Friday, July 30, 2004

Breaking Silence over a Possible Terror Threat

Here's an important article from defense watch http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=DefenseWatch.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=575&rnd=492.24187143059936 There have been a progression of arrests and incidents in the southwest during the past month.

By J. David Galland

A sobering and scary development is allegedly taking place along the southwest border of the United States.

In Arizona, in the area the many refer to as the Naco Strip, our international border with Mexico in recent weeks has become a primary route of illegal entry by significant numbers of Arab-speaking males. The porous frontier, harried U.S. government officials say, is beginning to look a lot like the left lane on a European Autobahn. It doesn’t take a master spy to conclude that we may be seeing a large-scale influx of al Qaeda terrorists into the country.

This stunning disclosure has been made by a small-town weekly newspaper in Arizona, the Tombstone Tumbleweed, whose editor, Chris Simcox, posted an article on the paper’s website last week revealing the presence of Arab-speaking males amid the waves of recently-captured illegals. The article is based on separate, first-hand interviews with three U.S. government agents who confirmed that males of possible Syrian and Iranian descent have been detained in the past few weeks.

I have acquaintances who are Border Patrol agents in the southern Arizona region. Based on their take of ground truth, I believe the problem stems from distance, assets, manpower and equipment. I am personally convinced that our overworked Border Patrol agents are doing all they can with what they have.

Their patrol area is massive. It extends easterly to the New Mexico line. By the time agents can act on a request for assistance and get to the scene, hours have passed – again, because of the vast distances involved.

One might say, “So what is new?” Mexican illegals have been jumping the border for years. Even Pancho Villa and his bandit Army launched armed incursions into the American southwest in 1916. Today, in deference to his aggression, the City of Tucson honors the bandit with a life-size statue. In a Tucson city park, Villa reigns from a full gallop, not un-reminiscent of how he spread havoc and fear in southern Arizona, for an eternity to observe and apparently admire.

But today we are at war with an ideology that poses a far deeper peril to our national security than the Mexican revolutionary ever did. The Islamofascists of al Qaeda seek to kill men, women and children without distinction and ultimately overcome and ultimately destroy the concept of American freedom itself.

The task of securing our borders from the porous history of the past is absolutely critical. And it is not happening.

The influx of thousands of illegal aliens, including members of the infamous drug cartels, is bad enough. But others are slipping into the United States as well.

A Border Patrol spokesman has confirmed that since Oct. 1, 2003, 5,510 illegal aliens designated as “Other Than Mexican” (OTM) have been apprehended while crossing the rugged terrain in southern Arizona. The term actually means “other than Mexico or other central and South American countries,” the spokesman said.

So just who are, and from where, is this invading force of encroachers coming from?

“Can’t tell you that”, said Border Patrol spokesman Andy Adame when queried by the Tombstone newspaper on June 21. Agent Adame declined to say what countries the OTM illegals are from, although he admitted detainees include “people from all over the world.” Adame added, “We apprehend them, process them, and turn them over to [the U.S. Department of] Homeland Security and the FBI and that is all I can say.”

Fasten your seatbelt: It gets considerably worse!

Three independent sources within the Border Patrol’s uniformed division – agents who patrol the Arizona outback in the dark of night – told the Tombstone Tumbleweed that a significant amount of the OTMs are of Middle Eastern extraction.

When confronted with this information by the newspaper, Agent Adame denied that anybody of Middle Eastern origin was a part of the figure of 5,510. But Border Patrol sources are adamant that this is indeed the case.

Editor Simcox of the Tombstone newspaper could not identify his sources, but told DefenseWatch they are serving Border Patrol agents who were involved in the apprehension and detention of OTMs, suspected to be Iranian or Syrian nationals.

Recently, the border patrol has stepped up its enforcement in the southeast quadrant of Arizona, which includes the area of the Huachuca Mountains in Cochise County. The Cochise County seat is in Bisbee, an artsy copper mining town, with a colorful past, located just a few miles north of the America’s southern border with Mexico.

Southeast Arizona has other high-visibility and potential high payoff targets, of profound terrorist relevance. At the foot of the Huachuca Mountains lies Fort Huachuca, the home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Command and school.

Putting yourself in the mind of a terrorist, as a good intelligence analyst must do when seeking to establish a potential “symbolic target list” that a terrorist may covet, there exists no more desirable an objective than the Army’s Intelligence School. Fort Huachuca is a modern version of a 19th Century cavalry outpost that is nestled on the western edge of Sierra Vista Arizona. Also, it is only a short distance from the Mexican border.

In fact, only a few weeks ago Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge visited Fort Huachuca to press the flesh with the troops and to get the “skinny” on the Border Patrol’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles as an aid to enforcement. (If the reader believes that the Border Patrol is employing UAV technology merely to catch some errant migrant workers then I have a bridge in Brooklyn just for you.

But once across the border, they could be going anywhere.

According to the Tombstone editor’s sources, on June 13, 2004, Border Patrol agents from the Wilcox, Ariz., patrol station encountered a large group of illegal border crossers in the Chiricaucha Mountain foothills, just east of what is known as The Sanders Ranch. Agents estimated that the group comprised about 100 people.

Border Patrol sources who were present at this mass apprehension state that they seized 71 illegal aliens, of whom 53 were males of Middle Eastern decent. The suspects did not speak Spanish and spoke only poor English, sources told the newspaper.

In fact, after a group of the detainees had been placed in a transport van, one Border Patrol agents on the scene who speaks Arabic and Farsi, the native language of Iran, clearly overheard the detainees speaking Arabic through an air vent in the transport vehicle.

Higher-ups in the Border Patrol allegedly ordered these agents involved not to say a thing to the news media.

“But I have to,” one of the agents told the Tombstone editor, obviously acting out of concern of the potential terrorism threat as every American should be.

The agents involved in the June 13th incident noted that these suspects wore garb and clothing that is normally worn by migrants: baseball caps, tennis shoes, jeans, T-shirts even with patriotic American slogans.

But the agents said what was particularly odd was that all the clothing worn by the Middle Eastern males was brand new. Each one in the group looked to have had just been to a barber shop with fresh new haircuts, all clean cut, with the exact style and cut of mustaches.

Border Patrol sources, at the risk of being in violation of orders and losing their jobs, offered a subsequent chilling revelation. On June 21, 2004, they and their colleagues from the Wilcox Border Patrol station apprehended another 24 Arabic-speaking males in the area of Pierce/Sunsites. These small towns are approximately 25 miles northeast of Tombstone and not far from the Chiricaucha foothills.

Even more worrisome, the agents say, is that the 24 men who were seized were only part of a larger group. At least half of the group apparently escaped capture and remain on the loose in the United States.

Today, the 9/11 Commission formally released its report that catalogs the “failures of imagination, policy, capabilities and management” that enabled the terrorists to kill over 3,000 Americans. Is our nation’s failure to seal up the porous border with Mexico setting us up for another 9/11-type attack?

J. David Galland is Deputy Editor of DefenseWatch. He can be reached at defensewatch02@yahoo.com. Please send Feedback responses to dwfeedback@yahoo.com

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FBI issues terror alert in Western states

California, New Mexico among those advised of vague threat
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The FBI warned police in California and New Mexico that it received information about possible terrorist activity in their states. However, the warning wasn’t specific about particular targets or a method of attack, a federal law enforcement official said Thursday.
advertisementdocument.write('The FBI decided to pass along the threat information but warned that it was considered unsubstantiated and uncorroborated, said the official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity.
The vague warning was distributed to authorities in California, New Mexico and some other Western states the official did not identify.
U.S. officials earlier this month warned that a regular stream of intelligence indicates al-Qaida wants to attack the United States to disrupt the upcoming elections.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has said the government does not have specific knowledge about where, when or how an attack might take place.
Security was extremely tight at the Democratic National Convention in Boston this week. No terrorist-related activity has been reported.
© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Thursday, July 29, 2004

John Kerry: From War Hero To Aiding The Enemy and Slandering The Sacrifices of our Vietnam Veterans

As a former military officer, too young to have served in Vietnam, I respect and admire John Kerry’s war record. By all accounts, he served this country and the men around him well and Senator Kerry does not deserve criticism of the actions for which he has been decorated.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for his actions upon his return from Vietnam. His actions dishonored the majority of Vietnam veterans who served their country with honor. His behavior should raise serious questions about his fitness to serve as commander-in-chief. Not because he protested against an unpopular war, but because he slandered an entire generation of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

Here are his own words: “They told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.”

