[Al Ahram] A coalition led by Egypt's Moslem Brüderbund has called for mass protests on Friday under the rallying slogan "Egypt's women are a red line," decrying recent arrests of women protesting in support of ousted president Mohammed Morsi. ...the former president of Egypt. A proponent of the One Man, One Vote, One Time principle, Morsi won election after the deposal of Hosni Mubarak and jumped to the conclusion it was his turn to be dictator... In a statement, the National Coalition in Support of Legitimacy accused security forces of beating, torturing and detaining women in the latest security crackdown against Morsi's supporters.
Last week, 21 Moslem Brüderbund women were locked away You have the right to remain silent... during a demonstration in Egypt's second city Alexandria.
Video footage circulating on social media networks showed security forces manhandling some of the women arrested.
"Such practices didn't stop at killing men, women and kiddies in massacres as had happened in Rabaa El-Adawiya and Al-Nahda Square; instead there is an unprecedented targeted attack on women," the statement read.
The sit-ins at Rabaa El-Adawiya and Al-Nahda Square in Cairo were violently dispersed by police in August, leaving hundreds of protesters dead.
The coalition said that "increasing violence" by security forces is a sign of the "failure of the coup."
Posted by: Fred ||
11/09/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
Ikhwan in defense of women. Now I've seen everything.
[Al Ahram] Official Nour Party spokesperson Sherif Taha slammed the Moslem Brüderbund for defaming the Salafist group and "the icons" of the party's mother movement -- Salafist Calling.
In a statement published on the official Nour Party website on Friday, Taha condemned how the Moslem Brüderbund was defaming the Salafist Calling and its political arm, Nour Party. He accused the Brotherhood of spreading lies as a part of a campaign "that goes back even before June 30," according to the party's spokesperson.
"It is better if the Moslem Brüderbund starts to look for the reason that led to their miserable failures and learn from their mistakes, instead of blaming others for their own failures and living the role of the victim," said Taha in his statement.
The official spokesperson of the Salafist party said that the Brotherhood-led "defamation campaign" against his party was lacking honesty as well as "clean political competitiveness."
Earlier this week a group of Moslem Brüderbund supporters protested against Sheikh Yasser El-Borhami, one of the co-founders and prominent figures of the Salafist Calling, during a religious lecture in Alexandria.
The Nour Party has come under strong attack from some Islamists for supporting the 3 July road map which included the ouster of Mohammed Morsi ...the former president of Egypt. A proponent of the One Man, One Vote, One Time principle, Morsi won election after the deposal of Hosni Mubarak and jumped to the conclusion it was his turn to be dictator... , amending the 2012 constitution and holding new elections.
Posted by: Fred ||
11/09/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[Libya Herald] The Supreme Security Committee in Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... , the Libya Shield No. 1 in Benghazi, various Zintani brigades, Ansar al-Sharia ...a Salafist militia which claims it is not part of al-Qaeda, even though it works about the same and for the same ends. There are groups of the same name in Tunisia and Yemen, with the Tunisian version currently most active... , and so many more -- and now, with the Army of the Islamic State of Libya, another name on the long list of militias.
It is too soon to have a clear picture of how strong or how ideologically determined is this group but it appears that Yusef bin Tahir made a proper business plan when launching his group in the very competitive Libyan brigades market. He declared the birth of the brigade on Al Nabaa TV, a channel launched and financed by Qatar, on 31 October. We could see Toyota pick-ups topped with machine guns in a single file in the middle of Derna's streets, then images of men wearing military uniforms.
A (3,000-man?) army "based on Islam"
"It took me six months to announce publicly the creation of the Army of the Islamic State of Libya," Youssef bin Tahir told the Libya Herald. "The men had been trained in Derna during that period by former true revolutionaries like myself. I didn't sleep a lot back then. The members are students, businessmen, teachers, and the like. All of them are from Derna.
"Our goal is simple: implementing security in public buildings, on the streets and for private companies. First in Derna, then in other cities like Benghazi and Sirte, and finally in all Libya --because Islam says it is our duty as Mohammedans to protect people."
It is a step-by-step programme which explains the name of the group. Bin Tahir does not want to lead any another type of brigade. He wants to run an new army "based on Islam".
After the release of Al Nabaa report on social networks, a rumour started claiming that Bin Tahir wanted to "free" Al-Andalus (Spain). "Totally untrue", he smiled, making him, with his medium-length curly hair and his blue eyes, even younger than his age.
Bin Tahir is highly confident that he can restore security in Derna in just one month. "Actually, right now, I'm able to secure the whole area from Derna to Benghazi".
Then he mentions a "special group" based in the desert and on boats which have orders to catch African illegal migrants. He claims that his boats locked away Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up! illegal migrants on a boat late in October in Lathroon. It could be be the migrant boat referred by this paper.
"They are under our control. We are making investigations about them," he declares, adding "most of them have diseases like HIV".
The Libya Herald has been unable to verify any of these assertions.
Bin Tahir refuses to give any figures about the number of men he has or to show his headquarters (the interview took place in a hotel, the Pearl of Derna). This makes it impossible to gain an accurate picture of the brigade's strength, although an official of Derna claimed that the group had 3,000 men.
"We do different work than Abu Sleem or Ansar Al-Sharia brigade"
Bin Tahir is also very vague about the financial side of his army. "We have received donations from our members. Above all, I spend all my money on it. My family is from Derna but we moved to Benghazi where we own different business, such as car sales."
