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Showing posts from January, 2012

Al Qaeda's foiled plot!

Interesting Article: " Algeria foils Qaeda attempt to attack foreign ships sailing in the Mediterranean " by Al Arabiya / Algeria published Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 An interesting article mentioned that Algerian security foiled a terrorist al-Qaeda plot to carry out suicidal attacks on U.S. and European ships in the Mediterranean from the eastern costs of Algeria. The aborted plan, which was to be implemented by al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, aimed at destabilizing Algerian national economy as well as attracting expansive media coverage, sources told the Algerian newspaper Echorouk. According to the sources, a cell working under the leadership of the spokesman of al-Qaeda’s wing in the Maghreb Qassemi Salah al-Din, also known as Mohamed Abu Salah, is behind the plot. So who is Mohamed Abu Salah?

Somalian Hostage Rescue Mission!

Interesting Article: " U.S. Military Frees 2 Western Hostages from Somali Pirates " by Jeffrey Gettleman / Khartoum published Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 I normally do not talk about military actions taken to save lives throughout the world; therefore, my readers did not see any article about the Bin Laden operation. Yet, sometimes, some operations are so well covered in the news media, that talking about the great actions performed by SEAL Team 6, is a must. An interesting article in the New York Times mentioned that American commandos raced into Somalia early Wednesday and rescued two aid workers, an American woman and a Danish man, after a shootout with Somali pirates who had been holding them captive for months. The American soldiers swooped in by helicopter, killed nine pirates and captured several others, before spiriting away the hostages, who were not harmed, Western officials said. Somalia is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world, plagued by pi

Terrorism in Punjab, Pakistan!

Interesting Article: " Pakistan: Punjab Terror Assessment 2012 – Analysis " by SATP / Punjab published Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 An interesting article mentioned that at least 18 Shias were killed and 30 others wounded when a bomb exploded near a procession marking the Arbain or the Chehlum (40th day of Hazrat Imam Hussain’s martyrdom), in Khanpur city of Rahim Yar Khan District on January 15, 2012. However, no militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. Meanwhile, according to South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) data, a total of 137 persons, including 110 civilians, 19 Security Force (SF) personnel and eight militants were killed, in total 20 separate incidents in 2011, as compared to 316 persons killed in 2010, and 422 killed in 2009, reflecting a significant attenuation in fatalities. While the Province registered a 56.64 per cent decline in overall fatalities in 2011, the possibility of escalation of violence cannot be ruled out as a result of the

Radicalized Youth!

Interesting Article: " From U.S. prep school student to al Qaeda agent " by Associated Press / Texas published Wednesday, January 18th, 2012. An interesting article mentioned that a U.S. prep school student recently became an al Qaeda agent and was killed late last year in a middle-of-the-night explosion in Pakistan. Moeed Abdul Salam, the 37-year-old father of four, was dead after paramilitary troops stormed his apartment. Salam's Nov. 19 death went largely unnoticed in the U.S. and rated only limited attention in Pakistan. But the circumstances threatened to overshadow the work of an American family devoted to religious understanding. And his mysterious evolution presented a reminder of the attraction Pakistan still holds for Islamic militants, especially well-educated Westerners whose Internet and language skills make them useful converts for jihad. Want to know more?

Thailand and Lebanese Terrorists!

Interesting Article: " Is Thailand a new terrorism playground? " by Kavi Chongkittavorn / Thailand published Monday, January 23rd, 2012 An interesting article mentioned that Hussein Atris, 47, a Lebanese-Swedish passport holder, was apprehended at Suvarnaphoumi Airport near midnight on Thursday, the 12th of January. U.S. government had issued a warning of terrorism attack in Bangkok prior to that. Atris was under the watch list since Dec 10, 2011 when the Thai intelligence was alerted that a group of Hezbollah operatives, who were in and are coming to Thailand, could plan terrorist attacks in Bangkok, targeting foreigners, in particular Israeli citizens and assets. It was a stroke of luck that Atris was not aware that his name was on the wanted list. Had he chose to exit through land check-points, say, at Nongkai on the Thai-Lao border, he could slip out without notice—indeed not all computers at land border check-points are linked to the immigration's headquarters. Aft

Libya's future!

Interesting Article: " Libya: The New Al-Qaeda Stronghold " by Frank Crimi / Washington, DC published Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 An interesting article mentioned that According to Western counter-terrorism officials, al-Qaeda terrorists have established a 200-strong fighting force near the Egyptian border in eastern Libya. The creation of the al-Qaeda unit comes at the same time as the Libyan interim government is threatened by a growing internecine conflict among Libya’s myriad group of armed rebel militias. The jihadists are purportedly led by a veteran al-Qaeda fighter known simply as “AA,” a terrorist insurgent who began his terror career fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan before coming to Britain to recruit Muslims for al-Qaeda. Most of these insurgents have been members of the al-Qaeda affiliate, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Founded in 1995 to wage jihad against the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, the LIFG officially joined Osama bin Laden’s a

Al Qaeda in 2012!

