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Saudi forces clash with suspected militants
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Army threatens to storm Afghan jail after two-day standoff
A standoff between security forces and hundreds of rioting inmates at Afghanistan's main jail dragged into a second day, with the army threatening to storm a seized cell block if negotiations failed.

There were believed to be about four dead bodies among the nearly 1,300 prisoners, who had not been given food since the riot erupted late Saturday at the dilapidated Pul-e-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of the capital Kabul. The rioters had also refused to hand over their wounded, believed to number up to 30 people, to ambulances waiting outside the sprawling complex, officials said. There were calls from inside the building for food and medicine, they said. Security forces had closed the gate into the complex to hold back prisoners who appeared to have armed themselves with makeshift weapons including steel bedposts and shards of glass, witnesses inside the jail said.

Negotiations between the prisoners -- including about 300 Taliban and Al-Qaeda members -- and government officials opened early Monday. "The negotiations are still ongoing but if it doesn't work, we will intervene militarily. We will carry out an operation," an Afghan army official said on condition of anonymity. About 200 extra soldiers took up positions at the compound where hundreds of heavily armed soldiers and police reinforcements arrived Sunday.
Rest at link.
Posted by: ed || 02/27/2006 08:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let Dostum deal with it. He has experience.
Posted by: Fred || 02/27/2006 9:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Hiya, Hiya, Hiya.

Roll that armour!
Posted by: Rocky || 02/27/2006 16:22 Comments || Top||

Prison riot still ongoing
HUNDREDS of rioting prisoners led by al-Qaeda and Taleban militants were locked in a stand-off with security forces last night after seizing control of a wing of Afghanistan’s main high-security prison. As night fell the prison, on the eastern edge of Kabul, was ringed by soldiers and police, backed by tanks and armoured personnel carriers, to prevent a break-out. Seven people were killed in the uprising at the Pul-e-Charkhi prison, according to one police officer at the scene. Prison officials said that 30 had been wounded in clashes between inmates and police.

The huge, run-down, Soviet-style prison was built in the 1970s, and thousands of Afghans who opposed communist rule were killed and tortured there in the 1980s. It now holds 2,000 inmates, including about 350 Taleban and al-Qaeda fighters. Rioting began in the prison’s Block Two on Saturday night. Muhammad Qasim Hashimzai, Afghanistan’s Deputy Justice Minister, said that prisoners led by al-Qaeda and Taleban militants had taken two female guards hostage during a row over a new prison rule forcing inmates to wear blue uniforms. The uniforms were intended to prevent a repeat of a break-out last month, when seven Taleban suspects escaped by disguising themselves as visitors.

General Mahboub Amiri, head of Kabul’s Rapid Reaction Police Force, said that the violence began when Taleban members tried to escape. Prison officials said that inmates had been seen trying to climb the walls, but that none had escaped. Hundreds of prisoners armed with makeshift weapons then barricaded themselves inside the block. Gunfire rang out during the day. Smoke rose from windows as inmates burned mattresses and bedding.

The block was divided into three sections, with one each for political prisoners, ordinary criminals and women. Mr Hashimzai said that prisoners had broken through the divisions, and that there were fears that some female prisoners could have been raped. Four prisoners were wounded while trying to escape, but other injured prisoners were still being held by rioters, Mr Hashimzai said. “They have control of the wounded prisoners and they are not giving them to us so that we can treat them. We have doctors and ambulances ready here,” he said.

Timur Shah, a gang leader who helped to kidnap Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni last year, was involved in starting the riot, according to one of the negotiators, Nader Nadeery, of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. Mr Hashimzai said last night that negotiations with the prisoners had foundered. “Unfortunately, the prisoners have no unity and have different demands. There’s no one leader who can talk to us,” he said. He said that prisoners were chanting: “Death to (Afghan President Hamid) Karzai”, “Death to Bush” and “Death to America”.
Wotta coincidence. I'm sitting here chanting "Death to the nasty bastards!"
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/27/2006 00:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "forcing inmates to wear blue uniforms"
Authorities should drop this requirement offer the prisoners freedom of choice - a specified uniform or no clothes.

American prison policy seems to be in force here - I suspect in past Afghan administrations rioting prisoners would have just been killed outright. Might be a good time to return to local custom.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/27/2006 7:09 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm still voting for the Israeli blue unis.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/27/2006 8:51 Comments || Top||

#3  All right. They have a choice between Israel blue and little girl pink.
Posted by: Jackal || 02/27/2006 9:30 Comments || Top||

#4  I remember camping years ago in one of Utah's National Parks, and there was a "work crew" from the local county jail doing some major clean up of the campground. The locals had dressed them in tee shirts and big poofy clown pants (either w/large stripes or dots, I forget which) and the cons were glaring at all the campers, daring them to laugh or say something. (We did, but under our breath.)
Posted by: SLO Jim || 02/27/2006 13:01 Comments || Top||

#5  Cell Block # 9?
Posted by: Xbalanke || 02/27/2006 14:04 Comments || Top||

#6  How do you say "lousy screws" in Arabic?
Posted by: mojo || 02/27/2006 15:09 Comments || Top||

Bagram rivals Gitmo according to NYT
Take your blood pressure medicine first. Another piece of slimy half-accusations and whining.
While an international debate rages over the future of the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the military has quietly expanded another, less-visible prison in Afghanistan, where it now holds some 500 terror suspects in more primitive conditions, indefinitely and without charges.

Pentagon officials have often described the detention site at Bagram, a cavernous former machine shop on an American air base 40 miles north of Kabul, as a screening center. They said most of the detainees were Afghans who might eventually be released under an amnesty program or transferred to an Afghan prison that is to be built with American aid.

But some of the detainees have already been held at Bagram for as long as two or three years. And unlike those at Guantánamo, they have no access to lawyers, no right to hear the allegations against them and only rudimentary reviews of their status as "enemy combatants," military officials said.
Because it's an Afghan prison on Afghan soil, and the Afghan government finds it convenient to keep these hoods, and we find it convenient not to argue with them.
Privately, some administration officials acknowledge that the situation at Bagram has increasingly come to resemble the legal void that led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling in June 2004 affirming the right of prisoners at Guantánamo to challenge their detention in United States courts.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve White || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  NYT rivals Pravda according to informed bloggers.
Posted by: .com || 02/27/2006 1:17 Comments || Top||

#2  So we should send them all to Gitmo?

Y'know, life is tough. The NYT aspires to lofty goals - shangra-la on earth. I wish we didn't have to detain terrorists, or criminals in Attica (in New York) and I bet most of those in Attica protest that they are detained incorrectly, improperly, and without the proper facilities - especiially if the NYT would ask them.

Life is tougher if you're stupid, or blindly, hopelessly idealistic.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/27/2006 7:24 Comments || Top||

#3  So, let's compare either one to Abu Ghraib during Saddam's reign.

Oh, wait, that's right. Not a single goddamn US paper bothered to print pics from that period. And CNN admitted to covering up the nature of Saddam's reign in exchange for "access".

Is there a course specifically dealing with treason in journalism school, or, like getting your units straight in engineering, is it an underlying theme in all the courses?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/27/2006 7:30 Comments || Top||

#4  I sure hope there's a prison on Diego Garcia I don't know about that is housing all the really bad guys. Where else can jack Bauer interrogate people properly?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/27/2006 8:17 Comments || Top||

#5  Men are held by the dozen in large wire cages, the detainees and military sources said, sleeping on the floor on foam mats and, until about a year ago, often using plastic buckets for latrines. Before recent renovations, they rarely saw daylight except for brief visits to a small exercise yard.

Sounds like a nice camping weekend in Alaska to me. This isn't "harsh" at all, especially if you consider the day-to-day life of Afghans themselves. He!!, if you've read Tommy Franks book, you realize that even the ruling class's digs didn't have indoor plumbing. Great story there of him visiting Karzai, asking for the restroom (for his wife) and finding out in this palatial estate, that the bathroom was a back room where you "did your business" on the floor. I imagine there's hardly ANY indoor plumbing in Afghanistan if even the ruling class's digs don't have it!

And, I know I'm answering my own question, but why the heck run this now, when their own story says that they blocked transfers starting in Sept. 2004, almost a year and a half ago?
Posted by: BA || 02/27/2006 9:44 Comments || Top||

#6  why the heck run this now, when their own story says that they blocked transfers starting in Sept. 2004, almost a year and a half ago?

Because their guy had to write something to justify the expensive travel fees (after all, he had to get kitted out in full "journalist in the wilds" regalia, in Afghan Sand with matching coordinates, for his new staff photo... not to mention his travel costs, and the goat he thought he needed to purchase because you can't just buy a source drinks over there to get him talking). And besides, if they couldn't find a reason to manufacture outrage, they'd have to acknowledge the real improvements over there, and they'd just rather die!
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/27/2006 11:21 Comments || Top||

#7  Better stated than I could, TW. As I said...I know I'm answering my own question...(short answer is MSM=BDS, but I like your version better, lol).
Posted by: BA || 02/27/2006 11:36 Comments || Top||

#8  Depressing, I bet they don't have Room Service or vallet parking.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 02/27/2006 12:01 Comments || Top||

#9  Somebody needs to get to Punch Shulzberger. Somebody needs to tell him he's making an awful lot of Marines VERY unhappy - unhappy enough to take up a collection for the NY Mafia to do a hit on him. Unhappy enough to take out his two-bit propaganda rag like Saddam's "elite" Republican Guard. Unhappy enough to make him drink 40 consecutive bottles of Carlsberg light beer - then wait 24 hours before using the latrine. Unhappy enough to pierce his ears - with a sniper rifle. It's not wise to make Marines unhappy. Unhappy Marines are not nice folks. Punch needs to learn that, first-hand. I'd volunteer to help, but only if I can bring my axehandle.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/27/2006 14:36 Comments || Top||

#10  get kitted out in full "journalist in the wilds" regalia, in Afghan Sand

AKA the Gunga Dan look.
Posted by: 6 || 02/27/2006 16:24 Comments || Top||

#11  Furgot the picture.
Posted by: 6 || 02/27/2006 16:28 Comments || Top||

#12  BA, I know it was rhetorical, but I just couldn't stand it. The next-but-one in my tottering to-read pile is a book by a Wall Street Journal reporter who's done 5 rotations in Iraq with one of the Marine units -- a girlfriend of mine was a college friend of his, and he pops round occasionally... Anyway, it was the photo on the back cover I was channelling, but not the stripped down version of a real reporter (local fleas and all), but the glamourpuss version Mr. Rather and the parachuting journalists like the author of this little ignorance-filled diatribe favour.

/no TIM GOLDEN and ERIC SCHMITT do not meet my standards, why do you ask?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/27/2006 16:59 Comments || Top||

#13  Lol, tw - your evolution into SnarkMeister is dizzying! *applause*
Posted by: .com || 02/27/2006 17:05 Comments || Top||

#14  I suspect it's not so much an evolution as the careful shedding of reticence, revealing mor of what was always there but hidden. I dated girls like that.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/27/2006 17:08 Comments || Top||

#15  .com, Nimble Spemble, I have here sat at the feet of masters. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/27/2006 17:26 Comments || Top||

British troops fear backlash as Afghans attack opium crop
British forces in one of the most dangerous regions of Afghanistan face their first potential threat from farmers whose poppy fields are due to be destroyed from this week. The government of President Hamid Karzai is determined to carry out large-scale eradication of opium crops in Helmand province, where the first members of a British task force of 5,700 are being deployed. British commanders here have stressed that their troops will not take part in the highly controversial programme. But both Afghan and British officials have acknowledged that they are likely to suffer a backlash in this largely rural community if farmers lose their livelihood with no adequate compensation.

British troops are already preparing for expected attacks from a resurgent Taliban and their al-Qa'ida allies. Islamist fighters have carried out waves of suicide and roadside bombings, murdered aid workers, burnt schools and beheaded teachers for offering to teach girls.

British soldiers may also have to disarm the grandiosely titled Afghan Security Force - in effect former mujahedin hired by US forces to guard their bases. They are accused by local people of lawlessness and involvement in extortion.

President Karzai is under intense pressure from the US and Britain to curb Afghanistan's production of heroin. Helmand, which accounts for 25 per cent of the opium crop, will be used as a public show of the government's determination. But neighbouring regions where warlords are said to have links with the government are not facing any significant eradication programme, further fuelling anger in Helmand.

The US is said to favour a robust eradication campaign. But while British ministers have said repeatedly that one of the troops' primary tasks would be to help halt Afghan opium production - the largest in the world and responsible for 90 per cent of the drug on Britain's streets - they also say soldiers will simply be providing "security" rather than taking part in eradication or counter-terrorist operations.

The statements have created confusion over the precise mission of the force, which includes paratroopers and Royal Marines, and is larger than the one sent during the 2001 war.

Col Gordon Messenger, commander of the British forces being deployed in Helmand, said his force would not destroy poppy crops or provide security for Afghan forces doing so. Another senior officer said: "We should not even be in the same area where the eradication is taking place. The problem is that we shall have to be back there in the future with Afghan forces."

Fazel Ahmad Sherzad, head of the anti-narcotics department in the province, said: "They have doubled the area of the land growing poppy in Helmand. We have told them to stop, and they have not listened. We have even taken people to Kabul and told them, to show how serious we are about cutting the crop."

Afghan forces themselves are concerned, however. "It will be a big mistake to cut the crop this year," said Abdul Shakur, police commandant in Helmand's provincial capital, Lashkar Gar. "The people have nothing else and they will get angry."

Lt Shabaz Ali, of the 3rd Battalion of the Afghan army, said: "If I am ordered to destroy the crop, then I shall have to do so, [but] we should leave them alone this year and then give them compensation next year before cutting the crop.

