Monday, October 31, 2011

Saudi Price offers money to Terrorists to kidnap Israeli Soldiers!

Interesting Article: Saudi royal offers bounty on Israeli soldiers by ASSOCIATED PRESS / Riyadh published Sunday, October 30, 2011

According to the CBS news, a member of Saudi Arabia's royal family increased to $1 million a reward offered by a Saudi cleric to anyone who captures an Israeli soldier to swap him for Palestinian prisoners. Prince Khaled bin Talal told the kingdom's al-Daleel TV station by telephone Saturday that he was raising a previous offer made by Sheik Awadh al-Qarani, a prominent Saudi cleric who promised $100,000 for capturing an Israeli soldier. The Saudi offers follow in the wake of the release of Israeli soldier Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who was held by Hamas in Gaza for more than five years. Israel has agreed to free over 1,000 prisoners in exchange. With thousands of members of the Saudi family around, is this specific member, anyone of importance?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Who in Yemen can stop Al Qaeda from gaining ground?

Interesting Article: Car bomb kills anti-terror chief in south Yemen by Associated Press / Sanaa published Friday, October 28, 2011
The head of the anti-terror force in Yemen's restive southern Abyan province was killed Friday when a bomb planted in his car exploded, a Yemeni security official said. Al-Qaida linked militants have taken over a number of towns in Abyan, along the country's south coast, where they regularly engage in deadly clashes with security forces. Yemeni authorities also accuse them of targeting security officials. Tens of thousands marched in anti-government demonstrations across Yemen Friday. Protesters have been on the streets practically every day since January, despite bloody government crackdowns. With the protests taking place, and al Qaeda looking to get rid of any anti-terror leaders in Yemen, who in Yemen will stand against them in the future?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Case against al Qaeda's Middle Management!

Interesting Article: Killing al-Qaeda’s Middle Managers May Be Key to its Destruction by JOHN WALCOTT / Bloomberg published Thursday, October 26, 2011

A recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek spoke about a report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization & Political Violence at Kings College London which discussed identifying and neutralizing al Qaeda's middle managers as a way to disable the organization, than merely going after its top leaders.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pakistan actually doing something! Surprise, Surprise

Interesting Article: Pakistan Army Widens Assault on Islamic Guerrillas near Peshawar by ANWAR SHAKIR / Peshawar published Wednesday, October 26, 2011
According to the recent article by Anwar Shakir, based in Peshawar, an offensive which initially targeted two villages southwest of Peshawar has expanded to five localities in the Khyber Agency (tribal district). The Pakistan army sent units of its main force in FATA, the paramilitary Frontier Corps, to root out militants in the villages about 5 miles southwest of Peshawar. According to the reporter's sources, this was in response to Taliban-allied guerrillas that had ambushed an army convoy on Oct. 20, triggering a battle in which 34 militants and three Pakistani soldiers died. So who are these guerrillas?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kenya pushing forward against al Shabaab!

Interesting Article: France helps Kenya in Somali attack / Nairobi published Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kenyan military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said the French navy bombed the town of Kuday near the southern al-Shabaab stronghold of Kismayo on Sunday. In Somalia's south, others braced for fierce battles as Kenyan soldiers closed in on a militant-held town in their week-long effort to defeat the al-Shabab group blamed for suicide bombings, kidnapping foreigners and killing famine victims. US officials said last week the US had been pressuring Kenya to "do something" in response to a string of security incidents along the Kenya-Somalia border, but Kenya's invasion of Somalia had taken the US by surprise. Somalia has been a failed state for more than 20 years, and the lawless country is a haven for pirates and international terrorists. Al-Shabab fighters have been waging a war against the weak Somali government for more than five years, but now face attacks on two fronts.

Southern Thailand and Muslim insurgents!

