Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: 2/10/08 - 2/17/08

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    Saturday, February 16, 2008

    Qods vs Mossad: BLACK OPS

    DEBKAfile: Rival Iranian and Israeli security teams vie for control of Mughniyeh killing’s military backlash

    February 16, 2008, 3:05 PM (GMT+02:00)

    Mossad chief Meir Dagan in battle of wits with Iran's Revolutionary Guards

    Mossad chief Meir Dagan in battle of wits with Iran's Revolutionary Guards

    Hizballah forces went on a state of preparedness in S. Lebanon Saturday, Feb. 16, while the US embassy and its Beirut centers were ordered to be on their guard for attacks, keep a low profile and refrain from using their cell phones.

    Our intelligence sources report that Gen. Ghassem Soleimani, chief of the IRGC’s al Qods Brigades, heads Iranian team, as well an urgent probe of the killing, while Mossad chief Meir Dagan directs the Israeli command center.

    With Tehran gunning for Israel in pursuit of revenge for one of its own, the two duelists are locked in a high-tension battle of wits to control the next steps.

    Some circles in the US postulate that the master of deception may have faked his death to provide Iran, Syria and Hizballah with a pretext for attacking Israel.

    Read more about the latest developments in the Mughniyeh case in DEBKAfile’s Exclusive Report below.
    Full article


    The Iranians are investigating how he was killed.
    And will figure where and when the bomb was installed, what it was made from and any connections that are still alive will be talking.
    The standard of proof is lower but more exacting than a criminal court.

    They are looking for one piece of evidence that points the right direction,
    something they are fairly sure couldn't be set up.

    While the investigation is on going they are also picking targets and teams.

    And the Israelis are watching it all. alerts out for the Iranian hit teams, and harding targets.
    Developing counter-ops and searching for any traps they can lay.

    Both sides are preparing for escalation.
    And the Israelis are know for pre-emptive strikes.

    Expect action in a month or so.


    I. Army on high alert.


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    Taliban obtained lists of the Rotary and Lions

    10 militants held in Karachi plotting against the Lions and Rotary...

    By S. Raza Hassan

    KARACHI, Feb 15: Police have arrested 10 members of a militant organisation linked to the Taliban. They were planning massive terror attacks in the city during the elections, a senior police official said on Friday.

    Addressing a press conference, IG Sindh Azhar Ali Farooqi said the militant outfit, Tehrik-i-Islami Lashkar-i-Muhammadi, had ties with Mullah Dadullah, Taliban Commandar Tahir and Sirajul Haq Haqqani. A large quantity of explosives found in their possession was seized.

    He said the group was planning attacks on political and religious leaders and philanthropists, adding that it had also obtained lists of members of the Rotary and Lions clubs and Theosophical Society.

    "They had plans to sabotage the election process. The city and the province as a whole have been saved from a major disaster," Mr Farooqi said.

    According to a press release issued by the Sindh police, a warning letter by the group addressed to military institutions, intelligence agencies and police read: "You people have become part of the conspiracies hatched by the infidels. You have lost the difference between friends and foes and you are fighting against your fellow countrymen and the Mujahideen. Now you have two options before you -- become protectors of Islam and the country and turn against those who order you to act against the fellow countrymen."

    Mr Farooqi said the arrested men were formerly members of other banned outfits, like Jaish-i-Mohammed and Harkatul Mujahideen, but after the Lal Masjid operation they formed a group of their own because their former organisations had 'deviated' from their mission.

    About their funding, the IG said that the main financier of the group had been identified as Mohammad Hassan Hamid Amir who was absconding. The group also looted banks to generate funds, he said.

    The IG Sindh said that police had also seized a lab in the Korangi Industrial Area where new recruits were given training in making bomb and booby traps and in spying techniques. The men were involved in the killing of Liaquat Husain, Dara Feroz Mirza and Dr Hameedullah.

    SP Operations CID Raja Umar Khattab told Dawn that the group had got information from the three victims about members of the Rotary and Lions clubs and Theosophical Society for preparing a hit-list.

    In 2007, the outfit looted 150 walky-talkies and laptops from a shop. The looted items were handed over to Taliban Commandar Tahir in Sohrab Goth who delivered them to Dadullah.

    The arrested men are Asif Iqbal alias K. Area Wala, Yasir Afaq alias Nasir alias Saad, Mohammad Jan alias Mustafa, Abdul Wahid alias Zubair, Ziaul Abdeen alias Zain, Mohammad Asif, Inyatullah Khan alias Tauseef, Mohammad Arshad alias Asad, Mohammad Zeeshan alias Shani alias Mustan Baloch and Mohammad Ahmed alias Waseem.

    Two members of the group, Mohammad Kashif and Mohammad Bin Ahmed, were arrested in 2007. Police seized three SMGs, one rifle, two pistols, four hand-grenades, 30 detonators, two bombs, 5kg of petroleum jelly ( Thats about 12 pounds, G), five walky-talkies, 10kg of RDX, 15kg of prepared explosive, CDs, maps, hundreds of bullets and two motorcycles.


    5kg of petroleum jelly, 12 lbs?
    What were they going to do with that, maybe getting greased for the up comming spring offensive, as they know they are going to get it in the ......



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    Will Musharraf "Lose" These Elections?

    Will Musharraf "Lose" These Elections?

    Posted February 15, 2008 | 04:55 PM (EST)

    As the days wind down to the national and provincial assemblies elections in Pakistan on February 18, the one man on the political scene who is not, in fact, running faces the serious prospect that he may end up in the losing column. President Pervez Musharraf, sans his general's uniform and the rank and power of Chief of Army Staff, appears increasingly to be the single most important issue on which Pakistanis citizens at large, and the political parties that are hoping to make a comeback, are focused. Having transformed Pakistan from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential system in which he controls the levers of political power, he resorted late last year to extra-constitutional measures to have himself re-elected president and then shed his uniform. Later, he got his own compliant supreme court to ratify all his extra-legal measures. But, if current public opinion trends hold up, he may well lose his hold on the country.

    The rising unhappiness with Musharraf has allowed the opposition Pakistan Muslim League of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan People's Party of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to coalesce against him. Meanwhile, numerous polls conducted by local and foreign agencies appear to signal a rising wave of disappointment with Musharraf's regime, with more than two-thirds of Pakistanis calling for his immediate resignation.

    Of the issues that have helped focus the negative sentiments against him are inflation, which is rampant and rising, and lack of security. An unseemly public spat between the Finance Minister and the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan that acts as the guardian of the monetary policy on measures to control inflation has added to the public's confusion. On the security front, the government has lost ground continuously since last year, ceding territory not only in the badlands of the North West Frontier Province to the homegrown neo-Taliban but also in the heartland of that province and elsewhere.

    Even the Interior Ministry acknowledges that of the 64,175 polling stations being set up for Monday's elections almost one-third 19,380 have been declared 'sensitive,' that is dangerous and demanding the presence of police, paramilitary rangers, and even the army to provide security. Of these, the number of 'most sensitive polling stations' stands at 8,928 -- 3,787 in Punjab, 1,575 in Sindh, 1,094 in the NWFP, 1,350 in Balochistan and 1,122 in FATA (the Federally Administered Tribal Areas that abut Afghanistan).