In short, our military men routinely committed war crimes and the government sanctioned this type of behavior. This is simply untrue and should call into question John Kerry’s fitness to lead this country.

Many years ago, myself and a group of other ROTC students went to see the movie Apocalypse Now, one of my favorite movies of all times. It portrays the above-mentioned types of behaviors as the Vietnam norm and contains some of the strongest “characters,” you’ve ever seen in a war movie. It is also an indictment of the insanity of war.

Several days later, while discussing ear necklaces, our ROTC commander, Col. Richard Iori, one of the most decorated special forces commanders in the Army at the time, overheard us and delivered a lesson that I have carried with me since that day.

Paraphrased he told us that it was our duty as leaders and future officers to stop any hint of such behavior from our men. That only in an Army or unit with a complete breakdown of discipline would such atrocities ever be tolerated, much less celebrated. That war is the worst mankind has to offer and that what separated the American soldier from others is that we simply will not tolerate that type of behavior. He acknowledged that he had heard stories, but told us neither himself nor none of his superiors would have ever tolerated any of these actions.

This coming from a man who was a career soldier and more decorated than any politician you can name. He certainly wasn’t attending anti-war rallies that the North Vietnamese used to demoralize our prisoners of war and demonize America around the world.

If John Kerry wants to go around the country and draw a distinction between himself and President Bushs’ service record it is good politics to do so.

One served in Vietnam and one didn’t.

But Kerry has already started the whine about anybody questioning his post-war activities, his slander and aiding the enemy by appearing at anti-war activities. And of course there is still his anti-military voting record since he arrived in the Senate, a tar baby he will find hard to dislodge.

His spin is that you can’t question John Kerry’s patriotism for anything he did after the war because of his service during the war. Of course this is nonsense. But the mainstream press allows him to get by with it.

But if we use that logic, why the flap over President Bush’s National Guard service? The president wasn’t a war hero but he did receive an honorable discharge. Look at what he’s accomplished since. He has led this nation in an unparalleled time of terrorism on our soil. Every military friend I know respects him as commander-in-chief. So does most of America.

Which of course is the democratic strategy. Use the liberal media to make a mountain out of nothing while painting Kerry as a war hero. Constantly bash anyone who dares criticize his slander of Vietnam veterans or his anti-war, anti-American activities upon his return.

Try to kill the advantage of having led this country in wartime rather than led a patrol boat.

Minimize the fact that your candidate is another anti-military, blame-America-first elitist. Another democratic commander-in-chief in the mold of Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton. Something we really can’t afford in the dangerous times in which we live.


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Zarqawi 'aide' captured in Iraq

This from the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/3777353.stm

Iraqi police have captured a top aide of al-Qaeda suspect Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the US-led coalition says.
The man, Umar Baziyani, is known to have ties to several extremist groups in Iraq, according to a statement by the US military.
He is believed to be responsible for the deaths of scores of innocent Iraqi citizens, the statement said.
Mr Baziyani, who was arrested on Saturday, is said to be providing information to coalition authorities.
Zarqawi, a 38-year-old Jordanian, is the prime suspect in some of the deadliest attacks around the world.
Washington has accused him of masterminding a string of spectacular suicide bombings in Iraq.
The US military described Mr Baziyani as an associate of Zarqawi, but did not explain the alleged links and gave no information about where he was detained.
A US military spokesman said Mr Baziyani himself was wanted in connection with a series of attacks on coalition forces in Iraq.
"His capture removes one of Zarqawi's most valuable officers from his network," the spokesman said

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Washington Post Announces Blog COntest

Right wing. Left wing. Indifferent. Irreverent. There's a blog for every taste, opinion and attitude. washingtonpost.com's 2004 Best Blogs - Politics and Elections Readers' Choice Awards is your chance to speak out and vote for your favorite politics and election blogs.
From now until September 3, we'll be taking nominations from the blogosphere on the best weblogs from this political season. Whose rants could give Dennis Miller a run for his money? Who's making the best use of the technology? Who will be around long after the hype has died down?
For more details on Best Blogs - Politics and Elections including special information for bloggers click here.
Mark your calendarsNominations begin: July 26, 2004Voting begins: September 27, 2004Winners announced: October 25, 2004
Nominate your favorite blogs*

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Iran Seeks Nuke Bomb 'Booster' from Russia-Report

This from Reuters .... so much for Iran's peaceful use of those reactorsBy Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iranian agents are negotiating with a Russian company to buy a substance that can boost nuclear explosions in atomic weapons, according to an intelligence agency report being circulated by diplomats.

But the Russian government, which monitors nuclear-related exports closely, denied any Russian companies were planning to supply Iran with the substance, known as deuterium gas.
The two-page report cited "knowledgeable Russian sources" for the information, which Washington will likely point to as more proof that Tehran wants to acquire nuclear weaponry.
"Iranian middlemen ... are in the advanced stages of negotiations in Russia to buy deuterium gas," the report said.
Iran denies wanting atomic arms and says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Deuterium is used as a tracer molecule in medicine and biochemistry and is used in heavy water reactors of the type Iran is building.
But it can also be combined with tritium and used as a "booster" in nuclear fusion bombs of the implosion type.
It is not illegal for Iran to purchase deuterium but it should be reported to the IAEA.
Diplomats say the suspicions surrounding Iran's nuclear program are so great that it would be wise for Tehran to exercise maximum transparency on all such "dual-use" purchases and declare them ahead of time to the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
"Iran has not declared this to the IAEA. Their cover story is that they want it for civilian purposes," said the diplomat who gave Reuters the report.
The report, which did not name the Russian firm, said purchase talks were in the final stages. It added that Iran had tried to produce deuterium-tritium gas -- with the help of Russian scientists -- but had so far failed.
MOSCOW DEFENDS COOPERATION WITH IRAN
Moscow has been criticized by Washington for building the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, despite U.S. concerns that it is a cover for Iran to acquire know-how and import items that can be used for bombs.
Reacting to the report, the Russian Foreign ministry issued a statement saying that in its nuclear cooperation with Iran, Moscow strictly sticks to intergovernmental agreements which do not provide for supplies of the deuterium gas.
"The Russian side is not planning to carry out any such supplies," the statement said.
Anything concerning nuclear exports is under tight government control, including details of separate deals. The government has said it keeps the situation in the sector under control and rejected any idea of major nuclear smuggling.
Envoys linked to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said buying deuterium alone was not evidence of intent to acquire a weapons capability.
They cautioned that the report appeared designed to win over nations who are not convinced Iran wants the atomic bomb.
The United States and others are pushing the IAEA to report Iran to the Security Council for possible punishment with economic sanctions for allegedly seeking nuclear weapons in defiance of its treaty obligations.
"Iran needs to know that they will suffer deeply if they get nuclear weapons," said the diplomat who provided the report. France, Germany and Britain have been negotiating with Iran to persuade it to cooperate fully with IAEA inspections to allay Western doubts and are resisting referring Tehran to the U.N.. A high-level meeting is expected in Paris on Thursday.
The U.N. has been investigating Iran's nuclear program for nearly two years to determine whether allegations that it has a secret atomic weapons program are false, as Tehran insists.
While it has found many instances where Iran concealed potentially weapons-related activities, the IAEA says it has no clear evidence that Tehran is trying to build the bomb. The United States and its allies say there is sufficient evidence and the agency is being too cautious. (Additional reporting by Oleg Shchedrov in Moscow)

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Al-Qaida and the Creativity of Murder

Here's a thought-provoking editorial from Andrew Apostulu from  FDD.

Al-Qaida and the Creativity of Murder

Providence Journal (Knight Ridder Syndication)July 28, 2004

The 9/11 CommissionNow that the much-awaited Sept. 11 commission report has been published, there will be even more focus on the failings of politicians, intelligence officers, and the U.S. government generally.

Such analyses have their value, but they are based on a fundamental error: that what matters is U.S. policy, not enemy actions. The excessive attention paid to U.S. capabilities and inadequacies could mean that the strengths of the enemy will be overlooked, and the extent of the challenge underestimated.