Interesting Article: Seven killed in S Thailand attacks by Xinhuanet / Bangkok published Monday, October 24, 2011

A recent article mentioned that at least At least seven people were killed in a series of attacks by suspected Muslim insurgents in south Thailand on Sunday. A group of gunmen, dressed as women, shot dead two rangers on a checkpoint in the main town of Narathiwat province, Thailand. Two nearby supermarkets were bombed shortly after the shooting, causing fires that took three hours to extinguish. Five bodies were retrieved from burnt buildings. Seven people were injured, the English newspaper reported. So who are these Muslim insurgents?

Friday, October 21, 2011

LTTE on the rise again!

Interesting Article: Court Convicts 5 Tamils of Fundraising for Tigers by MIKE CORDER / The Hague published Friday, October 21, 2011

A recent article by the associated press mentioned the conviction of five Tamils in Netherlands for raising funds for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (commonly known as the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers). The LTTE are a designated terrorist organization, 32 countries have listed the LTTE as a terrorist organization including U.S, U.K, E.U and India. The President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa declared military victory over the Tamil Tigers on 16 May 2009, after 26 years of conflict. The leader of the group was killed and the arms dealer for the organization was part of Sri Lanka's extraordinary rendition operations in Thailand. With the defeat, the Tamils in the north of Sri Lanka have gone on to peaceful lives and the former terrorist cadres have been rehabilitated. The message has not clearly been heard in the Netherlands and Canada, where large Tamil Diaspora communities continue to raise funds for a defunct terrorist organization. Will the Diaspora bring the LTTE movement back?

Gaddafi dead, Bashar al-Assad next?

Interesting Article: Col Gaddafi killed: Bashar al-Assad will be next to fall, declare Syrians by RICHARD SPENCER / Dubai published Thursday, October 20, 2011

An interesting article discussed the fall Gaddafi and the impact it will have in Syria. The article mentioned that the moment a vegetable seller set himself on fire in protest in Tunisia, the Arab Spring was on its' way. Hosni Mubarak (Egypt) struggled on until removed by the army, peacefully in the end, and is in prison and on trial. After that, the uprising against Gaddafi began, as an immediate response to the fall of Mr Mubarak. Now Syria stands alone, so is Bashar al-Assad next?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Al Qaeda's ties with Al Shabaab grow.

Interesting Article: Mysterious al Qaeda 'envoy' dispenses aid in Somalia by PAUL CRUICKSHANK / Somalia published Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A recent article by a CNN terrorism analyst spoke about a mysterious figure that was in Somalia, with fair skin speaking in near perfect North American English delivering aid that al Qaeda had purportedly collected, including food, clothing and $12,000 converted into Somali currency. So who is he?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Syria could be slowly slipping into civil war!

Interesting Article: Syrian security forces fight army defectors by BASSEM MROUE / Damascus published Monday, October 17, 2011

An interesting article in the Independent mentioned that Syrian security forces had clashed with gunmen believed to be army defectors in the northwest of the country. According to the author, the seven month old uprising is becoming increasingly militarized.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Kenya is coming for al Shabaab!

Interesting Article: Kenya: Army in for 'Mother of All Battles' by ABDULKADIR KHALIF / Mogadishu published Monday, October 17, 2011
A recent article highlighted that Kenyan forces are likely to see action in a major battle in the Somali town of Afmadow, 620 kilometers south of Mogadishu, in the coming days. Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers, together with allied combatants from Ras Kamboni Brigade and units of the Kenyan military were headed there to fight the Al Shabaab (see my blog post that speaks more about this organization-blog post: What Terrorists can gain from Piracy!).

Yemen's Battles!

Interesting Article: Yemen's capital Sanaa sees worst fighting in weeks By HAMZA HENDAWI / Sanaa published Monday, October 17, 2011

A recent article about the situation in Yemen provided some insight into what tribes are currently fighting against the government. Out of this article came the name of one family, al-Ahmar family, which purportedly leads Yemen's most powerful federation of tribes. So who are they?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A French nuclear physicist and his connection to al Qaeda!


Interesting Article: Brother: French physicist denies terror plans By FRANK JORDANS / Geneva published Tuesday, October 11, 2011
French authorities say that a 34-year-old French physicist-Adlène Hicheur has acknowledged to investigators that he corresponded over the Internet with a member of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. He has been detained since 2009, and an investigating magistrate will decide on October 13, 2011 whether the case against Hicheur should be closed or handed to a prosecutor, who would have up to one more year to prepare a trial.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Iran's Quds Force!

