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Nigeria hard boyz threaten total war
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Afghanistan
Afghans to share intel with Pakistan on Taliban
Pakistan and Afghanistan will share intelligence about the whereabouts of Taliban and Al Qaeda activists inside Pakistan and are devising a mechanism to ensure that subversive elements were firmly dealt with, the Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah said.

Talking to Daily Times, the Afghan foreign minister said that there were no two opinions about the presence of Taliban on Pakistani soil.

The issue, he said, was how to deal with the threat and how to fight the “common enemy”, he said, adding that the issue had been discussed by Pakistani and Afghan leaders during the current round of talks. He said that security remained the main focus of the talks between President Hamid Karzai and President Pervez Musharraf. “I think this visit provided the best opportunity to find solutions to these issues,” he said. Abdullah said that Pakistan had raised the issue of border incursions during the talks and it was also discussed in detail. He rejected Pakistan’s proposal to fence the border between the two countries as a way of curtailing cross-border incursions.

“A fence or wall is something which separates nations. We are living in an age where we need to build bridges, not walls,” he said. “On Thursday, President Karzai addressed the National Defence College, where he was asked about this proposal by one of the participants,” he said. “Al Qaeda doesn’t have a base in Afghanistan anymore,” he said, adding, “Although there are groups linked to Al Qaeda carrying out suicide attacks in Afghanistan, they don’t have a base there anymore,” he said.

He said Afghanistan was a global base of operations for Al Qaeda before September 11, and they controlled almost 90 percent of the country. “However, the situation has completely changed now,” he said.

The Afghan minister said that his government was in the process of developing close relations with all countries in the region, including India and Pakistan. “Our relations with India are very important to us,” he said. “Expanding our relations with Pakistan, India and Iran and the rest of the world is our number one priority,” he said. He rejected a comparison with Iraq, saying that there was a clear-cut difference between the situation of the two countries. “Of course, the situation in Afghanistan is different, and calling it ‘occupation’ would be incorrect,” he said. “The presence of international forces in Afghanistan has helped its people rebuild their homeland,” he said.

In response to a question about Afghanistan acting as a channel between energy-rich Central Asia and South Asia, the Afghan foreign minister said that things had changed and now there was enough stability in Afghanistan to make trade with other countries in the region possible.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I hope this isn't a mistake. I hope that the info doesn't immediately get to the Taliban.
Posted by: Jackal || 02/18/2006 9:56 Comments || Top||


Africa Horn
US army helicopters crash off Djibouti
Two US Marine Corps helicopters on a night time training mission have crashed into the waters of the Gulf of Aden, leaving two crew members injured and 10 others missing. The CH-53 helicopters went down around 5.30pm local time on Friday in the waters near Ras Siyuan in northern Djibouti, a US military statement said. "There were a total of 12 crew members aboard at the time of the crash," the statement said. "Djiboutian military members near the impact site responded immediately and were able to rescue two injured crew members," it said.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength, and skill
Their land to serve, thy law fulfill;
Be thou the shield forevermore
From every peril to the Corps.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 02/18/2006 11:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Sadly, all of the missing have been accounted for - no other survivors.
Posted by: lotp || 02/18/2006 13:46 Comments || Top||

#3  damn
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2006 15:52 Comments || Top||

#4  on wings of eagles...
Posted by: RD || 02/18/2006 16:23 Comments || Top||

#5  May their memory be for a blessing.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2006 16:32 Comments || Top||

#6  God bless their souls and their families.
Posted by: GoldenShellBack || 02/18/2006 17:02 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Gaddafi: Islam will 'subordinate Europe'
h/t lgf
In his first public statement after the braking out of the scandal with the cartoons with Prophet Muhammad the Libyan Leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi announced that one day the Islam will disseminate its power over the European countries, the web edition of Libya Today reports.

In his statement Gaddafi calls those who had published the cartoons “slanderers who disseminate religious hatred”. He went on criticizing European schools that teach the children that the Muslim Prophet was not a messenger of Allah but a liar.

According to Gaddafi the riots in the poor suburbs of Paris last year were “only the beginning of the armed struggle of the Muslims against discrimination in Europe”. “Probably one day Europe will be subordinated to the Islam”, Col. Gaddafi claimed, cited by the publication.
Posted by: lotp || 02/18/2006 14:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

#1  About time to use the A-bomb on these idiots and grab their oil.
Posted by: Juns Thaick4495 || 02/18/2006 14:48 Comments || Top||

#2  To see how such things evolve, look to North America, from 1600 to 1880. It took that long for Europeans to immigrate and out-breed the local population; for the most part the subjugation of the Indians was not done with bullets, but with sperm. Wake up, Europe (and get back to bed.)
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/18/2006 15:26 Comments || Top||

#3  Regretfully I must agree with Mad Dog. France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Scandinavia ('cept Denmark) just can't surrender fast enough. And this time, I don't think the US should save them. If they don't value their freedom enough to act - to hell with 'em.
Posted by: DMFD || 02/18/2006 15:28 Comments || Top||

#4  Sad thing is that most Europeans know that Gaddafi is right. Islam and the European socialists seem to get on very well. The socialist majorities combined with the demographic development in some European areas make that the Islamification of europe won't even be violent but just a thing that is going to happen over time.....
Posted by: Choluns Unease4498 || 02/18/2006 15:52 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm worried a bit about islam becoming a "trend" pick for the LLL and the apologists. A cult choice for a generation with little education, buts lots of TV. Maybe reality becomes the next "Reality TV" show, with a large viewing audience of Real TV lovers thinking the choice is just a trend and part of the show.

And then there's the quiet scared parents, pretending it all isn't happening.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/18/2006 20:07 Comments || Top||


Cartoon Corpse Count up to 11
Eleven people were killed and an Italian consulate was burned in Libya on Friday night during protests to denounce the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, sources in Libya said. There also was a "high number" of injuries, said an official with the Italian Embassy in Tripoli.

In the port city of Benghazi in northeast Libya, protesters set the Italian Consulate on fire, but it was safely evacuated and no employees were injured, said Francesco Trupiano, Italy's ambassador to Libya. "It was peaceful, then it became violent," Trupiano said of the protests in Libya's second-largest city. He said he doubts the consulate will close.

Trupiano speculated that the consulate was targeted because it is the only Western consulate in the city. However, many of the protesters said they were angry because Italian Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli recently flaunted a T-shirt displaying one of the controversial cartoons on state TV this week. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has asked Calderoli to resign.

Another demonstration was held in Sebha, where demonstrators gathered after Friday prayers and issued a statement urging respect for religious shrines and beliefs.

The state-run Libyan news agency, Jamahiriya, or Jana, reported on its Web site that the casualties occurred when protesters clashed with police. The public prosecutor has been asked to investigate the way police dealt with the demonstrators, the news agency said. Jana described the protests as massive but peaceful. It gave no crowd estimates.

The government "strongly denounces" the actions of those who burned part of the Italian consulate, Jana reported. Police were able to prevent most of the attackers from entering the building, but a few went inside and some vehicles outside were burned, the news agency reported. "The participants in this demonstration expressed in a statement their denunciation and condemnation of such encroachment on Islam and Muslims, stressing the necessity to condemn and criminalize this heinous action," Jana reported.

Protests over the cartoons have escalated in recent weeks, more than four months after they first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September. They were later reprinted by other publications, mostly in Europe. Muslims consider depictions of Mohammed blasphemous.

A written statement released by protesters in Benghazi said they consider Denmark's publication of the cartoons "a direct hostile action." The statement hailed the government's closure of Libya's embassy in Denmark and urged the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conferences to encourage boycotts of any nation that "may dare to touch our religious and historic symbols."

Demonstrators, some of whom set the Danish flag on fire, also appealed to economic institutions to ban the imports and consumption of goods produced in Denmark.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 02:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  as long as all the deaders were rioting muzzies i see no problem
Posted by: anon1 || 02/18/2006 11:01 Comments || Top||

#2 
Libya suspended its interior minister Saturday, citing an "excessive use of force" in riots the day before that left at least 10 people dead in the bloodiest protest yet

See here
NOTE: to include long links, type some phrase such as 'here', click on the LINK button and past the URL into the link window. Pasting the URL directly into your comment causes problems on the entire page.

Thanks! - the mods

Posted by: Whutch Threth6418 || 02/18/2006 11:19 Comments || Top||

#3  There's been more "cartoon" deaths in Algeria, today.

Ladies and gents, after pondering about it for a bit, the conclusion is unescapable: We need more cartoons!
Posted by: twobyfour || 02/18/2006 18:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Many years ago, I, too, wished to riot after Steve Ditko left "Spiderman" and "Dr. Strange" to lesser artists hands...
Posted by: borgboy || 02/18/2006 19:49 Comments || Top||


Africa Subsaharan
Deadliest cartoon riots kill 16 in Nigeria
Coincident with oil rebels? Sure, and OJ was innocent. EFL
Deadly protests over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad spread in Africa, killing 16 people in Nigeria on Saturday a day after claiming 11 lives in Libya.

Many of those who died in northern Nigeria were Christians, killed after a Muslim protest over the cartoons turned violent and rioters torched churches, shops and vehicles, police and local officials said.

It was the bloodiest protest so far over satirical cartoons of the Prophet, first published in a Danish newspaper, that Muslims regard as blasphemous.

"They went on the rampage, burning shops and churches of the Christians. The protesters killed the others. Some were even killed in the churches," said Joseph Hayab, north-west secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

The row over the cartoons also forced two ministers out of their jobs in Europe and the Middle East after 11 people died in the Libyan town of Benghazi in clashes on Friday between police and protesters who had tried to storm the Italian consulate.

Italian Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli, who had the cartoons made into a T-shirt which he wore on television, resigned after he was widely blamed for the violence in Libya.

In Tripoli, the General People's Congress fired Interior Minister Nasser al-Mabrouk Abdallah and police chiefs in Benghazi, saying "disproportionate force" had been used.

The Congress hailed the dead as "martyrs" and declared Sunday a day of mourning across Libya.

As thousands of Muslims rallied in central London to keep up the cycle of cartoon protests around the world, there was fresh bloodshed in Pakistan when four people were wounded in gunfire at a demonstration in the central Punjab region.

Protests in Pakistan this week have resulted in at least five deaths, and on Friday it became the latest country where Denmark has decided to temporarily close its embassy. Denmark urged any Danes in Pakistan to leave as soon as possible.

In Nigeria, whose 140 million people are divided about equally between Christians and Muslims, 15 people died in the northeastern state of Borno and one died in the north-central state of Katsina, police spokesman Haz Iwendi said.

He said 11 churches had been torched in Borno and the army had been called in to state capital Maiduguri to impose order.

"The Muslim group came out to protest and the security forces tried to ensure it was peaceful, but there were some hoodlums in the crowd and somehow the security forces shot one or two of them," said Hayab of CAN.

Thousands have been killed in Christian-Muslim clashes over the last five years in Nigeria. Twelve northern states, including Borno, introduced Islamic sharia law in 2000 which has contributed to the animosity between the two religions.

Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2006 20:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [418 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Image hosting by Photobucket
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2006 21:01 Comments || Top||


Nigeria hard boyz threaten total war
A Nigerian militant commander in the oil-rich southern Niger Delta has told the BBC his group is declaring "total war" on all foreign oil interests. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has given oil companies and their employees until midnight on Friday night to leave the region.

It recently blew up two oil pipelines, held four foreign oil workers hostage and sabotaged two major oilfields. The group wants greater control of the oil wealth produced on their land.

The warning came as militants and the army exchanged fire after a government helicopter gunship attacked barges allegedly used by smugglers to transport stolen crude oil. Correspondents say the militants provide security for the smugglers.

