Hello !
Recent Appearances... Rantburg
Omar Taliban Omar Taliban Harakat al Muhajedeen Afghanistan/South Asia 20050912 Link

India-Pakistan
Pakistan’s Imran Khan ties knot to 'close personal friend' 'lifestyle' ‘spiritual adviser’ in third marriage
2018-02-19
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Pak cricketer-turned-politican Imran Khan
... aka Taliban Khan, who ain't the sharpest bulb on the national tree...
has tied the knot for the third time, his party said on Sunday, confirming his marriage to a woman local media call a "faith healer".

Khan, who captained the Pakistain team when it won the Cricket World Cup in 1992, wed Bushra Watto in a low-key ceremony in the eastern city of Lahore.

Khan has previously referred to Watto, a mother of five, as his ’spiritual adviser’ and someone whose guidance he valued.

Khan’s previous two marriages, particularly when he wed his first wife, British socialite Jemima Khan
...first gained notice in the United Kingdom as a young heiress, the daughter of Lady Annabel and Sir James Goldsmith. She was married to the retired Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan between 1995 and their divorce in 2004. For the next three years, from 2004 to 2007, Khan gained worldwide media attention by sharing the baloney with British film star Hugh Grant. She has nothing to do with pancakes...
, captivated international tabloids as well as local media in the deeply conservative Moslem nation of 208 million people.
Link


India-Pakistan
SC regrets extending ‘fair chance’ to fugitive Rao Anwar
2018-02-18
[DAWN] The Supreme Court on Friday regretted extending a fair chance to runaway Rao Anwar ‐ a senior Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
police officer ‐ and issued a show-cause notice to him for committing contempt of court by not surrendering himself before the court and ordered law enforcement agencies to locate his whereabouts and arrest him.

"The officer has lost a great opportunity by not appearing in court today," observed Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, adding that the officer should have taken the chance. "The sympathy now for him has ended," regretted the chief justice while heading a two-judge SC bench.

The Supreme Court had taken notice of the tragic murder of 27-year-old Naqeebullah Mehsud from South Wazoo who was killed in an encounter by a police team allegedly led by Senior Superintendent of Police Rao Anwar in Karachi on Jan 13.

The murder sparked outrage on social media when his family rejected claims that Mehsud was a member of the Tehrik-e-Taliban
...Arabic for students...
Pakistain. The dear departed was aspiring to become a model and the social media contains several of his pictures that appear to have been taken for a modelling photo shoot.
Link


Africa Horn
Kenyan Police Kill Shaboob, Arrest Two In Isiolo
2018-02-18
[RADIOSHABELLE] A terror suspect was killed while two others were incarcerated
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
on Friday after engaging security officers in a shootout at their hideout in Merti, Isiolo County.

Police recovered more than 1,000 bullets, 36 grenades, 18 IEDs, 5 AK-47 rifles and an assortment of other weapons from Abdimajit Hassan Adan Keynan and Mohammed Nane Keynan aged 24 and 23 years respectively.

Two suspects, however, managed to escape and are still on the lam.

Confirming the incident, Isiolo County Criminal Investigations officer Raphael Barasa said that Police officers were on the security patrol in Yamicha in Merti Town when they spotted a car hidden in a thicket raising their suspicions that it could have been dumped by al-Shabaab
... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda...
myrmidons.

"One of the suspects alighted from the Mitsubishi Sports Car and engaged the officers in a fierce shootout. Our officers opened fire and killed him instantly," said the OCPD.

Link


Afghanistan
Drone strikes target Taliban’s largest heroin lab in Farah province
2018-02-18
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] One of the largest heroin labs of the Taliban
...Arabic for students...
group was eliminated in dronezaps conducted by the US forces in western Farah province of Afghanistan.

The provincial police commandment said the Arclight airstrikes were carried out in the vicinity of Bakwa district and as a result at least eight holy warriors were also killed.

According to the police officials, the heroin lab was located in Ashkan village and around one thousand kgs of drugs were also destroyed during the raid.

The anti-government armed bully boy groups including the Taliban snuffies have not commented regarding the report so far.

Link


Afghanistan
Taliban cannot win in the battlefield, says Hekmatyar
2018-02-18
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The leader of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
... who used to be known in intelligence circles as The Most Evil Man in the World but who now seems merely run-of-the-mill evil...
says the Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
group cannot win in the battlefield as he insisted on reconciliation process as the only way forward to put an end to ongoing violence.

Hekmatyar made the remarks during a gathering to mark the 29th year of the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from the country.

He called on the Taliban group to join grinding of the peace processor and said "Talibs should adopt the same approach as adopted by the Hezb-e-Islami."

This comes as the Taliban group has so far not shown any interest or readiness to participate in peace talks with the Afghan government.

The group however published an open letter addressing the American nation and Congress in which the Taliban showed readiness for the dialogue to end the violence.

Taliban called on the American nation and Congress to put pressures on American military and end the so-called occupation of Afghanistan.

In the meantime, Hekmatyar insisted on timely, free, fair and transparent elections to end the ongoing crisis and issues in the country.

