen cars and construction machines, witnesses said.

The workers were angered because buses to their residential camp were delayed after their shifts, witnesses at the site said.

An Interior Ministry official who investigates labor issues, Lt. Col. Rashid Bakhit Al Jumairi, said the rioters caused almost $1 million in damage.

The workers, employed by Dubai-based construction firm Al Naboodah Laing O'Rourke, returned to the vast site Wednesday but refused to work.

Crowds of blue-garbed workers milled in the shadow of the concrete tower, now 36 stories tall, while leaders negotiated with officials from the company and the Ministry of Labor.

"Everyone is angry here. No one will work," said Khalid Farouk, 39, a laborer with Al Naboodah. Other workers said their leaders were asking for pay raises: skilled carpenters on the site earned $7.60 per day, with laborers getting $4 per day.

A reporter inquiring about the riots was ordered to leave the site by an Al Naboodah manager who refused to give his name. The firm's business development manager, Jonathan Eveleigh, declined to comment when reached by telephone.

Al Jumairi said the laborers were also asking Al Naboodah, one of the Emirates' biggest construction conglomerates, for overtime pay, better medical care and humane treatment by foremen.

"They are asking for small things," said Al Jumairi, the labor investigator. "I promised them I would sit with them until everything is settled."

Al Jumairi later said he was being diverted to negotiate with idled laborers at the airport.

Labor stoppages in Gulf countries have recently become common, with some two dozen strikes last year in the United Arab Emirates alone. Most have centered on unpaid salaries and triggered a Labor Ministry crackdown on contract-breaching companies.

The strikes and riots by Al Naboodah workers marred what otherwise appeared to be smooth construction of the Burj Dubai, which is to be a spire-shaped, stainless-steel-skinned tower expected to soar far beyond 100 stories.

Emaar, the tower's Dubai-based developer, is keeping the final height a secret until the $900 million Burj is complete by 2008.

A section of the tower is to host a 172-room luxury hotel operated by Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani.

The protesting workers are among almost 1 million migrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and elsewhere who have poured into Dubai to provide the low-wage muscle behind one of the world's great building booms. In five decades, Dubai has grown from a primitive town of 20,000 to a gridlocked metropolis of 1.5 million.

Posted by: lotp || 03/22/2006 15:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [375 views] Top|| File under:

#1  cough it up boys
Posted by: bk || 03/22/2006 17:51 Comments || Top||

#2  expected to be the world's tallest
I like a little more positive attitude.
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 18:03 Comments || Top||

#3  Article: Other workers said their leaders were asking for pay raises: skilled carpenters on the site earned $7.60 per day, with laborers getting $4 per day.

These are Chinese wages. I'm surprised these guys don't get an expat stipend - Dubai is pretty expensive compared to Bangladesh or Pakistan.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/22/2006 18:31 Comments || Top||

#4  never stay in "highest, longest, or biggest" structures built by peon laborers at subsistence wage. Can you spell QA/QC? Didn't think so....
Posted by: Frank G || 03/22/2006 18:56 Comments || Top||

#5  Hey, it's the world's tallest man-made terrorist target, built with cheap labor. Have a nice stay, suckers.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/22/2006 19:04 Comments || Top||

#6  I make a point to stay out of any place where the labor is paid slave wages.
Posted by: SPoD || 03/22/2006 23:11 Comments || Top||


Terror Suspects Detained
Riyadh, 22 March (AKI) - The Saudi authorities detained three terror suspects late Tuesday following a security sweep in the kingdom, the regional daily Khaleej Times reports. In a press statement, interior ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Torki said the men were detained in Khobar, a town in eastern Saudi Arabia, during a police operation in various cities. The three surrendered to the security authorities who had earlier laid siege to their house located next to an elementary school, al-Torki said. Neighbourhood residents were reportedly advised by the authorities not to leave their homes until the operation was over.

The Saudi daily Okaz quoted an eyewitness as saying those who were captured were unknown to the residents of the area and were not seen frequenting any of the mosques nearby. Earlier this week, the Saudi authorities had raided two houses in Khobar and Damam and arrested five terror suspects on Saturday.
Posted by: Steve || 03/22/2006 08:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [320 views] Top|| File under:

#1  When are they going to jail the Saudi terror facilitators in the House of Saud?
Posted by: doc || 03/22/2006 10:54 Comments || Top||


Britain
Yet more on the UK plotters
Seven British men with alleged links to al-Qaida plotted to carry out a terrorist campaign in the UK with homemade explosives containing more than half a tonne of fertiliser, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

The defendants, mainly of Pakistani descent, had most of the necessary bomb-making components ready but were arrested in March 2004 before they had finalised a target, said David Waters QC, opening the prosecution case.

One of the accused, Omar Khyam, had discussed potential attacks on pubs, nightclubs or trains, and it was significant that another, Waheed Mahmood, worked for a major gas and electricity supplier, according to Mr Waters.

Most of the gang are accused of having undergone training at terrorist camps in Pakistan in the past few years. And they all "played their respective roles" in the plan to make a bomb or bombs, which would be used "to kill or injure citizens of the UK", said Mr Waters.

Khyam, 24, Jawad Akbar, 22, Waheed Mahmood, 33, and Shujah Mahmood, 18, all from Crawley, West Sussex; Anthony Garcia, 27, from Ilford, Essex; Nabeel Hussain, 20, from Horley, Surrey; and Salahuddin Amin, 30, from Luton, Bedfordshire, are charged with conspiracy to cause explosions with intent to endanger life. Khyam, Garcia and Hussain are accused of possessing 600kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser - discovered by police in a storage unit in west London - for terrorist purposes, and Khyam and Shujah Mahmood are charged with possessing aluminium powder, which can also be used to make bombs. All seven defendants, who sat in the dock flanked by 11 prison officers, deny the charges.

Mr Waters said the court would hear details about another conspirator, Momin Khawaja, currently awaiting trial in Canada, who had a "vital role" in this plot.

A US citizen, Mohammed Babar, who has already admitted his part in the "British bomb plot", will testify at the Old Bailey in a few days' time.

The prosecutor said Babar had pleaded guilty in the US to obtaining ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder for use in UK bomb attacks. Babar, who lived in Pakistan from 2001 to 2004, has been given immunity from prosecution, the court heard.

Most of the defendants, whom Babar called the "Crawley lot", visited him there, where they underwent terrorist training in explosives techniques and worked out how to get bomb components and bring them to the UK.

Khyam and Amin both told Babar they worked for a man called Abdul Hadi, whom they claimed was "number three in al-Qaida".

Khyam, whom Mr Waters described as "very much at the centre of operations", said he wanted to carry out operations in the UK because it was as yet unscathed and should be hit because of its support for the US.

"The majority of that contact [with Babar] was in Pakistan and it involved, for the most part, one theme - the acquisition of training and expertise, particularly in relation to explosives," said Mr Waters.

Babar alleges that he first met Waheed Mahmood at the end of 2001, and later learned he was an al-Qaida supporter. He met Khyam in November 2002, while on a fund-raising trip to England.

Later, in Pakistan in 2003, Babar, Khyam and Amin discussed transporting detonators back to the UK, and small radios were bought so the detonators could be hidden inside, the court heard.

Babar had obtained aluminium powder at Khyam's request and later found out ammonium nitrate was being kept in his flat in Lahore, where Khyam was staying.

Khyam and Amin received two days training in explosives theory and practice in a house in Kohat, Pakistan, and in July 2003 Khyam and his brother Shujah went to a terrorist training camp in Kalam.

The Old Bailey heard that Garcia also attended, and used his experience to teach others how to dismantle and reassemble weapons. Akbar later joined them. Ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder were taken to the camp and they carried out experiments, one of which blew a hole in the ground, even though they used less than 1kg of ammonium nitrate.

