Wednesday, December 08, 2004


By Avi Jorisch, Jonathan L. Snow

The Big Picture

Two disturbing reports this week indicate that terrorists are pushing forward on chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons. First, the CIA reported Tuesday (11/23) that the danger of al-Qaeda producing and deploying a radioactive dirty bomb “remained high.” Meanwhile, troops in Fallujah uncovered a bomb factory with literature and materials indicating that terrorists there were working to produce chemical and biological weapons for future attacks.

Hezbollah led the news this week in two European countries.

France: A week and a half after approving Hezbollah's al-Manar station to broadcast its propaganda, French regulators have seen enough evidence of misconduct to reconsider their decision.

The Netherlands: On Monday, the Netherlands placed Hezbollah on its terrorism list. In an effort to limit its financing, Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot also called for the European Union to follow suit. The EU has been reluctant to do so even though Hezbollah has active cells throughout Europe and has killed hundreds of Europeans and Americans.

Regional Briefs

North America, Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Europe, Asia, Australia

North America
CIA Warns 'Dirty Bomb' Within al-Qaeda's Capabilities (Agence France-Presse) - The al-Qaeda terror network is fully capable of building a radioactive “dirty bomb” targeting the United States and other Western nations and “has crude procedures” for producing chemical weapons, the CIA warned Tuesday (11/23). The agency used its strongest terms to alert lawmakers to the threat of terrorist organizations using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials to harm the United States and its allies, saying the danger of such an attack “remained high.”
Supreme Court Asked to Rule on Detainees (Washington Post) - Attorneys for a Guantanamo detainee asked the Supreme Court for immediate intervention to decide the legality of “military commissions” set up by the Pentagon to prosecute alleged al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Lawyers representing a Yemeni accused of serving as Bin Laden's bodyguard argued that they should be allowed to skip appeals in his case and have the Supreme Court make a decision soon.

U.S. General Calls for Bolder Action to Stop 'Muslim Extremism' (Agence France-Presse) - General John Abizaid called on Friday (11/26) for bolder international action to stop the “spread of Muslim extremism,” suggesting curbs were needed to prevent the Internet and other media from being used by groups like al-Qaeda. “Why is it that people have the right to get on the Internet and spread this hatred and insanity without there being some curb, some law?” He continued, “To me if we think this is some kind of freedom of speech to put on a picture of someone getting their head chopped off on the Internet and people have the right to purvey that, that's not the world I want to live in, and it just encourages this kind of behavior,” he said.

Middle East
Bin Laden Aide Vows to Continue U.S. Fight (CNN) - In a videotape that aired Monday (11/29), Osama bin Laden's right-hand man pledged to continue fighting the United States until it changes its policies regarding Muslims. Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a tape broadcast by the Arabic-language al-Jazeera television network, said there are two ways to deal with Muslims -- “either with respect, or as if our lives and property are available for you to invade.” In the tape, which appeared to have been made before the November 2 U.S. election, al-Zawahiri said the contest between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry did not interest al-Qaeda. “You can elect Bush, Kerry or Satan himself, it doesn't matter to us,” he said.

Iraqi Bomb Labs Signal Attacks in the Works (Washington Times) - Chemicals and bomb-making literature found at two houses in Fallujah, Iraq, last week show Iraqi rebels are prepared to use chemical and biological weapons in future attacks, a U.S. military spokesman said Monday (11/29). Rebels had materials for making chemical blood agents and also a “cookbook” on how to produce a deadly form of anthrax. There were, however, no signs that the terrorists actually used chemical or biological weapons in homemade bombs.

Zarqawi Group Claims Mosul Deaths (Agence France-Presse) - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group claimed responsibility for killing 17 national guardsmen in Mosul. A statement posted on an Islamist website, whose authenticity could not be verified, has detailed a string of attacks in recent days. The statement said the “lions of the Ibn Khattab Brigade” had launched a rocket attack Thursday (11/25) on a US army patrol backed by members of the Iraqi National Guard.

Saudi Arabia Identifies Terrorist Killed in Jeddah (Reuters) - A Saudi terrorist who had helped plan a deadly al-Qaeda linked attack on the Riyadh Muhaya housing compound last November, was killed Saturday (11/27). Issam Qassem Mubaraki, had provided militants with explosives and forged documents and killed in Jeddah following clashes with state authorities. He was not on Saudi's most wanted Islamic militant list.

113 al-Qaeda Convicts Freed After Recanting Views (Chicago Tribune) - Yemeni authorities have released 113 al-Qaeda members, including at least five once accused of involvement in the deadly bombing of the USS Cole, after they recanted their extremist views, security officials said Thursday (11/25). The militants once accused in the USS Cole bombing were later cleared. The 15 Yemeni terrorists convicted in August of involvement in the 2000 bombing, which killed 17 U.S. sailors, were not released. The 113 men were released during the past two weeks after signing pledges not to carry out terrorist acts or criminal activities.

