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Abizaid calls for bolder action against Salafism
Today's Headlines
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Arabia
American indicted as terrorist in Yemen
A Yemeni security court Saturday indicted an American of Yemeni origin on charges of belonging to al Qaida and attempting to kill three foreigners. Mohammad Jaber al-Bannaa pleaded guilty in the court, specialized in terrorism cases in the capital, Sanaa, to attempting to murder a Dutchman, an Austrian and a German. He testified that he had received $60,000 from an "anonymous charitable person" to carry out the attack, saying that his "closeness to God" had drove him to do so.
We can prob'ly guess where the "anonymous charitable person" lives...
While the prosecution asked the court for a maximum sentence, the defendant's lawyer, Saleh al-Tayar, insisted that his client was suffering from "mental handicaps and disturbances according to a medical report."
"Yer honor, you can't execute my client! He's a nut! A loon! His turban's waaaaaaay too tight!"
The court decided to refer al-Bannaa, who was arrested by the Yemeni authorities last January, to a psychiatrist for evaluation before continuing his trial.
"Put him on the couch... Now, tell me, young man, how long have you thought you were a goat?"
The U.S., which put a $5 million bounty on him, is seeking the extradition of the defendant, accused of belonging to a sleeping cell affiliated with al-Qaida. His lawyers said in a statement there was no evidence linking al-Bannaa with the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 4:11:50 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Saudi security forces kill suspect in Red Sea city of Jeddah
Follow-up to yesterday's post.
RIYADH - Saudi security forces killed a suspected militant in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on Saturday and confiscated weapons that were in his possession, the Saudi Interior Ministry said. The state-run Saudi Press Agency reported, quoting an unidentified Interior Ministry official, that security forces surrounded the man in his vehicle near the university quarter in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Security forces shot and killed the man after he tried to throw a hand grenade at security personnel, the official said, who did not identify the suspect.
You mean he was surrounded and he didn't escape?
The security forces searched his car and found a loaded handgun, two machine guns, ammunition, three high explosive hand grenades, four pipe bombs and communication devices. The force also found approximately 9,400 Saudi riyals (US$2,500 or Ð1, 885) in the car.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/28/2004 12:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is it rabbit season already in Saudi?
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 11/28/2004 11:42 Comments || Top||

#2  duck season
Posted by: raptor || 11/28/2004 14:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Rabbit Season!
Posted by: N guard || 11/28/2004 20:17 Comments || Top||


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
The White Arab is dead
Russian forces killed an alleged top associate to the Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev in the Ingush city of Nazran, the Russian Federal Security Service said. Shamil Basayev's associate Akhmed Sambiyev was killed in Ingushetia, a spokesman for the PR group of the Ingush department of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said. Akhmed Sambiyev, also known as the "White Arab," was "eliminated" late Thursday after fighting with police and security service officers in Ingushetia, a southern Russian region bordering Chechnya, said Yuri Smolyaninov, a representative of the Ingush branch of the security service. Smolyaninov also said that three security officers were injured during the raid in the Ingush city of Nazran. He added that Sambiyev's wife and children were not hurt and that his driver was arrested. The ITAR-Tass news agency said that Sambivev was either a Syrian or a Turkish citizen. It also added that Sambiyev replaced Abu Kuteib, Basayev's aide who was allegedly killed in July. Smolyaninov said that Sambivev was an explosives expert and that he had close ties to global terrorist groups.

In other developments, a Russian reconnaissance team killed an alleged rebel and detained two others during a raid in the Chechen capital Grozny, a Russian police officer in Chechnya said. Another suspect was killed during clashes between Russian security forces and an armed group in a village near the Chechen-Ingush border, Interfax news agency said. In a separate operation, Chechen security forces released a kidnapped Russian serviceman, Alexei Polyansky, Russian Interior Troops spokesman, said. The soldier was abducted last Monday in Grozny. His captors demanded a $5,000 ransom, Polyansky said. On Friday, Interior Troops' commander Nikolai Rogozhkin said that Russia isn't planning to reduce its nearly 23,000-strong contingent in Chechnya in "the foreseeable future." Russian officials have said previously that about 70,000 forces are stationed in Chechnya.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 4:17:04 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Basayev may have fled abroad
Arrested rebels have said that Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev, Moscow's most wanted man, might have left the republic, Russian media reported on Wednesday. Sources from the Regional Operative Headquarters in the Northern Caucasus said that Basavev is probably hiding abroad.
He's admitted that...
"According to our data, nobody knows where Basayev is. Rumors circulating among bandits indicate that Basayev has probably left Chechnya and is hiding abroad," the sources reported.
Riyadh, perhaps?
The sources also revealed that during the interrogations of arrested rebels who operated under Basayev's command, the Russian authorities concluded that some Chechen leaders have abandoned low-ranking commanders. The sources also suggested that communication channels among rebel groups had been cut. Maj. Gen. Ilya Shabalkin, spokesman for the federal forces in the Northern Caucasus, told Interfax on Wednesday that; "detained members of Basayev's guerrilla groups have said that most low-ranking commanders have been left to their own devices, funds come in irregularly, and if they do arrive at all, their amount is minimal."