Interesting Article: " Kenyan picked to head local Al Qaeda wing " by Bernard Momanyi / Kenya published Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 An interesting article mentioned that Kenya is likely to continue facing a growing threat from radicals, after Al Qaeda announced the elevation of one-time Nairobi-based militant Amiir Ahmad Imam Ali to lead terror operations in the country. In a statement posted on the website of the Muslim Youth Centre, the Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab are vowing even more vicious attacks in the country under Ali’s leadership. The group now refers to Ali as its “supreme Amiir of Kenya.” Kenyan security forces have been on high alert since the military was deployed to Somalia in October last year to fight Al Shabaab militants accused of a series of kidnappings and other criminal activities on its soil. Police intelligence reports show Ali had been staying in Majengo, Nairobi and he is one of those wanted for his involvement in recruitment of terrorists, particularl

Yemen Town Captured by Al Qaeda!

Interesting Article: " Al-Qaida in Yemen captures town south of capital " by Ahmed Al-Haj / Sanaa published Monday, January 16th, 2012 An interesting article mentioned that A band of al-Qaida militants seized full control of a town 100 miles south of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday, overrunning army positions, storming the local prison and freeing at least 150 inmates, security officials said. The capture of Radda expanded already significant territorial conquests by the militants, who have taken advantage of the weak central government and political turmoil roiling the nation for the past year during an uprising inspired by Arab Spring revolts. Authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh recently agreed to step down, but he remains a powerful force within the country and a spark for ongoing unrest. So, what more information is there about this?

Somalia, Piracy and How to Stop it!

Interesting Article: " Satellites help track pirate loot in Somalia " by Debora MacKenzie / NewScientist published Friday, January 13th, 2012 An interesting article mentioned that a satellite study has shown for the first time where Somali pirates are putting the proceeds of crime – and suggests where strategies against their banditry might and might not work. Warships from 30 nations patrol the waters off Somalia but still piracy continues, costing $12 billion a year. The naval threat just makes pirates squeeze more out of every ship they manage to capture: top ransoms trebled from $3 million to $9 million between 2008 and 2010. One solution could be to give Somalis something better to do on shore. To target that assistance, though, we have to know who profits from piracy and who does not. With no effective government and no government statistics in Somalia, that's hard to find out. Anja Shortland of Brunel University in London thinks she has a solution. In a report fo

Libya & Sudans Relations!

Interesting Article: " The Arab spring's Sudanese subplot is cause for concern " by Kate Allen / London published Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 An interesting article mentioned that Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir visited Tripoli as a guest of the National Transitional Council Government of Libya. Bashir was there ostensibly to forge political ties with Libya's interim rulers, but as the NTC well knew, Bashir is a wanted man. The international criminal court has issued international arrest warrants in respect of alleged crimes against humanity and genocide conducted by Sudanese forces – and proxy militias – in Sudan's western region, Darfur. Libya is not a signatory to the ICC treaty so is not legally bound to arrest Bashir (something, incidentally, that other countries who are signatories have also failed to do). This is all the more curious when you recall the already fraught relationship between the ICC and Tripoli over the trial of Saif Gaddafi and Abdullah

Radicalism!

Interesting OP-Ed Piece: " Forty-Fourth Terrorist Plot Against the U.S. Marks Need for Continued Vigilance " by Jessica Zuckerman / Washington, D.C published Monday January 9th, 2012 An interesting op-ed piece mentioned that last Saturday night, 25-year-old Sami Osmakac was arrested in connection to an alleged Islamist-inspired terrorist plot in Tampa, Florida. Osmakac, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in the former Yugoslavia, is believed to have planned to use vehicle bombs, assault rifles, grenades, and other explosives in an attack on possible targets including night clubs, businesses, and a local sheriff’s office. Osmakac’s arrest marks at least the 44th terrorist plot foiled against the U.S. since 9/11. Like this most recent plot, the vast majority of the attempted attacks against the U.S. have been foiled through the swift, concerted effort of the law enforcement and intelligence communities. So what is up with this radical fundamentalists and what more can we do?

U.S Military Personnel Arrested in Kenya and his connection to Al Shabaab!

Interesting Article: " Craig Baxam, ex-Army intelligence expert, nabbed in bid to join Al Qaeda affilliate in Somalia: feds " by Joseph Straw / New York published Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 An interesting article mentioned that an ex-Army intelligence specialist was caught heading to Somalia to fight and die there with Al Qaeda's regional affiliate, investigators charge. Craig Baxam, 24, left the military in July and immediately converted to a strict, violent interpretation of Islam, he told the FBI. The Laurel, Maryland native was caught late last month on a bus in Kenya "looking for dying with a gun in my hand," according to his arrest affidavit. Baxam is the latest American to seek out the radical group Al Shabaab in Somalia's decades-long civil war, which has drawn in U.S. special operations forces, plus neighbors Kenya and Ethiopia. What is Al Shabaab up to recently?