"The farmers will turn against us and the British. They have guns and they can fight."

At Sharabak, an Afghan army headquarters next to Camp Bastion, the massive British military base under construction, Sgt Sardar Khan added: "This will cause big problems. It will be difficult for the British to say they are not involved. In here, for example, they are in the next camp to us."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I read an article in the past few months that there's medicinal use for poppies once the narcotic ingredient is removed - they were making hybrid poppies.

I thought at that time why don't our drug companies just pay them the going rate and have them grow the safe poppies.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 02/27/2006 0:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Maybe they have no say - maybe Allan tells them to grow the nasty poppies?
Posted by: Howard UK || 02/27/2006 7:54 Comments || Top||

#3  "The farmers will turn against us and the British. They have guns and they can fight."

This should be a familiar problem for the Brits.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/27/2006 8:03 Comments || Top||

#4  But both Afghan and British officials have acknowledged that they are likely to suffer a backlash in this largely rural community if farmers lose their livelihood with no adequate compensation.

First it was "Opium growing is out of control and [insert political leader name] isn't doing anything about it". Now we have "Oh, the poor famers will get mad and [insert national force name] will face a backlash".

I wish they'd make up their frigging minds which line they want to parrot.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/27/2006 12:33 Comments || Top||

#5  Napalm will take care of an opium poppy field in jig time - also the growers and the "protectors". Time to fire up the production line and get moving. It also works great on coca plantations. We're fighting the "war on drugs" with the wrong tools. A little napalm would do the trick. Who knows, maybe some people even understand cause and effect enough to stop growing what we don't like.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/27/2006 14:39 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Bashir threatens any foreign troops in Darfur
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir warned Darfur would become a "graveyard" for any foreign military contingent entering the region against Khartoum's will, newspapers reported Sunday. "We are strongly opposed to any foreign intervention in Sudan and Darfur will be a graveyard for any foreign troops venturing to enter," he was quoted as saying Saturday.
Sounds like a threat to me. They sure don't like visitors to those Islamic paradises, do they?
His comments came amid stepped-up efforts by the international community to send UN peacekeeping forces to war-torn Darfur in place of African Union troops, which have failed to quell the three-year-old bloodshed.
He doesn't mind having incompetently led troops there. He's afraid real soldiers would give him a problem.
Bashir, who regularly accuses the United States and its allies of fomenting a conspiracy to plunder his country's resources, again accused the West of seeking to use the western region of Darfur as a launch pad to spread its interests in Sudan.
Too bad Omar wasn't bright enough to counter that conspiracy, eh? Maybe the Sudanese should kill him and get themselves another dictator?
The United States, which currently chairs the UN Security Council, saw its hopes of clinching a resolution for a UN mandate in Darfur by the end of the month dashed but vowed to continue its efforts.
"Duh. Nope. Never occurred to us that Omar might not like the idea. Nope. Nope."
The transition is expected to be discussed during an AU Peace and Security Council meeting in Addis Ababa on March 3.
They have 5-star catering in Adis Ababa? Who knew?
Bashir was also dismissive of the AU, which has hinted it would not oppose its own replacement by a UN contingent. "The African Union forces can leave the country if they believe that they have failed to carry out their duties," Bashir said.
"We'll take it from here!"
There has been increased speculation that NATO would step in to operate the transition between AU and UN peacekeepers, an option supported by Darfur rebels but implacably opposed by Khartoum.
"Little or no way, Jose!"
Bashir even found support for his resistance to a Western deployment among members of the opposition. "We firmly reject any foreign intervention, particularly by the Americans, in Sudan," Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim, a communist MP, said Sunday at a Parliament meeting.
"Eeeew! Imperialists! Ucky cooties!"
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/27/2006 03:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We reserve the right to slaughter our people however and whenever we desire. So, mind your own business.
Posted by: wxjames || 02/27/2006 7:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Fatima, Go to hell.
Posted by: Rosemary || 02/27/2006 9:35 Comments || Top||

#3  He better watch himself, or Koffee will be forced to send a strongly worded letter(tm)! When I hear two-bit dictators talk trash like this, I always think back to my childhood:

"Oh yeah, you and what army?"
Posted by: BA || 02/27/2006 9:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Plan A: Wait for a full legislative session in Khartoum and lob in several dozen cruise missiles. Then demand substantive action against the Darfur genocide.

Plan B: Rinse and repeat.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/27/2006 11:23 Comments || Top||

#5  One of these days...parts of him are going to be taking a dirt nap.
Posted by: anymouse || 02/27/2006 13:21 Comments || Top||

#6  ...lob in several dozen cruise missiles.

If those cruise missiles are nuclear tipped, you won't have to rinse and repeat. Saves a lot of time and bother. Let the southern Animists and the western black arabs take over their local areas, and watch the rest of Sudan slowly sink into the (radioactive) sand.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/27/2006 14:43 Comments || Top||

#7  If those cruise missiles are nuclear tipped ...

As much as I appreciate the sentiment, Old Patriot, America simply cannot be responsible for first use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. If the United States undergoes any form of NBC (Nuclear, Biological or Chemical) attack, then all bets are off. We have conventional weapons that can attain +90% of a nuclear weapon's effect. It would only open the door to immediate terrorist nuclear attack if we were to initate their use.

If you have a cogent arguement against what I have written here, please put it forth. Otherwise, I will ask that you carefully reconsider your position.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/27/2006 15:16 Comments || Top||

#8  Omar shouldn't let his mouth write any checks his ass can't cash.
Posted by: mojo || 02/27/2006 17:01 Comments || Top||

Saudi forces report 5 suspected al Qaeda operatives killed in shooting siege in Riyadh
They surrounded a house early Monday, Feb. 27 where the terrorists were holed up in the affluent east Riyadh Hamra district. Saudi forces reportedly sustained losses as well as civilians in the battle area. Sounds of gunfire and exploding rockets and grenades rang through the Saudi capital.

The fugitives were said to be tied to al Al Qaida’s foiled attack Friday, Feb. 24, on the world’s biggest refinery at Abqaiq in the eastern province of Dammam which processes 7 million barrels of oil a day. Saudi guards shot up at least two suicide cars packed with explosives outside the gates of the complex. Al Qaeda threatens to continue hitting Saudi oil installations.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 15:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

Soddies offer details on foiled al-Qaeda attack
Al-Qaeda suicide bombers in Saudi Arabia used two tonnes of explosives in their foiled attack on the world's largest oil processing plant, the Saudi Interior Ministry said. A ministry statement said each of the two pick-up trucks used in Friday's attack carried one tonne of an explosive made with ammonium nitrate. There were also unspecified quantities of other explosives including nitroglycerine and RDX.
Betcha they didn't slam the doors real hard when they got in the trucks...
Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia vowed more attacks after the foiled raid which caused a massive explosion at the gate of the site in eastern Saudi Arabia, where most of the oil resources of the world's biggest crude oil producer are located. The ministry statement said DNA tests showed that the two suicide attackers who died in the blast were Mohammed al-Ghaith and Abdullah al-Tweijri - both on a list of the top wanted al-Qaeda-linked Islamic militants. Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia had identified the two men already on Saturday and said in an internet statement that the attack came in response to a call by al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to target oil installations.
That worked well.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said oil and gas output was unaffected by the "terrorist attempt" on the plant - the first direct strike on a Saudi energy target since al Qaeda launched attacks aimed at toppling the US-allied monarchy in 2003. Oil prices jumped $US2 a barrel on news of the attack in the world's largest oil exporter, which came about a year after bin Laden urged his supporters to hit Gulf oil targets. It was the first major strike by militants opposed to the Saudi royals since suicide bombers tried to storm the Interior Ministry in Riyadh in December 2004. A most wanted list issued by Saudi authorities in June gave Ghaith's age as 23 and said Tweijri was 21 years old.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/27/2006 03:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

Saudi oil plot suspects killed (5 of them)
SAUDI security forces today killed five men believed to be linked to a bid to blow up the world's largest oil-processing plant, a police officer at the site said. "Five armed wanted men were killed today," in the clashes in a residential Riyadh suburb, the police officer on the scene told AFP.

He said large quantities of arms and explosives as well as material destined to prepare car bombs have been seized in the house where the suspects were holed up. He said the suspects used grenades in their bid to flee authorities.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/27/2006 02:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "SAUDI security forces today killed five men "

Before or after they were captured?
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/27/2006 7:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Does it matter?
Posted by: Fred || 02/27/2006 9:05 Comments || Top||

#3  I think it matters for virgin quality. I'll Ask The Imam™ and get back to you on that.
Posted by: ed || 02/27/2006 9:13 Comments || Top||

#4  "Were they 'shot dead'?" asked the Zionist supporter...
Posted by: borgboy || 02/27/2006 10:41 Comments || Top||

#5  They had to shut them up before they said something that implicated one of the clown princes.
Posted by: Scott R || 02/27/2006 10:46 Comments || Top||

#6  Interesting how Saudi Security forces always seem to get their man (men) within hours of an attack. Why is that?
Posted by: Happy 88mm || 02/27/2006 12:53 Comments || Top||

Saudi forces clash with suspected militants: source
Saudi security forces clashed with suspected militants in a suburb of Riyadh early on Monday, security sources said, just days after al Qaeda militants tried to storm a major Saudi oil facility. They said security forces had surrounded the men in the affluent al-Hamra district of east Riyadh. No more details were available.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

Situation Remains Tense in Paris
Several hundred young people, some with faces masked and heads covered (wearing helmets?), gathered Sunday afternoon at the Place de la Nation, in Paris. The demonstrators protested racism and anti-semitism, shouting "Fofana, bastard, the Jews will have your skin!", "Hang Fofana!" and "Revenge for Ilan". T

Some troublemakers along the edge of the march, at which several tens of thousands of people marched calmly between the Place de la Republic and the Place de la Nation, tried to manhandle a young man from northern Africa. Dozens of plainclothes policemen, armed with batons, immediately intervened to protect the young man. Helmeted CRS and members of the anti-riot police were positioned in the Place de la Nation where the situation continued to be tense on Sunday evening.
My translation - any corrections by better French speakers / readers would be welcome as I'm doing this without a grammar or dictionary to hand.
Posted by: lotp || 02/27/2006 12:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Something that nobody has mentioned, is that it is rare that Jews have been so oppressed they turn to terrorism. But if one or more Euro governments take the side of Moslems against the Jews, they might create a terrorist nightmare 100 times worse than anything the Moslems might do.

Granted, most of the terrorism would be directed at the Moslems...

But, as the expression goes, they ain't seen nothing yet.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 13:36 Comments || Top||

#2  King David Hotel?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/27/2006 13:44 Comments || Top||

#3  Translation is quite correct (yup, they were helmeted, full motorbike helmet is a staple of organized street demonstraters here, as they both conceal identity and protect), your french must certainly be better than my own broken english.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/27/2006 13:55 Comments || Top||

#4  The French non-muslims should read carefully the truthful account of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, and ponder. You don't want to get the Jews that stirred up again, even the ones in Israel. Nations could disappear if things get too far out of hand. While the Jews don't go out of their way to pick a fight, if you hound them enough, they will turn like a pack of rabid wolves. What happens after that isn't pretty for anybody.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/27/2006 14:48 Comments || Top||

#5  There are about 500,000 Jews in France. Somewhat over half are Sephardic Jews, who fled North Africa after 1948. While they are generally of more Gallicized background than those who went from North Africa to Israel, they are still strong in their identiy and relatively "tough" IIUC. Most of the Ashkenazic (European background) Jews in France are highly assimilated, and I doubt anyone is particularly scared of them. Of course since they are wealthier, its easier for them to avoid muslim and other immigrant areas than it is for the sephardim.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/27/2006 15:24 Comments || Top||

#6  Nimble Spemble asks the musical question:
King David Hotel?
which I assume is in reply to Anonymoose's assertion that:
...it is rare that Jews have been so oppressed they turn to terrorism.

He said it was rare, not unknown. You know, it's pretty funny, whenever people mention Arab terrorism, there's always some joker who pipes up with "King David Hotel!"

What about the Sbarro bombing?
King David Hotel!
And the Seder?
King David Hotel!
King David Hotel!
Grocery store?
King David Hotel!
Any number of buses?
King David Hotel!

I'll let someone else handle the Baruch Goldstein version of this classic routine.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 02/27/2006 15:48 Comments || Top||

#7  Now Angie that's old stuff. New Meme is that Hiroshima was Jewish terrorism.
Posted by: 6 || 02/27/2006 16:37 Comments || Top||

#8  What happens after that isn't pretty for anybody.

Yep. Bible's full of examples of what can happen next. Not pretty.
Posted by: 2b || 02/27/2006 20:35 Comments || Top||

#9  My dad firmly believes the Jews are God's chosen people.

Every civilization which has gone up against them is either a footnote in history or dying like Germany/Europe.

Posted by: anonymous2u || 02/27/2006 21:53 Comments || Top||

More Protests In Trafalgar Square
This Saturday, about 2,000 protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square. The march, which was planned several weeks in advance, was intended as a "stop the war" protest and followed protests the previous two Saturdays against the Danish cartoons.
However, following the Askari shrine bombing, the theme of the protests was overwhelmingly focussed against Sunni based terrorism. The march started from Hyde Park, proceeded along Picadilly, into Trafalgar Square. Unlike previous weeks, at least half of the protesters were female and mostly Shia Muslims.