Sources in Benghazi confirm that Bin Tahir is a wealthy family and known to be well-educated. "I don't know how rich they are but the Bin Tahirs from Derna is a big family", Benghazi Congressman Suleiman Zubi said.
"However how rich he is, nobody can run a brigade with his own money", a security expert stated. "If the group is really a strong one, they have to get money from government, GNC or outside."
Bin Tahir is adamant that the Army of the Islamic State of Libya will not be integrated into any Libyan institutions or gangs. "We have no connection with the government. We are not registered -- although I will stand with the authorities against federalism if necessary."
He explains what he sees his force doing. "We do different work than Abu Sleem or Ansar Al-Sharia [the two main brigades in Derna].
Killing, he says, in not an Islamic way. "The Koran says 'Allah alone decides the final judgement.'" Bin Tahir, who sports a beard but no moustache, often quotes the Koran to explain his actions. "I will fight any Libyan who doesn't believe as a Mohammedan."
More than an army; an Islamic way of life
He likes to tell how the decision to create the Army of the Islamic State of Libya came to him. He makes it sound like a religious parable.
"One day, I saw an old man trying to fix the car just outside Derna. He was with his family. I asked him why he didn't seek help in the town. He replied the town was too dangerous. From that day, I decided to leave Benghazi and settle in Derna to bring peace."
There is more. Bin Tahir describes his methods which cover the whole spectrum of social life. In regard to justice, he concedes that his group is not strong enough to judge criminals but it is when it comes to offenders. "If we catch a car thief, we ask the owner if he wants to be paid back and forgive the thief or if he wants us to file a form waiting for proper trial. The first solution is the best because Islam is all about forgiveness."
To fix the drug problem -- major one in Libya, even before the revolution -- he has also his own radical solution. "We pay the drug pusher for all his goods and then we destroy them instead of bombing people like any other brigade is doing."
The Army of the Islamic State of Libya has another curious rule. To prevent anyone betraying the cause of Islam, some 40 anonymous members, called "observers", are in deployed to check the behaviour of everyone, included the leader, and to punish them if necessary.
"I'm a successful man", Bin Tahir proclaims. "I catch the criminals. I will succeed because I use my brain, not only my muscles."
Posted by: Fred ||
11/09/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[Bangla Daily Star] BNP standing committee members Moudud Ahmed, MK Anwar and Rafiqul Islam Miah were incarcerated Please don't kill me! yesterday, hours after the party-led opposition alliance announced a 72-hour countrywide hartal ... a peculiarly Bangla combination of a general strike and a riot, used by both major political groups in lieu of actual governance ... from tomorrow.
Detectives made the arrests as the trio came out of Hotel Sonargaon around 8:00pm attending the anniversary celebration of Bangla daily Prothom Alo.
Law enforcers also nabbed Please don't kill me! BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ... 's Adviser Abdul Awal Mintoo and Special Assistant Shimul Biswas outside her Gulshan-2 home around 1:10am and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal ...student wing of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)... Vice-President Anwar Hossain Tipu in front of Jatiya Press Club around 12:15am today.
The detained were taken to the DB headquarters.
"They were arrested on specific allegations," State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku told The Daily Star. He, however, did not say what the allegations were.
Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu said the opposition leaders were arrested for instigating attacks on people and their properties.
Ruhul Kabir Rizvi holding a presser said the 72-hour hartal starting form tomorrow would be extended if the detained leaders were not released immediately.
He claimed that the arrests were made as part of the government plot to hold a one-party election.
Police last night also raided the homes of BNP leaders Jamiruddin Sircar, Mirza Abbas, Abdul Mannan and Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, Moazzem Hossain Alal, and Nasiruddin Ashim.
After the arrests, BNP-Jamaat activists vandalised and torched vehicles in the capital, Chittagong and in Noakhali.
[Bangla Daily Star] No casualty had taken place on early May 6, when law enforcers flushed out Hefajat men from the capital's Shapla Chattar, said a whitepaper by the Gono Commission of Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee yesterday.
Previously, Hefajat, Jamaat and BNP claimed that several thousand Hefajat men had been killed during the flush-out, giving rise to widespread controversy.
The Gono Commission, however, said a total of 39 people had been killed in festivities in and outside the capital over the Hefajat rally on May 5-6. Six more law enforcers were also killed during the time, says the report.
The whitepaper styled "400 Days of Fundamentalist and Communal Violence of Hefajat-e-Islam ...a madrassa-based false nose and mustache of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, formed in 2010 to protest against secular education. In 2011 demonstrated violentyly against women's rights and in 2013 held large rallies demanding capital punishment of Shahbag Square protesters and banning women working outside the home... and 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... " binned the lists of 79 and 61 deaths prepared by Hefajat and rights body Odhikar respectively. It termed the reports incomplete, exaggerated and full of repetitions.
On the home ministry list, which claimed that a total of 28 people had died that day, the whitepaper said families of some victims had not reported to the police about the deaths and buried the bodies secretly. This kept the government report incomplete.
The Nirmul Committee on June 1 formed the 15-member Gono Commission led by Justice Syed Amirul Islam to find out the actual number of casualty on May 5-6.
Yesterday, Justice Amirul Islam unveiled the whitepaper at a function in the capital's WVA auditorium. Justice Golam Rabbani, president of Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, chaired the ceremony.
