May 10, 2008 Second Thai Counterfeit Passport Ring Broken Up This Month: Nearly 22,000 ( American ) Passports Seized By Zachary Abuza
Today Thai authorities announced arrests in an enormous counterfeit passport ring. 12 people were arrested and some 20,000 fake passports were seized. It was the second such arrest in the past month.
The 12-person gang, included Thais, Burmese, and Indonesians. The 20,000 passports were from a diverse group of countries: Burma, Brunei, Canada, France, Germany, Malaysia, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Thai police reported that 2,000 of the passports were ready to be used.
The ringleader of the cell, Somkhuan Muen-in, had nearly 10-year career in document forging, people and arms smuggling. Police assert that he had smuggled arms for the Tamil Tigers in 2003.
On 29 April, Police arrested a Bangladeshi national, who had 90 real passports, 577 fake US and European passports, 680 counterfeit visas and 1,680 fake passport photo pages, mostly for American passports. One Burmese accomplice was also arrested.
Thailand continues to be a hub for passport and document forging. In late 2006, a Thai and Pakistani were arrested with some 500 fake passports in a joint US-Thai operation. In August 2005, Thai authorities arrested a Syrian-born British subject, Atamnia Yachine, with ties to the 7/7 London bombers, with 186 fake French and Spanish passports. That same month, Thai authorities arrested Mahiededine Daikh, in possession of 452 fake passports. May 10, 2008 08:05 AM Link 22
Image via WikipediaBolton: US air strikes on Iran would be major step towards Iraq victory
May 9, 2008, 6:20 PM (GMT+02:00)
Former American UN ambassador John Bolton said that while a hostile Iranian response harming US interests existed, the damaged inflicted by Tehran would be far higher if Washington took no action. He was quoted by the UK Telegraph as urging therefore that Washington order air strikes against the Revolutionary Guards Corps camps training Iraqi insurgents.
A US spokesman last week confirmed DEBKAfile's earlier disclosure that the IRGC's al Qods Brigades had drafted Hizballah personnel to support Iraq's Shiite militias and train them at facilities in Iran.
After four days of fierce fighting in which at least 24 people died, the Lebanese army revoked two government measures in obedience to Hizballah demands: the Shiite group’s independent telecommunication network will not be shut down and the pro-Hizballah Brig. Gen Wafiq Shqeir would keep his job as Beirut international airport head of security.
DEBKAfile's military sources report: Triumphant, the Hizballah chief Hassan Hasrallah will be a more dangerous enemy than ever. The army rather than the government laid down the condition that Hizballah withdraw from the Sunni districts of Beirut and the rest of the country and remove its armed men from the streets. More...
DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that Thursday night, army chief Gen. Michel Suleiman refused to obey prime minister Fouad Siniora’s order to declare a state of emergency for the crisis created by Hizballah’s declaration of war against the government. The general warned that if the government enacted an emergency, he would order the troops to return to barracks. More...
al Qaeda does NOTHING to support the Sunnis under attack.
Hezbollah’s Beirut’s Blitz By Walid Phares
As many among us have warned several times over the past year, and many articles later, Hezbollah has indeed waged its expected blitzkrieg against the democratically elected Government of Lebanon. Within 24 hours, the pro-Iranian super-militia blocked all accesses to the Beirut International Airport, established an exclusive security zone around the organization’s headquarters in south Beirut, deployed its forces into several Sunni neighborhoods in the capital and erected check points across the country. Within 48 hours or more the “Party of Allah” may be in control of large areas of the Lebanese Republic. In short, this could mutate into a slow motion coup d’Etat. What’s behind the blitz?
