Images from today, Feb 17, of the #Afghan-#Iran border showing the aftermath of a series of fuel tanker explosions that occurred on Feb 13 at the Islam Qala crossing in #Afghanistan's Herat province. 500+ trucks carrying natural gas & fuel were reportedly destroyed in the blasts. pic.twitter.com/dCnIhH9dPG
[ToloNews] Three people were killed and two more were maimed in two security incidents in Kabul in last 24 hours, sources said on Wednesday.
In the first incident on Tuesday night, one person was killed and two more were maimed in a clash between armed robbers and passengers of a bus in Bagrami district of Kabul, sources said.
The gunnies were attempting to rob the passengers, the sources said.
On Wednesday morning, one member of the National Directorate of Security ...the Afghan national intel agency... (NDS) and one employee of the Ministry of Defense were killed in an attack by unidentified button men in Hussainkhel area in Bagrami district of Kabul this morning, sources said.
"The victims are father and son," the sources said, adding that "the father worked for NDS and the son for the Ministry of Defense."
Police so far have not commented on the incidents.
[ToloNews] Two coppers were killed and three more were maimed after their vehicle was targeted by a roadside kaboom blast in Herat ...a venerable old Persian-speaking city in western Afghanistan, populated mostly by Tadjiks, which is why it's not as blood-soaked as areas controlled by Pashtuns... -Islam Qala highway on Wednesday morning, local officials said.
The incident happened while a delegation was on it’s to the customs office in the border town of Islam Qala in Herat province to investigate Saturday’s massive fire that damaged nearly 1,000 trucks, according to officials.
No group including the Taliban ...Arabic for students... has grabbed credit for the blast.
The fire in the customs office broke out in the customs area on Saturday afternoon and was extinguished after 24 hours, according to the Finance Ministry.
Hundreds of investors and truck-owners gathered outside the Herat governor’s office, saying that corruption in the customs office is the cause of the fire.
The Chamber of Commerce and Investment has estimated the costs to investors and truck owners to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The chamber warned that Herat economy would face a recession if those affected are not supported.
Herat governor Sayed Waheed Qatali said dozens of goods trucks were "looted" during the incident but were recovered by security forces, adding that the fire happened due to negligence and corruption in the customs office.
Investors on Tuesday said hundreds of Afghan trucks have been stranded in Iran ...a theocratic Shiite state divided among the Medes, the Persians, and the (Arab) Elamites. Formerly a fairly civilized nation ruled by a Shah, it became a victim of Islamic revolution in 1979. The nation is today noted for spontaneously taking over other countries' embassies, maintaining whorehouses run by clergymen, involvement in international drug trafficking, and financing sock puppet militias to extend the regime's influence. The word Iran is a cognate form of Aryan. The abbreviation IRGC is the same idea as Stürmabteilung (or SA). The term Supreme Guide is a the modern version form of either Duce or Führer or maybe both. They hate JewsZionists Jews. Their economy is based on the production of oil and vitriol... following the fire at Islam Qala customs. Islam Qala, on the border with Iran, is a major trade port in the country.
The trucks are those driven to Iran to avoid the fire and were left across the border due to the halted customs activities in Islam Qala.
Investors said the trucks carry fresh fruit, food and raw material for factories. Some trucks are carrying vegetables that will spoil.
[ToloNews] Lawmakers from Kandahar and Helmand ...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan... provinces in Afghanistan’s House of Representatives on Wednesday said that internal rifts between local officials, the poor management of jobs, and the local authorities' pursuit of personal business has pushed Kandahar to the verge of falling to the Taliban ...the Pashtun equivalent of men... The politicians said that the war has now reached the doorstep of the city, adding that the Kandahar governor, the head of the National Directorate of Security ...the Afghan national intel agency... (NDS) for Kandahar and the police chief have failed to correct the situation.
According to the politicians, a lack of coordination between government forces and a lack of effort by politicians, including former President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ...One of the more egregious mistakes of the post 9-11 era... , to settle tribal issues in the province have also been key factors in the growing unrest.
Dand, Arghandab, Zhari and Panjwai districts in Kandahar have witnessed growing threats over the past few months.
"The current political and security situation in Kandahar is complicated," said Karim Atal, an MP from Kandahar.