The defendants, who returned to England later in 2003, adopted several measures to avoid detection, including using false names. Waheed Mahmood stressed that laptops and mobile phones should be disposed of on a regular basis and Khyam and Babar used code in their emails, for example "cigarettes" meant "detonators".

But they were arrested on March 30 2004, following a seven-week undercover surveillance operation by Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist and special branch squads and the security services. Bugs were placed at an address where Khyam was staying in Slough, Berkshire, and Akbar's then home in Uxbridge, west London, and in Khyam's car, and the suspects, including Khawaja who came to England for a weekend in February 2004, were followed and taped.

The trial, which is expected to last at least six months, continues.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/22/2006 01:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [314 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Anthony Garcia, 27"

Now that's a good Muslim name....what's the deal with this guy?
Posted by: Danielle || 03/22/2006 11:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Ahhh, The Olde Bailey. Next step..on to the Tower.
Posted by: SOP35/Rat || 03/22/2006 12:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Report from Al Guardian!
Must be why they forgot to mention the nuclear bomb link
Posted by: tipper || 03/22/2006 21:48 Comments || Top||


Trial begins for 7 Britons
In what has been billed by the police as a major terrorism trial, seven Britons appeared at the Old Bailey courthouse on Tuesday, accused of training in Pakistan to carry out bomb attacks in Britain more than one year before the London attacks in 2005.

One of the men, Omar Khyam, 24, was said by the prosecution to have told an associate that Britain should be attacked because "of its support for the U.S."

"They were intercepted before the plot could reach fruition," the prosecutor, David Waters, said as the seven men, 18 to 33, in jackets and suits, listened. But, Mr. Waters said, "the interception came only when most of the necessary components were in place, and all that remained before their plans achieved the ultimate goal was for the target or targets to be finally agreed."

The trial could last months, and the prosecution indicated Tuesday that a principal witness would be Mohammed Junaid Babar, a Pakistani-American computer programmer from Queens, N.Y.. Mr. Babar is to be called to testify from the United States, where he pleaded guilty to charges of supplying military equipment to a Qaeda training camp in Pakistan and working to aid the failed bomb plot in London.

The events leading to the trial became public when six of the suspects were arrested during police raids in March 2004, during which, the police said, more than half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was seized at a storage depot in West London.

The men have denied conspiring with a Canadian, Mohammed Momin Khawaja, to cause an explosion "likely to endanger life," along with other charges related to possessing bomb-making substances.

Mr. Waters, the prosecution lawyer, said the accused had spent time in Pakistan, where some had family connections.

"Their principal purpose, however, in spending time in Pakistan was to acquire expertise in relation, particularly, to explosives, an expertise which was to be deployed in the plan to cause explosions," he said.

The likely targets in Britain were pubs, nightclubs or trains, Mr. Waters said, quoting from a conversation between Mr. Babar, the witness, and Mr. Khyam, one of the defendants. "Khyam told Babar he wanted to do operations in the U.K.," he said. "He then referred to potential targets: pubs, nightclubs or trains."

"Khyam's motivation, as explained to Babar, was clear," Mr. Waters said. "The U.K. was unscathed; it needed to be hit because of its support for the U.S." Mr. Babar also learned during contacts with the accused in Britain before their arrest that they worked for a man called Abdul Hadi, whom Mr. Khyam had described as "No. 3 in Al Qaeda," according to the prosecution.

Mr. Waters chronicled several journeys by the accused men between Britain and Pakistan, and said some of them tested a small explosive using ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder at a camp in a place called Kalam.

"Some care was taken in order to disguise the fact that they were attending a terrorist training camp," he said. "For example, they took on the appearance of tourists visiting lakes and glaciers in the area in which the training camp was held."

Evidence was taken from surveillance that drew, in part, on listening devices in the homes of two defendants and in a car, Mr. Waters said.

The six men in addition to Mr. Khyam were identified as Waheed Mahmood, 33; Shujah-Ud-Din Mahmood, 18; Anthony Garcia, 27; Nabeel Hussain, 20; Jawad Akbar, 22; and Salahuddin Amin, 30.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/22/2006 01:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Wow. Not a Smythe or Jones in the lot.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 9:04 Comments || Top||


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Kadyrov negotiating with hard boyz
The Chechen leadership is negotiating with militants in an attempt to bring them back into civilian life, the prime minister of the North Caucasus republic said Wednesday.

"This is useful and very effective, because returning them to peaceful life is better than fighting," Ramzan Kadyrov said in an interview with government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

He said many militants were still following ideas popular in the mid-1990s, when the first Chechen campaign began.

"We explain to them that the situation has radically changed, and guarantee [their] life and immunity if their hands are not smeared with blood," he said. "If people do not understand [this], we will fight them, and this is legal according to our customs."

Kadyrov said a search for militant leaders was underway in mountainous areas, but added that this should not be confused with zachistki - operations the Army says flush out militants hiding among the local population, but that rights activists say have led to the disappearance and possible murder of hundreds of people.

He added that he needed help of Chechen people to detain militant leaders. Chechens are now willing to cooperate with local law-enforcement bodies, Kadyrov said, which have good links with federal bodies and special services.

Kadryov also said warlords Shamil Basayev and Aslan Maskhadov had masterminded the murder of his father, first Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, and the terrorist attack on a school in Beslan.

"No one can win freedom and independence by these methods. People such as Maskhadov and Basayev make everyone think that Islam is a bloodthirsty religion," Kadyrov said.

Ramzan Kadyrov took over from previous Chechen Prime Minister Sergei Abramov, who was injured in a car accident in November last year and announced his resignation February 28.

Akhmad Kadyrov, who fought against federal forces in the first Chechen campaign but later condemned radicalism and sided with the Kremlin, was assassinated in May 2004 during Victory Day celebrations in Grozny.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/22/2006 01:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [303 views] Top|| File under:


2 hard boyz surrender in Chechnya
Two former armed group members have turned themselves in to police.

One of the militants surrendered a Kalashnikov assault rifle and admitted his involvement in a raid on the village of Roshni-Chu led by his armed group commander Kazbek Batalov, who was killed in a sweep operation later, a Sunzha district police source told Interfax. Several servicemen and police officers were killed in the Roshni-Chu attack last summer.

The second man said he had been a member of Viskhan Arsanukayev's armed group that operated in Grozny's Staropromyslovsky district.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/22/2006 01:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:


Europe
32 suspects accused of plot to bomb Spanish National court
A judge has indicted 32 suspected Islamic extremists in a failed plot to attack the National Court in Madrid, which tries terrorism cases. The suspects allegedly planned to pack a lorry with explosives and drive it into the building. The indictments were issued last week, but were only made public on Tuesday to coincide with a hearing for eight of the 32 suspects at the court. The rest will be formally notified of the indictments later this week.

The plot aimed to pack a truck with 500 kilogrammes of explosives and drive it into the National Court building, where nearly a thousand people work daily, including judges, prosecutors, lawyers and police officers, according to the 23-page indictment. The 32 suspects are charged with "belonging to a terrorist group" and "conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack with resulting deaths" and also with document forgery, the indictment said.
Posted by: lotp || 03/22/2006 12:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [330 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good thing Spain pulled its troops out of Iraq. That way they wouldn't have these problems. Very farsighted of them.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 03/22/2006 12:37 Comments || Top||

#2  In my weaker moments, I sometimes find myself in an extra-rotten place - rooting for the bad guys in some situations. Something of a convergence of two rotten vectors. This is one of those moments and Spain is one of those situations. Houston, we have Intersection.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 12:44 Comments || Top||

#3  Hush CC, best never to take council of the dark one.

/except on really dark nights and the bridge is shaky
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 18:06 Comments || Top||


Dutch schools shut after hand grenade found nearby
Posted by: lotp || 03/22/2006 11:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [306 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let me guess: Christian fundamentalists, radical Buddhists, perhaps---just perhaps---the MOSAD?
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/22/2006 14:07 Comments || Top||


Anarchists firebomb Greek bank
A group of some 30 youths, believed to be from anarchist groups, hurled gasoline bombs at a branch of the National Bank of Greece in central Athens Tuesday, causing damage but wounding no one, police said.