An arrested rebel from Hussein Ismailov's rebel group - based in the Shali district of Chechnya - said that rebels could not communicate with either Basayev or his associates for a long time. ROH sources also noted that some rebels are currently trying to move out of Chechnya. "It is well known that leaders attempt to escape abroad using tourist visas obtained through intermediaries in tourist agencies located in the neighboring regions," the sources said, adding that rebels "attempt to establish stable escape channels from Chechnya to neighboring regions and foreign countries." Arrested suspects also said that hiding in Chechnya will be difficult this winter because many established centers and food storage sites have been found and destroyed by federal forces.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 4:18:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Europe
FBI links Madrid bombs to 911
THE US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has established the clearest link yet between the March 11 Madrid train bombings and the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, a Spanish newspaper reported today. The FBI has told Spanish investigators that one of three men believed to have planned the September 11 attacks from Spain in the summer of 2001 also gave the order to carry out the Madrid blasts, ABC reported. The train bombings killed 191 people and wounded 1900 three days before a general election. In videotapes, the bombers claimed the attacks in the name of al-Qaeda in Europe and said they were in revenge for Spain sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Investigators have long concluded that the September 11 attacks were partially planned in Spain in July 2001. Hijacker Mohammed Atta, believed to have piloted one of the airliners that crashed into New York's World Trade Center, visited Spain two months before the attacks and met two men. One was Ramzi bin al-Shaibah, who is being held by US authorities, while the other was unidentified. ABC said investigators now believe that third man was the one who in December 2003 activated the al-Qaeda cell that carried out the March 11 attacks, which Spaniards call "our September 11". ABC said investigators had narrowed his identity down to three candidates and believed he was a lieutenant of Mustafa Setmarian, increasingly considered to have been a leader of the Madrid train bombers and who may have held a leadership role for al-Qaeda in Europe. Setmarian, aged 45 and of Syrian origin, was already wanted as part of a separate investigation into Islamic militant activity in Spain and is the subject of a Spanish wanted notice issued through Interpol.

The US State Department said on November 18 it was offering a $US5 million ($6.3 million) reward for information leading to the capture of Setmarian, also known as Mustafa Setmariam Nasar or Abu Musab al-Suri. It described him as an al-Qaeda member and former trainer at "terrorist camps" in Afghanistan. Some 30 people are in custody or under court supervision for the train bombings for which one minor has so far been convicted. Seven prime suspects are dead and two or three other suspected collaborators remain at large.
Posted by: tipper || 11/28/2004 9:46:08 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So much for the Spaniards' fervent belief that March 11 was payback for the Iraq War.

Someday the pseudo-progressives will figure it out: it ain't about Bush. It's a fascist death cult, and they'll just as gladly saw the necks off of euro atheists, german tourists, scandinavian stoners etc as they will americans.
Posted by: lex || 11/28/2004 14:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Doesn't matter (except to those of us who care about the truth, and those who must act based on reality). The Anti-s have already muddied the waters so badly about Saddam's WMD, and Bush's intentions and abilities, that those who haven't been paying close attention will discount the FBI's evidence about this, too. I am sending my European friends copies of Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man by Hardy & Clarke, in the hope that they will recognise the lies for what they are, thus clearing the ground for them to recognise the opposed truth.
Posted by: trailing wife || 11/28/2004 21:19 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Terrorist financing knows no boundaries
How money raised by charities ends up in the pockets of international terrorists has been the subject of intense investigation since Sept. 11, 2001. Last month one of those investigations touched Columbia. Federal officials alleged that a nonprofit organization there was part of the Islamic African Relief Agency, a global charity whose officers had raised at least $5 million for terrorists. Details of how IARA allegedly supported terrorism were packed into a four-page Treasury Department summary, thick with unfamiliar names and organizations. Using special computer software, The Kansas City Star diagramed the links described in the Treasury summary. They allege:
• At least eight connections between IARA and Osama bin Laden, his organizations or the Taliban.

• Two connections to Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organizations whose suicide bombings ravaged life in Israel.

• Connections to three other groups that long have been designated as terrorist organizations by federal authorities.
The Star compiled a list of organizations and individuals connected to the charity from the Treasury Department summary and other government documents. That list then was entered into social network analysis software, which produced a visual representation of the network. Social network analysis is the study of relationships and has been used by criminologists, health-care researchers and academics in the social sciences. By displaying relationships visually and analyzing them with sophisticated mathematics, it is possible to more clearly see the flow and structure of a network of individuals or groups. The analysis showed that IARA officials allegedly performed services or favors for bin Laden and his organizations. Other times, IARA was alleged to have teamed with bin Laden to support other terrorists. "The connections are quantitatively and qualitatively significant," said Matt Levitt, a senior fellow in terrorism studies at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "We're not just talking about connections to al Qaida" but to Hamas and other extremist organizations as well.
That's because there's no real difference among them...