The commission's report begins to address this problem by sometimes analyzing the 9/11 plot from the enemy's perspective. What we discover is a tough, resourceful, determined and cunning foe.
Al-Qaida has brought both scale and imagination to terrorism. Above all, al-Qaida's love of death and its lack of any realizable political goals mean that the organization cannot be deterred or contained, only fought and destroyed.
The commission's report outlines in gruesome detail how al-Qaida defined its mission, acquired the operatives willing to die for the mission, and then gave them the skills that they needed.
Innovation was critical. Al-Qaida's camps in Afghanistan became a university of terrorism, where budding jihadists were, according to the report, "free to think creatively about ways to commit mass murder."
Recruitment was systematic but unstructured. Other terrorist groups, such as the PLO and the IRA, use their political wings as fronts for recruitment. Al-Qaida has no such visible point of entry for either recruits or, as important, intelligence agents. Instead, al-Qaida takes over mosques and uses word of mouth and informal approaches designed to defeat easy infiltration.
With evil genius, al-Qaida overturned all our previous assumptions about terrorism. Aviation security had aimed to detect the introduction of bombs onto aircraft. But al-Qaida turned the aircraft into bombs, relieving the terrorists of the risk of having to purchase, handle and transport explosives.
Similarly, previous hijackers had often smuggled guns onto aircraft with which to threaten the pilot and so control the aircraft's course. Al-Qaida dispensed with that approach, and for the first time ever the hijackers were themselves the pilots.
Al-Qaida also redefined the purpose of hijacking. In the past, hijacking, of the kind practiced by the Palestinians, was a form of brutal publicity: to attract attention or gain the release of terrorist prisoners. Indeed, the initial Sept. 11 plot, as conceived by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, involved nine suicide aircraft, with a 10th aircraft hijacked for the staging of a macabre news conference. The plan was to kill all adult male passengers on the 10th aircraft before landing it in the United States and delivering an attack on U.S. policies to the waiting media.
But Osama bin Laden vetoed the idea. He wanted the hijackers to elude attention for as long as possible.
While Palestinian hijackers had always wanted the authorities to know where the aircraft was, the Sept. 11 terrorists turned off the aircrafts' transponders, making detection difficult and thus giving them more time in which to approach their targets.
With equal cunning, al-Qaida found a balance between an attack plan so large that it would overwhelm U.S. defenses, but not so large that it could be discovered or thwarted.
Bin Laden had admired the use of simultaneous suicide attacks by Iranian-backed terrorists in Beirut in 1983. So he obtained training from Iran. He also seems to have learned from the multiple aircraft hijackings used by the Palestinians in 1970. In the end, he decided to use four aircraft, rather than the 10 that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had originally suggested.
Every last detail was thought through. The aircraft were seized just as they were reaching their cruising altitude, giving the United States little time to react and ensuring that the fuel tanks -- the explosive that did not need to be smuggled on -- were still close to full.
Just over 30 minutes elapsed between the terrorists' taking control of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 and the airplanes' striking the World Trade Center's twin towers. Between the two attacks was a space of just 17 minutes.
Before 9/11, many felt that the threat from bin Laden was exaggerated. He seemed not to pose the danger that his wild statements sought to make us feel. On 9/11, Americans learned that bin Laden was a man of his word, willing to put into action every evil intent.
If we do not learn to think ahead of bin Laden and the other terrorist masters -- to understand their twisted brilliance -- then we will always be one atrocity behind them.
Andrew Apostolou is director of research for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, in Washington.


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Osama Bin Laden Speech Offers Peace Treaty with Europe, Says Al-Qa'ida

William's note:  Now that the ultimatum has run out .......

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)

 
MEMRI has obtained and translated a copy of the most recent speech by Osama bin Laden, purportedly offering a peace ["sulh"] treaty to European countries that withdraw soldiers from Arab countries, while still maintaining the United States as a legitimate target. The following are excerpts from the speech:(1) " September 11 and March 11 is Your Own Merchandise Coming Back to You"

"This is a message to our neighbors north of the Mediterranean, with a proposal for a peace treaty, in response to the positive reactions which emerged there". "What happened in September 11 and March 11 is your own merchandise coming back to you. We hereby advise you ... that your definition of us and of our actions as terrorism is nothing but a definition of yourselves by yourselves, since our reaction is of the same kind as your act. Our actions are a reaction to yours, which are destruction and killing of our people as is happening in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine".

"It suffices to see the event that shocked the world - the killing of the wheelchair-bound old man Ahmad Yassin - Allah's mercy upon him - and we pledge to Allah to avenge [his murder] on America, Allah willing". "By what measure of kindness are your killed considered innocents while ours are considered worthless?  By what school [of thought] is your blood considered blood while our blood is water?" "Therefore, it is [only] just to respond in kind, and the one who started it is more to blame..." "We Will Continue to Fight the U.S. and U.N."

"When you look at what happened and is happening, the killing in our countries and in yours, an important fact emerges, and that is that the oppression is forced on both us and you by your politicians who send your sons, against your will, to our country to kill and to be killed". "Therefore, both sides have an interest in thwarting those who shed the blood of the peoples for their own narrow interests, out of vassalage to the White House gang..."

"This war makes millions of dollars for big corporations, either weapons manufacturers or those working in the reconstruction [of Iraq], such as Halliburton and its sister companies..." "It is crystal clear who benefits from igniting the fire of this war and this bloodshed: They are the merchants of war, the bloodsuckers who run the policy of the world from behind the scenes". "President Bush and his ilk, the media giants, and the U.N. ... all are a fatal danger to the world, and the Zionist lobby is their most dangerous member. Allah willing, we will persist in fighting them..." "I Hereby Offer [Europe] a Peace Treaty"

"Therefore, in order to thwart opportunities for the merchants of war, and in response to the positive developments that were expressed in recent events and in the public opinion polls, which determined that most European peoples want peace, I urge ... the establishment of a permanent commission to nurture awareness among Europeans regarding the justness of our causes, particularly the cause of Palestine, and that use be made of the vast media resources to this end". "I hereby offer them a peace treaty, the essence of which is our commitment to halt actions against any country that commits itself to refraining from attacking Muslims or intervening in their affairs, including the American conspiracy against the larger Islamic world". "This peace treaty can be renewed at the end of the term of a government and the rise of another, with the agreement of both sides".

"The peace treaty will be in force upon the exit of the last soldier of any given [European] country from our land". "The door of peace will remain open for three months from the broadcast of this statement. Whoever rejects the peace and wants war should know that we are the men [of war], and whoever wants a peace treaty and signs it, we hereby allow this peace treaty with him". "Stop shedding our blood in order to protect your own blood. The solution to this easy-difficult equation is in your own hands.

You should know that the longer you delay, the worse the situation will become, and when that happens, do not blame us, blame yourselves..." "As for those who lie to people and say that we hate freedom and kill for the sake of killing - reality proves that we are the speakers of truth and they lie, because the killing of the Russians took place only after their invasion of Afghanistan and Chechnya; the killing of the Europeans took place only after the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan; the killing of the Americans in the Battle of New York took place only after their support for the Jews in Palestine and their invasion of the Arabian Peninsula; their killing in Somalia happened only after Operation Restore Hope. We restored [i.e. repelled] them without hope, by the grace of Allah." Endnotes: (1) Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar) and Al-Arabiyya TV (UAE), April 15, 2004. 