The youths, dressed in black, escaped arrest and the fire was put out.

Arson attacks by anarchists are common in the Greek capital and have spiked since student riots broke out in France over plans to scrap job-protection laws.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/22/2006 01:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [373 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like a dress-up and play militant group.
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 8:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Mennonites. Or Ninjas. Could've been Ninjas. Probably not Young Republicans. They don't wear black, as a rule. Maybe NOI. Were they wearing bow ties? AP doesn't say, though they do seem rather down on anarchists. Gratuitously so. Must be personal.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 8:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Black bloc's trendy anti-globo anarchists?
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 03/22/2006 9:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Bet 5089 got it again.
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 10:40 Comments || Top||

#5  This little stunt is likely to give anarchists an unfavorable reputation.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/22/2006 12:08 Comments || Top||

#6  Greek anarchists have been pulling stunts like this for decades, at least. There seems to be a, "Boys will be boys," attitude about their little pranks -- at least the Greek police never seem to have looked very hard to find the perpetrators or prevent their activities. Of a piece with European attitudes toward terrorist behaviour until very recently, in fact.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/22/2006 16:38 Comments || Top||

#7  "at least the Greek police never seem to have looked very hard to find the perpetrators or prevent their activities."

Similar to the attitude taken by the Greek police back when people were being shot by assassins on motorscooters; the victim was always a 'foreigner'.
Posted by: Fordesque || 03/22/2006 19:06 Comments || Top||

#8  All my black was in the washer or hamper so I wasn't inviolved. I was wearing brown today.
Banks why do We they hate them us.
Posted by: SPoD || 03/22/2006 23:15 Comments || Top||


Trial of orcs suspected terrorists opens in Paris
The trial of 27 people suspected of planning terrorist attacks in France opened Monday in a Paris court, following one of the country's biggest anti-terrorism investigations in recent years. They are charged with associating with criminals connected to a terrorist organisation. Some of the suspects have given statements claiming that attacks were planned against French targets including the Eiffel Tower, police stations and a central Paris shopping centre. Others have said the group planned attacks on Russian targets in France to revenge the attack on a Chechen rebel unit in Moscow in October 2002.

Among those on trial are suspects charged with links to al-Qaeda or Chechen rebels, or suspected former members of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and minor operatives recruited in the Paris suburbs. Some of them also face charges of making and carrying false documents and being in the country illegally.

The lawyer of one of the suspects questioned the competence of the French court to try his client for acts he says were committed outside France before his client was extradited there from Syria in September 2004. Sébastien Bono, representing 41-year-old Algerian former army officer and chemicals expert Said Arif, called for the court to reject evidence which he says was obtained from his client under torture in Damascus. He also criticised French authorities for letting Russian agents question Arif in January, after he was referred to the court. The trial is expected to last until May 12.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [302 views] Top|| File under:

#1 

Orcs = Tolkien's Uruk-Hai?

Ever notice the resemblence between Saurman & Sheikh Yasin that the Israleis sent to the virgins a couple of years back?
Posted by: BigEd || 03/22/2006 11:14 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Man arrested for throwing suspicious package at White House again
Posted by: lotp || 03/22/2006 12:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: WoT
Rush hour bomb scare ties up Oakland trains
Posted by: lotp || 03/22/2006 15:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:


Man tried to sell explosives components to Iran: US Customs
I can't seem to find this story elsewhere on Google, and I can't believe we didn't notice it before. Fred? Dan?
New one on me. Sounds kind of like the Durrani story from a few days back.
LOS ANGELES - US authorities have charged a man with trying to illegally export sensors that could allegedly be used to make bombs to Iran in violation of a US trade embargo, officials said. Los Angeles resident Mohammad Fazeli, 27, was arrested on March 16 and arraigned Monday in the West Coast city on charges of trying to ship more than 100 Honeywell sensors to Iran. "According to the manufacturer, the sensors, which detect the pressure of liquid or gas, could potentially be used to detonate explosive devices," the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) said in a statement.
Are we eventually going to reach a tipping point on Paks arrested doing nefarious things in our country that'll lead us to assume they're being tasked by Pak intel? Or will we simply come to the (probably well-founded) conclusion that the inhabitants of Pakland are probably the most lawless bunch on the face of the planet, with the possible exception of Yemen, and that they take that characteristic with them when they emigrate? In either case, will we take the next step, to keeping them the hell out of our country?
Seems like he's Iranian: LOS ANGELES — A computer technician was charged with attempting to export to Iran more than 100 pressure sensors that could be misused as components in explosive devices, federal authorities said Tuesday. Mohammad Fazeli, 27, pleaded not guilty to the three-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, making false statements, and violating a U.S. embargo prohibiting trade with Iran. Prosecutors allege that Fazeli, a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent, ordered 103 Honeywell sensors from an electronics company in St. Paul, Minn., in September 2004.
Damm computer techs, can't trust any of them.
The three-count indictment alleges that in September 2004 Fazeli ordered 103 pressure sensors through a website operated by a US electronics company, despite being warned by the firm that he needed a license in order to export the devices. "Despite that, after receiving the parts, Fazeli allegedly attempted to send them to the United Arab Emirates, with the understanding that the devices would ultimately be shipped to Iran," ICE said. The planned shipment allegedly breached the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which since the late 1970s has barred the shipment of technology to Iran's Islamic regime without the express permission of US authorities. "In the wrong hands, components like these pressure sensors could be used to inflict harm upon America or its allies," said Kevin Kozak, deputy special agent in charge for ICE investigations in Los Angeles.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm going to go out on a limb here: Given that the Iranian media is reporting it, could it be possible the sensors were to go to Iran, but not necessarily to the government?
Posted by: Pappy || 03/22/2006 10:52 Comments || Top||

#2  Iran Focus is not the Iranian media, it's from an opposition group. Pretty useful in ferreting out news.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/22/2006 11:02 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
33 killed in Nepal fighting
Ten police officers and 23 Maoists were killed in new violence in Nepal, two days after the rebels announced a fresh initiative to topple the monarchy in the world's only Hindu kingdom.

Officials and witnesses said rebels attacked a police post in the village of Birtamod around 600 kilometers (350 miles) east of Kathmandu as well as a police post in nearby Sunsari district.

The attacks in eastern Nepal left 10 police officers and 3 Maoists dead, chief district officer Bhola Prasad Shivakoti and police officials in the capital said.

Shivakoti said 20 officers were injured, three of them seriously.

A local journalist who witnessed the attack, Lila Baral, said the rebels arrived in two trucks and attacked the police post from all sides, taking control of the area for about 45 minutes before fleeing.

All markets remained shut and highways were deserted after the incident.

The army meanwhile said its soldiers launched an offensive at Dharechowk 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Kathmandu that killed at least 20 rebels.

"So far 20 bodies of Maoist rebels have been recovered from the clash site," an army official said.

One Monday, 13 Nepalese soldiers and a Maoist guerrilla were reported killed in a two-hour gunbattle just east of Kathmandu.

The upsurge in violence comes after Maoists said they had reached an understanding with political parties sidelined by the king to hold a mass pro-democracy protest next month in an attempt to topple the royal government.

King Gyanendra sacked the government and assumed direct control of the impoverished Himalayan nation in February last year after blaming politicians for failing to stem the Maoist insurgency.

Britain, the United States and India cut military supplies to Nepal following the takeover by Gyanendra and have called on him to move to restore democracy.

At least 12,500 people have died since the Maoists launched an uprising a decade ago to topple the monarchy and install a communist republic.