Although there was a slight variation in the speeches given by the various Imams, the overriding consensus was that Sunni extremists were undoubtedly responsible for the attacks, with the main target of ire being the Wahhabi ideology which drives them, which suggested an implicit although unvoiced condemnation of the Saudi regime which promote its proliferation. Famous moderate Sir Iqbal Sacranie of the MCB appeared extremely nervous whilst giving his speech to a hostile crowd amid chants of "Death to Wahhabis & Takfiris" and chants eulogising Hussein and the Shia Imams. Whilst condemning the attacks as against Islam, he suggested that "Allah knows best the identity of the attackers."
Yup - he knows everyfink, does Al.
He also appealed for unity and peaceful dialogue between the two sects. Imam Sayyid Mussawi, whilst following the predominantly anti-Wahhabist stance, said that the Wahhabis were actually Joooos, and not to forget that Joooos were behind everything. Another point that he made was that as UK/US were the occupying forces, they held responsibility for the security failures and should therefore leave Iraq, to allow the people to defend their sacred right to "Kill them wherever you find them" themselves.

Although there were one or two slogans against the cartoons, the majority of people in attendance were against the politicisation of the cartoon issue. Most of the posters depicted scenes of the destruction of the Askari mosque. There were a number of banners from the AhlulBayt society of London University. The chanted slogans were "Death to Wahhabism/Takfirism/Bin Laden/Zarqawi."
Slightly disappointed not to make the shortlist...
Posted by: Admiral Allan Ackbar || 02/27/2006 06:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Imam Sayyid Mussawi, whilst following the predominantly anti-Wahhabist stance, said that the Wahhabis were actually Joooos, and not to forget that Joooos were behind everything.

Think about how twisted a mind must be to hold that thought.

Or: Wahabis = Jews because they have oil money.
/Brains of the Barbarians

Posted by: ed || 02/27/2006 9:35 Comments || Top||

#2  I've come to expect it from these guys.
Cognitive dissonance does not seem to be an impediment to the reasoning process, once you've mastered the art of read-repeat-memorize-believe as celebrated by our holy men of the RoP.

Something bad happens => its the Jooos. Any other information, no matter how conflicting or counterintuitive, can then be used to support this theory.
Posted by: Admiral Allan Ackbar || 02/27/2006 10:05 Comments || Top||

#3  AAA: Reasoning process???? I've heard it called a lot of things but never a "reasoning" process.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/27/2006 10:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Wouldn't it be funny if the long-predicted Sunni-Shia civil war broke out in Europe?
Posted by: Grinter Fluns8529 || 02/27/2006 10:16 Comments || Top||

#5  The real tragedy if you ask me is that these events go unnoticed by the MSM - Compare the version of events at al-Beeb

"The event, which began at midday on Saturday, passed off peacefully."

"Secondly, we want to show Iraqis are united, whether Sunni, Shia or Kurd factions."

Sure they're united - united against Jooooos....
Posted by: Admiral Allan Ackbar || 02/27/2006 10:17 Comments || Top||

#6  . . . the overriding consensus was that Sunni extremists were undoubtedly responsible for the attacks, with the main target of ire being the Wahhabi ideology which drives them, which suggested an implicit although unvoiced condemnation of the Saudi regime which promote its proliferation . . .

Hey, kids, pay attention! A lot of Rantburgers keep asking, "where are the moderate muslims?'" Right here in front of you! You have a gathering openly condemning the House of Sa'ud and Wahabbi Islamofascism, and booing down the jerks who want to blame it all on Israel and the US and get foamed about the Motoons. It would've been nice to see this a few years ago, yeah--but we're seeing it now, and that's a good thing.

This isn't a case where you pop popcorn and watch the bad guys beat on each other. That crowd is a crowd booing the radical imam is a crowd of friendlies, or at least of people we can do business with.
Posted by: Mike || 02/27/2006 10:37 Comments || Top||

#7  I have to disagree Mike. The crowd were mostly Shiites. They were denouncing Sunni extemists for attacking a Shia symbol. That doesn't they don't support Shia supremists. They weren't shouting Death to Sadr or the Ayatollahs or even Up With Moderation.
Posted by: ed || 02/27/2006 10:46 Comments || Top||

#8  You have a gathering openly condemning the House of Sa'ud and Wahabbi Islamofascism, and booing down the jerks who want to blame it all on Israel and the US and get foamed about the Motoons.

Where's the bit about booing the jerks who blamed it all on Joooooos? No link to a full story, and there's no mention in this excerpt.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/27/2006 11:08 Comments || Top||

#9  "Up With Moderation."

ROFL. Im trying to think the last time I saw a demo of any kind saying "up with moderation". much though Id approve of it :)
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/27/2006 11:26 Comments || Top||

#10  m trying to think the last time I saw a demo of any kind saying "up with moderation".

I remember in eighth grade we had an assembly with a show by Up with People and they sang a song about up with Moderation right after their Up with Co-op-er-a -tion number.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/27/2006 11:36 Comments || Top||

#11  it was definately a sweet moment watching Sacranie cringe, as there was a definate amount of heckling going on, but I never said that the crowd were booing Imam Massawis accusations.

To generalize, the people that I spoke to were calmer and more polite than the cartoon loons of previous weeks. It has to be remembered that taqeya is more widely practiced under shiism, which complicates things.

As for bad guys beating up on each other, I prefer to look at it as the guys that beat themselves with swords vs the guys that use their kiddies as bombs. I know which I prefer.
Posted by: Admiral Allan Ackbar || 02/27/2006 11:39 Comments || Top||

#12  Iqbal Sacranie is a Sunni big wig at the Muslim Council of Britain BTW, which is why he was not warmly received.

As for a link to a story, the only MSM one I can find is the beeb link posted earlier.
Posted by: Admiral Allan Ackbar || 02/27/2006 11:58 Comments || Top||

#13  Up, up with people,
you meet 'em wherever you go.

Up, up with people,
they're the best kind of folks we know ...

Heh, NS.
Posted by: lotp || 02/27/2006 12:02 Comments || Top||

#14  Bah, Moderation is a zionist conspiracy...
Humdulla Jumdulla Rumdulla...
Posted by: Admiral Allan Ackbar || 02/27/2006 12:27 Comments || Top||

Germany holds 2 men suspected of buying arms for Iran
BERLIN, Feb 25 (Reuters) - German authorities have jailed two men suspected of buying weapons and missile technology on behalf of Iranian intelligence services, a German government official said on Saturday. The two men, identified as a 59-year-old German citizen named Joseph Edward G. and a 41-year-old foreigner named Yousef P., were jailed pending completion of the prosecutors' investigation of possible espionage activities.

"They were brought before the investigating judge at the district court in Karlsruhe on Friday, who decided to detain them on suspicion of acting as agents for an intelligence service," the Federal Prosecutors Office said in a statement.

A German government official familiar with some aspects of the case told Reuters on condition of anonymity due to its sensitivity they were suspected of acting on behalf of Iran. "This has to do with Iran again," he said.
Oh reeeeally? Bet that's never happened before.
The prosecutors office said the two men "were occupied in recent months with shopping for control components for projectiles, equipment for the production of European Ariane IV launch vehicle rockets, military radio and night-vision equipment" and other items.
And Germany is a one-stop shopping mall for good high tech gear.
Although customs officials were able to stop one shipment of items out of Germany, authorities are investigating whether other shipments could have successfully left Germany, it said.

German police and customs officials investigating the case raided 12 premises across four states on Thursday and arrested the two men. The raids were in the western states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland. "The accused are suspected of attempting, in the service of a foreign intelligence agency, to obtain parts for delivery systems and conventional weaponry for armed forces," the office said shortly after the raids. Germany has strict rules against the sale of arms and sensitive dual-use technology to Iran and a number of other countries.

Yousef P. appears to be an intelligence agent and Joseph Edward G. was "one of his most significant contacts in Germany" who had connections with a number of other people in Germany whom he -- the middleman -- involved in his procurement efforts, the prosecutors said.

Last month, German federal prosecutors formally charged two German citizens with espionage in a separate case for helping an unidentified foreign intelligence agency acquire dual-use missile technology. A German official familiar with the case said the country involved was Iran.
Guess the strict rules aren't strict enough.
The prosecutors are also in contact with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna as they investigate German involvement in a nuclear black market that supplied Iran, Libya and North Korea with uranium enrichment technology that can be used to produce fuel for nuclear power plants or weapons. Some of the men who helped Iran get uranium enrichment technology could be charged with treason, EU diplomats familiar with the investigation told Reuters earlier this month.
But to charge them with treason, you have to believe they betrayed the German state, not aided it.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: WoT
Marines plan to send Ospreys into combat within a year
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) The Marine Corps plans to send the troubled Osprey aircraft into combat zones within a year and is activating a squadron of the tilt-rotor planes this week.
``Obviously, due to operational concerns we don't want to tell exactly when they will deploy,'' said spokesman Master Sgt. Phil Mehringer at Marine Corps Air Station New River, where the squadron will be based. ``But it's certainly going to happen in the near future. Definitely, within a year.''
The Osprey, which takes off and lands like a helicopter and flies like an airplane, had a troubled start. Four Marines died in a 2000 crash in North Carolina that was caused by a ruptured titanium hydraulic line. Nineteen others were killed in a crash that year in Arizona that investigators blamed on pilot error.
The Pentagon approved full production of the Osprey in a $19 billion program last year, and the Marines have been showing them off. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld flew aboard one last week.
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263, which will carry the Vietnam-era ``Thunder Chickens'' nickname of the helicopter unit it is replacing, is to be formally activated Friday. There are about 250 people in the squadron and at least a dozen aircraft.
The Ospreys will replace the aging, Vietnam-era fleet of CH-46E twin-rotor helicopters. The newer aircraft can carry more cargo and fly five times farther at speeds around 300 mph.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/27/2006 13:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A Marine Sargeant in our family once told me for this piece of equipment, synchronization of the rotors (especially when in 'vertical flight') is everything. The Chinook "just bucks around a bit" when things are out of whack. The Osprey flips over.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 02/27/2006 13:58 Comments || Top||

#2  The Osprey is the wartime equivalent of a golf handicap. Guess they figured the body count was getting a little one-sided.
Posted by: BH || 02/27/2006 14:08 Comments || Top||

#3  The one thing about helicopters is that a lot of things have to go right to keep them airborne and under control. They are a flock of parts flying in perfect formation. Now add more linkages and rotate the whole rotor disc and you will need a whole bunch of things to go right.

But what do I know? Ima fixed wing pilot with a limited amount of piloting helicopters, so I am a bid prejudiced, but in awe of rotary wings.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/27/2006 14:26 Comments || Top||

#4  Ditto AP's comments: several years working on choppers and yeah the 46 needs the blades synched up to work right. i still can't understand the added complexity of a) folding props, and b) folding wings even tho' space is precious on board the ships. if the birds stay 'up' then the space isn't needed for maintenance, but i think there is going to be an awful lot of 'stiff-winged' ospreys out there.
just the humbel opinion of a 26 year Navy Fixed and Rotary winged wrench twister.
Posted by: USN, ret. || 02/27/2006 14:44 Comments || Top||

#5  I wonder if the "fanwing" aircraft will ever get developed as a heavy lift alternative. I can't say I'm very fond of their basic design, which I think would could improve a hundred fold. But there still might be something there.

Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 14:50 Comments || Top||

#6  I understood that Ospreys were so complicated that only the computer could fly it. That being said, what pilot error ?
Posted by: wxjames || 02/27/2006 15:12 Comments || Top||

#7  its the size of the big helos especially an osprey that bothers me - even the worst Jihadi with an ak couldnt miss one of these behemoths trying to fast rope in a team of spec forces or whatever - unless the whole fckin thin g is tottaly 50'cal proof it gonna be a disaster taking them into frontline combat ,i'd rather go in on a fckin parachute then something like a chinook or CH-53 or osprey, simply to big to slow to low, big bullet magnet arghhh
Posted by: ShepUK || 02/27/2006 15:18 Comments || Top||

#8  All new X planes have glitches and bugs to work out. And yes of course there is insane number of moving parts in such equipment that must all move and act right.

The bottom line thou is how you use such equipment. The Osprey will not be making vertical landing in hot zones were you may risk sending a helicopter. However from base to base or secured landing zones they would be ideal. We lose a lot of helicopters because they have to fly long low altitude from here to their. The Osprey can take off short takeoff or even vertical go level then fly high altitude safe from ground fire to location (huge improvement in itself then add the multiplied range increase).