Afghanistan and Pakistan
Al-Qaeda Aim: Renew Afghan Fight (USA Today) - Al-Qaeda has sent out a call for recruits to come to Afghanistan to reverse that country's momentum toward democracy and stem an increasing number of military victories by the U.S.-led coalition, a top U.S. military commander said. Maj. Gen. Rick Olson, second in command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, also said that senior leaders of al-Qaeda, including Osama bin Laden, are still operating in northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan and are giving direction to Taliban and foreign fighters.

Troops Hunting al-Qaeda Members Withdrawn (Associated Press) - The Pakistani army announced Saturday (11/27) that it would withdraw hundreds of troops from a Waziristan, a tense tribal region near Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden and his top deputy are believed to be hiding. The army will remove checkpoints in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain said after meeting with tribal elders Friday. Hussain said the moves were “in return for the support of tribesmen in operations against foreign miscreants.”

Raids Net 5 al-Qaeda Suspects (CNN) - Pakistani security officials have staged two raids in separate locations in Lahore, killing one suspected al-Qaeda terrorist and arresting five others. All of the suspected terrorists were Afghan citizens, the officials said Thursday (11/25).

French Regulators Now Want al-Manar TV Off Air (Agence France-Presse) - French broadcast regulators announced Tuesday (11/30) they were seeking to pull a television station linked to Hezbollah off the satellite beaming its programs within the European Union because of license violations. The High Audiovisual Council (CSA) said it would ask France's superior administrative court to order the Eutelsat satellite company “to cease transmitting the station.” The decision, which aims to cancel the license the CSA gave to the al-Manar station less than two weeks ago, came after several “serious defaults regarding its contractual agreements.”

FBI Finds Link Between 9/11, Madrid Bombs (Reuters) - The FBI has established the clearest link yet between the March 11 Madrid train bombings and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, a Spanish newspaper reported Sunday (11/28). The FBI has told Spanish investigators that one of three men believed to have planned the Sept. 11 attacks from Spain in the summer of 2001 also gave the order to carry out the Madrid blasts.

Aznar Maintains ETA Link to Madrid Attack (United Press International) -- Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar called for a full investigation into links between Basque separatists and Islamist terror cells Monday (11/29). Aznar told a parliamentary commission investigating the March Madrid train bombings there was evidence the Basque separatist group ETA may have been involved with the Islamic terrorists said to have carried out the bombings.

German Court Halts Handing al-Qaeda Suspect to Spain (Reuters) - A top German court on Wednesday (11/24) halted the extradition to Spain of an Arab businessman accused of providing financial and logistical support to al-Qaeda, including purchasing a ship for Osama bin Laden. The Federal Constitutional Court stalled the transfer of Syrian-German Mamoun Darkazanli, 46, for up to six months as it reviews a complaint lodged by his lawyers that his extradition is unconstitutional. A court in Hamburg earlier approved his extradition to Spain where he is accused of belonging to a terrorist organization, a charge that carries a 20-year jail term.

Indonesian Police Announce Terror Arrests (Associated Press) - Four Islamic militants wanted for the Sept. 9 suicide bombing at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta have been arrested, including the alleged planner and two bomb-makers. The suspects were wearing explosives around their waists when they were captured on Nov. 5, but officers managed to overpower them before they could set off the devices. The arrests are the first major breakthrough in the investigation to the attack, which killed 10 people, including at least one suicide bomber.

Abu Sayyaf Leader Dies in Shootout (Associated Press) - Government troops killed a leader of Abu Sayyaf in a shootout in the southern Philippines. Munap Manialah, also known as Commander Munap, was shot dead Saturday (11/27) in a firefight with Philippine army and navy troops in southern Basilan island's Isabela city. Washington has classified Abu Sayyaf -- notorious for kidnappings and beheadings -- a terrorist group, and $5 million for information leading to the capture of its top leaders, including Khaddafy Janjalani.

Court: Australian Suspect Was al-Qaeda 'Sleeper' (Reuters) - An Australian man was refused bail Wednesday (11/24) after a court determined that he trained at an Afghani al-Qaeda camp, met Osama bin Laden, and agreed to become a “sleeper” for the terror network. Joseph Terrence Thomas, 31, was arrested the previous week and charged with receiving funds from al-Qaeda, providing support to the group, and possessing a false passport.

This report was compiled by Jonathan L. Snow and edited by Avi Jorisch.

- Mr. Snow is the Manager of Research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

- Avi Jorisch is an FDD Senior Fellow.

GlobalJihadWatch is a weekly publication that tracks developments in the Global War on Terror (GWOT), specifically focusing on militant groups that adhere to the ideology known as radical Islam. Such groups constitute a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, but their rhetoric and violence affords them disproportional influence in the Muslim world. Some of these groups are affiliated with al-Qaeda, while others are not. Indeed, such nomenclature is increasingly irrelevant, particularly as al-Qaeda evolves from a structured organization into an amorphous global movement. (This series will not cover the activities of militant Palestinian groups, which are covered at length in other publications.)

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