Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: 9/16/07 - 9/23/07

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    Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Threats to the Jihad Media War

    September 22, 2007

    Internal and External Threats to the Jihad Media War

    ( the blood letting begins )c

    By Evan Kohlmann

    Several Sunni insurgent factions fighting in Iraq have recently released official communiqués addressing brewing conflicts over the jihad media war--including divisions that exist within the mujahideen community itself. On August 29, the Mujahideen Army issued a statement accusing their "dear brothers" from the Al-Furqan Foundation--the official media wing of Al-Qaida's "Islamic State of Iraq"--of distributing a video of a military operation that had already been claimed months earlier by the Mujahideen Army. In due course, the ISI's Al-Furqan Foundation issued a response acknowledging, "the operation had indeed been executed by one of the central brigades of the Mujahideen Army... However, following the establishment of the ISI, this particular brigade pledged its allegiance to Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi and, therefore, their media archives became the rightful property of the Al-Furqan Media Foundation." The ISI has also sparked controversy with the recent release of an audio recording by its leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, including accusations that several major Sunni insurgent organizations are now working in conjunction with U.S. forces. One of the groups singled out by al-Baghdadi--the Iraqi Islamic Resistance Front (JAAMI)--has issued its own letter firmly denying these allegations and demanding that "the gossiping cease from all those who posted harsh words on the Al-Hesbah web forum." Separately, Asaeb al-Iraq al-Jihadiya ("the Iraqi Jihad Union") has announced the expulsion of several prominent activists within its organization for unauthorized contacts with unspecified "outsiders." Finally, the ISI's Al-Furqan Foundation has released a statement condemning a series of recent electronic attacks by "crusaders" on notorious jihad web forums--including the Al-Hesbah network.

    - 7/29/07: Asaeb al-Iraq al-Jihadiya Declares Expulsions of Dissidents for Unauthorized Contacts
    - 8/29/07: Mujahideen Army Statement to ISI's Al-Furqan Foundation
    - 9/3/07: Al-Furqan Foundation Response to Statement from the Mujahideen Army
    - 9/13/07: Al-Furqan Foundation Statement Regarding Recent Attacks on Jihad Websites
    - 9/16/07: Iraqi Islamic Resistance Front (JAAMI) Response to Speech by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi

    See also:
    - [CTBLOG]: "Operation Niche: The Conviction of Mohammed Atif Siddique"
    - Report: "State of the Sunni Insurgency in Iraq: August 2007"

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    Al Qaeda’s ‘war declaration’ and Pakistani politics

    Editorial: Al Qaeda’s ‘war declaration’ and Pakistani politics

    Al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri have declared war against President General Pervez Musharraf. Osama bin Laden has said that he will retaliate against the “infidel” Musharraf “and those helping him” for the killing of the Lal Masjid cleric, Rashid Ghazi. Al Zawahiri has directly challenged the Pakistan army by saying that retaliation against it had been ordained by Allah.

    The announcement, amounting to a declaration of war, has come at a time when the Supreme Court of Pakistan is hearing six cases against President Musharraf’s dual office and complaining that politicians are once again trying to dump their quarrels on the Supreme Court. The government, though isolated because of its internal fissures and its inability to negotiate politically with the opposition, insists it will not declare emergency or impose martial law in the country. But let’s face it. The Al Qaeda threat could actually provide grounds for suspending the normal application of law in the country.

    The outside world whose support is so crucial to the survival of Pakistan’s economy has so far taken the view that President Musharraf should usher Pakistan back to democracy as soon as possible. Indeed, the opinion inside the European Union has been quite clear and in favour of the political parties struggling to force President Musharraf to end military interference in the running of the country. The Commonwealth had suspended Pakistan’s membership in 1999 under the Harare Declaration that Pakistan had helped sign, and restored it only conditionally after the 2002 elections. Its latest position is that he should not continue in his dual office. But all these positions held abroad may undergo “internal change” after the Al Qaeda challenge, which might be to the disadvantage of the opposition parties in Pakistan.

    Al Qaeda has always been a delicate subject to discuss in Pakistan because of the political and social divisions it creates. Focused on the so-called “Islam versus the West” cause, most Pakistanis regard Osama bin Laden as a hero and do not even believe that he attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. At the grassroots level, there is so much antipathy for US President George W Bush that any comparison between “Osama and Bush” ends up showing bin Laden as the most popular man in Pakistan. Unfortunately, the presence of Al Qaeda in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan adds another dangerous dimension to the discussion.

    Al Qaeda holds sway over territories that sent thousands of its young men to Afghanistan to fight the “American invasion” of 2001 on the side of the Taliban. Foreign elements belonging to Al Qaeda are present in these areas, although this fact is vehemently denied by the political parties opposed to President Musharraf’s “war against terrorism”. But the fact is that Al Qaeda has targeted President Musharraf ever since he arrested some of its key operatives and handed them over to the Americans in 2003. Its declaration of war at this stage simply announces its dominance over Pakistani territory and seeks to exploit the political strife inside Pakistan.

    The power of Al Qaeda is the power of intimidation which it created gradually in the Tribal Areas by killing off hundreds of local maliks who controlled the political system in operation there. This power is akin to the extra-constitutional power exercised by all religious groups in the name of Islam, but Al Qaeda has the additional power of the purse that smaller groups do not have. Many warriors in the Tribal and Semi Tribal Areas abutting on Afghanistan are on the payroll of Al Qaeda while mouthing Islamic slogans. Sadly, many “supporters” of Al Qaeda in the rest of Pakistan have been converted by intimidation under what is called the “Stockholm Syndrome”.

    In some ways, the discussion of democracy at the Supreme Court looks out of place when all the political institutions may be under threat from terrorism which is unfortunately seen as an “Islamic” force by the common man. For instance, the lower judiciary in Pakistan has always lived in fear of religious groups seeking to bend the magistracy to their stance on blasphemy and apostatisation. Therefore the prospect is that all offices of the state could now come under pressure from local religious groups acting as informal representatives of Al Qaeda. Indeed, if the reversals experienced by the Pakistan army in its war with Al Qaeda continue, and the army fails to retrieve the soldiers it keeps losing to it through “un-resisted” abductions, the dominion may actually pass from Islamabad.

    God forbid that the Supreme Court should actually have to decide as to who is the enemy of democracy, Musharraf or Osama? Pakistan is poised to return to democracy with the help of the judiciary. The people are supportive of this transition, but they are also supportive of a global terrorist organisation that now has the potential of controlling territories. This is the terrible dilemma which we as Pakistanis face.


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    Kalash funeral, an expensive affair

    Kalash funeral, an expensive affair

    CHITRAL, 09 Sep 07: The Kafir Kalash tribe of the Hindu kush surviving in the three tiny valleys of Chitral District are a real remnant of the Pagan societies of yonder days. Everything about them including their way of living and dying are categorically different.

    The death of the wife of Kalash elder Bahram sha, a member of the Chitral District council witnessed Kalash children the traditional way of the Kalash observing (celebrating) occasions of death. 8 Bullocks, 22 sheep, 30 large canisters of Cheese besides maunds of flour, rice and other edibles were consumed during the death celebration, which included dancing in chorus and chanting the virtues of the deceased besides feasting on the occasion. Kalash from all the three valleys had gathered for the rites.

    The Kalash is an endangered entity and the Kalash people are flowers in the Bouquet of Chitral, needed to be protected and their culture preserved. (Chitral News report)

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    Hacker Hunters cira 2001


    Tens of thousands of computers containing now-dormant Leaves worms await instructions from their master. Should they ever again awaken, a posse will be waiting.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2001
    6:30 a.m.
    FBI Headquarters,

    After 23 years as a CIA analyst, having briefed the president and his team on every conceivable threat to national security, Bob Gerber was scared. More scared than he'd been in a long time.

    Holed up in his cramped, 11th floor office on a stark, colorless hallway at FBI headquarters in Washington, Gerber's stomach turned as he took his first look at a new enemy.

    Gerber was a hunter, one of the government's best. These days, he was hunting worms, malicious computer programs let loose into the wild of the Internet by some of computerdom's most brilliant hackers. Two months earlier Gerber, 56, had left his job at the CIA, where he helped write the president's daily intelligence briefing, to head the analysis and warning division at the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center. There, he and his crew of more than 60 tracked worms, viruses and other computer evils, as well as the hackers who create them. Both threatened daily to shut down the engines of modern life - electrical power grids, the banking system, water treatment facilities, the World Wide Web.

    Worms were the most vicious new beasts to stalk the Internet. But Gerber had never seen a worm quite like the one he confronted that sweltering Wednesday morning in June.

    It was named Leaves after "w32.leave. worm," the poisonous file it implanted in unsuspecting computers. Like all worms, Leaves bored through cyberspace, probing Internet connections for holes in personal computers or Web servers. It slithered inside the machines and spewed venomous strings of data that threw its victims into electronic shock.

    Leaves was hardly the first worm to infest the Internet. In fact, the pests became so common in 2001, that security cognoscenti dubbed it the "Year of the Worm." Worms wrought all sorts of damage. They forced computers to delete critical files or erase entire programs. They also allowed hackers to steal personal information from computers' memories. Once they infested their victims, worms made clones, then used their hosts as launching pads for more worms, whose numbers grew exponentially.

