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Pak Army Brass Turban: Baitullah Mehsud, Fazlullah are Patriots!
Today's Headlines
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghanistan
Father-Son Silver Stars
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/01/2008 19:03 || Comments || Link || [336075 views] Top|| File under:


-Lurid Crime Tales-
Pirates fire on cruise ship Oceana Nautica in Gulf of Aden
Posted by: Oztralian || 12/01/2008 17:14 || Comments || Link || [336073 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Unfortunately, the story does not indicate that the pirates were blown to bits, only scared off. Maybe the next cruise ship transiting these waters will not be so fortunate.
Posted by: remoteman || 12/01/2008 17:59 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
India urged to avoid Bush-Cheney road
DUBAI: Sections of the Arab-supported media and academics are urging India to avoid the approach adopted by the Americans after 9/11 in the wake of the carnage in Mumbai.
Boy howdy there's a surprise. The Arab media wants the Indians not to gob-smack the Paks like we did the Taliban and Saddam. Whoda thunk ...
An editorial in the Middle East Times also exhorted the "silent majority" of Muslims the world over to speak out against the attacks. "The Muslim community around the world needs to wake up to the fact that there is no longer room for the silence of the silent majority. It is time for the leaders of the Muslim world -- and the people of the Muslim world -- to become vociferous. It is time for all Muslims who feel strongly about what happened in Mumbai to speak out against the violence."
Yup, this would be a good time, since the civilized world will eventually run out of patience ...
However, slamming the U.S. war on terror, the editorial appealed to India to "avoid falling into the same trap that led to the world's remaining superpower to adopt measures that were not in line with the democratic principles they wished to spread around the world."
Other than establishing two new democratic governments and freeing 50 million people from tyranny ...
It added: "India should not enact laws similar to the USA Patriot Act, establish Guantanamo-like camps and turn Pakistan into another 'Iraq'; even if the attacks on Mumbai do represent another 9/11."
The Islamic world, if given a choice between Gitmo, a Turkish prison, and a Pak prison for their own incarceration, would choose Gitmo every time ...
In his blog, Informed Comment, leading West Asia expert in his own mind Juan Cole has stressed that New Delhi must not go down the "Bush-Cheney road".
Even though it's kept America safe since 9/11 ...
He points out that it might be erroneous on New Delhi's part to assume that the terrorists were sponsored by the Pakistani state.
It might be. Then again, if one is a betting man, one would put money on the ISI, the L-e-T and Dawood ...
"Many Indian officials and much of the Indian public is falling into the Cheney fallacy. It is being argued that the terrorists fought as trained guerillas, and implied that only a state [i.e. Pakistan] could have given them that sort of training." He adds: "But to the extent that the terrorists were professional fighters, they could have come by their training in many ways... They needn't be state-backed."
But it's easier if they are, as bin Laden demonstrated in Afghanistan. And they appear to have been. At the very least the Indians have to require the Paks to come clean, which of course the Paks won't -- can't -- do.
Dr. Cole says that in its response, India has to ensure that, "Muslims in general must not be punished for the actions of a handful of unbalanced fanatics. Down that road lies the end of civilization."
The end of civilization would also most assuredly come if the 'fanatics' get their way, and Dr. Cole doesn't seem to offer any advice on preventing that ...
He also advocates that India should address the flaws in its security system, while keeping its civil liberties strong. A war or a right-wing shift in domestic politics would further deepen the malaise of terrorism.
Addressing the flaws, check. Keeping civil liberties strong, depends on whose definitions you're using. Since Dr. Cole is way to the left of the ACLU, the Black Panthers and the Comintern, we can imagine his ...
Posted by: john frum || 12/01/2008 17:07 || Comments || Link || [336148 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In general you should listen carefully to Juan Cole and then do the exact opposite.
Posted by: Frozen Al || 12/01/2008 18:18 Comments || Top||

#2  In short, "Gee, nice civilization you have there. Be a _real shame_ if you voted for some right-wingers and we had to blow it up. Or rather, sit here and talk about how it's your fault when some random guys from Karachi blew it up."

I'm beginning to hate the aristocracy.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 12/01/2008 18:26 Comments || Top||

#3  ION PAKISTANI DEFENCE FORUM > CHINA ASSURES FULL SUPPORT [Moral, Financial, Materiel]TO PAKISTAN;
+ CHINA TO INVEST US$3.0BILYUHN IN TIBET [Air-Rail-Roads], RAISNG INDIA's STRATEGIC WORRIES.

Also from SAME > OBAMA SAYS SOUTH ASIA [Islamist Militant-Terr]IS CHIEF THREAT TO USA. USA must bring " ITS FULL FORCE/WEIGHT" to combat Islamist + Terror Threat to region.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/01/2008 22:52 Comments || Top||

#4  ION WAFF > AL-JAZEERA - ISRAELI MOSSAD'S ROLE IN TURKEY COUP PLOT REVEALED. MOSSAD orchestrating various domestic terror events inside TUrkey in collusion wid RIGHT-WING AND PRO-NATIONALIST ELEMENTS e.g ERGENOKEN GROUP; + THE UPCOMING WAR IN GREECE. ETHNIC VIOLENCE invol Greek Locals versus new Muslim Immigrants - Greece to begin new immigration restrictions/curbs in trans-national cooper wid ITALY, MALTA,+ CYPRUS.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/01/2008 22:58 Comments || Top||

#5  TOPIX/OTHER [Mumbai]> OBAMA: INDIA HAS THE RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF, + INDIA DEMANDS SWIFT PAKISTANI ACTION ON MUMBAI TERROR SUSPECTS.

OTOH, USA > CITIZENS CALL FOR MASSACHUSETTS TO ASSERT ITS CONSTITUTIONAL SOVEREIGNTY AGZ US GOVERNMENT.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/01/2008 23:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Until the next bomb, until the next bomb, until the next bomb, until the next bomb, until the next bomb, until the next bomb, until the next bomb, until the next bomb, until the next bomb, until the next bomb. So when Juan Cole thinks that India should make anything?
Posted by: Uleck Ghibelline9225 || 12/01/2008 23:34 Comments || Top||


-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Congress Orders Deployment Of Army Division In CONUS
The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department's role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.

There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military's role in domestic law enforcement.

But the Bush administration and some in Congress have pushed for a heightened homeland military role since the middle of this decade, saying the greatest domestic threat is terrorists exploiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
"May I see your internal passport, citizen?"
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/01/2008 13:06 || Comments || Link || [336109 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Posse Comitatus Act

Which was created by the post Civil War resurgent Southern Democrats to remove federal troops from the voting stations in the south which they then took the opportunity to crushed the rights of blacks for nearly a hundred years. So much for the concept that it protects civil rights. The liberals had no problem when Eisenhower or Kennedy used federalized and federal troops to carry through civil rights actions in the 50s and 60s, but you sure enough will hear the whine from the left if any centralist or conservative president employed the same tool.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/01/2008 13:31 Comments || Top||

#2  It would make sense to use transport units and other non-combat units that are trained to deal with large scale destruction response to help supplement the local guard and reserve units.

As long as non-combat arms troops are used, I don't see any problem with this.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/01/2008 15:01 Comments || Top||

#3  "May I see your internal passport, citizen?"

And as usual, the usual suspects are barking about the 'expanse of executive authority' and 'loss of liberty'. There are inalienable rights of Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness; the right to leave them unattended wasn't included in the package.

What it means (assigning an active-duty unit trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe) is that the various Federal, state and local agencies tasked with responding have failed to meet the challenge.

If you you're worked up about 'showing your papers', it's because your local and state politicians, the Left, and your fellow travelers in Libertaria have consciously decided their agendas are more important than the country and its citizens.

And when the shit hits the fan, I bet you won't be looking to any of them to fix it.

Will you, Professor?
Posted by: Pappy || 12/01/2008 15:04 Comments || Top||

#4  We can't deal with pirates in Somalia but we need to deploy a division of troops in the US? This is the kind of standing army our forefathers fought against. How soon will we have to quarter them in our homes?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/01/2008 15:37 Comments || Top||

#5  I don't think the headline matches the story, but I wasn't aware that the congress could order the military to do anything. they are not in the chain of command.
Posted by: JRDickens || 12/01/2008 15:39 Comments || Top||

#6  That's true. About all Congress can do is write some legistlation repealing Posse Comitatus.
Posted by: Grenter, Protector of the Geats || 12/01/2008 15:59 Comments || Top||

#7  Right, the headline is misleading.

"some in Congress have pushed for a heightened homeland military role" hardly justifies that lurid headline.
Posted by: KBK || 12/01/2008 16:38 Comments || Top||

#8  These troops will be stationed ... where?
Posted by: WilliamMarcyTweed || 12/01/2008 17:01 Comments || Top||

#9  #8 These troops will be stationed ... where?
Posted by: WilliamMarcyTweed 2008-12-01 17:01


If you have to ask, you may be of, er, "interest."
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 12/01/2008 17:14 Comments || Top||

#10  BTW, Pappy, you're dead on.
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 12/01/2008 17:15 Comments || Top||

#11  I'd be thrilled to have American troops quartered in my house. If things go that badly, I can't think of a better way to be kept safe. But I rather imagine the troops will continue to be stationed on their current bases, as there are bases of various sizes all over the place. On the other hand, where did the troops stay after Hurrican Katrina and Hurrican Ike?
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/01/2008 17:18 Comments || Top||

#12  Dollars to donuts, Uncle, they won't be stationed where they can actually do some good ... near our borders.
Posted by: WilliamMarcyTweed || 12/01/2008 17:28 Comments || Top||

#13  I imagine this is Obambi and the Tranzistocracy's way of making sure that noone does to them what Blanco did to Bush during Katrina.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 12/01/2008 17:55 Comments || Top||

#14  We can't deal with pirates in Somalia but we need to deploy a division of troops in the US? This is the kind of standing army our forefathers fought against. How soon will we have to quarter them in our homes?