    The Interior Ministry spokesman, according to report in DAWN newspaper, deemed some areas in the NWFP, Balochistan, FATA, and Sindh as 'high-risk'. They are Swat, Shangla, Lower Dir, Malakand Agency, Hangu and Tank and Bannu in the NWFP; South Waziristan Agency, North Waziristan Agency, Mohmand Agency, Bajaur Agency, FR Kohat, Darra Adam Khel and Bannu in Fata; parts of the riverine belt known as Kacha Area in Sindh; and Kohlu, Dera Bugti and Killa Abdullah in Balochistan. These are probably the areas where the regular army will be deployed, to provide security but to help conduct the polling, a point that the new army chief has underlined repeatedly.

    To add to the public deep concern about safety, there has been a rise in terrorist actions against the Pakistan army at its very heart, in Rawalpindi, the garrison city next to Islamabad where the army headquarters are located. There is broad agreement that these attacks have been prompted by Islamist militants angered by Musharraf's take-over of the Red Mosque in a bitter shoot-out last year in the heart of Islamabad. So, he has now become the lightning rod for attack on the armed forces. Further, election rallies of the mainstream Awami National Party have been hit with suicide bombings in the NWFP.

    Musharraf must have been unhappy to read about the meetings held by his erstwhile political ally Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and head of the Pakistan Muslim League Q group (known widely as the King's Party because it supported Musharraf) with the religious leader of the Red Mosque militants, who is in prison. Hussain is reported to have suggested that he would try to get him released but failed to make a deal with the incarcerated Mullah. Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the PML Q, Mushahid Hussain (not related to his party chief), appeared to distance himself from Musharraf's policies by suggesting that the leaders of the lawyers' movement, including the Pakistan Peoples' Party leader Aitzaz Ahsan, be freed.

    If the pre-rigging that is being widely alleged does not take hold and derail the electoral process on February 18, and instead people cast their ballots freely on the basis of the deteriorating economic situation and inflation on the one hand and the lack of security on the other, Musharraf may end up being the biggest loser when the results are announced. Under that scenario, the opposition parties may garner enough seats to overturn many of his fiats of dubious legal validity of the recent past. This time around, he may not have the coercive power of the army behind him, an army whose new chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has been signaling a shift in its internal priorities from political involvement to professionalism. Musharraf may thus find himself isolated and abandoned by his supporters. If the PML Q manages to eke out a win then street protests may erupt across the country, adding to the violence from terrorism

    The prospects for change loom large on the Pakistani political scene in the weeks ahead.

    Shuja Nawaz is the author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its army, and the wars within for Oxford University Press, due April 2008. He regularly appears as a commentator on television, radio, and at think tanks.


    JHANG, Pakistan — The reputed leader of a banned Islamic militant group that has worked closely with the Afghan Taliban — and by extension with al Qaida — is running for parliament in Pakistan's general election on Monday, despite the country's key role as an ally in the U.S. "war on terror."

    Mohammad Ahmad Ludhianvi is running as an independent in the central town of Jhang in Pakistan's populous Punjab province, but he's widely regarded as the head of the proscribed extremist organization Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan.

    The bearded cleric stands a very good chance of winning Monday, according to local officials. Sipah-e-Sahaba was founded in 1985 in Jhang, where it still enjoys its strongest following. Its rise to influence has been built on the economic divide between the richer landowning inhabitants of the area, who come from the minority Shiite sect of Islam, and the poorer Sunni population.


    If Musharraf looses expect a new outbreak of terrorism as they test the new leadership.
    A measure in force. Polls in South Waziristan and Taliban controlled areas should be free of violence, unless monitors and police show up. The Taliban are preparing to stuff ballot boxes in locations thys control, and deeply involved in election fraud in areas they can't control, sending in Afghan Pashtoons into Paki to vote for "their" candidates.

    Expect more suicide bombers in areas they can't control or get carpet baggers into to vote. Trying to scare away voters in anti-Taliban areas.

    Regardless of out come expect an uptick in terrorist activities and attacks against the Government. The Taliban can't control the Government yet, even through votes.
    They are using this time to reconnoiter targets and regroup for the coming spring offensive.

    The Paki Government continue to make inroads to Intelligence source with in the Taliban and develope Intelligence on locations of key players. Paki Intelligence has been playing the great game longer than ANYONE else.

    Paki and the Great Game.

    Taliban spring offensive PLANS.


    Comment moved to post:
    From Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group
    I see indications of a blockade to starve NATO out of Afghanistan



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    Fireworks, flags and fury as Kosovo set for rebirth

    By Catherine Philp in Pristina
    Saturday February 16 2008

    The world's newest nation will be born this weekend to mass celebrations on the streets of Kosovo and fireworks of a very different kind on the international stage.

    Thousands of red-and-black flags fluttered from buildings across Kosovo, alongside the flags of the US, Britain and NATO -- a mark of appreciation for their efforts in freeing the province from Serbian rule.

    Serbia, furious at the imminent loss of a region that it regards as the cradle of its Church and nation, has said that it will battle to prevent Kosovo's independence becoming a reality.

    Russia joined Serbia in opposition to Kosovo's supporters at the UN, but the fierce rhetoric looked unlikely to derail the march towards independence, carefully planned and agreed with the European Union.

    In often tense discussions behind closed doors, the US reminded Serbia of the role that it had played in bringing about Kosovo's secession, arguing it was an exceptional case made inevitable by the brutal repression unleashed by Belgrade to crush the ethnic Albanian rebellion.

    About 3,000 people were killed and 900,000 forced from their homes in 1999 as Serbian security forces moved to expel ethnic Albanians.


    At the time they made up nearly 90pc of the population.

    "The ethnic cleansing policies of Slobodan Milosevic ensured that Kosovo would never again be ruled from Belgrade," Alejandro Wolff, the US deputy ambassador, said. Hashim Thaci, the prime minister of Kosovo, refused to confirm the exact time and date of the declaration, although it is widely expected to come at midnight tomorrow.

    Belgrade has threatened to downgrade diplomatic ties with countries that support Kosovo's move towards becoming a sovereign state.

    And its actions on the ground may be more damaging.

    The northern half of Kosovo could be plunged into darkness if Serbia cuts off its supplies of power and water, as has been threatened, and an economic blockade could block vital trade. Fears of violence from Kosovo's Serb minority rose yesterday with an announcement from Serbian leaders that they would not recognise secession.

    Some 10pc of seats in the parliament in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, are reserved for Serbs, but are empty because of a boycott of the elections.

    That was prompted in part by pressure from Belgrade, to which Kosovo's 100,000 Serbs look for jobs, schools, healthcare and welfare payments. (© The Times, London)

    - Catherine Philp in Pristina

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    Thursday, February 14, 2008

    Oh yeah, Watch this!!

    Sometime in the next 11 days, a Navy cruiser is going to aim a missile just above the atmosphere, and try to take out a malfunctioning spy satellite before it crashes to Earth -- and maybe releases a toxic gas in the process.

    Defense Department officials detailed the shoot down operation, in a briefing with reporters Thursday afternoon.