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 3:55:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:


Guantanamo Review Hears Accused Militants
Two alleged members of the ousted Taliban regime and a man accused of links to the al-Qaida network appeared Saturday before review tribunals at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, an official said. All three men spoke at their hearings, but the military has provided no transcripts of statements made at the review tribunals. No names or nationalities were released.

The first prisoner, a 36-year-old member of Taliban security forces, was accused of passing messages between senior al-Qaida members, said Navy Lt. Gary Ross, a spokesman for the Combatant Status Review Tribunals. He also allegedly attended meetings with top-level al-Qaida members. The tribunals also heard from a 21-year-old member of the Taliban accused of forcing others at gunpoint to fight against U.S. and Afghan forces, Ross said. The prisoner allegedly tried to throw a hand grenade at U.S. forces to escape capture. A 31-year-old prisoner accused of belonging to a terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden also appeared before a tribunal, Ross said. The military did not provide details on the terrorist group.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/28/2004 12:39:58 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Southeast Asia
JI recruiting ring disrupted in Java
Indonesian police have identified six suspected terrorist "nests" just a day after arresting four suspects in the Australian Embassy bombing. The chief of central Java police, Inspector-General Chaerul Rasyid, said anti-terrorist teams were watching six areas on the forested slopes of Salem mountain, near the villages of Losari and Brebes, on the border between west and central Java. "I don't want to mention exactly which area they are in," he said, "but, for sure, there are six areas that we suspect." He said suicide bombers were being recruited and trained in the area. Volunteers were offered around A$35,000 ($39,210) to blow themselves up.
"Hey, Mahmoud! You open to a job as a suicide bomber?"
"I dunno. What's it pay?"
The chief of Brebes police, Bambang Purwanto, confirmed that police were watching half a dozen areas in the heavy jungles along Java's volcanic spine. "It's true. We suspect that mountain area because it is isolated and connects central Java to Kuningan [near Cirebon] in west Java," he said. Police say they have captured four men believed to have carried out the embassy bombing, including the field co-ordinator of the attack, named Rois. The others arrested during a wave of raids were Hasan, Apuy and Sogir, said to be a master bomb maker. All were wearing suicide bomb belts.
But they were still arrested? What were they using the belts for? To hold their pants up?
But the mastermind of several bombings carried out by the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) network, Malaysian Azahari Husin, slipped through police dragnets when he went unrecognised by traffic officers on three occasions. Rumours were swirling in Jakarta that Azahari had also been captured, but authorities were keeping his arrest quiet to capture JI suicide bomb recruiter Noordin Top.
Be still, my beating heart...
Police managed to stop Rois and his three colleagues from blowing themselves up by using a local bus driver to lure them into the open, where their arms were pinned by teams of anti-terror squad officers.
Very brave anti-terror squad officers, we might add.
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said the discovery of several bombs packed into luggage bags and backpacks highlighted that JI was still a threat, despite being decimated by arrests after Bali. "We don't have any specific information about places that might be targeted involving Australian or other nationalities," he told the Nine Network. "But ... the Jemaah Islamiyah operation does target Western targets, they're particularly focused on Americans, but they do single out Western targets."
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 4:07:02 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Muslim Extremist Leader Dies in Shootout
Government troops killed a leader of the notorious Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf in a shootout in the southern Philippines, officials said Sunday. Munap Manialah, also known as Commander Munap, was shot dead late Saturday in a firefight with Philippine army and navy troops in southern Basilan island's Isabela city, Philippine army spokesman Maj. Bartolome Bacarro said in a statement. A trooper was slightly wounded in the shootout. Soldiers raided Manialah's hideout after civilians tipped off the military about his presence in Isabela's remote village of Menzi, Philippine navy spokeswoman Lt. Nancy Pastor said. Bacarro said Manialah is wanted for murder and the Philippine government has offered a $6,241 bounty for his capture.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/28/2004 12:31:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Whew! Good thing he wasn't a Moderate Muslim, they're an endangered specious*.

* Not misspelled.
Posted by: .com || 11/28/2004 3:41 Comments || Top||


Sri Lanka
S. Lankan rebels threaten war (again)
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels threatened on Saturday to resume a two-decade war for self-rule that killed more than 64,000 people if the government did not agree to discuss their demands for self-rule soon. "We urge the government to resume the peace negotiations without conditions, based on our proposal for an interim self-governing authority," the Tigers' shadowy leader Velupillai Prabhakaran said in an annual speech to honour the rebels' war dead. "If the government of Sri Lanka rejects our urgent appeal and adopts delaying tactics, perpetuating the suffering of our people, we have no alternative other than to start killing all sorts of innocent people advance the freedom struggle of our nation," he added. The government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam agreed to a ceasefire brokered by Norway in 2002. The truce is holding, but the Tigers pulled out of peace talks last year, leaving hopes of sealing permanent peace in limbo. The Tigers already have de facto rule over large areas of the Indian Ocean island's north and east.  
Posted by: Steve White || 11/28/2004 12:02:24 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yeah, I miss the Good Old Days, too. Blowing shit up. Shooting up Gov't Offices, Schools... hell, anything will do cuz we have no responsibilities - they're The Gov't...