On Sunday, the rebels decided to call off a six-day transport blockade which had slowed road traffic to a trickle, caused fuel shortages and sent prices of commodities soaring.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/22/2006 01:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [300 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Why did we cut military supplies ? Does anyone think China cut military supplies to the Maoists ?
Pure stupidity.
Posted by: wxjames || 03/22/2006 9:01 Comments || Top||

#2  because the supplies go to the King...
and what a gentle, understanding individual he is...
Posted by: bk || 03/22/2006 19:05 Comments || Top||


Militants blow up pipeline near Sui
Alt-F11...
Suspected militants blew up a gas pipeline in Balochistan on Tuesday, officials said. The pipeline is owned by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) and feeds gas to the Punjab province. Officials at the company said supplies to consumers remained unaffected. “One of our 30-inch diameter pipeline was damaged in the attack, which took place at around 1:30 am and some 11 km away from the Sui fields,” said Naeem Ahmad Khan, a spokesman for SNGPL. Khan said the repair work on the damaged pipeline was likely to be completed within 24 hours.
Posted by: Fred || 03/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Gotta be careful with those Macros.
Avoid at all cost Alt-22 (It's a special keyboard)
That's when the Bugti's attack a pipeline while being taken to Ein-Hellhole by the RAB after being questioned by THE MOSSAD who are searching for the sheet metal factories which are building the country-made shutterguns which are destablizing the region.
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 8:56 Comments || Top||

#2  6, I had to read that aloud to the trailing daughters in order to get a proper understanding -- a very information-dense statement! :-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/22/2006 16:44 Comments || Top||

#3  It's important to be efficient.
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 18:09 Comments || Top||


Another claim about Osama’s whereabouts
A new investigative report in a leading American magazine claims that the Pakistan Army and its intelligence service are critical sponsors in the resurging Taliban activity in Afghanistan.
Reeeeeaaaally? Golly. Gosh. Who'da ever thunkit?
Sebastian Junger, author of the bestseller The Perfect Storm, which was also made into a movie starring George Clooney, writes in the April issue of the Vanity Fair monthly that while Pakistan has captured and turned over key Al Qaeda operatives, it hasn’t turned over a single mid- or high-ranking Taliban official to the US since the 9/11 attacks.
Except for Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.
Junger says he talked with a former Taliban government official with current knowledge of the situation. According to that, some Pakistani military personnel are training Taliban recruits.
Comes as a surprise, doesn't it? I know. Floored me, too.
The Taliban official gave the American reporter the name and phone number of an ISI agent who supposedly brings recruits from a region in Afghanistan, inserts them into training camps in western Pakistan, and then sends them back to fight. Junger also writes that the an ex-Taliban member told him that the Pakistanis are receiving as much money from Osama bin Laden to not capture him as they are taking from the United States to catch him. “If true, this claim indicates both a level of duplicity that must start near the top of the Pakistani government, and a level of resources available to bin Laden that is extremely high,” he observes.
I'd call the source of the information negligable if it wasn't for the fact that what he says jibes so seamlessly with what we've been seeing.
Posted by: Fred || 03/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [357 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pakistanis are receiving as much money from Osama bin Laden to not capture him as they are taking from the United States to catch him

Pervs Ponzi Palace

Nigerian money transfer fraud, check
Three card Monte, check
Rocks in the Box, check
Bank Examiner, check
the Pigeon Drop, check

/Void where inhibited
Posted by: RD || 03/22/2006 1:53 Comments || Top||

#2  I got an e-mail from the Widow Arafat the other day asking for y help in liberating her inheratence.Do you think it's a scam(sarc).
Posted by: raptor || 03/22/2006 10:03 Comments || Top||

#3  Yeah, but have you received a mail from osama's widow? That would be nicer, wouldn't it?
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 03/22/2006 10:24 Comments || Top||

#4  Osama bin Laden would have several widows, a5089. I shouldn't take the request for help seriously unless they all sign it, else you could be in serious trouble when the ladies in question fight over the contents of your bank account. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/22/2006 16:50 Comments || Top||

#5  Sebastian Junger, author of the bestseller The Perfect Storm, which was also made into a movie starring George Clooney, writes in the April issue of the Vanity Fair monthly
Well shit, we've lost then. Best to take a few with us.
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 18:12 Comments || Top||

#6  Best to take a few with us.

Starting with Clooney or bin Laden? :)
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 18:19 Comments || Top||

#7  Junger is a great journalist who happened to be working on the Northern Alliance on 9/11. I recall him being interviewed after Kabul fell and he said everything was going to move to West Pakland. He followed it there while the rest of the journalistic community stayed in the green room as arm chair generals.
Posted by: JAB || 03/22/2006 22:05 Comments || Top||


No amnesty for foreign militants: Sherpao
Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said on Tuesday that foreign terrorists hiding in Waziristan would not be given amnesty “because the deadline has now expired”, Online reported. “All camps of Afghan refugees in the tribal areas have been closed. The process of their repatriation has also been accelerated,” he said. The government wants peace in the restive area but attacks on security forces will not be tolerated, he said at a meeting with tribal elders from Miranshah, Datta Khel and Mir Ali.

“The government will hold talks unconditionally with those who want peace and development, however all should join hands to restore peace and tranquility in the region,” Online quoted Sherpao as telling the tribal elders.

Staff report adds: The tribal elders urged the government to form a bipartisan parliamentary committee to resolve the conflict in tribal areas. But, flanked by Aneesa Zeb Tahirkheli, the minister of state for information, Sherpao turned down the proposal. He said that a parliamentary committee of opposition and treasury members might politicise the sensitive issue. He sought open support from opposition members to overcome the trouble.

Sherpao rejected the claims of the tribal elders that security forces had only arrested Afghan refugees from their areas. “I have already said that we arrested Arabs, Chinese, Uzbeks, Turkish and Chechens from Waziristan,” he told journalists after the meeting.

He said the Al Qaeda network had been broken in the tribal areas, “but some of its operatives are still at large and making attempts to create a law and order situation in Pakistan”. He said Al Qaeda operatives might be present in other parts of the country. He said the government had banned the display of arms in Miranshah, Mir Ali and adjacent areas. “Almost every home in the tribal areas has weapons. We have asked them not to display arms.”

The interior minister favoured the process of interaction with tribal leaders, saying his ministry would facilitate negotiations between the NWFP governor and the tribal elders. Malik Attaullah and Malik Haji Muhammad Haleem, who led the delegation, told the minister that hatred of the armed forces was on the rise amongst the general public of the tribal areas. Attaullah told Daily Times that Waziristan residents were reacting to attacks by security forces.
Posted by: Fred || 03/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:


Taliban control Waziristan
Miranshah (Rantburg News Service): Locally-grown Taliban have taken control of most of North and South Waziristan, enforcing strict social edicts such as a ban on the sale of music and films, shaving of beards, singing, dancing, laughing, and titties the Guardian reports. "We'd never have noticed if we hadn't read it in the paper," a highly-placed official in Islamabad admitted, speaking on condition of anonymity. "I mean, the place isn't that different from the rest of the country, is it?"

Turban-wearing men of appropriately fearsome demeanor have been shaking down drivers at makeshift "checkpoints." Last week an Islamic court was established in Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan, to replace the traditional jirga. Dour-looking old men with shaggy beards hand out 7th-century style justice, guarded by dour-looking young men with scraggly beards brandishing knockoffs of Soviet weaponry.

The Pakistani military deployed 70,000 troops to Waziristan two years ago to rein in the militants. Rather than actually using them to put down rebellion, the local commanders spent their time chatting with duplicitous locals while tribal lashkars ran around beating drums and scaring the chickens. An army assault against an alleged Al Qaeda training camp outside Miranshah on March 1 left more than 100 dead. Since declaring a curfew in Miranshah, government troops claim to have regained shaky control. “The so-called war on terror is going badly,” said one diplomat. "That's because the Paks have been trying to have it both ways, fighting their definition of terrorism on one hand and nurturing their definition of Freedom Fighters™ on the other, regardless of the fact that they're the same people. They've been trying to subvert Afghanistan so they'd have strategic depth, and now they've ended up truncating their own country while their neighbors laugh at them."