Posted by: C-Low || 02/27/2006 15:23 Comments || Top||

#9  Years ago read an article about helos. The author said the most striking thing about his research is that the more any interview subject understood about how they actually worked the less likely they were willing to get in one.
Posted by: Ebbineting Unoter9879 || 02/27/2006 15:40 Comments || Top||

#10  Helicopters don't fly, the Earth rejects them.
-bathroom wall, Ft Rucker, AL, waaay back when
Posted by: .com || 02/27/2006 15:43 Comments || Top||

#11  Years ago, I spoke to a Marine Captain chopper pilot at Futenma. He described it thusly: An airplane flies by using the laws of aerodynamics; a helicopter flies by beating the air into submission.
Posted by: BH || 02/27/2006 16:28 Comments || Top||

#12  :> 7,00 bolts in close-formation.
Posted by: 6 || 02/27/2006 16:42 Comments || Top||

#13  The article is a bit misleading. While it does hold more cargo than the 46, it does so by a limited margin. It can not hold a HMMV internally, like the Army's CH-47, you still can not fast rope from it or perform recovery operation over water without melting the ropes and burning the troops. All of that aside the engineers have yet to fix the aerodynamic issue of pilot unduced settling with power of one set of rotors in a turn. Until the issues get sorted out I don't expect the reports to be good on this one. I do expect the lawyers to be having a feeding frenzy soon.
Posted by: 49 pan || 02/27/2006 19:20 Comments || Top||

#14  According to various Net blogs, the USDOD and US Army have already contracted for the next generation of [post-OSPREY] advanced combat transports, e.g. so-called "quad-rotors", allegedly capable of lifting 1 or 1-2 Abrams-type MBTS, or the equivalent in delivered AFV-Infantry weight. LOOKS LIKE THE USDOD WANTS MORE REAL-TIME TILT-ROTOR COMBAT EXPERIENCE BEFORE THE NEW GENERATIONS, SUCCESSORS TO THE WW2 GLIDER INFANTRY, BRIT AIRLANDING RGTS, VIETNAM AIRMOBILE/AIR CAVALRY, COLD WAR AIR ASSAULT, and now POST-COLD WAR "AIR-MECH", COME ON LINE.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/27/2006 21:21 Comments || Top||

#15  Osprey aircraft. This thread would be pun city if Arafish were still alive.
Posted by: Korora || 02/27/2006 21:47 Comments || Top||

#16  Oh, Kurora. Today is definitely "Laughter is the best medicine" day here at Rantburg. I did not expect that! :-D
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/27/2006 22:31 Comments || Top||

Rs 1.5 million for killing cartoonists
KHAR: Clerics announced a Rs 1.5 million reward for the murder of the cartoonist who drew caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) at a rally organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Anjuman-e-Tajaran trade union of Bajaur Agency here on Sunday. Hundreds of tribesmen carrying banners and placards denouncing Denmark, the United States and the European newspapers that published the cartoons took part in the rally. Trade union and JI leaders addressed the rally and denounced the cartoons as a "terrorist act" and demanded the government cut ties with the countries where the cartoons were published. They also condemned the bombing in Bajaur Agency by US drones and demanded the US compensate the families of the innocent people killed in the attack.
Posted by: Fred || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How much is it in $
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/27/2006 2:10 Comments || Top||

#2  $25,000
Posted by: Cleating Flaviter9413 || 02/27/2006 6:45 Comments || Top||

#3  You know, it seems to me to be a logical outgrowth of foreign policy that putting a bounty on a nation's citizen demands of that nation a violent retribution. It almost *has* to be done for that nation to keep its legitimacy, because on a small scale it is tantamount to a declaration of war.

Imagine the effect it would have on such ragheads on future "death fatwas", if several of these individuals offering such bounties were sanctioned by Danish intelligence operatives?

Nothing too grotesque, mind you, just death. But to send a message that those who live by the sword die by the sword.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 10:42 Comments || Top||

#4  Even one cartoonist being injured or killed should result in every single mosque in Khar being demolished, preferrably during peak capacity prayers. Enough of this sh!t.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/27/2006 11:52 Comments || Top||

#5  A Euro friend advised me that Danes are not much into such action themselves; however, that being said, Denmark is regarded as a major hub of the international mercenary business. It would be easy and relatively inexpensive for them to put out an almost irresistable "counter-contract" on some of these birds.

Heck, the mercenaries might sub-contract it themselves to some local talent, and spend their time in the local Holiday Inn sipping tea or something in the hotel bar, waiting for the news item on the telly.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 14:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Denmark is regarded as a major hub of the international mercenary business.
Roland was a warrior from the Land of the Midnight Sun,
With a Thompson gun for hire, fighting to be done.

The deal was made in Denmark on a dark and stormy day,
So he set out for Biafra to join the bloody fray....
Posted by: Steve || 02/27/2006 15:35 Comments || Top||

#7  A contract on the clerics? I know just who should handle it!
Posted by: Darrell || 02/27/2006 15:42 Comments || Top||

#8  The Immigrant Song is so depressing. It has such a great start and such a wimpy ending. Makes you wish that somebody would do an extended version, pursuing the Viking angle, maybe with some gratuitous references to some of the Aesirs.

The Asatru would love it. Especially if it didn't have any annoying white supremacist or neo-Nazi associations in it.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 16:27 Comments || Top||

Gasline blown up
This just in from our ace correspondent, D.J. Wu...
QUETTA/MULTAN: The main gas pipeline of the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) was blown up in Rajanpur district on Sunday, suspending gas supply to Punjab and NWFP. SNGPL Managing Director Rasheed Loan said that the pipeline in Rajanpur district in Punjab was blown up, adjacent to Dera Bugti in Balochistan. The blast also melted a nearby railway track, causing the suspension of trains on the Multan-Quetta route via Dera Ghazi Khan. “We have detained trains at Dera Ghazi Khan and Kashmore. Traffic on the Dera Ghazi Khan-Kashmore section was suspended as the track melted from the heat of the blast,” Railway Divisional Superintendent Irfan Gauhar said. Sources said that gas supply to the Muzaffargarh, Multan and Kotadu thermal power stations was also suspended.

Loan said that gas supply from Sui through SNGPL had been suspended, but an alternate gas supply to Punjab and NWFP had continued. Repair work on the gas line will be completed late on Monday, he said. Meanwhile, miscreants blew up a gas line in the Saryab area of Quetta on Sunday night. The gas company GM Muhammad Nawaz said that the blast had suspended gas supply to Killi Shahnawaz and adjacent areas.
Posted by: Fred || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Must be Bugti's nearby! Or Wazibillies.
Posted by: N guard || 02/27/2006 0:11 Comments || Top||

#2  we hates cylinders of all kinds, no cylinders in books 'ya sees.
Posted by: ima bugti death to pipes || 02/27/2006 16:46 Comments || Top||

‘Al Qaeda’ robbers caught
PESHAWAR: Police arrested and charged three men with robbing more than $1 million from a Saudi-owned bank in Pakistan, leaving a note saying they were stealing for Al Qaeda, an official said on Sunday. Police now believe the Al Qaeda link was a ruse, aimed at misleading investigators, said Habibur Rahman, the Peshawar police chief.
Gosh, Sea. You're a genius! Legume! Take Miss Seafarious' cape and saxophone!
One of the suspects, Mohammed Sibtain, was arrested at a roadblock on the outskirts of Peshawar within hours of the daylight robbery on Saturday at the main branch of the Al-Faisal bank, Rahman said. During his interrogation, Sibtain named two accomplices, Mohammed Iqbal and Rafi Ullah who were arrested later that day. Police seized four pistols, four cell phones and $520,000 and Rs 207,500 from Sibtain’s car, according to Rahman. They have been charged with armed robbery, taking hostages and terrorising people.

Two robbers, dressed as security guards, sneaked into the bank and held staff hostage while they stole $950,000 and Rs 5.3 million rupees, police said. They chanted, “Long live Al Qaeda!” and “Down with America!” during the robbery and left a note on a bank vault that said, “We are stealing money for Al Qaeda as our financial network has been smashed,” according to Wazir. Wazir said there is no evidence to charge the men with any terrorism-related offence, although they would be tried in an anti-terrorism court.
Posted by: Fred || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

Lahore protest thwarted, modest rally in Karachi
Security forces prevented a rally in Lahore organised by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) on Sunday, while just 25,000 people protested peacefully in Karachi against the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). In Lahore, the organisers planned to gather at Nasir Bagh and then march to Faisal Chowk, but security forces blocked all routes to The Mall and arrested around 200 people, including MMA chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed, MNA Imran Khan and PML-Nawaz leader Pervez Malik. The government also stopped Maulana Fazlur Rehman, opposition leader in the National Assembly, and Amin Fahim, ARD chairman, from entering Punjab, though Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi denied this. JI leader Liaqat Baloch later told a press conference that the MMA, especially its women supporters, would protest today at the government’s clampdown on the Lahore rally.

Khan and other leaders were later released, but Ahmed was shifted to Ravi Siphon Rest House in the Wagah area and had not been released when this report was filed, a JI leader said. All entry points to the provincial metropolis were manned by security forces while a small portion of Multan Road around the JI headquarters in Mansura was closed. Some 15,000 policemen and 3,000 Rangers guarded major traffic intersections, government buildings, mosques and foreign consulates.The JI had invited young activists from all over Punjab to Lahore for the rally and arranged accommodation for them, according to intelligence reports. Small clashes between police and youths took place at Regal Chowk, The Mall and Imamia Colony.

Police made the first arrest near Nasir Bagh at around 11:30, when an old man started shouting anti-government slogans. Police arrested him and later several others around Nasir Bagh. At Regal Chowk, around 100 JI youths pelted police with stones. Police retaliated with tear gas and arrested 70. At Shahdara, police tear-gassed and baton-charged a large crowd of MMA activists and arrested 20. Some 25 protestors were arrested at Lohari Gate. “Security forces have arrested around 200 people who tried to violate Section 144,” Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat told Daily Times.

JI chief Ahmed tried to go to Nasir Bagh at noon but police sent him back inside Mansura. After Zohr prayers, he and hundreds of supporters staged a sit-in outside Mansura and then crossed police barricades. Police and Rangers stopped them near Multan Chungi and charged at them with batons. A group of policemen encircled Ahmed and arrested him. Khan headed a convoy of cars from 14 Zafar Ali Road, but police stopped and arrested them near MAO College. MMA leaders staged a demonstration near Ichra, making fiery speeches and blocking Ferozepur Road. Police baton-charged them but did not arrest the leaders.

In Karachi, 25,000 people attended an anti-cartoon rally organised by the Tahaffuz-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, a grouping of Deobandi parties and seminaries. The rally was modest by Karachi standards, which usually attracts at least 50,000. Shia organisations also marched from Old Numaish Roundabout to the overhead bridge near Tibet Centre. Both rallies were peaceful.
Posted by: Fred || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

WaPo: Iraq Death Toll Higher Than First Thought
Grisly attacks and other sectarian violence unleashed by last week's bombing of a Shiite shrine have killed more than 1,300 Iraqis, making the past few days the deadliest of the war outside major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad's main morgue. The toll was more than three times higher than the figure previously reported by the U.S. military and the news media.

Hundreds of unclaimed dead lay at the morgue at midday Monday -- sprawled, blood-caked men who had been shot, knifed, garroted or apparently suffocated by the plastic bags still over their heads. Many of the bodies had their hands still bound -- and many of them had wound up at the morgue after what their families said was their abduction by the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

"After he came back from the evening prayer, the Mahdi Army broke into his house and asked him, 'Are you Khalid the Sunni infidel?' " one man at the morgue said, relating what were the last hours of his cousin, according to other relatives. "He replied 'yes' and then they took him away."

Aides to Sadr denied the allegations, calling them part of a smear campaign by unspecified political rivals.

By Monday, violence between Sunnis and Shiites appeared to have eased. As Iraqi security forces patrolled, American troops offered measured support, in hopes of allowing the Iraqis to take charge and prevent further carnage.

But at the morgue, where the floor was crusted with dried blood, the evidence of the damage already done was clear. Iraqis arrived throughout the day, seeking family members and neighbors among the contorted bodies.

"And they say there is no sectarian war?" demanded one man. "What do you call this?''

The brothers of one missing man arrived, searching for a body. Their hunt ended on the concrete floor, provoking sobs of mourning: "Why did you kill him?" "He was unarmed!" "Oh, my brother! Oh, my brother!"

Morgue officials said they had logged more than 1,300 dead since Wednesday -- the day the Shiites' gold-domed Askariya shrine was bombed -- photographing, numbering, and tagging the bodies as they came in over the nights and days of retaliatory raids.

The Statistics Department of the Iraqi police put the nationwide toll at 1,020 since Wednesday, but that figure was based on paperwork that is sometimes delayed before reaching police headquarters. The majority of the dead had been killed after being taken away by armed men, police said.

The disclosure of the death tolls followed accusations by the U.S. military and later Iraqi officials that the news media had exaggerated the violence between Shiites and Sunnis over the past few days.

The bulk of the previously known deaths were caused by bombings and other large-scale attacks. But the scene at the morgue and accounts related by relatives indicated that most of the bloodletting came at the hands of executioners.

"They killed him just because he was a Sunni," one young man at the morgue said of his 32-year-old neighbor, whose body he was retrieving.

Much of the violence has centered around mosques, many of which were taken over by Shiite gunmen, bombed or burned.

In the Shiite holy city of Najaf, aides to Sadr denied any role in the killings.

"These groups wore black clothes like the Mahdi Army to make the people say that the Shiites kidnapped and killed them," said Riyadh al-Nouri, a close aide to Sadr.

Sahib al-Amiri, another close aide, said, "Some political party accused [Sadr's political party] and the Mahdi Army because they considered us as competitive to them. So they recruited criminals to kill Shiites and Sunnis."

After Wednesday's mosque attack in Samarra, Sadr and other Shiite clerics called on their armed followers to deploy to protect shrines across Iraq.

Clutching rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles, the militias rolled out of their Baghdad base of Sadr City. Residents of several neighborhoods reported them on patrol or in control of mosques. U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces did not appear to challenge the militias, which are officially outlawed.

Sunni leaders charged that more than 100 Sunni mosques were burned, fired upon or bombed in the retaliatory violence after the attack on the Samarra mosque.

Iraqi officials, at the urging of Sunni leaders, imposed what became a round-the-clock curfew in Baghdad to try to quell the violence.

Sunnis speaking at the morgue said many of the dead had been taken away at night, when security forces were supposed to have been enforcing the curfew.

By Monday, the reported violence had subsided. Four mortar rounds hit a Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad, killing four people, news agencies reported. More mortar attacks boomed in other parts of the capital.

Also Monday, Iraq's interim government lifted the round-the-clock curfew in Baghdad. The new curfew ordered residents inside from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Residents rushed out of their homes to refill gas tanks and kitchen shelves. Lines at gas stations stretched for miles and sometimes clogged both sides of highways. One motorist in the line was seen clutching a blanket and pillow, apparently anticipating an overnight wait for gas.

Making their way through the traffic were a few cars with plastic-wrapped corpses in crude wooden coffins strapped to the roofs.

In two hours at the morgue on Monday, families brought in two more victims of the violence to receive death certificates. Other families carried away 10 other dead. Most of the victims were Sunni.