    In 2000, Gerber and his team began battling a new species of even more virulent super worms. Rather than devour computers' innards, these worms hijacked their victims' controls, rendering them powerless zombies. With a gang of zombies at his command, the creator of a superworm could mob a Web site or computer system, flooding it with bogus electronic transmissions until it drowned in the data torrent.

    In the spring of 2000, Gerber's colleagues took on a 15-year-old hacker who called himself Mafiaboy. The teenager turned his zombies loose on World Wide Web giants, eBay and Yahoo!, launching what is called a distributed denial of service attack that shut down business at the sites for five hours. It cost shareholders and the companies billions and shocked the Web world.

    But compared with the Leaves worm, Mafiaboy's creation was a larva. Gerber's best analysts had worked late into the night trying to make sense of a sample of Leaves captured by worm watchers at the SANS Institute, a computer research center in Bethesda, Md. They let Leaves infect a computer, and then they watched how it behaved. What Gerber saw fascinated and appalled him.

    Leaves was a zombie maker on steroids. It searched out computers already wounded by another Internet scourge called a Trojan, which installs back doors in the machines. Leaves used a Trojan called SubSeven as its entrance. Once transformed, the zombies awaited orders. To communicate with them, Leaves' creator ordered his zombies to rendezvous online through Internet Relay Chat channels. He also told them to visit certain Web sites and download encrypted information to receive instructions on what to do next. No one knew who was controlling the zombies, from where or why.


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    Taliban commander Qari Hussain Ahmad in LAHORE

    Taliban commander planning suicide attack in Lahore?

    LAHORE: Police officials have received information about possible suicide bomb attacks by the religious fundamentalists and have issued directions to deal with the threat.

    Police sources said that Taliban commander Qari Hussain Ahmad is reported to be present in Lahore. The areas of Badamibagh, Shafiqabad, Misri Shah, Shahdra Town, Shadbagh, Ravi Road and Lorry Adda had been identified as possible hideouts for miscreants. The security forces at Allama Iqbal International Airport had also been put on high alert as intelligence reports have reported a suicide bomb threat at the airport. The airport officials said that all flights would remain on schedule.

    Sources said that police and other intelligence agencies had been on the lookout for any terrorist activity for the last few weeks. Based on intelligence reports, special directions had been issued and specially trained officials had been directed to gather information data about any terrorist activity.

    Senior Police officials have issued directions to Town Police Officer (TPO) Ravi Road in this regard. Sources said that police and intelligence agencies had deployed intelligence and operational personnel in sensitive areas. These officials are ready for conducting any type of operation against the militants.

    Sources said that in order to maintain the law and order situation surety bonds had been signed from different religious leaders in Lahore and other cities. The Allama Iqbal Town TPO had taken a surety bond of 100,000 rupees from religious activist Ali Sher Haidery and put the activist under constant surveillance.

    Sources said that that city police department had received information about terrorist activity against law enforcement agencies. To counter any such activity, law enforcement agencies have deployed security personnel at all installations and law enforcement buildings. This security is also extended to all other gatherings that law enforcement officials might be at. shahnawaz khan


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    Muslims Against Sharia

    Muslims Against Sharia

    "Al Qaeda Iraq a Threat to Sweden":

    Muslims Against Sharia praise the courage of Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Thorbjorn Larsson and the staff of Nerikes Allehanda and Dagens Nyheter and condemn threats issued by Abu Omar Al Baghdadi and the Islamic State of Iraq. Muslims Against Sharia will provide a payment of 100,000kr (about $15,000) for the information leading to capture or neutralization of Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

    Muslimer mot Sharia berömmer Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Torbjörn Larsson och övriga anställda på Nerikes Allehanda och Dagens Nyheter för deras tapperhet och fördömer hotet från Abu Omar Al Baghdadi och Islamistiska Iraq. Muslimer mot Sharia betalar 100 000 SEK (ca 15 000$) för information som leder till gripande eller oskadligörande av Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

    Muslims Against Sharia

    Defend Freedom of Speech - Support Sweden!

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    Al Qaeda Iraq a Threat to Sweden

    Is Al Qaeda Iraq a Threat to Sweden?

    By Walid Phares

    The leader of al Qaeda in Iraq recently offered a bounty encouraging the assassination of a Swedish cartoonist and his editor for having published drawings deemed insulting to the religion of Islam. Omar al Baghdadi, in an audio statement said Lars Vilks, who "dared insult the Prophet", should be killed for a reward of $100,000 and, if "slaughtered like a lamb", the killer will receive another $50,000. In addition, he offered a Jihadi financial reward of $50,000 for the murder of Ulf Johansson, the editor of Nerikes Allehanda, the Swedish paper that printed Vilks' cartoon on August 19.

    In the context of Global Jihadism, this second cartoon drama -- after last year's Danish cartoon crisis - displays a dimension very relevant to the ongoing War on Terror. Indeed, the identity of the threat issuer is important, because it is al Qaeda in Iraq. This development should send a significant message into the American and international debates about that conflict, especially as a significant faction within the US Congress, some of whom claim that Iraq is fighting only a civil war, is pressing for a rapid withdrawal of US troops.

    What the "Jihad bounty" tells us loud and clear is this: al Qaeda's operation in Iraq is not, nor will it be, "only" about an American, Western or international presence. As the AQI press release shows, there is clear evidence that those who are beheading, killing, maiming, kidnapping and blowing up people and things in the Sunni Triangle and in the rest of Iraq have an agenda of international violence.

    Iraq is merely their launching pad.

    Regardless of whether one admires the common sense or deplores the bad taste of the cartoons published this summer in the Swedish Nerikes Allehanda, or last year in the Danish Jyllands-Posten, why would al Qaeda Iraq -- and not international, European, or even Scandinavian al Qaeda -- initiate the release? Aren't the other branches ideologically "insulted" too?

    The answer is simple: The Iraqi branch of al Qaeda is using a cartoon published in Sweden, "deep inside infidel land", to tell the world, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, that the emirate they want to build in Iraq -- with blood and death -- will have very long arms, capable of reaching Europe, America and beyond. Indeed, the logic of the release is not about "defending Iraq from occupiers" as claim many critics, but it's about punishing anyone who insults their religion anywhere around the world, with money -- and maybe suicide bombers -- coming from Iraq.

    The Swedish cartoon, perhaps deemed offensive to devout Muslims, can be responded to in many forums and possibly in front of courts, depending on Swedish law. But al Baghdadi is telling us clearly that he and his ilk will determine whether an offense has taken place and, if so, how they will execute the offending artist as well as others involved and, as he said in his declaration, punish the entire country and its financial interests around the globe too.

    Thus, Al Qaeda Iraq is an international Jihadi operation which will -- and now has demonstrated clearly that it would -- strike thousands of miles away from Iraq to satisfy its ideological vision of the world. For if tomorrow another "insult" is seen in London, Paris, New York, or Moscow, the terrorists of al Qaeda Iraq will fund and direct violence against the offenders, their cities, their countries, and their financial interests throughout the world.

    Therefore, because of a cartoon, a Van Gogh-like tragedy could occur in Stockholm, and companies such as Ericsson, Scania, Volvo, Ikea, and Electrolux, may be targeted -- either by al Qaeda or by homegrown Jihadists. Other artists around the world and millions of workers in companies originating in liberal democracies will be at risk because of the imagination (albeit sometimes very insensitive) of one man's free mind. This sort of freedom is what the Enlightenment has produced: free choice. And this is what al Qaeda Iraq is telling the world it can no longer have; there is no more free choice, and we will punish you if you exercise it, at our own discretion.

    Vilks told The Associated Press that he can

    "only hope that Muslims in Europe and in the Western world choose to distance themselves from this and support the idea of freedom of expression."

    His Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told the 22 Sweden-based ambassadors from Muslim countries that he regrets the hurt it may have caused, but said that according to Swedish law it is not up to politicians to punish the free press.

    Eventually some mainstream Muslims will -- understandably -- vehemently criticize the offense in the substance of the sketch, but will adhere to the norms of international law, particularly the freedom of press and expression. The issue, now becoming chronic, will generate debates in the Muslim world and internationally. But aside from this cultural clash, al Qaeda Iraq has just reminded us that indeed, it wants and will use a launching pad to wage terror attacks worldwide.

    Just remember that Sweden, unlike Denmark -- and certainly in opposition to the United States -- has steadfastly opposed the War in Iraq, doesn't have troops in the region and, ironically, funds many associations inside its own borders that promote Jihadism as an ideology. Swedish foreign policy already is the best Islamists could lobby for in the West. And yet, this Scandinavian economy is now menaced from as far away as Anbar province.

    Just imagine if the Coalition surrenders the area -- not to an Iraqi democratic Government -- but to a full fledged Taliban-like regime.

    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 in Brussels. He is the author of The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy


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    Friday, September 21, 2007

    France on al-Qaida alert

    France on al-Qaida alert after Algeria attack

    ALGIERS — Al-Qaida's branch in North Africa claimed responsibility Friday for a suicide bombing in Algeria that wounded two French people and one Italian, hours after it had threatened French targets in the region.

    In an "audio statement" posted on the Internet and received by Al-Arabiya television's office in Algiers, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb said one of its militants carried out the attack with a car laden with "more than 250 kilos of explosives."

    Friday's bombing in Lakhdaria, about 75 kilometers southeast of Algiers, "killed three foreigners" and wounded others, Al-Arabiya quoted the group as claiming.

