International Terrorism Watch

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan - July 07, 2009

Postby shravan » 28 Jul 2009 09:35

OT

Nigerian Islamist attacks spread
27 July 2009

Dozens of people have been killed after Islamist militants staged three attacks in northern Nigeria, taking the total killed in two days of violence to 150.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan - July 07, 2009

Postby shravan » 30 Jul 2009 20:52

Nigeria clashes rage as death toll tops 300

MAIDUGURI (Nigeria): Troops struggled to crush an Islamist group in northern Nigeria on Wednesday as the death toll from four days of clashes surged past 300 and thousands of people were forced to flee their homes.

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International Terrorism Watch

Postby archan » 30 Jul 2009 22:02

This thread is for all terrorism, war related news and discussion that is not (yet) linked to TSP. This is to avoid OT posts in the other threads and will perhaps also provide an opportunity to have a record of events and news. It may help in connecting some dots.
This is not for the Af-Pak region.
Two earlier posts from shravan will be moved here and since they are older, they will show up above this post. ^^

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Gerard » 30 Jul 2009 22:04


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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 31 Jul 2009 00:27

Q+A-Who are the Islamic sect in northern Nigeria?
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Following are questions and answers on who the group are, what they want, and whether their ideology is widely followed.

WHO OR WHAT IS BOKO HARAM?

Sometimes referred to as the "Nigerian Taliban", the group's members are followers of a self-proclaimed Islamic scholar, Mohammed Yusuf, who is radically opposed to Western education and wants sharia (Islamic law) to be adopted across Nigeria.

Based in Maiduguri, capital of the northeastern state of Borno, his followers include former university lecturers and students in other northern states including Kano, Yobe, Sokoto and Bauchi, as well as illiterate, jobless youths.

Boko Haram means "Western education is sinful" in the Hausa language spoken across northern Nigeria and sums up the main pillar of the group's ideology. Some of its members resigned their jobs as lecturers when they joined the sect.

Yusuf himself, who is thought to be in his mid-30s and have considerable private wealth, had a Western-style education, but his followers -- who come from diverse ethnic backgrounds in the predominantly Muslim north -- say he was also educated in Iran.

Boko Haram followers pray in separate mosques in cities including Maiduguri, Kano and Sokoto, and wear long beards and red or black headscarves.

They believe their wives should not be seen by any men other than themselves and are not supposed to use Western-made goods.

Anybody who does not follow their strict ideology -- whether Christian or Muslim -- is considered an infidel.


WHY DID THE VIOLENCE ERUPT?

President Umaru Yar'Adua has said the security agencies had been tracking the sect for several years, describing them as a "potentially dangerous group" who have been gathering weapons and intelligence to try to force their views on Nigerians.

Violence broke out in Bauchi state on Sunday when some members of the group were arrested on suspicion of plotting to attack a police station. Unrest quickly spread to other cities across northern Nigeria.

Yar'Adua ordered the security forces to use all necessary means to control the situation after sect members armed with machetes, knives, home-made hunting rifles and petrol bombs went on the rampage attacking churches and government buildings.


IS THERE A HISTORY OF SECTARIAN VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA?

Africa's most populous nation is roughly equally divided between Christians and Muslims and more than 200 ethnic groups generally live peacefully side by side, although civil war left one million dead between 1967 and 1970.

The stricter enforcement of sharia in 12 of Nigeria's 36 states in 2000 alienated sizeable Christian minorities in the north and sparked clashes which killed thousands.

In 2002 at least 215 people died in rioting in the northern city of Kaduna following a newspaper article suggesting the Prophet Mohammad would probably have married one of the beauty queens at a Miss World contest being held in Abuja.

A Muslim protest against Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in the northern city of Maiduguri ran out of control in 2006, sparking a week of rioting which killed at least 157.

There have also been clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs in central Nigeria, a region known as the Middle Belt, most recently last November in the wake of a disputed local government chairmanship election, although the hostilities were more about politics than religion.


DOES RADICAL ISLAM HAVE A FOOTHOLD IN WEST AFRICA?

West Africa has a strong tradition of moderate Sufi Islam whose brotherhoods are renowned for their tolerance, particularly in the Sahel -- the southern fringe of the Sahara desert stretching across the northern edge of Nigeria.