It is the first time the military leader of the Mend movement, Major-General Godswill Tamuno, has spoken publicly of his group's aims. He refused to be interviewed on tape or for his location to be disclosed.
"Are you crazy? I talk to you, and the Americans will come get me!"
He told the BBC's Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar that they had launched their campaign, called "dark February", to ensure that all foreign oil interests left. He said that they had had enough of the exploitation of their resources and wanted to take total control of the area to get their fair share of the wealth.
Not that he has any idea how to make an oil platform work.
Our correspondent says the movement brings together a variety of local Ijaw groups that had been operating in the Niger Delta before. The group enjoys considerable local support and it is difficult to pinpoint exactly who is a member, he says.
How about the ones carrying guns?
Mend's leaders tend to like to be faceless, our reporter says, and they usually send statements to the media via email.

Shell, one of the oil companies operating in the Niger Delta, told our reporter that security measures were being taken to secure their staff and property, but would not give details.

The Niger delta has been the scene of a low-level war in recent months and the government has increased its military presence in the region. After a government raid on oil barges earlier this week, Mend released a statement saying the helicopter gunship had fired rockets and machine-guns at targets on land and accused the military of targeting civilians.

It warned that its fighters were capable of shooting down military helicopters and accused Shell of helping out the security forces by allowing them use of an airstrip it operates. The military has denied it used the facility. According to AFP news agency, Shell has not confirmed or denied that its airstrip was the base for the attack.

The smugglers are believed to exchange oil for weapons from eastern Europe.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [698 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let me guess, the "Nigerian Scam" is not making enough money anymore.
Trying to augment their income through another kind of theft.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/18/2006 20:12 Comments || Top||


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Stavropol Krai fighting suggests Nogai Turks now joining Basayev
Russian police have claimed that the eight to 12 militants killed during an extended battle on 9-10 February in a village in the Neftekum district of Stavropol Krai were all Nogais, members of a djamaat, or militant group, based in the Shelkovsky district of northeastern Chechnya. If true, that report provides further evidence that in recent years ever-larger numbers of young men from other ethnic groups and regions of the North Caucasus have joined the ranks of the Chechen resistance.

The Nogais are a Turkic people descended from the Qipchaks who in the 13th and 14th centuries coalesced with their Mongol conquerors to form the Nogai Horde. They adopted Sunni Islam in the 14th century. Their language is most closely related to Kazakh and Kara-Kalpak. In other words, the Nogais are not ethnically or linguistically even remotely related to the Chechens and Ingush.

According to the brief history of the Nogais in Shirin Akiner's "Islamic Peoples Of The Soviet Union," which still remains an invaluable reference source 15 years after the demise of the USSR, the Nogai Horde split in the mid-16th century, with the Great Horde remaining on the lower Volga and the Little Horde settling on the right bank of the Kuban River and the shores of the Sea of Azov, and in southern Ukraine.

The two groups reunited in the mid-17th century after the Great Horde moved southwest, and became nominally subject to the Crimean Tatar khanate. In the 18th century, under pressure from the Tsarist Russian authorities, many Nogais moved either west to present-day Ukraine, south into the Caucasus, or emigrated to Ottoman Turkey.

At the time of the 1979 Soviet census, there were just under 60,000 Nogais in the USSR, while a decade later, that number had increased to some 75,500. Of those, roughly 28,000 lived in Daghestan, primarily in the northern Khasavyurt district. The Nogais constitute the eighth-largest of Daghestan's numerous ethnic groups.

There are also Nogai communities in neighboring Chechnya, Stavropol Krai, Karachaevo-Cherkessia, and Kabardino-Balkaria. In 1979, over 90 percent of Nogais in the USSR considered Nogai their native language, and 75 percent also claimed fluency in Russian.

An informal Nogai association, Nogai Birlik (Unity), representing the Nogais in Daghestan, in 1991 called for a separate Nogai state, according to a 1995 briefing paper compiled by the British nongovernmental organization International Alert. At that time, the Nogais reportedly opposed sovereignty for Daghestan on the grounds that it would make it more difficult for them to maintain contacts with their coethnics in other regions of the Russian Federation.

Possibly because they considered themselves victimized, oppressed, or simply neglected and forgotten by the Russian authorities, the Nogais, who are overwhelmingly rural dwellers engaged in agriculture, were among the first non-Chechens to join the Chechen resistance.

In a 13 February article, "Nezavisimaya gazeta" traces that involvement as far back as 1996, claiming that between 1996-99 a group of Nogais from Neftekum traveled to Chechnya for training at so-called "Wahhabi camps," presumably meaning the training camp established in Serzhen-Yurt by Saudi-born field commander Khattab.

The Russian daily further claims that the so-called Nogai battalion participated in the 1999 incursion into Daghestan spearheaded by Khattab and radical field commander Shamil Basayev that precipitated the second Chechen war. Whether Nogais from other regions of the North Caucasus have since formed comparable, separate djamaats remains unclear.

In December 2005, the head of the Stavropol directorate of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Lieutenant General Oleg Dukanov, claimed that the leader of the so-called Nogai djamaat, which he claimed comprised residents of the Neftekum, Levokum and Stepnov districts of Stavropol Krai, was killed in August 2005 while resisting arrest, regnum.ru reported on 15 December.

If so, the Nogai djamaat apparently retained both its cohesion and its fighting capacity despite the death of its commander. Police claimed to have secured arms -- including six assault rifles, two mortars, and three grenade launchers, together with quantities of ammunition and several walkie-talkies -- in the wake of the Neftekum operation, and claimed that the fighters in question were preparing to launch a major terrorist attack, possibly involving the seizure of a school or orphanage, during the last week of February.

Simultaneously with the Neftekum operation, police detained six alleged militants -- four men and two women -- in Pyatigorsk, also on suspicion of preparing a terrorist act, Interfax reported on 10 February. It is uncertain whether those six were also Nogais, and whether they were coordinating their activities with the Nogai djamaat.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:


5 hard boyz captured, 1 surrenders in Chechnya
A man, who was a member of an armed group led by Ruslan Nasipov, who was killed in 2005, has been detained in the village of Samashki in Chechnya's Achkhoi-Martan district, the press service of the republic's Interior Ministry told Interfax on Friday.

The militant told police where they could find his cache of arms and ammunition. Another militant turned himself in to police in the same village. He surrendered an assault rifle and ammunition.

Two militants were captured in the village of Belgatoi in the Shali district on Thursday. They are believed to have sheltered other armed group members and provided them with food supplies, weapons and ammunition, the press service said.

Two militants, including a woman, were captured in the town of Argun. They were members of an armed group standing behind the murder of several dozen civilians and policemen and car bombings. One of the militants, who was identified only by his last name, Bekhoyev, admitted to having helped other armed group members move around the town. The detained woman was responsible for gathering information on movements of trucks carrying servicemen and police officers.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [300 views] Top|| File under:


Down Under
Aussies getting Abrams tanks - 1st 5 ready to ship
Posted by: lotp || 02/18/2006 17:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Somebody should go around asking liberal politicians why Australia needs tanks if it has gun control?

I think that would provoke some interesting, if evasive, responses.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2006 18:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Modern day version of the Maxim? Somewhat metaphorically speaking, of course.
Posted by: borgboy || 02/18/2006 19:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Ideal weapon for saltie hunting.
Posted by: 6 || 02/18/2006 19:36 Comments || Top||

#4  That means they will be able to stay in the field with us. (Provided their comms, etc. are also good.) The Brits can, for now, but the Europeanization of their military will make it pretty worthless as an ally in another decade.
Posted by: Jackal || 02/18/2006 19:57 Comments || Top||

#5  message to Leb/Aussie protestors....bring it on
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2006 20:11 Comments || Top||


Europe
Spiegel: Germans allegedly helping Iran on nukes
Several German companies are under investigation for alleged involvement in Iran's disputed nuclear program, a German magazine reported Saturday.

Police searched the premises of eight firms as well as private homes on February 8 as part of the investigation, the Spiegel weekly said in an article released before its publication Monday.

Horst Salzmann, a spokesman for federal prosecutors, declined to comment on the report.

According to Spiegel, one firm from Cologne was involved in a planned delivery to Iran of equipment to detect radiation contamination on clothes and human skin.

Elsewhere on Saturday, French President Jacques Chirac said that the UN's nuclear watchdog would determine the ambitions of Iran's nuclear program, steering clear of the tough line taken by his foreign minister who recently called it a clandestine weapons program.

Chirac said it was not his role to say whether Iran was secretly making nuclear weapons.

"There are experts who are qualified to speak on the subject, and they are from the International Atomic Energy Agency," Chirac told a news conference in Bangkok. "Let's see what the experts say ... we are not going to enter into what-if in this situation."

On Thursday, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy called Iran's nuclear activity a "clandestine military nuclear program" and accused Tehran of ignoring the international community's demand to suspend all nuclear activity.

It was France's most direct attack on Tehran in an escalating international dispute and a departure from Europe's traditional diplomatic caution.
Posted by: lotp || 02/18/2006 16:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [439 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is this a new story, or does the same one just keep coming out every other week?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/18/2006 17:13 Comments || Top||

#2  I *think* last week's arrest was the first part of a wider inquiry we're hearing about today - or triggered one.
Posted by: lotp || 02/18/2006 17:15 Comments || Top||

#3  So Angela Merkel's election is having an effect?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2006 17:21 Comments || Top||

#4  In a 3 year period in the early 1900s KRUPP got the 3 countries (Chile, Bolivia Peru?) to replace their equipment kit 3 times in as many years as they sold equipment killers to one of the other countries.

Same old same old for the Deutch.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/18/2006 20:22 Comments || Top||


Italian embassy torched in Libya, demonstrations in London
Posted by: lotp || 02/18/2006 11:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I deplore this --- in the same sense that EUropeans deplore Muslem hostility to Israel.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/18/2006 12:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Well, they are certainly getting a much clearer idea of what Israel has been up against. More of this and bells might start to go off.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/18/2006 12:07 Comments || Top||

#3  Seethe !
Posted by: MacNails || 02/18/2006 12:18 Comments || Top||

#4  I can smell the seething.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 02/18/2006 13:01 Comments || Top||

#5  Seething has a special oder. in a left handed sort of way...
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 02/18/2006 13:55 Comments || Top||

#6  that's the poor hygiene
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2006 14:51 Comments || Top||


Dispute around motivation for murder (of jewish young man) in Paris
There is a soviet-like denial by official media on this one, plus some cute infos manipulations (the funerals gathered about 2000-2500 persons according to witnesses, not 1000 as said here, while all french msm said "500" and showed only small clips of small groups).
See also this and this in French.

Thirteen people, all members of a dangerous and extremely violent gang, have been arrested following an investigation into the murder of a young Jewish man in the Paris area, French police announced Friday.

Meanwhile a difference of opinion arose surrounding the motivation for the murder. The Paris public prosecutor declared that “anti-semitism did not appear to be the motive” of the kidnappers of the 23-year-old Ilan Halimi,” while family members of the murdered man suspect the contrary.

Trying to calm the Jewish community’s anger, the umbrella group of French Jewish secular organisations, CRIF, issued a statement on Friday calling on the Jewish community “to keep calm, cautious and wait for developments in the investigation.”

Among the arrested suspects – aged between 17 and 32- are three women who were used by the gang to attract their prey. They were all arrested in the Paris suburbs. All these persons come from the city of Bagneux, in the Paris region, where Ilan Halimi has been detained. A person living in Brussels was also said to be under international arrest warrant.

According to an informed source, the head of the gang has been identified as the 26-year-old Youssef Fofana, a Black Muslim who is calling himself “brain of the barbarians." He is already known to the police services as “extremely dangerous.” Fofana has not yet been arrested but an identikit of him was handed to the press by the Paris public prosecutor, Jean-Claude Marin. “He knows he is searched,” Marin said Friday.
Headed for the hills, has he?
“He insulted Ilan Halimi’s family members by calling them yesterday and issuing death threats if they did not pay the ransom,” he added.

The investigation by some 200 policemen quickened after Ilan Halimi was found last Monday severely wounded, naked and hand-cuffed along a railway track in the suburb of Saint Genevieve des Bois, 30 kilometres south of Paris. Halimi’s body was found three weeks after he was kidnapped by a gang.