Shahriar Kabir, executive president of the Nirmul Committee who moderated the function, said, "The commission engaged some activists of Hefajat and Jamaat, and ex-operatives of banned outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad (HuJI Founded in 1984 by Fazlur Rehman Khalil and Qari Saifullah Aktar. The Bangla branch was established in 1992 with assistance from Osama bin Laden. Recruits come mostly from Deobandi madrassahs. HuJI and Fazlur Rehman Khalil are signators of bin Laden's declaration of war on the west. ) to carry out the investigation."
The commission also took accounts of Kawmi madrasa students and teachers across the country, and of members of bereaved families to get the correct death figure, said Shahriar.
The whitepaper observed that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ... 's 48-hour ultimatum on May 4 to oust the government had provoked Hefajat men to unleash violence.
Khaleda Zia and leaders of Hefajat and Jamaat must take the responsibility of the killings and lawsuits should be instituted against them as criminal masterminds, said Shahriar, adding that if someone lodged a case against the criminal masterminds, the government should provide him/her with legal assistance.
He also asked the government not to let Hefajat hold a rally on November 15.
Posted by: Fred ||
11/09/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami
While Pudgy dreams of nukes his military is rusting away...
Two North Korean warships sank during a drill in the East Sea last month, killing scores of sailors. The vessels sank in waters near Wonsan a few days apart in mid-October, a South Korean military source said Sunday.
It is not known why the ships sank and how many were killed. South Korean military authorities spotted attempts by the North Korean navy to salvage their hulls.
The two ships will have been a Hainan-class 375-ton submarine chaser and a 100 to 200-ton patrol boat, according to the source.
"The Hainan-class submarine chaser probably sank because it's old. It was built in China in the 1960s and the North bought it in the mid-70s," the source added.
Or...they take that "submarine chasing" thing pretty seriously.
SEOULSouth Korea denied a claim by North Korea that it had arrested a spy sent by Seoul, while Christian groups said the person could be a missionary working inside the country.
North Korean state media said late Thursday a South Korean intelligence agent was arrested in Pyongyang for espionage work aimed at rallying "dishonest elements" within North Korea and "undermining the stability of the social system."
The man "confessed he is a South Korean who intruded into Pyongyang after illegally entering the DPRK from a third country," the Korean Central News Agency reported.
A spokeswoman for the South Korean National Intelligence Service, Seoul's spy agency, said the report was foolish "totally groundless," but declined to comment further.
The North Korean report said the man had disguised himself as a "religionist," suggesting he could be a Christian missionary. Christian missionaries work near the Sino-North Korean border, often helping refugees escape North Korea's poverty and move to South Korea.
A clergyman in Seoul familiar with missionaries working in the border area said that the Christian community was working to verify the identity of the man. Human rights workers say some South Korean missionaries operate inside North Korea.
Pyongyang argues that nongovernmental groups including Christian missionaries are engaged in psychological warfare, disseminating information about the outside world and fomenting internal uprising.
Though North Korean state media have reported the arrest of a handful of foreign citizens in recent years, the announcement of an alleged intelligence agent's capture is unprecedented, according to Seoul's Ministry of Unification, which handles inter-Korean affairs.
Seo Jae-pyong, a North Korean defector and secretary general of an activist group based in Seoul, said there were instances of human rights workers or missionaries being caught at border towns but the reported presence of such a person in the North Korean capital was highly unusual.
"If it's true, it would be a shock to the regime," said Mr. Seo.
Pyongyang is well organized in terms of a repressive city: think of Moscow, 1938. Block wardens, watchers everywhere, and so on. I'm a little surprised that anyone could get an agent in there for any length of time. If this story is really true perhaps Fat Boy's grip on power is looser than we've imagined.
U.S. tour guide and Christian missionary Kenneth Bae was arrested in November last year close to the Chinese border and sentenced by North Korea to 15 years of hard labor for unspecified "hostile acts" against the state.
Mr. Bae remains in detention and is thought to be the longest-held American captive inside North Korea since the 1950-1953 Korean War.
When North Korean leader Fat Boy Kim Jong-un studied at a boarding school in Switzerland, his maternal aunt, Ko Yong-suk, was charged with looking after him in the foreign locale for several years.
Then, 15 years ago, Ko vanished.
The JoongAng Ilbo has learned that Ko, 55, sought political asylum in the United States in 1998. She is receiving protection from U.S. authorities, according to a source who was a high-level official in the National Intelligence Service at the time, which was during the Kim Dae-jung administration.
When Pudgy Kim Jong-un attended the prestigious International School of Berne from 1996-01, his aunt looked after him for two of those years.
Ko is the younger sister of Ko Yong-hui, Suet Face's Kim Jong-un's mother, who was born in Japan and was a member of Pyongyang's Mansudae Art Troupe. Kim's mother died in 2004 from breast cancer at the age of 51.
Combining memories of the intelligence source and that of a high-level diplomat who worked at the Embassy of Korea in Switzerland in 1998, the JoongAng Ilbo has learned that Ko Yong-suk and her husband sought asylum from the United States in early May 1998 from the U.S. Embassy in Geneva, which granted it after confirming their identities.
Following instructions by her brother-in-law, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, Ko had spent two years in Switzerland looking after The Stupid One Jong-un and hiding her identity from North Korean diplomats.
"U.S. authorities spirited away Ko and her husband without even informing us," the NIS source told the JoongAng Ilbo, "sending them to the U.S. through a base in Frankfurt."
Then we kept it a secret for 15 years? I'm truly impressed. Nice job CIA...
Once settling in the U.S., Ko and her husband faced in-depth questioning by U.S. authorities, which extracted a large amount of information about North Korea's ruling dynasty.