I found seven examples of 'stupid' in this and I didn't finish reading the comment.

"We can't deal with pirates in Somalia but we need to deploy a division of troops in the US?"

Did you even bother to read the article?

Somalia is not a threat to the U.S. right now. But somehow. for some reason, two of the three branches of the Federal Guv'mint have agreed that there is a threat to the U.S.:

The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department's role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.

There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military's role in domestic law enforcement.


That tells me that state and local agencies tasked with responding are incapable. Whether it's greed, patronage, political attitude, or lack of seriousness, they can't do the job.

Oh, and that the 'hothouse lovers of civil liberty' have their heads up their asses.

The first 4,700-person unit, built around an active-duty combat brigade based at Fort Stewart, Ga., was available as of Oct. 1, said Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of the U.S. Northern Command.

Where in that do you see the words 'quarter in our homes'?

Again - this is happening because your local and state politicians and bureaucrats have failed. Screwed up.

And when the shit hits the fan, I guarran-damn-tee that you and every one of your so-called liberty-lovin' claque is going to be screaming and crying and asking "what went wrong?" and looking for somebody to blame.

I imagine this is Obambi and the Tranzistocracy's way of making sure that noone does to them what Blanco did to Bush during Katrina.

Bush is still in office, but yes - I suspect that what happened at the local and state levels during Katrina are exactly what is feared will happen if an attack hits a U.S. city.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/01/2008 18:20 Comments || Top||

#15  Bush is still in Office but the Democrats run Congress. (See title of piece). Now that they have _their_ candidate who will be in charge after Jan. 20something they feel OK with expanding the exercise of executive power.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 12/01/2008 18:28 Comments || Top||

#16  Ouch!!
Posted by: tipover || 12/01/2008 18:31 Comments || Top||

#17  Think of Mumbai. Add a "dirty" bomb.

Now place it in East St. Louis, USA.

What resources are there than can adequately handle it? None. It is apparently simply a large ghetto.

Only the USA Federal military will be able to get there with enough trained people in a a short amount of time.

(google was quite helpful in discovering that place).
Posted by: Lagom || 12/01/2008 18:40 Comments || Top||

#18  To follow on Pappy, I note that Article I, section 8 of the Constitution provides, amongst other things:

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

I don't mean to be a sea-lawyer, but part of what Congress does is to establish what our military does. If we need our military to handle the emergency response to a nuclear terrorist threat or domestic catastrophe, good, because we have a military to keep us safe.



We can argue about the failings of our other government institutions in this regard, but we have a military to keep us safe in the most dire emergencies. Katrina is a good example: the state of Louisiana and city of New Orleans failed, FEMA failed, but the coast guard and the army units we moved there succeeded. If we have a catastrophe develop -- a nuke, widespread deadly influenza, Mumbai-style attack, etc -- I'd prefer that among our first responder be people who know what they're doing, and that's our military.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/01/2008 18:36 Comments || Top||

#19  This was the intended purpose of State and Local Militias. Unfortunately they became politaclly run and motivated and have all but dissapeared.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 12/01/2008 18:52 Comments || Top||

#20  Katrina is a good example: the state of Louisiana and city of New Orleans failed, FEMA failed, but the coast guard and the army units we moved there succeeded.

FEMA's problem was that it placed too much faith in the process.

One can easily dig up the information as to how FEMA is supposed to respond (it's dated several years before Katrina). Essentially, the local disaster response authority determines that it can't handle it, so it goes to the county or state. Those decide that it's too big for them to handle and request FEMA assistance.

What we had here was a non-existent local disaster authority, or even a functioning local government. Then for a myriad of reasons, the Lousy-anna government decided to play politics with peoples' lives.

Did FEMA fumble? Yes. Was it entirely their fault? No. They put entirely too much faith in the process, and in the idea that people in charge at the local and state levels would be reasonable, fore-thinking, and concerned with helping their citizens rather than their political careers.

Wow - kinda like the local and state homeland security organizations, what?
Posted by: Pappy || 12/01/2008 18:54 Comments || Top||

#21  And it worked. Yes, the Democrats lost the Louisiana Governorship but they got the Presidency and the Congress out of it. I'm sure they cry about their "loss" from this all the way to the bank every payday. (Or whatever Freezer they're keeping their Cold Hard Cash in).
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 12/01/2008 18:58 Comments || Top||

#22  Maybe I missed something in the debate and article, but it doesn't seem like this is net new troops, only a new mission tasking/training for troops who are already stationed in CONUS. Sort of like an alert brigade from the 82nd, or a QRF responsibility that will rotate throughout CONUS units. I really don't think this is much more than another NORTHCOM mission tasking to add to their portfolio of responsibilities.
Did anybody see net new troops? I didn't.
Posted by: NoMoreBS || 12/01/2008 19:18 Comments || Top||

#23  It's part of the mission for NORTHCOMM.

Let's try a little scenario.   Forget about dramatic nukes and huge explosions.

Imagine some nice jihadis who did grad work in biochem in the States supply two dozen friends with packets of micro-organisms.  Those packets reach the post-treatment water supply of a major city, or perhaps the feedlot of a major cattle supplier, or similar places.   Maybe one a week, here and there.

Soon one city has a burgeoning epidemic, the food supply is starting to be iffy in places and each week for two months a new outbreak of something occurs.  And begins to spread.

How long before civil order totally breaks down in the country?  And who could respond at the local or state level effectively???? I know what a friend of mine, a biodefense expert, thinks ....

I've worked on my employer's pandemic influenza plan.   It has a section on dealing with frantic parents who try to storm the installation walls seeking vaccinations or immediate medical care for already sick and infectious loved ones.

It also has a section on how to store thousands of bodies until there is time to bury them safely.

And a section about setting up isolation wards using field hospital equipment, with triage weeding out many of the sick as medical personnel desperately try to contain the spread of the disease.  And a section how to feed a couple thousand people for an extended period while maintaining social isolation of potentially infected people.  And a section on maintaining sanitation as infrastructure deteriorates because 1/2 or more of the workers can't make it to their jobs as a result of their own or loved ones' illness / death.

Tell me again about internal passports, why doncha???
Posted by: lotp || 12/01/2008 19:36 Comments || Top||

#24  E.g. WORLD MIL FORUM/OTHER > any effective nuclearization of IRAN will symbolically mark not only the END = FAILURE of WORLD NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION EFFORTS [NPT = Treaty], BUT PERHAPS MORE IMPORTANTLY WILL MARK THE [PROTO-]NUCLEARIZATION OF ISLAMIST TERROR AND OTHER PRO-VIOLENCE RADICAL/XTREMIST MILITANT-ANARCHIST GROUPS OR MOVEMENTS???

* FREEREPUBLIC > FORMER JAPANESE AIR FORCE CHIEF SAYS JAPAN SHOULD DEV NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

IRAN is already promoting the idea of regional and international Muslim nations to dev their own Nucprogs, ostensibly for domestic Energy!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/01/2008 19:43 Comments || Top||

#25  lotp, I don't know if you've seen it already, but a natural (as opposed to artificial) pandemic is part of the background to John Ringo's recent _The Last Centurion_. As well as an ice age and the _Anabasis_ as a reality TV show...
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 12/01/2008 19:53 Comments || Top||

#26  Not beyond the realm of possiblity, Snowy.   Over the last few decades we've seen massive movement of people back and forth between e.g. 3rd world countries and the west.   Already we have millions of people in the US with little or no immunity to e.g. smallpox since we've stopped immunizing for it.  Similarly we have few people born here with natural immunity to many of the micro-organisms found in Africa and tropical rural areas.   Small changes in climate could facilitate the spread of plague out of the American Southwest, etc. etc.

Bottom line: there are a lot more of us than in the past, we mingle a lot more but have very unequal living conditions and environment.   A while back the book The Coming Plague made the case for the likelihood of such a pandemic and it didn't posit terrorism at all.
Posted by: lotp || 12/01/2008 20:09 Comments || Top||

#27  Bottom line: there are a lot more of us than in the past, we mingle a lot more but have very unequal living conditions and environment.

Actually, in some respects, thanks to modern transportation and fossil fuels, I think we mingle a lot less.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 12/01/2008 20:19 Comments || Top||

#28  Okay... in the early 50s we buried a years worth of crops under the tundra in Alaska (pre statehood) for emergencies like this...

Does anybody remember where we put it?
It might be important to remember.
Posted by: 3dc || 12/01/2008 21:10 Comments || Top||

#29  I see a huge problem here, the troops react,not prevent.
That means the Govt has given up on prevention, and is only settingup for "Reaction" mode.

Not good, this almost guarantees such an attack will succede, and troops are only for "Mopup" afterwards.