    The 5,000-pound National Reconnaissance Office surveillance satellite was pronounced dead just a few hours after it was inserted into orbit, on Dec. 14, 2006.

    The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

    This January, the U.S. military realized that the satellite was beginning its descent down into the atmosphere, Deputy National Security Advisor James Jeffrey noted. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be much cause for concern; objects of this size plummet into the Earth's atmosphere all the time. But this satellite contains a full tank -- over 1,000 pounds' worth -- of the rocket propellant hydrazine. And there's a small but real risk that the tank could rupture, releasing a "toxic gas" over a "populated area," causing a "risk to human life."

    The chances of "hitting land or a person as a hunk" are low, added Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Gen. James Cartwright. "What's different here is the hydrazine."

    The plan is to fire a modified SM-3 interceptor at the satellite....

    The take down attempt could come as early as three or four days from now. After that, there will be a window of seven to eight days in which a shot will be possible.

    "This is the first time we've used a tactical missile to engage a spacecraft," Cartwright said.

    1. The intercept will occur at 240 kilometers (130 nautical miles)
    2. The mass of the satellite is 2,300 kg (5,000 pounds)
    3. The mass of the interceptor is 20 kg. (From CBO)
    4. The closing velocity will be 9.8 km/s (22,000 mph), suggesting a virtually head-on collision.

    Other pertinent observations. At 240 km, the satellite should be traveling 7.8 km/s; the SM-3 has a burnout velocity of 3 km/s.
    SOURCE: Wired,

    Sm3bSometime in the next 11 days, a


    Shooting down a satellite is particularly sensitive because of the controversy surrounding China's anti-satellite test last year, when Beijing shot down one of its defunct weather satellites, drawing immediate criticism from the U.S. and other countries.

    There is a more important message here,
    Iran, get it into orbit and USA can still shoot it down,

    with what USA has on hand now,
    from a ship at sea,
    any where in the world.
    From over the horizon to space to over the horizon.


    The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


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    "Briliant readers"


    542 visitors ( at some point during the day )

    55.2% direct, from "favs" our URL storred on users PC
    33.0% searches, one third came from search engines.
    11.8% other sites, Other blogs quoting us.

    The direct figure is remarkably high, 8>.

    Our demographic.



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    Well I'm Scared

    Lets see we haved al Qaeda begging for money.

    Running out of suicide bombers so they trick retarded women, may Allah welcome them, they have no guilt, into becoming suicide bombers.

    And the ISI leaders abscond with all the funds, leaving them begging.

    Bin Laden is on O2 if he is alive.

    Bombing Mosques, market places, killing women and child
    Beheading and burning victims alive.

    al Qaeda has no SHAME...
    Allah said: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter." 33:Al-Maeda .

    We are witnessing the demise of al Qaeda, watching its death throes.
    al Qaeda is scared, very scared. They are turning into a bogyman.

    Asking the Lord to accept. The overall objective of this bulletin : Brothers and sisters urged to publish this article to relatives and friends, and in the mosques, and every person standing on the Internet Through the printing and distribution of the bulletin, and read on boards and also through sent by e-mail and e-mail Different groups, and chat rooms. , and other ideas that have the positive impact

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    Israel's army: High Alert

    Israel’s army chief orders IDF land, sea and air forces to prepare to defend the country’s northern borders and interests

    February 14, 2008, 2:24 PM (GMT+02:00)

    Heavy Israeli military reinforcements, including homeland defense units, were rushed Thursday to northern Israel.

    Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi gave these orders Thursday, Feb. 14, 24 hours after a bomb killed Hizballah’s military commander Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus.

    DEBKAfile’s military sources report that he took these unprecedented steps following a stream of incoming intelligence updates reporting that Iran, Syria and Hizballah had decided not to let Mughniyeh’s death pass without an immediate response.

    Israeli forces have been placed on the highest level of preparedness against possible Syrian or Hizballah cross-border strikes. Rocket attacks by Hizballah against Israeli civilians are also taken into account, as well as possible Syrian air force incursions into Israel air space.

    Jerusalem has denied Hizballah and Iranian allegations of responsibility for the death of the Lebanese master terrorist.



    The wet work


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    Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    $200,000 or your Child dead, beheaded

    Malalai Ishaqzai was anxious to tell her story.

    "The Taliban kidnapped my 21-year-old son Mustafa," she said. "They demanded a ransom of $200,000 or else they said they would kill him," she told NBC News. "Then they ordered me to give up my job."

    Ishaqzai, 36, is the mother of seven and, as a member of the Afghan parliament, one of the few female politicians in this male-dominated society. She is a prominent figure and well-known in the Afghan capital.

    Image: Kidnap victim Mustafa Ishaqzai
    Iqbal Sapand / NBC News
    Mustafa, after having survived being kidnapped by the Taliban, safely back at home with his mother, Malalai Ishaqzai, in Kabul.

    News of the kidnapping recently surfaced and had become a hot conversation topic in Kabul.

    NBC News went to visit Ishaqzai at her home in an upscale Kabul neighborhood. The family lives well, at least by Afghan standards. An antique red Bokhara carpet covered the entire length of the living room in their fourth-floor apartment. It was bitter cold outside, but it had finally stopped snowing, and it was warm inside thanks to a gas heater.

    A houseboy brought tea and Ishaqzai began to tell her story.

    Horrific story
    "One evening, my son, Mustafa, and his friend, Nek, decided to drive from our home in Kandahar back to Kabul – about a seven-hour drive," Ishaqzai said in a quiet voice as she recalled the story.

    "Near the Liwanai Bazaar in Ghazni province, about half way to Kabul – at exactly the same place where the 23 South Korean missionaries were abducted last year – six men brandishing Kalashnikovs stopped their car, checked the license plates and asked which one was Mustafa. Then they wanted to know where I was," she said.

    Mustafa had come into the room by now to join us and interrupted his mother. He was clean-shaven and dressed in Western clothes; he seemed to be still in shock.

    "Some men, with their faces covered, were standing on the road and aimed a gun at my car," he said. "I had to stop."

    "They checked my license plate numbers against a piece of paper which one of them was carrying. I heard one of them say, ‘The numbers match,’" Mustafa said. "They were looking specifically for me."

    "‘I am Mustafa,’ I said. And then I asked them, ‘Who are you?’"

    At this point Mustafa looked over at his mother, who began to cry.

    "They slapped me twice on my face and said, ‘We are Taliban. Where is Malalai?’" he said, referring to his mother.

    Big business
    Kidnapping for ransom has become a big propaganda business for the Taliban and a seemingly sure road to easy money. The money raised from ransoms paid goes toward purchasing weapons and funding the insurgency.

    Shortly after 23 South Koreans were kidnapped by Taliban militants as they traveled by bus from Kabul to Kandahar on July 19, the South Korean government entered into direct talks with the Taliban.

    More than six weeks after the kidnapping, a deal was reached in which the South Korean government reaffirmed a promise to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by the end of the 2007. Seoul also said it would prevent South Korean Christian missionaries from working in the staunchly Islamic country, something it had already promised to do.

    Some reports said that a ransom of $10 million was paid for the release of the group, but the South Korean government denies the charge and said no money changed hands to secure the hostages release.