The source said that the couple defected because they knew so many secrets of the internal goings-on in Pyongyang and were scared. The intelligence source said U.S. authorities gave the couple new identities and "through plastic surgery made them into completely different people."
You now know them as...Brangelina.
They are living in the U.S. with special safeguarding by the Central Intelligence Agency's witness protection program, he said.
The diplomatic source also confirmed to the JoongAng Ilbo that the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland did not tell Korean officials right away about Ko seeking asylum in the U.S., and that it was only toward the end of May 1998 that they were informed.
When Pudgy's Kim Jong-un's mother found out that her younger sister had fled to the U.S., she was angry, the intelligence source said. She threatened to track her down and make her pay, saying, "How can she abandon the family and escape just for herself?"
Um, maybe they found out that you and hubby were planning to torture them? I'm just guessing here...
Others asylum seekers from the Kim family include Kim Jong-il's nephew-in-law Yi Han-yong in 1982. His mother was younger sister of Song Hye-rim, Kim Jong-il's mistress and mother of Kim Jong-nam. Song also reportedly defected to Moscow in 1996.
The chief nuclear negotiators of South Korea, Japan and the U.S. on Wednesday reiterated that North Korea must make good on earlier promises to dismantle its atomic program if six-party nuclear talks are to resume. This suggests that they rejected a compromise suggested by China's top nuclear envoy Wu Dawei, who was in Washington recently, whereby the talks would restart first while North Korea acts on its pledges.
In a meeting at the U.S. State Department, chief South Korean nuclear negotiator Cho Tae-yong and his counterparts Glyn Davies and Junichi Ihara discussed conditions for resumption of the talks, as well as the general situation on the Korean Peninsula.
The North wants for unconditional resumption of the six-party talks and China, which nominally chairs them, has been active on all sides to get the talks underway.
But the three envoys reportedly concluded that there would be no point sitting down with North Korea unless there is some guarantee that anything would be achieved.
[The Wash Times] The Central Intelligence Agency has been paying communications giant $10 million annually for access to the companys massive database of telephone records, which contains international and domestic calls, government sources said. Other Agency communications clients to step forward ?
The business deal is voluntary, The New York Times reported. Neither subpoena nor court order compels the company to participate, the unnamed government officials said in the report. Quite correct, a simple business decision based on the merits. Nothing to do with the IRS at all. Nothing at all. By the way, how was the $10 million per year treated for tax purposes ?
[Al Ahram] The Pak Taliban's appointment of a new hardline leader opposed to peace talks and with a long history of attacks against the military could push the army into launching a fresh offensive, analysts said Friday.
The election of Mullah Fazlullah ...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan... , notorious for leading the bully boys' brutal two-year rule in Pakistain's northwestern Swat ...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat... valley, is like a "red rag to a bull", one analyst said.
It could also raise tensions with Kabul at a critical juncture as US-led forces withdraw from Afghanistan after 12 years of war.
While Kabul has long accused Islamabad of supporting the Afghan Taliban, Fazlullah has orchestrated cross-border attacks from his hideout in eastern Afghanistan, and Pakistain suspects its neighbour's intelligence services of supporting him.
Fazlullah, nicknamed Mullah Radio for his fiery ...a single two-syllable word carrying connotations of both incoherence and viciousness. A fiery delivery implies an audience of rubes and yokels, preferably forming up into a mob... sermons over the airwaves denouncing polio ...Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. Between 1840 and the 1950s, polio was a worldwide epidemic. Since the development of polio vaccines the disease has been largely wiped out in the civilized world. However, since the vaccine is known to make Moslem pee-pees shrink and renders females sterile, bookish, and unsubmissive it is not widely used by the turban and automatic weapons set... vaccination campaigns and female education, is renowned as a lunatic an uncompromising commander.
Pak intelligence believes he is linked to the failed attempt Curses! Foiled again! to kill schoolgirl education activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in Swat in October 2012. He was appointed chief of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) on Thursday, nearly a week after a US drone strike killed his predecessor Hakimullah Mehsud.
Islamabad reacted angrily to the killing of Mehsud, with the interior minister saying Washington had "sabotaged" peace talks.
It is not clear what progress, if any, had been made towards meaningful dialogue -- but the process lies in tatters after Fazlullah's election.
On Thursday, the snuffies dismissed the idea of peace talks with the government as a "waste of time", and said they would never negotiate until sharia law was imposed across the country.
Defence analyst Talat Masood, a retired general, said the TTP's choice of Fazlullah, whose men have carried out bloody and humiliating attacks against the army, was like a "red rag to a bull".
"This leaves no margin for negotiation and they will have to resort to a military operation and will have to be fully prepared to prevent terrorist actions in the country," Masood told AFP.
"He is enemy number one of the military."
In September, political parties backed the government's proposal for talks to try to end the TTP's six-year insurgency, which has killed thousands.
Fazlullah's men responded by killing two senior army officers, including a major general, in a roadside kaboom -- a galling blow to the pride of the military, which remains the most powerful institution in Pakistain.
Fazlullah rubbed salt in the wounds by issuing a video message to claim the attack and to reveal the intended target was General Ashfaq Kayani ... four star general, current Chief of Army Staff of the Mighty Pak Army. Kayani is the former Director General of ISI... , the army's supreme commander.
In 2009 a major military operation ended Fazlullah's rule in Swat. Later that year another offensive cleared bully boy hideouts in South Wazoo, one of the seven tribal areas along the Afghan border seen as a haven for Taliban and Al-Qaeda bully boys.