Salafist insurgents from Algeria, Tablighi clerics from Pakistan and Wahabist missionaries from Saudi Arabia -- all seen as potential threats by Western intelligence services -- have tried to gain a foothold in the region in recent years.

By and large they have failed.

Islamic jurisprudence in Nigeria is based on the moderate Maliki school of Sunni Islam, and Boko Haram's ideology is widely dismissed by the country's Muslim leaders and believers.

The main militant threat in the Sahara is seen as al Qaeda's North African wing, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which grew out of Algeria's civil war in the 1990s and was formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).

Nigeria arrested a group of Islamists with suspected links to al Qaeda in 2007 and some Western diplomats have expressed concerns that -- with its huge population, widespread poverty and strategic importance as an oil supplier to the West and to China -- it could become a target for radical Islamic groups.

Boko Haram's apparently chaotic tactics have little in common with those of Islamic militant groups elsewhere and no conclusive evidence of al Qaeda's presence in Nigeria or of links to the Taliban in Afghanistan has been made public.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 31 Jul 2009 00:48

Is Al-Qaida a friend or enemy of America ?

How many Al-Qaida Top operatives have been killed or captured by America ?

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 31 Jul 2009 09:22

Police car blown up during summit in Tajik capital
Thu Jul 30, 2009
DUSHANBE (Reuters) - A bomb blew up a police car on Thursday evening in the Tajik capital Dushanbe where the presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia were holding security talks, an interior ministry source said on Friday.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 31 Jul 2009 14:06

'At least 11 soldiers dead' in Algeria ambush
‎Jul 30, 2009‎
ALGIERS — At least 11 Algerian soldiers were killed in an ambush by Islamic extremists while they escorted a group of Chinese construction workers, reports said on Thursday..... :eek:
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The attack was among the deadliest for Algerian security forces this year. On June 17, 18 gendarmerie troops and a civilian were killed in an attack on a military convoy near Bordj Bou Arreridj, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) southeast of Algiers.

The Algerian military regularly carries out "search and destroy" operations against radicals of Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which is blamed for the attacks on forces of the secular regime.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 03 Aug 2009 12:06

Three government workers, policeman killed in South Russia

August 02, 2009

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Three workers from Russia's Emergency Ministry were gunned down in the Ingushetia region on Sunday and a policeman was shot dead overnight in nearby Dagestan, underscoring simmering tension in the country's south.
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In an unrelated incident, militants killed a policeman in Russia's Dagestan region, which is separated from Ingushetia by Chechnya.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Gerard » 04 Aug 2009 03:01

Men arrested over suicide attack plot
A plot by Islamic extremists in Melbourne to launch a suicide attack on an Australian Army base has been uncovered by national security agencies.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 04 Aug 2009 12:47

Gerard wrote:[url=http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25879571-29277,00.html]

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The cell has been inspired by the Somalia-based terrorist movement al-Shabaab, with two Melbourne men, both Somalis, having travelled to Somalia in recent months to obtain training with the extremist organisation, which is aligned with al-Qa'ida.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 06 Aug 2009 09:00

THAILAND: Snoop, Snoop

August 4, 2009: The 30,000 troops in the Moslem south may not be halting the violence, but arrests are being made and evidence found of who the terrorists are and who is helping them. For example, Jemaah Islamiyah, the Indonesian Islamic terrorist movement, has been showing the Thai Moslem terrorists how to build bombs. But a lot of the bomb technology the terrorists are using, comes from stuff available in English and Arabic on pro-terrorist web sites. The southern terrorists are using more remotely controlled roadside bombs, but the terrorists are not able to obtain sufficient explosives to kill a lot of their victims. The terrorists are also running out of places to hide, as the southern Moslem provinces are not large, and the police and military intelligence know a lot more about who is who and doing what (legally or otherwise) because of several years of intensive snooping around. The terrorists are being found, and chased, through the forests.

In the south, Islamic terrorists killed two non-Moslem civilians in drive by shootings.

August 2, 2009: In the south, Islamic terrorists killed a non-Moslem civilian in drive by shootings.

July 28, 2009: In the south, Islamic terrorists killed four Moslem and non-Moslem civilians in drive by shootings.