    The deal reached between the Taliban and the South Koreans was a big win for the Taliban. It gave the militant group the recognition and power it craves and increased their political legitimacy by showing they could negotiate successfully with a foreign government.

    South Korea is not the only country accused of paying for the release of hostages. Germany, France and Italy have all reportedly paid huge sums to the Taliban to secure the release of prisoners.

    No mercy
    Ishaqzai was well aware that the Taliban show no restraint, and typically behead their captives when their demands are not met.

    "I kept calling his phone," she said. "Finally someone picked up and told me my son had an accident and couldn't speak."

    By now, Ishaqzai knew that something terrible had happened. She left Kabul and went back home to Kandahar, her ancestral home, in the southeast of the country. The city is also the home and the spiritual base of the Taliban. She begged local officials in Kandahar to intervene. But no one was able, or willing, to help her.

    "Five days went by and finally I got a call from my son's phone," she said.

    "‘I am Mullah Abdullah Jan Mansoor,’" Ishaqzai said the caller introduced himself. "‘I am the man who has kidnapped your son. If you want him and his friend back alive, you have to do as I tell you.’"

    Ishaqzai knew she was speaking to the same person who had kidnapped the South Korean missionaries.

    The Taliban demanded that all their people be freed from the government jails or else her son and his friend would die. Ishaqzai took the demands to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but he refused to intervene. Karzai has come under intense criticism in the West for negotiating with the Taliban and bowing to their demands.

    She then went to her tribal elders in Kandahar who contacted the Taliban and worked out a deal for the release of the boys.

    "My tribal elders convinced them I could not pay such a huge amount and that it was very important for our tribe that I represent them in parliament," Ishaqzai said. "In the end, my brother paid $100,000, but only my son was released."

    Mustafa's friend Nek was beheaded before his eyes.

    "They made me watch them do it," Mustafa said, "I saw his blood and then I fainted. I miss my friend; it is all my fault that he is dead."


    The Taliban are under orders "NO MORE BEHEADINGS" , SEEMS Omar can't control
    Mullah Abdullah Jan Mansoor. He does as he likes.




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    Talibans spring offensive: DETAILS

    Talibans plans for the spring offensive.
    The best analysis I've seen so far.
    I don't agree with everything but I think
    the overview is accurate G

    Ceasefire: A lull before the storm
    By Syed Saleem Shahzad Feb 9, 2008 Asia Times Online, Hong Kong
    PESHAWAR, North-West Frontier Province - The ceasefire deal between the Pakistani security forces and a leading member of the al-Qaeda-linked Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, brokered by two stalwart Afghan commanders who persuaded Mehsud to stay in Afghanistan, is just the lull before a big storm and the beginning of a new chapter of militancy in Pakistan.

    On Thursday, the government officially announced a ceasefire in the restive South Waziristan tribal area on the border with Afghanistan. At the same time, Mehsud's spokesperson announced a ceasefire throughout the country.

    "A ceasefire has been agreed. This is why there has been little by way of major exchange of fire in the past few days," a senior Pakistani official said on Thursday night.

    Over the past few months, Mehsud, a hardline Takfiri - a believer in waging war against any non-practicing Muslims - has become isolated from the Taliban leadership, with Mullah Omar "sacking" him because of his fixation in waging war against the Pakistan state. Mehsud has widely been accused of complicity in the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpinidi on December 27.

    The ceasefire deal, brokered by Taliban commanders Sirajuddin Haqqani and Maulvi Bakhta Jan, is face-saving for both the militants and the security forces and provides them with breathing space; they had reached a stalemate in South Waziristan.

    The militants had laid siege to the main military camps at Razmak Fort and Ladha, and were firing missiles and mortars from three sides into the camps, at the same time cutting off their supply lines.

    Earlier, commandos from Pakistan's Special Services Group launched an operation to catch Mehsud, but the mission only resulted in them losing several score men and the militants about a dozen.

    At this point, Islamabad reached the conclusion that its only option was to unleash an aerial assault on suspected militant camps. However, local tribal elders intervened and assured the authorities they would get Mehsud to retreat.

    Once this was guaranteed, the authorities accepted with alacrity, mindful of the parliamentary elections scheduled for February 18 and the demoralization of their troops in the bitterly cold weather and harsh terrain.

    It's not over yet
    The Afghan Taliban see the ceasefire as the ideal opportunity to step up their preparations for their annual spring offensive - they rely heavily on the Pakistan border areas for manpower and provisions.

    Acutely aware of this, the US State Department has indicated its disapproval of the ceasefire. A ceasefire in North Waziristan in September 2006 - after partial ones beginning in April of that year - led to the Taliban's strongest showing in the battlefield since being ousted in 2001.

    Even before Thursday's ceasefire, the Taliban's preparations in the strategic backyard of Pakistan were well underway. This included the isolation of Mehsud and appointing a new team of commanders in the Pakistani tribal areas. Most of the new appointments are Afghans, to signify the importance of fighting a war in Afghanistan rather than in Pakistan. The two main commanders are Abdul Wali in Bajaur Agency and Ustad Yasir in Khyber Agency.

    A key component of the Taliban's offensive this year will be to counter the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO's) plans against them and al-Qaeda.

    Last year, the New York Times published a story of a classified US military proposal to intensify efforts to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. This was to be part of a broader effort to bolster the Pakistani forces against an expanding militancy, US military officials said.

    This would include pumping more military trainers into Pakistan, providing direct finance to a tribal paramilitary force that until now has proved largely ineffective, and providing funds for smaller militias to fight against the militants. The US currently has only about 50 troops in Pakistan, according to the Pentagon, and this number could grow by dozens under the new approach.

    A contact affiliated with al-Qaeda told Asia Times Online on condition of anonymity, "Pakistan has already tried to revive an outdated tribal system to counter the Taliban, but by killing tribal elders in Waziristan, the Taliban effectively stopped that scheme. ( My sources say the Taliban killed 108 tribal leaders, who opposed them. G ) Now the Americans and the Pakistani government are working on tribal elders of the Shinwari and Afirdi tribes of Khyber Agency, which is the main route of NATO supplies to Afghanistan. Approximately 80% of supplies pass through this route.

    "But since the Taliban want to chop off NATO supplies from Pakistan into Afghanistan, the Pakistani Taliban have warned these tribal elders to stay away from the conflict. However, the elders have received huge bribes [funds] from NATO, and so they are obsessed with providing protection to the supply convoys. Therefore, the Taliban will increase their activities in Khyber Agency, which means a war with the elders of the Shinwari and Afirdi tribes," the contact said.

    The second sector of Taliban activity will be in Nooristan and Kunar provinces in Afghanistan, where US forces are conducting huge counter-insurgency operations.

    "This year, the Taliban will focus their main attention on a new plan specifically aimed at Kunar and Nooristan. The details of the plan cannot be revealed at this point," said the contact.

    The contact said that the al-Qaeda camp in Pakistan is convinced that American pressure will be so strong that the ceasefire will not be long-term.

    This perception is not without substance. Wana military airfield in South Waziristan and Miranshah airfield in North Waziristan have been upgraded from makeshift airstrips into proper runways with backup facilities, which indicate plans for a powerful air operation.