Washington has pushed for a similar offensive in North Waziristan, which has borne the brunt of the US drone campaign targeting suspected bully boys, but none has yet taken place.
A senior security source told AFP a military operation would "become inevitable" if, as seems likely, dialogue does not proceed, and warned of worsening relations with Kabul.
"The government and the military top brass in almost all previous rounds of meetings with their Afghan interlocutors have been pointing out Fazlullah's presence on Afghan soil and his activities against the Pak state," the source said.
Kayani is to retire on November 29 and his replacement as army chief has yet to be announced. The security official said Fazlullah's appointment would have a bearing on the decision.
"The priority will now be to have a person on this post, who has expertise in counter insurgency and related matters," the official said.
[Pak Daily Times] The Pak Taliban announced on Friday they would orchestrate a wave of Dire Revenge™ attacks against the government after naming hardline commander Mullah Fazlullah ...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan... as their new leader. "We will target security forces, government installations, politicians and police," Asmatullah Shaheen, head of the Taliban shura, told Rooters by telephone from some holy man's guesthouse an undisclosed location. He said the Taliban's main target included army and government installations in Punjab. "We have a plan. But I want to make one thing clear. We will not target civilians, bazaars or public places. People do not need to be afraid," Shaheen added. "Pakistain has full information about drone attacks," said Shaheen. "Pakistain is a slave of America. It is an American colony." The Pak Taliban are fighting to topple the government and impose their rule in the nuclear-armed nation. Attacks have been on the rise since Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... came to power in May.
[Pak Daily Times] Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf ...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations.... Chairman Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who ain't the brightest knife in the national drawer... accused the United States on Friday of deliberately destroying any chance of meaningful peace talks with the Pak Taliban by killing the insurgency's leader in a drone strike a week ago.
The Taliban have since rejected talks with the government and threatened a wave of Dire Revenge™ attacks for the death of their chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, on November 1. Imran told Rooters in an interview that the United States had scuppered negotiations at a time when the bully boyz seemed to have become more open to them. "If there was a chance of peace talks, we should have grabbed it," he said at his sprawling estate outside Islamabad.
"The Americans basically could have taken out Hakimullah whenever they wanted. I think the timing was to sabotage the grinding of the peace processor. "The Americans think that if there is fighting going on here ...in our tribal belt, there is less chance of forces of Evil going over to the other side (Afghanistan) to fight the Americans at a time when they are withdrawing." Washington has long put pressure on Pakistain to do more to tackle the insurgency but the new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... , elected in May, wants to find a negotiated solution to years of violence.
Attacks against the army and civilians, however, have been on the rise since Nawaz came to power, causing concern in a region already nervous about the planned withdrawal of US-led troops from Afghanistan in 2014. Earlier this week US Secretary of State John F. I was in Vietnam, you know Kerry Former Senator-for-Life from Massachussetts, self-defined war hero, speaker of French, owner of a lucky hat, conqueror of Cambodia, and current Secretary of State... suggested the drone attack was justifiable, while at the time saying Washington was sensitive to Pak concerns. Mehsud had been tentatively open to ceasefire talks with the government, but new Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah ...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan... strongly opposes negotiations.
Imran said missiles fired by unmanned US aircraft in North Wazoo have only fuelled anti-American sentiment. He agrees with Nawaz on the need for peace talks with the Pakistain Taliban, an al Qaeda-linked group fighting to topple the government. Imran, whose political party is now in charge of the volatile Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... , has threatened to cut NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... supply lines through his region from November 20 if US drone strikes do not end. Blocking NATO trucks at Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa border checkpoints could disrupt the operations of US-led forces in Afghanistan but any decision to close supply routes through Pakistain would have to come from the central government in Islamabad.
"They (the Taliban) think ... we are the slaves of America, that the Pakistain government is taking money from the US and fighting its (America's) war and killing its own people," Imran said. "Therefore they have declared jihad (holy war) against the Pakistain Army and Pak security forces. The dialogue should (take place) to take that narrative away." Despite Nawaz's emphasis on talks, no meaningful negotiations have taken place since his election and Fazlullah's rise could signal the start of a new period of uncertainty and violence in the unstable region.
Posted by: Fred ||
11/09/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[Pak Daily Times] The Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) on Friday denounced the title of martyr for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain's slain chief Hakimullah Mehsud, saying he had killed thousands of innocent Mohammedans and cannot be called a martyr, media reports said.
The SIC said such a title for the slain krazed killer commander was against the teachings of Islam. The Council, which is a political coalition of numerous religious groups hailing from the Sunni tradition of Islam, issued two fatwas based on the opinion of around 30 muftis on Friday. SIC Chairman Hamid Raza Rizvi announced that the collective opinion from all the muftis said calling a man responsible for the loss of so many lives a "martyr" went against the teachings of the holy Koran and Sunnah.
Earlier this week, 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... Chairman Munawwar Hasan and the JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman had remarked that TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud was a "martyr", considering the circumstances of his death. Rehman had gone to the extent of saying anyone killed by the US would be a martyr, in his opinion. The SIC disapproved of this comment, and in a second fatwa, also rejected the idea of justifying killings in the name of Dire Revenge™ for drone attacks. The Council maintained that the inhuman drone attacks represented the worst violation of laws, morals and basic tenets of humanity, but killing innocent people as a way of "avenging" them was unacceptable. Chairman Hamid Raza also asked Rehman to take his words back. Speaking at a party meeting, Hamid Raza claimed that the United States started a crusade against the Mohammedans. He further said that the drone attacks cannot justify terrorism. The SIC chief claimed that TTP has proved its enmity with Pakistain by appointing Mullah Fazlullah ...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan... as the TTP chief as he is always busy making terrorist plots against Pakistain under the shelter of US, sitting back in Afghanistan. Hamid Raza urged a ban on groups having armed wings.