I used to be regularly badgered by the Sri Lankans (there were a LOT of them) when I went into Aramco on Thursdays (their Saturday). They all had their favorite SL news site URL carefully written down - and when they found some Westerner at his 'puter, they'd shove this bit of paper at you in hopes you'd open it up and print out the news and sports sections for them. I had to install the Sinhala & Tamil language / fonts to enable the machine. It got to be such a regular thing, that I would print off multiple copies to save time for when the next guy came around - drawn to the clackity-clack of my keyboard. They were the most homesick people I met in Saudi.
Posted by: .com || 11/28/2004 16:05 Comments || Top||


Iraq-Jordan
Al-Zarqawi's Group Claims Mosul Slaughter
Iraq's most feared terror group claimed responsibility Sunday for slaughtering members of the Iraqi security forces in Mosul, where dozens of bodies have been found. The claim raises fears the terror group has expanded to the north after the loss of its purported base in Fallujah. Meanwhile, insurgents attacked U.S. and Iraqi targets in Baghdad and in Sunni Arab areas. Iraq's deputy prime minister, Barham Saleh, said sticking to the Jan. 30 election timetable would be a challenge, but delaying it would bolster the insurgents' cause.

Two U.S. soldiers were injured in a Baghdad attack, and another American soldier died in a traffic accident north of the capital, the military said. U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 17 suspected insurgents in raids south of the capital Sunday, Iraqi police said. Operations there included a dawn speedboat assault by U.S. Marines and British and Iraqi troops on suspected insurgent hideouts along the Euphrates River, British media reported. A statement posted on an Islamist Web site in the name of al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for killing 17 members of Iraq's security forces and a Kurdish militiaman in Mosul, where insurgents rose up this month in support of guerrillas facing a U.S.-led assault in Fallujah. The claim could not be independently verified but the style of writing appeared similar to other statements by al-Zarqawi's group, which is responsible for numerous car bombings and beheadings of foreign hostages in Iraq. The United States has offered a $25 million reward for al-Zarqawi's capture — the same amount it is offering for Osama bin Laden .

At least 50 people have been killed in Mosul in the past 10 days. Most of the victims are believed to have been supporters of Iraq's interim government or members of its fledgling security forces. Separately, al-Zarqawi's group claimed it detonated a car bomb near a U.S. military convoy in the Hamam al-Alil area, near Mosul. It said the blast destroyed an armored vehicle and damaged another. Although the claims were not verifiable, they raised fears that al-Zarqawi's organization had spread to Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, 225 miles north of Baghdad. At least 43 suspected insurgents have been arrested as part of an ongoing operation to re-establish control of Mosul, a military statement said.

Al-Zarqawi's group, formerly known as Tawhid and Jihad, was believed to have been headquartered in Fallujah, the Sunni Arab insurgent bastion 40 miles west of Baghdad, before U.S. and Iraqi forces overran the city this month. Al-Zarqawi and the city's two major Iraqi insurgent leaders, Sheik Abdullah al-Janabi and Omar Hadid, apparently escaped the onslaught and remain at large. Before the assault, U.S. intelligence officers speculated that al-Zarqawi would try to relocate to Mosul if he lost his base in Fallujah. U.S. and Iraqi officials launched the offensive against Fallujah in hopes of pacifying Sunni areas north and west of the capital so elections could be held there Jan. 30. Iraqis will select a national assembly in the first vote since Saddam Hussein's regime collapsed in April 2003. However, Sunni clerics have called for a boycott of the election to protest the Fallujah assault and the continued U.S. military presence. Sunni politicians have called for postponing the ballot for six months, although the proposal has been rejected by the government and influential Shiite clerical leadership.

In Cairo, Egypt, the head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, said Arab governments wanted to see the Iraqi leadership take steps toward national reconciliation before the January balloting "because it is important to have a successful election." Most Arab nations have Sunni majorities. In London, Saleh, said delaying the election would have "serious ramifications to the political process" and would bolster the insurgents' cause. "Sticking to that timetable will be difficult, will be a serious challenge," he told the British Broadcasting Corp. "But delaying elections will be much more difficult because it will have serious ramifications to the political process, to the issue of legitimacy, and surely all of us do not want to give the terrorists the slightest of technical wins in that situation."

Elsewhere, a car bomb killed six people and injured five others in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad. The blast occurred as a minibus drove past a school, police Maj. Qahtan Mohammed said. All the casualties were passengers in the minibus, he said. U.S. and Iraqi troops regained control of Samarra from insurgents during military operations in September but the city remains uneasy. The two U.S. soldiers were injured early Sunday when a car bomb exploded next to their convoy on the road leading to Baghdad's airport, a military statement said. The bomb damaged one vehicle, the military said, and two soldiers were taken to a military hospital.