    The deployment of US forces at Lowari Mandi and Ghulman Khan checkpoints (both on the Afghan side of the border near North Waziristan) and the construction of a new military camp near Shawal (North Waziristan), on the Afghan side, indicate that the US is not planning on peace for very long.

    The only real issue is which side will strike first, and where.

    Al-Qaeda sets sight on the next battlefield;

    PESHAWAR, North-West Frontier Province - Despite last week's ceasefire agreement between the Pakistani security forces and the Pakistani Taliban in the tribal areas, it is clear that a major regional battle between al-Qaeda and the Western coalition is still pending, starting in Pakistan.

    US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, during a visit to Germany on Sunday, did not mince his words in saying that al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in Pakistan's northwest frontier region pose a direct threat to the Islamabad government.

    The remaining issue is who strikes first, and against whom.

    "Undoubtedly, we are under observation, especially those who live in the cities," says a Pakistani and a member of al-Qaeda's shura (council) who spoke to this correspondent in Peshawar.

    "We can sense a big operation is being planned against us in Pakistan's cities, but perhaps the security agencies will not get the chance to strike first," says the man, speaking under the nom de plume of Abu Haris.

    "Pakistan's fears are not without basis. After Lal Masjid [Red Mosque operation in Islamabad last year in which the radical mosque was stormed], Sheikh [Osama bin Laden] personally appointed an amir [chief] for Pakistan for khuruj [revolt]. The decision got the approval of the shura and then an organization was set up in various Pakistani cities," the al-Qaeda member says.

    "They were given resources and recently a new amir was appointed [the change was due to some unavoidable circumstances]. However, the greatest shock [for us] was in Karachi, where members of Jundullah [Army of God - a militant organization that targets the Pakistan state] were arrested. But we will recover and the arrests did not expose the identities of others as we have worked a lot to plug loopholes in our organization," Abu Haris says. (See Shootout echoes across Pakistan Asia Times Online, January 31, 2007.)

    He says different people have different tasks and although the cells do meet together in the Waziristan tribal areas, they are not aware of each other's locations or precise tasks and operations.

    Abu Haris believes this approach has saved the organization from being penetrated by intelligence agencies, which is why the rate of arrests of al-Qaeda members has dwindled in recent months.

    Abu Haris is assigned by al-Qaeda to Pakistan, which means the cities, not the tribal areas. He says al-Qaeda has not only revived the structure that was destroyed after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, but has greatly expanded its work.

    Largely known as an Arab organization, al-Qaeda has now absorbed thousands of former members of Pakistani jihadi organizations, given them representation in the shura and delegated them operations in Pakistan.

    Abu Haris is an example of this. He was a member of the banned Lashkar-i-Toiba, which concentrated its operations on Kashmir, but he is now a member of al-Qaeda's shura and in charge of a cell operating in the Peshawar Valley.

    "The nature of operations and policies is different in Afghanistan, entirely different from those in the tribal areas, and now we have a completely different approach in Pakistani cities," Abu Haris said.
    The post-ceasefire suicide bombing in the town of Charsadda in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) at the weekend illustrates this. At least 25 people were killed and more than 40 injured in an attack on a rally of the Awami National Party - a secular, ethnic Pashtun group - ahead of national elections scheduled for February 18.

    The plan of khuruj
    The addition of former jihadis, who were trained by Pakistani intelligence to fight in Indian-held Kashmir, and some retired Pakistani army officers to al-Qaeda's ranks has brought about a major change in the group's operational approach.

    Al-Qaeda began to concentrate more on strategic matters and an intelligence and review committee was formed. This is run by Pakistanis based in Pakistani cities. One of their tasks is to cull media sources for items on issues ranging from United States and European Union policy to matters concerning al-Qaeda. They then prepare summary papers and analysis which is passed on to members of the shura and high command.

    For instance, recently the committee analyzed the issue of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, which has been much in the spotlight amid Western fears of it falling into militant hands. There has even been talk of the US trying to take control of it. However, the al-Qaeda assessment was that staff at the nuclear facilities was "patriotic, clean and better Muslims than the military leadership" and that any intervention by the Americans would be strongly resisted. ( What also seems to be unsaid is any intervention by the Taliban would be strongly resisted, also. G )

    Al-Qaeda's shura makes all decisions, including the religious and strategic assessment of any project, for instance the decision to stage a khuruj was approved by Bin Laden last year.

    The shura discussed the religious justification of khuruj and after long debate agreed it was essential for Pakistan. The religious requirements to launch khuruj include the appointment of an "amir of khuruj".

    According to sharia law, khuruj against rulers can only be launched when the chances of success are good. ( So al Qaeda and the Taliban some how convinced them they could win. G )

    "It [khuruj] will be different from isolated attacks, rather it will be collective actions of revolt throughout Pakistani cities. This is what khuruj is by strategy and according to the demands of sharia," Abu Haris said.

    All the same, al-Qaeda is aware it doesn't have the following such as the Iranian revolution had in 1979 when the Shah was swept out of power. Al-Qaeda's strength in urban centers is estimated at not much more than a few thousand. ( So if it looks like they are going to loose
    there goes khuruj. G )

    All the same, Abu Haris is confident. "Just a few steps would be enough to break the binding forces of the country, and then it will fall into our hands," he says. "For instance, there are two major [oil] refineries in the country. If we were to blow them, the country would face a severe energy crisis. Everything would come to a halt and riots would erupt. There are already so many divisions in the country that the riots would bring it to the verge of collapse.

    "The Pakistani army would be incapable of containing this. The 1965 war [with India] is evidence. Pakistan opened up a front in Indian Kashmir and in retaliation the Indians went for large-scale war ... the fact is that the Pakistani army was demoralized and desertions were rampant.

    "We assess that any large-scale operation would break the army and Pakistan, and this would be a blessing for us. Of course, the Indians would take advantage of the situation and that's why we have a plan to immediately spread this war to the whole region, including India and Afghanistan," Abu Haris explains, basing his arguments on information from al-Qaeda's intelligence and review committee.

    Pakistan in peril? Pakistan and al-Qaeda have had an informal agreement that al-Qaeda will not be targeted if it respects the sanctity of Pakistan. ( We also have said this. G ) Certainly, the Pakistani security forces - mostly under US duress - have launched many operations in the tribal areas, but the militants have generally responded by only fighting against the security forces.

    However, the recent arrests in Karachi stunned General Headquarters in Rawalpindi as they came to appreciate the full extent of al-Qaeda's plans for sabotage in the cities.

    Pakistani intelligence agencies were aware to some extent of the problem of militancy, but preferred not to tackle it head-on lest it explode in their faces.

    Another incident also jolted the Pakistani army. Intelligence had been reporting for the past year of the presence of militants in Dara Adam Khail, in NWFP, but the army ignored the warnings. However, when militants seized the strategic Peshawar-Kohat tunnel, which cut off NWFP from the rest of the country, and with it military supplies, the army was shocked.

    Retired Brigadier Mehmood Shah, a former secretary of FATA (the Federally Administered Tribal Areas) , commented to a national TV network, "I don't think that ordinary Taliban are behind such a sophisticated military strategy, which cuts off military supply lines. Only national armies can plan such operations. I think there is some external hand behind that operation."