July 26, 2009: In the south, a soldier and Islamic terrorism were killed.

July 20, 2009: In the south, Islamic terrorists killed three non-Moslem civilians in drive by shootings.

July 18, 2009: In the south, two soldiers were killed by a remote control truck bomb. Last month, 36 people were killed, and over a hundred were wounded, by Islamic terrorism.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Chinmayanand » 06 Aug 2009 16:40

X posting...

BBC now admits Al Qaeda never existed

Al Qaeda = the base + i arabic word = the data base
al qaeda is basically just a database of names of jihads who fought the commies in afghanistan in the 80s !

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 09 Aug 2009 08:46

French embassy targeted in Mauritania attack

NOUAKCHOTT, Aug 8 (Reuters) - A suicide bomber blew himself up and wounded two guards outside the French embassy in Mauritania's capital on Saturday, a French embassy source said.
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The attack took place three days after Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who toppled Mauritania's first democratically elected leader in a coup last year, was sworn in as president of the Islamic state promising to make the fight against al Qaeda a priority.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 10 Aug 2009 23:20

Attacks in Iraq kill 48, injure 250

August 10, 2009

A double truck bombing tore through the village of a small Shi'ite ethnic minority near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, while nine blasts wracked Baghdad on Monday in a wave of violence that killed at least 48 people and injured more than 250.

The attacks provided a grim example of US military warnings that insurgents are targeting Shi'ites in an effort to re-ignite the kind of sectarian violence that nearly tore the country apart in 2006 and 2007.

The deadliest blast on Monday was a double truck bombing in Khazna village, just east of Mosul, home of the Shabak, a small Shi'ite ethnic group in the north.
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No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

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Seems like Al-Qaeda wants America to stay in Iraq...:)

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Chinmayanand » 12 Aug 2009 15:10




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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 18 Aug 2009 09:30

Suicide Bomber Kills 20 in Southern Russia
AUGUST 17, 2009

MOSCOW -- A suicide bomber drove a truck laden with explosives into a police station in southern Russia on Monday, killing 20 police officers at their morning roll call and wounding more than 130 people in the most costly rebel attack in Russia's troubled Caucasus region in five years.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby SSridhar » 20 Aug 2009 10:42

KSA arrests 44 terrorists; arms seized
Those held were part of a “deviant group” and included 43 Saudi nationals and an unidentified foreign resident, the Saudi Interior Ministry’s spokesman said in a statement reported by the state news agency SPA. Officials usually use “deviant group” to refer to members of radical groups such as Al Qaeda. “Some of them underwent training inside the kingdom and abroad on the shooting of light and heavy weaponry and on techniques of preparing explosives as well as forgery of documents {We know where it would have been. This post will soon shift to 'Pakistani Role in Global Terrorism'},” it said. The arrests, carried out between July 10 and August 2, led to the seizure of 17 Kalashnikov rifles, 50 machineguns and 96 remote electronic detonators as well as ammunition in the capital Riyadh and in the northern province of Qassim, it added.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 21 Aug 2009 13:56

Fighting kills 22 in Somali capital Mogadishu
Fri Aug 21, 2009

MOGADISHU, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Fighting erupted between Islamist rebels, government forces and African Union (AU) peacekeepers in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least 22 people, witnesses and medical staff said.
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The international community wants to bolster the U.N.-backed government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, which is fighting several rebel movements including al Shabaab. The United States says that group is al Qaeda's proxy in Somalia.
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That was just four days after the Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca militants seized that town from al Shabaab. Meanwhile, Hizbul Islam retook control of Luuq, another town in the Gedo region.

The Islamist rebels say Ethiopian soldiers are fighting alongside the pro-government militiamen. Ethiopia denies it.
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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 22 Aug 2009 05:32

Libyan Lockerbie Terror Convict Gets Heroic Homecoming




I'm waiting for Kasab's heroic homecoming in Pakistan, since you know Kaangress doesn't want to execute him, just as they won't execute Afzal.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 22 Aug 2009 08:03

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/ameri ... tina.iran/

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (CNN) -- Jewish groups and the Argentine government condemned Friday the nomination of a man accused in the 1994 terrorist bombing of a Jewish center to serve as Iran's defense minister.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 22 Aug 2009 09:17