The interim government's Youth Ministry reported that its general director, Ahmed Faiq, and his bodyguard were injured in the attack. The highway leading from downtown to the international airport is considered one of the most dangerous stretches of road in Iraq. Seventeen suspected insurgents were killed in clashes with U.S., British and Iraqi forces in Latifiyah and Mahmoudiya, where multinational forces launched an offensive last week, Iraqi police spokesman Capt. Hadi Hatef said. Iraqi police arrested 11 suspected rebels in Musayyib, about 50 miles southwest of Baghdad, Hatef said. Gunmen opened fire on a police station and a National Guard checkpoint in Jabella south of Baghdad, injuring two policemen and two guardsmen, Hatef said. The speedboat assault included Marines, Britain's Black Watch regiment and Iraqi commandos and was directed at an area from which insurgents have been rocketing a British base, British media reports said. Meanwhile, five Polish soldiers were injured Sunday in a car accident in central Iraq. The mishap occurred about six miles northeast of Hillah and did not involve hostile fire, the Polish-led international force in central Iraq said.
Posted by: tipper || 11/28/2004 5:33:37 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  hmmmm humanitarian outreach by the Z-man: "Support us or we'll execute you and your family. Please support us"
Posted by: Frank G || 11/28/2004 19:01 Comments || Top||

#2  He speaks the language like a native.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 11/28/2004 19:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Z-man must have read some motivational books.
Posted by: Charles || 11/28/2004 19:44 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan/South Asia
Suspected Taliban Militants Kill Three
Suspected Taliban militants stormed the office of an Afghan relief organization early Sunday, killing three workers and wounding four police officers in a pre-dawn shootout, officials said. Police said six vehicles carrying about 30 gunmen raced up to the office of the Voluntary Association for the Rehabilitation of Afghanistan in Delaram, a town in southwestern Nimroz province, early Sunday. "A cook, a night watchman and another employee were asleep in the first room," Najamuddin Mojaddedi, the group's regional head, told The Associated Press. "The Taliban shot them dead." Another watchman was missing, Mojaddedi said. "The Taliban are just killing innocent people trying to help their country," Mojaddedi said. "I don't understand why they do this."
Lemme try to explain this to you, Najamuddin. It's the nature of authoritarianism. When you don't do what they tell you to do, they try to kill you. When the Talibs were in power, they adhered to the same principle. Simple, huh? That's why the solution to the problem is to kill them right back. It's called self defense.
Security forces who rushed to the scene Sunday fought the gunmen for about an hour. Four police officers were injured before the militants withdrew, deputy police chief Mohammed Rassoul said. It was unclear if the attackers suffered any casualties. The three fatalities were the first for aid workers in Afghanistan since Aug. 3, when two Afghans working for the German Malteser agency died in a hail of gunfire in southeastern Paktia province.
Posted by: Fred || 11/28/2004 1:14:01 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ahhh the Warriors of Islam™, cousins to the Lions of the Desert™. Cowards and pussies. Kill.Them.
Posted by: Frank G || 11/28/2004 13:53 Comments || Top||


Iraq-Jordan
Bomb Explodes Near U.S. Military Convoy
Two U.S. soldiers were injured early Sunday when a car bomb exploded next to their military convoy on the road leading to Baghdad's airport, a military statement said. The bomb damaged one of the vehicles, the military said, and two soldiers were taken to a military hospital. The military statement said there were no reported civilian casualties. But the interim government's Youth Ministry reported that its general director, Ahmed Faiq, and his bodyguard were injured in the attack. Fadhil Jawad, a resident who said he watched the attack from the roof of his home, described a late-model luxury car overtaking the six-vehicle convoy moments before exploding in a ball of fire. Jawad said that two of the Humvees in the convoy were destroyed by the blast and the rest scattered off the road. Two Blackhawk helicopters arrived and evacuated wounded soldiers, he said.
Posted by: Fred || 11/28/2004 1:12:37 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Former Baathist "Black Scorpions" involved in Fallujah operation
Twenty months after toppling Saddam Hussein, US troops still battling his followers in the heartland of Iraq's old arms industry are hitting back with a new weapon: ex-members of Hussein's special forces. For five months, Iraqi police commandos calling themselves the Black Scorpions have been based with US marines in the region along the Euphrates south of Baghdad. Roadside bombs, ambushes and kidnaps have turned the area into a no-go zone and earned it the melodramatic description "triangle of death".