    But the Algerian interior ministry said in a statement that no-one was killed while nine people suffered injuries which were not life-threatening.

    Al-Arabiya aired part of the audio recording, in which the "press spokesman" of the group said "the heroic martyrdom-seeker Othman Abu Jaafar" rammed a Mazda car into a convoy in which "French crusaders working on building the biggest dam" in the area were travelling.

    The news channel showed a picture of a militant carrying a machinegun, with the inscription "martyrdom-seeker Othman Abu Jaafar" written on it, which accompanied the statement.

    The targeted Frenchmen were escorted by Algerian army and police vehicles at the time, the recording said.

    "The explosion resulted in the destruction of the Toyota vehicle which carried the Frenchmen and the death of those who were in it, thanks be to God," the spokesman added.

    The bombing, which wounded six Algerians in addition to the two French engineers and the Italian, came just hours after al-Qaida called for an offensive against French and Spanish targets in the Maghreb.

    "We take these new threats very seriously," foreign ministry spokesman Frederic Desagneaux said in Paris. "We have instructed the diplomatic stations concerned to reinforce security."

    France "firmly condemns Friday's terrorist attack", Desagneaux said.

    Two French nationals who worked for the airport management company Aeroports de Paris were sent back from Algeria earlier this week after France received an Algerian intelligence tip-off that they were to be kidnapped by extremists.

    Algerian agents had specific information about "threats of an abduction" targeting the two airport employees from a "terrorist group linked to al-Qaida", said a source.

    Scores have died in bomb attacks claimed by al-Qaida across Algeria this year.

    On Thursday, al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri issued a video message calling for the "cleansing" of French and Spaniards from North Africa as a first step in restoring the Iberian peninsula to the Islamic world.

    European diplomatic sources and witnesses said the Italian and the two French people, who worked for construction firm Razel, were in a car being escorted by police when the explosive-laden vehicle slammed into their convoy.

    It was not immediately known if the suicide bomber died.

    The Italian was the most seriously injured among the casualties, according to diplomats in Algiers.

    A spokesman for Razel, a subsidiary of German multi-service group Bilfinger Berger based outside Paris, said the three foreigners and an injured Algerian driver had been taken to hospital in Algiers and were "out of danger."

    Al-Qaida has stepped up operations in North Africa through its Algerian offshoot, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which has been renamed al-Qaida in the Maghreb.


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    WAR porno

    WAR Porn

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    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    Red Tape Grounds Iraq's Robo-Planes

    But there are so many bureaucratic hoops to jump through to get those tiny UAVs in the air that many captains have stopped bothering to try. Air clearance is the hoops that comes up most. Although the drones are small, they can get up pretty high -- 1000 feet, or more. Which means there's a concern about the UAVs getting tangled up with helicopters. Setting aside space for the drones can take 24 to 48 hours -- and insurgents don't usually stay in one place that long.

    A few weeks ago in Anbar, I spoke to local Marine commander who had basically given up on using his Dragon Eye, for this reason. The same thing happened in Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad, where Captain Pat Roddy told me, "the Raven? Never fly it." Which is particularly frustrating. Because Roddy regularly gets airspace for himself, to fire mortars. But his higher-ups won't let him launch his drone during that time, because the computer program that tracks airspace says its a no-aircraft zone. Roddy has been told that he can make an emergency switch from mortar to Raven airspace -- and it'll only take an hour to make the switch in the computer. But he can only do so if his troops are in a firefight. And firefights in Iraq almost never take more than a few minutes. An hour later, the Raven is all-but-useless.

    Wired Permalink

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    Ahmadinejad To Visit WTC Site Despite Official Refusal

    From Jawa

    Ahmadinejad To Visit WTC Site Despite Official Refusal - UPDATED

    Action Alert - Please Read and Re-Post

    Prompted by the following action alert from GDG contributor Kenneth Timmerman, I discovered that Iranian president Ahmadinejad still plans to visit 'ground zero', despite the NYPD's refusal to allow it for "security reasons".

    In response to this outrage, many have begun organizing to repel or protest this incursion into one of America's most hallowed memorials. Please read the following action alert, and participate if you are able:

    Dear Friends of Freedom,

    The Foundation for Democracy in Iran, in coordination with Citizens United and other groups, is calling on all Americans, regardless of their origin or political beliefs, to come to New York on Monday to defend Ground Zero from desecration by the terrorist president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    We will be chartering buses from the Washington, DC area. Please watch our website,, for more details and for rendezvous points.

    Stay tuned!

    Best regards,

    Kenneth R. Timmerman
    President and CEO
    Foundation for Democracy in Iran

    For more information about this, please visit Michelle Malkin's blog.
    (hat tip - Howie)


    Updated/ bumped by Howie. McCain says Ahmadinejad should be physically restrained from getting to the WTC site. McCain is joking. But seriously, Ahmadinejad should be blocked. Allahpundit has the video.

    I was curious what had prompted this second action alert, after receiving word last night that the visit was a "no go". Mr. Timmerman was kind enough to clarify:

    Yes, what happened is this. Two hours after our initial email blast, Mayor Bloomberg’s office was inundated with phone calls, and independently of us, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton issued scathing statements condemning a visit to the WTC memorial site. That led the NYPD and Bloomberg’s office to issue their “retraction” saying that Police commissioner Kelly spoke with “outdated information.”

    But that was merely Act II.

    Act III began this morning, when the Iranians announced their intention to visit the WTC site regardless of no police protection. Ahmadinejad won’t be able to lay a wreath at the memorial, but he will be able to go downtown to the WTC site for a photo op.

    So that’s what we are trying to prevent.

    All best,

    We’ll be posting updates as we receive them at

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    Convoy with us for the day, taken at 4 times normal speed Iraq

    Come out on Convoy with us for the day, taken at 4 times normal speed Iraq.

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    Al-Zawahiri Tape, 9.20.07

    Al-Zawahiri called on the Muslims in the Maghreb to bring Andalusia back into the fold of Islam, and stated that this could only be done by "purging the Islamic Maghreb of the French and the Spanish who have returned there."



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    These guys are REAL good, vid

    Watch you can see them twirl through the contrast band to spot targets, WHILE FLYING THE JET: and you see the RPG the guy picked up just before they FIRE.
    A USAF F-18 takes out IED and group of insurgents in Ramadi, Iraq.

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    olde "Awakening Anbar " TRICK

    i know that you are interested in these events and i have just found an interesting post in one of the forums about the strategy of al qaeda in recent weeks in iraq.
    From alhambra in Infovlad forum.
    besides that there are reports that the islamic state is making progress south of baghdad as well as in diyala and in fallujah where they have gained control of more areas.

    also news are coming in of the killing of the chairman of the awakening council in mosul, as well as some tribes in the anbar province have turned away from the coalition with american forces.

    and just because it is so funny, the hamas al iraq correspondent has even been banned in the forum of the muslim brotherhood. but as long as there are such nice places like the fake al boraq forum of the iai they don't need to worry

    edit: sorry got that wrong, i don't know if the council chief in mosul has been killed, but his entire house has been blown up.

    ( arabic translation )

    TRICK - Qaeda DASHES Price Abdul Sattar Abu Rishah (d. John Boutros) e

    TRICK - Qaeda DASHES Price Abdul Sattar Abu Rishah (d. John Boutros) e

    How could rule lure and kill this man?
    In fact, I was feeling great that the rule was in the process of deceiving the American forces and their allies from Sunni tribes in Anbar!
    Sunni tribal ownership of Anbar in a short time was a mystery for me, I am ambivalent observer of this conflict from the outset has never gunmen arrived at such a degree of vulnerability to be expelled from the areas of control so quickly so that the battles of Fallujah first and second persevered where a longer period and endured heavy shelling weeks long! How were defeated at this speed, and without the use of American planes! Here suspicion began to infiltrate my heart which made me reflect upon events and the more you do a quick analysis of what could be events if things were conducted contrary to what Al Qaeda wants:
    1-emerge leader of the Islamic State of Iraq audio tape provided by the threat Waida and threatening the American forces and their allies that his full strength and they did not Enhazumoua but war and Machination.
    2-Sekovoa martyrdom operations to stop the creep of Anbar.
    3-Sekoumoua Setaratham extension to other cities and other Kalmosal to distract the American forces as they were doing in the past.

    As you can see Al Qaeda did not do any of that on the contrary.
    Where evacuated Anbar gunmen in full so that Ramadi has no process months ago!
    No leader leaves the State Minister in his war! Even media was walking the opposite direction
    Dignity Plan, which usually Matincherha base every two weeks and put the proceeds of the operations carried out by the latest statistic is the worst statistical passed to the armed operations in Iraq!
    After that was published in June last more than a thousand in the two weeks unpublished only 200th process in August! ! What is the reason for the publication of such statistical modest? ! !
    In particular, the American forces waged war Trosa relentless! This contravenes policy Qaeda briefing.
    With all these facts realized that there was a game played by Al Qaeda and the trick is, and I have intend to write about this matter before the incident but retreated in fear of eventually create confusion particularly it is just conjecture is not evidence, but here it is speculation to become a reality.
    But the question that presents itself strongly (what is the goal of all this rule?)
    The goal is that Al Qaeda and terrorism in Iraq reached fully convinced that the American forces on the verge of departure, where the war has overwhelmed many They must bow to popular demands to withdraw.
    The withdrawal of the American forces from Iraq would mean that control of the gunmen is therefore a danger that calms rights beta does not know how constructive foundations and therefore wanted to rule this trick to recognize the loyalty of Iraqi tribes and discovered sincerity in armed protection and support sponsors prior to the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.
    Because loyalty sometimes be due to fear of oppression and this showed their vulnerability to show the facts and identify everyone who was sincere in loyalty who was stalking them secretly.
    They made the month of Ramadan and the beginning of the liquidation of the account with their enemies! As to why they made the month of Ramadan is the beginning.
    That is what this month from high impact on the morale of the armed rise and the morale of the American forces dropped.
    The gunmen already succeeded in implementing their plan and malicious Astadwa leader Anbar awakening on the first day of Ramadan, which means that things will be terrible in the coming days.