A person suspected of having helped the kidnappers was arrested on Tuesday. Police issued a call for witnesses and published two identikit pictures of a “blonde” woman who was used to charm and attract Ilan Halimi, as well as the picture of a suspect with his face mainly masked. The woman, who felt she had been recognized by friends, later gave herself up to police.
If the identikit had been published 3 weeks ago, he would probably be still alive.
The victim was burnt and cut on 80 percent of his body, died of his wounds as he was taken to hospital.

According to police, Halimi, a cellular phone salesman, was attracted by a young Arab “pleasant” woman who came to his place of work, on Voltaire boulevard, in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, on January 17. The woman apparently charmed him and arranged an appointment. Ilan Halimi was kidnapped on the night of January 21, when he was supposed to meet the young woman. After the kidnapping, the gang contacted Ilan’s family and demanded a ransom of between 450,000 and 500,000 euros.
No neighbour of the flat in the project building heard the cries of Ilan, held there naked with a hood on the head, in a way "reminscent of other scenes" (IE Abu Ghraib?), according to police press point, but when swat broke in, they called police because of the commotion.
Speaking on a Parisian Jewish radio on Thursday, the Paris public prosecutor said that “no element of the current investigation could link this murder to an anti-Semitic declaration or action.” Police even didn’t mention the Jewish identity of the victim. “It’s out of question to draw a line to the victim’s membership of the community,” Jean-Claude Marin told French Jewish radio Radio Shalom.

Judiciary police chief Francois Jaspar said that at least three other similar attempted kidnapping have been reported since last December, none were successful.
Jews are about 2% of the Paris area's population; according to the msm, 3 of 4, or 3 of 7 attempted kidnappings targeted jews, but since it was not jews only, then "there is no antisemitic motivation", according to teevee. No muslim target, btw.
In each case, one of three young women, a blond, a brunette and an Arab woman, or a young man would attract the victim on a date, during which the victim would be attacked by the rest of the gang. Ilan Halimi was the only victim caught by the gang. Police meanwhile warned against “charming approaches” by “pretty young girls or men.”
So much for free-style French love-life.
For their part, Jewish community security services and Ilan Halimi’s family suspect that the crime may have been motivated by anti-Semitism. “We think there is anti-Semitism in this affair,” Rafi, Ilan’s brother in law, told the European Jewish Press. ”First because the killers tried to kidnap at least two other Jews and secondly because of what they said on the phone,” he added.

”When we said we didn’t have 500,000 euros to give them they answered we should go to the synagogue and get it,” Rafi stressed. “They also recited verses from the Koran. We didn’t know what they were saying but the police told us."
Well, jews are all very rich, having stole their wealth, it's a well-known fact, at least for a youth(tm).
"Ilan was the pillar of the family. He was the only man and he protected and supported his two sisters and his mother. He was an extremely honest, mature and cheerful man,” his brother-in-law said to EJP.

"We fear that the fact that Ilan was Jewish aggravated his case and caused his kidnappers to behave as Islamists. Why did the kidnappers, once they discovered that Ilan’s family was not wealthy, as they had thought, not let him go and instead tortured him to death?," asked Sammy Ghozlan, head of the French Anti-Semitism Vigilance Bureau.

In its statement, CRIF said it was in contact with the French authorities, in particular the offices of the Prime minister and the interior minister. “We have asked the authorities to do everything possible to find the perpetrators as quickly as possible and to establish if the fact that the victim was Jewish was a determining factor in the tragic murder,” the Jewish umbrella group said. “According to the authorities, it’s about a gang from the suburbs whose act was not anti-Semitic in nature and which in the past attempted to kidnap persons who were not Jewish,” CRIF added.
"La voix de son maitre".

A Thousand people attended the burial ceremony of Ilan Halimi Friday morning at the cemetery of Pantin, in the Paris suburbs. Several shops of the Boulevard Voltaire didn't open Friday in a gesture of solidarity with Ilan Halimi's family.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/18/2006 10:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [307 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The situation in France is getting rapidly out of control and Chirac and Pinhead can't handle it. The French people need to rise up and boot him out of office, there must be a way. France is slipping away and if people act now, it could prevent so much blood and heartache. Time is critical.
Posted by: 2b || 02/18/2006 11:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Big news on LCI cable news channel is the duck found dead of the avian flu. Well, you've got to prioritize, I guess.

They only slashed him up real good, enough for him to die of it, cut off one ear, burnt him everywhere, but it's not like if they desacrated a koran or something.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/18/2006 14:29 Comments || Top||

#3  According to an informed source, the head of the gang has been identified as the 26-year-old Youssef Fofana, a Black Muslim who is calling himself “brain of the barbarians."

Nice descriptive nickname -- he must be very small and unemployed.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/18/2006 14:46 Comments || Top||


Le Pen to strike deal with French Muslims
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 02:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [676 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Full article can only be read by subscribers.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2006 4:47 Comments || Top||

#2  At first view, this might seems unlikely, but...

Pépé Le Pen is traditional french far right, he has a real antisemite streak I believe, though he's certainly ot a nazi, and might even be justified in some way (he's been the Bête Noire of most of the official jewish orgs, who saw him as Hitler reincarnated); still many jews will vote for him for (quite realistical) fear of the rapid islamization of the country.
On the other hand, he's not as much anti-islam as one might think; ok, he talks about the islamization of France, about the real colonialist attitude of the migrants, about the predatory ways of the "youths", and the vast majority of his electorate are not fascisti, but plain people, often working class french citizens abandoned by the elites pandering to the special interest lobbies, who are fed up with the corruption, the ineptness, and the laxism of France's perpetual ruling class.
But, he has ties with some unsavory characters such as the swiss converted neonazi Ahmed Hubert, the late François Genoud, he is a Saddam admirer and had ties with his regime,... his anti-americanism is real, and he's quite opposed to an attack against Iran, for example, I heard him talk about that recently on the radio; he thinks the ramadan riots in november were neither religious nor ethnic; JF Martinez, the FN thinker has made some declarations and published a book that clearly leans toward the antiglobo left (even praising the french rappers as heralds of the french language, glups!).

In that regard, an "alliance" with the muslims is quite possible; after all, many muslim already vote for him, either because they're harkis (pro-France algerians during Algeria war), because they wish to dissociate themselves from the troublemakers in their "communities", or because they see Pépé Le Pen as anti-jew.
The "racist" FN is actually the only french party which has long held muslim candidates in eligible positions, and some islamists actually come from it.
His FN party is a conglomerate of various factions, many of which were purged in the past, and while I have no doubt his electors are decent "angry white males" whom I respect, JMLP is more dubious in my eyes. I enjoy the character, the great oratory (though he's getting quite old, 78, and it shows), the "right wing anarchist" who sometimes throws a monkey wrench in the machinery,... but I'm wary of the pol.
Plus, the FN long has been a de facto tool of the ruling elite, the "antithesis" to their "thesis" ("vote for us, or you'll get Le Pen, who is the Devil, elected", "don't even think about talking about immigration, it is playing in the hand of Le Pen, who is the Devil"). In 2002, when he got to the second turn of the presidential election, I was very, very amused, and almost voted for him as I was scandalized and sickened by the INSANE, UNDEMOCRATIC, IRRATIONAL two weeks of propaganda against him at the time.

I don't know, perhaps it would have been better if he had been elected (not a snowball chance in hell, though), since the System(tm), the french oligarchy would have exploded then... and there wouldn't have been so many algerian, moroccan, tunisian flags saluting the victory of Shirak (as he told his horrified wife, "thoses are our new electors", true quote).


Btw,
There are several "right wing" political families in France (I'm summarizing an article I've seen recently, and which I find very true to what I think), excluding the neonazis, a few hundred marginals at most.

On one side :
- the traditional far right, ranging from the conservative catholics to the Vichy's heirs à la Le Pen.
De villiers's MPF is a light version of it, perhaps less ambiguous about islam and antisemitism, though closer to the Establishment.
- the "National-révolutionnaires", national revolutionary, racist commies in disguise.

who are very much anti-americans and antizionist (or quite antisemite for the NR), opposed to capitalism, and may even be pro-arab (french arab policy)/muslim (the NR are absolutely pro-paleostinian, for example)

On another :
- the ad hoc "anti-islam front", a good example of which can be found at http://www.france-echos.com/
- the "Libéraux-conservateurs", conservative free-marketers (a good example here).
Bruno Mégret's MNR would be in that family too.

who are mostly pro-US and pro-zionist and very concerned by the islamization of France.

And finally :
- The neopagans, "one people one land", whose Guru are Pierre Vial or Guillaume Faye, the anti-modernity prophet of ethnic war, whose book "The colonization of Europe" (very interesting read), which cost him $18 000 in fine and bankrupted him, can be downloaded here or here (in french).

They are mostly anti-islam and anti-immigration, pro-unified Europe (not in the current tranzi way, of course), and while wary of the USA cultural imperialism, are not as anti-american as they used to be. The "identitaire" mvt would be close to it, though some are closer to the NR.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/18/2006 7:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Wow, a5089 -- THANKS!

You've filled my Saturday dance card with reading material, lol.
Posted by: .com || 02/18/2006 7:57 Comments || Top||

#4  All the world's idiocies coalescing into one big idiotarian blob.
Posted by: Mike || 02/18/2006 10:19 Comments || Top||

#5  Anonymous 5089:

the link to www.france-echos.com is absolutely fabulous !
THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!!
The reality is moving fast !!!
Posted by: Poitiers-Lepanto || 02/18/2006 10:52 Comments || Top||

#6  France-echos actually has a much, much, larger archive, with really, really *interesting* analysis on french islam, articles on ordinary crimes, op-eds,... but they got hacked recently, and when they came back, they opted to (at least for the time being) to "forget" their previous articles (several thousands, I'd say), as there is now a new gvt org, the Halde, which is basically a wonderful tool given to the "thoughts police" (one of the members is the mrap, the main islamo-leftist org) by the dying Shirak regime, able to sue at whim, and they wanted to assess their liability.

As for the right-wing analysis, it is not mine, but I fully suscribe (I love it when an article sez things like I think they are...).
I wonder what Frenchfregoli, JFM, would think of that?
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/18/2006 10:58 Comments || Top||

#7  Btw, whatever can be said about JMLP, he's certainly quite a colorful character, you have to at least give him that.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/18/2006 11:01 Comments || Top||

#8  Get out yur pepper spray 5089.
Posted by: 6 || 02/18/2006 12:10 Comments || Top||

#9  Le Pen? You sure it's not Petain?
Posted by: Whinerong Snoque8645 || 02/18/2006 13:57 Comments || Top||

#10  Anonymous5089 wrote:

Plus, the FN long has been a de facto tool of the ruling elite, the "antithesis" to their "thesis" ("vote for us, or you'll get Le Pen, who is the Devil, elected", "don't even think about talking about immigration, it is playing in the hand of Le Pen, who is the Devil").

Sounds more than ever like David Duke here in the early 90's.
Posted by: Phil || 02/18/2006 15:39 Comments || Top||


Former Bosnian mujahideen under surveillance
Authorities are monitoring up to 250 Arab Muslims who fought in Bosnia's 1992-95 war, including some who are suspected of having links to international terrorism, a top police official said Thursday.

Zlatko Miletic, director of police for the Muslim-Croat part of Bosnia, told reporters that the Muslims under surveillance all live in or around the northeastern village of Gornja Maoca, where they settled after the war. Miletic said the Muslims were among 740 who obtained Bosnian passports during or just after the war, and that the names of nine men appeared on Egypt's list of most-wanted terror suspects.

He declined to identify the nine, and said Bosnian authorities could not be certain they were still in the country.

Police are keeping close tabs on ''200 to 250'' of Gornja Maoca's Muslims, and believe some have ties to global terrorist organizations, Miletic said. Others were suspected of involvement in the illegal smuggling of explosives and other crimes, he said, derisively referring to those being watched by police as ``mongooses.''

Several thousand mujahedeen, or Islamic fighters, came to Bosnia to fight on the Muslim side against Serbs and Croats after Bosnia dissolved into ethnic conflict in the early 1990s.