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Osama and the Bomb

I have been reading he 9/11 commission final report and hope to have an article written soon about it. On page 112 there is the admission that "sooner or later bin Laden is going to strike the United States and he may use WMDS."   Here's an article from 2001 from Yoram Schweitzer of ICT that bears reading

Osama and the Bomb
A Grain of Truth?
Yoram Schweitzer
ICT Researcher
Recently the international media has been much peoccupied with Osama bin Laden’s statement to a Pakistani reporter, according to which he possesses nuclear capability. In another interview, bin Laden was quoted as saying that only if the U.S. uses non-conventional weapons against him, would he respond in an equal manner.
Bin Laden’s declarations as to his motives and capabilities, particularly those made in the past month, should be examined within the context of his psychological warfare against his declared enemies—a type of warfare at which he is a past master.
Bin Laden opened his campaign back in 1996, with his “declaration of war” against the West. This was followed by his announcement in February ‘98 of the establishment of the “International Front for Jihad against the Crusaders and the Jews.” Then, in May 1998, in a now famous interview with ABC, he openly threatened, in front of the TV cameras, to murder American citizens arbitrarily, because of their country’s policy towards the Moslems worldwide and because of the American control of the Islamic Holy Sites. Since then, bin Laden and his associates have succeeded in perpetrating devastating terror attacks, climaxed by the terror campaign in the heart of the U.S. in September 2001.
Since U.S. President Bush’s declaration of war on international terrorism and the beginning of the campaign in Afghanistan, bin Laden and his senior aides have been interviewed several times on Qatar’s Al-Jezeera TV, which has become an important channel for Al-Qaida’s propaganda channel and threats. In these appearances, bin Laden and his colleagues have taken great pains to stress their ability to mortally harm their enemies, while at the same time attempting to convey the seemingly contradictory impression that al-Qaida and the Taliban are innocent victims of American aggression.
What is interesting is the shift in bin Laden’s tone with regard to non-conventional weapons—a shift that was obvious in his latest interview with the Pakistani reporter. In previous interviews, in 1999, he claimed that the acquisition of non-conventional weapons was an Islamic religious duty, and he resolutely evaded the question as to whether he was in possession of such weaponry. Now, however, he openly declares that he does indeed have such weapons.
The source of this about-face is not hard to find. Now, more than ever, it is crucial for bin Laden to have a deterrent capability. His latest announcement must be seen as serving this interest. Bin Laden knows that the growing impatience of America’s allies with the slow progress of the war can be turned to his advantage. So long as the U.S. and its allies fail to effectively neutralize the threat posed by bin Laden and the Taliban to the rest of the world, bin Laden can continue to intimidate and deter the public opinion upon which the campaign against him depends.
Despite the fact that bin Laden has demonstrated that he would not hesitate to carry out mass “non-conventional” killings as far as the number of casualties is concerned, he has, until now, used conventional weapons. His proclamation that he has succeeded in obtaining nuclear weapons should be taken with a grain of salt. Larger and more established regimes have for years endeavored, and failed, to achieve practical nuclear capability.
Nevertheless, meticulous attention should definitely be paid to his creative ability. Bin Laden did not invest in aircraft, offensive equipment or explosives in order to carry out the September 11 attacks. Instead, he simply used his opponents’ tools against them. By taking control of four passenger airliners using minimal resources, he succeeded in perpetrating the worst terror attack ever in the history of mankind.
The lesson should be clear to security and law enforcement officials worldwide. Stringent measures must be taken to inspect installations and non-conventional materials. We must not be taken by surprise again, should Osama bin Laden attempt to take advantage of complacency and negligence to turn our own weapons against us.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Triumph Of the 9/11 Commission

 William's note:  This is one of the positive statements about this commission and report--They have at least clued in that this is a war with ISLAMISTS and that to them--this is a religious war.  I will look into the failures of the 9-11 commission in the coming days


by Daniel Pipes

New York Sun

July 27, 2004   http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1978http://daily.nysun.com/standard/ShowStoryTemplate.asp?Path=NYS/2004/07/27&ID=Ar00902&Section=Foreign
Finally, an official body of the American government has come out and said what needs to be said: that the enemy is "Islamist terrorism…not just ‘terrorism‚' some generic evil." The 9/11 commission in its final report even declares that Islamist terrorism is the "catastrophic threat" facing America.
As Thomas Donnelly points out in The New York Sun, the commission has called the enemy "by its true name, something that politically correct Americans have trouble facing."
Why does it matter that the Islamist dimension of terrorism must be specified? Simple. Just as a physician must identify a disease to treat it, so a strategist must name an enemy to defeat it. The great failing in the American war effort since September 2001 has been the reluctance to name the enemy. So long as the anodyne, euphemistic, and inaccurate term "war on terror" remains the official nomenclature, that war will not be won.
Better is to call it a "war on Islamist terrorism." Better yet would be "war on Islamism," looking beyond terror to the totalitarian ideology that lies behind it.
Significantly, the same day that the 9/11 report was published, July 22, President Bush for the first time used the term "Islamic militants" in a speech, bringing him closer than ever before to pointing to the Islamist threat.
The report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States has other good value. It paints an accurate picture of Islamist views, describing these as a "hostility toward us and our values [that] is limitless." Equally useful is the description of the Islamist goal being "to rid the world of religious and political pluralism."
In contrast to those analysts who wishfully dismiss the Islamists as a few fanatics, the 9/11 commission acknowledges their true importance, noting that Osama bin Laden's message "has attracted active support from thousands of disaffected young Muslims and resonates powerfully with a far larger number who do not actively support his methods."The Islamist outlook represents not a hijacking of Islam, as is often but wrongly claimed; rather it emerges from a "long tradition of extreme intolerance" within Islam, one going back centuries and in recent times associated with Wahhabism, the Muslim Brethren, and the Egyptian writer Sayyid Qutb.
The commission then does something almost unheard of in American government circles: It offers a goal for the war now under way, namely the isolation or destruction of Islamism.
And, after nearly three years, how fares the war? The commission carefully distinguishes between the enemy's twofold nature: "al Qaeda, a stateless network of terrorists" and the "radical ideological movement in the Islamic world." It correctly finds the first weakened, yet posing "a grave threat." The second is the greater concern, however, for it is still gathering and "will menace Americans and American interests long after Usama Bin Ladin and his cohorts are killed or captured." American strategy, therefore, must be to dismantle Al Qaeda's network and prevail over "the ideology that gives rise to Islamist terrorism." In other words, "the United States has to help defeat an ideology, not just a group of people."
Doing so means nothing less than changing the way Muslims see themselves, something Washington can help with but cannot do on its own: "Tolerance, the rule of law, political and economic openness, the extension of greater opportunities to women — these cures must come from within Muslim societies themselves. The United States must support such developments."
Of course, such an evolution "will be violently opposed by Islamist terrorist organizations" and this battle is the key one, for the clash under way is not one of civilizations but one "within a civilization," that civilization being the Islamic one. By definition, Washington is a bystander to this battle. It "can promote moderation, but cannot ensure its ascendancy. Only Muslims can do this."
Moderate Muslims who seek reform, freedom, democracy, and opportunity, the report goes on, must "reflect upon such basic issues as the concept of jihad, the position of women, and the place of non-Muslim minorities," then they need to develop new Islamic interpretations of these.
The 9/11 commission has fulfilled its mandate in interpreting the current danger. The Bush administration should now take advantage of its insights and implement them with dispatch.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

An ongoing failure of imagination in the terror war

William's note: This is from the South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal. The American Media has few, if any, supposed journalist who can write an analysis like this 

An ongoing 'failure of imagination'?

Ajai SahniEditor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management

A "failure of imagination", the Panel investigating the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US stated, was what kept US officials from understanding the Al Qaeda threat before the catastrophic events in New York and Washington. There is, however, a manifest and abiding danger today, that a future investigation into terrorist plots that are yet to be accomplished would find another, even greater, 'failure of imagination', culminating in horrors that may easily dwarf the events of 9/11.

The 9/11 Panel has been sagacious in noting that the critical element that must be understood if an adequate response to global terrorism is to be crafted, is that "we are in the midst of an ideological conflict". The contemporary assessment of where precisely inimical ideologies are located will be crucial to the outcome of this conflict - and here, again, there is an evident error in the dominant American evaluation.

It is, of course, the case that Osama bin Laden has been one of the most articulate representatives of this ideology, and his Al Qaeda one of its most effective manifestations. But there are many 'future bin Ladens' waiting in the wings, largely unnoticed, or systematically and intentionally ignored, by the American establishment, as well as by much of the world.

Among the most dangerous instances of this neglect occur in Pakistan. The present US Administration appears to have substantially 'outsourced' the management of its security interests in this region to what it perceives as a pliant, even servile, military dictatorship headed by General Pervez Musharraf, and there is a belief that this regime will bring about the 'enlightened moderation' that America hopes for in its favoured ally. It is useful, consequently, to identify where precisely, within this arrangement, the ideologies of hatred are articulated, what their constituent elements are, and what relationship the Musharraf regime has with their most visible advocates.