The big picture was very predictable. The Syro-Iranian “axis” which is flaring up various battlefields in the region, from Basra to Gaza, has instructed its local “force” on the Lebanese battlefield to surge against the pro-Western Government of Fuad Seniora. Hezbollah is a disciplined Iranian asset on the Eastern Mediterranean. All of the arguments advanced by its secretary general Hassan Nasrallah in his last press conference and grievances against the Government have always been raised since the summer of 2005. These criticisms of the cabinet are invoked when a large scale action is ordered by the Tehran strategists. The local “issues” are part of the greater puzzle, but in Lebanese politics, they seem to be “the” issues at hand. What are they?
Back in September 2004, a UNSCR 1559 has asked all militias, including Hezbollah to disarm and Syria to pull out from Lebanon. The “axis” responded with a string of assassinations against Lebanese critics. An attempt against Minister Marwan Hamade in the fall of 2005 was followed by an earth shaking massacre of the former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and his assistants and friends in February 2005. A Cedars Revolution followed with one million and a half people taking the streets to demand the departure of the Syrians and the disarming of Hezbollah. Assad pulled out his troops in April of that year leaving the “second army” behind, Hezbollah. As of July 2005 a series of murders targeted Lebanese anti-Hezbollah politicians
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This state-within-the-state, receives more than 300 millions $ annually to maintain its socio-economic dominance among Shiia Lebanese. In addition it receives loads of advanced weapons, including rockets and missiles. In July of 2006 Hezbollah triggered a War with Israel to dodge its disarming at the hands of the Lebanese Government. By November the group staged an occupation of downtown Beirut, to paralyze Lebanon’s economy. In 2007 the assassinations of lawmakers resumed. In November of that year, Hezbollah and its allies blocked the election of a new President for Lebanon, to avert the selection by the majority in parliament of a leader who would actually call on the UN to disarm the militia. But as of winter 2008, a master plan was devised to overrun strategic assets of the Government, including the International Airport. Swiftly, the Pasdaran-trained operatives installed surveillance cameras on the tarmacs and obtained sensitive security information from the commanding officer of the airport, a Shia whose allegiance has been gone to Hezbollah.
The Lebanese Government finally reacted by asking Hezbollah to remove the cameras, and begin the dismantling of the parallel telephone communications system. In addition, the Government ordered the Airport commanding officer to join his headquarters at the Defense Ministry. In 24 hours, the “Hezb’s” secretary general Hassan Nasrallah reacted and launched his phased coup. In his press conference he declared war against the Government and accused it of being an “agent of the Americans.” Few hours after, Hezbollah’s Special Forces and snipers tightened their grip around the Airport and moved into Sunni West Beirut. They seized the strategically located neighborhood of Ra’s al Nabaa overlooking both (Christian and Muslim) sides of the capital, fought their way into Hamra Street and practically controlled more than 90% of West Beirut. By midnight, half a million Lebanese Sunni, Druze and Christians found themselves under an Iranian-sponsored “occupation.”
Across the former green line, the Christian sectors of the capital remained outside the control of Hezbollah, with hundreds of armed youth taking position on the roof tops of buildings. Will Nasrallah order an invasion of East Beirut or will he ask his “Christian” puppets to do the job for him? In the Shuf Mountains, south of Beirut, the anti Syrian Druzes are strategically besieged. The Syrian-Iranian axis have already prepared a special task force with Druze figureheads ready for the man hunt: The March 14 Coalition seem to be physically targeted for elimination, unless a third force protects it. Where is the Lebanese Army? Well, its commander General Michel Sleimane made sure his units would not side with the Lebanese Government of Seniora in its struggle against Hezbollah. This was called “neutrality.” That would be the equivalent of the U.S forces not intervening if a gigantic militia emerges in America and surrounds the White House, the U.S Congress and all federal buildings. Unreal in a democracy but very real in a country where the influence of Syria and Iran have not been reduced by the mere rise of the Cedars Revolution. And that is precisely what Washington’s foreign policy architects weren't able to comprehend.