At the blue steel doors of the morgue, dozens of more bloody bodies could be seen on the floor or on gurneys. Two hundred still were unidentified and unclaimed, morgue workers said.

Claiming the dead has become automated. Morgue workers directed families to a barred window in the narrow courtyard outside the main entrance. A computer screen angled to face the window flashed the contorted, staring faces of the dead: men shot in the mouth, men shot in the head, men covered with blood, men with bindings twisted around their necks.

Men and a few women in black abayas pressed up to the window's black bars in the sweet-smelling reek of the bodies inside.

"What neighborhood?'' a morgue worker asked one waiting man.

"Adhamiyah,'' the man said, naming a predominantly Sunni neighborhood.

Tapping at the key board, the morgue worker fast-forwarded through the scores of tortured faces.

"Criminals. How can you kill another human for nothing?" someone clutching the bars asked.

"Good news, we found the body," another man called out. "We found him."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 21:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  File this under “what goes around comes around”.

Maybe now the Sunni will not just see but understand the writing on the wall the only way is the US way otherwise its old school Arab style to the above quote.

One side benefit no one has mentioned yet is this little flair up should be a good gauge of the IA and IP on who is loyal to the Iraqi Gov and who is susceptible to Sadr and his bunch. When Phase 4 lights up aka Iran that intel will be real valuable.
Posted by: C-Low || 02/27/2006 23:26 Comments || Top||

Risk of civil war over, 35 insurgents killed, 487 arrested
...Acting on a tip from residents, members of the Interior Ministry's Wolf Brigade captured al-Farouq with five other followers of al-Zarqawi near Bakr, about 100 miles west of Baghdad, the ministry said.

The Defense Ministry said Iraqi security forces have killed 35 insurgents and arrested 487 in raids across the country since the bombing last Wednesday of the Samarra shrine...

...U.S. helicopters fired on three houses 15 miles west of Samarra and arrested 10 people, Iraqi police said. It was unclear if the raid was linked to the shrine bombing. The U.S. military did not immediately comment.

Interior Ministry commandos fought a three-hour gunbattle with Sunni-led insurgents near Nahrawan, about 15 miles southeast of Baghdad, after about 15 Shiite families were driven from their homes in the nearby village of Saidat, police said. At least eight commandos and five insurgents were killed in the fighting, which also injured six commandos and four civilians, police said...
I guess a lot of rats came out of their rat holes looking to stimulate a civil war, and instead found only the police and military waiting for them.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 21:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

Holy Shiite Tomb Attacked
Gunmen fired two rockets at a tomb sacred for Shiites south of Baghdad causing damage but no casualties, a Shiite official said. The tomb of Salman Pak, also known as Salman al-Farisi, was attacked after sunset with two rockets, said Jamal al-Saghir, an aide to Shiite political leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim. The tomb is located in the village of Salman Pak, 20 miles southeast of Baghdad. The village carries the name of the man. The attack comes two days after a Shiite holy Shrine in the central city of Samarra was heavily damaged by an explosion. Dozens of Sunni mosques were attacked after that throughout Iraq.

Al-Farisi, known as "Salman the Pure," was a 7th centrury Persian convert to Islam and served the barber to the Prophet Muhammad. Although the shrine attracts Muslim pilgrims, it is not considered as venerable as the Askariya mosque in Samarra, whose golden dome was destroyed by two bombs Wednesday. One rocket hit the gate to the tomb while the other exploded a few meters from the structure, al-Saghir said.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/27/2006 18:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Salman Pak.. Didn't Saddam Hussein have a terrorist training camp with that name?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/27/2006 19:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Yep, in that town. A lot of Palestinians are said to have trained for plane hijacking there, among other things.
Posted by: lotp || 02/27/2006 19:48 Comments || Top||

#3  The rockets just missed it by a hair. It was a close shave. Just barely nicked it.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 20:05 Comments || Top||

#4  ;-) 'moose.
Posted by: lotp || 02/27/2006 20:12 Comments || Top||

#5  Barberism?
Posted by: Darrell || 02/27/2006 21:23 Comments || Top||

#6  A lot of Palestinians are said to have trained for plane hijacking there

This reminds me very little of the time Arafat was almost killed in that Libyan plane crash. Many people said it was his only close shave.

Posted by: Zenster || 02/27/2006 21:33 Comments || Top||

#7  ya can't grow a full beard on a butt...
Posted by: Frank G || 02/27/2006 21:35 Comments || Top||

#8  Holy Shiite Batman! Pure Salman now being served at the Almost Venerable Tomb.
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 02/27/2006 22:12 Comments || Top||

Sunnis Ready to End Boycott, Leader Says
Sunni Arabs are ready to end their boycott of talks to form a new Iraqi government if rival Shiites return mosques seized in last week's sectarian attacks and meet other unspecified demands, a top Sunni figure said Monday.

Meanwhile,Iraq's interior minister told ABC News that he believes American journalist Jill Carroll is alive and will be released, even though the Sunday deadline set by her kidnappers had passed.

Interior Minister Bayan Jabr also said he knew who abducted the 28-year-old journalist last month.

"We know his name and address, and we are following up on him as well as the Americans," he said. "I think she is still alive."

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" Monday that he spoke with Jabr about Carroll's plight.

"We are doing all that we can to help bring about a release and will persist with that," Khalilzad said.

Carroll, a freelancer working for the Christian Science Monitor, was abducted Jan. 7 in Baghdad and was last seen on a videotape broadcast Feb. 10 by a Kuwaiti television station, Al-Rai. The station said the kidnappers threatened to kill her unless the United States met unspecified demands by Sunday.

In Germany, the government denied a New York Times report that its intelligence service had passed information about
Saddam Hussein's plans for defending Baghdad to the United States a month before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Times said a German intelligence officer supplied the information to the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency in February 2003.

"This account is wrong," German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said. "The Federal Intelligence Service and, therefore, also the government, had until now no knowledge of such a plan."

In continuing violence, four mortar rounds exploded Monday in a Shiite neighborhood, killing four and wounding 16, police Maj. Moussa Abdul Karim said. U.S. helicopters fired on three houses 15 miles west of Samarra and arrested 10 people, Iraqi police said.

It was unclear whether the raid was linked to Wednesday's bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra, triggering the wave of reprisal attacks that shook the nation last week.

The Sunnis boycotted the talks Thursday after the Askariya shrine bombing sparked attacks against Sunni mosques in Baghdad, Basra and elsewhere. The walkout and Sunni-Shiite clashes threatened U.S. plans to establish a unity government capable of luring Sunnis away from the insurgency and raised doubts about U.S. plans to begin withdrawing some of its 138,000 soldiers this year.

Adnan al-Dulaimi, whose Iraqi Accordance Front spearheaded the Sunni boycott, said the Sunnis have not decided to return to the talks but are "intent on participating" in a new government.

"The situation is tense and within the next two days, we expect the situation to improve and then we will have talks," he told The Associated Press. "We haven't ended our suspension completely but we are on the way to end it."

He said there were "some conditions" that must be met first, chief among them the return of mosques still occupied by Shiite militants in Baghdad and Salman Pak. Al-Dulaimi did not mention the other demands, but some Sunni politicians have insisted on replacing Shiite police with Sunni soldiers in heavily Sunni areas.

Four people were killed Monday when several shells exploded near the Nasir Market in the mostly Shiite Shula area of western Baghdad, police said.

Otherwise, the city was generally peaceful Monday — the first day without extended curfews or a ban on private vehicles since the crisis erupted, pushing the nation to the brink of civil war.

Four bodies — blindfolded and handcuffed — were found Monday in Dora, a Baghdad neighborhood where a mortar barrage the night before killed 16 people and wounded 53. Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded in an ambush Monday in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of the capital, officials said.

The U.S. military said an American soldier had died from non-combat related injuries suffered Friday north of Baghdad. The statement did not elaborate. Three soldiers were killed Sunday in combat in the capital.

Their deaths brought to at least 2,291 the number of members of the U.S. military who have died since the war began, according to an Associated Press count.

Four people were killed in a pair of shootings Monday in Baqouba, the Diyala provincial capital. The day before, gunmen killed two youths playing soccer in Baqouba and wounded five.

Although sectarian violence has receded since the attacks last week, tensions remain high between majority Shiites and the minority Sunnis. Shiites dominate ranks of the government security forces and most of the insurgents are Sunnis.

More than 60 Shiite families fled their homes in predominantly Sunni areas west and north of Baghdad after receiving threats, said Shiite legislator Jalaladin al-Saghir and Iraqi army Brig. Gen. Jalil Khallaf.

Sunni and Shiite religious leaders have called for unity and an end to attacks on each other's mosques.
Posted by: tipper || 02/27/2006 11:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In an all-out Sunni-Shi'a civil war, the Sunnis lose--the Shi'a have them outnumbered, the Kurds would either be neutral or side with the Shi'a, and there's no big power willing to intervene to save them. The attack on the Golden Mosque has supposedly brought Iraq to the bring of civil war--like most conventional wisdom dispensed by the MSM, that's probably 'way wrong, but no matter. The threat of imminent execution concentrates the mind wonderfully.
Posted by: Mike || 02/27/2006 12:08 Comments || Top||

#2  While I think everyone welcomes the news that Sunnis are ready to end their boycott of talks to form a new Iraqi governement, certain "unspecified demands" not withstanding, I think the more symbolic, and positive, news here (assuming it is true) is that American journalist Jill Carroll is alive and will be released.

The fact that the kidnappers have not carried through on their stated intentions, despite their demands not being met, is further evidence that the terrorists and other thugs of their ilk are being further marginalized by the political process and the Iraqi people in general. I think after so many years of utterly senseless violence, the Iraqis may have finally had enough. It's time to get on with the business of building better lives for themselves.

So while sectarian violence has flared up recently and sparked fears of an all out civil war, thus far indications are that the Iraqi governement, military and police forces have been able to keep things in check for the time being. They have also made considerable efforts to communicate with the Iraqi people concerning what is really at stake here: The future of their country, the future for their children. Do you want a better, brighter future or do you want to see your children grow up in a living hell? You must choose now.

Add all of this up and one may start to think that the tipping point in Iraq is upon us. And the scales are finally beginning to tip in the favor of the US: Democracy taking hold, radical muslims being further marginalized, and Iraq taking its first real steps to becoming a model for the rest of the ME.

Posted by: eltoroverde || 02/27/2006 12:58 Comments || Top||

#3  I mean, think about it: Iraq is struggling to achieve some kind of parliamentary democracy only a few years after a muderous, tyranically dictator was removed from power. He had almost 2 generations to force his brand of abusive government and perverted values upon the Iraqis.

In the meantime, Iraq has become a focus of radical Islamic nutcases like Zarq and the M2s of Iran, plus lackeys like Tater doing everything in their power to prevent the government from happening.

I want immediate gratification NOW like everyone else, but we must keep the above in perspective. The talk of civil war is just MSM Tranzi crap wishful thinking. We need to be in for the long haul. It means training the Iraqi Army to take greater charge of their country. It means more people will continue to rat out the terrorists and murderers, and less people will harbor them. The tide is turning, but it does not turn immediately, except in Homer, Alaska.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/27/2006 15:37 Comments || Top||

Iraqi forces capture Zarqawi aide - state TV
Iraqi Interior Ministry forces have captured a senior aide to al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Iraqi state television said on Monday. Iraqiya television named the man as Abu Farouq and said he was captured with five others in the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, west of the capital.

Posted by: Seafarious || 02/27/2006 09:30 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hopefully that was a couple days ago and we've wrung him dry...
Posted by: Frank G || 02/27/2006 9:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Unfortunately, I expect it's 15 minutes from now, but we've got him surrounded.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/27/2006 9:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Let's hope they take a gooood look at those 5 they caught. Seems, some months ago, they caught Zarqawi but didn't recognize him and let him go!
Posted by: Sherry || 02/27/2006 10:26 Comments || Top||

#4  hopefully that was a couple days ago and we've wrung him dry...

Hello, Mahmoud. This is your brain. This is our Black & Decker HandiVac Dirt Devil ten-pound Orrick XL Hoover upright big honkin' Kirby vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment. We have some questions for you. . . ."
Posted by: Mike || 02/27/2006 10:30 Comments || Top||

#5  I saw on another news site that it was an Iraqi unit known as the Wolf Brigade that caught him. Go Iraq! The building up of their forces really seems to be working.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/27/2006 10:55 Comments || Top||

#6  Sherry
From what I heard, they recognized him but he offered them a $6 million bribe and promesed to let their families live. The cops released him and then fled the country. It's called an offer they couldn't refuse.

Posted by: Frozen Al || 02/27/2006 11:03 Comments || Top||

#7  PS Love the Pic!

Posted by: Frozen Al || 02/27/2006 11:04 Comments || Top||

#8  For real, Frozen Al, or just snark?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/27/2006 11:50 Comments || Top||

#9  The Wolf Brigade is essentially the only native force of any effectiveness in Iraq. Any other Iraqi force would have been infiltrated and tipped off the suspect, or simply bungled the raid.
Posted by: gromky || 02/27/2006 12:04 Comments || Top||

#10  "Oh, sorry! You weren't using that toe were you?"
Posted by: mojo || 02/27/2006 12:37 Comments || Top||

#11  As many aides as this guy has, the red tape you have to go through to get anything done has got to be terrible.
Posted by: plainslow || 02/27/2006 12:55 Comments || Top||

#12  Yes Mr Farouq...we have some questions to ask. Kindly remove your clothing before we proceed. The vise grips work better that way.
Posted by: anymouse || 02/27/2006 13:19 Comments || Top||

#13  I would get excited yet. Farouq may be a smaller fish than the ministry says. Or he may be a recently fired senior aid who little knowledge of current ops.
Posted by: mhw || 02/27/2006 14:13 Comments || Top||

#14  What happened to the picture of the pliers and other good tools case ect.... it fits this picture 100%.