On May 20 this year, a meeting was organised at Muzaffarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) by the Hizb-ul-Mujahiddeen (HM), the largest terrorist group operating in the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The meeting commemorated the 'martyrdom' of two of its 'commanders' in J&K, on May 6, 2004, and was only one of many such routinely organised to commemorate the rather frequent 'martyrdom' of prominent terrorist cadres in J&K. The current Pakistani fiction, substantially accepted by the 'international community', is that the HM is an 'indigenous' Kashmiri group with an agenda exclusively limited to the 'liberation' of Kashmir. The HM is not a banned organisation in Pakistan, and operates openly with significant infrastructural, material and military support from the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The May 20 meeting was addressed by, among others, Syed Mohammad Yusuf Shah @ Syed Salahuddin, the 'Supreme Commander' of the Hizb; Shiekh Aqil-ur-Rahman, the District Chief, Murzaffarabad, of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), one of the largest 'mainstream' political parties in Pakistan, and Javed Iqbal, also of the JI; Ghulam Rasool Shah @ Abdur Rafiya, Deputy Chief, Jamiat-ul-Mujahiddeen, a terrorist organisation supposedly 'banned' in Pakistan; and Mohd. Farooq Rahmani, Convener, All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), POK, an organisation engaged in a 'peaceful struggle' for the 'liberation' of J&K. Significantly, the meeting was held openly in a public ground in an affluent area in Muzaffarabad, and the benign presence of uniformed police personnel is visible in the video record secured by the South Asia Terrorism Portal.It is not possible, here, to reproduce the full text of their speeches translated from the Urdu, but their main thrust can be communicated, without comment, with a few extracts:

Syed Salahuddin, 'Supreme Commander', Hizb-ul-Mujahideen thus states: "Almighty Allah, by his will and tactics, is bringing the Jihad Movement of Kashmir on a track that will liberate not only the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir but also crores of Muslims and other minorities in India oppressed by Brahmin imperialists…"Islamic history, the Holy Quran, the biographies of the Holy Prophet Mohammed and his virtuous followers, and the whole of history proves that no Muslim issue could ever be solved on the negotiating table. Can anyone quote an example and tell me whether any Muslim issue has been solved in their favour according to their will on the negotiating table? Disputes have been solved only on the battlefield.

On the table? Yes! We were cheated! Don't go far, ask the Palestinian people how they were cheated in the Camp David agreement. Afghan Mujahideen were cheated in the Geneva Agreement. If the Mujahideen had not tackled the problem through their iman (faith), then today Russia would have Afghanistan firmly in its claws…"Most humbly and respectfully, I request the leadership of my base-camp and the political leadership of the God-gifted state (Pakistan), whether they are in power or in opposition, in politics or in religion that: "Take not for friends Unbelievers rather than Believers." Jews and Hindus were neither your friends earlier nor can they be today...

"The God-gifted Pakistan will emerge as a prosperous Islamic, nuclear and Islamic country that can listen to the cry for help of the empty-handed, innocent child Mujahideen, the shamed mothers and sisters in Palestine. There is no Salahuddin Ayyubi or Nooruddin Zangi in the entire Arab world who can listen to their cry for help. There is no Mohammad bin Qasim, Tariq bin Ziyad, and no Salahuddin Ayyubi in the entire Muslim world who can prevent the blood shed of helpless Muslims, which flows like rivers in the hills of Afghanistan, in the deserts of Iraq, in the sky high mountains of Kashmir or in the Chechnyan valley strewn with flowers. There are 56 Muslim countries, 56 organized Muslim forces and all of them have surrendered to the devil's forces. They are defeated and helpless…."Dear youth! Allah bless you, Allah has chosen you by his own powerful hand.

 He has chosen you for protecting the honour of Islam. Who is there today? Where have Saddam's 500,000 forces and 80,000 Republican Guards gone? Who is present today to challenge the imperialist powers? Who is defeating the allied forces in the deserts of Arab Iraq, and who is breaking the pride of America? Who is causing trouble in the hills of Afghanistan and for the 750,000 forces of Indian imperialists in the Kashmir Valley, strewn with flowers? Who is attacking the Generals in Chechnya? Dear youth! They are none other than the Mujahideen, the successors of the holy Prophet Mohammed. In this context, Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said: "To embark on the cause of Allah, whether in night or day, is the greatest good on earth." These are the Mujahideen who teach a lesson to all forces of the devil, who will make Allah's religion achieve eminence and will protect the honour of the oppressed millat (community). They are the Mujahideen about whom it was said that on judgment day Allah will weigh all the treasures of the earth and the sky on one side and a day or a night in the life of the Mujahideen on the other side."Sheikh Aqil-ur-Rahman of the JI declares:

"The rulers of Islamabad and India as well as those of America, who are conspiring against jihad should understand that Muslims cannot compromise with jihad. It is an integral part of our Iman (faith). We do not posses the same eminence and stature as the five hundred thousand brethren who have sacrificed their lives for this purpose. But we will also follow their paths and sacrifice our lives."Javed Iqbal, also of the JI:"My brethren! Today, after 9/11, people all over the world are saying that the situation has changed and the Mujahideen should learn their lesson and they should stop their activities.

My brethren! If we believe in Allah, if we believe in the Holy Quran, if we are the followers of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) and believe in him, then jihad is the destination of our lives. Jihad is our only path and we have to follow it."Sheikh Jamil-ur-Rahman, a political Leader in PoK:"The Hindus can never be our friends. The Holy Quran confirms it. In clear words, Allah also says that the Jews and Christians too cannot be our friends. Those who are initiating friendship between India and Pakistan are misguiding the nation. They are cheating the nation. Friendship with the Hindus is unnatural, unprincipled and unlawful."

 
These voices are neither isolated exceptions, nor the most extreme in the ideological discourse that dominates the Islamist core in Pakistan. In an address at Jamia Qadsia in Lahore, on July 9, 2004, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its terrorist arm, the supposedly 'banned' Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), states: "Islam was spread and propagated in the world through jihad. Jihad strengthens the relation between Islam and the Muslims and reinforces their Iman (Faith). In the past too, through jihad, infidels were defeated in the world and infidelity crushed. Islam achieved eminence and even today, jihad will lead to similar results by the will of Allah…Earlier, on June 7, 2004, Saeed had written in Jasrat:"The US thought that it would keep jihad limited to Afghanistan and extend its agenda of usurping the natural resources of the Muslim world to Central Asia. But jihad's wave spread all over the world. The US wants to control this wave. Jihad is the biggest threat to the US interest.

There is nothing like al-Qaeda. It is the figment of the US' imagination. The US has concocted an outfit like al-Qaeda to massacre the Muslims all over the world. It has concocted false stories related to al-Qaeda with the help of the foreign media… "America is bleeding these days. It has become a threat to peace. When a wounded animal becomes a threat to one's life, it is shot dead. It is time to gun down the US. The US is the enemy of our religious culture, jihad, curriculum, the two-nation theory, the people of tribal areas and Kashmir."What is articulated by these eminences grises of the jehadi terror finds constant echoes in the Urdu media. In Jasarat, on June 12, 2004, Javed Kasuri, 'Deputy Supreme Commander' of the HM states:

 
"The US, Israel and India feel threatened by those who sit on a mat and recite the Quran in madrassahs. Jihadis are the only force that can challenge US imperialism. The entire west is Islam's enemy… To save Islam, all the Muslim sects will have to unite and wage jihad against the west." Conspiracy theories and denial abound in this discourse. In the Nawai Waqt of May 26, 2004, Dr. Asrar Ahmad, a 'well known Islamic scholar', writes: "The US has invaded Iraq at Israel's behest. The US wants to make greater Israel by subjugating Iraq. Sharon had stated some time ago, that Iraq is part of Israel. The Iraq war is not the game of oil but securing a stable future for Israel. The 9/11 investigations have been stopped because it was masterminded by Israel and the US cannot take any action against the Jews. Europe will go to war against the US and Israel because a crusade is on the card that will be fought between the Jews and the Christians.