On Thursday, Bosnia's Council of Ministers set up a nine-member commission to review all cases in which citizenship was granted to foreigners dating back to 1992, Security Minister Barisa Colak told The Associated Press.

''It's for sure that all those who got citizenship illegally will be stripped of it and deported,'' Colak said. He also confirmed that ''a certain number of people who are interesting from a security perspective'' were under surveillance.

Bosnian authorities have stepped up their monitoring of fundamentalist Islamic groups and individuals since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

In October, police in Sarajevo raided an apartment and arrested two men after seizing plastic explosives, a suicide belt and a videotape in which a masked man begged Allah's forgiveness for the sacrifice the group was about to commit. More suspects were arrested in Bosnia, Britain and Denmark in what authorities said was a terror cell plotting an attack on a European embassy.

The probe began Oct. 19, when police in Sarajevo arrested Mirsad Bektasevic, 19, a Swedish citizen, and Cesur Abdulkadir, 18, a Turkish national, on suspicion they were preparing terrorist activities. Three Bosnian nationals later were arrested in follow-up raids.

None has been formally charged, and Miletic did not link the surveillance in Gornja Maoca to the Sarajevo case.

''Over the past few months, we gathered enough material evidence to support the filing of formal charges, and I hope the state prosecutor's office will do so soon,'' he said. Under Bosnian law, terror suspects can be held for up to six months without charges.

Bosnian police arrested 16 terrorist suspects in 2005, among whom five were suspected of involvement in international terrorism, Miletic said. He said some were involved in illegal weapons smuggling and that others were charged with endangering international personnel in Bosnia.

About 6,500 troops with the European Union peacekeeping force patrol the country, and hundreds of other foreigners work for the United Nations and other international organizations.

Although the vast majority of Bosnia's Muslims are secular or embrace a moderate and tolerant form of Islam, authorities have expressed concern about the presence of radical elements. Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have built numerous mosques and set up dozens of charities in Bosnia since the end of the war, including several that have been shut down because of suspected links to terrorism or terrorist financing.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:


Sakra funded Istanbooms
Newly released police testimony of al-Qaeda member Louai Sakka found in case records has come the fore.

Sakka resorted to his right to remain silent when asked by the prosecutor to testify. Although Sakka's initial statement was not included in the indictment, it is still clear from it that he is linked to al-Qaeda terror organization. He has knowledge of not only the Istanbul bombings that happened between 15 and 20 November 2003 but of Iraqi insurgents as well.

His statements were presented in a fact-finding report signed by Public Prosecutor Zekeriya Oz as well. "Sakka wanted his statements to be saved on the computer, and whatever he said was recorded," a note on the dossier read.

Sakka was arrested at Diyarbakir Airport while in preparation for a bomb attack against Israeli ships in Turkish Mediterranean city of Antalya. His statement covered detailed information about his activities as a senior al-Qaeda official. According to Sakka, the idea of launching a bomb attack was first brought up during a meeting with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in April 2001. The dossier also contains information that he received an offer from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to be an emir while Sakka was in Iraq in 2002, when Habip Akdas asked Sakka to finance the bomb attacks on the Israeli ships.

Sakka's account provides detailed information about how he managed to finance those attacks. Although bin Laden assigned Sakka to organize the Antalya bombings, Sakka could not resist Akdas' opposition to the plan, and rejected the task. Sakka's report said he supplied $150,000 to conduct the bomb attacks, and Habip Akdas, Saadetin Akdas and Burhan Kus went to Syria one week before their suicide attacks.

Although attacks were initially targeted at Israeli ships in Antalya and other places occupied by Jews, said Sakka in his account to police, bad weather impeded attackers from carrying out their plan, forcing them to change their strategy.

Only the HSBC bombings in Istanbul, Sakka had no prior knowledge of. Bin Laden did not express his approval of those bombings, Sakka said in his testimony, because it would affect a very large number of Turkish citizens.

Azat Ekinci, Hadip Akdas, Gurcan Bac, Mohammed Tokas all died, according to Sakka. In Sakka’s statements it is written that he is the one who provided two terrorists with a passport before they organized the September 11 attacks. Sakka's testimony also gives us some clues that Murat Yuce, the Turkish driver kidnapped in Iraq, was killed by a terrorist of Sakka's choice. There were also some Turkish people who took part in the execution of Yuce.

The following is the structure of al-Qaeda, according to Sakka:

Leader Osama bin Laden, His assistants: Mohammed Atef (Abu Hafs al-Misri), Ayman al- Zawahiri (Information Minister), Seyful Adil, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (his assistant is Sakka) and Abu Mohammed Zeyyiat al-Misri (al-Qaeda's camp emir).
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [307 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: WoT
Attack on NM paper for publishing 2 of the cartoons
GALLUP — Someone shattered The Independent's glass entrance doors late Wednesday. At about 10 p.m., an unknown individual threw a pair of fist-sized rocks at the doors, which caused the glass to shatter but not break. The rocks were covered in black marker with the phrases "public apology or else?" "think twice" and "repent, condemn or else?"

The vandalism occurred the same day of the newspaper's publication of two cartoons that portray the prophet Mohammed. The cartoons' initial publication in a midsize Danish newspaper fueled protests that have spread worldwide. The cartoons have since been published in at least a dozen newspapers.

However, no evidence has been recovered proving the incident was in retaliation for the publication of the cartoons or was done by a member of the local Arab community.
probably the Navahos again. yeah, that's it, must be from the rez. Or maybe it was immigrant Lutherans? maybe even the zen buddhists from Colorado, come down to stir up trouble.
Lapplanders. They range near and far. Never can tell when you're going to be confronted by a Lapplander.
Still, Independent Publisher Bob Zollinger said "This company is not going to be intimidated by any individual or group." By mid-morning Thursday, the two panes of safety glass were replaced.

Two Gallup Independent employees were at the newspaper at the time of the incident. One of the employees called Gallup police, who gathered evidence from the newspaper's entryway and documented the incident through a police report. No arrests have been made in connection with the vandalism. Police have increased their patrol of the area.
Posted by: lotp || 02/18/2006 09:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If they arrest someone for this, will they just be charged with vandalism, or will they be charged with a "hate crime"?
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2006 10:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Jihad comes to the land of enchantment.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/18/2006 10:21 Comments || Top||

#3  A suspect
Posted by: Whutch Threth6418 || 02/18/2006 11:16 Comments || Top||

#4  They should show two more. And say quit throwing stones, or else, you'll see the rest of them, including the three that were never shown in the Danish papers.
Posted by: plainslow || 02/18/2006 13:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Gallup's not a very big town.

Think anyone down there has a lead on the culprit(s)?
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/18/2006 14:27 Comments || Top||

#6  Remember the JDAM-guided concrete bombs?

I think the local mosque should receive one.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/18/2006 14:44 Comments || Top||


Border Patrol fires on illegal aliens in AZ
A Yuma Border Patrol agent fired a shot at a group of illegal aliens near the Colorado River Friday morning after being struck in the face by a rock thrown by one of the aliens.

The agent said that he did not think any of the rock throwers were hit by the bullet, according to Michael Gramley, spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol's Yuma sector. Gramley said the agent, who was treated and released from an urgent treatment center, PrimeCare Central in Yuma, could not comment on the incident. He suffered an abrasion beneath his right eye, Gramley said.

The rock throwing and shooting occurred after six agents encountered 35 illegal aliens at the salinity canal near County 22nd Street, Gramley said. The agents were able to apprehend 27 of those 35 aliens, but the remaining eight fled across the dry Colorado River bed and back toward Mexico, Gramley said.

As the agents were detaining the 27, nine persons emerged from the riverbed and began throwing rocks at the six agents, striking one agent in the face with one of the rocks. Some of the aliens who previously fled were among the rock throwers, Gramley said. He said the Yuma sector's critical incident team and the FBI are both investigating the incident.

The incident marked the third time this month in the Yuma sector that a Border Patrol pursuit of illegal aliens ended in an assault against an agent. "The assault this morning shows that these smuggling organizations are frustrated with the success of our increased enforcement efforts," said Ron Colburn, chief patrol agent for the Yuma, in a statement Friday.

"We are very fortunate that our agent was not more seriously injured," he said, adding that a rock can be used as a "dangerous, even deadly weapon."
Posted by: lotp || 02/18/2006 07:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [431 views] Top|| File under:

#1  *Ouch*
Thunk
Posted by: Goliath || 02/18/2006 8:07 Comments || Top||

#2  The Israelis came up with a good replacement for the less-than-satisfactory rubber bullet, a bullet made from compressed sand that really packs a wallup, has a respectable range, but unless you hit someone in the eye with it, it's not gonna hurt them.

Alternatively, the border patrol might start using paintball guns loaded with pepper liquid. I've heard high reviews. Plus, it would get illegals back in the water faster than anything.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2006 9:03 Comments || Top||

#3  Live ammo is a sure way to prevent them from returning.
Posted by: Rightwing || 02/18/2006 9:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Buckshot aimed at head level would work just fine, thank you.
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 02/18/2006 10:42 Comments || Top||

#5  The agent said that he did not think any of the rock throwers were hit by the bullet

He needs to aim better next time.
Posted by: BillH || 02/18/2006 10:44 Comments || Top||

#6  I don't object to lethal force in such situations. These are not citizens exercising their right to assembly and free speech, these are illegal invaders attacking our country's defenders with violence.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2006 10:47 Comments || Top||

#7  He probably missed on purpose - it's not clear what would happen to him if he actually shot one of them. The Border Patrol needs much better equipment and especially legal and public support.
Posted by: lotp || 02/18/2006 10:47 Comments || Top||

#8  ...Must...
...Resist...
...Urge...
...To...
...Make...
...Cheney...
...Joke...
Posted by: Phil || 02/18/2006 10:54 Comments || Top||

#9  I'm sure you're right, lotp. That must change -- why should the border crossers be afraid of the Patrol, knowing that they won't be harmed under any circumstances?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2006 10:59 Comments || Top||

#10  Lotp, did you mean he missed because he feared he would be in legal trouble, or because he might have been outgunned as a result if he hit one of them?
The former is actually more troubling than the second.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/18/2006 11:10 Comments || Top||

#11  the Border Patrol agents' union is pretty agressive at defending their agents' actions. They have to, because Mexico, illegals, and immigrant activists routinely lie and distort incidents
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2006 12:28 Comments || Top||

#12  Actually its a matter of escalation. We shoot buckshot, they'll start packing. We shoot pistol shots, they'll be totting AKs courteously of Presidente Fox and the other corrupt government officials. We’ll end up with some human sacrifices and retreat by our so dedicated HLS. Media coverage to obscure their loss in Iraq beating the drum of the failure of the ‘HitlerChimpBush’ White House. Congressional hearings and investigations which go no where. You know the routine. Like I need that right now. Ho hum. /sarcasm off
Posted by: Angolump Omeatch6631 || 02/18/2006 12:30 Comments || Top||

#13  Escalation is fine.
Posted by: Iblis || 02/18/2006 12:46 Comments || Top||

#14  The agent said that he did not think any of the rock throwers were hit by the bullet,..

Who cares?

If they're THAT worried about someone being hit (isn't that the purpose of firing back?), use rubber bullets or something similar.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/18/2006 14:30 Comments || Top||

#15  AO:
"We shoot pistol shots, they'll be totting AKs ..."
We shoot .50 BMG, after appropriate range time, they'll be ....
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/18/2006 15:40 Comments || Top||

#16  Unfortunately, due to our oil addiction, we do have to address the situation 'delicately'; Mexico is one our biggest sources of oil & gas imports (if not the biggest.)
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/18/2006 15:43 Comments || Top||

#17  as if we couldn't take it...
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2006 16:31 Comments || Top||

#18  Things will keep getting worse until the US is forced to put the US military on the border. That will lead to border incidents with the Mexican military, where lots of Mexican body bags begin showing up. The ACLU and other agents wishing to destroy the US from within will whine, squeal, file suit, and do everything in their power to disrupt things. All this will eventually either lead to a full-scale invasion of Mexico, all the way to the Guatemala border, or the loss of several of the United States. The second option is not acceptable to most Americans. The ACLU, La Raza, and all the rest of the idiots will have to be physically restrained (blooding them is optional) if we are to have security of our own borders. The sooner the better.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/18/2006 17:57 Comments || Top||

#19  Everyone sure is getting frisky at the same time. All parts of one puzzle. When is the kick-off?
Posted by: SR-71 || 02/18/2006 19:10 Comments || Top||

#20  Slightly OT: Congressman Grivalva (D-Arizona) from Tucson is referenced as the "Congressman from Sonora"...draw your own conclusions... :(
Posted by: borgboy || 02/18/2006 19:36 Comments || Top||


Year cut for al-Qaeda financier
An Islamic charity director accused by federal prosecutors of having links to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network was resentenced Friday to 10 years in prison _ about a year less than his original sentence.