Within the beltway, lots of analyzing on both sides of the Potomac: What can the U.S do to respond to the Syro-Iranian offensive which is obliterating a young democracy so dear to the speech writers of the President and many congressional leaders from both parties? A crushing defeat to democracy in Lebanon under the eyes of an American public eager to see advances in the War on terror will be devastating. U.S warships are patrolling the international waters along the Lebanese coasts. A ten thousand strong UNIFIL force is deployed inside southern Lebanon. But what can this deployment of force do to deter Hezbollah’s determination? Many had advised the U.S Government years ago to implement gradual steps to contain Hezbollah in Lebanon, before this drama would unfold. But it was the Lebanese politicians who failed to call for rescue. The precious four years since the issuing of UNSCR 1559 have now expired and the Government of Fuad Seniora is on the verge of collapse or reduction. What can the coalition of the willing to-save-Lebanon do at this point?
It can still do few things. First would be to invoke Chapter 7 at the UN Security Council. Let the international body decide on this matter. Meanwhile go to plan “B” and extend all support possible to a democratically elected Government in jeopardy. The international community has still significant allies inside the country. An overwhelming sector of the public with most of the Sunnis, Christians and Druze plus a minority among Shia, two thirds of the Lebanese Army, a majority in Parliament, backed by millions in the Diaspora. On the ground, Hezbollah has thousands of fighters but it has never experienced “occupying” other Lebanese communities. The Iranian-backed organization may be tempted to eliminate other Lebanese leaders, Druze, Sunnis and Christians but that would put Nasrallah and his assistants on an international list for war crimes. The next few hours and days are crucial in Lebanon. An interim compromise may also emerge. But as the Roman adage goes, Alea Iacta Est, the dice has already rolled. Hezbollah is not a “resistance” anymore, ironically, by now it is an occupier of its own country.
****** Dr Walid Phares is the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a visiting scholar at the European Foundation for Democracy. He is the author of the newly released book, The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad.
Al-Qaeda has reportedly called on its operatives to go to Lebanon and defend what it called the Sunni community of the country.
The report came while some Arab media outlets described the current clashes in Lebanon as a fight between Sunni and Shia communities.
In an interviews with Sunni clerics with links to Saad Hariri's pro-government bloc, Al-Arabiya TV network described the ongoing clashes as a sectarian strife.
Sheikh Ali al-Jozo, Mufti of the Jebel region, who is well known for his harsh stance against Hezbollah told the TV network that the clashes are a battle between Lebanon's Shia and Sunni communities and called on Arab leaders to prevent "Iran's influence in the country."
The TV network reported that al-Qaeda on all of its websites urged its operatives to defend the Sunni community of Lebanon.
The reports came while in interviews with NBN and al-Manar TV stations on Thursday, a number of Sunni clerics said that the clashes are not a sectarian strife and many Sunni Muslims in Lebanon support Hezbollah.
The Iraqi Defence Ministry spokesman says the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, has been arrested in the northern city of Mosul. Spokesman Mohammed al-Askari says the arrest of al-Masri, also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, was confirmed to him by the Iraqi commander of the province.
There was no immediate confirmation or comment from US forces on the arrest.
Al-Askari did not say when the al-Qaeda leader was arrested. News of the arrest was also reported by Iraqi state television.
"Change is the Law of the Universe, the Law Of Life"
Sa'd Al-Sowayan: "Our education institutions are very deficient in various respects. First of all, critical philosophical thought hardly exists, and is almost completely forbidden. You are not meant to think, but to memorize and repeat by rote..."
Interviewer: "Scientifically, speaking, what's wrong with spreading the prevalent views?"
Sa'd Al-Sowayan: "First, you are not being innovative, and second, the prevalent views may have been acceptable in the past, but as life changes, everything must change accordingly. It is inconceivable that everything around you changes, yet your ideology remains static. The universe is not static. Change is the law of the universe, the law of life. Since everything is subject to change, ideas must also change, in order to be compatible with the changes in life."
Interviewer: "Does this include the basic principles [of religion]?"
Sa'd Al-Sowayan: "I believe that the basic principles remain as they are, but the way we interpret them changes. In fact, there is no such thing as basic principles. There is the understanding of people... Ultimately, everything happens in your mind, as a human being."