"All of them were previously officers in the Iraqi army or special forces," said Scorpions commander Colonel Salaam Trad. "But Saddam was dirty and no good for Iraq." The performance of this SWAT team, as the Americans call it, could be a critical test of how US forces can hand over to Iraqis to meet their goal of withdrawing from a stable Iraq. US officers in the area say they are increasingly optimistic. "The hardest fighters we have are the former special forces from Saddam's days," said Colonel Ron Johnson, commander of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Praising their local knowledge and fighting skills, Colonel Johnson singled out one man who fought against him at Nasiriyah, the hardest battle of last year's brief war against Saddam's army. "If I could have an Iraqi security force guy who's honest, reliable and dependable, it's worth five marines," he added.

Captain Tad Douglas, who leads almost daily raids with the Scorpions, says he believes it is a unique experiment that made use of the Iraqis' feel for their home province of Babylon. "Ninety-five per cent of our intelligence is from the SWAT," he said. "They can put a guy in a cafe in the way we never could. They have a good finger on the pulse." US officers are reluctant to discuss how big the SWAT team is and Colonel Trad and Captain Douglas brush off questions on what they may or not have done to each other in last year's war. "It doesn't matter to me what they did. They're staunchly anti-insurgent," Captain Douglas said. "We just had to polish them up a bit," he said.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 4:02:29 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  sounds good, but watchyer backs, boyz. Pretty soon there won't be any good reason why these guys would turn on the GI's
Posted by: Frank G || 11/28/2004 11:16 Comments || Top||


No new intel on Zarqawi from Fallujah attack
A US offensive that crushed followers of al-Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the Iraqi city of Fallujah has yielded no intelligence breakthroughs on him, a Marine officer said yesterday. "Did we get any information, for instance, that he is about to move here or there? No, we didn't," said Major Jim West, a senior intelligence officer. "We have come close to Zarqawi before. But our main priority was not Zarqawi, it was defeating the insurgents for the people of Fallujah."

West said the US military did gain more insight into Saddam Hussein loyalists and Muslim militants that suggests they are loosely linked groups allied by self-interest, not a shared ideology. It's a structure that also includes criminal elements looking to make money, West said. "All of these insurgents are in it for a personal reason and they will stay in it as long as their interests are met. This makes it more challenging to understand them. It is a unique phenomenon we have not faced before," he said.

Marines have detained 2000 people in Fallujah, and released half of them. They have conducted house to house searches for weapons caches in a bid to gather intelligence on the structure of the insurgency and its players. Key leaders of the insurgency including Zarqawi and Iraqi Omar Hadid are still on the run, West said. Finding them has taken on greater urgency as Iraq prepares to hold nationwide elections scheduled for January that Iraqi and American officials believe could face escalated violence. "We will deny the terrorists and Zarqawi the ability to move and set up a new base. We will keep up the pressure," West said.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 4:09:56 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  like they'd tell us if they had.
Posted by: 2b || 11/28/2004 11:01 Comments || Top||

#2  any intel on Zarqqwi..that is.
Posted by: 2b || 11/28/2004 11:02 Comments || Top||

#3  my thoughts exactly - Z-man could watch Al-Jizz to find out exactly what, when, and how he should make another narrowe escape. Is deliberate stupidity a J-school staple?
Posted by: Frank G || 11/28/2004 11:45 Comments || Top||

#4  Frank G: Yes.
Posted by: RWV || 11/28/2004 13:00 Comments || Top||

#5  I agree completely, the best thing our guys can do is let loose with a blizzard of misinformation about intel and future operations.

The J school guys just HATE misinformation campaigns.......all the more reason to do it.

I bet they are hot on his leperous ass right now from info they have accumulated. Not to mention sources of arms, money etc from neighbors.

It is probably a treasure trove and one big reason why the EU and the three stooges (Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia) are squealing like stuck pigs over our operations in the Sunni Triangle.

I say we have found info that the Frogs are selling arms to the terrorists and getting money from Russia.
Posted by: SOG475 || 11/28/2004 14:08 Comments || Top||

#6  This Zarqawi guy can be baited. His ego will be his downfall - what do we draw him out with?
Posted by: JP || 11/28/2004 14:18 Comments || Top||

#7  westerners with looong necks?
Posted by: Frank G || 11/28/2004 14:22 Comments || Top||

#8  Well, besides Westerners with long necks -

Maybe a Dan Rather interview - a true win win situation no matter what the outcome.
Posted by: JP || 11/28/2004 14:32 Comments || Top||

#9  Turkeys have long necks.
Posted by: Kalle (kafir forever) || 11/28/2004 15:26 Comments || Top||

#10  Pearl Beer has long necks.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 11/28/2004 15:43 Comments || Top||

#11  It is a unique phenomenon we have not faced before I sincerley hope this is not true and the result of a journalist taking a statement out of context. Anyone who has any experience of terrorism knows, while there are the true believers, most terrorists are in it for the money, power, adventure or chicks. Its only in the minds of journalists that these people act from noble reasons.
Posted by: phil_b || 11/28/2004 15:56 Comments || Top||

#12  No new intel on Zarqawi from Fallujah attack

Even more of a reason to not bother with "capturing" any of these people. When they pop their pointy little heads up, blow 'em right off and move on to the next target.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 11/28/2004 16:57 Comments || Top||