The Europe will try to conquer the US and Israel to make the world a Catholic colony.'On June 23, in an interview in Takbeer, Ahmad takes the thesis further: "9/11 was not bin Laden's brainchild but of the US, Israel and the Jews. It was masterminded to provide the US an excuse to destroy Afghanistan. In fact, the US wants to make Afghanistan another home for the Jews. It will facilitate Jews' settlement in Afghanistan… "The UN's agenda is to promote obscenity, incest and free-sex culture in the name of 'gender-empowerment'. The UN wants Musharraf to legalize prostitution, gay and lesbian marriage in Pakistan…"Ludicrous as these statements may seem to Western sensibilities, they form a substantial component of Islamist 'scholarship' in Pakistan.Worse still, as has been repeatedly noted in the past, the extremist Islamist discourse on jehad, and shahadat (martyrdom) and the 'global conspiracy' against and threat to Islam is not the province of mullahs and militants alone, and has penetrated every aspect of the Pakistani educational system - and not, as is widely believed, just the extremist madrassahs.

It is useful to note that the examples drawn up in this Assessment are a small selection of statements and writings in the past less than three months. A comprehensive archive of extremist discourse in this vein for the entire period since 9/11 would fill volumes, and would include innumerable statements by elements proximate to, or directly connected with, the Musharraf regime. Some of these dangers have been acknowledged, for the pre-9/11 period under its review, by the 9/11 Panel. One writer notes that a cursory key word search of the Panel's report recovers "more than 200 references to Pakistan, many of them damning. There are less than 100 references to Iran and Iraq combined."Nevertheless, ignorance persists at unacceptable levels. The international Press and diplomatic community, largely located in protected and affluent enclaves, with their attention fixed firmly on the relatively moderate and westernized English language media, remain substantially uncomprehending of these dangerous undercurrents. Worse, denial remains integral to the mindset of many Western - and particularly US - observers. A mention of the 'dominant ideology of Pakistan' to a senior US diplomat posted in that country, for instance, drew a sharp response rejecting the idea that any such 'dominant ideology' could actually be identified.

Such denial also characterizes the mainstream political discourse on the issue in India today, and constitutes a danger even greater than the direct threat of contemporary terrorism, creating vast spaces for the continuous consolidation of ideas that will breed much worse in the years to come.

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New Realities in the War on Terror

William's note:  Here's a good article from the International Policy Insitute for Counter-Terrorism 

Monty Sagi

ICT

Islamic terrorists affiliated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi have threatened to behead three Turks kidnapped in Iraq. This is the latest in a series of brutal decapitations of civilian hostages by al Qaeda-related terrorists:

June 22, 2004 - Zarqawi's group beheaded a South Korean hostage.

June 18, 2004 - Paul Johnson was killed, nearly a week after being kidnapped in Saudi Arabia. Gory photos of his severed head appeared on an Islamic website shortly after.

June 8, 2004 - Robert Jacobs is shot to death by terrorists outside his Riyadh home. A terrorist videotape shows his killers kneeling over his body and appearing to cut off his head, although the actual decapitation was not seen (and has not yet been confirmed).

May 12, 2004 - Nicholas Berg was kidnapped in Iraq and decapitated. His last moments were videotaped by the terrorists and released to Islamic websites and media.
February 2002 - Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pear was beheaded by Islamic terrorists in Pakistan.
June 2001 - American Guillermo Sobero was kidnapped and beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf group, an Islamic terror outfit linked to al Qaeda, in the Philippines. Notes calling the killing an act of “jihad” were left with Sobero's body. Kidnappings followed by beheadings - videotaped in all their bloody detail and immediately released to Islamic websites and news media - are apparently becoming a tactic of choice for al-Qaida and affiliated Islamic terror groups. They’re easy to carry out and, according to Richard Murphy, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, are designed to “cause maximum shock in the Western public”.

He calls the beheadings “a political, psychological ploy to show the enemy is merciless, vengeful and will stop at nothing”. Rachel Bronson, director of Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations says that “Beheadings are done to try to show that no Westerners are safe. It has a chilling effect on Westerners in Saudi Arabia.” Jerrold Post, director of George Washington University's Political Psychology Department and author of “Leaders and their Followers in a Dangerous World”, says that “Zarqawi and other Muslim extremists around the world have, in recent years, selected non-Muslims to behead to send explicit religious messages to the Western world”.The psychological motive was further highlighted in the latest incidents by the fact that the terrorists posed their victims in orange prison uniforms of the kind worn by Islamic detainees in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

The brutal reality of this type of physical and psychological terror, relentlessly driven by radical Islamic religious fanaticism and unrestrained by the conventional “rules” of international conflicts, requires new ways of thinking and new responses to cope with and defeat the phenomenon.Against this background, a new book titled “Imperial Hubris” was recently released by a career CIA officer, writing under the name “Anonymous”.

In it, the author focuses on his belief that that the war against Islamic terror, as perpetrated by al-Qaida, is not going well, and he is critical of the policies defining the priorities of that war.In an interview with Andrea Mitchell, Foreign Affairs correspondent for NBC News, “Anonymous” expresses opinions that are controversial, such as his strong conviction that the campaign in Iraq was misguided, and even played into the hands of the fanatics perpetrating “jihad” against the United States.While some of the author’s ideas may reflect his own political leanings and personal bias, they are sufficiently relevant and far-reaching to warrant serious discussion. His supporting arguments go beyond the campaign in Iraq, and relate to his conviction that al-Qaida poses a genuine existential threat to the United States, which must be vigorously engaged and decisively defeated.The following summary of the interview with Mitchell, as reported on the MSNBC website, contains an overview of his ideas on the war against Islamic terror. [Full text of Andrea Mitchell’s interview with “Anonymous” at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5279743/]The Nature of the Threat

The author states that “we remain in a state of denial about the size of the organization we face, the multiple allies it has, and more importantly…the genius of bin Laden that's behind the movement and the power of religion that motivates the movement. I think we are, for various reasons, loath to talk about the role of religion in this war. And it's not to criticize one religion or another, but bin Laden is motivated and his followers and his associates are motivated by what they believe their religion requires them to do. And until we accept that fact and stop identifying them as gangsters or terrorists or criminals, we're very much behind the curve.”Defining the EnemyAccording to the author, the focus on trying to deal with bin Laden himself as “just a terrorist” is the wrong approach to dealing with the larger problem of global terror.

While the elimination of bin Laden would undoubtedly be a positive development for many reasons, “Anonymous” believes that “the real enemy is the radical form of Islam that bin Laden and his followers espouse” and is convinced that the level of violence in the war against al-Qaida needs to be escalated. When asked by Mitchell whether the beliefs of bin Laden and his followers are not in fact “a distortion of Islam”, “Anonymous” crosses the red line of political correctness so prevalent in the free world and in much of its mass media, by stating that bin Laden is “probably the only heroic figure, the only leadership figure that exists in the Islamic world today” and, furthermore, that “there seems to be very little opposition to him within the Muslim world, and that's why I think that our assumption that he distorts Islam is just that, it's ‘analysis by assertion’. I'm not sure it's quite accurate.”Mitchell further questions “Anonymous” on his call for “tough actions” and escalation of the level of violence required in the war against terror: “You say in your book that killing in large numbers is not enough to defeat our Muslim foes. This killing must be a Sherman-like razing of infrastructure. You talk about civilian deaths. You talk about landmines. Is that really what we have come to in this war on terror?” The reply is blunt: “We've arrived at the point”, says the author, “where the only option is military. And quite frankly, in Iraq and in Afghanistan we've applied that military force with a certain daintiness that has not served our interests well.”

He goes on to express his conviction that al-Qaida will attack the United States homeland again, and harder than before. To assume that the lack of such an attack since 9-11 is a reflection of al-Qaida’s inability to carry one out is, in his opinion, just another example of “analysis by assertion”. He points out that “One huge failing of the American counterterrorist community throughout its existence has been the assumption that if someone hasn't attacked us in a while, they can't attack us. And I think that's where we are, the kind of mindset that if it hasn't happened, it's because they can't. I tend to think bin Laden will attack us when he wants to. He's an individual who has been very unmoved by external events.

If there's a man who marches to his own drummer in terms of timing, it's certainly bin Laden and al-Qaida.”“Anonymous” attributes the failure to locate or capture bin Laden, or to seriously impair al-Qaida’s viability as a threat, to the unwillingness of senior intelligence community bureaucrats to take the “full, unvarnished truth” to the president. “I think”, he says, “they are loath to describe the dire problem posed by bin Laden for a number of reasons.