Enaam Arnaout, 42, pleaded guilty to racketeering in 2003, admitting he defrauded donors to his Benevolence International Foundation by diverting some of the money to Islamic military groups in Bosnia and Chechnya.

"Give me a life, your honor," Arnaout said in an emotional appeal to U.S. District Judge Suzanne B. Conlon for a much larger reduction in his sentencing. He said he wanted to "see my 75-year-old mom before she dies."

The resentencing was held because the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Conlon erred the first time. She boosted the sentence when she held that more than 50 donors to the charity had been defrauded, but the appeals court found insufficient evidence to conclude that the fraud affected that many people.

The initial sentence was 11 years and four months in prison plus $315,624 in restitution. With time off for good behavior, federal prisoners ordinarily serve 85 percent of their sentences.

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald told reporters after the resentencing that he was "satisfied that the process has been seen through this is still a very serious sentence."

Arnaout, a Syrian-born U.S. citizen, has said he has met bin Laden but opposes terrorism, and has denied having anything to do with his al-Qaida network. His attorneys have said the two men met in the 1980s, when bin Laden was part of the U.S.-supported struggle of Afghan fighters to expel the Soviet army.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:


India-Pakistan
Brave lions of Islam, offer $1m bounty for cartoonist dead or alive.
Sure is a lot of money being offered for those poor guys. If the root cause of all this is poverty, where's the money come from?
Remember the tsumani relief fund? ...
A Pakistani Muslim cleric and his followers have offered rewards amounting to over US$1 million for anyone who killed Danish cartoonists who drew caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that have enraged Muslims worldwide. The cleric offered the bounty during Friday prayers as Muslim anger against the cartoons flared anew in parts of Asia. Weeks of global protests over the cartoons have gained momentum and fears of a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam have led to calls on all sides for calm.
We're calm. How many mosques have been burned down? How many Danes have rioted against these morons?
On Friday, thousands rallied in Pakistan, police in Bangladesh blocked demonstrators heading for the Danish embassy in Dhaka and in the Indian city of Hyderabad, police fired teargas shells and batons to beat back hundreds of protesters, who had stoned shops and disrupted traffic. The Danish foreign ministry issued a travel warning for Pakistan, urging any Danes to leave as soon as possible. In the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, cleric Maulana Yousef Qureshi said he had personally offered to pay a bounty of 500,000 rupees to anyone who killed a Danish cartoonist, and two of his congregation put up additional rewards of $1 million and one million rupees plus a car.
Okay. I think I get it now. This is the same goober we reported on a day or two ago. I'm making a tentative guess that the Hindustan Times got the story and decided the guy was Haji Yakoob, the MP, rather than Imam Yusuf, the fly-blown holy man from Peshawar. Whether the remarks attributed to Haji Yakoub are true or not, we have no way of knowing. But it's entirely likely he decided to climb on board the Islam train and offer his own reward, funded by the rubes people of Meerut.
"If the West can place a bounty on Osama bin Laden and Zawahri we can also announce reward for killing the man who has caused this sacrilege of the holy Prophet," Qureshi told Reuters, referring to the al Qaeda leader and his deputy Ayman al Zawahri. The cleric leads the congregation at the historic Moonbat Mohabat mosque, on street known for goldsmith shops in the provincial capital of North West Frontier Province -- a stronghold of Pakistan's nutcakes Islamist opposition parties.

Protests in Pakistan have been large and violent and many have taken on a distinctly anti-US tone. Demonstrators, in addition to burning Danish flags, have attacked US fast-food outlets and burned US President George W. Bush in effigy. Islamist parties have called for a nationwide strike on March 3, around the time President George W. Bush is expected to visit Pakistan, despite the unrest.

Western leaders have been calling for calm. Former US President Bill Clinton and French President Jacques Chirac both said on Friday that it was a mistake to publish the cartoons. Clinton, on a private visit to Pakistan, said he saw nothing wrong with Muslims around the world demonstrating in a peaceful way, but he feared a great opportunity to improve understanding had been squandered. "This is not a time to burn bridges; this is a time to build them," he said, adding, "...I can tell you that most people are horrified that this much misunderstanding has occurred."

Chirac was more blunt. "I am appalled by what happened as a result of the publications of these cartoons," Chirac told India Today news magazine which published an interview with him on Friday. "I am, of course, in favor of the freedom of the press, which is a pillar of democracy. But I am equally for respecting everyone's sensibilities... So I deplore the situation," said Chirac, who visits India next week.
Bill and Jock are a good fit, aren't they? They both want to have it both ways, but if push comes to shove they'll settle for having it the enemy's way. Bill's especially cute, wanting to build a bridge to the 7th century.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/18/2006 21:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:


Fatwa issued for Danish cartoonists
A Pakistani Muslim cleric and his followers offered rewards amounting to more than $1 million for anyone who killed Danish cartoonists who drew caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that have enraged Muslims worldwide.

The bounty was offered during Friday prayers as Muslim anger against the cartoons flared anew in parts of the world. "If the West can place a bounty on Osama bin Laden and (al Qaeda deputy Ayman al) Zawahri, we can also announce reward for killing the man who has caused this sacrilege of the holy Prophet," cleric Maulana Yousef Qureshi told Reuters.

Weeks of protests over the cartoons have triggered fears of a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam, and have led to calls on all sides for calm. "This is not the first time we've been threatened," one of the 12 cartoonists involved said on condition of anonymity. "The drawing I made was meant as a practical joke … and yet I have been dragged into this absurd situation."

On Friday, thousands rallied in Pakistan, Bangladeshi police blocked demonstrators heading for the Danish embassy, and Indian police fired teargas and used batons to beat back hundreds of protesters who stoned shops in the city of Hyderabad.

In New York, about 2,000 Muslims gathered near the Danish consulate carrying placards reading "Prophet Mohammad, a man of peace" and "Spread peace not hate." Thousands of Muslims marched through the Tanzanian capital Dar Es Salaam.

Protests in Pakistan this week have resulted in at least five deaths, and on Friday it became the latest country where Denmark has decided to temporarily close its embassy. Denmark urged any Danes in Pakistan to leave as soon as possible.

In the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, Qureshi said he had personally offered a bounty of 500,000 rupees ($8,400) to anyone who killed a Danish cartoonist. Two of his congregation put up additional rewards of $1 million and one million rupees. The cleric leads the congregation at the historic Mohabat mosque, on street known for goldsmith shops in the provincial capital of North West Frontier Province — a stronghold of Pakistan's Islamist opposition parties.

The cartoons were first published in Denmark in September, but last month newspapers and magazines in Europe and elsewhere began republishing to assert principles of freedom of expression.

The Danish ambassador in Islamabad said relations had not been broken off because of the furor. "I'm still in Pakistan and in a secure place," Ambassador Bent Wigotski told Reuters. "There is no question of broken relations or anything like that," he said, adding that the German embassy was looking after Denmark's consular affairs.

Denmark has already shut missions in Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Indonesia as a result of violence or threats of violence.

Protests in Pakistan have been large and violent and many have taken on a distinctly anti-U.S. tone. In addition to burning Danish flags, demonstrators have attacked U.S. fast-food outlets and burned effigies of U.S. President George W. Bush. Islamist parties have called for a nationwide strike on March 3, around the time Bush is expected to visit Pakistan.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ok, so I've got a buck. Who wants to contribute to a Fatwa on the dirtball cleric Maulana Yousef Qureshi? What goes around etc.. ....Right?
Posted by: Cremble Thrineling9760 || 02/18/2006 2:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Even better: My taxes pay for Predators and hellfire missiles. Money well spent indeed!
Posted by: Thineger Thanter6618 || 02/18/2006 3:17 Comments || Top||

#3  The headline I want to see is "Cartoonists set bounty of 1 million on Mullah's head"

They have no intention of paying, turnabout is fair play. Then when the Mullah's dead, just don't pay them.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/18/2006 8:27 Comments || Top||

#4  "I am, of course, in favor of the freedom of the press, which is a pillar of democracy. But I am equally for respecting everyone's sensibilities… So I deplore the situation," said Chirac...

I have a solution! Don't publish no more nuttin'! That way, NO ONE can be offended!
Posted by: Bobby || 02/18/2006 9:32 Comments || Top||

#5  carrying placards reading "Prophet Mohammad, a man of peace" and "Spread peace not hate."

Read your own damn signs. Now look around the world at where all the hate and violence is.

Now, march your little butts - signs and all - over to the Pak, Iranian, Syrian, Saudi, Yemeni, et al embassies you should more appropriately be protesting.

And try as I might, I simply still cannot see the moral comparison between a bounty on terrorists responsible for the deaths of thousands and thousands of innocent people - muslim and infidel alike and a guy who drew a cartoon. Just can't.

So sit down, look at your damn signs demanding islamic peace and then take action to end islamic violence.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/18/2006 10:55 Comments || Top||

#6  Most civilized countries have laws against soliciting murder.... oops, Pakistan.... my bad
Posted by: Snins Ebbith3660 || 02/18/2006 12:28 Comments || Top||

#7 
Posted by: 6 || 02/18/2006 12:38 Comments || Top||

#8  "A fatwa a day keeps the zionists away?"
Posted by: borgboy || 02/18/2006 19:51 Comments || Top||


Afghan TV shows Al Qaeda murders in Waziristan
Afghan television broadcast Friday what it said was exclusive footage of men murdered, some of them beheaded, in Pakistan because they were against the extremist Taliban and Al Qaeda movements. The images broadcast on the evening news bulletin of private Tolo television station showed the decapitated heads of three men being held up in front of a crowd of onlookers. They also showed several bodies being dragged behind a pick-up truck.

Tolo said the pictures were filmed in Pakistan’s southern Waziristan province, which shares a border with southern areas of Afghanistan most affected by a deadly insurgency blamed in most part of Taliban militants. The men were killed because they “allegedly opposed the presence of Al Qaeda and Taliban operators in Waziristan province”, the television station said in a statement. “The footage, obtained by Tolo TV exclusively, shows half a dozen dead bodies being dragged by a vehicle through the streets of Mandrakhel (in Waziristan) - while a uniformed Pakistani military officer drives past without interfering,” the statement said. “In other scenes mutilated bodies and severed heads are placed on display in various positions and locations to dissuade others from opposing Al-Qaeda/Taliban presence in the region.”

“Crowds are heard chanting ‘long live Osama Bin Laden’ and ‘long live Mullah Omar’,” it said. The television station did not say how it obtained the footage of the alleged incident, which it said occurred about a month ago.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like the good old days when the Taliban" were in power in Afghanistan. Pakistan is doing nothing if not actually aiding this human refuse. Time to bomb and shell the rubble until it is sand. Pakistan will never do it.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O' Doom || 02/18/2006 0:47 Comments || Top||

#2  time to bomb the passes traditionally use - shut the border as much as possible and spread infiltrators out for detection and clusterbomb treatment. Pakland won't take care of the problem, let Mr. Predator solve it.
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2006 1:40 Comments || Top||

#3  used? PIMF
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2006 1:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Thank GOD they aren't kept in rooms where the AC's turned on high!