Iran's Underground Nuclear Bunker!

Interesting Article:" Iran 'begins enriching uranium' at underground bunker " by Associated Press / London published Monday, January 9th, 2012 An interesting article the Guardian mentioned that Iran has begun uranium enrichment at an underground site built to withstand possible air strikes. The operations at the bunker-like Fordo facility south of Tehran, reported by the Iranians, are small compared with Iran's main enrichment site. But the centrifuges are considered more efficient and are shielded from aerial surveillance and protected against air strikes by up to 90 meters of mountain rock. Uranium enrichment is at the core of the international standoff over Iran's nuclear program. The US and its allies fear that Iran could use its enrichment facilities to develop high-grade nuclear material for warheads. Iran claims it only wants nuclear reactors for energy and research. The Kayhan, which is close to Iran's ruling clerics, said engineers had begun inj

Syria Latest Bombing!

Interesting Article: " Suicide Bombing Kills 25, Wounds Dozens in Syrian Capital " by MyFox / Syria published Friday, January 6th, 2012 An interesting article mentioned that a suicide bombing hit Damascus on Friday, killing 25 people and wounding dozens ahead of mass protests called by anti-government protesters angry at the failure of Arab League observers to quell violence in the country. Syrian state TV reported that the blast -- which occurred two weeks after 44 people died in twin bombings targeting state security services -- was carried out by "terrorists" in the Midan neighborhood of Damascus. The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), an opposition activist group which has organized anti-regime protests since March, said in a statement sent to AFP in Nicosia that another explosion was heard in the suburb of Tal. The Syrian government blamed the previous attacks on al Qaeda terrorists targeting Syria's intelligence administration, however opposition grou

The Future Leader of Pakistan!

Interesting op-ed: " A Pakistani Spring? " by Huma Yusuf / Karachi published Friday, January 6th, 2012 An interesting op-ed piece mentioned that an exciting shift is now underway in Pakistan: the young are becoming politically engaged. In coffee shops, beauty salons and workplaces, instead of gossiping or deconstructing the latest televised drama, youngsters are arguing about the merits of various politicians. Unlike their counterparts in the Arab world, young Pakistanis are less inspired by revolutionary rhetoric than in producing results through the existing system. They are demanding issue-based politics and sound government policies to reduce corruption, create jobs and recalibrate U.S.-Pakistani relations. Blogging in the Express Tribune, Muhammad Bilal Lakhani describes the evolution, “A visible and growing number of young, educated professionals in Pakistan are channeling their energies to incrementally improve the system by engaging with the current set up." So

Al Qaeda in Libya Rises!

Interesting Article: " Al Qaeda sends fighters to Libya " By Nic Robertson and Paul Cruickshank / Libya published Friday, December 30th, 2011 An interesting article mentioned that Al Qaeda's leadership has sent experienced jihadists to Libya in an effort to build a fighting force there, according to a Libyan source briefed by Western counter-terrorism officials. The jihadists include one veteran fighter who had been detained in Britain on suspicion of terrorism. The source describes him as committed to al Qaeda's global cause and to attacking U.S. interests. The man arrived in Libya in May and has since begun recruiting fighters in the eastern region of the country, near the Egyptian border. He now has some 200 fighters mobilized, the source added. Western intelligence agencies are aware of his activities, according to the source. What other information is there about Al Qaeda in Libya?

Why making friends with the Taliban might be a good idea!

Interesting Article: " Taliban to Open Qatar Office in Step to Formal Talks " by Matthew Rosenberg / Kabul published Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 An interesting article in the New York Times mentioned that the Taliban, giving its first major public sign that it may be ready for formal talks with the American-led coalition in Afghanistan, announced Tuesday that it had struck a deal to open a political office in Qatar that could allow for direct negotiations over the endgame in the Afghan war. It was unclear, however, whether the Taliban was interested in working toward a comprehensive peace settlement or mainly in ensuring that NATO ends its operations in Afghanistan as scheduled in 2014, which would remove a major obstacle to the Taliban’s return to power in all or part of the country.  So what is the U.S’s strategy in allowing this?

Indian Mujahideen and its operator in India!

Interesting Entry: " Indian Mujahideen's Yasin Bhatkal behind 13/7 Mumbai blast?  By Defence Forum of India / Mumbai published January 2nd, 2012. An interesting entry by the Defence Forum Of India (DFOI) mentioned that Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which is investigating the 13/7 Mumbai serial bomb blast case (2011 Mumbai bombings (often referred to as 13 July or 13/7) were a series of three coordinated bomb explosions at different locations in Mumbai, India, on 13 July 2011 between 18:54 and 19:06 IST. The blasts occurred at the Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar West localities, leaving 26 killed, and 130 injured) believes that frontline terrorist of Indian Mujahideen (IM) - Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh was in Mumbai during the blast and could have carried out the three massive explosions. ATS has launched a search operation across the country as there are firm indications that Bhatkal has not left the country. Moreover, Bhatkal is wanted in several blast cases since 2005