#13  I'm OK with that - chlorine in the arab gene pool and reduced costs
Posted by: Frank G || 11/28/2004 17:10 Comments || Top||

#14  I would personally enjoy castrating Zarqawi with a chain saw, if I had the pleasure. Of course, I have some nerve damage, and the saw might SLIP>>> as I lift it into position.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 11/28/2004 21:23 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan/South Asia
Waziristan withdrawl underway
The Pakistani army announced Saturday that it would withdraw hundreds of troops from a tense tribal region near Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden and his top deputy were believed to be hiding. The withdrawals from the South Waziristan area come after several military operations by thousands of troops against bin Laden's al Qaeda organization and its supporters in recent months. Although the tribal region is considered a possible hiding place for bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, a senior Pakistani general said this month that no sign of bin Laden had been found.

The army will remove checkpoints in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain said after meeting with tribal elders Friday. Hussain said the moves were "in return for the support of tribesmen in operations against foreign miscreants." Some troops will remain in the area, he said. "We have been assured by tribal elders that they will not allow miscreants to hide in areas under their control," Hussain said. As many as 8,000 Pakistani troops were deployed in a three-pronged offensive in the eastern reaches of the rugged region this month. U.S. military forces remain largely on the Afghanistan side in hopes of capturing or killing al Qaeda operatives crossing the border.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 3:47:46 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Captured al-Qaeda fighters reveal plan to attack Lahore
The Al Qaeda terrorists arrested on Thursday from Kot Lakhpat, during interrogation, revealed a comprehensive plan to cause mayhem in Lahore, sources told Daily Times on Friday. Sources claimed that the terrorists, Zulfiqar, alias Mithu, and Shahid, were arrested after their brother, Mohammed Imran, who was captured in Peshawar earlier, gave up their whereabouts. The three were allegedly inspired by the teachings of their father, Professor Mehboob, a former schoolteacher.

Sources said that terrorist Muhabat Khan, who was killed during the shootout after which the Al Qaeda terrorists were arrested, and his accomplice, who managed to escape, belonged to Al Qaeda's operation wing and had also fought against the Pakistan army in Wana and against the US army in Afghanistan. Sources said that anti-terrorist personnel seized a black motorcycle and discovered a huge payload of explosives hidden in an underground room at their house, after the detainees disclosed their location. Sources said that Muhabat Khan and his accomplice were bomb experts. They claimed that anti-terrorist personnel had conducted raids all over Lahore on information gathered from the captured terrorists but no arrest had been announced. However, sources claim that officials detained a number of suspects but released them after interrogation. "Muhabat Khan, an Afghan national, escaped from South Waziristan Agency with an accomplice and hid in his friend's house in Kot Lakhpat. An anti-terrorist team raided the house, where a gun battle erupted after the terrorists started firing using assault rifles, pistols and grenades," intelligence officials told Daily Times, adding that at least 200 bullets were fired at anti-terrorist personnel during the clash.

Mohammed Imran, alias Bobby, a Peshawari residing in Bhatti Colony, was arrested after authorities intercepted his conversation with Muhabat Khan via wireless. Investigators made him keep his cell phone and wireless switched on, and receive all calls so that his link with Al Qaeda could be established. During interrogation, Imran confessed that he had given shelter to Muhabat Khan in Lahore. A team acting on his information made Thursday's arrests.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 3:48:44 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Al-Qaeda, IMU using child soldiers in Waziristan
A Pakistani general has accused al-Qaida of using children as fighters in Pakistan's tribal region, and an Uzbek Islamic militant leader of instigating attacks. The general, Safdar Hussain, a military commander in South Waziristan, accused Uzbek Tahir Yuldash of financing and masterminding what he called terrorist attacks in Pakistan, reports the BBC. The information came from three suspected militants from Central Asia who had confessed under interrogation to having received orders from Tahir, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Safdar also accused al-Qaida of using children to carry out militant activities in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. He said most of those arrested in the area were teenagers.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 4:12:43 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  When they start sending out the old men and boys, they're losing.
Posted by: Don || 11/28/2004 11:51 Comments || Top||

#2  In some cultures methinks Don but in others it's highbrow military tactics. Something our highly paid Gens should try, just to see if it will fly.
Posted by: Lucky || 11/28/2004 14:09 Comments || Top||