I couldn't bear that and would have to craft another strongly worded letter!
Posted by: Kofi Annan || 02/18/2006 5:07 Comments || Top||


6 soldiers wounded
WANA: At least six Punjab regiment soldiers were injured on Friday when their vehicle hit a landmine in Tanai, near Wana. The vehicle was part of a convoy of 20, headed to Jandola from Wana. Two critically-injured soldiers were taken to Peshawar by helicopter, sources said. Meanwhile, another landmine explosion damaged an army vehicle near the border town of Angoor Ada. However, no one was hurt in the blast.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:


Army, Bugtis exchange fire
Security personnel and Bugti tribesmen exchanged heavy fire on Friday, but no causalities were reported. Kazim Bugti, Dera Bugti nazim, said security personnel started shelling Bugti positions around 11:00am, adding that Bugti tribesmen might have fired back at the security personnel. Reports indicated that tribesmen had fired rockets in the Bekar area, but Kazim Bugti said he did not know about any such incident. He said security personnel and Bugti tribesmen had clashed in the Barzain Wadh area and two security personnel were killed.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:


Denmark closes embassy, Pakistan recalls envoy
Denmark temporarily shut its embassy in Islamabad and Pakistan recalled its envoy from Copenhagen on Friday, as violent protests against caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) sparked a diplomatic row. Copenhagen said its embassy staff would remain in Pakistan, but not in the embassy and denied that diplomatic ties were affected. “We decided on Friday to shut our embassy for security reasons, because we believe it is not responsible to keep it open at the moment,” Lars Thuesen, head of the Danish Foreign Ministry’s crisis centre, said. “Diplomatic relations have not been severed.”

Denmark has consistently attracted the fury of the protesters in Pakistan and around the world, who have repeatedly burned effigies of Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasumussen and torched and trampled on the country’s flag. It has already temporarily closed its embassies in Tehran, Damascus and Jakarta and its consulates in Beirut and Tunis. Pakistan cited the caricatures issue in its decision to recall its ambassador, but did not explicitly link it to the shutdown of the Danish mission. “Pakistan’s ambassador in Copenhagen, Mr Javed A Qureshi, has been called to Islamabad for consultations over the caricatures controversy,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said. Government officials said the decision was made during a meeting between senior Pakistani Foreign Ministry officials and the Danish ambassador in Islamabad, Bent Wigotski, at the ministry on Friday.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  perhaps it is time to sever all ties with the muslim world, cease trading with them, cease selling them technology and let them rot in their 14th century hell. We can use ethanol.

First we may need to drop some nukes on major cities like for instance: Mecca, Jeddah etc. you get the drift then leave them to pic up the peaces. Seal them off in 14th century bliss.
Posted by: anon1 || 02/18/2006 11:04 Comments || Top||

#2  And take the oilfields of SA and Iran. After all we are constantly being accused of taking them anyway so why not make it a true statement? Fk-em.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/18/2006 11:48 Comments || Top||


Hundreds held as Pak protests go on
Police on Friday arrested hundreds of activists of opposition parties and religious organisations, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Khwaja Saad Rafique, as protests against caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PTUI peace be upon him) continued throughout the country. MNA Rafique and his party’s Punjab secretary general Zaim Qadri were arrested by plainclothes policemen in a restaurant in Blue Area when both were having lunch after participating in a rally, PML-N officials said. However, police authorities denied the arrest. “I didn’t send any cops to arrest Saad Rafique,” Rawalpindi District Police Officer Saud Aziz told Daily Times.

The PML-N officials said both were arrested on charges of instigating a mob during a violent rally in Lahore on February 14. Islamabad SSP Sikander Hayat also denied the arrests, saying he had not been contacted by Rawalpindi Police for assistance to arrest a member of the National Assembly. Sources said about 300 senior workers of the ARD and MMA had been arrested in Lahore alone in the last 24 hours. They said several hundreds were arrested in other Punjab cities and police were still raiding locations to arrest people allegedly involved in instigating the protesters in Lahore.

Jamaat ud-Daawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was detained at his house. “Hafiz Saeed has been detained at his Johar Town residence and a heavy contingent of police has surrounded his house and is not allowing him to come out even for the Friday sermon,” Jamaatu Daawa Information Secretary Habibullah Salfi told Daily Times. He said Saeed was due to address a conference in Faisalabad. Jamiat Mushaikh Pakistan President Pir Fazale Haq has also been arrested.

PPP Punjab spokesman Naveed Chaudhry claimed that more than 600 workers of his party had been arrested in Lahore, Faisalabad and other cities. He warned of a massive protest against the government if opposition workers were not released in 24 hours. Protests continued on Friday throughout the country. About 44 protesters, including a union council nazim, were held in Sheikhupura for looting, aerial firing and damaging public and private property during a protest. Police tear-gassed and baton charged thousands of protesters in Kasur. In Karachi, police arrested 70 after firing tear gas to disperse about 2,000 people who had blocked the Super Highway. About 7,000 people protested in Rawalpindi. Police detained about 35 members of the Shabab-e-Milli who tried to stage a violent rally in Multan. About 1,000 demonstrated in Peshawar and thousands gathered in Quetta in a peaceful rally.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [321 views] Top|| File under:


Iraq
Al Qaeda plans wins new friends?
COALITION FORCES UNCOVER PLAN TO ATTACK ALBU-NIMR TRIBE

Release Date: 2/18/2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces discovered an al Qaeda plan to attack and kill members of the Albu-Nimr Tribe. During an operation in a rural area approximately 30 miles northeast of Ramadi Feb. 11, (official press release one week later - look for release next week on follow-up ops) a document was discovered that identified plans to attack and kill Al-Nimr tribal members.

The plan revealed rocket attacks and assassinations against the tribe of Albu-Nimr in Hit.

A second document outlined details of how al Qaeda degraded and destroyed phone switches in Haditha, Al-Baghdadi, and Hit and took phone cards away from people so they could not call out. (How important is this Albu-Nimr tribe? Sound like potential allies to me.)

Al Qaeda threatened to follow-up with further action if the switches are fixed.

Coalition Forces turned both documents over to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/18/2006 15:30 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like a blood feud in the making. Even the local enemies of Albu-Nimr are not going to be happy with outsiders doing crap like that, for fear that they might get blamed and some of their people hit in mistaken retaliation.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2006 18:21 Comments || Top||


Iraqi death squad takes marching orders from Iran
The former leader of an Islamic militant group in Basra admitted on Friday that his movement "took part in death squads which operated in this city" with input from the Iranian secret services. Abu Kazem, who declined to name his group, told Adnkronos International (AKI) the 'members' of his political movement "were part of a group tasked with carrying out murders in Basra". Iraq's interior ministry on Thursday set up an inquiry into on-going allegations from the Sunni minority of death squads within the police force, after a US general revealed the arrest of 22 policemen allegedly on a mission to kill a Sunni.


"We met from time to time at the base of one of the [Islamist] organisations along with members of the Iranian secret services who gave us instructions on the people who were to be killed" Abu Kazem said.

"All the parties and the movements were in possession of a variety of arms which were usually used for this [murders] along with police uniforms and police cars which were provided to the parties at the time by the former chief of police" he added.

Abu Kazem underlined that the decisions on which people to kill were made "according to orders from Iran, and first and foremost targets were local officials, academics and journalists".

He denied taking part personally in these attacks, saying his role was limited to "planning, while the former members of my group took part in at least ten of these hit operations". He did not specify who was killed or when.

The official spokesman for the British forces in Basra recently spoke to reporters about the "death squads run within the Iraqi interior ministry" and has since undertaken probes into this. The situation in Basra have been tense since last September when Shiite militia arrested two British undercover agents.

Major Alex Wilson, of the seventh armoured brigade in Basra, told AFP the military had put in place a reform programme which involved reforming the police or punishing those "who refuse to reform and are part of assassination squads".

The British government has on several occasions accused Tehran of being behind some of the violence in Iraq.

In October last year, prime minister Tony Blair warned Iran against interfering in Iraq, saying London suspected explosives used to kill British troops there may have come from the Islamic republic.

In a joint news conference with visiting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Blair said "what is clear is that there have been new explosive devices used not just against British troops but elsewhere in Iraq."

"The particular nature of those devices led us either to Iranian elements or to Hezbollah," Blair said. "However, we can't be sure of this at the present time."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [752 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The epicenter is/remains Iran
Posted by: Captain America || 02/18/2006 14:49 Comments || Top||


Five bodyguards killed as Iraq bank chief kidnapped
One of the wealthiest bankers in Iraq has been kidnapped during an audacious raid that left his five bodyguards dead, murdered by single gunshots to the head in the garden of a rented villa in western Baghdad.

Ghalib Abdul Hussein Kubba, the chairman of the al-Basra National Bank for Investment, was abducted with his son, Hassan, a senior employee at the bank, by up to a dozen gunmen. The kidnappers arrived at Mr Kubba’s house in the affluent Yarmouk district on Thursday evening in a minibus and two cars. They were dressed in the uniform of Iraqi National Guardsmen.

“They set up a checkpoint and sealed off the street,” Mustafa al-Tahi, 20, a neighbour, said. “We just thought it was an official raid, because they had everything: uniform, weapons, even night-vision goggles on their helmets. They moved and spoke like soldiers. Only their vehicles were non-military. They turned cars away from the street, told drivers to switch off their headlamps and ordered people inside.

“There was no gunfire. They left after a short time. There was silence for half an hour. No one knew what happened. Then came the sound of sirens. The police arrived. First they raided the wrong house, then they entered Kubba’s.”

Inside they found Mr Kubba’s wife, his son’s wife and his two grandchildren huddled and sobbing in a corner. In the front garden of the high-walled, two-storey villa lay the bodies of his security detail.

“They must have used silencers,” Corporal Mahmoud, a policeman, who lives nearby, said. “I was at home and didn’t hear a thing until I turned up on my shift and discovered what had happened — Kubba gone and five dead.”

The kidnapping is the latest in a trend that is already the scourge of Iraq and has resulted in thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of foreigners being taken hostage since the American-led invasion in 2003.

Mr Kubba joins a list that includes, at present, four Western peace activists — a Briton, Norman Kember, an American and two Canadians — Jill Carrol, an American journalist, and two German engineers.

According to the US military, calls to the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s kidnap hotline have jumped from nine a week in mid-December to 26 a week last month, and a report published by the Brookings Institute, an American think-tank, estimates that there were 30 Iraqi kidnappings a day in December, up from ten a day the same month a year previously.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry said that the numbers of those taken hostage include at least 425 foreign citizens and 5,000 Iraqis.

The links between organised crime, terrorist and insurgent groups, tribal feuds and top-level corruption have made kidnapping something akin to a national industry.

As Mr Kubba discovered, bodyguards are no guarantee of safety. Yarmouk, the affluent neighbourhood in western Baghdad from which Mr Kubba was seized, has been the scene of numerous abductions.

Originally a leading figure in the southern city of Basra, Mr Kubba rose to financial prominence through canny banking deals and big-business ventures, facilitated by his strong relationship with leading Baathist figures in the regime of Saddam Hussein. People in Basra allege that he was a close friend of Uday Hussein, Saddam’s gangster son. Yet in 2003, after the regime fell, Mr Kubba was appointed head of Basra’s interim council by the British. He became the president of Basra commerce, headed many local businesses and was a leading figure in the city’s al-Fadilah Islamic party.

One business associate described Mr Kubba as “a man with a black history — a different man for every day”.
The list of suspects must be lengthy...
Posted by: .com || 02/18/2006 01:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  $5 sez the perps wuz wearing copper uniforms...
Posted by: .com || 02/18/2006 5:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Nat'l Guard moonlighting?
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/18/2006 8:34 Comments || Top||

#3  M aybe, but I bet you can buy Iraqi copper unis at bazaars anywhere in the ME...
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/18/2006 9:56 Comments || Top||


Mujahideen Shura claims responsibility for Iraq attacks
The Mujahideen Shura Council of Iraqhas released to the internet numerous communiqués detailing their insurgent activities over the past few days. The most notable among these include assassinations of officers in the National Guard and attacks on vehicles of both the “Crusaders” and “Converters”, in areas surrounding Baghdad.