Time to hunker down and be as un-noticed as possible.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 12/01/2008 21:16 Comments || Top||

#30  I've got no problem with this - I worry a lot more about Obama's Civilian committees for virtue and vice Defense Force
Posted by: Frank G || 12/01/2008 21:30 Comments || Top||

#31  lotp, I know people working on that, including systems and logistics work. Scary stuff.

There are a lot of us old cold warriors that have the skills and are willing to volunteer. Maybe under the auspices of the Surgeon General, with "ranks" and cheap fatigues so the military heirachy can relate to it.

I wish they would grab us old guys, and make a Federal "citizens guard" that would do the networking, support and other scut work (medical term), so that we could free up the Guard and regular units for actual field duty. Training would be simply getting certification in out tech speciality, and getting 1st responder (plus oxygen and AED) medical certification.
Posted by: OldSpook || 12/01/2008 21:34 Comments || Top||

#32  Which was created by the post Civil War resurgent Southern Democrats to remove federal troops from the voting stations in the south which they then took the opportunity to crushed the rights of blacks for nearly a hundred years. So much for the concept that it protects civil rights
P2K, this is a result but not the whole reason for Posse Comitatus Act. The legaly elected Deomcrat State Senetors in Louisianna were forcibly removed from the Capital by Federal Troops at the request of the Government appointed Governor. The States, especially the mid-western states, then realized that if the Federal Government could do that to a Southern State it could do that to ANY State. This was the end of the Radical Republican domination of the Federal Government.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 12/01/2008 21:46 Comments || Top||

#33  I see a huge problem here, the troops react,not prevent.
That means the Govt has given up on prevention, and is only settingup for "Reaction" mode.


Ever hear the phrase "defense in depth"?

How about "don't put all your eggs in a single basket"?

There is absolutely nothing, zero, zilch in NORTHCOMM's training program that precludes or prevents or discourages all of the other measures that the Feds, state and local officials can do in our defense.

The reality is that it may not be enough to try to defend. We're an open society with a vulnerable infrastructure. Our enemy doesn't have a civilization to defend .... he wins if he destroys ours, while we try to defend the most vulnerable / critical areas AND sensibly have plans for coping with disasters (attack or natural) that might happen despite our efforts.

Pretty basic, really.
Posted by: lotp || 12/01/2008 21:55 Comments || Top||

#34  There is absolutely nothing, zero, zilch in NORTHCOMM's training program that precludes or prevents or discourages all of the other measures that the Feds, state and local officials can do in our defense.

Agreed. It's designed to reinforce, not supplant measures that the Federal, state and local governments and agencies should and supposedly are taking.

Based on my experiences tho, it will likely end up being a 'first response'.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/01/2008 22:12 Comments || Top||

#35  How 'bout we do a trial run, first, and station some 20,000 federales, er, federal troops along our southern border and see if they can halt the tsunami of sh*t-wage labor that Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee are determined to import?
Posted by: thibaud || 12/01/2008 22:58 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Samantha Power back in power
Jules Crittenden

Samantha Power is back in. You’ll remember her as the Harvard prof/Obama advisor who was forced to resign after she called Hillary a “monster,” one of the earlier examples of Obamian gutlessness, when an apology would have sufficed. Back from Coventry, out of the oubliette or whatever closet she was shoved in, Power’s now working on the Obama transition team preparing the way for Hill’s ascendance to State. . . .

. . . Anyone who is concerned about the position of the United States in the world should be concerned that this woman, whose eyeballs apparently have not been gouged out, is being allowed anywhere near Foggy Bottom. Never mind her delightful, undiplomatic frankness. Samantha Power is a major Kumbayah chorus leader with incredibly bad ideas whose presence at the table bodes ill for what a lot of people have hoped could be a scorched-earth, harken-to-my-name-and-tremble Secretaryship of State, a somewhat welcome example of Obamist change.
Posted by: Mike || 12/01/2008 10:59 || Comments || Link || [336070 views] Top|| File under:


Europe
Muslim convert turns to politics in Italy
An Egyptian-born writer who renounced Islam and was baptized by Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that he has formed a political party that would enter candidates in next year's EU elections.

Magdi Cristiano Allam said his "Protagonists for Christian Europe" party would work to defend Europe's Christian values, which he sees threatened by secularism and moral relativism. He said his new party would be open to people of all faiths and would be close to the conservative European People's Party.

Allam built his career in Italy as commentator and book author attacking Islamic extremism and supporting Israel. In March, Allam angered some in the Muslim world with a high-profile conversion during an Easter vigil service led by the pope in St. Peter's Basilica.

Allam, who took the name Cristiano upon converting, has credited Benedict with being instrumental in his decision to become a Catholic and has said the pope had baptized him to support freedom of religion.

The 56-year-old Allam has lived most of his adult life in Italy, becoming a citizen in 1986. In recent years he was given a police escort after receiving death threats from radical Islamic groups.

While working to encourage tolerance between cultures he has also grown increasingly critical of his former faith. He said in leading daily Corriere della Sera, where he has worked as deputy editor, that the "root of evil is inherent in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictual."
Posted by: ed || 12/01/2008 10:53 || Comments || Link || [336071 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The headline writer needs a refresher course in semantics.
Posted by: Parabellum || 12/01/2008 14:41 Comments || Top||

#2  No, for the press, politics is a religion.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/01/2008 18:58 Comments || Top||


Pakistani-German tried on al-Qaida charge
A German man of Pakistani heritage ...
Say it isn't so Achmed!
... went on trial Monday on charges he raised money and recruited people for al-Qaida.

Aleem Nasir faces a possible 10 years in prison if convicted of membership in a terrorist organization. Nasir, 46, declined to give a statement as his trial opened in a Koblenz state court, but he has previously denied the charges.
"Lies! All lies!"
Prosecutor Ulrich Boeter told the court that Nasir is suspected of recruiting fighters for al-Qaida and distributing propaganda for the organization. Prosecutors said he traveled regularly to Pakistan and that, "by summer 2004 at the latest," he had agreed with al-Qaida leaders to recruit members and supporters in Germany. Besides raising money for al-Qaida, he supplied equipment such as binoculars, night-vision goggles, laser range-finders, digital compasses and radios, prosecutors said.
This should be good for a year in a German prison, with time off for time served, good behavior, and an early parole.

This article starring:
Aleem Nasir
Posted by: ed || 12/01/2008 10:49 || Comments || Link || [336073 views] Top|| File under:


Afghanistan
US deaths in Afghanistan drop dramatically
Only one American serviceman died in Afghanistan in November, a dramatic drop from earlier months that the U.S. military attributed to a campaign targeting insurgent leaders, an improvement in Afghan security forces and the onset of winter.

Twice this year, monthly U.S. death tolls in Afghanistan surpassed the monthly toll in Iraq, highlighting the differing trends in the two war zones; security in Iraq has improved while it has deteriorated in Afghanistan.

U.S. troops suffered an average of 21 deaths in Afghanistan each month this year from May to October — by far the deadliest six-month period in Afghanistan for American forces since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. The Afghan Defense Ministry does not release fatality figures.

Militants this year have unleashed increasingly powerful roadside bombs and sophisticated, multidirectional ambushes. The deadlier attacks, combined with a record number of U.S. troops patrolling Afghanistan's vast provinces, has this year led to more U.S. military deaths than ever before in Afghanistan — 148.

But the only American military death recorded last month came when a suicide bomber rammed his car into a military convoy Nov. 13 as it was passing through a crowded market in eastern Afghanistan. The blast killed Sgt. Jonnie L. Stiles, 38, who was serving with the Louisiana Army National Guard.

U.S. spokeswoman Lt. Col. Rumi Nielson-Green said a U.S. military campaign to target insurgent leaders and bomb-making cells as well as Pakistani military operations across the border have helped lower levels of violence.

Also, insurgents in Afghanistan, particularly in mountainous areas, typically scale back their operations during the winter months, and that may have contributed to the declining trend, U.S. military spokesman Col. Jerry O'Hara said. "That's some of it," he said. "But really we attribute it more toward our improvement in our tactics and techniques and procedures, along with the increased capability of the Afghan security forces."

O'Hara said the number of attacks in the Kabul region was 50 percent lower in January to October this year than during the same 10-month period in 2007. "And again, we attribute that to not only the Afghan security forces, but you have to give credit to the Afghan people for their personal involvement in the form of tips and their reports to Afghan security forces," he said. Eleven U.S. troops died in Afghanistan in November 2007, meaning the year-on-year drop is also significant.
Posted by: ed || 12/01/2008 10:43 || Comments || Link || [336071 views] Top|| File under:


India-Pakistan
Muslim body refuses to bury 9 killers
The Muslim Council on Sunday decided not to allow burial of the bodies of the nine terrorists killed during the Mumbai siege in the Marine Lines Bada Qabrastan (cemetery).

The council said it was trying to send a message to all cemeteries in India that none of the bodies should be buried on Indian soil.

Bhai Jagtap, a Congress MLA from VP Road-JJ constituency, told TOI some Muslim organisations had approached him demanding that the terrorists should not be buried in any cemetery in India.

"Considering their sentiments, I am trying to get in touch with deputy CM R R Patil and other senior leaders. I will forward this message to the state government," said Jagtap. The council authorities have handed over a letter to the Marine Lines cemetery in this regard.