Interesting Article: US alleges Iranian plot to kill Saudi ambassador: How it unfolded by WARREN RICHEY / Washington, DC published Tuesday, October 12, 2011
The recent plot that was uncovered by the FBI and DEA, comes straight out of a movie; meetings in Mexico with drug cartel members, surveillance, bomb plots, a popular restaurant in DC, money transfers, code names and DEA confidential sources. The plot revolved around a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard known as the Quds force. So what is this group within Iran's Revolutionary Guard?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What Terrorists can gain from Piracy!

Interesting Article: Pirate link to terrorists probed by WASSANA NANUAM / Thailand Published Sunday, October 9, 2011
A recent article in the Bangkok Post mentioned that the Combined Maritime Forces suspect Somali pirates may be linked to international terrorist groups. "The US-led CMF is investigating whether the ransoms which Somali pirates gained from hijacked cargo ship owners are being used to fund international terrorist groups," the RTN's Counter Piracy Task Group Commander Thanin Likhitwong said yesterday. Other than funding, could the terrorists get a hold of more dangerous items?

Monday, October 10, 2011

More about al Qaeda's influence in Libya!

Interesting op-ed Article: Libya's Coming Islamist Government by DANIEL WAGNER / Connecticut published Sunday, October 9, 2011

According to a recent op-ed piece in the Huffington Post, Libya may have some major islamists infiltrating the higher echelon of the new government and imposing a strict form of Sharia law in the country in the years to come. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Who is al Qaeda's contact in the North Caucasus?

Interesting Article: Report Links Al-Qaida to Caucasus Insurgency by Reuters / Moscow published Monday, October 3, 2011

A recent article in The Moscow Times spoke about al Qaeda providing Russia's Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus with increasing amounts of money and vocal support. Center for Strategic and International Studies (a leading think tank based in Washington DC) spoke in great length about the relationship. So who would al Qaeda turn to for a potential contact?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

An interesting look at an al Qaeda-esque organization and its ties to a regional player.

Interesting Article: Iraq Militants Brag: We’ve Got Robotic Weapons, Too by NOAH SHACHTMAN / WIRED Magazine published October 4, 2011
A recent op-ed piece by Noah Shachtman spoke about a video released by an extremist group that highlighted that they have the ability to build crude versions of self driven cars that can fire from remote positions...essentially a robotic car. The group that produced the video is Ansar al-Islam, and they have a very interesting connection.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Five future leaders of al Qaeda!

Interesting Op-Ed Article: Beyond Yemen, Awlaki: Look for core Al Qaeda members outside the hot spots By ROLF MOWATT-LARSSEN / Cambridge published Monday October 3, 2011
An outstanding op-ed piece by Rolf Mowatt-Larssen (senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government), mentioned five members of al Qaeda that could be the future leaders of al Qaeda. So who are they?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What is with these kidnappings in Kenya?

Interesting Article: Kenya says kidnapping provocation by al Shabaab by HUMPHREY MALALO / Nairobi published Monday October 3, 2011
A recent article spoke about the abduction of a wheelchair-bound French woman on the northern coast island of Manda off the Kenyan coast. This is the second such kidnapping recently. Early last month, gunmen attacked British tourists at a camp resort a short speedboat ride away from northern Kenya's Lamu archipelago (island right next to Manda), killing a man and kidnapping his wife. Al Shabaab is suspected of both incidents. So who is the al Shabaab?

Monday, October 3, 2011

A little bit about The Haqqani Network's Special Forces!

Interesting Article: Dreaded militant hit squad goes rogue in Pakistan by MICHAEL GEORGY / Islamabad published Monday October 3, 2011
A recent article by Reuter’s journalist mentioned that an elite militant hit squad known as the Khorasan unit was hunting down and killing anyone suspected of helping the U.S, Pakistan and other military allies. Who are they?