1. The first communiqué claims an attack resulting in the destruction of two Humvees.
2. The second message states that a rocket attack on the Converted National Guard took place.
3. On Tuesday, in the area of Abu Ghraib, the group detonated a package on a Crusader Humvee.
4. The Council attacked a Converted National Guard Patrol in Abu Ghraib, killing fifteen.
5. The fifth communiqué states that the group destroyed a National Guard vehicle, killing six converters who were inside.
6. Two converters of the National Guard were assassinated in Fallujah.
7. Three Crusaders were sniped in the area of Therab Tishris, located north of Baghdad.
8. The group assassinated a General of the Converted National Guard.

The Mujahideen Shura Council is composed of seven insurgency groups in Iraq: al-Qaeda in Iraq, Victorious Army Group, the Army of al-Sunnah Wal Jama’a, Ansar al-Tawhid Brigades, Islamic Jihad Brigades, the Strangers Brigades, and the Horrors Brigades, collaborating to meet the “unbelievers gathering with different sides” and defend Islam.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [441 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...They'll be going for the converted rice next...

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 02/18/2006 9:01 Comments || Top||

#2  We of the "Neener Neener Yo Momma Wears Curly-Toed Combat Boots And Fucking DIE You Cowardly Twisted Sick Fuck Girly-Men Galactic Coalition of Freedom" say "Your imminent dispatch to terminal oblivion cometh in its turn, you gutless little fuckwads."
Posted by: .com || 02/18/2006 9:30 Comments || Top||

#3  .com-

I LIKE that..as good as that would sound, wish I could find a .wav of a B-52 starting up. If ever there was an overture for the Apocalypse, that sound is it.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 02/18/2006 11:24 Comments || Top||

#4  B2s and sub-launched missiles. Why give them warning?
Posted by: too true || 02/18/2006 11:33 Comments || Top||

#5  Lol, Mike.

tt - it's like the sound of my old Harley, back in the day, compared to a hot ricer. One sound like a buzzsaw and the other sounds like raw power, lol.
Posted by: .com || 02/18/2006 12:11 Comments || Top||

#6  I still the the sound of two keys turning.
Posted by: 6 || 02/18/2006 16:33 Comments || Top||

#7  The sound of two keys turning? Very subtle, 6. But I caught it anyway. ;-) Do MOABs require two keys as well, I wonder...
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2006 22:18 Comments || Top||

#8  Re: MOABS

The sound you would hear is the Cargomaster grunting as he shoved it out the rear ramp...

:-)
Posted by: .com || 02/18/2006 22:22 Comments || Top||


Two suspected insurgents killed, 102 captured on U.S.-Iraqi mission
A joint mission in Diyala province between U.S. Special Forces and an Iraqi army unit resulted in two suspected insurgents killed and 102 others arrested, U.S. military officials said Thursday. One Iraqi soldier was “slightly wounded” by small-arms fire during the mission, officials said.

The raids were conducted in two locations “chosen because intelligence indicated specific locations of individuals wanted for planning and facilitating insurgent activities,” according to a release from the U.S. special operations command in Iraq. “The assaults were combined cordon-and-search missions designed to capture key insurgents and to disrupt multiple insurgent cell operations — especially improvised explosive device production.” Of the 102 people arrested, 25 were on Iraqi “most wanted” lists, officials said. The special forces command did not delineate how many suspects were arrested at each target site.

During the first raid, officials said, an Iraqi assault team searched a house and was met with “heavy” small-arms fire. The Iraqi troops fired back, withdrew from the house, then re-entered. One of the Iraqi teams’ sergeants stayed in the house during the firefight, killing one insurgent and wounding two others before falling back with the rest of his unit, officials said. One of the injured suspects later died. The combined forces also found one rocket, two artillery rounds, five mortar rounds, three rocket-propelled grenades and assorted bomb-making materials.

U.S. officials say Diyala province, in central Iraq, is used by insurgents to “regroup, rearm and refit.” The Iraqi soldiers on the raid were from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [304 views] Top|| File under:

#1  During the first raid, officials said, an Iraqi assault team searched a house and was met with “heavy” small-arms fire. The Iraqi troops fired back, withdrew from the house, then re-entered. One of the Iraqi teams’ sergeants stayed in the house during the firefight, killing one insurgent and wounding two others before falling back with the rest of his unit, officials said.

I'd like to know this guy's name and origin, but that would make his family targets. Bravo and good work!
Posted by: Ptah || 02/18/2006 6:26 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Meshaal sez world has wrong image of Hamas
The exiled political leader of Hamas said Friday the world has the wrong image of the Islamic militant group and he urged the international community to stop viewing it through the eyes of Israel. "We believe that most of the leaders in Europe, in the West, have ... a wrong image about Hamas, because this image doesn't reflect us. It reflects how some people, especially Israel, see Hamas," Khaled Mashaal told The Associated Press, surrounded by bodyguards on a commercial flight from Ankara to Istanbul.

"We want the world, and especially the countries in the West, to understand us, to understand Hamas well, to understand the will of the Palestinian people, the national goals of Hamas and the Palestinian people."

Hamas' parliamentary victory last month prompted U.S. and European Union threats to cut off massive aid to the Palestinians unless the group recognizes Israel and renounces violence. Hamas is responsible for scores of suicide attacks in Israel and has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States and many Western nations.

Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has ruled out talks with Hamas until it renounces violence, recognizes Israel's right to exist and accepts past agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

Hamas has given no indication it will change its ideology, but has said it would stick to a long-term cease-fire if Israel reciprocates.

Mashaal said Friday the world needs to understand that Israeli occupation started the problem.

"The first step is the occupation. So our people in Palestine are suffering. This suffering pushes our people in Palestine to defend themselves against the occupation and against the aggression of Israel," he said.

"The international community must make pressure on Israel to recognize our right to get freedom, to fight against occupation, to have real peace, legitimacy on our ground," Mashaal said. "If the international community obliged Israel to do that, then they can come to us and ask us to take our step."

Mashaal contended that the international community was pressuring Hamas because it was weak compared to Israel.

"It is easy for those countries to make pressure on the weak side," argued Mashaal. "This is not justice. For this reason the Palestinian people refuse this pressure. It is hypocrisy."

Mashaal said Hamas wants an end to occupation of Palestinian territories.

"You can be sure that our feeling is peace and hope, good for all people in the world, but not any side that occupies our land or makes aggression on our people," said Mashaal. "No peace without our legitimate rights. No stability with occupation. No peace with occupation. This is our right."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [417 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The habit of attacking civilians tells me all I need to know about Hamas, and saying otherwise is dmnable taquiya.
Posted by: Ptah || 02/18/2006 6:27 Comments || Top||

#2  Meshaal sez world has wrong image of Hamas

Ummmm, no.
We have the right image, murderers and thugs.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/18/2006 8:31 Comments || Top||

#3  The World has a wrong image of Islam, Khalid. If it had the right image---you'd all be extinct.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/18/2006 9:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Two sentences get you to the "right image" Khalid. Recognize Israel. Renounce violence.

To the world, these are two very simple and reasonable demands of a government.

Your actions and rascist spew are what give you your "image". Can't keep doing the same thing and expect change.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/18/2006 10:37 Comments || Top||

#5  Well put, Grom! My thoughts exactly.
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 02/18/2006 10:52 Comments || Top||

#6  "Wrong image"? Reminds me of "the Hitler with a song in his heart" from "The Producers"...
Posted by: borgboy || 02/18/2006 19:39 Comments || Top||

#7  Ditto Grom.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/18/2006 19:42 Comments || Top||

#8  IIUC a Paleo-boomers' mother was elected to the parliament
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2006 20:44 Comments || Top||

#9  It's common, there in Paleostan, Frank:

"Kids. They blow up so fast these days!"

"Yep, he was a dynamite kid!"
Posted by: BA || 02/18/2006 22:09 Comments || Top||


Palestinians ordered to return US aid
The United States has asked the Palestinian Authority to return $50 million in US aid because Washington does not want a Hamas-led government to have the funds. The money is being demanded as part of a review of all US aid for the Palestinians which began soon after the resistance group Hamas won last month's legislative elections. The US State Department expects to finish the review in the next few weeks.

Sean McCormack, the US State Department spokesman, on Friday said the caretaker government of Mahmoud Abbas had agreed to return the $50 million, which was given to the Palestinian Authority last year for infrastructure projects after Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. "In the interests of seeing that these funds not potentially make their way into the coffers of a future Palestinian government (made up of Hamas) ... we have asked for it to be returned and the Palestinian Authority has agreed," McCormack told reporters.
Posted by: Fred || 02/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [312 views] Top|| File under:

#1  um.....waiting.....
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2006 0:32 Comments || Top||

#2  We can always just take it out of the UN money we continue to stupidly flush down the toilet.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 02/18/2006 1:01 Comments || Top||

#3  A sudden thought, how does the UN get electricity, phone service etc? Do they have their own powerplwnt? Is their bill current? Do they pay on time?
I'll bet the power company doesn't allow non-payment just because they're Soooooo important.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/18/2006 8:39 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
1 dead, 4 injured in NPA attacks
Communist rebels killed a government soldier and wounded four others in separate attacks in Mindanao, a regional army spokesman said Friday.

Lt. Col. Francisco Simbahon, of the 4th Infantry Division, said suspected New People's Army rebels ambushed two soldiers returning to their camp in Agusan del Sur province on Wednesday. He said one soldier was killed instantly and the other seriously wounded.

NPA rebels also attacked patrolling soldiers in Surigao del Sur the same day and wounded two while another soldier was injured when rebels ambushed him in Davao del Norte province.

"There are operations against the NPA in Mindanao and we will continue to pursue the rebels until they are neutralized," Simbahon said.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered a heightened military offensive against the NPA, which the government considers the biggest threat to national security.

Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz Jr. and Armed Forces chief Generoso Senga said the President made the order after being briefed on the security situation in the country.

"What the President wants is to intensify the military offensive against an international security threat to the country," Cruz said.

But Senga said aside from communist insurgents, the Abu Sayyaf and renegade members of the former rebel group Moro National Liberation Front also pose a big threat to internal security.

The NPA, armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF), is fighting the past three decades to topple the government and install a Maoist state in the country.

Peace negotiations between Manila and the rebels collapsed following the pullout of the National Democratic Front (NDF) from the talks due to its inclusion in the terror lists of the United States and the European Union. Rebel leaders demanded that President Arroyo ask the United States and the European Union to strike them off from the terror lists before they resume peace talks.

The rebels have vowed to step up attacks on government targets after Manila last year suspended safety and immunity guarantee for their negotiators following the collapse of the peace talks.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Ahmadinejad is on the warpath
As the Iranian revolution enters its 28th year this month, the Islamic Republic stands at the most critical stage of its history. While power is being transferred to second-generation revolutionaries, the country is on a collision course with the United States over its controversial nuclear program.

At the center of this unfolding drama is the perplexing figure of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who has managed to isolate, enrage and frighten important domestic and external constituencies in the space of only six months.

Left to their own devices, Ahmadinejad and the second-generation revolutionaries who stand behind him are likely to change the Islamic Republic beyond recognition in the years ahead. But the complicating factor in all this is the increasing possibility of some form of military confrontation between Iran and the United States within two years. The key question is whether Ahmadinejad and his inner circle believe that military confrontation serves their long-term political and socio-economic agenda.

Ahmadinejad's first six months as president have had a mixed reaction. Domestically, he has tried to buttress his position among his core constituency, namely the urban poor and the lower classes who rallied around his calls for the revival of the Iranian revolution's egalitarian message.

While it is clearly too early to judge his performance as a champion of a more egalitarian society, it is important to point out that the Ahmadinejad government has not undertaken a single serious policy that would reverse the country's widening wealth gap. That said, there has been no let-up in the populist rhetoric and sloganeering that marked his election campaign.

Lack of progress on the economic and social-justice front notwithstanding, Ahmadinejad has introduced massive changes to the face and operations of the executive branch. Virtually all provincial governors have been replaced by Ahmadinejad loyalists, who tend to be young and hail from the Islamic Republic's security establishment, in particular the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC - or the Sepah-e-Pasdaran).