Analysts say the Pakistani Taliban is a loose alliance of local rustics operating under spittle-spewing clerics of the sort beloved by many in the country. Many are angered by heavy-handed but ineffectual attacks against suspected Al Qaeda hideouts, which are thought to have killed hundreds of women, children, puppies, kittens, fluffy bunnies and baby ducks over the last two years. But most are terribly impressed by their own ability to scowl, roll their eyes, and brandish guns.
Posted by: Fred || 03/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1  They've been trying to subvert Afghanistan so they'd have strategic depth, and now they've ended up truncating their own country while their neighbors laugh at them."

The whole thang should be gilded in gold leaf and nailed to Rantburg's front door. Bravo!
Posted by: RD || 03/22/2006 1:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Hear, hear RD!
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 12:22 Comments || Top||

#3  I like this a touch better, since you're quoting the Guardian:

"We'd never have noticed if we hadn't read it in the paper," Abdul Abdullah Abdul, Minister of ISI Territories admitted, speaking on condition of anonymity.

LOL, Fred. RNS is terrific!
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 12:30 Comments || Top||


Bugti directing insurgency
Nawab Akbar Bugti, the chief of the Bugti tribe, has taken to the hills of Balochistan to direct the Baloch insurgency, reports The Telegraph. The nawab sought refuge in a series of large caves in the mountains of Dera Bugti with several thousand armed tribesmen three months ago after Pakistani security forces bombed Dera Bugti and surrounding villages, says the British newspaper.

A correspondent for The Telegraph met the nawab in one of these caves after a long journey across varied terrain to avoid military cordons. Bugti told the reporters his aim was not to destabilise Pakistan, but to press the demand of his people, which are greater provincial autonomy, more public sector jobs and a higher share of revenues from the Sui natural gas fields. The government denies there is a military operation ongoing in Balochistan, but an American intelligence source told the Washington Post recently that Pakistan has deployed some 25,000 troops in the Marri tribal area, and the Bugti nawab estimates that another 23,000 are ranged against his forces.
Posted by: Fred || 03/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:


Iraq
CBS cameraman in Iraq to go on trial
Expect lots of media attention on this one. for background, see this Winds of Change article from last April, when he was wounded and arrested.
Posted by: lotp || 03/22/2006 12:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Article: "The court must ensure a fair and open process, and authorities need to substantiate their case," Ann Cooper, executive director the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement.

"So far, the handling of this case has been alarming. It's unacceptable that Hussein was held without charge or due process for so long."


What a bunch of American journalists feel the Iraqi government must do may not be the same as what it feels it has to do during a wartime emergency. Note that Major John Andre was hanged for spying.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/22/2006 13:10 Comments || Top||

#2  How many times, during Intifada#1, I've dreamed of whacking a journalist?
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/22/2006 14:05 Comments || Top||

#3 
Posted by: doc || 03/22/2006 14:55 Comments || Top||

#4  I'm surprised that they aren't all worked up about him being held at Abu Ghraib.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/22/2006 15:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Way OT.... but can you imagine a seeing that Ice Beer sign from a mile or two off in 1880?
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 18:15 Comments || Top||


Same Attack - Different Results - 50 captured
different story/results fom the one already posted below. EFL
Insurgents attacked a police station Wednesday for a second day in a row, but U.S. and Iraqi forces captured 50 of them after a two-hour gunbattle. About 60 gunmen attacked the police station in Madain, south of Baghdad, with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles, said police Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohammadawi. U.S. troops and a special Iraqi police unit responded, catching the insurgents in crossfire, he said.
An American-style crossfire! No 3 am stroll, no shutter guns and no rounds of bullet to be recovered, just a lot of dead terrorists.
Four police were killed, including the commander of the special unit, and five were wounded, al-Mohammadawi said. None of the attackers died, and among the captives was a Syrian.

Madain, 14 miles southeast of Baghdad, is at the northern tip of Iraq's Sunni-dominated “Triangle of Death,” a region rife with sectarian violence – retaliatory kidnappings and killings in the underground conflict between Sunnis and Shiites.
Posted by: Frank G || 03/22/2006 11:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Wow - that's a completely different story. I guess the "reporter" couldn't wait and filed his hit piece as soon as his friends had killed off the policemen, who should be mourned.

I'll bet that Wretchard and Malkin will both jump on this 180 deg turnaround. Will it get the same "play" as the first pathetic "reporting"? I doubt it.

Thanks, FrankG!
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 11:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Note to insurgants. Please keep following the same battle plan. Over and over. Americans are stupid. We fall for it every time. Really. Honest.
Posted by: DarthVader || 03/22/2006 12:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Actually, Frank, I think it's 2 different attacks, one yesterday and one today. Looks like they were ready for them today.
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/22/2006 12:42 Comments || Top||

#4  I hope the Iraqis kick their criminal justice system into high gear and start trachea-tweaking these tiresome turdballs.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/22/2006 13:00 Comments || Top||

#5  What alliterative acuity!
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 13:06 Comments || Top||

#6  when Iraqi troops do this without us they may accidentally kill about half of the prisoners and two thirds of the attackers.
Posted by: mhw || 03/22/2006 13:14 Comments || Top||

#7  "Next suspect, Mohoud."

"Hokay. It's you were captured attacking a police station. Is this true?"

"Well...I wuz just walking my dog and..."

"Tell me where Zarq is and I will let you go."

"Well...I wuz just walking my dog and..."

POW!! POW!!!

"Next suspect, Mohoud."
Posted by: anymouse || 03/22/2006 13:17 Comments || Top||

#8  One suspects that at least one report of yesterday's insurgent deaths may have been exaggerated.
Posted by: Perfessor || 03/22/2006 13:51 Comments || Top||

#9  this is good.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 03/22/2006 13:57 Comments || Top||

#10  mhw - what's the downside? ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/22/2006 14:07 Comments || Top||

#11  If you kill them they lose value as intel assets.

Also they lose value as bait.

Also they might have kinfolk in the govt. and the death might inspire said kinfolk to aid the terrorists.
Posted by: mhw || 03/22/2006 15:17 Comments || Top||

#12  Nothing there I find persuasive.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/22/2006 15:22 Comments || Top||

#13  TU - I think you're right
Posted by: Frank G || 03/22/2006 16:25 Comments || Top||

#14  Also they might have kinfolk in the govt. and the death might inspire said kinfolk to aid the terrorists.

You mean more than said kinfolk are already aiding their [formerly not dead] cousins on the outside?
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/22/2006 16:56 Comments || Top||

#15  Article: Four police were killed, including the commander of the special unit, and five were wounded, al-Mohammadawi said.

Wonder if this was friendly fire.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/22/2006 19:12 Comments || Top||

#16  Four police were killed, including the commander of the special unit...

If they are being trained by the US, then he was at the front with his men. I wouldn't put it past friendly fire, but these guys are starting to think and act like western soldiers.
Posted by: DarthVader || 03/22/2006 21:27 Comments || Top||


18 Iraqi police killed in jailbreak
More than 200 masked insurgents stormed an Interior Ministry jail at daybreak on Tuesday, killing at least 18 police officers, freeing all the prisoners and leaving the facility a smoldering wreck.

The battle raged for nearly an hour at the jail, in Muqdadiya, 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, as the fighters blasted government buildings with mortars, grenades and machine guns, Interior Ministry officials said.

The attack demonstrated that even though sectarian violence has recently emerged as Iraq's gravest concern, the antigovernment insurgency is far from over.

Showing a high degree of sophistication, insurgents reportedly cut telephone lines and then detonated several roadside bombs to block reinforcement troops from reaching the jail.

Overwhelmed Iraqi forces radioed for help, and American helicopter gunships quickly responded. As soon as they arrived, insurgents drilled them with machine-gun fire, American military officials said, wounding one American soldier.