 
 One of them is basically political correctness. It's not career-enhancing to try to engage in a debate about religion and the role it plays in international affairs. And so we address bin Laden from the perspective of law enforcement, picking them off one at a time, arresting them, killing them. And I think that's the result of no one frankly discussing the size of the problem or the motivation behind the problem.”The SolutionAccording to “Anonymous”, the first step in understanding the problem is “to try to divorce yourself from the emotions generated by bin Laden's activities and rhetoric, and the activities and rhetoric of the people who agree with him, or support him. The decapitation of people, the flying into the World Trade Center, and the destruction of the Destroyer Cole raise emotions that they must raise among Americans.

But when we respond to those in a law enforcement manner, in a manner that describes these men as, again, criminals or terrorists, we fail to understand the size of the organization that supports al-Qaida and the size of the organization that al-Qaida has bred for over 20 years.”“The other problem”, he continues, “is an analytic problem. If you're looking at a terrorist group, you don't put together an order of battle as you would for an army or an insurgency. And so you talk about taking down three-quarters of al-Qaida's leadership.

Well, at the end of the day, what we've done is take down three-quarters of the al-Qaida leadership we knew of on 11 September 2001. And if you take that as a measurable success, it is. But you don't know, first, how big the organization was you started to work against it; and second, the assumption is that it's a static, sterile organization that doesn't grow. And the one thing we can be certain of is that the attack on Afghanistan by the United States and the continued occupation of Afghanistan has caused the number of volunteers going to al-Qaida in Afghanistan, and the amount of money going to al-Qaida in Afghanistan, to have increased, I would say, probably dramatically”.

 
In his opinion, the bottom line is a significant and aggressive escalation of violence on the part of the anti-terrorist forces, targeted against Islamic radicals wherever they may be. To those politically correct individuals who would say that such a call for war could be interpreted as directed against all Muslims, and would only “make things worse”, his reply is understated but filled with powerful implications. He says “I wonder how much worse the situation can be, in the first instance. We continue to believe that somehow public diplomacy or words will affect the anger and hatred of Muslims. And I'm not advocating war as my choice. What I'm advocating is, in order to protect the United States, it is our only option.” He goes on to say, “It's the only option. It's not a good option; it's the only option. And I'm not saying we attack people who aren't attacking us.

But in areas where we realize our enemies are, perhaps we have to be more aggressive.”When Mitchell asks “Even if it means civilian casualties?”, “Anonymous” again disregards political correctness. He replies simply “That's the way war is. I've never really understood the idea that any American government, any American elected official is responsible for protecting civilians who are not Americans. My experience working against bin Laden was there were multiple occasions when we did not take advantage of an opportunity to solve the problem because we were afraid of killing a civilian, we were afraid of hitting a mosque with shrapnel, we were afraid of disrupting sales of arms overseas. Very seldom in my career have I ever heard anyone ask what happens if we don't do this.”At the conclusion of the interview with Mitchell, “Anonymous” summarized his bottom line in chilling terms. “My own opinion is we should err on the side of protecting Americans first. And if we make a mistake in that kind of action, I think the American people will accept that. This is a matter of survival. This is not a nuisance anymore.”

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Sunday, July 25, 2004

Scouting jetliners for new attacks

William's note:  If another aircraft incident happens Norman Mineta, Members of the ACLU, CAIR and others should be held criminally liable--we have become a nation of politically correct idiots

 
By Audrey HudsonTHE WASHINGTON TIMES

Flight crews and air marshals say Middle Eastern men are staking out airports, probing security measures and conducting test runs aboard airplanes for a terrorist attack.     At least two midflight incidents have involved numerous men of Middle Eastern descent behaving in what one pilot called "stereotypical" behavior of an organized attempt to attack a plane.     "No doubt these are dry runs for a terrorist attack," an air marshal said.    

 Pilots and air marshals who asked to remain anonymous told The Washington Times that surveillance by terrorists is rampant, using different probing methods.     "It's happening, and it's a sad state of affairs," a pilot said.     A June 29 incident aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 327 from Detroit to Los Angeles is similar to a Feb. 15 incident on American Airlines Flight 1732 from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.   

  The Northwest flight involved 14 Syrian men and the American Airlines flight involved six men of Middle Eastern descent.     "I've never been in a situation where I have felt that afraid," said Annie Jacobsen, a business and finance feature writer for the online magazine Women's Wall Street who was aboard the Northwest flight.     

The men were seated throughout the plane pretending to be strangers. Once airborne, they began congregating in groups of two or three, stood nearly the entire flight, and consecutively filed in and out of bathrooms at different intervals, raising concern among passengers and flight attendants, Mrs. Jacobsen said.  

  One man took a McDonald's bag into the bathroom, then passed it off to another passenger upon returning to his seat. When the pilot announced the plane was cleared for landing and to fasten seat belts, seven men jumped up in unison and went to different bathrooms.     Her account was confirmed by David Adams, spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), who said officers were on board and checked the bathrooms several times during the flight, but nothing was found.     "The FAMS never broke their cover, but monitored" the activity, Mr. Adams said. "Given the facts, they had no legal basis to take an enforcement action. But there was enough of a suspicious nature for the FAMS, passengers and crew to take notice."     A January FBI memo says suicide terrorists are plotting to hijack trans-Atlantic planes by smuggling "ready-to-build" bomb kits past airport security, and later assembling the explosives in aircraft bathrooms.     On many overseas flights, airlines have issued rules prohibiting loitering near the lavatory.     "After seeing 14 Middle Eastern men board separately (six together and eight individually) and then act as a group, watching their unusual glances, observing their bizarre bathroom activities, watching them congregate in small groups, knowing that the flight attendants and the pilots were seriously concerned and now knowing that federal air marshals were on board, I was officially terrified," Mrs. Jacobsen said.     "One by one, they went into the two lavatories, each spending about four minutes inside. Right in front of us, two men stood up against the emergency exit door, waiting for the lavatory to become available. The men spoke in Arabic among themselves ... one of the men took his camera into the lavatory. Another took his cell phone. Again, no one approached the men. Not one of the flight attendants asked them to sit down."     In an interview yesterday with The Washington Times, Mrs. Jacobsen said she was surprised to learn afterward that flight attendants are not trained to handle terrorist attacks or the situation that happened on her flight.     "I absolutely empathize with the flight attendants. They are acting with no clear protocol," she said.     Other passengers were distraught and one woman was even crying as the events unfolded.     The plane was met by officials from the FBI, Los Angeles Police Department, Federal Air Marshal Service and Transportation Security Administration. The Syrians, who were traveling on one-way tickets, were taken into custody.     The men, who were not on terrorist watch lists, were released, although their information and fingerprints were added to a database. The group had been hired as musicians to play at a casino, and the booking, hotel accommodations and return flight to New York from Long Beach, Calif., also checked out, Mr. Adams said.     "We don't know if it was a dry run, that's why we are working together with intelligence and investigative agencies to help protect the homeland," he said.     Mrs. Jacobsen, however, is skeptical the 14 passengers were innocent musicians.     "If 19 terrorists can learn to fly airplanes into buildings, couldn't 14 terrorists learn to play instruments?" she asked in the article.     The pilot confirmed Mrs. Jacobsen's experience was "terribly alike" what flight attendants reported on the San Juan flight.     He said there is "widespread knowledge" among crew members these probes are taking place.     A Middle Eastern passenger attempted to videotape out the window as the plane taxied on takeoff and, when told by a flight attendant it was not permitted, "gave her a mean look and stopped taping," said a written report of the San Juan incident by a flight attendant.     The group of six men sat near one another, pretended to be strangers, but after careful observation from flight attendants, it was apparent "all six knew each other," the report said.     "They were very careful when we were in their area to seem separate and pretended to be sleeping, but when we were out of the twilight area, they were watching and communicating," the report said.     The men made several trips to the bathroom and congregated in that area, and were told at least twice by a flight attendant to return to their seats. The suspicious behavior was relayed to airline officials in midflight and additional background checks were conducted.     A second pilot said that, on one of his recent flights, an air marshal forced his way into the lavatory at the front of his plane after a man of Middle Eastern descent locked himself in for a long period.     The marshal found the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side.     The second pilot said terrorists are "absolutely" testing security.     "There is a great degree of concern in the airline industry that not only are these dry runs for a terrorist attack, but that there is absolutely no defense capabilities on a vast majority of airlines," the second pilot said.     Dawn Deeks, spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants, said there is no "central clearinghouse" for them to learn of suspicious incidents, and flight crews are not told how issues are resolved.     She said a flight attendant reported that a passenger was using a telephoto lens to take sequential photos of the cockpit door.     The passenger was stopped, and the incident, which happened two months ago, was reported to officials. But when the attendant checked back last week on the outcome, she was told her report had been lost.     Recent incidents at the Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport have also alarmed flight crews. Earlier this month, a passenger from Syria was taken into custody while carrying anti-American materials and a note suggesting he intended to commit a public suicide.     A third pilot reported watching a man of Middle Eastern descent at the same airport using binoculars to get airplane tail numbers and writing the numbers in a notebook to correspond with flight numbers.     "It's a probe. They are probing us," said a second air marshal, who confirmed that Middle Eastern men try to flush out marshals by rushing the cockpit and stopping suddenly.     