"If the war continues on the same scale, there is the possibility that Kandahar will collapse," said MP Gul Ahmad Kamin.
"We expected (former) President Karzai to play a role in promoting tribal harmony in Kandahar," said a civil society activist in Kandahar Naweed Ahmad Sayedi.
Meanwhile, ...back at the shouting match, a new, even louder, voice was to be heard... the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) has said that the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) are struggling to repel the Taliban’s attacks in these districts.
"Large swaths of lands were cleared from Taliban in Maiwand, Arghandab and Zhari districts—massive casualties were inflicted on the Taliban, including (the elimination) of hundreds of foreigners," said Rohullah Ahmadzai, a defense ministry front man.
In recent months, the Afghan Chief of Army Staff made a handful of trips to the war fronts in Kandahar to monitor the campaign against the Taliban; however, the scale of war continues to grip several districts in the province.
[Garowe] A self-organized militia which has been fighting against the al-Shabaab ...... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... turbans in Somalia has been sighted in Lower Shabelle, reports indicate, a situation that could trigger heavy fighting between the two groups, as the country plan to go for elections.
The presence of Ma’awisley in Lower Shabelle, a renowned al-Shabaab bedrock, coincides with the ongoing operations by security forces, who have been trying to flush out the turbans in the region, where al-Shabaab operations are on a high scale.
Somali National Army [SNA] and the African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... Mission Forces in Somalia have been conducting operations in the region, but al-Shabaab still controls large sections of Lower and Middle Shabelle. The operation has however been successful, leading to the liberation of several towns.
Reports indicate that Ma’awisley militias moved into Leego, Yaaq Bariweyne, Beled Amiin, and in areas around Ballidogle airport where they are set to unleash against the al-Shabaab holy warriors, who have been fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed Somalia administration.
The Balligodle airbase was the headquarters to the US Africa Command, which left Somalia last month. Over 700 personnel who have been assisting Somalia in the fight against al-Shabaab, were relocated to elsewhere in East Africa, with reports indicating that most of them moved to Kenya.
Ma’awisley operated in Middle Shabelle and Hiran regions but this is the first time for the group to be sighted in Lower Shabelle. The group fights along with Somali forces but it has never been merged with the army, as both pursue al-Shabaab turbans separately.
The al-Shabaab group still controls large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia, but it has significantly lost in some of the traditional strongholds following concerted efforts from the security forces. The group has an estimated 7000 active fighters within and outside Somalia.
[Garowe] The US Navy seized weapons components from two stateless dhows along porous Somalia's coastline, the Navy team said, but the destination of the smugglers remains unknown, although the region is used by cartels to ship in weapons for militia groups and terrorists.
According to the Navy, the weapons were seized along the Indian Ocean coastline on February 11 and 12, but the dhows' origin could not be immediately established. Usually, the dhows should have a label or the flag of the country of origin.
"The guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill [DDG 81], in accordance with international law, boarded a stateless dhow off of Somalia and interdicted an illicit shipment of weapons and weapon components, Feb. 12," read the statement from the Navy.
Somalia's coastline has remained the hub for illegal traders and smugglers with pirates also taking advantage due to the absence of trained military personnel guarding the waters. However, man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them... the US has often given the country backup, helping Mogadishu to minimize cases of smuggling.
The US military often conducts patrols in the international waters mainly while pursuing threats or guarding shipment that originates and, or that is on transit to the US. The Navy is still investigating the destination of the weapons that were seized.
"Maritime security operations, as conducted by the U.S. 5th Fleet, entail routine patrols to determine the pattern of life in the maritime environment as well as to enhance mariner-to-mariner relations," added the statement.
"These operations reassure allies and partners and preserve freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce," the US noted while pledging to continue protecting Somalia's coastline.
Some of the weapons that were seized by USS Winston Churchill include thousands of AK-47s, light machine guns, heavy sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and weapons components, which security analysts believe we're destined for Somalia.
[LibyaReview] A Libyan citizen was detained in southern The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...Qatar's satrapy in Asia Minor... while trying to illegally cross the border from Syria, the Ottoman Turkish Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.