    However, this assessment ignores developments. The forms of militancy have changed. It is nothing like the tribal rebellion against British India when guerrilla war meant firing on military convoys from behind rocks. The touch of the military brains (see Military brains plot Pakistan's downfall Asia Times Online, September 26, 2007) has brought sophistication to the militancy.

    In addition to mainstream al-Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban, many unnamed militant groups operate with different agendas, and they are little-know to Pakistani intelligence.

    Many analysts believe Pakistan has undergone a major shift in its policies in the tribal areas and that last week's ceasefire is a manifestation of this.

    "It is an illusion to think Pakistan has changed its policies. American pressure is so immense that Pakistan just would not dare to change its policies. They will definitely come after us, but this time we will not give them the chance of first strike," Abu Haris says.

    Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at

    Published Wednesday, February 13, 2008 4:52 PM by admin



    Macro view of Taliban/Poshtoon Situation.

    Omar fired who? B.M.

    Taliban as Tribe

    What next in South Waziristan?

    Internet Anthropologist Team, Cyber warrior station.



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    'Al Qaeda is not interested in Afghanistan'

    Who is this talking, does he makes sense.

    'Al Qaeda is not interested in Afghanistan'

    What is the difference between the Taliban and Al Qaeda?

    Only 20 percent of insurgents who form the core of Taliban are fighting the ideological war. The rest are aggrieved tribes who have been mistreated by some government officials or drug trafficker or some foreign intelligence operators or by the transnational Al Qaeda terrorists. It also consists of unemployed youth and criminal groups. All these are alliance of convenience. They are fighting for different reasons.

    Al Qaeda is a transnational organisation. They are not even interested in Afghanistan or Pakistan. They are waging a global war. Taliban is in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Al Qaeda is also based in the tribal areas of Pakistan. There are elements in the Taliban that are not ideologically motivated. They are not that dangerous. There are ways to bring them back. They can be motivated to return. Those who will not settle for less than overthrowing of the regime, I don't think there will be any way for them to reconcile.

    How come they are getting support from the same people who were victims of the Taliban before 9/11?

    Yes but they still don't like the Taliban. They don't see the Taliban as the alternative to the current political transition. However, when people see that government is not present or when they see that the government cannot protect them they sit on the fence. All the surveys indicate that only a few people actively support Taliban. Most surveys claim that only 10 percent of the people are fighting for Taliban and 20 percent are fighting for the government, while 70 percent are sitting on the fence. While they don't want the Taliban to come back they don't want to risk their life on behalf of the government that can neither protect them nor provide services to them.

    Do you think if the proposal which recommends that Taliban becomes part of the Afghan process, stability may come?

    Forget about the Taliban, whoever is fighting the government if they come and renounce violence and accept the constitution I think there is a place for all of them.

    Are they looking for political Islam?

    Political Islam or no political Islam as long as they are non-violent there is a place for them. Once they adopt violence to overthrow the government Taliban or no Taliban they are not acceptable to Afghanistan.

    Do you agree with the perception that NATO's operation in Afghanistan is failing?

    Some things are positive but some problems persist. The positive thing is that Afghans support the presence of NATO. We are worried that NATO will leave before the Afghans are able to fend for themselves. The problem is that within NATO different countries have different mandates, different instructions for their operations. Some countries are willing to fight militarily and some are not. Some countries think that their mandate is for peace-keeping and stabilisation, some think that stabilisation and peace will not come without defeating insurgencies and establishing security in those areas. It is not that NATO cannot work. The insurgencies cannot be defeated militarily but it should not lose militarily either.

    So do you think NATO is a success in Afghanistan?

    There are many NATO countries fighting gallantly in Afghanistan. Generally speaking, without NATO Afghanistan will slide back into chaos. Because Afghanistan has first hand experience that when it is weak it has many neighbours who take advantage of it.

    Afghan politician Ali A Jalali is a visiting fellow for Institute of National Strategic Studies in Washington, DC. He was better known as an interior minister in President's Hamid Karzai government struggling with internal security and menace of drug traffickers.

    He proved to be a tough administrator. His resignation from the Karzai government in 2005 made the headlines because it irreparably weakened the government. He served as interior minister from 2003 to 2005 when he supervised the creation, training and deployment of a 50,000-strong Afghan national police and a 12,000-strong border police He was entrusted with counter-narcotic, counter-terrorism and criminal investigation operations.

    Born in 1940 in a Pashtun family, Jalali wears many hats. He is one of the most quoted academicians and teaches in prestigious institutions in the West. He was director of Afghanistan National Radio Network Initiative and chief of the Pashto service at the Voice of America. He has published his thoughts in three languages; English, Pashto, Dari/Farsi. He was also a top military planner with the Afghan resistance following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He attended staff colleges in Afghanistan, the United States, Britain, and Russia , and has lectured widely.

    Since 1987, he has become a US citizen and is an important man in the West's plans for Afghanistan. Jalali has written several books, including a three-volume military history of Afghanistan. His book, The Other Side of the Mountain (2002), co-authored with Lester Grau, is an analytical review of the Mujahedin war against the Soviet army in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. Although, Jalali is strongly in favour of US role in Afghanistan, he has been critical of some of the US' moves in his country. In 2002, he criticised the way the US used local chieftains in the war on terrorism that "enhanced the power of the warlords and encouraged them to defy the central authorities."



    Well the Taliban sure is interested in Afghan.

    Rumours of Mullah Omar sacking Mehsud

    Omar fired Mehsud for fighting in Paki, wanted his fighters in Afghan??

    al Qaeda and Taliban leadership has to be somewhere physically, and the border of Paki and Afghan is safe, it is almost an un policed border. And Paki won't allow USA pursuit into Pakistan.
    So for the terrorist its a tetter/totter, they can cross from side to side if it gets to hot.
    I think al Qaeda does care about both Afghan and Paki, they have a perfect hiding place.


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    Off subject: Big Macromedia screw up

    ( which way is the eye facing right or left? )

    The new flash player Utube forced you to download doesn't work on one of our PC's
    Its not compatible with Vista, we downloaded it from Utube, and it evidently did not uninstall the old version, wouldn't run, we downloaded special uninstaller from macromedia, and reinstalled it.

    Seems that screws up sound setting in register, so we up loaded them and got a new message, we needed to up load the new flash player, we already did.

    Utube number of plays/use must be down, many people have requested help on many forums same subject, no sound. Of course Utube doesn't even have it listed as a known issue.
    Google needs to get on top of Utube.

    Another issue is Adobe PDF, also not compatable with Vista, Fire fox.
    I'll keep Vista for its better security, and found plug in for Fire fox works 70% of the time.
    I'll give up both flash and PDF before we will give up Vista.

    Both companies are screwing up their reputations. Didn't any body Beta test these programs?

    You would think Google's Utube would have beta tested the new flash player, its central to their



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    A Hit, Black op. very professional.

    Mughniyya, Mogniyah, Moughnie, (Arabic: عماد فايز مغنية‎), alias Hajj Radwan.
    Imad Fayez Mughniyeh, the Hizballah's supreme commander and plotter of major anti-US and anti-Israel terror operations in the last 25 years died aged 46 in a car bomb explosion in the Damascus district of Tanzim Kafr Susa Tuesday night, Feb. 12.