In 2003, a Pakistani national killed in an encounter was buried in a Mumbai cemetery. This time, it has been decided not to allow burial of the terrorists because of the gravity of the attack. However, other Muslims organisations are yet to take a decision on the issue.
Posted by: tipper || 12/01/2008 08:11 || Comments || Link || [336106 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is the closest I have seen to an official Muslim organization of any size actually condemning Islamic terrorism.
Posted by: Glenmore || 12/01/2008 8:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Yep. But it is only a baby step. The real one would be: ask Muslims to kill terrorists as they do as soon as someone makes cartoon about Muhammad.

Posted by: JFM || 12/01/2008 8:43 Comments || Top||

#3  This is the closest I have seen to an official Muslim organization of any size actually condemning Islamic terrorism.

But would you sell them & their families life insurance?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/01/2008 9:18 Comments || Top||

#4  Taqqiya. Hindus have demonstrated they take communal revenge.
Posted by: ed || 12/01/2008 9:34 Comments || Top||

#5  Did a sense of justice motivate them, or was it fear of reprisals? that is the question.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 12/01/2008 10:03 Comments || Top||

#6  For once I agree, send them back to Pakistan without sender address or burial at sea or grind them up and serve to pigs.
Posted by: Grolush Darling of the Hatfields3195 || 12/01/2008 10:12 Comments || Top||

#7  Going Thebian on them?
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/01/2008 11:07 Comments || Top||

#8  Feed them to the pigs or set them out for scavengers to take care of.
Posted by: gorb || 12/01/2008 15:19 Comments || Top||

#9  Dump them in the sea they crawled out from.

Oh wait, they'd be sharing the same water as the fishermen they murdered. Feed them to pigs.
Posted by: Bulldog || 12/01/2008 18:58 Comments || Top||

#10  After the pigs get through processing the remains, drop the results on Karachi.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 12/01/2008 23:49 Comments || Top||


Six degrees of Imran Khan
On the evening of Nov. 26, the biggest names in Bollywood walked the red carpet at the Bombay premiere of "The President Is Coming," a comedy about six 20-somethings vying to win the right to shake hands with President Bush.

Among those in attendance at the star-studded premiere Wednesday evening was Bollywood's "new heartthrob" Imran Khan, who proudly posed for paparazzi donning a T-shirt with Mr. Bush's face sandwiched between the words "International Terrorist."

Mr. Khan - a member of India's Muslim minority - chose not to mock international terrorists who kill in the name of Allah. He and his co-religionists know the deadly results for those who do.

At the precise moment Mr. Khan and hundreds of others making their fortunes in the multibillion-dollar Indian movie business were watching "The President Is Coming," only a few blocks away, 10 20-something Muslim extremists began a horrific three-day terror spree.

Azam Amir Kasab, the sole surviving terrorist, told his saviors, "I was told to kill to my last breath." The 21-year-old Pakistani stated that the group's goal was to kill 5,000 people. Overall, at least 174 people died and more than 300 were injured.

Mr. Khan might have been spared only because Kasab and his cohorts failed to reach their death quota. His fellow Bollywood actor Ashish Chaudhary wasn't so lucky. His sister and her husband were killed by indiscriminate gunfire sprayed into Tiffin restaurant at the Oberoi-Trident hotel.

"It's shocking, really shocking. I still can't believe that my dear sister and brother-in-law are now no more. I am completely shattered," Mr. Chaudhary said.

The terror attack has hit Bollywood hard. The opening of "The President Is Coming" has been postponed and India's film capital is in a state of shock.

And, like their Hollywood counterparts, the Bollywood thespians appear predisposed to blame everyone but the culprit.

"My pain has been the sight and plight of my innocent and vulnerable and completely insecure countrymen, facing the wrath of this terror attack," action star Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog. "And my anger has been at the ineptitude of the authorities that have been ordained to look after us."

Mr. Khan's uncle Aamir Khan, another prominent Bollywood actor, director and film producer, also sought to redirect responsibility for the monstrous violence.

"I dread to think of how various political parties are now going to try and use this tragedy to further their political careers. At least now they should learn to not divide people and instead become responsible leaders," the elder Mr. Khan blogged. "When will these politicians realize and admit that terrorists have no religion. Terrorists are not Hindu or Muslim or Christian. They are not people of religion or God. They are people who have gone totally sick in their head and have to be dealt with in that manner."

Ironically, the Bollywood crowd is in the minority in India, where a majority approve of the U.S. behavior and more people like Mr. Bush than don't. Indians lean 45 percent to 34 percent in favor of Mr. Bush, according to a Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) poll taken earlier this year.

"I think, if you look at the public opinion polls, the ratings for President Bush are higher in India than in any other country. That is the factual basis," Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon explained.

That was true, too, in the U.S. until the American media's relentless propaganda against Mr. Bush finally took hold and took its toll. The real question is when the people who make the world's most popular form of entertainment finally accept the truth: that the Islamist threat is real, growing and won't go away when George W. Bush leaves the White House in January.
Posted by: tipper || 12/01/2008 07:53 || Comments || Link || [336074 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mr Khan is American born and educated (California) which probably explains a lot.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/01/2008 8:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Mr. Khan - a member of India's Muslim minority

Tells me all I need to know.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/01/2008 9:14 Comments || Top||


Africa Horn
Tanker 'will be freed without ransom'
SOMALI President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed says a Saudi oil tanker seized by Somali pirates will be freed soon without a ransom.

"It is not true that the hijackers have demanded a ransom of millions of dollars to release it," he said told the Saudi newspaper Okaz. "We are confident that efforts made by tribal leaders and government officials will result soon in releasing the ship without any ransom."

The vessel remains anchored off the coast of Somalia.

Pirates who seized the Sirius Star on November 15 had given the owners of the giant oil carrier up to Sunday to pay a ransom of $25 million. The capture of the super tanker, carrying two million barrels of oil, sent shockwaves through the shipping world and prompted some companies to re-route via the Cape of Good Hope.

Hundreds of sailors captured in numerous piracy attacks are currently being held hostage on the Somali coast, with the largest number coming from Asian countries like the Philippines.
Posted by: tipper || 12/01/2008 07:38 || Comments || Link || [336070 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Professional courtesy.....
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 12/01/2008 8:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Perhaps the alternative is Saudi justice delivered on the spot.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 12/01/2008 9:58 Comments || Top||

#3  I guess the saudis found the hijackers families.
Posted by: Hellfish || 12/01/2008 12:12 Comments || Top||

#4  Am I the only one who worries that one of these days an Iranian nuke will be installed in the hold of a Saudi tanker by Somali "pirates"? Wonderful opportunity for plausible deniability there.
Posted by: AzCat || 12/01/2008 13:44 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Riots leave 32 dead in Karachi
THIRTY-two people have been killed and dozens injured in two days of clashes blamed on activists from rival political parties in Pakistan's largest city Karachi. "We have confirmed reports of 32 people killed since Saturday in Karachi,'' the city's police chief Waseem Ahmed said.

Troops were authorised to use guns to quell the violence, which came as members of the ruling coalition party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) clashed with the Pashtun nationalist Awami National Party (ANP).

Officials from the MQM and ANP denied their members were involved in the rioting.
Posted by: tipper || 12/01/2008 07:31 || Comments || Link || [336074 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: WoT
Detroit area Muslims worry about new federal rules
Some Detroit-area Arab- and Muslim-Americans say new Justice Department guidelines that boost the FBI's power to investigate suspected terrorists could target innocent people.

The revised guidelines going into effect Monday will allow agents to use undercover sources to gather information, interview people without identifying themselves and spy on suspects without evidence of wrongdoing. Critics say the rules will allow for abuses, including more racial and religious profiling.
And we always have critics ...
"That's an extraordinary power," said Mike German, a former FBI agent who now advises the American Civil Liberties Union.

"There is anxiety the Middle Eastern community will be targeted," said Dearborn lawyer Nabih Ayad, who has defended a number of Arab Americans charged in national security cases. "There is always a danger in the implementation when you give such discretion in the hands of agents."

Federal officials say current rules came about in the 1970s and limit their ability to investigate people in national security cases.

FBI agents have met twice with community leaders to assure them they won't be targeted, according to the Detroit Free Press. Andrew Arena, special agent in charge of the FBI in Detroit said there would be no profiling under the new regulations. "Every agent in the FBI is going to be trained on these guidelines," he said. "The concern in the community is that there's going to be abuses, and it's going to open up the possibility of profiling. We're not going to allow that to happen."

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said, "At the end of the day, the FBI is not going to open an investigation simply on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion."
Posted by: tipper || 12/01/2008 07:00 || Comments || Link || [336075 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maybe if you weren't constantly scheming to blow us up?
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 12/01/2008 7:37 Comments || Top||

#2  Mr Boyd, buy a clue. Please do not waste our money investigating non mooselimbs, at least for now. Ok? Thx
Posted by: Steven || 12/01/2008 9:24 Comments || Top||

#3  "There is anxiety the Middle Eastern community will be targeted," said Dearborn lawyer Nabih Ayad, who has defended a number of Arab Americans charged in national security cases.