Even better the Iraqi Wolf Brigade made the capture gloves off for real. These are the same guys that have the show every night of the captures confessing every horrible sin possible from selling the sister to killing innocents to hell heresy ect...

The next couple weeks are going to be fun to watch the ripples from this hit here in the AQ rank in file.

Popcorn ready
Posted by: C-Low || 02/27/2006 15:44 Comments || Top||

#15  I won't use the word "torture" in this context, but Jack Bauer (aka Keifer Sutherland) was last seen hoping an aircraft to Jordan.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/27/2006 17:07 Comments || Top||

Iraqi newspapers that incite sectarianism will be shut down - Dulaimi
Iraqi newspapers inciting violence will be suspended and their journalists arrested, Defence Minister Saadun Al Dulaimi said yesterday, unveiling a new security plan for the violence-wracked country. "This is a warning to media working in Iraq," he said in a press conference.

Dulaimi also slammed the media for exaggerating violence since the blowing up of the Al Askariya shrine in Samarra on Wednesday which sparked days of sectarian violence, saying the official death toll was 119 civilians. "After verification on the ground, 119 civilians were killed since Wednesday, not 183 as reported in the media," he said. "The government calls on them (media) to assume full responsibility and play a role in reinforcing unity and to reject anything promoting violence or sedition," he said. "We will take disciplinary action against any publication inciting violence or terrorism and its journalists will be arrested."

Dulaimi said that only one mosque had been completely destroyed in the violence and six partially damaged, while one was temporarily occupied and 21 others were lightly damaged.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/27/2006 03:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  OK, now let's do the same thing to the New York Slimes and the Washington exPostitnote.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/27/2006 14:59 Comments || Top||

29 killed in Sunday Iraq violence
One trend to be noted here that of course won't be by the press is that the trend has been heading steadily downwards since the initial reaction to the Askariyah bombing ...
Violence killed at least 29 people Sunday, including three American soldiers, and mortar fire rumbled through the heart of Baghdad after sundown despite stringent security measures imposed after an explosion of sectarian violence.

A ban on driving in Baghdad and its suburbs helped prevent major attacks during daylight Sunday, but after nightfall explosions thundered through the city as mortar shells slammed into a Shiite quarter in southwestern Baghdad, killing 16 people and wounding 53, police said.

Mortar fire also hit a Shiite area on the capital's east side, killing three people and injuring six, police reported.

Nevertheless, officials announced they would let vehicles back on the streets at 6 a.m. Monday — in part because shops were running out of food and other basics. Gasoline stations were closed, and people were unable to go to work Sunday, a work day in this Muslim country.

The vehicle ban, which followed a curfew that kept everyone in the Baghdad region inside for two days, was part of emergency measures imposed after Wednesday's bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra triggered a wave of reprisal attacks on Sunni mosques and clerics, pushing
Iraq to the brink of civil war.

With the relaxation of emergency measures, officials said that Monday would present a major test of whether the worst of the crisis had passed. As dawn approached, the roar of U.S. jet aircraft could be heard patrolling the skies over this tense city.

Iraqi police said they had found no trace of abducted American journalist Jill Carroll as the deadline set by her kidnappers for killing her passed at midnight Sunday with no word on her fate.

The freelance writer, who was doing work for the Christian Science Monitor, was abducted Jan. 7 in Baghdad. She was last seen on a videotape broadcast Feb. 10 by a Kuwaiti television station, which said the kidnappers threatened to kill her unless the United States met unspecified demands by Sunday.

An Interior Ministry official said Sunday that authorities had stepped up their search for the 28-year-old woman but made no progress.

"Our forces raided some suspected places, but she was not there," Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi said. "We are watching the situation closely."

Although mosque attacks have declined sharply, sectarian violence went unabated Sunday.

A bomb exploded at a Shiite mosque in the southern city of Basra, injuring at least two people, police said.

More than 60 Shiite families fled their homes in predominantly Sunni areas west and north of Baghdad after receiving threats, said Shiite legislator Jalaladin al-Saghir and Iraqi army Brig. Gen. Jalil Khallaf.

North of the capital, gunmen stepped from a car and fired on teenagers playing soccer in a Shiite-Sunni mixed neighborhood of Baqouba, killing two of the youths and wounding five, police said.

In other violence, two American soldiers died when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad, the U.S. military said. A third U.S. soldier was killed by small arms fire in central Baghdad late Sunday, the military said.

Their deaths brought to at least 2,290 the number of members of the U.S. military who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians.

A roadside bomb also exploded near a police patrol in Madain south of Baghdad, killing one officer and injuring two, police said.

To the west, gunmen killed an ex-general in
Saddam Hussein's army as he drove his car in Ramadi, a relative said. Former Brig. Gen. Musaab Manfi al-Rawi was rumored to be under consideration to be military commander in the town, an insurgent hotbed, said his cousin, Ahmed al-Rawi.

Gunmen in a speeding car also seriously wounded an Iraqi journalist, Nabila Ibrahim, in Kut, southeast of Baghdad.

The sectarian crisis threatened U.S. plans for a government drawing in the country's major ethnic and religious parties, considered essential to win the trust of the disaffected Sunni Arab minority that forms the backbone of the insurgency.

With a broad-based government in place, the Bush administration hopes to begin withdrawing some of its 138,000 soldiers this year.

A former British ambassador to Iraq predicted Sunday that increasing sectarian bloodshed would require the U.S.-led foreign military coalition stay for some time to help keep peace among rival ethnic and religious groups.

"One could almost call it a low-level civil war already," Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who Britain's envoy in Baghdad until 2004, told British television channel ITV1.

During a meeting at Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's residence, representatives of the main political parties agreed late Saturday to renew efforts to form an inclusive government.

But Sunni politician Nasir al-Ani said Sunday that his side was looking for some tangible steps before ending their boycott of government talks.

Sunni and Shiite religious leaders have also called for unity and an end to attacks on each other's mosques.

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose own militia was blamed for many of the attacks on Sunnis, repeated the appeal Sunday when he addressed followers in the southern Shiite stronghold of Basra upon his return from neighboring

He accused Americans and their coalition partners of stirring up sectarian unrest and demanded their withdrawal.

Also Sunday, the Arabic-language Al-Jazeera satellite channel broadcast a tape it received from the family of Canadian hostage James Loney appealing for his release and that of three colleagues from the Christian Peacemaker Teams abducted with him in Baghdad on Nov. 26.

"James is a loving, compassionate, selfless man," said a woman relative who appeared on the tape. She did not say what her relation to Loney was, but may have been his sister-in-law since she said her husband and his relatives were scared for their brother.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/27/2006 02:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "...gunmen stepped from a car and fired on teenagers playing soccer "
I knew American Little League baseballe and British soccer fans could be rabid, but it looks like the Iraqis are worse.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/27/2006 7:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Nope, it's all over. we need to pack up and go home. Georger Will says it is Civil War and we can't win.
Posted by: Marvin the Martian || 02/27/2006 10:30 Comments || Top||

#3  The previous comment was me. Forgot to change personnas.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/27/2006 10:31 Comments || Top||

#4  29? Isn't that just another day in Iraq?

Posted by: Frozen Al || 02/27/2006 11:05 Comments || Top||

30 killed but pleas, curfew curb Iraq violence
Mortar fire killed 15 people and shooting erupted around two Baghdad mosques on Sunday but pleas for unity and a third day of curfew in the city seemed to dampen sectarian violence that has pitched Iraq towards civil war. Five killed in a minibus, teenagers gunned down playing football and two US soldiers were among 30 deaths, a lower toll than other days since a suspected Al Qaeda bomb at a Shiite shrine sparked reprisals on minority Sunnis and the biggest test of Iraq's survival as a unified state since the US invasion. Well over 200 people have been killed since Wednesday and the defence minister has warned of an "endless civil war."

After taking calls from President George W. Bush, who hopes stability can let him start bringing 136,000 US troops home, Iraqi leaders met late on Saturday to issue a televised midnight appeal for calm and renew pledges to form a unity government. Religious leaders, including the fiery young cleric and Shiite militia leader Moqtada Sadr, joined the calls. Sadr, a rising force in the ruling but fractious Shiite alliance, told a rally in the second city of Basra his followers would hold joint prayer services at Sunni mosques damaged in violence. A bomb later caused damage at a Shiite mosque in Basra and gunfire rattled around two Sunni mosques in Baghdad after dark.

"We have passed the danger period. The security situation is now 80 per cent stable," said Ridha Jawad Taqi, a senior official in SCIRI, the biggest of the Shiite Islamist parties, which also runs a 20,000-strong armed wing, the Badr movement. "The situation pushed the different groups to get together." The curfew should end as planned at 6:00am, officials said.

"The violence seems to be diminishing," Bush's National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley told CBS television. "They've stared into the abyss a bit. I think they've all concluded that further violence ... is not in their interests."
Posted by: Fred || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

Eight dead, 32 wounded in Baghdad mortar attack
BAGHDAD - At least eight people were killed and 32 wounded on Sunday when mortars fell on two Shia neighbourhoods in southern Baghdad, an interior ministry official said. Eight mortars fell on two Shia neighbourhoods, two on a vegetable market in Al-Saidiya and the rest landed on houses in Abuchir district in southern Baghdad, the official added.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

Car bomb explodes south of Baghdad
BAGHDAD - A car exploded in a large bus station south of Baghdad on Sunday and dozens were feared killed or wounded, police said. They said the car bomb blew up in the crowded station in Hilla, part of a cluster of towns south of the capital where insurgents are active.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

Eyes On: 20 Iranian Terrorist Camps
Iran Focus has obtained a list of 20 terrorist camps and centres run by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The names and details of the training centres were provided by a defector from the IRGC, who has recently left Iran and now lives in hiding in a neighbouring country. Iran Focus agreed to keep his identity secret for obvious security reasons.

The former IRGC officer said the camps and the training centres were under the control of the IRGC’s elite Qods Force, the extra-territorial arm of the Revolutionary Guards.

“The Qods Force has an extensive network that uses the facilities of Iranian embassies or cultural and economic missions or a number of religious institutions such as the Islamic Communications and Culture Organisation to recruit radical Islamists in Muslim countries or among the Muslims living in the West. After going through preliminary training and security checks in those countries, the recruits are then sent to Iran via third countries and end up in one of the Qods Force training camps”, the officer said.

The Imam Ali Garrison has been a long-time training ground for foreign terrorist operatives. Presently, some 50 Islamists from neighbouring Arab countries are receiving training there in five groups of 10, the officer said.

“Iraq followed by the Palestinian territories have become the focal point of the Qods Force’s activities. Many of the foreign recruits in these camps now come from these two areas, but others come from a wide range of countries, including the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, North Africa and south-east Asia”, he said. “In most camps, the Sunnis outnumber the Shiites”.

“The scale and breadth of Qods Force operations in Iraq are far beyond what we did even during the war with Saddam”, the officer said, referring to the IRGC’s extensive activities in Iraq during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. “Vast areas of Iraq are under the virtual control of the Qods Force through its Iraqi surrogates. It uses a vast array of charities, companies and other fronts to conduct its activities across Iraq”.

“We would send our officers into Iraq to operate for months under the cover of a construction company”, he said. “Kawthar Company operated in Najaf last year to carry out construction work in the area around Imam Ali Shrine, but it was in fact a front company for the Qods Force. Qods officers, disguised as company employees, established contacts with Iraqi operatives and organised underground cells in southern Iraq”.

The officer said Qods Force officers also used the Iranian Red Crescent and the state-run television and radio corporation as fronts for their operations in Iraq.

A special branch inside Iran’s Foreign Ministry is responsible for assisting the Qods Force in bringing in foreign recruits. The recruits first travel to third countries where they are given new passports by Iranian agents to facilitate their entry into Iran. Upon finishing their training course, the new agents leave Iran for third countries from where they use their genuine passports to return to their countries of origin or where missions are planned.

The list of the bases used for training terrorists identified for Iran Focus are as follows:

1) Imam Ali Training Garrison, Tajrish Square, Tehran,
2) Bahonar Garrison, Chalous Street, close to the dam of Karaj,
3) Qom’s Ali-Abad Garrison, Tehran-Qom highway,
4) Mostafa Khomeini Garrison, Eshrat-Abad district, Tehran,
5) Crate Camp Garrison, 40 kilometres from the Ahwaz-Mahshar highway,
6) Fateh Qani-Hosseini Garrison, between Tehran and Qom
7) Qayour Asli Garrison, 30 kilometres from Ahwaz-Khorramshahr highway,
8) Abouzar Garrison, Qaleh-Shahin district, Ahwaz, Khuzestan province
9) Hezbollah Garrison, Varamin, east of Tehran
10) Eezeh Training Garrison
11) Amir-ol-Momenin Garrison, Ban-Roushan, Ilam province
12) Kothar Training Garrison, Dezful Street, Shoushtar, Khuzestan province
13) Imam Sadeq Garrison, Qom
14) Lavizan Training Centre, north-east Tehran
15) Abyek Training Centre, west of Tehran
16) Dervish Training Centre, 18 kilometres from the Ahwaz-Mahshar highway,
17) Qazanchi Training Centre, Ravansar-Kermanshah-Kamyaran tri-junction,
18) Beit-ol-Moqaddas University, Qom
19) Navab Safavi School, Ahwaz
20) Nahavand Training Centre, 45 kilometres from Nahavand, western Iran
Posted by: Captain America || 02/27/2006 17:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mebbe they're just "activists" and not "terrorists"?
Posted by: borgboy || 02/27/2006 18:17 Comments || Top||

#2  target rich environment.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/27/2006 19:13 Comments || Top||

#3  make em martyrs
Posted by: Frank G || 02/27/2006 19:30 Comments || Top||

#4  Why do we need to be told this? Wouldn't it be better to not have them know what we know? How much less valuable would the WWII broken codes have been had the Japanese and Germans known we had broken them?
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/27/2006 22:49 Comments || Top||

Iran Rebuffs Japanese Aspect of Russ-Iran Nuke Deal
Iran on Monday rejected Japan's request to suspend uranium enrichment, although Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it had made its joint-venture uranium enrichment proposal contingent on such a move.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was reported to have denied Tokyo's request to halt uranium enrichment at a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso.