[Pak Daily Times] Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... Friday reiterated his government's desire to hold talks with the Taliban for making Pakistain a peaceful country.
Speaking during his visit to Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... , Prime Minister Nawaz appealed to the estranged segments among the Baloch population to join the mainstream, give up arms and abandon their current course in order to be part of the caravan serving the country. He was addressing a gathering of area notables at the Central Relief Camp set up at the Circuit House by the Balochistan government for the earthquake victims. Wooing the estranged Baloch, the prime minister used a local phrase that says if a person returns home late after straying, he is embraced back into the fold.
He said the estranged Baloch "are our brothers" and stressed that hostility serves no purpose. "They should abandon hostility and work for the betterment of Pakistain's economy. ...They are our brothers. We harbour no sentiment of Dire Revenge™," Prime Minister Nawaz declared. About the earthquake victims, the prime minister said he was deeply saddened by the calamity which had hit them. He said that at the time of the quake, he was out of the country, however, he had directed Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to visit the quake-affected area.
He said the federal government, Balochistan government and the army had jointly launched relief work for the quake victims and accomplished the initial responsibilities commendably. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he was extremely grieved over the loss of lives and the injuries caused to other people by the earthquake. He said the government desired to rehabilitate those people whose houses were destroyed so as to mitigate the loss suffered by them.
The prime minister said the worst-hit Awaran District will be turned into a modern district. "The people of Balochistan and the people of Pakistain should feel that the government realises its obligations," he said. Nawaz said it will be the endeavour of the government to construct the destroyed houses soon. He said opinion of the local people will be sought so ascertain their wishes, and whether the government should build houses for them or provide them money to build them themselves. "New technology will be utilised in the construction of the houses so that this village-like place may look like a beautiful city," remarked Nawaz.
About the issue of terrorism, Prime Minister Nawaz recalled that the government had finalised the plan to initiate dialogue with the Taliban and a delegation was scheduled to leave when the process was impeded. He, however, reiterated the government's desire to have talks with Taliban for making Pakistain a peaceful country. "We want dialogue with Taliban and do not want more bloodshed of our brothers and sisters," the prime minister remarked.
Referring to the ongoing targeted operation in 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... , the prime minister said it is only against the criminals. "The criminals, even if they belong to our own party, will not be spared." The operation will continue until the last culprit is nabbed and brought to justice, the prime minister added. An MQM delegation called on Prime Minister Nawaz at the Governor's House in Karachi on Friday and discussed law and order with him.
Posted by: Fred ||
11/09/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[Pak Daily Times] Activists from right-wing religious parties led protests in the country Friday to denounce a US drone strike that killed the leader of the Pak Taliban, after the movement named a notorious hardliner as his successor.
Pakistain last week reacted angrily to the drone attack that killed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud in the North Wazoo Agency. The government said it destroyed efforts to begin talks to end the TTP's bloody six-year insurgency that has left thousands of soldiers, police and civilians dead. The interior minister accused Washington of sabotaging peace efforts, and the Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf ...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations.... (PTI) chief Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who ain't the brightest knife in the national drawer... called for a blockade of NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... convoys to Afghanistan.
Around 1,200 supporters of the 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... (JI) staged a protest sit-in on Friday, blocking a NATO supply route in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. , police and an AFP news hound said. Mohammad Ismail, a police brass hat in Peshawar said the road would reopen soon. "It is temporary due to the protest rally, supplies will re-open on Saturday," Ismail told AFP. Pakistain is a key transit route for the US-led mission in landlocked Afghanistan, particularly as NATO forces withdraw by the end of next year. Many of the trucks now are actually removing NATO equipment after 12 years of war.
"Block NATO supply, stop drone attack," read one banner at the rally. Protesters carrying placards and party flags were shouting anti-US slogans, an AFP news hound said. In Lahore, more than 200 activists of Jamaat-ud-Dawa ...the front organization of Lashkar-e-Taiba... (JuD) gathered outside the press club and rolled their eyes, jumped up and down, and hollered poorly rhymed slogans real loud against the US. JuD also held a small rally in 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... . "America does not want a peaceful Pakistain, it is against peace talks, government should shoot down US drones," Shabeer Ahmad Khan, a JI leader told the gathering in Peshawar.
Imran has set a November 20 deadline for the halting of drone strikes and threatened to block NATO convoys in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... , where PTI leads the coalition government. But it is not clear how he would carry out such a blockade as authority over highways lies with the federal government. Islamabad condemns drone strikes as a violation of illusory sovereignty, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... urged President Barack Obama I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go... to end them during White House talks last week.
But analysts say Nawaz's ability to issue demands to Washington are constrained by the fact the US last month agreed to release around $1.6 billion in aid. In addition, Pakistain has just embarked on a new $6.7 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package with support from Washington. Mehsud's death last Friday was the third major blow struck against the TTP by the US this year, following the killing of number two Waliur Rehman in a drone strike in May and the capture of another senior lieutenant in Afghanistan last month. On Thursday, the TTP named its new leader as hardline holy manMullah Fazlullah ...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan... , known for leading the Taliban's bloody two-year rule in Swat ...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat... Valley.