    The repercussions of the assassination (awakening Anbar)

    Misfortune is not in the killing of the leader of the Council, but will come with Beyond As we talked earlier that assassination is one goal of the objectives of the plan, but there is more.
    It completely disrupt the situation in Anbar and the subsequent assassinations of the front of this council and oral suicide operations inside Anbar, especially in centers of the army and the police, members of the awakening of Anbar become exposed and their faces known showed their understanding during the withdrawal of gunmen no longer their secret to anyone here, the problem! It is therefore not surprising when they are forced out of Anbar as soon as possible Etjerawa not understand it only after certain that the gunmen had been completed, even though they complain even a mere suspicion that the gunmen return of Anbar what they do and what they do not have confidence that the leader of the American forces.
    For this I expect that the American forces rectify the situation as soon as possible and develop solutions for that.
    I do not think that the confrontation with the gunmen by clan will be useful factors in the interest of all armed, they often optimistic about Ramadan and the morale is very high and often complains of increasing American forces operations at this time.
    Let us wait Falayam pregnant with surprises.

    D. John Boutros
    Conduct loving Prince al - Baghdadi

    خدعة القاعدة تطيح برأس عبد الستار أبو ريشة ( د.جون بطرس )ه
    كيف استطاعت القاعدة استدراج وقتل هذا الرجل ؟
    في الحقيقة كان يساورني شعور كبير أن القاعدة كانت تقوم بعملية خداع للقوات الأمريكية وحلفائها من العشائر السنية في الأنبار !
    فسيطرة العشائر السنية على الأنبار في فترة وجيزة كان لغزا محيرا بالنسبة لي فأنا متابع لهذا الصراع منذ البداية فلم يسبق أن وصل المسلحون إلى هذه الدرجة من الضعف بحيث يمكن طردهم من مناطق سيطرتهم بهذه السرعة حتى معارك الفلوجة الأولى والثانية صمدوا فيها فترة أطول وتحملوا القصف العنيف أسابيع طويلة ! فكيف انهزموا في هذه السرعة ومن دون استخدام الطائرات الأمريكية ! هنا بدأ الشك يتسلل إلى قلبي مما جعلني أتأمل الأحداث بشكل أكبر وقمت بعمل تحليل سريع لما يمكن أن تكون عليه الأحداث فيما لو كانت الأمور تجري عكس ما تريده القاعدة :
    1- سيخرج زعيم دولة العراق الإسلامية بشريط صوتي يملؤه تهديدا ووعيدا ويتوعد فيه القوات الأمريكية وحلفائها بأن جنوده بكامل قوتهم وأنهم لم ينهزموا ولكنها الحرب والمكيدة .
    2- سيكثفوا العمليات الاستشهادية لوقف الزحف على الأنبار .
    3- سيقوموا ببسط سيطراتهم على مدن أخرى كالموصل وغيرها لتشتيت القوات الأمريكية كما كانوا يفعلون في السابق .

    فكما تلاحظون فالقاعدة لم تفعل أيا من ذلك بل على العكس .
    حيث قامت بإخلاء الأنبار من المسلحين بشكل كامل حتى أن الرمادي لم تقم فيها أي عملية منذ أشهر !
    ولم يخرج زعيم الدولة ولا وزير حربه ! بل حتى الإعلام كان يسير بالاتجاه المعاكس
    فخطة الكرامة التي عادة ماتنشرها القاعدة كل أسبوعين وتضع فيها حصيلة العمليات التي قامت بها كانت آخر إحصائية هي أسوأ إحصائية مرت على العمليات المسلحة في العراق!
    فبعد أن نشرت في شهر حزيران الماضي أكثر من ألف عملية في أسبوعين لم تنشر سوى مائتي عملية في آب !! فما هو السبب في نشر مثل هذه الإحصائية المتواضعة ؟ !!
    لاسيما والقوات الأمريكية تشن حربا ضروسا لا هوادة فيها ! وهذا يخالف سياسة القاعدة الإعلامية .
    ومع كل هذه المعطيات أيقنت أن هناك لعبة تلعبها القاعدة وخدعة تعد لها ، ولقد كنت أنوي الكتابة عن هذا الأمر قبل وقوعه ولكني تراجعت في النهاية خوفا من إثارة البلبلة لاسيما وهي مجرد تخمينات لا دليل عليها ولكن ها هي التخمينات تصبح حقيقة .
    لكن السؤال الذي يطرح نفسه بقوة ( ما هو هدف القاعدة من كل هذا ؟ )
    الهدف هو أن القاعدة والمسلحين في العراق توصلوا إلى قناعة تامة بأن القوات الأمريكية على وشك الرحيل حيث أن الحرب قد أرهقتها كثيرا ولا بد لها من الرضوخ للمطالب الشعبية بالانسحاب .
    وانسحاب القوات الأمريكية من العراق يعني أن السيطرة ستكون للمسلحين ولهذا فمن الخطر أن يسكن الإنسان بيتا لا يعرف أساساته ولا كيفية بنائه ولهذا أرادت القاعدة بهذه الخدعة أن تتعرف على ولاء العشائر العراقية وتكتشف صدقها في حماية المسلحين ودعم مشروعهم قبل انسحاب القوات الأمريكية من العراق .
    لأن الولاء أحيانا يكون بسبب الخوف من البطش ولهذا أظهروا الضعف لتظهر حقائق الجميع ويتعرفوا على من كان صادقا في الولاء ممن كان يتربص بهم سرا .
    وجعلوا شهر رمضان بداية لتصفية الحساب مع أعدائهم ! أما لماذا جعلوا شهر رمضان هو البداية .
    فهذا يعود لما لهذا الشهر من الأثر الكبير على معنويات المسلحين ارتفاعا وعلى معنويات القوات الأمريكية انخفاضا .
    وفعلا نجح المسلحون في تنفيذ خطتهم الماكرة واصطادوا زعيم صحوة الأنبار في أول أيام رمضان مما يعني أن الأمور ستكون مرعبة في الأيام القادمة .

    تداعيات الاغتيال على ( صحوة الأنبار )

    المصيبة ليست في مقتل زعيم المجلس ولكن فيما سيأتي بعدها فكما تحدثنا سابقا أن الاغتيال هو هدف واحد من أهداف الخطة وإلا فهناك المزيد .
    مما سيربك الوضع تماما في الأنبار وستتوالى الاغتيالات للمتصدرين لهذا المجلس وستكثر العمليات الانتحارية داخل الأنبار وخصوصا في مراكز الجيش والشرطة ، فأعضاء صحوة الأنبار أصبحت وجوههم مكشوفة وأعمالهم معلومة فهم أظهروا نياتهم أثناء انسحاب المسلحين ولم يعد أمرهم خافيا على أحد وهنا المشكلة ! ولذلك فلا غرابة عندما يضطر هؤلاء للخروج من الأنبار بأسرع وقت ممكن فهم لم يتجرؤوا على ذلك إلا بعد أن تيقنوا أن المسلحين قد انتهوا ولو كانوا يشكون ولو مجرد الشك أن المسلحين سيعودون للأنبار لما فعلوا ذلك ولما وثقوا بزعيم المجلس ولا بالقوات الأمريكية .
    ولهذا أتوقع أن تتدارك القوات الأمريكية الموقف بأسرع وقت وتضع الحلول لذلك .
    ولا أظن أن المواجهة مع المسلحين من قبل العشائر ستكون مفيدة فالعوامل كلها في صالح المسلحين ، فهم يتفائلون برمضان كثيرا ومعنوياتهم مرتفعة جدا وغالبا ما تشتكي القوات الأمريكية من ازدياد العمليات في هذا الوقت .
    دعونا ننتظر فالأيام حبلى بالمفاجآت .

    د.جون بطرس
    بتصرف محب الامير البغدادى

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    The END OF AL QAEDA: Error in the Al Qaeda paradigm,

    There is al Qaeda
    and there is

    As-Sahab is not al Qaeda, it is the media arm of AQ.

    As-Sahab is spin control for AQ,

    ( The world views as-sahab as if it were REAL, it is not.
    it is virtual, !!! )

    As-Sahab is doing a remarkable media job.
    But they are loosing their demographic.
    They are command and control, recently in command and control of zip, nada, nothing.
    They have been begging for terror strikes and all have failed,
    they go begging for suicide bombers but Islam has answered
    their call to satan.
    And Muslims world wide are rejecting al Qaeda. Imans against AQ.

    Al qaeda doesn't have the cadre to pull off the operations as-Sahab calls for.

    In the few cases of homegrown terror As-Sahab called for
    were utter disasters with out trained cadre to teach the would be suicide bombers.