"Our border guards stationed in Hatay’s Narlica district (in southern Turkey) caught six people including one Libyan and five Russian nationals who were attempting to illegally cross into Turkey from Syria," the ministry tweeted
In a separate incident, Ottoman Turkish authorities this week also arrested a 26-year-old woman with her two children near the Syrian border, accused of links to IS.
This comes at a time when Turkey is turning a blind eye to thousands of foreign jihadists in Idlib, where more than 10,000 Ottoman Turkish soldiers are believed to be stationed.
Notably, Turkey has recruited thousands of Syrian-based fighters to travel to Libya and take part in the conflict.
Mozambican security forces retreat from Nanili towards nearest positions in Namaua under heavy ISCAP-Mozambique assault, with insurgents ambushing from both sides of road with RPGs: means ISCAP has effectively secured nearly all Mocimboa da Praia district https://t.co/vrF2HH2ofCpic.twitter.com/t0HFFmbhbL
ISCAP is Islamic State West Africa Province, or more colloquially Al Shabaab. It is not connected in any way to Somalia’s Al Shabaab, which looks to Al Qaeda. This is a reverse from last week when they were reported to be retreating in disarray, and jihadis were deserting the cause due to hunger.
[AnNahar] Ottoman Turkish border guards have detained five Russians, including a woman suspected of being a member the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that they were al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're really very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear western pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group, and a Libyan who were attempting to cross from Syria, officials said Wednesday.
It was not immediately clear whether all six were suspected of being members of the jihadist group.
"Our border guards stationed in Hatay's Narlica district (in southern The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...just another cheapjack Moslem dictatorship, brought to you by the Moslem Brüderbund... ) caught six people including one Libyan and five Russian nationals who were attempting to illegally cross into Turkey from Syria," the ministry tweeted in English.
"One of the Russian nationals was a woman identified as a wanted ISIS member," it said, using an Arabic acronym for the holy warrior group.
In a separate incident, Ottoman Turkish authorities this week also arrested a 26-year-old woman with her two children near the Syrian border, accused of links to the IS group.
The woman, who held both New Zealand and Australian passports until Canberra revoked her Australian citizenship last year, sparked a row between the two countries.
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday accused Australia of shirking its responsibilities and said it was "wrong" to expect New Zealand to accept the woman.
A Melbourne woman who had her Australian citizenship cancelled last year is at the centre of a political spat between Australia and New Zealand, after NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern accused Scott Morrison of an "abrogation of responsibility" over her case.
The ABC can reveal the woman at the centre of the feud is 25-year-old Melburnian Suhayra Aden, who until last year was a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand.
Ms Aden travelled to Syria from Australia in 2014 to live under Islamic State. While there she married and had three children to two Swedish men, who both died. One of her children also died of pneumonia while in Syria.
On Monday evening (local time), news broke that she had been detained by Turkish authorities while crossing into Turkey from the north-western Syrian province of Idlib, where she had reportedly been living.
Her two surviving children, aged two and five, were detained with her.
"Three New Zealand nationals trying to enter our country from Syria illegally were caught by our border staff in Reyhanli district of Hatay," the Turkish defence ministry said in a statement on Twitter on Monday night.
"It was determined that a 26-year-old woman named SA, who was among those arrested, was a terrorist from Daesh," it added.
[DailyTimes.pk] Police and security forces foiled a terror attack near Dera Ismail Khan ... the Pearl of Pashtunistan ... ’s Dera Tank road on Tuesday.
According to the officials, they received information about an attack in the area after which they cordoned it off.
When the police reached the site, a terrorist clad in a suicide bomb jacket shot up them. "When we fired at him in response, the suspect got injured and then detonated the bomb," a police officer said.
A search operation has begun in the area.
The spokesperson of the bomb disposal squad said that the suspect’s jacket was loaded with five kilogrammes of explosives. "It had seven to eight kilogrammes of ball bearings and phosphorous."
Investigations are under way and the police are looking for the perpetrator’s accomplices.
[DailyTimes.pk] During an intelligence based operation (IBO), security forces killed 3 Lions of Islam from the Aleem Khan Khushali group. According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) the encounter took place in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s North Wazoo district on Tuesday.
"These Lions of Islam were involved in murder, kidnapping for ransom, extortion, fire raid on security forces and improvised bomb (IED) explosions," ISPR added. "Sanitisation of the area was carried out."