#3  LOL Lucky!
Posted by: Shipman || 11/28/2004 16:27 Comments || Top||


Al-Qaeda calling in reinforcements in Afghanistan
Al-Qaeda is calling for recruits to come to Afghanistan to reverse momentum toward democracy and stem military victories by the U.S.-led coalition, a top U.S. military commander said.
And they're calling the Faithful to reinforce them in Iraq, too? This is a good sign, I'd say...
Maj. Gen. Rick Olson, second in command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said senior leaders of the Islamic terrorist group, including Osama bin Laden, are operating in northwest Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan, giving direction to the Taliban and foreign fighters. "Do not underestimate what is left of them," Olson said. "They are still a viable organization." Still, Olson said al-Qaeda has been seriously disrupted and the Taliban that once ruled Afghanistan is splintering in the aftermath of the country's first open election. "They have been dealt significant blows," he said. "There is evidence that the Taliban has recognized they have suffered.
"Duh... Dey never laid a glove on us... Say! Is them birdies? I like birdies!... Ummm... Dat ain't blood is it?
"(Intelligence) shows that they are very disappointed they could not stop the election. (They failed) to mount significant attacks that had a negative effect on the coalition or that had succeeded in intimidating the population of Afghanistan." The result is "a number of reports that there is a lot of recrimination and finger-pointing about the failure to get something going, some kind of spectacular event," Olson said.
"Mahmoud! Cut his head off!"
"No, Mahmoud! Cut his head off!"
Intelligence shows "that they know things aren't going the way they like them to go," he said. On Nov. 20, seven Arab fighters were killed in the Barikaw district of eastern Nangarhar province by U.S. and Afghan forces. The Arabs had established a bomb-making factory. Their presence surprised U.S. military leaders who had thought they had eliminated most foreign fighters from Afghanistan. Olson said that while more insurgents now see Iraq as the preferred battleground, al-Qaeda has not given up on Afghanistan.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 11/28/2004 4:08:08 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I like it when they have to send in the bilge rats reserves on both fronts. Shows that they are under considerable strain. Heh heh.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/28/2004 20:59 Comments || Top||


Iraq-Jordan
Japanese troops to stay in Iraq
Japan's defense chief said Sunday that Japanese troops should remain in Iraq until the country is properly rehabilitated, possibly until late 2005. About 500 Japanese troops are helping to rebuild infrastructure in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah, and their mandate is set to expire Dec. 14. The government was planning to assess the situation in Samawah before deciding on a possible extension. Asked about a possible pullout of Japanese troops, Defense Minister Takahiro Ono said that several factors had to be considered, including whether they had fulfilled their mission to help rebuild the war-torn country. ``Another factor to consider is that a mission by multinational troops expires next December - that could be one cutoff point,'' Ono said during an appearance on a morning news program by public broadcaster NHK. Ono was referring to a December 2005 deadline for the mandate of multinational forces in Iraq under a United Nations Security Council resolution.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/28/2004 12:04:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Looks like the Japanese noticed Fallujah and choose to ride the strong horse. Whatever the reason, thanks.
Posted by: RWV || 11/28/2004 1:12 Comments || Top||

#2  A real consideration, and one that often surpasses politics, is how the soldiers themselves speak about their mission. Reports that include comments like "The local people like us", "We are doing good things", and "It would be good to establish a major trade mission here yesterday as there is boucoup money to be made", tend to get strong circulation in the government back home.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 11/28/2004 8:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Send more rice!
Posted by: gromky || 11/28/2004 12:19 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan/South Asia
Kashmir Korpse Kount
A policeman ran amok at a security camp in Indian-controlled Kashmir after an argument and shot dead seven colleagues before he was gunned down, police said on Sunday. It was the latest in a string of such incidents in the divided region. Doctors treating security forces say psychological problems induced by high stress among troops are mostly responsible for such shootings.
"They get kinda looney after they've been here a while. We think it's something in the water."
The incident took place overnight in a Central Reserve Police Force (CPRF) camp in Baramulla district, north of Srinagar, the main city of Jammu and Kashmir state. "A CRPF personnel opened fire on his colleagues after an altercation," a police officer told Reuters. Three were wounded. Militant attacks continue on security forces despite a peace process aimed at resolving the conflicting claims of India and Pakistan for the stunningly beautiful mountains and valleys that make up India's only Muslim-majority state.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/28/2004 12:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:



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Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2004-11-28
  Abizaid calls for bolder action against Salafism
Sat 2004-11-27
  Palestinians Dismantle Gaza Death Group Militia
Fri 2004-11-26
  Zarqawi hollers for help
Thu 2004-11-25
  Syria ready for unconditional talks with Israel
Wed 2004-11-24
  Saudis arrest killers of French engineer
Tue 2004-11-23
  Mass Offensive Launched South of Baghdad
Mon 2004-11-22
  Association of Muslim Scholars has one less "scholar"
Sun 2004-11-21
  Azam Tariq murder was plotted at Qazi's house
Sat 2004-11-20
  Baath Party sets up in Gay Paree
Fri 2004-11-19
  Commandos set to storm Mosul
Thu 2004-11-18
  Zarqawi's Fallujah Headquarters Found
Wed 2004-11-17
  Abbas fails to win Palestinian militant truce pledge
Tue 2004-11-16
  U.S., Iraqi Troops Launch Mosul Offensive
Mon 2004-11-15
  Colin Powell To Resign
Sun 2004-11-14
  Hit attempt on Mahmoud Abbas thwarted

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