Lt Willam Calley of My Lai infamy apologizes, but insists he was only following orders:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8215556.stm

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 22 Aug 2009 10:15

Four dead in multiple Chechnya bicycle bombings
Aug 21, 2009

GROZNY, Russia — Two suicide bombers riding bicycles on Friday staged an apparently coordinated pair of attacks in the Chechen capital Grozny, killing four policemen, Russian officials said.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 23 Aug 2009 03:51


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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 23 Aug 2009 23:45

Anglo-American 'Special Relationship' Tested by Lockerbie Bomber's Release

Mr Mueller was joined in his criticism by Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said the release of Megrahi was “obviously a political decision."



Scottish leader defends Lockerbie bomber release

FBI director Robert Mueller said in a letter to Scotland's government that al-Megrahi's release would give comfort to terrorists all over the world. Speaking Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that releasing the bomber was "obviously a political decision."


Gotta keep them vote banks happy, 'coz there's an election coming. :rotfl:


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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby derkonig » 23 Aug 2009 23:57

^^^
ah, the wonders of sekoolaarism.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 24 Aug 2009 00:16

I think Kaangress better start racking their brains on how to get Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab diagnosed with terminal illness, so that they can be released on "hoomanitarian grounds". That will keep the vote banks happy, and the Kaangress relieved.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 26 Aug 2009 06:03


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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 26 Aug 2009 06:21

Gordon Brown 'Angry and Repulsed' by Libyan Welcome to Lockerbie to Bomber

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/p ... 809942.ece

Heh, but they expect India to quietly tolerate it when Pak terrorists get a hero's welcome in Pak, like that Jaish-e-Mohammad founder.

It's natural for Westerners to try and have their cake and eat it too -- that's human nature. But that we should tolerate it from our side is quite grotesque.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 26 Aug 2009 18:40

Car bomb injures 42 in restive Thai south
Tue Aug 25, 2009
NARATHIWAT, Thailand, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Forty-two people were wounded, at least four seriously, when a powerful bomb exploded outside a restaurant in Thailand's deep south on Tuesday, police said.

The attack took place in the main town in Narathiwat, one of three mainly Muslim provinces plagued by five years of separatist unrest.

The bombing was the latest in a slew of attacks that have claimed 13 lives in the past week in the south, where rebels fighting the Thai state regularly target government officials.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 26 Aug 2009 18:44

Four police officers killed in Chechnya suicide bombing
25 August 2009

GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed four policemen in Chechnya on Tuesday, pressing an Islamist challenge to Russian control of the north Caucasus region a day after a visit by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

But in a sign of the widening gulf between Islamist fighters and more moderate Chechen separatists, a rebel leader who styles himself the "Emir of the Caucasus" ordered the murder of Akhmed Zakayev, a rival living in exile in London.

A suicide bomber attacked a group of policemen in the village of Mesker-Yurt, 20 km (12 miles) from Chechnya's capital Grozny, while they waited for their car to be washed, a source in local law enforcement agencies told Reuters.

The attack followed a day after Putin visited Chechnya, showing support for hardline local chief Ramzan Kadyrov and demonstrating Russia's determination to tackle a wave of violence in this mountainous southern border area.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Aug 2009 06:13


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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Aug 2009 18:08


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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 29 Aug 2009 14:44

9/11 Terrorist - From Public Enemy to Lecture Tour





Oh great - I wonder what sort of retirement package he can look forward to?
What a scam.

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Philip » 31 Aug 2009 18:51

State terror via the CIA.The CIA outsourced its international death squads called "contractors",who were rather contract killers,to the infamous Blackwater outfit,Dick-the-Prick Cheney's favourite.The need for no "fingerprints" of the CIA on the hits,neccessitated the outsourcing.


Blackwater tapped foreigners on secret CIA program
By ADAM GOLDMAN and PAMELA HESS (AP) – 21 hours ago

WASHINGTON — When the CIA revived a plan to kill or capture terrorists in 2004, the agency turned to the well-connected security company then known as Blackwater USA.

With Blackwater's lucrative government security work and contacts arrayed in hot spots around the world, company officials offered the services of foreigners supposedly skilled at tracking terrorists in lawless regions and countries where the CIA had no working relationships with the government.