Mottaki said Iran was only conducting 'research activities' and that suspending such operations was 'impossible,' according to Japan's Kyodo News.

Aso asked Iran to take a 'positive' attitude towards Russia's joint uranium enrichment proposal as a potential 'breakthrough' in the Iranian nuclear crisis, according to a Japanese official.

The meeting between Mottaki and Aso came a day after Iran and Russia announced they had reached a 'basic agreement' on a 'technical and political' package.

The head of Russia's Rosatom nuclear power agency Sergei Kiriyenko and his Iranian counterpart Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh proclaimed the agreement without giving any details on Sunday following talks in the Gulf port of Bushehr in southern Iran.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday in Moscow that Russia's proposed joint-venture agreement was linked to a demand that Iran reinstate its previous voluntary suspension of nuclear research activities.

Russia would continue its dialogue with Iran until a decisive meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on March 6 in Vienna, Lavrov said.

Russia initially proposed to enrich uranium for use in Iran's nuclear energy programme on its own territory, but in talks since the two countries appear to have worked out a more broad-based plan.

Russian negotiators returning from Iran Monday were skeptical about Tehran's supposed concessions.

'It's a difficult question, the negotiations are difficult,' RosAtom's Kiriyenko said.

Another Russian official said Iran's agreement in principle to the Russian proposal represented the only progress so far and that Tehran was still insisting on carrying out enrichment for research purposes at home.

'Under those conditions, Russia cannot establish a joint venture, because it loses all meaning,' the official was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying.

The United States and the European Union, in particular, fear that Iran is secretly planning a nuclear weapons programme. Tehran says the programme is aimed only at generating nuclear-powered energy.

Iran resumed its uranium enrichment programme after the (IAEA) reported Tehran to the UN Security Council for not complying with IAEA nuclear safeguards.

Japan is hoping to help resolve the crisis for fear of economic repercussions if sanctions are imposed on Iran.

The two governments signed an agreement two years ago to develop a joint oil project in Azadegan, southern Iran, said to be one of the world's largest oil fields.

Japan acted despite the opposition of the United States, which does not want to see Tokyo secure natural resources in Iran.

Mottaki arrived in Tokyo Monday for three days on his first visit since becoming foreign minister in August. The Iranian minister served as an ambassador to Japan between 1995 and 1999.

Iranian negotiators are also expected to visit Moscow again this week.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/27/2006 17:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Japan acted despite the opposition of the United States, which does not want to see Tokyo secure natural resources in Iran.

Does that include oil? Cause I think that horse has left the stable.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/27/2006 17:05 Comments || Top||

Askariyah bombing may throw monkey wrench into Iran's plans
Spring is only a month away, and preparations for Nauroz (the Persian new year) are well under way. In Iran this year, however, Nauroz was due to come with a deadly dimension: the start of a new phase of a broad-based anti-US resistance movement stretching from Afghanistan to Jerusalem.

Wednesday's attack on a revered shrine in Iraq could change all this.

The presence in Iran of the Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic
Jihad, as well as members of the Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan, is well known, as is the presence of other controversial figures related to the "war on terror", such as al-Qaeda members. Security contacts have told Asia Times Online that several al-Qaeda members have been moved from detention centers to safe houses run by Iranian intelligence near Tehran.

The aim of these people in Iran is to establish a chain of anti-US resistance groups that will take the offensive before the West makes its expected move against Tehran.

Iran has been referred to the UN Security Council over its nuclear program, which the US and others say is geared towards developing nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency is due to present a final report to the Security Council next month, after which the council will consider imposing sanctions against Tehran. Many believe that the US is planning preemptive military action against Iran.

With Wednesday's attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra in Iraq, home to a revered Shi'ite shrine, the dynamics have changed overnight.

Armed men detonated explosives inside the mosque, blowing off the domed roof of the building. Iraqi leaders are trying to contain the angry reaction of Shi'ites, amid rising fears that the country is on the brink of civil war. At least 20 Sunnis have been killed already in retaliatory attacks, and nearly 30 Sunni mosques have been attacked across the country.

The potentially bloody polarization in the Shi'ite-Sunni world now threatens to unravel the links that have been established between Shi'ite-dominated Iran and radical Sunni groups from Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Two of the 12 Shi'ite imams - Imam Ali al-Hadi, who died in AD 868, and his son, Imam Hasan al-Askari, who died in 874 - are buried at the mosque. The complex also contains the shrine of the 12th imam, Mohammed al-Mahdi, who is said to have gone into hiding through a cellar in the complex in 878, and is expected to return on Judgment Day.

Nevertheless, the sanctity of the tombs is of equal importance to Sunnis. Like the tombs of the Prophet Mohammed, Imam Ali and Imam Hussain, no self-respecting Muslim, whether Shi'ite or Sunni, would ever think of attacking such a place.

Further, the custodians of the shrine in Samarra have for many centuries been the descendants of Imam Naqi, called Naqvis, and they believe in Sunni Islam, as does the vast majority of the population of Samarra.

The present custodian is Syed Riyadh al-Kilidar, whom this correspondent met before the US attacked Iraq. Riyadh was arrested by US troops after Iraq was invaded, but released after brief detention.

The same is true of the Mosa Kazim Shrine in Baghdad, where the custodians have for many centuries been descendents of Imam Mosa Kazim. They are called Mosavis, and are Sunni Muslim. The previous custodian was Sayed Sabah bin Ibrahim al-Mosavi, whom this correspondent also met before the US invasion. He was a member of the Iraqi parliament during Saddam Hussein's era. After the US invasion he moved to Pakistan. Now the shrine is managed by Najaf Ashraf (al-Hoza).

Both the Ansar al-Sunnah Army and the Mujahideen Shura Council - an alliance that includes Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al-Qaeda-affiliated group - are suspected of perpetrating the attack. Both groups have insurgents operating in Samarra, and have claimed responsibility for attacks against US and Iraqi forces there in recent weeks. No group has claimed responsibility for the Samarra attack.

Given that the sensibilities of both Shi'ites and Sunnis have been violated by the attack, the foreign factor in the Iraqi resistance could be curtailed.

At the same time, escalating sectarian strife will hamper the national resistance movement in cities such as Basra in the south and Baghdad, which have strong Shi'ite populations. People in these areas could quickly turn against what is perceived as a largely Sunni-led resistance, with a strong al-Qaeda link.

Leaders have scrambled to limit the damage. Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani immediately called for seven days of mourning following the attack, and urged Shi'ites to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations. The cleric, who rarely appears in public, could be seen on Iraqi state television in a meeting with other leading ayatollahs.

Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who was in Lebanon as part of a regional tour, headed back to Iraq to join his supporters, who were already out in full force. Speaking to al-Jazeera television on Wednesday, Muqtada blamed all parties in the ongoing Iraq conflict for the attack. "It was not the Sunnis who attacked the shrine of Imam al-Hadi ... but rather the occupation; the Takfiris [those who accuse other Muslims of being infidels], al-Nawasib [a derogatory reference to those who declare hostilities against others] ... and the Ba'athists," he said. "We should not attack Sunni mosques. I ordered the [Imam] al-Mehdi Army to protect the Shi'ite and Sunni shrines and to show a high sense of responsibility, something they actually did."

The violence comes at a time that Iraqi leaders are trying to form a new coalition government that will bring Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds together. This process, like the resistance, is now also in jeopardy, as calls for separate, quasi-independent regions are bound to intensify.

The anti-US resistance movement had wanted to use Shi'ite Iran as the final base to link the resistance groups of this whole region. If the current volatile situation results in Shi'ites sitting on one side, and Sunnis and al-Qaeda-linked groups on the other, this is unlikely to happen.

Instead, Iraq could become a new battlefield, not only against US-led forces, but between different factions. Iran, meanwhile, would be left to deal with the West on its own.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/27/2006 03:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "The complex also contains the shrine of the 12th imam, Mohammed al-Mahdi, who is said to have gone into hiding through a cellar in the complex in 878, and is expected to return on Judgment Day."

Oh, no wonder it is taking 1128 years to find the 12th imam. He is hiding in or around the cellar. Who would think to look there?
Posted by: Ol Dirty American || 02/27/2006 6:36 Comments || Top||

#2  I ordered the [Imam] al-Mehdi Army to protect the Shi'ite and Sunni shrines and to show a high sense of responsibility, something they actually did."

You surprised they actually did something you 'ordered', Tater, or that they did something useful?
Posted by: Bobby || 02/27/2006 7:18 Comments || Top||

#3  The complex also contains the shrine of the 12th imam, Mohammed al-Mahdi, who is said to have gone into hiding through a cellar in the complex in 878, and is expected to return on Judgment Day.
Voo-Doo !
I tell ya, this religion begs to be outlawed in a modern, civil society. When will the masses awaken ? When we have daytime shows like "Beheading for Dollars" ?
Posted by: wxjames || 02/27/2006 7:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Or perhaps, as others have suggested, the attack on the shrine was a carefully orchestrated strike by Iran.
Posted by: doc || 02/27/2006 8:03 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm thinking the 12th Imam emerged from the cellar wearing one of those turban bombs that you see in Viking cartoons and just popped his cork prematurely.
Posted by: Darrell || 02/27/2006 8:54 Comments || Top||

#6  Doc, donuts to dollars that is the case. Whatever Iran leadership does, needs to be seen through the prism of their idea of hastening mahdi return. Strife and mayhem's good, in their view, and if they can pitch sunni vs shia, they would do whatever's necessary to make it happen.
Posted by: twobyfour || 02/27/2006 9:15 Comments || Top||

#7  I suspect this article may be on to something. Tater boy is nothing if not a stooge for Iran. Since the demo job, he has been frantically trying to make peace.

Now, if I was of a suspicious character, it would almost seem that this mosque job very conveniently screwed up a major mischief campaign from Iran.

And thus, efforts at peace would be an attempt to salvage their operation.

Finally, damage to the mosque was both expertly orchestrated and essentially cosmetic. Hmmm.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/27/2006 10:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Is this where the tradition of the ......"twelve iMan" came from ......??
Posted by: Claviger Spoger9494 || 02/27/2006 10:35 Comments || Top||

#9  Also the pilgrim biz is down a bit in Qom, I bet...
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/27/2006 10:58 Comments || Top||

#10  The potentially bloody polarization in the Shi'ite-Sunni world now threatens to unravel the links that have been established between Shi'ite-dominated Iran and radical Sunni groups from Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The shrine bombing reeks of Zarqawi's handiwork. Civil war best suits al Qaeda's interests. Nice to see that Iran's sheltering of these scumbags has come back to bite them on the bum in a big way.

Two of the 12 Shi'ite imams - Imam Ali al-Hadi, who died in AD 868, and his son, Imam Hasan al-Askari, who died in 874 - are buried at the mosque. The complex also contains the shrine of the 12th imam, Mohammed al-Mahdi, who is said to have gone into hiding through a cellar in the complex in 878, and is expected to return on Judgment Day.

And this celler is connected to that well over in Qom into which copies of the koran are being hefted. Makes perfect sense ... if you're Islamic.

Nevertheless, the sanctity of the tombs is of equal importance to Sunnis. Like the tombs of the Prophet Mohammed, Imam Ali and Imam Hussain, no self-respecting Muslim, whether Shi'ite or Sunni, would ever think of attacking such a place.

"[N]o self-respecting Muslim", sort of gets straight to the heart of it. When you "submit" to the absolute authority and whim of a theocratic hierarchy, you tend to abandon self-respect at the door. This promotes all sorts of outrages, not just on the infidels either, much to Islam's surprise.

I tell ya, this religion begs to be outlawed in a modern, civil society.

You know what, wxjames? I came to that same conclusion this weekend. The Vatican is on the right track by demanding reciprocity with respect to freedom of religious practice in Islamic dominated countries.

I'll be submitting an opinion piece on this strategy in another day or so:

Islam should be temporarily banned in all countries that practice freedom of religion until Islamic dominated countries grant freedom of religious practice in their countries. Until such a point, Islam must be recognized as an anti-religious political force, much like communism, and undergo legal prohibition.

For a temporary period, every mosque in countries with freedom of religion should be shut down and closed to all public access. If, during that period (e.g., five years), Islamic countries cannot decide to grant freedom of religious practice within their borders, then all of the closed mosques should be demolished as symbols of religious oppression.

I'm sure many of you are thinking this to be the utmost in hypocrisy. It is not. The time has come for Islam to be redefined as a political ideology and acted upon as such. Properly practiced religion has an underlaying foundation of tolerance for all humanity and especially those people of faith, be they of similar or different belief.

Any putative belief system that seeks the destruction of all other faiths cannot, ipso facto, be a true religion and therefore must be removed from those societies that grant freedom of worship.

It is time for Islam to pay the piper. The sooner we start, the less likely we are to reach the tipping point. If we do not give Islam a shot across the bow, it will only accelerate the process whereby the cost of coexisting with Muslims will far exceed the cost of exterminating them. The measures I suggest are meant to reform Islam, not obliterate it. Should Muslims be unable to renounce their intentions of global domination, it will prove their intolerance of religious freedom and pass sentence upon themselves.