    Al Qaeda Suicide bombers 50% of the time only kill themselves.

    From Captians Quarters:

    The timing of this release gives an indication of AQ's intent. By this time, their cells should have carried out at least three attacks, one each in Denmark, Germany, and Turkey, after Osama bin Laden's message from two weeks ago. The German cell had a deadline of September 15th, and one could presume that the others had similar instructions. This video was meant to be seen after three successful attacks across Europe and Asia, behind enemy lines for AQ.


    Miserable failures: AQ is almost Impotent outside Iraq.
    And inside Iraq it is a "virtual Group" iai that is under fire and on the run.


    From Rusty: September 18, 2007
    Former al Qaeda "Capital" Now Safest Place in Iraq

    What a difference a year makes. Totten:

    In early 2007 Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province, was one of the most violent war-torn cities on Earth. By late spring it was the safest major city in Iraq outside Kurdistan.
    Read the rest. Remember, this is the same city that al Qaeda in Iraq declared as its capital for the Islamic State of Iraq.


    So al Qaeda has turned to the Talaban in hope of some success and a lift in AQ moral.
    "Urgent, al-Qaida declares war on the tyrant Pervez Musharraf and his apostate army, in the words of Osama bin Laden," it read.

    But the Talaban has not yet figured out how they have been used by al Qaeda.
    al Qaeda suckered Talaban into a fight with the USA army and the Talaban lost Afghan and have been on the run ever since. Talaban has partnered with Satan.

    Gaddahn: The new al Qaeda leader?
    Hell al Qaeda can't even run their own Jihad,
    they have an American do that for them..


    Communications by Douglas Fahar

    Perhaps one of the most successful achievements of the old guard al Qaeda, besides staying alive, is the vast expansion of its propaganda outreach arm.

    Not only are the videos and tapes coming fast and furious, but in multiple languages aiming at a wide variety of audiences.

    This indicates a level of sophistication and and stability that is both deeply alarming and indicative of how secure the group feels. The videos, with different scenes, subtitles, translations and rapid turnaround time (indicated by the references to recent events) shows that the old guard al Qaeda is dedicating significant resources to the propaganda/outreach wing and has a desire to retain a place of preeminence within the jihadi world.


    As AQ looses on the battle fields of the world they consolidate in the only arena left to them: the world wide web, the Internet.

    Al Qaeda hypothesis is flawed based in Islam. Their hypothis involves Muslim killing Muslim, women, children and bombing Mosques and market places. Those groups who reject them are murdered.
    And the Ummah is recognizing this and rejecting AQ all across Islam.

    al Qaeda is on its last leg as evidenced by lack of attacks and the flurry of desperate videos begging for suicide bombers.

    al Qaeda's reputation is catching up with them in the world of Islam and AQ is being rejected.

    Islam has urged al Qaeda to repent


    Kevin Poulsen, beware. The National Security Agency is coming after you. Or at least your hacker descendants. Fresh from their utter and complete victory over Islamic terrorists, the Ft. Meade gang is turning its attention to a new set of foes, Siobhan Gorman reports for the Baltimore Sun.


    Fort Meade gang is going after as-sahab, recently they shut down all the terrorist sites until they could review the latest video release before anyone else could. Ft. Meade has penetrated as-Sahab and all major forums. According to our count they have taken out 5 jahidist web masters.

    AQ is failing on all fronts, they are impotent, and face their demise with a flurry of activity that signifies an desperate attempt to turn the Ummah's rejection of AQ.

    Islam will take out al Qaeda, it is under way, AQ is counting its days.

    USA winning, is way ahead of al Qaeda.


    post Script:

    as-sabah up loaded this video to 830 places on the web, so they must think its important, and shows how desperate they are.

    But it is a bad/tricky password to get it to work, peter principle.

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    Qaeda urged to repent Algeria bombing

    Qaeda urged to repent Algeria bombing
    Web posted at: 9/20/2007 4:2:12
    Source ::: The Peninsula
    Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi

    Doha • Noted Islamic scholar, Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi, has called on Al Qaeda's North African wing to ‘repent’ the bombings they carried out in Algeria recently, review their ideology and shun violence, local Arabic media reported yesterday.

    “You should follow in the footsteps of the Islamic (extremist) group in Egypt which has announced that they are shunning violence,” the cleric urged Al Qaeda leadership in Islamic Maghrebi (North Africa). "Regret your actions and join the Islamic mainstream," he added.

    In a letter addressed to the Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Al Qaradawi said he was deeply saddened by the twin bomb attacks in Algeria ( in Dellys and Batna towns) which have claimed 60 innocent lives and left more than 200 injured.

    The cleric was in Algeria recently and fell ill. He was admitted to a military hospital and Bouteflika called on him. Al Qaradawi thanked him for the gesture.

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    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Another AQ video, "power of truth".

    September 19, 2007

    The SITE Intelligence Group has learned that a new video is forthcoming from the multimedia arm of al-Qaeda, as-Sahab, titled, “The Power of Truth”.

    A montage of images on a mock-up of a monitor in the advertisement shows the faces of al-Qaeda leadership, including Usama bin Laden, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid AKA Sheikh Saeed and Abu Musab Abdul Wadud.

    Other individuals shown as appearing in the forthcoming release include Mullah Mansour Dadullah, Muhammad Atta, Abdul Bari Atwan, the chief editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, Dr. Abdullah al-Nafeesi, and Michael Scheuer, former Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station of the CIA.

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    Taleban by Patki ?

    Pakistan 'the architect'

    The circumstances of the Taleban's emergence remained the centre of controversial debate.

    Despite repeated denials, Pakistan is seen as the architect of the Taleban enterprise.

    Bomb damage in Kandahar
    Wreckage from a recent attack in Kandahar blamed on the Taleban

    Suspicions arose early on when the Taleban went to the rescue of a Pakistani convoy stranded in Kandahar following attacks and looting by rival mujahideen groups.

    Many of the Afghans who joined the Taleban were educated in madrassas (religious schools) in Pakistan.

    Pakistan was also one of only three countries, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which recognised the Taleban regime.

    It was also the last country to break diplomatic ties with the Taleban.

    The US put Pakistan under pressure to do so after the 11 September, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington.

    Pashtun sympathies

    The Taleban were overwhelmingly Pashtun, the ethnic group that forms the majority of Afghanistan's diverse population and also inhabits the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan in neighbouring Pakistan.

    Even now, the resurgent Taleban draw considerable sympathy from fellow Pashtuns in Pakistan.

    Some of their fugitive leaders are able to find refuge across the long and porous border in NWFP and Balochistan.

    Once in power, the Taleban set up an authoritarian administration that tolerated no opposition to their hardline policies.

    Differences on strategy and Mullah Omar's authoritarian style have prompted some Taleban to quit the movement or become inactive
    Islamic punishments, such as public executions of convicted murderers and amputations of those charged with thefts, were introduced.

    Television, music and cinema were banned after being adjudged as frivolities.

    Girls aged 10 and above were forbidden from going to school - working women were ordered to stay at home.

    Men were required to grow beards and women had to wear the burqa.

    The Taleban's religious police earned notoriety as they tried to implement these restrictions.

    Taleban policies, particularly those concerning human and women's rights, also brought them into conflict with the international community.

    Bin Laden and al-Qaeda

    But what was to bring much greater conflict was the Taleban's role as host to Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda movement.

    MORE: source BBC


    So USA is paying a billion a year to Patki to help fight the terrorist...

    Defeat of the terrorists means good bye a Billion Dollars.

    And Patki won't go after al Qaeda, Talbi in some parts of Pakistan, and won't allow USA to go there either.

    Am I seeing a light?



    Remember the first article above?

    Read this..

    NATO Forces Begin New Operation in Afghanistan

    LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, 20 September 2007 — British-led forces launched a major operation in southern Afghanistan yesterday, aiming to clear Taleban insurgents from a valley in Helmand — the most violent province in the country. Some 2,500 troops from the NATO-led force began the operation yesterday morning with infantry backed by Warrior armored vehicles, guided rocket systems, attack helicopters and fighter jets, a spokesman for the British forces in Helmand said...

    “The purpose of the operation is to continue to remove the Taleban from the area north of Gereshk, to set the conditions whereby the people who live there can start to enjoy security and the government ... can begin to apply governance and development,” Lt. Col. Richard Eaton said.

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    Lebanon: Politician Assassinated by Syria....again,again,again

    Lebanon: Christian Politician Assassinated by Syria....

    Basher Assad continues his ruthless assassination campaign against anti-Syrian politicians in Lebanon. His latest victim is Antoine Ghanem of the Christian Phalange Party....

    BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- A member of the Lebanese parliament died in a Beirut bomb blast Wednesday -- the latest anti-Syrian politician to be killed in the country.

    Lawmaker Walid Eido, his son, Khalid, and two of his bodyguards were killed, Lebanese media reports said.

    Some are calling the attack an assassination and pointing the finger at Syria.

    At least six other people died and 11 were wounded in the explosion, believed to be from a car bomb, in the seaside neighborhood of Manara, according to Lebanese security sources.

    Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, an outspoken critic of Syria, blamed Eido's killing on Damascus, calling it an attempt to reduce the anti-Syrian majority in the Lebanese government.

    "With this bunch of assassins in Damascus, they don't care about international justice," Jumblatt told CNN International

    Gateway had more, including this list of recent assassinations of Christian and Sunni politicians by Syria....