    Iran, Syria and Hizballah are certain that the bomb planted in the master terrorist's Mitsubishi Pajero in the heart of the Syrian capital...a small explosive inserted between the driver's seat and the back seats, which destroyed only one part of the vehicle. The front and rear remained intact. Mughniyeh was driving alone to a reception marking Islamic Revolution Day at the Iranian embassy in the Romana district.

    Mughniyeh as the only undercover agent in the Middle East who enjoys the complete personal trust of both Iranian supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and al Qaeda's Osama bin Laden.

    He orchestrated the suicide bombings of US Marine and French Beirut headquarters, in which 241 Marines and 58 French soldiers were killed, prompting a decision by President Ronald Reagan to evacuate US troops from Lebanon.

    In 1983, he orchestrated the US embassy bombing, which killed 63 people and wiped out the top CIA Middle East staff. That year, the Israeli command center in Tyre was blown up killing scores of troops.

    In 1985, the United States indicted him for hijacking TWA Flight 847 and the resulting death of U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem.

    Mughniyeh was also infamous for numerous brutal kidnappings of Westerners in Beirut through the 1980s, most notably, that of Terry Anderson and U.S. Army Col William Francis Buckley, who was later murdered.

    The dead terrorist's association with Tehran and its violent overseas exploits went back twenty years. In 1988, in collusion with Tehran, he organized the kidnapping of Colonel William R. Rich Higgins, the most senior American intelligence officer in Lebanon, who was tortured to death by Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen and Hizballah operatives.

    The same partnership is believed to have staged the Khobar Towers blast in eastern Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996, targeting US flight crews guarding Saudi oil fields. At least 19 Americans were killed and 200 injured.

    Mughniyeh, acting for Tehran and Hizballah, was held responsible for the 1992 bombings of the Israeli embassy and Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, in which more than a hundred people died.

    He planned the kidnap and murder of three Israeli soldiers eight years ago on Mt. Dov and his hand is believed behind the abduction of two Israeli reservists in 2006.

    While America and Israel come first to mind as responsible for Mughniyeh's death, DEBKAfile's counter-terror sources note that a possible inside job is worth considering. Dissatisfied with his performance in the 2006 Lebanon War against Israel, Tehran deposed Hizballah's secretary-general Hassan Nasralah as its supreme commander and replaced him with Mughniyeh.

    Nasrallah was confined to political functions, while his successor was assigned the task of rehabilitating Hizballah militia forces and preparing them for the next war on Israel.
    Early reports from non-Israeli intelligence sources are that no car bomb operation in Damascus is feasible without the Syrian government's assent. Responsibility is preliminarily attributed to Syria and Iran, who are thought to view Hezbollah as no longer central to their geopolitical and military goals.

    The dead terrorist may have set up his headquarters in Damascus under the protection of Syrian and Iranian security services because he did not feel safe in Lebanon. Penetrating these two security belts to slay the wanted man was undoubtedly an exceptional intelligence feat.
    ( unless the Syrians were behind it, knowing Israel would be blamed. G )

    He who stands with one foot within Hizballah (reporting to Naserallah directly) and with one foot in Iran inside the architectures of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the al-Qods unit within the Iranian Pasdaran.
    Imad Mugniyah
    Imad Mugniyah
    According to his Lebanese passport application, Mughniyah was born in Tayr Dibba, a poor village in southern Lebanon.

    Various law enforcement agencies have attempted to capture Mugniyah. The United States tried to secure his capture in France in 1986, but were thwarted by French refusal to detain him.

    According to Robert Baer, "Mughniyah is probably the most intelligent, most capable operative we’ve ever run across, including the KGB or anybody else. He enters by one door, exits by another, changes his cars daily, never makes appointments on a telephone, never is predictable. He only uses people that are related to him that he can trust. He doesn’t just recruit people.
    Compiled from : Debka, CTB, Wikipeda

    Feb 14, 2008 12:05:00 AM More about this story...

    Bush widens Syria sanctions (AFP)

    news-yahoo Thursday, February 14, 2008 4:35:00 AM CET More about this article...

    AFP - President George W. Bush said Wednesday he was widening US sanctions against Syria, targeting officials engaged in "public corruption," amid charges Damascus is destabilizing Iraq and Lebanon....

    More articles..


    DEBKAfile: Tehran, Damascus, Hizballah leadership believed coordinating retaliation for Mughniyeh’s death

    February 13, 2008, 11:34 PM (GMT+02:00)

    The Pajero jeep Mughniyeh drove alone to his death

    The Pajero jeep Mughniyeh drove alone to his death

    This is how anxious Western and Israeli counter-terror agencies interpret the muted responses to the killing of Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus Tuesday, Feb. 12. Iran, Syria and Hizballah are certain that the bomb planted in the master terrorist’s Mitsubishi Pajero in the heart of the Syrian capital was rigged by the Israeli Mossad. They are therefore most certainly setting up a major reprisal in the form of a terrorist hit or a military assault.

    Wednesday night, all Hizballah’s top leaders went to ground.

    Magnus Ranstorp, a counterterrorism expert at the Swedish National Defense College and the author of an authoritative book on Hezbollah, said that U.S. intelligence agencies maintained a team dedicated to finding Mughniyeh.

    There were several near misses, including a 1995 plan to nab him when his plane landed in Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials reportedly refused to let the plane land.


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    Election, Pervez, trouble.

    With the election only days away, a survey released yesterday by a U.S.-funded group with ties to the Republican Party found that support for President Pervez Musharraf had plunged to an all-time low and that opposition parties appeared poised to score a landslide victory.

    Only 9% believed Pakistan should co-operate with the U.S. in the war against terror, the survey said.
    ( Survey not linked? )


    Opposition victory not a certainty in Pakistan

    Published: February 13 2008 16:58 | Last updated: February 13 2008 16:58

    It is midnight and Khurshid Kasuri, foreign minister in Pakistan's outgoing government, limps home from the campaign trail. One of the most prominent members of Pervez Musharraf's military-backed regime seeking re-election in Monday's general election, Mr Kasuri is fighting a hotly contested rural constituency in Punjab, the populous and relatively wealthy province that accounts for a little more than half the country's 272 contested parliamentary seats.

    Keepsakes from his years in government adorn the ­living room of Kasuri's imposing home in Gulberg, a smart district of Lahore: photographs show him with George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice of the US, others with Chinese and Indian leaders. But if a wave of sympathy for the Pakistan People's Party washes over the Punjab, triggered by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, those days might soon be at an end.

    Taken at face value, national polls by organisations such as the International Republican Institute, a non-profit group dedicated to advancing democracy worldwide, suggest the two main opposition parties, the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), are set for a landslide. This would demolish the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam), the party set up to support the regime of Mr Musharraf.

    Its latest poll, released on Monday, found that the president's popularity has tumbled to all-time lows in the wake of Bhutto's assassination in December, and growing concern over the deteriorating security situation and the worsening economy. A number of moves that should have improved his position, including the ending of the state of emergency and his resignation as army chief, have failed to deliver a bounce in his ratings.