Blackwater told the CIA that it "could put people on the ground to provide the surveillance and support — all of the things you need to conduct an operation," a former senior CIA official familiar with the secret program told The Associated Press.

But the CIA's use of the private contractor as part of its now-abandoned plan to dispatch death squads skirted concerns now re-emerging with recent disclosures about Blackwater's role.

The former senior CIA official said he had doubts during his tenure about whether Blackwater's foreign recruits had mastered the necessary skills to pull off such a high-stakes operation. Blackwater's later hiring of several senior CIA officials who were involved in or aware of the secret program, including one of the men who ran the operation, showed the blurred lines of using a private contractor for such a highly classified and dangerous project.

While Blackwater won the government's confidence by handling security and training operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 2004 decision by CIA officials to entrust the North Carolina-based company with such a sensitive overseas operation struck some former agency officials as highly unusual.

"The question remains: Why do we need Blackwater?" said Charles Faddis, a former department chief at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center who retired in 2008 and was not involved in the secret program. "I remain mystified. This is quintessential CIA work. You wonder what it means that the CIA has to rely on Blackwater? Why are we still funding the CIA?"

The former senior CIA official who had knowledge of the program explained that "you wouldn't want to have American fingerprints on it."

The former official and several other current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information remains classified.

Xe spokeswoman Stacy DeLuke did not respond to questions seeking comment. Blackwater altered its corporate name to Xe Services after a series of use-of-force controversies, including a September 2007 shooting in Baghdad by five company security guards that left 17 civilians dead.

The former senior CIA official said that close to a dozen Blackwater "surrogates" were recruited to join the death squad program. The recruits, the former official said, were not told they were working for the CIA. The official did not know how Blackwater found them.

The program reportedly cost millions of dollars over an eight-year span. A precise figure is not available because of the agency's classified budget.

The operation had several lives under four successive CIA directors: George Tenet started the program during the Bush administration, but canceled it, another former CIA official said, because there were too many risks involved.

The operation was revived under Tenet's successor, Porter Goss, who ran the agency from 2004 to 2006. Michael Hayden, who served from 2006 to 2009, downgraded the program to intelligence-gathering only. Leon Panetta, the current director, killed the operation in June.

The former senior CIA official said that after the death squad project was revived under Goss in 2004, there were serious questions about whether Blackwater's operatives had demonstrated the ability to conduct clandestine surveillance and maintain fictitious identities with credible-appearing faked documents.

Their need to provide rock-solid cover stories was essential, the former official said, adding that they had to have a "damn good reason to be there."

A spokesman for Goss declined comment.

The former senior CIA official said that during his tenure it was unlikely that the Blackwater recruits would have been involved directly in the mechanics of the killings. Instead, they were learning how to spy on targets and operate discreetly.

The trainees never got a chance to prove themselves. They were never provided a target and no operation was ever approved. CIA spokesman George Little said the program yielded no successes.

The CIA started planning for its death squad project shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The agency wanted the ability to target terrorists at close range, providing an alternative to air strikes that ran the risk of accidentally killing civilians.

Another former senior intelligence official said the use of Blackwater was not the only plan considered to kill or capture terrorists.

Blackwater long has had a close and intertwined relationship with the CIA. Several senior agency leaders have taken up positions with the company. Among them were J. Cofer Black, once the head of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, who would have had operational involvement with the secret plan in the early 2000s. Others included Robert Richer, a former deputy director for operations, and Alvin B. Krongard, a former CIA executive director.

Another Blackwater hire was Enrique "Ric" Prado, a former operations chief at the Counterterrorism Center. Prado ran the death squad program when it was started up under Tenet, three former intelligence officials said.

According to one former official, Jose A. Rodriquez Jr., who ran the CIA's clandestine service and was instrumental in reviving the program, reached out to Prado, then working at Blackwater. The two men had previously worked together in Latin America and then at the Counterterrorism Center, the former officials said.

After joining Blackwater, according to The New York Times, Prado was involved in the 2004 negotiations between Blackwater officials and the CIA over its involvement in the death squad operation. According to the Times report, Prado, who at one point was Blackwater's vice president of special programs, worked with Erik Prince, Blackwater's founder, to sign agreements with the CIA to participate in the program.