Interviewer: "The Koran and the Sunna do not constitute basic principles?"
I Don't Think It Is "In the Best Interest of the Islamic Religion That We Insist On... [Living] as if We Were in the Historical Age of the Prophet Muhammad and His Companions"
Sa'd Al-Sowayan: "The text is static, but the way people interpret it is not. You can interpret the text in a way that corresponds with the age in which you live."
Interviewer: "So you have no problem with people interpreting the text differently in each age?"
Sa'd Al-Sowayan: "As long as it is compatible with the spirit of the text."
Interviewer: "In other words, the spirit of the text remains, and in each age, there is an adaptation [of the text]."
Sa'd Al-Sowayan: "For example, I do not think – and I might be going off on a tangent here – that it is in the best interest of the Islamic religion that we insist on continuing to live as if we were in the historical age of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Everything has changed, and I believe that we must inevitably understand this change and respond to it. Otherwise, the physical existence of Muslims as Muslims will ultimately be jeopardized. Isn't it important for Muslims to continue to exist as a strong nation, which influences the world in which we live? How can this happen if we relate to things as if we were living 1,400 years ago?" [...]
"With Regard to Worldly Matters, He [the Prophet Muhammad] Turned to the Relevant Experts"
Interviewer: "You are openly calling for secularism?"
Sa'd Al-Sowayan: "Secularism is not as dangerous as people think. They [the clerics] have instilled... They reduce you to that single word, so that they can classify you more easily."
Interviewer: "So you are saying that the term 'secularism' has been distorted by a group of people."
Sa'd Al-Sowayan: "The interpretation given to this term is incorrect. For example, the Messenger consulted with other people about worldly issues. In my view, this is secular behavior. In religious matters related to divine revelation, the Prophet was the ultimate authority. But with regard to worldly matters, he turned to the relevant experts." [...]
"When You Combine the Sword With the Phrase 'There Is No God But Allah,' Some People Might... Think That You Want to Spread [This] By Means of the Sword"
Interviewer: "Why do you want to remove the swords from the Saudi flag, while many countries – even Western countries – use symbols like a sickle or a lion? These symbols are used even though they have lost their original significance."
Sa'd Al-Sowayan: "My problem is that the sword is combined with the phrase 'There is no god but Allah. When I wrote this, there were certain circumstances – it was when Al-Zarqawi and his people were decapitating hostages with a sword. It was as if the sword had become one of the symbols of Islam. When you combine the sword with the phrase 'There is no god but Allah,' some people might get confused, and think that you want to spread 'there is no god but Allah' by means of the sword.
"Since women used to ride donkeys, camels, or whatever means of transport existed at the time, what prevents them from using modern means of transport? [The donkey or camel] was a means of transport, and the car is just another means of transport."
Status All three are guests of the Russian penal system, sentenced to eight years at hard labor and a 100,000 ruble fine
Dossier Looking to make a little extra money while at college in 2003, Ivan Maksakov, then 22, devised an inventive, entrepreneurial scheme that probably sounded good at the time: He created a botnet to engage in DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks and then blackmailed online gambling sites based in the U.K., threatening to take the sites down during major sporting events.
However, Maksakov -- a student at the Balakov Institute of Engineering, Technology, and Management -- couldn't anticipate that the Russian government, looking to demonstrate its resolve in dealing with cybercriminals, would make an example of him.
The botnet, based in Houston, was directed to launch DDoS attacks against the U.K.-based bookmaking Web sites and online casinos only if Maksakov's demands weren't met. According to Russian news reports, Maksakov, along with co-conspirators Alexander Petrov and Denis Stepanov, attacked nine Web sites
The Balakov City Court, Saratov region, has sentenced to eight years in colony with a strict regime and 100,000-ruble penalty each of three hackers of Russia accused of extortion, causing material damage and establishing and applying hostile software.
jEEZE one year in a Russian Prison would have been enough.