Hekmatyar called on all Afghans to participate in the upcoming elections and urged the all parties involved in organizing the elections including the international community to pave the way for the participation of all political parties to monitor the elections process.

Link


Africa North
Morocco Acquits ex-Guantanamo Detainee
2018-02-17
[AnNahar] Morocco has acquitted a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, held without charge by the U.S. military for over 13 years, of "undermining state security," his lawyer said Friday.

Yunis Chekkouri
...also named in DoD documents as Yunis Abdurrahman Shokuri, Yuunis Shokuri, Ahmed Abdullah Al-Wazan, and Younous Chekkouri, for reasons that no doubt made sense at the time...
was tossed in the clink
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
by Pak forces in late December 2001 with a group of several dozen alleged fighters who had fled the Tora Bora cave complex in eastern Afghanistan, a stronghold of the Taliban
...Arabic for students...
and its al-Qaeda allies. The following year he was flown to the Guantanamo Bay military prison, where he was locked up for over 13 years but never charged.

In September 2015, Chekkouri was released and sent back home where the authorities put him on trial for "undermining state security."

He was acquitted on Thursday of any wrongdoing, his lawyer Khalil Idrissi told AFP. The official MAP news agency confirmed, citing the court.

"The mistake has been acknowledged... the charges against him were contradictory and had no logic to them," Idrissi said.

Chekkouri, who had repeatedly denied the accusations against him, told AFP after the verdict: "The nightmare is over."

In May last year, Chekkouri, who has said he traveled to Afghanistan on a "humanitarian" mission, was sentenced to five years in prison but he appealed.

"The verdict was unfair. I knew that I would be proven innocent," he told AFP.

"I can now say I have turned the page on Guantanamo," he said, calling it a "cruel prison" where he said detainees are submitted "every day to interrogations, physical and psychological tortures."

Under former U.S. president George W. Bush, the U.S. military built a prison camp on Guantanamo Bay, located on an American naval base on the eastern tip of Cuba, in the months following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In January, U.S. President Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
announced he would keep the detention facility open, breaking from his predecessor Barack Obama
I mean, I do think at a certain point you've made enough money...
's efforts to shutter it.

Guantanamo, once home to 780 prisoners detained for their alleged links to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, now holds 41 detainees.
No doubt that number will soon increase.
Link


Afghanistan
Local Taliban leader among 6 killed in US airstrike in Uruzgan
2018-02-17
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] A local leader of the Taliban
...Arabic for students...
group was killed in an Arclight airstrike conducted by the US forces in southen Uruzgan province of Afghanistan.

According to the local security officials, the airstrike was carried out late on Wednesday in the outskirts of Tarinkot city, the quiet provincial capital of Uruzgan.

A local police official confirmed that six Taliban Lions of Islam including one of their local leaders Mullah Ghazi were killed and four others were maimed.

The source further added that a hideout of the Taliban group was eliminated in the airstrike in Garam Aab area.

Several weapons, ammunition, and explosives belonging to the Taliban group were destroyed in the airstrike, the police official added.

Link


Africa Horn
Somali Troops Recapture Town From Al-Shabaab
2018-02-17
[RADIOSHABELLE] Somali government forces retook control of the key town of Toratorow which lies in the southern Lower Shabelle region, officials said Friday.

The Somali National Army [SNA] troops backed by foreign soldiers thought to be Americans seized the town following the withdrawal of al-Shabaab
... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda...
Lion of Islams.

The allied forces who were reported to have moved from Balli-Doogle airbase are now in full control of the town and expected to expand their operation to the nearby areas controlled by Al-Shabaab.

Toratorow has been the scene of series of US Arclight airstrikes in the past few months as the town was the main bastion housing Al-Shabaab high-ranking commanders.

Link


India-Pakistan
USA should accept Taliban’s talks offer: JI chief
2018-02-17
[PAKISTANTODAY.PK] Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
Ameer Senator Siraj-ul-Haq has said that the Taliban
...Arabic for students...
’s demand in an open letter to the US Congress and the US people for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and resolving issue through dialogue was right step and Washington should accept the offer.

He was addressing the participants of the JI central workshop at Mansoora on Friday. Siraj said that in human history, the decisions of the wars were made at the dialogue table. He said that the US had been fighting against the mountains of Afghanistan for the last seventeen years but to no avail. In fact, he said the US decision to attack Afghanistan with NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
force was a blunder. This was an attack on the illusory sovereignty and independence of a Moslem country and the Afghans fought for their freedom with great valour and courage.

He said that hundreds of thousands of Afghans had been martyred in the war but the Afghans had not accepted defeat. He said that even if the US continued this war for hundred years, it would not be able to defeat the Afghans.

The JI chief strongly condemned the inclusion of Pakistain in the US watch list for supporting terrorism under Indian pressure. He said that India had been carrying on worst form of terrorism in Held Kashmire for the last seventy years but Pakistain had failed to highlight this fact at the world level. On the other hand, he said the Pak Army had done commendable job in fighting terrorism which had been acknowledged by the world.