Prado did not return messages left at his home or with his business partner, Joseph E. Fluet. The pair recently formed The Constellation Consulting Group, an international intelligence and security firm based in northern Virginia.

At the time that Blackwater began working with the CIA on the death squad operation in 2004, the CIA had in place a long-standing policy mandating that senior officials leaving the agency could not go to work for private firms for a year after their departure. In 2007, Hayden toughened requirements for the entire agency, mandating an 18-month hold on security clearances for all departing employees who leave prior to retirement.

Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group in Washington, said "the revolving door is a very accepted practice" between government and private industry, but added that "to be able to bring people in from the CIA, there is a possibility that it gives you a competitive advantage in receiving awards from that agency."

When Panetta terminated the CIA's death squad program in June, he informed congressional intelligence committees about its existence in an emergency briefing.

The House Intelligence Committee is investigating whether the CIA broke the law by not quickly informing Congress about the secret program.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jUYIQzuMD55oCy3UG7v6wITLOBewD9ADAC700

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Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 02 Sep 2009 07:57

Taliban Surprising U.S. Forces With Improved Tactics
Obama Facing Major Strategy Decisions

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Taliban has become a much more potent adversary in Afghanistan by improving its own tactics and finding gaps in the U.S. military playbook, according to senior American military officials who acknowledged that the enemy's resurgence this year has taken them by surprise.

U.S. rules of engagement restricting the use of airpower and aggressive action against civilians have also opened new space for the insurgents, officials said. Western development projects, such as new roads, schools and police stations, have provided fresh targets for Taliban roadside bombs and suicide attacks. The inability of rising numbers of American troops to protect Afghan citizens has increased resentment of the Western presence and the corrupt Afghan government that cooperates with it.

As President Obama faces crucial decisions on his war strategy and declining public support at home, administration and defense officials are studying the reasons why the Taliban appears, for the moment at least, to be winning.

In the spring, Obama outlined a broad new direction for the war that he said his predecessor had starved of attention and resources. He changed the military leadership on the ground, asked Congress for additional money and authorized more manpower. The administration has said that it expects the strategy -- still barely off the ground -- to show results in a year to 18 months.

But many U.S. officials and their allies feel that they are in a race against time and the determination of a battle-hardened enemy that has learned from its own mistakes and those of U.S. and NATO forces over nearly eight years of combat. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan, gave Obama an assessment this week of what he described as a "serious" situation.

"The point is that the Taliban, who have had a very clear aim and means from the very beginning, have been able slowly and steadily to get better at what they're doing," said a European official whose country's troops are fighting alongside U.S. forces. More U.S. and NATO troops have been killed in 2009 than in any year since the war began in late 2001; U.S. deaths in August reached an all-time monthly high of 47.
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Although McChrystal's report has not been publicly released, officials said it calls for further significant strategic revisions. In the coming weeks, Obama will weigh the merits of McChrystal's recommendations and decide whether to provide whatever additional troops are necessary to implement them.

About a dozen military officials in Washington and at regional command headquarters here and abroad discussed Taliban capabilities and battlefield trends on the condition of anonymity. Most expressed optimism that with time the U.S. strategy could prevail, but said that the Taliban has gained psychological, as well as actual, ground.

"There are periods when an enemy does well and seems better trained and fights harder," one senior defense official said. "The number one indicator we have out there now is that they think they're winning. That creates an attitude, a positive outlook, and a willingness to sacrifice."

The positive outlook has a basis in fact, the official said, as areas of Taliban influence have expanded. "They have enough of the landscape that they control to be able to train more and in closer proximity to where they're fighting. And the people [living] there actually believe the Taliban can do something."

U.S. military officials differ on the extent of Taliban success and the reasons for it. Senior U.S. commanders in eastern Afghanistan, where insurgent leader Jalaluddin Haqqani's network is dominant, said that the sophistication of the insurgents' attacks had increased markedly, beginning with bloody battles along the Pakistani border last summer. To many of the Americans, it appeared as if the insurgents had attended something akin to the U.S. Army's Ranger school, which teaches soldiers how to fight in small groups in austere environments.