You got Rbot in Mytob, you Zlob Perp Farid "Diab10" Essebar
Status Currently a guest of the Moroccan prison system. His prison sentence is scheduled to end later this year.
Dossier In 2005, at the ripe old age of 18, Farid Essebar probably thought he was untouchable. Working with accomplices in his home country of Morocco and in Turkey, the Russian-born Essebar wrote and distributed the Mytob, Rbot, and Zotob botnet Trojans. The malware infected thousands of computers at large corporations, U.S. government departments, and media companies and was built to log keystrokes and steal financial and personal data.
Among the targets reported to have major outbreaks on Aug. 15, 2005, were Daimler Chrysler, ABC News, CNN, The New York Times, the U.S. Senate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Affected computers typically got into a cycle where they rebooted constantly, spread the malware to other computers on the network, then provided remote access to infected computers to a bot herder. The Zotob variant spread rapidly, taking advantage of unpatched Windows computers using a vulnerability disclosed only days earlier.
Essebar also fell prey to the braggadocio bug, a common ailment. When University of Pennsylvania security researcher David Taylor deliberately infected a computer with Zotob, and stumbled into one of Essebar's botnet IRC channels, he struck up a conversation with him. Surprisingly, Essebar responded, gloating that he earned substantial sums using his bot to install adware on infected computers.
But within seven days, the FBI, working in concert with local law enforcement and Microsoft employees, sent teams of computer experts to Rabat, Morocco, and Ankara, Turkey. On Aug. 25, less than two weeks after the outbreak began, authorities arrested Essebar, as well as then-20-year-old Achraf Bahloul in Rabat. The team in Ankara paid a visit to, and arrested, then-21-year-old Atilla "Coder" Ekici, alleging that he paid Essebar to write the Zotob variant. A bit more than a year after the initial arrest, Moroccan authorities convicted Essebar of illegal access to computer systems, theft, credit card fraud, and conspiracy, and sentenced him to two years in prison.
Authorities were able to clearly identify Essebar as the author of the worm; not only had he signed it with the words "by Diabl0" buried in the source code, but he'd written the worm using Microsoft's Visual Studio, which embeds information about the computer on which the code is written into the compiled program -- in this case, the directory path "C:\Documents and Settings\Farid." D'oh!
When Moroccan cops seized his computer, Essebar had formatted the hard drive. Forensic specialists helped recover the source code, which had not been completely wiped clean from the drive. In contrast, Turkish authorities had a more difficult time establishing evidence against Ekici because he'd physically removed and thrown out his hard drive days earlier.
But he ended up in a Turkish prison, even a Moroccan prison isn't fun.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Taliban cleric Faqir Mohammed is tall, thin, very serious and very religious. His eyes are hard and he speaks slowly. He never smiles.
And when you hear what he has to say, you won't be smiling either.
"If we get hold of nuclear weapons – which we hope to get very soon – then we will safeguard them until Allah Almighty guides us when and against whom to use them," he told NBC News in an interview at his mountain hideout.
These days, the 38-year-old cleric prefers to be called "Commander Faqir." He thinks it befits his new role as deputy leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the umbrella organization that was formed last December to try and unite Pakistani militants.
Faqir Mohammed, left, speaks with NBC News Mushtaq Yusufzai, center, at his remote mountain top stronghold near the Pakistan/ Afghanistan border while Faqir's bodyguards standby in the rear.
SOURCE: Hat tip to table Hand at Jawa, I saw ths there.
U.S. Striking Al Qaeda Targets in Pakistan James Joyner | Thursday, March 27, 2008
The United States is stepping up its attacks on al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, largely without coordination with that country's government.