I guess he has. Who's Behind the ACLU NSA Lawsuit ... And Why Are They Lying?
Next, there's Abdrabboh's law partner, Nabih Ayad. Both Abdrabboh and Ayad go on annual trips to the Middle East with Hamad. The trips involve meetings with Lebanese and Syrian officials tied to Hezbollah, and their travel-mates include officials of a Detroit charity that openly donated millions to HAMAS and privately raised money for Iraqi insurgents at a Los Angeles area fundraiser. Federal officials suspect that money laundering--and who knows what else--may be going on during these trips.

Ayad represented Omar Abdel-Fatah Al-Shishani, stopped at Detroit Metro Airport with millions in phony bank checks used to fund Al-Qaeda operations. Shishani--a friend of John Kerry's--didn't get much for his money, though. I had dinner with Abu Shishani in fall 2003, prior to his sentencing. It was a secret meeting with law enforcement members, and he did not know my real identity. Shishani told me that Mr. Ayad ripped him off of $25,000, did not help him, and he had to hire a new attorney. Based on that, it's hard to see how NSA spying would affect his "representation" of his client.

Then, there are his 130 clients paid off an INS inspector and committed visa fraud. Ayad got these clients from his buddy, former "terrorist" Hamad. Paying off INS inspectors, visa fraud--these are things we SHOULD be spying on.
Posted by: ed || 12/01/2008 9:41 Comments || Top||

#4  The program investigates/collects/analyzes suspicious behavior...that comes in all sizes, shapes, colors, spices. Me think you protest too loudly.
Posted by: Hammerhead || 12/01/2008 10:34 Comments || Top||

#5  Yes, if the poor plumber guy gets his arse rooted for asking a question, then maybe they've got some comin to em.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 12/01/2008 11:27 Comments || Top||

#6  There is anxiety...

If my co-religionists were famous for mass murder and blowing things up, I'd be feeling a little anxious too.
Posted by: SteveS || 12/01/2008 17:24 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Sinai Bedouin simmer
Posted by: ryuge || 12/01/2008 05:50 || Comments || Link || [336071 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Last time I looked Sinai wasn't in Africa.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/01/2008 9:21 Comments || Top||

#2  No, but Egypt is. Oddly enough, this Swiss article doesn't mention until partway down, and then almost parenthetically, that the Sinai Bedouins are having problems with the Egyptian state, not the Israeli one.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/01/2008 14:04 Comments || Top||

#3  wasn't it like 8000 strong bedoiun that threw a tantrum about a month ago? In egypt
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 12/01/2008 14:17 Comments || Top||


Great White North
Today in piracy: Somali pirates have Canadian connection
Posted mainly for the headline, but there's some red meat in here too...
Here's the daily roundup of piracy-related stories that came across the Posted desks today. First off:

Those Somali pirates have a Canadian connection. The autonomous region of Puntland, from where many of the pirates hail, is presided over by a former Ottawa gas station operator named Mohamud Muse Hersi, the CBC reports. Hersi has been the president of Puntland for three years.

Hersi emigrated to Canada in the 1980s, bought a gas station and raised a family, but his clan connections to Somalia remained strong. When the elders of Puntland were looking for a new president in 2005, they chose Hersi.

There are doubts as to how vigorously Hersi's government has denounced piracy in Puntland:

Hersi's critics accuse him and his ministers of taking bribes from the pirates to look the other way. Ahmed Hussen, president of the Canadian Somali Congress, says he lacks evidence of such corruption but adds: "It would be inconceivable for all this piracy to be going on on the coast of Puntland without at least the knowledge, if not the collusion, of the Puntland government."

Hersi vigorously denies the charge. As proof, he points to two successful counterattacks against the pirates mounted by Puntland's coast guard.

Yet according to Roger Middleton of London's Royal Institute of International Affairs, Hersi and his government stood to benefit from those specific attacks.

"In one case, the cement that was in the ship belonged to one of the ministers in the government, so there was clearly a reason why they wanted to get involved," he told CBC News.

If you've ever wondered why piracy makes such an attractive career choice (maybe not every Canadian turns out to be the president of Puntland), don't worry: Reuters columnist Bernd Debusmann makes the case for piracy as a business.

As far as illicit businesses with low risk and high rewards go, it doesn't get much better than piracy on the high seas. The profit margins can easily surpass those of the cocaine trade. The risks? "There is no reason not to be a pirate," according to U.S. Vice Admiral William Gortney, who commands the U.S. navy's Fifth Fleet. "The vessel I'm trying to pirate, they won't shoot at me. I'm going to get my money." Even pirates who are intercepted have little to fear. "They won't arrest me because there's no place to try me."

And as if all that wasn't enough, a report today said the Indonesian Navy expects the global economic meltdown to create a jump in pirate activity in Southeast Asia's busy Malacca Strait. From Agence France-Presse and MSN:

The economic turmoil means shipping in the strait between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore -- one of the world’s busiest -- will be at extra risk, navy spokesman Sagom Tamboen was quoted as saying by news website Detikcom.

[...]

"Coordinated patrols with Malaysia and Thailand will be maximized,” Tamboen said.

According to AFP, patrols have reduced the number of piracy attacks in recent years in the Strait, which handles 30% of all sea transport globally. The patrols have been so effective that there have only been two attacks in that area from January to September. By way of comparison, there were 38 total in 2004.
Posted by: Seafarious || 12/01/2008 00:10 || Comments || Link || [336071 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Stopping the attacks IS possible. But only if certain "unacceptable" methods are used. First start with 'take NO prisoners'. Second use 'Q-boats' (see WWI British policy againts U-boats)
Third escort high profile ships. There others but these are a few that will work.
Posted by: palladium || 12/01/2008 9:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Drink up, Shipman!
Posted by: Pappy || 12/01/2008 15:08 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Israel set to release 250 Palestinian prisoners
Israel approved on Sunday the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners in a bid to bolster President Mahmoud Abbas in his power struggle with rival Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The prisoners, a fraction of the 11,000 Palestinians held, will be released in the occupied West Bank.
Posted by: Fred || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336074 views] Top|| File under: Palestinian Authority

#1  Gonna make a deal wit' da th'roat canca ta ward off da groin canca. Ya, dat' ill git it!
Posted by: M. Murcek || 12/01/2008 0:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Been "bolstering" Abbas for 4 years.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/01/2008 9:23 Comments || Top||

#3  "PULL!"
Posted by: mojo || 12/01/2008 14:02 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Zardari for pact with India to question terror suspects
Pakistan is willing to have an agreement with India to allow each other to question terror suspects in the other country, President Asif Ali Zardari said in an interview with CNN-IBN'S Karan Thapar.

Asked if Pakistan would allow India to question people it suspects were involved in terrorism on its soil, the president said it was 'a procedural matter'.

But he insisted that questioning should be allowed only when there is evidence of a suspect's involvement.

Training camps: Asked if he would close down terrorist training camps allegedly operating in Pakistan, the president said if there was evidence of any camps, he would close them down and take action against people running the camps.

"I assure you, if any evidence points out to any camps . . . we will not only close down, but [also] take action against those people who are running those camps."

Non-state actors: The president said the people of India should see the Mumbai terror attacks as an action of 'non-state actors'. The president said Pakistan would co-operate with India in the investigation "without any hesitation whatsoever, no matter where it may lead".

Zardari said Pakistan and India were facing threat from the same forces. "I have a personal threat. I have a country [threatened] by these same forces. They may not be the same individuals, but they are definitely the same forces with the same mindset. So I am not standing in to appease any other people. I am trying to save my own nation, my own country."
Posted by: Fred || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336074 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Lashkar-e-Tayyaba linked to Mumbai attacks?
Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LT) -- the group suspected of training the Mumbai attackers -- was established to fight Indian rule in Kashmir and has past links to Pakistani intelligence and Al Qaeda.

The group is on the US watch-list of terrorist organisations and is banned in the UK and several other countries.

Founded by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed in 1989 as the military wing of the Islamic centre Markaz Dawa-wal Irshad, it is headquartered in Muridke near Lahore. Saeed is known to have received funds from Saudi donors and Pakistani intelligence to launch his group, which subsequently acquired land in Muridke to organise militant cells and training.

An LT spokesman in Srinagar denied the group was involved in the Mumbai attacks, but it has been named in several other attacks in India. When LT was blamed for the 2001 attacks on Indian parliament, it brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war. The group denied any involvement, but Pakistani authorities outlawed it in 2002, shortly before which Saeed left LT to set up a charity.

Now run by Qari Abdul Wahid Kashmiri, the group currently maintains a low profile in Pakistan and focuses its activities in IHK.
Posted by: Fred || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336075 views] Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Taiba

#1  has past links to Pakistani intelligence and Al Qaeda
That's like saying the Pope has "past links" to the Vatican.
Posted by: Spot || 12/01/2008 8:17 Comments || Top||


Terrorism must be eliminated, says Qureshi
Pakistan itself is a victim of terrorism and considers it a menace to humanity that must be eliminated, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Sunday. Talking to his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan, who telephoned him to discuss bilateral relations and share views on the regional and global situation, Qureshi said that Pakistan was one of the first countries to strongly condemn the Mumbai terrorist attacks and offer India all possible assistance. He briefed Babacan about Pakistan's relations with India after the attacks and said that Pakistan shared the grief of India and the families who had lost their loved ones in the incident. The Turkish foreign minister lauded Pakistan's role in the fight against extremism and expressed support for the efforts being made by Islamabad to engage New Delhi constructively.
Posted by: Fred || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336073 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Pak: Peace deal with India intact
Pakistan rejects reports by Indian media suggesting that Islamabad planned a military boost at the border following the Mumbai attacks. In a Sunday statement the army said that Pakistan's ceasefire with nuclear-armed neighboring India was still in place and no military build-up was taking place, AFP reported.