"It was a huge attack," said Raad Rashid al-Mula Jawad, the governor of surrounding Diyala Province. "And we will avenge it. Our sons' blood will not be lost."

More than 30 prisoners escaped. According to Tassin Tawfik, an Iraqi Army official, "All of them were insurgents." Many had been detained Sunday in a raid by security forces in neighboring towns, The Associated Press reported, leading to the raid to free them.

The governor said the local police chief and several officers might have conspired with the insurgents and helped them get away.

"I accuse them, and have ordered an investigation," Mr. Jawad said.

The raid was reminiscent of an assault on a Falluja jail in February 2004, in which more than a dozen police officers were killed and 70 prisoners were freed. That attack was one of the first signs of tactical coordination between Iraqi insurgents and Al Qaeda, which claimed credit on the Internet, through one of its splinter groups, for the jail attack on Tuesday.

Insurgents seemed to be keeping up the pressure across the country on Tuesday, singling out a number of police patrols and government buildings.

One mortar shell sailed into the Green Zone, where the American Embassy is situated, at the same time that a delegation of United States senators was meeting with Iraqi officials. No injuries were reported.

Such attacks have become so commonplace in Baghdad that children playing on a nearby swing set kept on swinging, even as a cloud of thick brown dust rose behind them.

At a news conference after the meetings, Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, reiterated a point that American officials have been making ceaselessly for several weeks: the sooner Iraqi leaders settle their differences and form a government, the better, because the American government believes that the violence in Iraq is fueled by an absence of clear authority.

Iraqi voters chose a new Parliament in December, but politicians are still haggling over crucial posts.

"April is fine," Mr. Levin said, about the Iraqi leaders' plan to form a government by then. "But we need that commitment kept, in order for there to be continuing support for American troops to be kept in Iraq."

"There's been too much dawdling while Baghdad is burning," Mr. Levin said.

American military officials announced Tuesday that they were looking into an allegation that American soldiers intentionally killed 11 Iraqi civilians last week.

The inquiry, the second announced in a week, stems from an episode on Wednesday in Ishaqi, a Sunni Arab town north of Baghdad.

American officials initially said that American troops had been fired on from a farmhouse during a raid to capture an insurgent, and that they had returned fire, from the ground and the air, killing four people.

Iraqi police officials immediately rejected that account, saying 11 people had been killed after American soldiers lined up an entire family — from a 75-year-old grandmother to a 6-month-old baby — and shot them.

A local police official, Farouq Hussein, told Reuters that all the victims had been shot in the head.

"It's a clear and perfect crime without any doubt," he said.

Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, an American military spokesman, said the military was investigating the episode. "This is not the way we operate," he said. "We take the allegation seriously, and we're working with the Iraqis to determine the facts."

Last week, American officials announced that they were investigating an occurrence in November in which residents in a western Iraq town accused American marines of gunning down 15 civilians after a marine was killed by a roadside bomb. Military officials originally reported that the civilians had been killed by the bomb blast, but later revised their account to say that the civilians were killed by gunfire.

An American soldier was fatally shot on Tuesday while patrolling in western Baghdad. In the same area, the bodies of eight more executed men were discovered.

Dozens of bodies have turned up virtually daily in Baghdad's streets, apparently the victims of warring Shiite and Sunni gangs, continuing a cycle of revenge that erupted after an important Shiite shrine was destroyed last month.

Sectarian tensions were especially high this past week as throngs of Shiite pilgrims streamed to Karbala, a holy city in southern Iraq, to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. So far, several pilgrims have been killed in drive-by shootings and others by roadside bombs.

Authorities in Diyala said they were focusing all their energies on protecting pilgrims traveling through the area on their way to Karbala, and so were caught off guard by the attack on the jail.

"The insurgents came from a direction we never expected," said a Diyala provincial official, who asked not to be identified. "The attack was very well planned."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/22/2006 01:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [323 views] Top|| File under:

#1  On other news, popcorn futures rose today on active trading.
We gave them democracy, and they are attempting to pound it back into the eighth century. Next time, let's give them a puppet dictator.
Posted by: wxjames || 03/22/2006 8:57 Comments || Top||

#2  different news/results - same attack - I'll post it now
Posted by: Frank G || 03/22/2006 11:38 Comments || Top||

#3  The NY Times continues to prop up the MSM info economy by being the BS buyer of last resort.
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 12:27 Comments || Top||


Iraqi police arrest leader of Jamat Al-Tawhid Wal Al-Jihad
Iraqi police said on Tuesday it has arrested the leader of the Jamat Al-Tawhid Wal Jihad west of the the northern city of Kirkuk. Police director of Kirkuk Brigadier Sarhid Qader said his forces carried out the arrest west of Kirkuk adding that questioning is underway.
"Mahmoud! My pliers, please!"
He said that Katyusha missiles were fired in agriculture areas south of city causing only damage to buildings. Meanwhile, leakages were spotted in oil pipelines in the cities of Kirkuk and Mosul and emergency forces were sent to the area.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Israel May Be Next al-Qaida Battleground
Signs are mounting that al-Qaida terrorists are setting their sights on Israel and the Palestinian territories as their next jihad battleground.

Israel has indicted two West Bank militants for al-Qaida membership, Egypt arrested operatives trying to cross into Israel and a Palestinian security official has acknowledged al-Qaida is "organizing cells and gathering supporters."

Posted by: Captain America || 03/22/2006 16:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [320 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Talk about suicide for Al-Qaida. Israel doesn't have many objections to building a wall or cleaning out an area outside their borders. The Mosad wouldn't be none too friendly either, unlike the CIA. Al-Qaida might gain support for only attacking jews (since attacking american forces didn't seem to get any), but it would be a short lived party.
Posted by: DarthVader || 03/22/2006 16:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Gosh, what a surprise. Having found that their wars in Iraq, Western Europe and the US aren't going quite as well as planned, they want to check failure in Israel off their list. At this rate, they may soon become quite as ineffective as Fatah in achieving their goals.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/22/2006 16:59 Comments || Top||

#3  This is sort of old news. We know that:
1. Hamas is getting funding from Iran.
2. Hizb'Allah gets its funding from Iran.
3. Gaza is now a nest of jihadis.
4. Iran sez that it will wipe Israel off the map.
5. Iran has been giving aid and comfort to Al Q.

Iran, its proxies, and undoubtedly al Q will make an attack on Israel because they preceive weakness in the West. The ball, basically, is in our court.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/22/2006 17:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Are you calling for a screaming overhead smash, AP?

LOL.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 17:54 Comments || Top||

#5  Makes perfect sense to attack Israel. Soft target, unlikely to respond and the world will wink.


/gottem 1 outta 3
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 18:18 Comments || Top||

#6  makes perfect AQ sense....logic of the damaged lobes
Posted by: Frank G || 03/22/2006 18:57 Comments || Top||

#7  I'm calling for the West to get its head out of its collective a$$ and see what is at stake. So will we wait for a nice big hit from Iran or will we take care of it now and save many lives on both sides of the street? My wish is for alternative B, but I feel that we are going to go through alternative A first.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/22/2006 19:00 Comments || Top||

#8  AP - Regards Iran, I think there's a good chance that inventories are being built up to meet all Pentagon plans requirements being seriously considered.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 19:06 Comments || Top||

#9  Options are like assholes, each has their own. Strategically AQ would be making a blunder to directly attack Israel. But who says religious fanatics are logical?

This is all a way to raise the stakes against the West to take on Iran. The epicenter remains Iran.
Posted by: Captain America || 03/22/2006 19:14 Comments || Top||

#10  Jizlam: spewing forth. Why waste syllables on the obvious.
Posted by: rhodesiafever || 03/22/2006 19:43 Comments || Top||


Israelis Intercept Vanload Of Islamic Jihad Suicide Bombers Soccer Moms
LATRUN JUNCTION, Israel - With sirens wailing and blue lights flashing, Israeli police chased a van with explosives on a main highway yesterday and captured a group of Palestinians who defense officials say planned a major bombing ahead of national elections.
Nope...couldn't have been. A muslim wouldn't risk killing another Muslim by driving through a neighborhood filled with kids with explosives; or risk a shootout with IDF with kids around. Nope....just another lie from the Joooooooooooooooos.