    Rafik Hariri -February 14, 2005
    Samir Kassir -June 2, 2005, again
    George Hawi -June 21, 2005 again
    May Chidiac (attempted assassination) -September 25, 2005 again
    Gebran Ghassan Tueni -December 12, 2005 again
    Pierre Amin Gemayel -November 21, 2006 again
    Walid Eido -June 13, 2007 again
    Antoine Ghanem- September 19, 2007 again:

    Source Wheaselzippers

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    Taliban Used Kids As Human Shields

    Sep 19, 2:37 PM EDT

    U.S.: Taliban Used Kids As Human Shields

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Taliban fighters carrying machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades used children as human shields during a battle in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, forcing U.S.-led coalition soldiers to hold their fire for a time, the coalition said.

    The clash in Uruzgan province began when more than 20 insurgents attacked a joint Afghan and coalition patrol, the coalition said in a statement.

    As aircraft prepared to bomb the site, "coalition forces as well as the aircraft identified several insurgents in one compound using children as human shields," the statement said. Ground troops and the aircraft withheld fire to avoid injuring the children, it said.

    The soldiers did fight the insurgents when they tried to flee the compound, and more than a dozen suspected militants were killed, the coalition said.

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    al Qaeda on the run

    Opinion Journal:

    "We may differ with our American friends about tactics, I might not see eye to eye with them on all matters. But my message to them is one of appreciation and gratitude," he said. " To them I say, you have liberated a people, brought them into the modern world. They used to live in fear and now they live in liberty. Iraqis were cut off from the modern world, and thanks to American intervention we now belong to the world around us. We used to be decimated and killed like locusts in Saddam's endless wars, and we have now come into the light.....

    "Little more than two decades ago, in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution and the Lebanon War of 1982, the American position in this region was exposed and endangered. Look around you today: Everyone seeks American protection and patronage. The line was held in Iraq; perhaps America was overly sanguine about the course of things in Iraq. But that initial optimism now behind us, the war has been an American victory. All in the region are romancing the Americans, even Syria and Iran in their own way.".....

    "The truth is that the Sunnis launched this war four years ago, and have been defeated. The tribes never win wars, they only join the winners."

    From Rusty at MYpetjawa

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    Abu Yaqub al-Masri, DEAD

    This morning during a Pentagon teleconference, Army Major General Kevin Bergner trumpeted recent "successes" against insurgents and terrorists in Iraq, including last month's targeting of the man allegedly responsible for the massive August bombing that killed 400 members of the Yazidi sect. "Abu Yaqub al-Masri was killed when coalition forces conducted operations to detain him on 31 August west of Tarmiyah," Bergner said in a follow-up email.

    THEY ARE NOW ON THE THIRD OR FOURTH STRING PLAYERS, less and less experienced leaders.

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    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    al Qaeda getting the HELL kicked out of it...

    هزيمة للقاعدة
    ......However, what happened in Anbar and the clashes in north Lebanon`s Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, where the Lebanese army engaged in ferocious fighting over three months with members of an al-Qaida-backed militia called Fatah al-Islam, defeating them and killing their leader in the process, are major benchmarks in the ongoing war against terrorism.

    As in Iraq were the Sunnis demonstrated not only their ability to turn against al-Qaida, but to defeat them in battle, so too, has the Lebanese army shown that al-Qaida was far from invincible. In three months of severe clashes involving artillery duels, the Lebanese army suffered close to 200 casualties -- a huge number given the size of the Lebanese armed forces. But the determination of the Lebanese army showed that the answer to the infiltration of al-Qaida in Arab countries is to engage local forces in the battle, rather than foreign troops.

    The crushing defeat suffered by al-Qaida in Anbar and in north Lebanon is not to be underestimated. The terrorist organization will fight back in any way it can. They will conduct targeted assassinations of those who dared to oppose them, as they did in Iraq last week when they killed a prominent Sunni sheik who dared to defy them by publicly announcing his alliance to U.S. forces.

    Yet what we are seeing with the opposition to al-Qaida`s interference in domestic affairs by the Iraqis and the Lebanese is highly significant.

    This in fact marks the third major setback suffered by Osama bin Laden`s terrorist outfit in the Arab world. Their first defeat came in Saudi Arabia when Saudi forces, following an initial setback, were able to retake the upper hand, defeating, capturing or killing a number of cells operating in the desert kingdom. The second and third defeats came back-to-back with the victory of the Lebanese army over Fatah al-Islam and the routing of the Islamists from Anbar province.
    Source: more

    (Claude Salhani is editor of the Middle East Times.)


    AQ most recent videos have been commercials for suicide bombers, and recruits. They are hurting. Islam turns against them. and they must use Rewards and hope operations happen, desperate situation.



    September 17, 2007

    Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's emir kicked out

    By Olivier Guitta

    As The Croissant just reported citing 2 reports in the Algerian press, Abdelmalek Droudkel, aka Abu Mussab, was allegedly kicked out of his position of emir of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) by his peers.
    I had mentioned on this site the dissension inside the ranks of AQIM since the ex GSPC changed his name in January and pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda. In fact after the triple suicide bombings in Algiers on 4/11, many AQIM members did not approve of the use of suicide bombings targeting civilians.
    To go on a limb, this news could mean the death of AQIM per se and a return of the ex GSPC to a more guerilla style terrorism approach.

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    angel of death

    Angel of Death: Kill not Muslims, women, children, bomb Mosques or market places انجيل الموت : لا تقتل المسلمين والنساء والاطفال قنبلة المساجد او الاسواق....

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    Enemy, Helmand, Mary jane

    Long article, but a good one, you can see light at end of tunnel, great perspective.
    Need to seperate taliban from al Qaeda. Social change.
    Tali wil consider gov. co-operation...


    For residents of the northern
    province of Takhar, there are worse things than the Taleban. By Sayed
    Yaqub Ibrahimi in Takhar

    #2) ROUGH JUSTICE IN HELMAND The Taleban’s Sharia courts are meting out
    swift, sometimes brutal punishment, but many residents say they prefer
    it that way. By Aziz Ahmad Tassal in Garmseer

    of Balkh was deemed poppy-free, but now industrious farmers are
    to another cash crop - marijuana. By Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi in



    For residents of the northern province of Takhar, there are worse
    things than the Taleban.

    By Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi in Takhar

    While attention focuses on fighting in southern Afghanistan, there are
    parts of the north where the law is made not by Kabul, but by militia
    commanders who use violence and intimidation to maintain their hold
    the civilian population.

    An IWPR investigation in the northern province in Takhar has revealed a
    succession of stories of abduction and brutal assault. A militia
    commander denied any involvement, while officials said merely that
    should use legal channels to pursue their complaints – no easy route
    when local institutions tend to favour the strong over the weak.

    At a national level, the Afghan government appears unwilling or unable
    to curb the “warlords” – and some argue that it ignores the
    problem at its peril, as these strongmen not only rule the roost on
    ground but have been allowed to permeate and influence the
    institutions of

    Habib Rassoul, a resident of Takhar, cannot talk about his wife without
    tears of grief and rage. For the past three months, he has had no word
    of her.

    “Commander Piram Qul kidnapped my wife while I was away in Kabul
    helping my sick brother,” he said. “I have no idea what has
    happened to
    her. I went to every office, complained to every official, but no one
    will help me. They are all afraid of Piram Qul.”

    According to Habib, the kidnapping was intended to punish him for
    attending a demonstration in April against the dominance of local
    commanders in the province.

    “The government is lying when it says it’s in control of the
    country,” he said bitterly. “There is no government here, just
    commanders who control our destinies. NATO and ISAF [International
    Assistance Force] are busy in the south, and they have left us in the
    clutches of local commanders who are more dangerous than the

    Takhar, in the far north of Afghanistan on the border with Tajikistan,
    receives little attention from the Kabul government or the foreign
    military forces in comparison with the violent and volatile southern
    provinces. While ISAF and the Afghan National Army fight pitched
    against the resurgent Taleban in Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan and other
    southern provinces, Takhar like other northern areas has remained
    quiet, and has consequently been left to its own devices.

    During the early Nineties when the mujaheddin who had fought the
    Soviets were in control, Takhar held by Jamiat-e-Islami, one of the
    powerful factions in the Northern Alliance. While Jamiat has made the
    transition from armed grouping to legitimate political organisation,
    residents complain that many of the strongmen on the ground have not
    ceded control and are still using their influence and their guns to
    the province.

    “I have been threatened with death six times by these local
    commanders,” said Habib. “You can go to every office, from the
    civil servant right up to the governor, but they cannot act against
    commanders because they are scared of them. We don’t know where to

    Habib is one of hundreds of people who claim to have been victimised by
    “warlords” in Takhar. Most of the people interviewed for this
    report would not give their names and appeared to be in fear of their

    One man, 31 years old, held pictures of his two sons, aged eight and
    six. He wept as he told his story.

    “Commander Piram Qul took my two sons from my home last year. He
    killed them, put their bodies in a sack and dumped them in the
    river,” he
    said , tears pouring down his cheeks.

    He claimed that the murders were retribution for his own continuing
    protests against local warlords.

    “Piram Qul told me when he took my sons, ‘This is your punishment
    for your propaganda against the commanders,” he said.

    “I went everywhere. I wanted justice. I wanted to avenge the murder.
    But everyone told me just to forget it. No one listened to me.”