"In some cases . . . we started to see that enhanced form of attack," said one Army general who oversaw forces in Afghanistan until earlier in the summer. As attacks in the east have increased this year, some officers have speculated that the insurgents are getting more direct help from professional fighters from Arab and Central Asian countries. These embedded trainers, the officers said, play almost the same role as U.S. military training teams that live with and mentor Afghan government forces.

In recent months, the Taliban fighters have used mortars to force U.S. troops into defensive positions, where they are then hit with rocket-propelled grenades, rifles and machine guns. Insurgent units have learned to maintain "radio silence" as they move and to wet down the ground to prevent dusty recoil that would make them targets. They have "developed the ability to do some of the things that make up what you call a disciplined force," including treating casualties, the Army general said.

The insurgents have largely abandoned the large-unit attacks they used several years ago. "In 2005, Marines and Army units were having pretty decisive engagements" against massed Taliban fighters, another senior officer said, adding that "every time, we killed them in very large numbers." Small bases and checkpoints manned by Afghan national security forces have become preferred targets for the Taliban, he said, because they are "isolated and easy to kill," and the Afghan units are relatively easy to infiltrate for intelligence.

Remote areas where the Taliban has been fighting U.S. forces for years, such as the Korengal Valley near the border with Pakistan, "are a perfect lab to vet fighters and study U.S. tactics," said a Pentagon officer. The insurgents have learned to gauge the response times for U.S. artillery cannons, as well as fighter jets and helicopters. "They know exactly how long it takes before . . . they have to break contact and pull back," the officer said.

U.S. officers in southern Afghanistan, where thousands of Marines and British troops are fighting long-entrenched Taliban forces, attributed insurgent gains less to sophisticated tactics than to increased use of roadside bombs -- improvised explosive devices, or IEDs -- laid along U.S. convoy routes in the desert or roads built with foreign aid money.

"They do tend to play to the areas that they're strongest in, the hit-and-run tactics and the employment of IEDs," said Col. George Amland, deputy commander of the Marines in Helmand province.

The Taliban has also taken advantage of changes in U.S. air and artillery tactics, adopted to decrease civilian casualties that have alienated the population. U.S. airstrikes and culturally offensive night ground raids are authorized far more selectively than they were. The Taliban has also adjusted its own tactics, gathering in populated areas and increasing its night operations, and "the playing field is leveled," one U.S. officer said.

A number of officials and experts, within and outside the military, said that while the Taliban was able to regroup militarily while U.S. attention was diverted to Iraq, its widening influence has as much to do with Afghan government corruption, tensions among regional ethnic groups, lack of state service and justice in rural areas, and high rates of unemployment as it does with insurgent efforts.

Military officials expressed confidence in the evolving U.S. counterinsurgency strategy, but also concern about whether there is time to make it work. "I'm not one myself to believe it's a zero-sum game of winning and losing," said an official with long experience in Afghanistan.

"To the Taliban, winning is, in fact, not losing," he said. "They feel that over time, they will ultimately outlast the international community's attempt to stabilize Afghanistan. It's really a game of will to them."

Correspondents Pamela Constable, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Joshua Partlow and Greg Jaffe in Afghanistan contributed to this report.

shravan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2201
Joined: 03 Apr 2009 00:08

Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby shravan » 04 Sep 2009 18:33

Bomb in south Thailand kills policeman, wounds 12
4 September 2009

PATTANI, Thailand — A bomb believed to have been planted by Islamic insurgents exploded Friday outside a restaurant in southern Thailand where security forces were eating breakfast, killing a policeman and wounding 12 other people.
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Since the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began last month, there has been a marked surge in violence. On Aug. 25, in a similar attack, a bomb in a pickup truck exploded outside a crowded open-air restaurant at lunchtime, wounding 18 people in Narathiwat city.

A spate of shootings, bombings and military raids on Wednesday and Thursday left 11 people dead and more than 20 wounded.

A massive security presence has failed to stop the violence, which has killed more Muslims than Buddhists. The militants target people working with the government, including soldiers, police and suspected informants. They also stage attacks on civilians that are believed to be intended to scare the Buddhist community into fleeing.

Sanjay M
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4892
Joined: 02 Nov 2005 14:57

Re: International Terrorism Watch

Postby Sanjay M » 08 Sep 2009 05:17

Airline terror trial: The bomb plot to kill 10,000 people

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... eople.html


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