Israel's parliamentary election is set for March 28; Palestinian attacks have altered the outcome of past balloting.
Just a thought. But if the Paleos keep killing Israelis...that will favor the Likud Party. And the real hard-core conservatives want to level the dome of the mosque and wipe up the desert with whoever even dreams about killing another Israeli.

After chasing down the bomber halfway from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, jittery security forces extended a closure on the West Bank and Gaza through election day.
Sigh. Another day, another suicidal muslim...for allan's glory of course.

AP Television News video showed the 10 Palestinians removed from the van at gunpoint, stripped to their underwear, and forced to lie face down in a field next to the highway, arms extended. Sappers took away a 15-pound bomb, concealed in a bag.
We wuz surrounded...and there wuz a million of them. No, 2 million. We had to give up....cuz allan said we wuz too important...he did.

read the rest....
Posted by: anymouse || 03/22/2006 15:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [348 views] Top|| File under:

#1  You think this would benefit Likud rather than Kadimah? I ask because I find Israeli politics about as impenetrable as Lebanese or Pakistani, although thankfully without the self-imposed bloodshed. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/22/2006 17:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Likud, IIUC. Kadimah without Sharon is still trying to prove their stones. Bibi's a known quantity, and will crush the Paleos without provocation, if necessary. Ohlmert's not a hawk.
Posted by: Frank G || 03/22/2006 18:50 Comments || Top||

#3  I would wager that the Israelis have long since quietly let it be known what exactly would result in certain steps, like the Jerusalem mosque being razed, all Paleos being driven out of East Jerusalem, or even out of Israel proper. And all Paleos being driven out of Gaza and the West Bank.

The last generation of Israelis didn't have the stomach for it, and now they pay the price. But it is a good question whether the next generation, raised in an environment of Paleo terror, will be as charitable.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/22/2006 18:55 Comments || Top||


Palestinian al-Qaeda members charged
An Israeli military tribunal has charged two West Bank Palestinians with plotting bomb attacks for al-Qaeda.

It is the first time Israel has formally charged Palestinians with membership of the militant network.

The two men were arrested in December after allegedly meeting al-Qaeda operatives in Jordan to receive funding and training to carry out attacks.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas warned recently that al-Qaeda was trying to recruit in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israeli security officials have also confirmed al-Qaeda has been seeking members in the Palestinian territories, and that Israel is considered a prime target for attack.

The Israeli military says Azzam Abu Aladas and Balal Hafnai, both 19 and from the West Bank city of Nablus, met al-Qaeda operatives in Jordan at least three times between May and December last year.

They are accused of plotting a suicide bombing at a pizzeria in the Jewish French Hill neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

It was to be followed shortly afterwards by a car bomb in a nearby street targeting people who came to the scene.

The pair are suspected of recruiting potential suicide bombers to carry out the attacks.

The charge sheet presented to the Israeli military tribunal also alleges the two men received $4,240 (£2,424) from al-Qaeda to carry out the attacks.

Both have been charged with conspiring to commit murder, membership of an illegal group, illegal possession of weapons and carrying out military training with al-Qaeda.

They were arrested while crossing from Jordan to the West Bank in December.

It was not immediately clear how the two men would plead or whether a lawyer had been appointed to represent them.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian militant group Hamas rejected a message in which al-Qaeda urged it never to make peace with Israel.

Hamas' exiled political leader Khaled Meshaal said the group had "its own vision" and did not need al-Qaeda's advice.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/22/2006 01:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [340 views] Top|| File under:

#1  the two men received $4,240 (£2,424) from al-Qaeda to carry out the attacks.

Islam in a nutshell.
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/22/2006 13:36 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Communist And Muslim Rebels Collaborate In Mindanao
Zamboanga City, 22 March (AKI) - Communist and Islamic rebels in the autonomous Muslim region on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, have been working together for some time in their fight against the central government in Manila, a spokesman for the banned Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has confirmed. "These alliances are in line with the revolutionary (Communist) movement's support and recognition of the (mainly Islamic) Moro people's struggle against the puppet and reactionary Manila-based government," Gregorio Rosal said in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI).

The southern Philippines have a long history of conflict, with Islamic rebel groups as well as communist rebels fighting for independence in the region. The various Islamic separatist groups want to establish an Islamic state in the mainly Catholic country. More than 120,000 people have been killed in Mindanao in the conflict that has lasted nearly 40 years. The CPP through its armed wing, the New’s People Army (NPA) has fought for over three decades to establish a Maoist state in the Philippines.

The most significant deal between the Communists and the Muslim groups was struck in 1998 between the National Democratic Front (NDF) - of which the CPP is a member - and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The National Democratic Front is an umbrella organisation that brings together the various pro-communist and pro-maoist rebel groups in the Philippines while the MILF is the largest of the various armed pro-Islamic groups in Mindanao active since 1987.

According to Rosal contact with various Muslim rebel groups in the Philippines began much earlier. "As early as 1987, the CPP had a good and fruitful relationship with the MILF, and began holding a number of top level meetings aimed at co-ordinating the struggle against the the common enemy - the Manila-based reactionary and pro-imperialist government," Rosal said.

Even before its deal with the MILF, the CPP also had contacts with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the first among the various revolutionary groups in Mindanao to be established. Founded in the early 1960s, the MNLF began its armed campaign in 1972. In 1996 the group signed a peace accord with the government in Manila and is no longer active in the region.

"As early as 1979, we also had some sort of a working - although not yet a formal - alliance with the Moro National Liberation Front," Rosal explained.

Although the hub of the NPA's operations is in Central Luzon, the area north of Manila, the group also operates through 130 different guerilla groups, some of which are on Mindanao. Informal peace talks have begun between the government of the Philippines and the different Communist and Islamic groups to bring about an end to the years of conflict that have stunted growth in Mindanao.

However the talks have not progressed to a formal level. On Wednesday, the informal peace talks between the government and the MILF, which were supposed to pave the way to formal negotiations, ended in an impasse while talks with the NDF ended in 2004.
Posted by: Steve || 03/22/2006 08:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [312 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yes indeed -- go far enough left and you meet the right. Vicious animals.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/22/2006 17:04 Comments || Top||

#2  they do live in the jungle...
Posted by: bk || 03/22/2006 19:01 Comments || Top||

#3  The same way that those commies, Chavez and his supporters, are collaborating with muslim terrorists in Venezuela.
Posted by: TMH || 03/22/2006 21:28 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
For those who missed it yesterday - Iran harboring al-Qaeda leadership
The full text of the article is available yesterday, but I just wanted to make a couple of points. The first is that the US doesn't appear to have any clue as to what's going on in Iran HUMINT-wise, which in addition to being worrisome for anyone in favor of airstrikes, makes it extremely difficult to just pooh-pooh this stuff. The SIGINT says that the senior al-Qaeda leaders can still move and communicate - 3 years after Saif al-Adel masterminded the Riyadh bombings. The fact that the ranking Democrat on the House IR subcommittee devoted to terrorism says that intelligence indicates that the Iranians are in collaboration with al-Qaeda is rather telling in and of itself.

The article describes Abu Khayr as "the head of Al Qaeda's leadership council," which may indicate that we should probably move him up the food chain. Abdel Aziz al-Masri is named as "a biological weapons expert who heads the network's effort to develop weapons of mass destruction," so I'm assuming that he's Abu Khabab's replacement as the head of the WMD committee.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 03/22/2006 01:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [635 views] Top|| File under:

#1  thanks for the inline Dan.
Posted by: RD || 03/22/2006 1:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Dan is, I think, being a little bit unfair to the US Intel community.