    Mullah Piram Qul was a powerful Jamiat-e-Islami commander in Takhar
    before the beginning of the nationwide disarmament programmes that
    followed the ousting of the Taleban regime in late 2001. According to
    Qul himself, he had 5,000 men under arms at the time.

    Now he is a member of Afghanistan’s parliament, one of nine
    representatives from Takhar who sit in the legislature in Kabul and
    help shape
    the country’s future.

    Piram Qul rejected all allegations that he is implicated in abductions
    and killings.

    “That is a complete lie,” he told IWPR. “These accusations are
    false. The people who are accusing me are either Taleban or have
    connections to the Taleban. They are just trying to cause a rift
    between the
    central government and the former commanders. They are trying to
    the mujaheddin to act against the government, and to weaken the

    Piram Qul insisted that he had no gunmen under his control, and that he
    had handed all his weapons over during the DDR (Disarmament,
    Demobilisation and Reintegration) and DIAG (Disbandment of Illegal
    Armed Groups)

    DDR and DIAG, part of the generously-funded Afghan New Beginnings
    Programme backed by the United Nations, sought to reduce the number of
    with guns and break up the paramilitary groups they belonged to. But
    even the proponents of these programmes admit that the lofty goals
    were set initially have not been achieved.

    Piram Qul was adamant, however, that he had made the transition from
    militia commander to parliamentarian.

    “I am a representative of the people,” he said. “I am with the
    government, and I work within the framework of the law.”

    Anyone with a case against him was welcome to seek legal redress, he

    “Let them prove their charges,” he said. “Nowadays we have laws,
    police, attorneys and courts. Accusations made outside these
    institutions are merely an attempt to heap blame on someone.”

    Takhar’s provincial governor Latif Ibrahimi agreed.

    “If someone makes an accusation, the government has clear procedures
    for doing something about it,” he told IWPR. “When a crime is
    committed, there is the district governor, there is the chief of
    police, and
    there are courts. People should go through these channels, and the
    government will act in accordance with the law.”

    The governor denied that his administration was in any way intimidated
    by the commanders.

    “We implement the law equally for everyone,” he said. “We are not
    under the influence of the commanders. But we cannot punish people on
    the basis of accusations. The accuser has to prove his charge.”

    Victims say that the government is unwilling or unable to help them.

    Daulat Bibi, 40, told IWPR that she was raped by 13 men working for a
    local commander.

    “I was hospitalised for one and a half months,” she said. “I went
    to the district governor’s office, but no one listened to me. Those
    who raped me walk free, and the government did not even bother to
    arrest them. I went everywhere, but people told me, ‘There is no law
    can do anything against these commanders. Just forget it.’”

    Human rights organisations confirm that the government does not seem
    capable of resisting the power of the commanders, and that people with
    grievances often have little recourse.

    “These people are really unfortunate,” said Mohammad Zahir Zafari,
    head of the northeastern division of the Afghan Independent Human
    Rights Commission. “In the past these commanders destroyed their
    But now the commanders get appointed as district governors, police
    chiefs and so on. Where are people supposed to go to defend their

    Zafari’s organisation receives an average of four complaints a week
    against commanders, he said. But in most of the cases where formal
    charges are brought, the courts decide in favour of the commanders.

    “Five months ago, one of the minor commanders raped a 10-year-old boy
    in Bangee district,” he said. “The child was injured, with a
    perforated bowel. But when the child’s father tried to sue the
    he had no success. The commander used his money and influence, and the
    whole matter was decided in his favour.”

    There were hundreds of such cases, he added, concluding, “It is a
    disaster here.”

    A member of parliament who did not want to be named said that the
    commanders were a law unto themselves.

    “Every single former commander has created his own local government
    in the districts,” said the parliamentarian. “They do whatever
    please, with no regard for the law. No one, including the institutions
    of central government, can do anything without the permission of these
    local commanders.

    He cited an example from Takhar’s Chah Ab district, where the
    appointment of a mayor was opposed by a local commander.

    “The mayor was run out of his office immediately after he got in,”
    he said . “The commander told him, ‘I have been governing here for
    years, and I have the power. Anyone who wants to be appointed needs to
    get my permission first. Not like you.’”

    There were many similar cases, added the parliamentarian. “That’s
    just a snapshot of the whole problem,” he said. “There is a
    government within the government here.”

    Abdurrahman, a shopkeeper in Rustaq district, showed his scarred
    stomach as he told his tale of violence and intimidation.

    “There’s a former Jamiat commander who owes me 12,000 he said,”
    he said. “He used to shop in my store. But every time I tried to
    it up with him, he threatened to kill me. I was beaten with a gun just
    for asking for my rights.

    “When I saw that no one was paying any attention to me, I just said
    to hell with it. I don’t know who to complain to. Wherever I turn, I
    still see that the only law comes from the barrel of a gun.”

    Nor is the problem confined to outlying districts. Mohammad Ehsan, 25,
    is a resident of Takhar’s capital, Taloqan.

    “I was engaged to Najiba, who was 20 years old,” he said. “Two
    months after we got engaged, a commander took my fiancée by force.
    she is his wife. I have been threatened and told not to pursue my
    Neither the government nor the girl’s family will listen to me,
    because they are all afraid of the commander.”

    Political analyst Qayum Babak, the editor of Jahan-e-Nau newspaper,
    blames the president for allowing the militia leaders to survive and

    “Everyone knows that the government of [President Hamed] Karzai has
    been very soft on the local commanders over the past six years, and
    has encouraged them to try to regain their lost power,” he said.
    “These commanders have taken advantage of Karzai’s leniency, and
    grown like a cancer. They will choke the life out of the Karzai

    Former commanders now have positions of influence within the
    government, which they can use to their advantage, he said.

    “They have used their positions to make laws that prevent anyone from
    putting them on trial,” said Babak. If we look at the situation
    realistically, these commanders make the law, they are in the
    and they control the provinces. So where are the poor people to

    While the attention of the president and the foreign forces is directed
    towards the south, the commanders are extending their reach in the
    north, he said.

    “Both the government and NATO think that the real danger is the
    Taleban, and that these commanders are not a threat,” he said.

    “But I want to tell them that these commanders will paralyse the
    central government. They are more dangerous than the Taleban.”

    Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi is an IWPR staff reporter based in Mazar-e-Sharif.


    The Taleban’s Sharia courts are meting out swift, sometimes brutal
    punishment, but many residents say they prefer it that way.

    By Aziz Ahmad Tassal in Garmseer

    It was a banal, everyday quarrel over watering rights. In
    drought-stricken Helmand, farmers often come to blows over whose turn
    it is to use
    the water from irrigation canals. But Ghani and Mohammad Lal, two
    neighbours in a small village in Garmseer district, took things too

    Their dispute escalated to a point where one day, as Ghani went out to
    water his land, Mohammad Lal took his gun and shot him dead. Then he
    went home.

    Within minutes, Taleban security services had picked up Mohammad Lal
    and taken him to their base in Miaan Kushti.

    Garmseer, a district of Helmand some 30 kilometres from the provincial
    capital Lashkar Gah, is almost entirely under the control of the
    Taleban, who form the de facto local administration.

    Mohammad Lal was brought before a Taleban judge and found guilty, and
    within three days Ghani’s family was informed that they could come
    the execution.

    According to Sharia, the body of Islamic law, in a murder case the
    victim’s family has the right to vengeance by carrying out a death
    sentence themselves. Called “qisas”, it corresponds to the
    principle of
    “an eye for an eye”.

    Ghani’s brother was given a gun, and he shot Mohammad Lal without

    “I am very happy with the result,” said the brother, who did not
    want to give his name. “If the government had been in charge, there
    would have been a lot of paperwork and who knows how it would have

    “But this is good. I was given a gun and I shot my brother’s
    killer. The government wouldn’t let us do that. The Taleban decide
    very quickly, without wasting time. And they give people the right to
    carry out the punishment.”

    More and more, people in Helmand are seeking justice through the Sharia
    courts which the Taleban have set up in all the areas under their

    The Afghan government’s hold on the majority of Helmand’s 14
    districts is weak, with some areas such as Musa Qala, Washir and
    almost totally ceded to the Taleban.

    Even where the state is present, many people see its judicial system as
    hopelessly corrupt and inefficient. Increasingly, they are coming to
    prefer the Taleban’s swift administration of a ruthless form of

    Gul Agha, who works as a driver in Kajaki in the north of the province,
    professed himself happy with the Taleban courts.

    “The government cannot resolve our cases,” he said. “They do not
    punish criminals according to Islamic law. If they arrest a thief,
    don’t cut off his hand. And some of the criminals they arrest are
    set free to walk the streets.”

    A local Taleban commander, Mullah Abdullah Akhund, insists his men act
    in full accordance with Islamic law, if not with Afghanistan’s
    written constitution.

    “We do not accept the constitution,” he said firmly. “Our
    constitution is the Koran. We punish a murderer or adulterer according
    Sharia, and this is done by the Ulema [Islamic scholars] in each
    district,” he said.

    The mullah railed against the laxity of Afghanistan’s civil law.

    “There is nothing in the constitution about hair or beards, but
    shaving is prohibited by our law,” he said. “And the constitution
    that those who commit adultery should be imprisoned. But they should

    A resident of Musa Qala, Abdul Manaaf, told IWPR that people there were
    very happy with the Taleban court system.