    Three-quarters of Pakistanis now want Mr Musharraf out of office. The pro-Musharraf PML (Q) comes a distant third, with just 14 per cent, far behind the PPP, supported by 50 per cent in the national sample, and the PML-N, which came second with 22 per cent. Some 79 per cent of those polled said they would assume the elections had been rigged if the PML (Q) won the most seats.

    Such an outcome would dash Mr Musharraf's hopes of a hung parliament. With his party unable to hold the balance of power, he would be forced to accept a marginal role in national politics. If he failed to come to terms with his new role as third fiddle to the prime minister and army chief, the PPP and PML (N) could even move an impeachment motion against him, assuming they had the required two-thirds of parliamentary seats.

    But observers of Pakistan's feudal politics say it is too soon to be writing Mr Musharraf's political obituary. Politics in Pakistan is largely local, determined by power-plays between rivals on the ground. "When you get down to district level, it's all about the candidate," says Mr Kasuri, a PML (Q) politician from one of Pakistan's oldest political families. "Parties have relatively little influence."

    A western diplomat, who doubts that opposition parties will be able to form a government without PML (Q) support, agrees: "The chances of anyone securing an absolute majority are nil. It could be the PPP that ends up on top, or it could be the PML (Q). It's entirely possible that both parties could get between 70 and 80 seats.

    "It will all depend on the outcome of a small number of swing seats in southern Punjab."
    More at SOURCE:


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    Left hand doesn't even know the right hand exists.

    Follow these stories;
    This is prima ficia proof USCIS have no OSINT CAPABILITY, and isn't connected to the counter-terrorism net.

    #1) Risk of terrorist being non-Arabic, in USA.

    (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!"



    Homeland Security Chief on Threats -

    By James Gordon Meek

    On the fifth anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security, its second leader, Michael Chertoff, talked to me about his deepest fears about terrorist threats and why he frets over Europe and Canada more than Mexico. In the interview published Sunday in the New York Daily News, the secretary of Homeland Security said "more than a dozen" people linked to Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and other extremists have tried to enter the U.S. through ports of entry on the northern border, he said, while there have been almost no such attempts at U.S.-Mexico checkpoints.

    Aboard his sleek Gulfstream V jet (callsign "Coast Guard One"), Chertoff also discussed America's growing complacency toward terror threats, why racial profiling at airports is "foolish" and explained how terror plots get hyped by some in the government.

    The former prosecutor and judge often thrust into the political debate over illegal immigration denied that the Mexican border has been an easy way for Al Qaeda to penetrate the U.S.

    "When we've had instances - and there have not been many - where we’ve caught terrorists trying to sneak in, it's been through ports of entry using false documents, and I think we’ve been more concerned about Canada as a platform than Mexico," he said.

    Chertoff said "much more than a dozen" stopped at the Canadian border since the 9/11 attacks were connected to "a mix" of terror groups through "either a financial connection, maybe a family connection, maybe communications."

    More: February 12, 2008 06:34 PM Link



    Beware the Morphing of Al Qaeda in Iraq

    By Douglas Farah

    One of the fundamental truths of dealing with networks, terrorist or otherwise, is that they will morph quickly to survive and adapt as the environment around them changes.

    This seems to be the case in Iraq, where, as we know from captured documents that al Qaeda linked groups there have been badly hurt in recent months.

    The strategy may now be to move outside Iraq and wage a different type of war from surrounding countries.

    The indicators, as outlined by Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling, are leaders leaving with cash and seeking refuge outside of areas of intense U.S. pressure.

    If anyone remembers the drug wars in the Andes in the 1980s and 1990s (which I covered intensely for more than a decade), one will remember the great joy at the felling of the individual cartel leaders (Rodriguez Gacha, Pablo Escobar, the arrest of the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers etc.), and the inevitable statements that these actions would have a significant impact on the amount of cocaine entering the United States.

    Of course, the flow of cocaine was never dented at all. The organizations simply regrouped, decentralized, became much more difficult to attack frontally, and business went on. My full blog is here.

    February 12, 2008 09:37 AM Link


    Immigration and National Security - Back To The Future

    By Bill West

    Two stories have just surfaced in the media that once again demonstrate the direct linkage of immigration issues and national security.

    First, we learn the FBI and DHS are concerned about the possibility of Americans or Europeans trained by al-Qaeda in terror camps in the badlands of Pakistan making their way into the United States to conduct attacks against our homeland. US citizens would be able to enter the US on their US passports. European citizens would be able to enter under the Visa Waiver Program wherein citizens of some 27 countries, mostly western and northern European countries, are not required to obtain a US visa to enter the United States as a “temporary” visitor. Combined with this threat, there is a concern that such terrorists will include women suicide bombers more easily able to access their targets, especially women posing as being pregnant to hide their explosive devices.

    Next, we have learned the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency will begin to adjudicate (read “approve”) a huge backlog of pending immigration benefit applications and petitions, mostly for permanent residency (“green card” status), before full FBI and other security checks are completed. The given rationale is the vast majority of such applicants pass such checks anyway and those who ultimately do not will have their status revoked and, in the words of a USCIS spokesperson, “will be deported.”

    Six plus years from the 9/11 attacks we now have senior counter-terrorism officials of the US Government finally recognizing, albeit somewhat indirectly, the Visa Waiver Program that was originally devised many years ago as a process to expedite international tourism for the travel industry is a genuine national security concern. Some others have been making this warning for quite a while, to include right here in this Blog.

    February 12, 2008 04:35 PM Link


    FBI and DHS both warning of possible impending terrorist attacks in the future in USA.
    Both worried about borders and illegals sneaking in, both on high alert.

    And European citizens would be able to enter under the Visa Waiver Program wherein citizens of some 27 countries, mostly western and northern European countries, are not required to obtain a US visa to enter the United States as a “temporary” visitor.

    the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency will begin to adjudicate (read “approve”) a huge backlog of pending immigration benefit applications and petitions, mostly for permanent residency (“green card” status), before full FBI and other security checks are completed.

    One hand locking the door and posting guards and doormen.
    and the other hand unlocking the back door, letting EVERYBODY IN.

    Makes one proud to be an American.



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    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    nuke techs kidnapped

    This report from BBC is officially the most frightening news of the day ...

    Kidnapped Two employees of Pakistan's atomic energy agency have been abducted in the country's restive north-western region abutting the Afghan border, police say.

    The technicians went missing on the same day as Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, Tariq Azizuddin, was reportedly abducted in the same region.

    Mr Azizuddin had been going overland from the city of Peshawar to Kabul.


    They know the security procedures, who has keys,who has passwords.

    Who key people are this feels like a prelude to a probing attack.


    More kidanpping for access to data, keys, passwords.




    I just heard they worked for the civilian nuclear sector in Pakistan.

    Are the civilian Nuclear materials protected by the military?

    Civilian nuclear sector, I'm thinking Iran civilian nuclear sector.

    Right now the civilian program in Iran is manufacturing nuclear material

    for the bombs, does the Paki nuclear sector produce nuclear materials

    for bombs? G




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    Ops and Intel update:

    g NATO fighter. The bomber fleet is a bit more shopworn now.

    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:, February 11, 2008


    Transcript Of An Al Qaeda Diary in Iraq

    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.