This while over the weekend, Indian media had claimed that New Delhi had cancelled the ceasefire inked in 2003 after years of dispute over Kashmir region.

"We have seen reports in media suggesting suspension of ceasefire (in Kashmir) and movement of troops on the Indian side of the border," chief military spokesman major general Athar Abbas told AFP. "As far as the official authenticated reports are concerned there is no such movement or mobilization of troops. The ceasefire is holding."

Pakistani authorities have condemned the Mumbai attacks and have pledged assistance to neighboring India.

Expressing regret over accusations that Pakistani-based "elements" where involved in the attacks on India's financial capital on Wednesday, the authorities have promised firm action against any group found guilty.

India is investigating whether Pakistani-based militants, who campaign against Indian rule in Kashmir, were behind the attack.
Posted by: Fred || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336073 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Iran offers joint nuclear plants with Gulf states
Iran on Sunday proposed developing nuclear power plants jointly with neighboring Arab states in the Gulf, amid international pressure on Tehran to halt its sensitive atomic work.

"I suggest that countries in the region put on their agenda the creation of a consortium to build and develop light-water nuclear plants," said Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's atomic energy organization. "Iran is ready to present a comprehensive proposal if the Persian Gulf countries agree to it in principal," he told an energy conference in Tehran.

However, he did not give any specifics about the proposal, or its feasibility.

Iran has rejected international calls to halt uranium enrichment, which it claims is for peaceful purposes, and is under sanctions targeting individuals and institutions involved in its nuclear program.

The light-water reactor market is dominated by Western countries and Russia, which is currently building Iran's first nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr on the Gulf.

Posted by: Fred || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336077 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  This badly needs that "mousetrap" picture, you know where 5 mice are caught in the same mousetrap.

The idea here is obviously to spread the (Blame) responsibility among nearby nations to confuse the "Infidels". (And hopefuky stay in one piece insead of vaporized, along with a huge chunk of land that used to be their Reactor.)

Aint workin.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 12/01/2008 21:08 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
India security at 'war level' after deadly attacks
The place: 22km north of Chitral, in a spacious, comfortably furnished and well-equipped cave. Binny is clean-shaven, has long since ceased wearing his turban, and he is quite corpulent. He is, by design, unrecognizable as the poorly hidden hand behind 9-11.

"The Paks are killing us in Wazoo," Zawahiri says. "I told you trying to take over Swat with the TNSM was a mistake. We don't have enough competent commanders to take over Wazoo and Swat and cut the supply lines through Khyber. I told you we shoulda concentrated on Khyber!"

"My commanders could swing it if there weren't so many holy men following them around!" Baitullah said, defensively.

"Without the holy men we're just bandidos," Ayman snapped. "Just like you Wazirs have always been!"

"Who you callin' a Messican?" Baitullah responded, reaching for his guns.

"Knock it off, both of you!" Binny bellowed.

"Sorry, boss," mumbled Baitullah, sullenly.

"Fact is, the Mighty Pak Army's clobbering our boyz, both the locals and the imports."

"Yeah," Hekmatyar agreed. "Who'da ever expected that?"

"Things are getting hot along the Pak-Afghan border, and the Heathen Hindoos have Kashmir pretty much under control, curse them!"

"So what do we do, boss?" Baitullah asked.

"We try and start a war between India and Pak to relieve the pressure. The Paks pull their troops from the border, and suddenly we've got our own territory, unopposed. The fleshpots of Peshawar are ours for the taking!"

"And then we proclaim the caliphate?" Qazi asked.

"Let's see if they start shooting at each other first," Zawahiri said, drawing a circle around his ear with his finger when Qazi wasn't looking. "And take that turban off! You can wear it when you're calif, not before!"

"I'll call my contacts in the ISI," Hafiz Saeed said.

"Okay. But make sure the cannon fodder leaves lots of clues."

"Just leave that to me, boss!" Hafiz Saeed responded. Under his breath he added: "And you can leave that big turban with me, too!"
The fallout from a three-day rampage that killed nearly 200 people in Mumbai threatened to unravel India's improving ties with nuclear rival Pakistan and prompted the resignation on Sunday of the top security
minister and the home (interior) minster.

New Delhi said it was raising security to a "war level" and had proof of a Pakistani link to the attacks, which unleashed anger at home over the intelligence failure and delayed response to frenzied violence that paralysed India's financial capital.

Officials in Islamabad have warned any escalation would force it to divert troops to the Indian border and away from a U.S.-led anti-militant campaign on the Afghan frontier.


Federal Home Minister Shivraj Patil resigned, India's ruling Congress party coalition said, adding that Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram was appointed to take over Patil's job and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will
take over the finance portfolio for now.

Indian TV reported National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan had also resigned.

"Markets will rejoice," Arum Kejriwal, a strategist at research firm Kris, said of Chidambaram and Patil.

"People will accept that the government has removed two non-performers and this can positively influence the markets tomorrow."

In the meantime, Mumbai took its first steps towards recovery Sunday after the trauma of a 60-hour militant assault that left blackened scars on the face of India's financial capital.


Pakistan denies involvement
Indian officials have said most, if not all, of the 10 Islamist attackers who held Mumbai hostage with frenzied attacks using assault rifles and grenades came from Pakistan.

As intelligence chiefs scrambled to work out how the militants had managed to mount audacious attacks on multiple sites, the crisis risked escalating into a major stand-off between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

As police interrogated Sunday the only gunman who survived, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that "some elements in Pakistan" were responsible for the assault.

Pakistan demanded evidence for Indian charges it was involved in the Mumbai attacks and reversed its decision to send its spy chief to aid a probe, muddying efforts to avert a crisis between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari urged India not to "over-react" after Indian and U.S. officials suggested the militants could have been from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, but had said he would act swiftly on any evidence of Pakistani involvement.
Lashkar-e-Taiba has denied any responsibility. The group, which is fighting against Indian control of Kashmir, was behind the deadly 2001 assault on the Indian parliament that pushed New Delhi and Islamabad to the brink of war.

Deep mistrust between the South Asian rivals, who have already fought three wars, endangers efforts by the U.S. and its Western allies to battle al-Qaida and Taliban militants in the region.

Rising tensions Saturday prompted Pakistani security officials to warn the government would pull its troops from the anti-terrorism fight along Afghanistan's border in order to respond to any Indian military mobilization.


Interrogation
Indian media reported that the badly-injured gunman had identified all the attackers as Pakistan citizens and acknowledged that they were trained by Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Ajmal Amir Kamal, 21, who was caught on a CCTV camera wearing a T-shirt with the logo "Versace," was reportedly being interrogated in a safe-house in Mumbai.

Security forces only regained control of Mumbai when they succeeded in killing the last three militants holed up with hostages inside the famous Taj Mahal hotel.

The previous day, elite troops had stormed a Mumbai Jewish center and killed two gunmen -- but also found eight dead Israeli hostages.

Another luxury hotel that was attacked, the Oberoi/Trident, was cleared of militants late Friday, with scores of trapped guests rescued and dozens of bodies found.

Officials said that 195 people had been killed and nearly 300 injured in the attacks, which targeted British and American citizens and began when the militants split into groups to strike multiple targets across the city, including the main railway station and a hospital.

The United States, Israel and Britain were among countries that offered expert assistance to help with the investigation of the assault on Mumbai, which has been hit by terrorist attacks before. Nearly 190 people were killed in train bombings in 2006.
Posted by: Fred || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336073 views] Top|| File under: Global Jihad

#1  Mikey's inteligence service says that
attackers were Muslim
attack sponsers wer Muslim

Bush Lied. People Died
Islaam is not a religion of peace
Posted by: Michael || 12/01/2008 0:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Correct call, Fred. How come I haven't heard this obvious analysis from the TV analysts talking heads?
Posted by: Spot || 12/01/2008 8:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Mikey's inteligence service

Wow. A triple oxymoron.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/01/2008 18:42 Comments || Top||


Indian home minister, security adviser quit
Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil resigned yesterday facing severe criticism for handling of internal security during the terror attacks on Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at an all-party meeting in New Delhi unveiled a set of measures to strengthen the country's anti-terror apparatus to combat terrorism, reports our correspondent Pallab Bhattacharya from New Delhi. Manmohan said the government has finalised a set of legal measures, which include setting up of a Federal Investigation Agency.

He said measures have been initiated to beef up maritime and air security. "This will involve the navy, coast guard and coastal police as well as the air force and the civil aviation ministry," the Indian prime minister said. The National Security Guard (NSG), the major anti-terrorism force of India, will be given additional facilities, he said, adding that steps have been initiated to establish four more NSG hubs across the country.

Patil, 74, taking "moral responsibility" for the incident sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a day after Indian commandos ended a 60-hour rampage by terrorists in Mumbai. The attacks left about 200 people dead. The national security adviser MK Narayanan also tendered resignation yesterday. But the government is yet to accept his resignation, adds our correspondent from New Delhi.