    “The Taleban issue rulings in accordance with Sharia, and they solve
    people’s problems without taking bribes or putting other obstacles
    people’s way,” he said in a telephone interview

    Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Garmseer, agreed that the process was

    “The decisions taken by the Taleban make people happy, because the
    process does not take long. If we take our cases to the government
    courts, it can take months and months. They also ask for bribes. But
    Taleban don’t waste time,” he said.

    In areas under their control, the Taleban have set up an entire system,
    with district governors, police, courts and judges.

    According to Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, a Taleban spokesman, each district
    court has four judges.

    “They are wise and educated people,” he said. “They issue
    independent rulings, and locals who have problems can come to them for
    They rule on cases such as murder, adultery, personal injury and so

    However, Mullah Ahmad, the head of the Ulema council for Helmand
    province, rejects the Taleban’s claim to be administering Sharia

    “The Taleban cannot decide a case properly. This is just
    propaganda,” he fumed.

    He dismissed the charge that the government courts were too slow. “It
    takes time to study a case,” he insisted.

    Mullah Ahmad did acknowledge that there was corruption within the state
    system, and noted that relationship between his clerical council and
    the government was at times strained.

    “I am part of the government, but it does not pay attention to us, in
    part because there is bribery in the government courts,” he said.

    Mullah Ibrahim Akhund, a resident of Washir district, expressed mixed
    feelings about having a Taleban administration in charge.

    “Taleban rule is good to an extent,” he admitted. “There are no
    thieves, and the courts don’t take bribes. That’s very good.”

    But he also said, “We are not happy with the Taleban because if the
    government comes back, we will be in trouble.”

    In addition, he said, the Taleban’s presence heightened the risk of
    being drawn into the ongoing conflict. “It is because the Taleban
    here that foreigners are killing Afghan civilians,” he said.

    Another resident of Washir, who did not want to be named, had a major
    grievance against the Taleban courts.

    “I fell in love with my brother-in-law’s sister,” he explained.
    “One day I was at her house to see her, and her brothers caught me.
    They beat me severely, then they raped me.”

    The speaker, a 26-year-old man, said that he brought his case to the

    “The Taleban said they needed eyewitnesses. Where was I supposed to
    get them?” he said. “In the end we went to the government. But
    nothing has happened. We may never be able to resolve this case.”

    Aziz Ahmad Tassal is an IWPR staff reporter in Helmand.


    The northern province of Balkh was deemed poppy-free, but now
    industrious farmers are turning to another cash crop - marijuana.

    By Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi in Mazar-e-Sharif

    First, the good news. In June, the Afghan government announced that the
    northern province of Balkh had stopped growing opium poppy.

    Balkh joined 12 other provinces as certified poppy-free zones, a
    designation which brings with it assurances of increased assistance

    But farmers and local officials say the opium poppies have been
    replaced with marijuana (or cannabis) plants, cultivation of which has
    increased at a precipitous rate.

    “The government has banned opium poppy,” said Nazar Gul, a
    54-year-old farmer in Charbolak district. “Now we have started to
    marijuana, which is also good for us.”

    Other crops would not meet his family’s expenses, insisted Nazar Gul.

    “I planted poppy last year, but soldiers came to our house to warn us
    that if we grew it, they’d destroy our homes. What could we do? The
    best way out was to switch to marijuana, and I hope to make good money
    this year, too.”

    Marijuana is not as lucrative as opium, he added, but it is still far
    ahead of any legal crop.

    “For us farmers, poppy is gold and marijuana is silver,” he said.

    The province is famed for its high-quality hashish - known as “Balkh

    Atta Mohammad Noor, the provincial governor, admits that this
    alternative crop is on the rise in Balkh.

    “People did not plant poppy this year, but it seems marijuana has
    taken its place,” he said.

    No specific statistics were available as yet, he added, and the
    government had few tools with which to combat the new problem.

    "Our counter-narcotics department has plans in hand for eradicating
    marijuana in the province, but who is going to pay for it?" he asked.

    The governor complained that central government had not allocated a
    budget for eradicating marijuana, and had not even remunerated his
    administration for the work it did to stamp out poppy, including the
    costs of
    a commission that worked with farmers to stop growing that crop.

    “We cleared 64,000 jeribs [128 square kilometers] of opium poppy last
    year,” he said. “Every year, the international community announces
    that it is spending millions of dollars on counter-narcotics but we
    haven’t seen a dime of that money.”

    With no funds to curb marijuana production, the plants can be seen
    growing everywhere in Balkh, even along highways which government and
    foreign military vehicles use all the time.

    While the government dithers, farmers are making a killing.

    According to farmer Nazar Gul, he can harvest 50 to 100 pounds of
    hashish from each jerib of land (22-50 dollars per 2,000 square
    metres), and
    he expects to make 70,000 afghanis, the equivalent of 1,400 dollars,
    from his entire crop.

    The price of hashish differs according to type and quality.

    According to Mohammad Muhsan, a farmer in Charbolak district, they sort
    the harvest into two grades, the high-quality shirak and the rest
    termed “khaka” or “dust”.

    “We can reap about 40 pounds of shirak and 80 pounds of khaka from
    each jerib,” said Muhsan. “Each pound of shirak is worth about
    afghani [20 dollars], while a pound of khaka goes for 500 afghani.”

    “Marijuana is a very good crop,” he continued. “We get five times
    more money from it than from wheat.”

    Still, it lags behind opium, he complained, explaining that he used to
    harvest about 20 kilograms of opium from one jerib of land, and
    normally earned 100 dollars a kilo, sometimes 200 dollars.

    Farmers say that marijuana has the advantage of being less
    labour-intensive than opium.

    “We used to have to spend half of what we made just to produce the
    opium,” explained Ahmad Shah, a farmer in Chamtal district. “We
    to weed the fields and we also had to spend a lot on harvesting. With
    marijuana, you just plant it, water it a little and then harvest it
    wheat. It does not take so much work or money.”

    Marijuana is planted in April and May and harvested in November and
    December, according to farmers.

    “The harvested hashish is raw. We often sell this to traffickers and
    then it’s up to them what to do with it,” said Ahmad Shah. “As
    far as I know, if the traffickers want to sell the hashish inside
    Afghanistan, they process or cook it. For smuggling abroad, they use
    both raw
    and processed hashish.”

    A trafficker in Charbolak district who did not want to be named said it
    was easier to smuggle the processed hashish.

    “I purchase several sacks of hashish from farmers up here and then
    send it to the south to sell to major traffickers,” he said.
    is mostly smuggled to Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan, and from these
    countries it is sent to Europe and other parts of the world. Balkh
    hashish is very famous around the globe.”

    The trafficker said that having a bumper crop this year has had its
    downside, “The price of hashish seems to be falling day by day. This
    because of two major factors - one, cultivation of marijuana has
    increased; and second, the government has imposed some restrictions
    and set
    up security checkpoints, so people think it is too difficult to

    In Balkh itself, people are proud of their local product and see no
    need to hide it.

    The bazaar in the village of Alam Khil is an old and venerable
    institution whose ancient shops mostly sell the local speciality.

    “We divide the hashish into small pieces called ‘tali’,”
    explained a shopkeeper who did not give his name. “Each piece costs
    from 10
    to 100 afghani [20 cents to two dollars].”

    The buyers are mostly young men with a little spare cash, he added.

    “We sell the hashish to free-spending young men, who think nothing of
    paying five or ten afghani,” he said. “We are retailers and we
    make good money. Selling this way, we get about 2,000 afghani [40
    for a pound of hashish.

    The shopkeeper went on to boast of his wares, saying, “The hashish I
    sell is very famous. People come to me from all over the country. I
    even sell to foreigners.”

    He showed IWPR’s reporter a piece of hashish weighing about 50 grams
    wrapped in plastic foil. “This costs about 200 afghani. It will make
    anybody who smokes it just fall down,” he said with pride.

    Afghanistan’s counter-narcotics ministry says it will take as tough a
    stand on hashish as it did on opium.

    “We are committed to getting rid of all types of narcotics in
    Afghanistan,” said ministry spokesman Zalmay Afzali. “We are
    planning on
    eradicating marijuana in the provinces.”

    He added that no final figures were available for levels of marijuana
    cultivation in Balkh, but added, “We will fight it as we did with

    The governor, still citing cash problems, was not so sure.

    “We obey the orders of central government and we consider it our duty
    to eradicate narcotics,” said Noor. “But this is really difficult
    to do without a budget.”

    Afzali acknowledged that the Balkh administration had not been paid for
    its anti-poppy campaign, but insisted the money would show up

    ”The Afghan government and the international community will
    definitely give the money they promised, but there have been some
    problems in delivering the money to some provinces,” he said. “We
    not living in America or Britain where there is a very well-developed
    banking system.”

    Meanwhile, Balkh’s landowners are moving ahead with plans for the
    harvest, and are keeping one uneasy eye on law-enforcement officers.

    “The government should just leave us alone to live our lives,” said
    farmer Ghulam Nabi. “They promised they would help us if we stopped
    growing poppy, but they have done nothing so far. We suffered very big
    losses. Now we are looking forward to the marijuana crop.”

    He warned, “If the government destroys our fields, we will be
    completely ruined. My family and I will throw ourselves under the
    They will have to drive over us first.”

    Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi is an IWPR staff reporter in Mazar-e-Sharif.


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