The United States has escalated its unilateral strikes against al-Qaeda members and fighters operating in Pakistan's tribal areas, partly because of anxieties that Pakistan's new leaders will insist on scaling back military operations in that country, according to U.S. officials. Washington is worried that pro-Western President Pervez Musharraf, who has generally supported the U.S. strikes, will almost certainly have reduced powers in the months ahead, and so it wants to inflict as much damage as it can to al-Qaeda's network now, the officials said.
Image via WikipediaMEMRI.ORG Urdu-Pashtu Media Blog http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=Announcement7008
Pakistani Taliban Hold Jihad Conference, Issue 6-Point Shari'a Implementation Program ( Pakistani Taliban Hold Jihad Conference: THEY HELD A JIHAD CONFERENCE ..WTF...g ) The Pakistani Taliban has successfully held a two-day jihad conference at the shrine of 20th-Century local Islamic preacher Haji Sahib Turangzai in Pakistan's tribal district of Mohmand Agency. According to the Urdu-language newspaper Roznama Mashriq, the local Emir of the Movement of Pakistani Taliban Umer Khalid issued a 6-point program for the implementation of shari'a in Mohmand Agency.
The Pakistani Taliban have asked the Pakistani government to release 250 of their leaders from detention, in exchange for freeing 80 to 100 government officials who were kidnapped in Pakistan's tribal districts. The Urdu-language newspaper Roznama Mashriq quoted Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Maulvi Omar as saying that demands for freeing prisoners from both sides were discussed during their talks on establishing peace in the border region. According to the report, the Taliban spokesman said that as part of the peace agreement being worked out, Pakistani Taliban are not barred from carrying out attacks on NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan. He said that the recent release of Islamist leader Maulana Sufi Muhammad from prison was part of a deal with the government.
( THEY ANNOUNCED IT; THEN HAD A TWO DAY CONFERENCE ) Taliban To Hold Jihad Conference In Pakistan's Tribal District Of Mohmand Agency
The Movement of Pakistani Taliban has announced its plan to hold a conference of ulema on Jihad at the shrine of local preacher Haji Sahib Turangzai in Pakistan's tribal district of Mohmand Agency. Haji Turangzai was an Islamic preacher who also fought against the British in the early 20th century.
Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician and Tehreek-e-Insaf party president Imran Khan has said that President Pervez Musharraf should be hanged for ordering the military operation in the Islamabad-based Red Mosque last year. The Urdu-language newspaper Roznama Jang quoted Imran Khan as saying: "On the issue of the Red Mosque [operation], President Musharraf should be hanged [because he] committed extreme atrocities on girls and children in order to endear [himself to] the United States."
Activists Demand Release Of Nuclear Scientist Dr. Qadeer Khan
Activists of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf party hold placards demanding the release of Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is in detention after he admitted his role in international nuclear proliferation.
The government of Pakistan recently relaxed restrictions on Khan's movements, allowing him to meet a limited number of friends. However, the restrictions were reimposed after Khan gave interviews to the media. Dr. Qadeer Khan is considered a national hero due to his role in Pakistan's nuclear bomb.
Source: Roznama Express (Pakistan), April 14, 2008
Former Pakistani President: The U.S. Is World's Greatest Satan
Former Pakistani President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar has described the United States as "the world's greatest Satan." The Urdu-language newspaper Roznama Express reported that Rafiq Tarar made the statement during an address to a conference in the honor of Prophet Muhammad. According to the report, the former President said: "The United States is the world's greatest Satan and is playing its satanic game across the world. And unfortunately, its trusted advisor [meaning President Musharraf] has been thrust on Pakistan and is extending its policies." Rafiq Tarar also urged the Organization of Islamic Conference to terminate its relations with all countries where cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad were published.