Political sources said Patil has been of the view that the Congress Party and the government should not suffer because of the terror attacks and that is why he had taken this decision. The resignation of Patil, considered very close to ruling Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi, was yesterday accepted by the prime minister who appointed Palaniappan Chidambaram as the new home minister moving him from the finance portfolio. Chidambaram had been the minister of state for home under prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in late 80s.

With Chidambaram having moved to the home ministry, the prime minister himself will retain the finance portfolio which Singh had held from 1991 to 1996 in the government headed by PV Narasimha Rao.

India's powerful national security adviser also resigned yesterday in the wake of the devastating Islamic militant attacks in Mumbai, government officials told AFP. Confirming reports by Indian news channels, the officials said MK Narayanan handed in his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and that the premier accepted.

An aide to the prime minister said "more senior members of the government are likely to be shown the door" in the wake of the attacks, which left close to 200 dead.
An aide to the prime minister said "more senior members of the government are likely to be shown the door" in the wake of the attacks, which left close to 200 dead. The government sources said India's home secretary, domestic intelligence chief and head of the Coast Guard were likely to be sacked.

The resignation of Shivraj Patil came soon after a meeting of the top decision-making forum of ruling Congress Party, which heads the country's United Progressive Alliance, late Saturday night.

At the three-hour meeting of the Congress Working Committee presided by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Patil offered to quit as all senior leaders of the party wanted the government to take measures to handle terrorism with a firm hand and take all measures to prevent recurrence of such attacks.

Reacting to the resignation of Patil, which came ahead of an all-party meeting convened by the prime minister on security issue, the main opposition BJP, which often accused the Congress-led government of being weak in responding to terrorism, said, "It was too little too late."
They always get bent out of shape over "too little too late." If they don't, they're likely to grumble about too much, too early.
BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley said, "It is a collective failure of the government and you cannot single out the most vulnerable person in the government."

With tensions escalating in South Asia, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari urged India not to "over-react" after Indian and US officials suggested the gunmen could have been members of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Lashkar, which is fighting Indian control of the disputed Kashmir region, was behind a deadly 2001 assault on the Indian parliament that pushed New Delhi and Islamabad to the brink of war. Indian media reported that the only surviving militant had identified all the Mumbai attackers as Pakistanis who had been trained by Lashkar.

Ajmal Amir Kamal, 21, who was caught on a CCTV camera wearing a T-shirt with a "Versace" logo, was being interrogated in a safe house in Mumbai, reports said.

US counter-terrorism officials told AFP that evidence was emerging that Lashkar could have been behind the attacks, while Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said "elements in Pakistan" were responsible.

Pakistan, which has fought two wars with India over Kashmir, moved quickly to deny any links with the attacks. Zardari warned that the militants were "looking for reaction" and said India suspected the militants could be based in Pakistan. He pledged prompt action against anyone responsible.
But he hasn't had Hafiz Saeed arrested yet. Not even the usual house arrest.
Lashkar, which operated openly in Pakistan until being outlawed after the September 11, 2001 attacks, has denied responsibility.
It still operates openly. And it lies routinely.
Around a dozen militants launched their assault on Wednesday evening when they split into groups and struck targets across Mumbai, including the main railway station and a hospital.

Security forces regained control of the city 60 hours later when they killed the last three gunmen holed up with hostages inside the Taj Mahal hotel. On Friday elite troops had stormed the Jewish centre and killed two gunmen -- but found eight dead Israeli hostages.

Another luxury hotel that was attacked, the Oberoi/Trident, was cleared of militants later in the day, with scores of trapped guests rescued and dozens of bodies found.
Posted by: Fred || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336105 views] Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Taiba

#1  Great Indian Drama
Posted by: Mukesh Choudhary || 12/01/2008 4:25 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm thinking someone at the equivalent level in the US should have had the honor to resign following 9-11. Maybe Tenet?
Posted by: Glenmore || 12/01/2008 8:33 Comments || Top||

#3  A government whose members take personal responsibility---which century these People think they're living in?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/01/2008 9:16 Comments || Top||

#4  US should have had the honor to resign following 9-11. Maybe Tenet?

Barn door open.

Horse gone.

Live with it.

Try future problems. Not past screw-ups.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/01/2008 22:17 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Iran would 'hit US warships' at war
Iran says heavy enemy warships in the Persian Gulf would become prime targets for its forces in the event of an attack on the country.

The general said the "heavy weight" of enemy warships provides the Iranian side with an ideal opportunity for launching successful counter-attacks.
Top Iranian Army commander Major General Ataollah Salehi said Sunday that the recent war rhetoric against the country has prompted Iran's military brass to task analysts with developing quick-reaction contingency plans. The general said the "heavy weight" of enemy warships provides the Iranian side with an ideal opportunity for launching successful counter-attacks.

This is while earlier in June, The New York Sun reported that America's intelligence analysts were poring over scenarios for an Iranian attack on the US 5th Fleet, located in Bahrain. The scenarios included offensives by Iranian warships equipped with Russian-designed Shkval torpedoes.

Among the US warships currently present in the Persian Gulf are the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima and USS Mount Whitney as well as the Destroyer Squadron 50/CTF 55 and the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group.

Maj. Gen. Salehi also stated that the Iranian Navy is on a constant watch in the Persian Gulf as the Iranian Commander-in-Chief, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has warned that the enemy is on the lookout for "a moment of neglect".

Salehi's remarks come shortly after chief Iranian navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said Saturday that Iran is "perfectly capable" of blocking the Strait of Hormuz to protect its sovereignty should the country come under attack. "We are perfectly capable of blockading the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and whoever doubts our capabilities can take a step and see the consequences," Sayyari warned.

Iran, in further preparation has also upgraded the Asalouyeh Naval Base in the Persian Gulf and inaugurated a new naval base in the port of Jask located in the Sea of Oman in order to tighten its grip on the strategic region.
Posted by: Fred || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336072 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  " The scenarios included offensives by Iranian warships equipped with Russian-designed Shkval torpedoes. "

They are assuming they will still be afloat long enough to get in range. Or even to get out of port.
Posted by: OldSpook || 12/01/2008 0:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Shkval wikipedia entry here.

I would think that a well-placed bomb would collapse the gas cavity around the Shkval or bend its guidance fins and the torpedo would be destroyed by running into a wall of water at 250kph. Might not even detonate.
Posted by: gorb || 12/01/2008 3:29 Comments || Top||

#3  It has been a long time since the USN has had one of its aircraft carrier groups fighting defense. By the time all was said and done, I imaging the Strait would be about twice as wide.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/01/2008 8:13 Comments || Top||

#4  If they truly believe their own statements, they will act. If not, they will continue to posture. At times, I wish they would attack so we could end this foolishness.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 12/01/2008 9:52 Comments || Top||

#5  Iran would 'hit US warships' at war

Huh, no sh*t.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 12/01/2008 11:29 Comments || Top||

#6  And I'd get off my fat ass if dinner was served.
Posted by: Grolush Darling of the Hatfields3195 || 12/01/2008 12:21 Comments || Top||

#7  provides the Iranian side with an ideal opportunity for launching successful counter-attacks.

Counter-attacks? There's a pretty big assumption, that even I can see.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/01/2008 13:56 Comments || Top||

#8  If the U.S. struck first, which under B.O. I strongly doubt would happen, there would be about as many counter-attacks as there were from Saddam--that is to say, none. Iran might be hell to occupy but beating its military's ass in the field like a damn drum wouldn't be much of a problem.

If we take Iran down, we need to do it on a "we're bombing you back to the Stone Age--starve and die in the dark, bastards--basis. No more "nation-building" horsecrap. Just swift violence, massive destruction, and weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth by the unlucky survivors.
Posted by: Jolutch Mussolini7800 || 12/01/2008 16:59 Comments || Top||

#9  IIRC the Shkval achieves its high speed at the cost of maneuverability. In fact, it is almost unguidable. As a result the launcher has to get within a few kilometers in order to have a chance at hitting the target.

Since I don't see American carriers comming within a few k's of the Iranian coast, the Iranians would have to come to the carriers. If they can get within a few km of an American warship and live, I'll congratulate them.
Posted by: Frozen Al || 12/01/2008 17:04 Comments || Top||

#10  There is an Axis between Russia, Iran, and Ven, maybe China.

There should be a contingency plan to crush every enemy and we should always be prepared.

With no diplomacy for Iran, I say raise threat for the new year. Ensure we don't let them get any fresh hostages either. They love hostages.

If it's not within 6 months, it's in the near future they try to pull some slick crap.
Posted by: Grolush Darling of the Hatfields3195 || 12/01/2008 20:07 Comments || Top||

#11  No surpise here - this was another old dream/vision of mine like those Chin PLAN warships transiting close to Hokkaido, Japan.

The true threat or danger of SHKVAL lies in improved follow-on designs which combine supervelociy + stealth + independent maneuverab;e warheads[submissles], etc. essentially making the underwater dimension no different than the air, or even space, dimension as per anti-Naval or other warfare.

As said before, despite the rhetoric IRAN at this time prefers to keep a low-profile AMAP ALAP while it quietly or "softly" nuclearizes - IMO IRAN MUST DETONATE AN INDIGENOUS NUC BOMB = NUCWEAP NLT 2010, absolute maxima 2012.

