Ops and Intel update:
If only the U.S.-Iran confrontation in the Strait of Hormuz last month was so easily sorted out. Last night, an anonymous American general broke some possibly alarming news: Over the weekend, a Russian bomber flew directly over an American aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean, while another came not quite that close, but still too close for comfort, about 60 miles away.
Al-Qaeda In Yemen: Singer Will Die If Song Festival Isn't Canceled
Al-Qaeda in Yemen has issued an announcement threatening the life of Syrian singer Asalah Nasri if the song festival scheduled for Valentine's Day in Aden is not cancelled (see "Public Disagreement Over Yemen Song Festival").
The announcement also stated that Al-Qaeda would not permit the festival to be held, even if it pays a heavy price for stopping it.
Source: Alarabiya.net, February 11, 2008
A few days ago I wrote about a diary written by an Al Qaeda member that was found by coalition forces in a raid on a safe house. The transcript of this diary can be read by all here. A fascinating snippet can be found here.(Hat Tip to Strata-Sphere)
Its group Emir called [redacted] (Detained), and the number of fighters in the Battalion were 200. … The battalion was one of the first battalions whose numbers of fighters was tarnished after Abu-Haydar al-Ansari Battalion, and the number of fighters is now only ten.
Taliban kidnap Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan, demand release of Mansoor Dadullah
Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the tribal areas. Map from PBS' Frontline. Click to view.
On the same day Pakistani security forces captured the former Taliban commander of southern Afghanistan the Taliban retaliated by kidnapping Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan. The Taliban have offered to release Ambassador Tariq Azizuddin in exchange for Mansoor Dadullah.
Ambassador Azizuddin went missing yesterday after travelling from Peshawar to Kabul. He has been reported to have been kidnapped in the town of Jamrood in the Khyber tribal agency as he was traveling to Afghanistan. Ambassador Azizuddin is said to have traveled "without taking a security escort," the BBC reported yesterday. "Mr. Azizuddin is said to have previously travelled to Kabul by road, often without the tribal security escort."
(CBS) U.S. officials are increasingly worried that the next attack on America could be carried out by Americans trained in terror tactics inside al Qaeda's safe-haven in Pakistan, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Orr.
Arrests last month in Barcelona underline the fear. More than a dozen trained suicide bombers - many of them European citizens just back from Pakistan - were taken down as they prepared to launch attacks against transit systems in Spain and four neighboring countries.
"They've realized that if they want to operate successfully, they need to have people who look like us, act like us, and are very difficult to find," said Philip Mudd, a top counter-terrorism official at the FBI.
the bulletin says. The bulletin provides a fresh glimpse of terrorist reports found in computers and disks seized in Pakistan in July. The reports described the casing by terrorists of several buildings in the United States and prompted U.S. authorities to raise the terror threat level earlier this year for high-profile financial facilities in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J. The heightened alert was eased shortly after the Nov. 2 election, and there is no evidence a potential attack ever moved beyond initial planning. "Current intelligence provides no indications that Al Qaeda has operatives to conduct an attack based upon the information in these reports," the eight-page bulletin said. Produced by the FBI and Homeland Security Department, the bulletin was circulated Tuesday to law enforcement, government and industry officials nationwide and obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. The excerpts, according to the bulletin, show that Al Qaeda operatives go well beyond basic description of a potential target to sophisticated analysis of vulnerabilities in building construction, an examination of potential police and emergency response and recommendations for possible methods of attack. In one report, an unidentified Al Qaeda operative notes that a building "is almost completely made to resemble a glass house %u2014 which could be devastating in an emergency scenario … that is to say, that when shattered, each piece of glass becomes a potential flying piece of cutthroat shrapnel!"
U.S. officials say they are worried the next attack on U.S. soil could be by Americans trained in terrorist tactics at al-Qaida safe havens in Pakistan.
Counter-terrorism officials say recent arrests in Spain fuel their concern, CBS News reported Tuesday. More than a dozen trained suicide bombers -- including European citizens recently returning from Pakistan -- were arrested as they allegedly prepared to attack transit systems in Spain and four other countries.
Labels: Ops and Intel UPDATE