Should Islamic dominated countries refuse to grant freedom of worship, all countries with such freedom should ban any further practicing of the Muslim faith. Muslims should be encouraged to return to those countries which permit free worship of Allah.

This would at least achieve containment. Should terrorist atrocities against the Kufir world continue, Muslims would be concentrated where collective retribution could be exercised cleanly and with clear demonstration of consequence to those who promote violent jihad.

We in the West are already subject to collective punishment via atrocities committed by Islamist terrorists. I have now passed the point where there is any valid arguement against collective punishment of those countries which openly advocate violent jihad.

Either Islam actively seeks to deter arrival at the tipping point or they shall only speed its occurence. Islam has yet to aggressively thin its ranks of violent jihadists. This only serves to lever the tipping point against themselves. The West is not obliged, in the least, to stop Islam from disqualifying itself from existence. It is up to Islam and Islam alone. If Muslims refuse to assertively counterbalance the way Islamist terrorism weighs against them, they invite their own destruction. The West, out of simple self-preservation, is forced to oblige Islam's death wish should they prove unable or unwilling to abandon their cult of martyrdom.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/27/2006 11:16 Comments || Top||

#11  I've judged I-slam and found it wanting.

Time for a civilized religion.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/27/2006 12:14 Comments || Top||

#12  peripheral comment on the 'hidden Mahdi' ...

The myth of the hidden/sleeping great leader who will return is a powerful one in many cultures. King Arthur and 7 key knights are said to be sleeping beneath a certain lake in Wales and will return once again to protect Britain against the dark forces that threaten to overwhem her, as they did in the historic Arthur's time.

Not saying I particularly appreciate Ahmadinajad's take on things - expecially the cultivation of chaos and death, just the opposite of the things that the great King stands for. Just noting that the idea isn't a unique or totally unattractive one for many people including some westerners who are quite clear it's mythical.

I will not go near any parallels to the 2nd coming of Christ.
Posted by: lotp || 02/27/2006 12:45 Comments || Top||

#13  ...the 12th imam, Mohammed al-Mahdi, who is said to have gone into hiding through a cellar in the complex in 878, and is expected to return on Judgment Day.

If the Mahdi comes out of his cellar and sees his shadow does that mean 6 more years of bloodshed?
Posted by: Xbalanke || 02/27/2006 14:34 Comments || Top||

#14  islam is a death cult - even their "leaders" acknowledge they "worship" death. It needs to be banned because it IS a cult, and one that breeds contempt of organized, peaceful society. If there's no other way to contain it within the bounds of the Arab peninsula, it should be destroyed, beginning with Mecca, the moon-god headquarters.

Islam is the expression of the anti-Christ. Read its precepts and compare them with Judaism - they're polar opposites. The destruction of Islam is the destruction of the forces of organized evil. All this "religion of peace" is horseapples - the religion of pieces is more apt.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/27/2006 15:12 Comments || Top||

#15  The 14th Mahdi (the Mahdi in the Attic) is the one to fear.
Posted by: 6 || 02/27/2006 16:51 Comments || Top||

#16  Seen one mahdi, you've seen 'em all. Dead.
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 02/27/2006 19:17 Comments || Top||

Russia denies nuclear deal with Iran
Iran said yesterday that it had struck an agreement with Russia on its nuclear programme but Moscow insisted the fundamental dispute over Tehran's nuclear plans had yet to be resolved.

Western diplomats also argued that any Russian-Iranian deal was probably a technical one and had still failed to resolve the basic issue of whether Iran would desist from all controversial nuclear activities, as international agencies demand.

The Tehran announcement came just days before the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, is due to produce a comprehensive report on Iran's nuclear activities - a document that will be forwarded to the UN Security Council.

Russia has been spearheading international attempts to strike a deal before the issue reaches the more confrontational atmosphere of the Security Council. But so far Moscow has failed to make a breakthrough while US and European diplomats have stepped up claims that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapon capabilities. Tehran insists its purposes are purely peaceful.

Speaking yesterday after negotiations with a visiting Russian team, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, said the two sides had reached a "basic agreement" on a joint venture to enrich uranium - the process that can create weapons-grade material. He added: "In order for this package to be completed, negotiations will be continued in Russia in the coming days."

Sergei Kiriyenko, Mr Aghazadeh's counterpart and head of the Russian delegation, said "mutual trust will increase" if Moscow's proposal to carry out enrichment on Russian soil were implemented.

"I think today we have almost no problem with building this [enrichment] company, whether it be an organisational problem or a financial one," he added. "But Russia's proposal for creating such a joint venture is only one element of a complex approach. Work needs to be done on this."

European diplomats suggested that any agreement between Russia and Iran had been relatively minor and technical since Iran had not yet agreed to the IAEA's call for a moratorium on uranium enrichment on its own soil. "The key point for the international community is whether Iran is prepared to address the IAEA's board requests," said a UK Foreign Office spokeswoman. "We've seen nothing to indicate that at the moment."

The 35-nation IAEA board is set to debate Tehran's nuclear programme at a meeting beginning on March 6, after which the IAEA report, drawn up by Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general, will be forwarded to the Security Council.

"There are ways to solve Iran's nuclear issue within the agency," said Mr Kiri-yenko, who underlined the two sides' co-operation over Bushehr, a nuclear plant Russia is building for Iran.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/27/2006 00:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Nyet, nyet! Ees nothing! Honest! Would I lie to you?"
Posted by: Elmager Fluth6681 || 02/27/2006 0:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Russia's version of PORT(S)-GATE???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/27/2006 2:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Iff you believe PRAVDA, the Russians invented everything or are discovering things which will save the world. DON'T TELL THE NORKIES - they think they invented everything or are saving the world.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/27/2006 2:42 Comments || Top||

"Students" attack British embassy in Tehran
The Scotsman forgot the sneer quotes, so I stuck 'em back in.
Several hundred students threw stones and firebombs at the British embassy in Tehran yesterday in protest at the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Iraq. A number of windows were broken in the embassy and firebombs went off outside its walls during the two-hour protest. Eventually, Iranian police wielding sticks dispersed the demonstrators.

Nearly 1,000 students had gathered outside the embassy and held a peaceful protest, chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Britain". They blamed the two countries for Wednesday's bombing of the shrine in the Iraqi town of Samarra. "We hold the occupiers of Iraq responsible," one banner read. They also held signs denouncing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that were printed in European papers. The larger demonstration ended without incident, but several hours later, around 400 students returned and attacked the building.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I bet it's those nogoodniks from Commie Martyrs High, Mudhead!
Posted by: George Tirebiter || 02/27/2006 0:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Hey Georgie, when ya gonna let me help Porcelain make the bed?
Posted by: .Mudhead || 02/27/2006 1:13 Comments || Top||

#3  ...And now this message from Loosener's - the all-weather breakfast!


(We know who we are, don't we?)
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 02/27/2006 6:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Send Dhimmi Carter - he did so well with those "students" in 1979.
Posted by: doc || 02/27/2006 6:40 Comments || Top||

Iranian protesters hurl petrol bombs at UK embassy
More than 1,200 conservative students angered by the destruction of a Shi'ite Muslim shrine in Iraq hurled petrol bombs, stones and eggs at the British embassy in Tehran on Sunday. In a separate demonstration earlier in the day, some 500 protesters had already burned flags and called for the embassy to be shut down. It was not clear whether the second demonstration was entirely composed of fresh protesters.

Iran has accused Western forces in Iraq of orchestrating Wednesday's bombing of the Golden Mosque of Samarra, one of the most venerated buildings in Shi'ite Islam, in order to spark civil war between Shi'ites and Sunnis. Western nations condemned the attack, and Washington suggested the al Qaeda network could have been trying to stir up sectarian bloodshed through the bombing.

A Reuters journalist at the second demonstration said the crowd had thrown six petrol bombs, chanting "Death to the two Satans, Britain and America!" and "Shut down the British Embassy!." A student leader, shouting through a megaphone, vowed that the students would do everything in their power to harm Western political and economic interests in Iran. "The agents of global arrogance should know their security and political and economic interests will be in danger," he bawled. "In particular, the ambassador of this corrupt embassy will not be safe in our streets."
Posted by: Fred || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Since our political capital is spent in Iraq, I think there is little Bush can do about Iran. With options limited, I think our best hope is for the regime to hang itself. It's a long shot and I often despair but it's possible that one day they will go too far.

Pushing the official line that the US and Israel blew up the Golden Mosque may be too much for all but the most demented Basijj. Iranians are Shi'ites and they must be pissed off as hell about that bomb, the way I would if they blew up Notre Dame, even though I'm not Catholic. They also must know in their guts that it was Qaidaist terrorists who did it, and the more Ahmadnejad and his fellow clowns rant against Zionists and the Great Satan, the more ticked people are going to get. It's just a question of whether they can bring themselves to discuss it openly or not. Saying "wait a minute, this is crazy..." is difficult to do in a totalitarian society.
Posted by: Monsieur Moonbat || 02/27/2006 4:30 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm not sure what you mean by Iranian regime to "hang itself". If you mean they push the the "world" so far it gangs up and attacks Iran, then there is no chance of that. If you mean they push the Persian Little Guy to fight, that is unlikely. The mullahs control religious doctrine, media, armed forces and money from 3 million barrels/day oil exports (+ gas) that will buy a lot of islam-poisoned thugs. I do do agree with you that the odds of an American attack on Iran are small.

When in Vegas, bet with the odds. The Iranians will get nuclear capability, build it up, and then aggressively push non-muslims out of the middle east and try to take over. Whether the take over stays conventional or goes nuclear is a matter of time and Saudi purchasing power. After that, who knows.
Posted by: ed || 02/27/2006 8:47 Comments || Top||

Debka: Tehran, Moscow agree in principle on a joint uranium enrichment venture on Russian soil
The accord was announced Sunday, Feb. 26, by Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, after two days of talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Kiriyenko at the Bushehr nuclear reactor.

The Russians, by going along with Iran’s demands, have rescued the Islamic Republic from the threat of a US-European-Israel complaint to the UN Security Council. Referral of Iran’s nuclear breaches of the NPT was to have taken place after the critical IAEA board session in Vienna March 6.

Now, the Russian delegate will be able to ask for time to work on the details of the Moscow-Tehran accord. The Iranians will thus buy several precious months to continue to process uranium – their main objective in engaging in diplomacy in the first place. The hands of Washington, the EU and the UN are meanwhile tied over referral to the Security Council by the shadow of Russian veto hanging over any resolution penalizing Iran.

Moscow has thus delivered a sharp setback to the US-Israeli drive to put spokes in the wheels of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

DEBKAfile adds: Kirienko leads a Kremlin faction that advocates breaking ranks with Washington and Europe and striking out for a bilateral Moscow-Tehran deal that under certain conditions releases the brakes on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program,. President Vladimir Putin would have preferred to go along with the West. He was overruled by the Kirienko faction.

Our military sources report that by pulling off this accord in principle with Iran, Kirienko frees Iran to enrich uranium up to weapons grade. Israel is thus confronted with a potential strategic threat as grave - or graver - than the Hamas rise to power in Palestinian government.

In the space of a month, the two developments have tightened the Iranian noose around the Jewish state.

DEBKAfile reported earlier that the Russian go-it-alone initiative had aroused deep concern in Washington, Jerusalem and Vienna. They feared to that to succeed, Kirienko would bow to a deal that permitted hands-on Iranian involvement in the manufacturing process and decisions on quantities of the joint uranium enrichment venture in Russia. This would remove the safeguards demanded by the US and Europe against the Russian-Iranian enterprise turning out weapons-grade uranium.

According to information reaching Washington and Jerusalem, Kirienko also favors letting Iran continue enrichment at home simultaneously with the Russian-hosted enterprise.

American and Israeli suspicions were first aroused, according to our intelligence sources, by the odd behavior of Gholam Reza Aghazadeh’s delegation upon its arrival in Moscow Monday, Feb. 20, to discuss the joint plant in Russia. Its maneuvers had the appearance of a decoy operation to mystify and draw attention away from the real action elsewhere. A bulletin at the end of the day reported no progress, followed by a continuation Tuesday, which the Iranians abruptly left without explanation. Then, too, an Iranian official demanded that resumed diplomacy with the European Union take place separately with each government instead of with a joint UK-French-German delegation.

Washington took this as a declaration of divorce between the Tehran-Moscow track and Iran’s dealings with Europe and the UN nuclear watchdog in Vienna and a full stop to the international drive for diplomatic action to arrest Iran’s progress toward a bomb.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/27/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  From a pure power standpoint, Hamas replacing Fatah in running the Paleo statelet is not 'tightening a noose' or a 'grave strategic threat.' Israel is in a better strategic position than for the last intafada -- largely thanks to the fence -- regardless of which group of exterminationist wackos run the slums.

The Iran situation has been brewing for years and is a real strategic turnfor the worse. However, this is just the latest twist. Not sure how the maneuvers of their diplos in Moscow had the look of a 'decoy operation' though. Debka's basically correct that Iran wants to stall and get nukes and the Kirienko/Putin split theory is interesting but they have a way of being overly dramatic and wierd about things that are actually pretty dramatic and wierd to start with.

If the deal does not include closing the enrichment facility I do not see how it changes anything so there must be more going on.
Posted by: JAB || 02/27/2006 0:23 Comments || Top||

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Sun 2006-02-26
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Sat 2006-02-25
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Fri 2006-02-24
  Saudi forces thwart attack on oil facility
Thu 2006-02-23
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Wed 2006-02-22
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Tue 2006-02-21
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Mon 2006-02-20
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Sun 2006-02-19
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Sat 2006-02-18
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