TO BECOM A TRUE SUPERPOWER, ALREADY-A-NUCLEAR-STATE CHINA MUST GIVE UP ITS HALLOWED PRO-ISOLATIONIST POSTURE AND BECOM GEOPOL ASSERTIVE -DITTO IN LR FOR NUCLEAR-AMBITIOUS IRAN, ETC. WORLD STATES.

MILPOL DIALECTICISM > The ISLAMIST JIHAD = RAMPAGE AGZ RUSSIA, CHINA, + INDIA, etc. is asmuch for future NUCLEAR GLOBAL SUPERPOWER ISLAM [Space?], AS IS FOR "SAVING THE JIHAD".
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/01/2008 20:11 Comments || Top||

#12  HISTORY CHANNEL > "SPUTNIK" Programming > VLAD LENIN was quoted in late 1950's = POTUS EIsenhower-era US TV as arguing [paraph]"IT DOESN'T MATTER IFF THE BULK OF THE WORLD's POPULATION IS KILLED OFF OR OTHERWISE FORCIBLY ELIMINATED - WHAT MATTERS IS THAT THE THOSE REMAINING = WHOM ARE STILL ALIVE IN THE AFTERMATH ARE DEDICATED TO COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM".

Was LENIN = PRO-MUTUAL DESTRUCTION "MAD MULLAH"???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 12/01/2008 20:18 Comments || Top||


Iraq
Sadr bloc to open case against US pact
The Sadrist parliamentary bloc may open a case against a recently approved US-Iraq security deal, branding the pact as unconstitutional. "In line with the Constitution and religious laws, the Sadrist bloc will consider all options. We open a case in the Federal Court, against the procedure through which the agreement was passed," the Voices of Iraq quoted Fawzi Akram Tarzi, a lawmaker from the bloc as saying on Sunday. "The procedure was not constitutional and the pact was ratified before all provisions of the agreement were read out [in Parliament]," Tarzi added.

The Iraqi cabinet and parliament have endorsed the interim security agreement to extend the presence of US troops in Iraq for another three-year period.

The Sadr bloc, who strongly opposes the pact, had earlier vowed to take necessary measures to block the deal, with Influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr vowing to re-launch attacks on US troops should they extend their stay in the country. "The Sadrists would not cede their national principles and would continue to seek the independence and full sovereignty of Iraq," he added.

The pact has been sent to the Presidential Council for the final approval.
Posted by: Fred || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336072 views] Top|| File under: Mahdi Army

#1  "In line with the Constitution and religious laws"

Mostly religious laws, I'll bet.
Posted by: gorb || 12/01/2008 5:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Ramsey Clark there to argue the case?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/01/2008 6:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Can we please shoot Muckty now?
Posted by: mojo || 12/01/2008 11:20 Comments || Top||


Iraqi court orders US to free Reuters photographer
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi court on Sunday ordered the release of a freelance photographer working for Reuters news agency who has been held by U.S. forces since early September. The Iraqi Central Criminal Court ruled there was no evidence against Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed, and ordered that the U.S. military release him from Camp Cropper prison near Baghdad airport.

Iraqi prosecutors acknowledged in remarks included in the court ruling that there was a lack of evidence, and said they were closing the case against Jassam. A copy of the court order was supplied to a lawyer working for Reuters. There was no immediate response from the U.S. military to the ruling.
Sure, fine, let him go, and let the Iraqis keep a close eye on him. He screws around again and he's going to wish that he was back in Camp Cropper.
Under a security pact signed between the United States and Iraq, the 16,000-17,000 detainees currently held by U.S. forces will have to be released next year if they have not been charged, or handed over to Iraqi authorities. The pact paves the way for U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011.

Jassam was detained in early September in a raid on his home in Mahmudiya by U.S. and Iraqi forces. His photographic equipment was also confiscated. Jassam works for other Iraqi media, in addition to Reuters News, a Thomson Reuters company.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336071 views] Top|| File under:


India-Pakistan
Indian PM calls for unity, announces anti-terror measures
NEW DELHI Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday announced the setting up of a Federal Investigating Agency and measures to strengthen maritime and air security in the wake of the terrorist savagery in the country's financial capital Mumbai. "In the face of this national threat and in the aftermath of this national tragedy, all of us from different political parties must rise above narrow political considerations and stand united. We should work together in the interest of the country at this critical juncture," he said in his opening remarks at an all-party meeting here.
All true, but it will be easier to manage if you actually do something to deal with the perpetrators ...
Manmohan Singh convened the meeting to take stock of the security situation and ways to strengthen the intelligence machinery in the country following three days and three nights of Mumbai terror that killed 183 lives and injured over 300. While noting that "several measures are already in place to deal with the situation", he underlined that much more needed to be done "and we are determined to take all necessary measures to overhaul the system".

"We are further strengthening maritime and air security for which measures have been initiated. This will involve the navy, the Coast Guard and the coastal police, as well as the air force and the civil aviation ministry. "The anti-terrorist forces of the country will be further strengthened and streamlined. The National Security Guard (NSG), the principal anti-terrorist force of the country, will be given additional facilities and the size of the force is being augmented. Steps have also been initiated to establish another four NSG hubs in different parts of the country. Additionally, the special forces at the disposal of the centre would be appropriately utilised in counter-insurgency operations."
That's all defense. Good, and it needs to happen since the current defense obviously wasn't good enough, but you're not dealing with the root core of the problem.
The government has also finalised a set of legal measures based on the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission which includes the setting up of a Federal Investigating Agency, the prime minister told some 20 political leaders from the treasury and opposition benches.

Manmohan Singh said that unlike the recent terrorist attacks across the country, the Mumbai nightmare was different in several aspects. "It was an attack by highly trained and well-armed terrorists targeting our largest city. They came with the explicit aim of killing large numbers of innocent civilians, including foreign visitors. They sought to destroy some of the best known symbols of our commercial capital.

"The ordeal at Mumbai, which occupied the attention of the entire nation, has finally come to an end. All of us share the grief of those who have lost their loved ones in this dastardly and brutal attack and also the pain and anguish of those grievously wounded. We cannot lessen their grief. But we will do all we can to alleviate their suffering. I give you my solemn assurance that we will look after the needs of those who survive this horrible tragedy."

Saluting the bravery of the security forces who fought the terrorists in "exceptionally difficult circumstances" and freed hostages from three places, Manmohan Singh noted: "They tried their utmost to save innocent lives at great personal risk. Twenty officers and men made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives. The entire nation owes a debt of gratitude to these men that we can never repay."

He hoped that the discussions at the meeting would lead to a consensus on steps required to be taken.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336071 views] Top|| File under:


Terrorists posed as Malaysian students
Very long piece with much information, a fair bit we've read already, but a useful piece if you're new to the story. Big item of new news is how the perps planned and got into India.
MUMBAI, Nov 30 - A sensational revelation has emerged from a terrorist caught alive by Indian troops: The attack on Mumbai's top hotels was meant to be India's Sept 11. Azam Amir Kasav - some reports have his name as Ajmal Amir Kasab - confessed that part of the plot called for him and his fellow terrorists to carry out a replay of the destruction of Islamabad's Marriott Hotel, in targeting Mumbai's Taj Mahal Hotel.

The Marriott was blown up by militants in September, an attack that killed more than 50 people.

According to a report in The Times of India, Azam said the attacks on the Taj and The Oberoi Trident were aimed to create a "Sept 11 in India", a reference to the coordinated attacks by Al-Qaeda on the United States in 2001. They involved the crashing of hijacked planes into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon that left nearly 3,000 people dead.

Azam and eight others in the team made a reconnaissance trip to Mumbai several months before the attacks, pretending to be Malaysian students.
The confessions of the clean-shaven, fluent English-speaking 21-year-old Pakistani have given investigators a clearer picture of what had happened last Wednesday. Azam said he was member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, but the Kashmir- based Pakistani militant group has denied any role in the attacks.

Founded as a guerilla group to fight the Indian army in Kashmir, the group was banned by the Pakistani government after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, but reportedly continues to enjoy the backing of some Pakistani politicians and security officials.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve White || 12/01/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || [336079 views] Top|| File under:



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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2008-12-01
  Pak Army Brass Turban: Baitullah Mehsud, Fazlullah are Patriots!
Sun 2008-11-30
  Last gunny killed in Mumbai, ending siege
Sat 2008-11-29
  Sadrists claim security pact 'illegal'
Fri 2008-11-28
  1 terrorist holed up in Taj
Thu 2008-11-27
  Indo security forces engage ''Deccan Mujaheddin''
Wed 2008-11-26
  80 killed, 900 injured, 100 taken hostage in attacks on Hotels in Mumbai
Tue 2008-11-25
  Somali pirates jack Yemeni ship
Mon 2008-11-24
  Holy Land Foundation members found guilty of supporting terrorism
Sun 2008-11-23
  Iraqi forces bang AQI Mister Big in Diyala
Sat 2008-11-22
  Rashid Rauf dronezapped in Pakistain: officials
Fri 2008-11-21
  US strikes inside Pakistain 'intolerable', says Gilani
Thu 2008-11-20
  U.S. Dronezap Kills 6 Terrs in Pakistain
Wed 2008-11-19
  Indian Navy destroys Somali pirate mothership
Tue 2008-11-18
  B.O. vows to exit Iraq, shut down Gitmo
Mon 2008-11-17
  Pirates take Saudi supertanker off Mombasa

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