Moreover, Ahmadinejad has replaced most senior bankers and other important figures in charge of the country's finances. Furthermore, many of the country's most experienced diplomats have been recalled from abroad and replaced by less experienced figures, with backgrounds in the Sepah-e-Pasdaran and other security outfits.

At a superficial level it appears that the Ahmadinejad government is preparing for conflict and is reordering the entire machinery of government accordingly. But the changes introduced since August have a deeper meaning; they signify the coming of age of so-called "second-generation" revolutionaries who were propelled into a position of leadership by Ahmadinejad's surprise election victory last June.

The most important feature of the second-generation revolutionaries is that they developed their political consciousness in the battlefields of the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, and not in the revolutionary struggle against the Pahlavi regime. While they are intensely loyal to the memory of the late ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (the leader of the Iranian revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic), the second-generation revolutionaries have tenuous ties (at best) to the conservative clerical establishment that controls the key centers of political and economic power.

Contrary to Western reporting, Ahmadinejad's performance has generated more controversy and ill-feeling within the corridors of power in Tehran than in the crucible of Western public opinion. Arguably, the most surprising development in the past six months is the extent of Ahmadinejad's independence and freedom of action.

Originally dismissed as the lackey of the clerical establishment, Ahmadinejad has proved time and again that the only agenda that drives him is his own. In the space of a few months the former IRGC commander has emerged as certainly the most independent and arguably the most powerful president in the republic's 27-year history. Even the Islamic Republic's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, does not seem to have any appreciable influence over Ahmadinejad and his inner circle.

While liberals and reformists are, broadly speaking, in opposition to the Ahmadinejad government, it is the conservative establishment that has emerged as the second-generation revolutionaries' most formidable adversary. This is not surprising, given that the latter aspire to reorder fundamentally the socio-economic system in the Islamic Republic, changes that would fatally weaken the conservatives.

The conservative establishment hoped to delay the coming of age of the second-generation revolutionaries by positioning Hashemi Rafsanjani in the presidency. But Rafsanjani lost to Ahmadinejad, and he has since played the part of a bad loser. Indeed, the most vociferous opposition to the changes of the past six months has been made by Rafsanjani in his unofficial capacity as the public head of the conservative establishment.

While Iranian-US relations have reached an all-time low, it is important to note that not even the most committed anti-American elements in Iran see war as a foregone conclusion. Near-universal public support for the country's nuclear program notwithstanding, Iranians are acutely aware of the consequences of military confrontation with the US. Insofar as Iran's standing in the region and the wider world is concerned, the stakes could not be higher.

Reformists and conservatives alike are desperate to avoid war, for diametrically opposed reasons. For the former, aggression by the US would spell the end (at least for another generation) of the country's emerging grassroots democracy movement. Reformists fear that war would entrench the conservatives domestically and enable radical elements to seize control of the country's foreign policy and reverse the gains of the past 16 years. Ironically, conservatives fear war more than the reformists, even though they are confident of being entrenched politically, at least in the short term.

What the conservatives fear losing (as a result of war and its concomitant extreme international isolation) is their economic and commercial privileges. Contrary to Western reporting, the conservative establishment is not held together by ideology, but by vast (and impossibly complex) networks of patronage and economic/commercial monopolies. These networks thrive in a wider context of socio-economic stability; stability that would be blasted away by conflict and its repercussions.

The central question is how the second-generation revolutionaries led by Ahmadinejad view potential conflict with the US. The answer to this question lies in a better understanding of the second-generation revolutionaries' background, ideology and socio-economic agenda.

The key personalities in this vast network are former IRGC commanders; this includes Ahmadinejad and nearly all members of his inner circle. This military-ideological background is accentuated by a strong sense of Iranian nationalism and Shi'ite supremacism. Some influential second-generation revolutionaries (including Ahmadinejad himself) even harbor millenarian beliefs.

While they do not welcome conflict, they see it as an opportunity for a full-scale catharsis. To men like Ahmadinejad, the Islamic Republic is unconquerable; with its ability to project power well beyond its size and resources, rooted in its "undeterrable" nature.

On a more practical level, the second-generation revolutionaries may see conflict as an opportunity for entrenchment and a context-generator for their long-term socio-economic policies. They would certainly see it as an opportunity to reverse Westernization and bring Iran more in line with developments in the wider Muslim world (where anti-Western feelings proliferate and Islamic movements are increasingly on the rise).

While a US assault on Iran would probably engender all the above, it also runs the risk of unleashing dynamics that will elude the control of the Islamic Republic. First and foremost, conflict will almost certainly strengthen militant Islam in Iran, but of the kind that even the most hardline elements in the regime would not countenance.

There are already many small networks of Shi'ite extremists in the country, but they are kept in check by the country's stability and an effective security establishment. Any weakening of the state will enable these networks to widen and deepen their influence exponentially.

More worrying, conflict would significantly strengthen Sunni militancy on the country's fringes, particularly in the near-lawless Sistan va Balochistan province (bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan). A US assault on Iran would run the very real risk of enabling al-Qaeda to gain a foothold in the country.

While Ahmadinejad and his supporters are correct in their belief that war would not fatally undermine the Islamic Republic, it is not at all clear whether they have properly thought through the potential consequences.

At a time when the Americans are giving every indication of preparing for a long-term containment strategy over the controversial Iranian nuclear program (likely characterized by periodic bombings followed by long spells of tense standoff - eerily reminiscent of the containment strategy employed against Iraq from 1991-2003), Iranians of all political persuasions ought to be thinking of avoiding this scenario, at unacceptable costs if necessary.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [431 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What the conservatives fear losing (as a result of war and its concomitant extreme international isolation) is their economic and commercial privileges. Contrary to Western reporting, the conservative establishment is not held together by ideology, but by vast (and impossibly complex) networks of patronage and economic/commercial monopolies. These networks thrive in a wider context of socio-economic stability; stability that would be blasted away by conflict and its repercussions.

Interesting.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2006 4:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Interesting, but could be false.
Posted by: Ol Dirty American || 02/18/2006 7:49 Comments || Top||

#3  Over all, good article.
The author, apparently iranian himself, describes quite correctly the internal political situation, specially about the revolution coming down to sharing the countrie 's wealth among few!!

However, there must be inside Iran, those who will stand up against this bunch in the face of total devastation.I 'm thinking of some miltary guys capable of pulling a coup to "save the nation".
Ahmadinejad and his ilk have decided that it will be them, the hell with the country.
The US should encourage and help those who will put IRAN first.
Posted by: frenchfregoli || 02/18/2006 10:02 Comments || Top||

#4  Agreed. A military coup and a comprehensive campaign against the Revolutionary Guards is probably the only way to overthrow the mullahs short of a full-scale invasion. Unfotunately.
Posted by: Jonathan || 02/18/2006 11:09 Comments || Top||

#5  I don't buy it. AhMAD and the Moolahs are driven by the 12 century and the return of the 5th whatever.

AhMAD was hand chosen by Moolah #1 who runs the show.

This column is a diversion.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/18/2006 14:40 Comments || Top||

#6  More and more it appears to this semi-ignorant outsider that the Iranians are waiting for us to do the heavy lifting of their revolution for them. All those young people who love America and hate the Mullahs don't seem to be interested in anything more than a few peaceful marches of the Ghandi sort, which only work when the government is made up of principled and essentially non-violent people, which the Mullahs are absolutely not. And while there is violence against the Mullahcracy in outlying areas like the Baluch tribal region, I don't yet see how that will shake the current regime.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2006 22:23 Comments || Top||


US will allocate $5m to finance Syria opposition
WASHINGTON — The United States will allocate $5 million to finance the Syrian opposition, the State Department said yesterday, two days after announcing a similar initiative for the Iranian opposition.

The State Department said in a statement that it will give the money “to accelerate the work of reformers in Syria.” The money would come from the department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, it said.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that the United States wants to strengthen its sanctions against Syria and is trying to convince other nations to follow suit. “We intend to use the Syrian Accountability Act and use it to its fullest,” the top US diplomat told Congress, referring to a 2003 law that allows the US administration to impose sanctions against Syria. The law, which provides for a series of six diplomatic, economic and financial sanctions, was partially applied in May 2004 by President George W. Bush, but some sanctions have yet to be used.

“The Syrian Accountability Act is a very important tool,” Rice told the House of Representatives International Relations Committee. “We’ve used a great deal of it,” she recalled.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/18/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [302 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I oppose Syria.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/18/2006 12:11 Comments || Top||

#2  $5M? Hell, the Bridge to Nowhere costs more than that......
Posted by: Cleaque Slaviper2009 || 02/18/2006 12:29 Comments || Top||

#3  How about taking the $2 billion we give to Egypt and using it instead to finance freedom in boty Syria AND Iran?

It's obviously going down the rat hole in Egypt.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/18/2006 14:50 Comments || Top||

#4  $2m would buy a lot of fence and barbed wire for Arizona.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/18/2006 19:46 Comments || Top||


Terror Networks
Negroponte sez al-Qaeda central command intact
The director of national intelligence said Friday that while the United States has made important strides in thwarting Al Qaeda, it still remains one of the most formidable components of what he called a "global jihadist movement."

John Negroponte said despite the fact that many of its operational leaders have been killed or captured, "Al Qaeda will attempt high-impact attacks for as long as its central command structures functioning."

Negroponte told an audience at Georgetown University that explosives remain Al Qaeda's weapon of choice, but he says its operatives are still trying to get their hands on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

Negroponte said the changes in the way the American intelligence community operates have made the nation safer than it was on 9/11. He said intelligence agencies are working together more closely than ever, and that coordination is critical in preventing another domestic terror attack.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/18/2006 01:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:


Nigeria suspends 380,000 bpd oil exports after attack
Royal Dutch Shell suspended exports from the 380,000 barrel-a-day Forcados terminal on Saturday after militants bombed the tanker loading platform, a senior oil industry source said.

The company is still trying to ascertain the damage to the platform, which is located three miles offshore, but has already begun shutting oilfields in the area which feed the terminal, the source added.

"Of course no ships can go near there now. This is going to be a major deferment," the senior industry source said. "If we can't export, we can't produce," he added.

Nigeria is the world's eighth largest oil exporter and normally pumps about 2.4 million barrels per day.

The militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, which is fighting for more local control over the Niger Delta's oil wealth, claimed responsibility for Saturday's attacks, which also included the kidnapping of nine foreign workers and the bombing of two pipelines.

President Olusegun Obasanjo has called a meeting of oil industry and security chiefs to discuss the crisis later on Saturday, the source said.
Posted by: lotp || 02/18/2006 16:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [309 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So it's that easy to shut down a tanker loading platform, eh, Iran?
Posted by: Snuns Thromp1484 || 02/18/2006 19:54 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Sat 2006-02-18
  Nigeria hard boyz threaten total war
Fri 2006-02-17
  Pak cleric rushdies cartoonist
Thu 2006-02-16
  Outbreaks along Tumen River between Nork guards and armed N Korean groups
Wed 2006-02-15
  Yemen offers reward for Al Qaeda jailbreakers
Tue 2006-02-14
  Cartoon protesters go berserk in Peshawar
Mon 2006-02-13
  Gore Bashes US In Saudi Arabia
Sun 2006-02-12
  IAEA cameras taken off Iran N-sites
Sat 2006-02-11
  Danish ambassador quits Syria
Fri 2006-02-10
  Nasrallah: Bush and Rice should 'shut up'
Thu 2006-02-09
  Taliban offer 100kg gold for killing cartoonist
Wed 2006-02-08
  Syrian Ex-VP and Muslim Brotherhood Put Past Behind Them
Tue 2006-02-07
  Captain Hook found guilty in London
Mon 2006-02-06
  Cartoon riots: Leb interior minister quits
Sun 2006-02-05
  Iran Resumes Uranium Enrichment
Sat 2006-02-04
  Syria protesters set Danish embassy ablaze

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