Militant Tribal Leader: "We Are Out To Spread Islam In The Entire World"
The Chief of militant Islamic tribal group Lashkar-e-Islam Mangal Bagh has said that the group's activities are not limited to Pakistan's tribal district of Khyber Agency. The Urdu-language Roznama Khabrain quoted him as saying: "Allah revealed the Koran, which was not sent for any one particular region of the world...We are out to spread Islam throughout the world." In the ongoing fighting between Lashkar-e-Islam and rival tribal groups in the tribal district of Khyber Agency, where dozens of people have been killed in recent days. In the image above, people are fleeing the conflict-affected regions of Khyber Agency. (Photo courtesy: Roznama Jang (Pakistan), April 18, 2008)
Taliban Commanders Take Control Of Several Towns In Pakistan's Swat District
The Taliban have regained control of several areas in the Swat district of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and their armed units are patrolling the region. The Urdu-language newspaper Roznama Mashriq reported that the Taliban have regained the control of the Imam Dheri Markaz, once the stronghold of their leader Maulana Fazlullah.
According to the report, the Taliban commanders appeared Wednesday at the Imam Dheri Markaz, cleaned the mosque and offered evening prayer. The Taliban leaders also announced they will offer weekly Friday prayers on April 11. According to the report, the key commanders loyal to the militia leader Maulana Fazlullah are meeting tribal elders in the region. A spokesman for Maulana Fazlullah told Roznama Mashriq: "Our demand is the implementation of shari'a and we will stand by it." The Taliban had taken control of most of the Swat district in the North West Frontier Province last year before being repulsed by the Pakistani army. The new secular government in the province has said it will start a process of dialogue with the Taliban in order to eliminate extremism in the region.
The Taliban are working the Pashtu culture on all levels, religious, sports and political.
Since Google doesn't have a Urdu translator, the Urdu section of the WWW is to all effects is BLACK. And makes OSINT very difficult.
The only "in" the West has to the Pashtu culture is the WWW, radio and newspapers. And the Taliban's Pashtu Social Change Engine is in full swing and calls for a major effort as part of any COIN efforts.
Many of the Talibans front line, non-cadre troops can be hired away, and sent somewhere.
There are several weakness in the Taliban paradigm, a return to the 1600's, rejection of modern entertainment, subsistence economic level, damage to tourism, enforceable anti-drug laws, high death rates, suicide bombers. All of which can be run against the Taliban.
The last half of the video tape shows a Caucasian, ID: Eric Breininger, 20, a German from Neuenkirchen in the Saarland his accomplice, tentatively ID: Houssain al-Malla
There appears to be significant infiltration and recruiting of Germany of Jihadists. Breininger is reportedly fluent in English. I noticed that his Pashto has a heavy German accent and he used several German words that his accompice seemed to recognize.
There are likely many more like him coming to the US and UK as sleepers, this is the face of our new enemy, European jihadists with relatives and friends living next door to any of us.
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 Allah said : (Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion -the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: 'They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. 'If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.) 55,AlNOOR.
The Army of al-Mustafa (a.k.a. “Jaish al-Mustafa”)—a Sunni insurgent group which has claimed credit for at least three joint operations with Al-Qaida’s “Islamic State of Iraq” (ISI) since January 2008—has suddenly broken off relations with the ISI, accusing its local commanders of engaging in “threats” and “blackmail.” In a statement released on April 15, a Jaish al-Mustafa field commander known as “Abu Muslim al-Mosuli” acknowledged a past relationship with the ISI but added, “something has occurred that we never expected would happen: some new leaders from the ISI in Ninewah province have begun to harass our fighters during their operations. The situation escalated to the point of the ISI threatening one of our field commanders with death for no apparent reason… We see no justification for the acts carried out by the brothers from the ISI—they have blackmailed us, threatened us, and seized the assets of the Army of al-Mustafa.” A follow-up statement released by Jaish al-Mustafa on April 16 insisted that the group has no intention of “sabotaging efforts by Shaykh Abu Omar [al-Baghdadi] or any other individual. We would be delighted if such unity and collaboration took place among the various factions.” However, the statement also flatly rejected the premise that the “Army of al-Mustafa” has ever “tried very hard to associate ourselves with the ISI”: “we require no such association… If we had wished to associate ourselves with the ISI, we would have pledged our allegiance to them.”