Posted by: Fred ||
11/09/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Taiba
[Pak Daily Times] Sri Lanka, which faces international censure over alleged war crimes, has revoked the visas of human rights One man's rights are another man's existential threat. experts for a meeting coinciding with a Commonwealth summit, the International Bar Association said on Friday.
The London-based IBA's team of experts had their visas withdrawn ahead of their planned attendance at a seminar next week in Colombo, when the 53-member Commonwealth bloc also holds its biennial summit in Colombo.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka said the government's decision to block their foreign guest speakers amounted to a "clear assault" on freedom of speech and association.
The International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) was due to attend a seminar titled: "Making Commonwealth Values a Reality: the Rule of Law and the Independence of the Legal Profession."
IBAHRI said Sri Lankan authorities revoked the visas on Wednesday, saying they were unable to "facilitate any visits" during an "embargoed period from October 20 to November 20". The visas had been issued in August. "By denying entry to the IBAHRI delegation, the government of Sri Lanka is demonstrating to the world its determination to block freedom of speech and independent discussion in the country," IBAHRI co-chair Sternford Moyo said in a statement. He said Sri Lanka was trying to leave Commonwealth heads "cocooned and isolated".
"The argument from the government is that we did not get permission from the foreign ministry to hold the seminar," Upul Jayasuriya, chief of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) which was organising the seminar, told AFP.
"We don't need their permission, there is no legal requirement for that. This is a clear assault on the freedom of expression and association."
Jayasuriya said BASL had similar parallel legal gatherings during previous summits held in Sri Lanka and noted that authorities placed no obstacles in their way. Sri Lanka's hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) four years after the end of the decades-long Tamil separatist war is already mired in controversy. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is boycotting CHOGM to protest against Sri Lanka's failure to probe its troops over allegations they killed up to 40,000 civilians while defeating Tamil rebels in 2009.
If they were concerned with 'human' rights they'd uphold the Geneva Convention that holds those who use civilians as shields to be the guilty and punished party rather than the other combatant. However, 'human rights' types seem to skip over that little technicality rather easily. After five years of bloody fighting no one seemed that upset of about 125,000 civilian deaths in the Battle for Berlin (or those who suffered under allied bombing). Write it off to 'pay back' that seems to be a pattern in several thousand years of human history. I don't see these types on the ground in Syria today putting themselves between the combatants pointing fingers. They always seem to show up afterward and rather selective in their demands as both Israeli and Americans have experienced.
[Al Ahram] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned John F. I was in Vietnam, you know Kerry Former Senator-for-Life from Massachussetts, self-defined war hero, speaker of French, owner of a lucky hat, conqueror of Cambodia, and current Secretary of State... Friday he was offering Iran the "deal of the century" as the US top diplomat headed to landmark talks in Geneva seeking a nuclear agreement.
Netanyahu vowed that Israel would not be bound by any international agreement on Iran's nuclear programme and reserved the right to do whatever is necessary to defend itself -- a clear allusion to a pre-emptive military strike.
Meeting with the US Secretary of State on the tarmac of Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, the Israeli leader, a fierce opponent of any let-up in sanctions, lashed out at the world powers' cautious rapprochement with Iran and denounced the proposed agreement being hammered out in Switzerland ...home of the Helvetians, famous for cheese, watches, yodeling, and William Tell...
Kerry flew in from Amman for a brief stopover in Tel Aviv and his third meeting with Netanyahu in as many days, in a bid to soothe Israeli anger ahead of his arrival in Geneva.
There he will hold a three-way meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is chairing the talks.
"Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal, this is a very bad deal. Israel utterly rejects it," Netanyahu told news hounds.
"Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to defend itself and the security of its people."
Israel, which has the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear arsenal, staunchly opposes any easing of sanctions on a country whose leaders in the past have denied the Holocaust and said the Jewish state should cease to exist.
It views a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat and has consistently refused to rule out a pre-emptive military strike to prevent that from happening.
"I understand that the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva, as well they should be, because they got everything and paid nothing.
"They wanted relief of sanctions after years of a gruelling sanctions regime -- they got that -- they are paying nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability," he said of the deal which has not yet been hammered out.
Washington has made clear that Kerry's arrival in Geneva does not signal that there is a done deal with Iran.
"In an effort to help narrow the differences in negotiations, Secretary Kerry will travel to Geneva, Switzerland today at the invitation of EU High Representative Ashton to hold a trilateral meeting with High Representative Ashton and Foreign Minister Zarif on the margins of the P5+1 negotiations," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
Posted by: Fred ||
11/09/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iran
[An Nahar] Leb will file a complaint to the United Nations ...aka the Oyster Bay Chowder and Marching Society... Security Council over the recent spying stations installed by Israel along its border with Leb.
According to al-Joumhouria newspaper published on Friday, the complaint will be filed in light of the report issued by the parliamentary telecommunications committee, which will meet on Monday.
Speaker Nabih Knobby Berri Speaker of the Lebanese parliament, a member of AMAL, a not very subtle Hizbullah sock puppet... revealed on Wednesday that Israel had set up a number of spying stations along its border with Leb, starting from al-Naqoura passing by Khiyam all the way to Shebaa.
The biggest espionage station is allegedly installed in al-Abbad and Jal al-Alam areas, which are located near the U.N. demarcated Blue line.