While it is true that we don't have definitive data on what Iran's leadership is up to or what their logistical arrangements are with Al Q at any given time, this does not mean that we have no HUMINT.

Having HUMINT does not guarantee perfect knowledge, it does not even guarantee good knowledge. In Iran, as in many other countries, the various departments, security services, councils and individuals each have their own game where they are lying to each other or conniving with each other or moving assets around to make a point.

Yes, having HUMINT is better than not having HUMINT. But the payoff for having HUMINT is difficult to quantify and even after the fact it is not clear what the impact of the HUMINT was.

East Germany had excellent penetration of W Germany's security offices. It didn't do them much good in the end.
Posted by: mhw || 03/22/2006 8:16 Comments || Top||

#3  What's HUMINT ?
Posted by: wxjames || 03/22/2006 9:04 Comments || Top||

#4  I'd answer it's HUMan INTelligence, but I don't trust you guys. You're all dangerously cheesy and snarky. Safer not to comment. Sorry.
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 9:06 Comments || Top||

#5  "Human Intelligence" ie boots on the ground, spies and their handlers, etc.

SIGINT is "Signals Intelligence" ie communications intercepts, satellite surveillance, etc.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/22/2006 9:08 Comments || Top||

#6  Don't we have a lot of folks who came from Iran and tell us where they have been digging for the last 5 years ? I think we get some very well informed who oppose the MMs and spill everything they know. Isn't it possible that some of them can contact relatives in Iran who are on the inside ? We may know all there is about Iran.
Posted by: wxjames || 03/22/2006 9:27 Comments || Top||

#7  HUMINT fall into two basic realms, that being COVERT and OVERT. OVERT, you break wind in room full of people, everyone notices but no one can identify the source. COVERT, you break wind in a room full of people, you know you broke wind, but everyone else in the room is too indoxicated to notice.
Posted by: Sheaper Glererong6638 || 03/22/2006 10:02 Comments || Top||

#8  I'd answer it's HUMan INTelligence, but I don't trust you guys. You're all dangerously cheesy and snarky. Safer not to comment. Sorry.

not to feed a useless troll, but .... then why did you comment?
Posted by: 2b || 03/22/2006 10:41 Comments || Top||

#9  Was I useless, 2b?
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 10:44 Comments || Top||

#10  2b?
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 10:51 Comments || Top||

#11  too indoxicated to notice

I'd say.

DRUNKENESS IS WHEN YOU FEEL SOPHISTICATED, BUT CAN'T SPELL IT.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/22/2006 10:56 Comments || Top||

#12  conflating farting with drunkenness, now thats cheezy.
Posted by: RD || 03/22/2006 11:19 Comments || Top||

#13  It's the same tired shit we went through with Iraq. Intelligence, SIGINT or HUMINT, is not going to be entirely conclusive.

Particularly since the CIA has no direct activity on the ground, we are dependent on resistance third-party intelligence gathering. The MSM will judge these sources according to their own predetermined perspective as to whether or not they are credible.

It all comes down to judgment and probability.

My personal judgment is that Al Qaeda is running operations from Iran and has furnished Zarqawi with safe haven for years.

Moreover, the longer we wait to kick the door down, the longer the Moolahs have to counteract our efforts through more sophisticated methods.

Posted by: Captain America || 03/22/2006 11:32 Comments || Top||

#14  A very close friend of mine was the HUMINT collections manager for USEUCOM for a few years. It was a Major slot filled by an Air Force Master Sergeant (E-7). Most of what he did was highly classified. One of the most unheralded aspects of the end of the Cold War was the number of people that showed up at Stuttgart and said "I was your agent at XXXXXXXX".

Covert human intelligence has many ups and downs. You may never know if an agent has been "turned" - discovered and forced to work for the other side. You may not be able to correlate a report with any other type of intelligence, making it suspect. You may have an agent right where you want him/her, but that agent doesn't have the intelligence or training to provide technical details of what he/she sees. It's a dangerous job that provides only one type of intelligence that must be corroberated by others in order to be useful. I'm both surprised and grateful that we get as much useful information as we do.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/22/2006 12:33 Comments || Top||

#15  Aye, Captain, let's hit 'em tomorrow.
Posted by: wxjames || 03/22/2006 12:34 Comments || Top||

#16  You're all dangerously cheesy and snarky. Safer not to comment. Sorry.
:>
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 12:44 Comments || Top||

#17  Ever read the back of a bag of Cheetos, 6? :)
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 12:47 Comments || Top||

#18  I'ma fiend for reading the ingredients of all premium quality salty snack food items.
Posted by: 6 || 03/22/2006 12:48 Comments || Top||

#19  That's what inspired my comment. Cheetos are great while waiting for the next comment to show up, but you need wet paper towels to clean your fingers or the keyboard gets all gummy and ucky.

I could switch to something healthy and less uckifying, like Trisket, but they taste like shit. There's a Paul Hogan line in there somewhere... :)
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 12:52 Comments || Top||

#20  I will refrain from my copy and paste “schtick”, as described yesterday, and ask a few questions regarding this article instead. What is an “official”? Am I to assume they get a government paycheck? And if so, in what capacity do these officials represent the government? Because it is the “LA Times” am I to assume these officials actually exist and if so, do they know what they’re talking about? Because they wish to remain anonymous should I assume they’re on the up-and-up or is it reasonable to think they may have an agenda? If the information is legitimate and in light of the climate surrounding Iranian nuclear ambitions why aren’t these officials willing to assign their names to these allegations? Should I assume the information is coming from reliable intelligence or is it from people or groups that have an agenda themselves? Is this a sound critique of these types of articles or ranting from a jaded news consumer?

I accept the necessity for un-sourced news from both the source and the journalist’s perspective. But if you remove all the recycled speculation attributed to anonymous sources from this article what do you get. One actual current quote that is itself speculation. But hey…it’s the LA Times bayybee! This article will be picked up and reprinted as actual current news in powerhouse papers like “Iranfocus”.

Apologies for extended rant.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/22/2006 13:02 Comments || Top||

#21  Now that's an evisceration, lol! Well done!
Posted by: Creater Crater3500 || 03/22/2006 13:10 Comments || Top||

#22  Is this a sound critique of these types of articles or ranting from a jaded news consumer?

I'll go with the former, DG. Sort of. It's a symbiotic relationship. Do I think the sources have an agenda? Yes, most times. Sometimes I wonder if there isn't a 'keep the lines open' action so that the 'reliable source' can, at times, feed misinformation or targeted-information.

Do I think the LAT or any other media would print names? No, not if they want to keep getting information.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/22/2006 19:29 Comments || Top||

#23  Pappy: You forget one thing. They're _stupid_.
Posted by: Phil || 03/22/2006 19:37 Comments || Top||

#24  reminds me of the warning not to eat cheetos and read playboy...
Posted by: Frank G || 03/22/2006 20:11 Comments || Top||

#25  You had to be warned, Frank? Now I am shocked. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/22/2006 22:06 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2006-03-22
  18 Iraqi police killed in jailbreak
Tue 2006-03-21
  Pakistani Taliban now in control of North, South Waziristan
Mon 2006-03-20
  Senior al-Qaeda leader busted in Quetta
Sun 2006-03-19
  Dead Soddy al-Qaeda leader threatens princes in video
Sat 2006-03-18
  Abbas urged to quit, scrap government
Fri 2006-03-17
  Iraq parliament meets under heavy security
Thu 2006-03-16
  Largest Iraq air assault since invasion
Wed 2006-03-15
  Azam Tariq's alleged murderer caught in Greece
Tue 2006-03-14
  Israel storms Jericho prison
Mon 2006-03-13
  Mujadadi survives suicide attack, blames Pakistan
Sun 2006-03-12
  Foley Killers Hanged
Sat 2006-03-11
  Clerics announce Sharia in S Waziristan
Fri 2006-03-10
  MILF coup underway?
Thu 2006-03-09
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Wed 2006-03-08
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