As told by military’s media wing the operation was carried out after the security forces noticed the presence of Lions of Islam in a compound in North Waziristan’s area Mir Ali.
The ISPR said that 42-year-old resident of Chitral Naib Subedar Aminullah and a 24-year-old resident of Landi Kotal Sepoy Sher Zamin embraced martyrdom and four other security personnel received injuries during the operation.
Previously two bad boyz were potted on 18th January during an IBO in Nargosa area of South Waziristan The military’s media wing further added to the previous operation that "During an intense fire, two Lions of Islam Usman Ali and Waheed Lashtai were killed and one was injured and apprehended".
[Defence.pk] On December 15, Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, the emir of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), appeared in a video released by Umar Media, the official media arm of TTP (Umar Media, December 15). This video demonstrated a continuation of the series of mergers of Pakistani jihadist groups into TTP, which started in July 2020.
The video contains footage of the bay’ah (oath of allegiance) ceremonies of two jihadist organizations from Waziristan, Pakistan, including Mulawi Aleem Khan Ustad, and Commander Umar Azzam groups. Khan is a powerful jihadist commander who joined TTP with nine commanders and dozens of fighters (Tribal News, November 28).
TTP announced the mergers of both groups into its ranks on November 27 (Umar Media, November 27). The video shows that the merger ceremony apparently took place outside Afghanistan, most probably in Waziristan’s remote areas bordering the country. The footages include video clips of both commanders’ oath-taking, holding Mahsud’s hands and announcing their pledges of allegiance to him.
WHO IS MULAWI ALEEM KHAN USTAD?
Aleem Khan is from the tribal North Waziristan district, in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which served as the base of al-Qaeda for more than a decade after 9/11, from 2004 to 2015 (Asia Times, November 5). Khan was deputy to Hafiz Gul Bahadur—the al-Qaeda host and shadow governor of Waziristan (Gandhara, March 16, 2015). The Gul Bahadur group became the largest local group in Waziristan between 2008 and 2014 and even hosted TTP in North Waziristan after the organization lost its strongholds in neighboring South Waziristan.
Gul Bahadur’s decline started after the 2014 military operation in North Waziristan, when the jihadists escaping that military operation sought shelter in Afghanistan.  Khan disassociated from Bahadur that same year and since then has operated independently (The News, August 20, 2014).
During this period, serious differences emerged that would divide Khan and Bahadur, resulting in the latter ultimately seeking leadership of the group (The News, August 20, 2014). Bahadur alleged that Khan was in league with the Pakistani government, and in return was receiving protection for his areas and tribesmen from military operations. As a reaction to this accusation, Khan announced that he was now emir of the group, removing Bahadur, who had moved to the Afghanistan side of the border to escape military operations.
A few months later, Aleem Khan somewhat confirmed what Bahadur had accused him of when he surprisingly announced an end to the war against the Pakistani Army, and offered his group’s assistance in returning the internally displaced people (IDPs) of North Waziristan back to their homes. Like thousands of others from North Waziristan, these IDPs had left their homes due to the military operations that took place in 2014. His group had taken responsibility for restoring peace in North Waziristan and threatened military operations against all those aiming to engage in an insurgency against the state (Daily Pakistan, March 16 2015).
Thus, the merger of the Aleem Khan group into TTP is important from two perspectives. First, it is a major blow to the Pakistani Army’s efforts to coopt the anti-state militants in Waziristan for peace and the restoration of government authority in the area (Gandahara, July 24 2018). Second, Khan’s bay’ah to TTP is the first time that a jihadist group from North Waziristan is joining the organization. It is particularly signicant that Khan’s group is a strong splinter of the Gul Bahadur organization.
The TTP and the Gul Bahadur group share a history of rivalry rooted in the tribal politics of the region. The senior leadership of al-Qaeda, particularly its Afghanistan-Pakistan chief, Mustafa Abu Yazid, tried to unify the TTP and Bahadur group, but the latter did not accept it for long . Gul Bahadur’s rejection has roots in the historical tribal feuds between Mehsuds and Wazir tribes of Waziristan. The Wazirs considers themselves superior to Mehsuds . Thus, Gul Bahadur, being the strongest leader of the Wazir tribes, never agreed to merge into TTP, which was led by the Mehsuds.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.