The head of the parliamentary committee, MP Hassan Fadlallah, said in comments published in As Safir newspaper on Thursday that the meeting will be held in presence of Telecom Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui and a specialized team in addition to the Foreign Ministry representatives.
Posted by: Fred ||
11/09/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Hezbollah
yeah, now that Leb has all its' other problems solved they can worry about the Juice again.
Posted by: Frank G ||
11/09/2013 10:50 Comments ||
Israel's intel stations are within the Israeli border. End of discussion.
Reports have emerged this week indicating the presence of North Korean military personnel in Syria. They note that 15 North Korean helicopter pilots are operating there on behalf of President Bashar Assads regime. The reports have been validated by the pro-rebel but usually reliable Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Earlier this year, the Saudi-based regional newspaper Asharq al-Awsat carried eyewitness reports revealing the presence of North Korean officers among the Syrian regimes ground forces in the city of Aleppo. On this occasion, the Syrian Observatory was itself the source of the report.
Asharq Al-Awsat detailed the presence of between 11 and 15 North Korean officers in the city. Rami Abdul Rahman of the organization said the men were artillery officers.
They were not, he said, taking part directly in the fighting. Rather, the men were engaged in providing logistical support in addition to the development plans of military operations.
These sightings are the latest confirmation of the long, close and cooperative relationship maintained between Pyongyang and the regime of the Assads.
Birds of a feather...
The connection precedes the current Syrian war. It forms part of North Koreas broader network of relationships in the Middle East.
Most famously, of course, the plutonium reactor under construction at the al-Kibar facility near Deir ez-Zor, destroyed by Israel in September 2007, was built under North Korean supervision. North Korean participation in the reactors construction was confirmed by a high-level Iranian defector, Ali Reza Asghari. According to Der Spiegel, North Korean scientists were present at the site at the time of the bombing.
Let's hope they got flattened along with the reactor building...
But Assads fledgling nuclear program was not the only project in which Damascus was aided by Pyongyang. Cooperation also took place both in the field of conventional weapons and in that of nonnuclear weapons of mass destruction.
In an October 3 interview with Radio Free Asia, former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst Bruce Bechtol noted that North Korea has been supplying weaponry, including chemical weapons, to Syria since the early 1990s. According to Bechtol, North Korea provides the Syrians with the ability to marry up chemical weapons with missile systems. He noted that the North Koreans constructed two chemical weapons facilities for the Syrians, which remain in operation today.
In terms of conventional weapons, North Korea has played a vital part in Syrias missile program.
The North Koreans are acknowledged experts in weapons smuggling process. They have continued to transport spare parts for Assads missiles into the country throughout the war, by air and by sea, coolly dismissive of the supposed international arms embargo.
Just who isn't dismissive of UN embargoes and sanctions these days?
According to a 2012 report prepared for the UN Security Council, South Korea intercepted one shipment in May 2012, which was carrying graphite cylinders en route to Syria for Assads missiles.
The Iraqi authorities also claim to have diverted a plane carrying North Korean material to Syria, last September.
Bechtol, the former DIA man, noted that in the past few months, theres been an uptick in the number of North Korean advisers and logistics personnel on the ground that are helping Syrians resupply themselves, and in the maintenance of weapons systems earlier supplied by Pyongyang. Such maintenance and resupply, of course, is vital for a country engaged in a long war, in which systems are in daily use.
Why are the North Koreans doing this? The answer does not lie in the realm of ideology. Rather, the North Koreans are isolated and subject to sanctions. They need money, and will sell to whoever pays them.
So who is paying them? In the case of Syria, the answer is almost certainly the Iranians.
As with Russia, Syria does not get free arms handouts from its sponsors outside of the region. It instead gets free cash handouts from its regional patron, Iran, for which the survival of the Assad regime is most vital. This money is then used to pay for Pyongyangs and Moscows hardware and expertise.
Of course, Iran is North Koreas main customer in the Middle East.
So Pyongyangs evident involvement in the Syrian war is also a matter of longstanding alliances, as well as monetary gain.
Most intriguing in the latest development is the involvement of North Korean pilots. It is not clear if these men are actually engaged in combat on behalf of Assad, or in other tasks. But their presence appears to suggest that the dictators problems with manpower also extend to his air force. The lack of trustworthy fighters has been the main problem facing the regime since the outbreak of the war.
Iran has sought to solve it through the insertion of large numbers of Hezbollah fighters, Iraqi Shiite volunteers and Iranian Revolutionary Guards into the fighting lines. If Pyongyang is now supplying pilots to the regime, then appears it can no longer rely even on its own airmen.
This is quite plausible.
On the one hand, the Assad regime is, among other things, an air force regime. Hafez Assad was himself a pilot and a commander of the Syrian Air Force. But as with other parts of the armed forces, the most loyal men in the air force are to be found in the most politically sensitive positions, not the most dangerous ones.
So while the very powerful Syrian Air Force Intelligence (Idarat al- Mukhabarat al-Quwwa al-Jawiya) is largely officered by Syrian Alawites, the majority of the pilots are Sunnis. As such, it is perfectly possible that the same problems of trust apply to Assads aircrews as those which afflict his ground forces.
The evidence suggesting the presence of North Korean soldiers and aviators in Syria ultimately furthers testimony to the determined, effective and continuing effort by Assads allies, from the very start of the war, to keep him in place.
It may also be assumed that the North Koreans have noted and enjoyed the rudderless, wavering US policy toward the same issue over the same period.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.