Link


Afghanistan
Follow the money and the drugs.
2018-02-16
[StrategyPage] United States has adopted a new strategy in Afghanistan that concentrates on using the American advantages in terms of intelligence, air power and special operations forces. There are only about 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan but because of satellite communications thousands more in the United States operate as if they were in Afghanistan by remotely operating UAVs and analyzing intelligence data. Over the last few decades American intelligence has collected a lot of details on how opium and heroin production operates and can direct air attacks to the most valuable (to the drug gangs) targets and then monitor the economic impact on the drug operations.

As the old saying goes, “amateurs study tactics while professionals study logistics.” It’s lack of cash and inability to rebuild production and distribution capability that hurts the Afghan drug gangs. That plus the majority of Afghans opposed to this particular business and the competition (other places on the planet that can replace much of the Afghan production) makes the drug gangs vulnerable and the Islamic terror groups they finance to provide security very vulnerable.

The Taliban like the cultivate the idea that they are a frugal operation that can survive on contributions from wealthy Arab religious conservatives in the Persian Gulf area along with donations (not all of them voluntary) from Afghans the Taliban encounter. That is what Islamic terror groups would like it to be but since 2002 lots of business records belonging to major Islamic terrorists groups have been captured and examined. Thousands of Islamic terrorists have been interrogated and some have voluntarily provided detailed information on terror group finances. The bottom line is these groups are expensive to operate in the long term, very expensive.
More...
Link


Afghanistan
Taliban piously calls for dialogue in new letter addressed to the American nation
2018-02-16
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
group in Afghanistan says the group prefers dialogue in a bid to end the ongoing conflict in the country.

The group has issued a new letter to the American nation saying the group can play a constructive role in finding a peaceful solution for issues and that the chances of dialogue are not exhausted.

However,
a clean conscience makes a soft pillow...
Taliban warns that the group’s call for peaceful resolution can never mean that they are exhausted or their will has been sapped.

The new letter by the Taliban group has been issued almost a month after the US President Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
rejected the possibilities of the early talks with the Taliban following a series of deadly attacks in Kabul and other parts of the country.

President Trump said late last month "I don’t see any talking taking place. I don’t think we’re prepared to talk right now. It’s a whole different fight over there. They’re killing people left and right. Innocent people are being killed left and right. Bombing in the middle of children, in the middle of families ‐ bombing, killing all over Afghanistan."

"So we don’t want to talk with the Taliban. There may be a time, but it’s going to be a long time. We’re all out, and that’s taking place right now, and it’s a whole new front. And it’s a whole new set of principles that we’re being governed by," he added.

Condemning the recent Taliban attacks, President Trump said "When we see what they’re doing and the atrocities that they’re committing, and killing their own people, and those people are women and kiddies ‐ many, many women and kiddies that are totally innocent ‐ it is horrible."

"So there’s no talking to the Taliban. We don’t want to talk to the Taliban. We’re going to finish what we have to finish. What nobody else has been able to finish, we’re going to be able to do it," he said.

The Taliban group has not mentioned the recent wave of violence that mainly claimed the civilian lives and the Afghan and US officials have not commented regarding the new Taliban letter so far.

Link


India-Pakistan
US Demands Pakistan Arrest ‘Hit List’ of Top Haqqani & Taliban Leaders
2018-02-16
[THECIPHERBRIEF] The Trump administration has given Pakistain a new "hit list" of nearly a dozen top Death Eaters to detain, to show its willingness to fight terrorism, but the U.S. won’t share intelligence that would help lead to their capture, and has snubbed Pak requests to meet CIA chief Mike Pompeo in Washington, a senior Pak official tells The Cipher Brief.

"The feeling is there is nothing we can do to make a difference," the senior Pak official said. "They are scapegoating Pakistain for their failure to bring peace in Afghanistan despite more than a decade of conflict."

In response, senior U.S. administration officials would only say that Washington has asked Pakistain to take "specific" action against the Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
and the Haqqani network, which have been blamed for recent violent attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan. The officials tell The Cipher Brief that Pakistain’s intelligence service and military have failed to sever ties with either myrmidon group and continue to protect their top leaders within Pak territory.

"We have seen Pakistain take some modest steps that appear to be responsive to some of our concerns, but we haven’t seen the decisive action against the Taliban and Haqqani network," one of the officials said. "They are doing the minimum necessary to alleviate the pressure."

The he-said, she-said highlights the continued tension between the Trump administration and Islamabad that spiked in January when President Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
greeted the new year by tweeting that Pakistain has shown "nothing but lies and deceit" in return for U.S. aid.

Two Pak officials say that since that tweet, Islamabad has turned over more than two-dozen Death Eaters to Afghanistan who were on an earlier list of Death Eaters the U.S. asked Pakistain to "lawfully detain." That includes the big shots of the Haqqani network, the official said. Siraj Haqqani is at the top of that list, as he’s wanted by the FBI for his roles in running military operations for both the Haqqani network and the Taliban, according to Bill Roggio of FDD’s Long War Journal.

Link


-12 More