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CAIR'S Two-faced Approach To Terrorism

This is from The Washington Timeswww.washingtontimes.com

CAIR and terrorismPublished July 24, 2004

Earlier this month, five Palestinian brothers were convicted in federal court of conspiring to use their Texas-based computer company to make illegal shipments of high-tech goods to Libya and Syria, two nations the State Department considers sponsors of terrorism. One of the brothers, Ghassan Elashi, the company's vice president of international marketing, was convicted of three counts of conspiracy, one count of money laundering and two counts of making false statements about the shipments. Mr. Elashi, along with two of his brothers, also faces a separate federal trial on charges relating to business dealings with Mousa Abu Marzook, the deputy political leader of the terrorist organization Hamas. Mr. Elashi is also the founding board member of a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chapter in Texas, according to the Dallas Morning News. In February 2003, the Muslim Legal Fund held a fund-raiser for the Elashi brothers, hoping to raise $500,000 for their defense. As the Morning News reported then, two of the Fund's board of directors had ties to CAIR.    

 In April, Randall Royer of Fairfax was sentenced to 20 years by a federal judge after pleading guilty to using and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, and carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony, reports Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum. (Mr. Pipes has been following many of the cases here related on his Web log, www.danielpipes.org.) Royer was arrested a year ago on charges of conspiring to join the Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations, as well as weapons charges (an AK-47-style assault rifle was found in his car along with 200 rounds of ammunition upon his arrest). Royer had been CAIR's communications director and civil-rights coordinator.     In September, Bassem Khafagi pled guilty to charges of making false statements on his visa application and bank fraud. He had been charged with funneling money to promote terrorist activities through the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), of which he was a founding member. The Washington Post reported in October that federal prosecutors described IANA's objective as the "dissemination of radical Islamic ideology, the purpose of which was indoctrination, recruitment of members and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism."

In January, the Syracuse Post-Standard revealed that Khafagi also had business ties to Rafil Dhafir, who has been accused of illegally sending money to Iraq. Dhafir is also a former vice president of IANA. Khafagi was sentenced to 10 months in prison and deported to Egypt. At the time of his arrest, Khafagi was a community affairs director of CAIR.     Last July, Rabih Haddad was deported to Lebanon after being arrested and held by federal agents during a raid on the Global Relief Foundation, which billed itself as a charitable organization.

According to the Treasury Department the organization "has connections to, has provided support for, and has provided assistance to Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda network, and other known terrorist groups." A co-founder of the Global Relief Foundation, Haddad was also a fund-raiser for the Ann Arbor CAIR chapter. Following the September 11 attacks, CAIR had a link on its Web site for persons to donate through the Global Relief Foundation. After federal agents shut down Global Relief in December 2001, CAIR removed the link from its Web site, according to Frontpagemag.com.   

  Also in December 2001, federal agents shut down the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, an Islamic "charity," for raising millions of dollars for Hamas. In the aftermath of September 11, CAIR featured the Holy Land Foundation on its Web site. The Holy Land Foundation was founded by Hamas deputy Marzook (who is now believed to be in Syria). Ghassan Elashi was once its chairman.  

   Considering all of the above, it's little wonder that a cloud of suspicion has hung over CAIR since September 11. The Washington-based organization, which has described itself as a "Muslim NAACP," does itself no favors by failing to condemn these criminals when they are convicted; indeed, in numerous cases, it has continued to actively defend them. After the Elashi convictions, for example, Khalil Meek, who serves on the board of directors of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of CAIR, said: "We believe that these convictions indicate a growing disparity and climate of injustice for Muslims, who we feel are being selectively prosecuted and given unfair sentences precisely because they are Muslim or Arab ... This is not justice." CAIR also labeled the government's handling of the Royer case "draconian."

Such statements are part of CAIR's dishonest campaign to create the sense of a widespread inquisition against Muslims and Arabs in America that simply doesn't exist.     We understand that no organization can be responsible for the independent actions of its officials or affiliated members. To its credit, CAIR has denounced terrorist acts, most recently the beheadings of two Americans in Iraq. At the same time, the examples cited above reveal some unsettling connections between certain CAIR officials and extremist groups that demand at a minimum an internal investigation. The federal government has not yet turned its "draconian" reach on CAIR directly, and at this point we are not prepared to ask it to do so. For now, it would be better if CAIR itself began a conscientious and deliberate effort to purge members it believes have terrorist ties and to thoroughly condemn those already convicted.    


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Difference between CAIR and MPAC

 William's note:  This is from Daniel Pipe's weblog--Like Robert Spencer's jihadwatch, it should be daily reading for anyone wanting to understand the insurgency we face.


The Difference between CAIR and MPAC I am sometimes asked to characterize the difference between the two leading American Islamist organizations, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. While they agree on many issues – impeding counterterrorism efforts and forwarding an Islamist vision of America in particular – they also differ in some ways.

General outlook: MPAC portrays itself as "moderate," a self-definition that presumably has never crossed CAIR's collective mind;
Aggressiveness: CAIR is the attack-dog, MPAC follows.

Funding: CAIR takes large amounts of money from at least one foreign state, something that MPAC disavows in its boilerplate fundraising appeal ("As a matter of policy, MPAC DOES NOT accept any funding from foreign governments").

Geography: CAIR, being headquartered on New Jersey Avenue in Washington, D.C., is more relentlessly political than MPAC, headquartered on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.
But the current crisis in Darfur brings out what is perhaps the key difference. Unlike the many cases around the world of Muslim violence against non-Muslims – what Samuel Huntington has so evocatively dubbed "the bloody borders of Islam" – this one involves Muslims only (or, to complete Huntington's quote, "and so are its innards"). That is to say, both the aggressor (the "Janjaweed" militia sponsored by the government of Sudan) and the victims (the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa of Darfur) adhere to the Islamic religion.

MPAC responded yesterday by issuing a press release, "Humanitarian Crisis in the Sudan," that decries that "the perpetrator of this crime is indirectly the Sudanese government" and calls on the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference "publicly and loudly" to condemn the violence in Darfur and call for a war-crimes tribunal. It also asks Americans "to write to the Embassy of Sudan, expressing concern about this terrible humanitarian catastrophe."
In contrast, CAIR has stayed mum about the whole Darfur matter. When buttonholed by a reporter, its spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, tersely replied "We don't have enough knowledge of the situation to make judgments."

In brief, MPAC takes a public stance of wishing to protect ordinary Muslims from the Islamist furies; CAIR does not. As ever, CAIR is consistently more radical

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Osama being treated in Pakistan

WW:  This from the Times of India.  And you think the Pakistani nukes can't be compromised?

 
Osama being treated by Pak ArmyCHIDANAND RAJGHATTATIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, JULY 24, 2004 12:56:40 PM ]

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's intelligence officials knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks, a well-known American analyst has said, based on a ''stunning document'' that he claims was given by a Pakistani source to the 9/11 Commission on the eve of the publication of its report. The document, from a high-level, but anonymous Pakistani source, also claims that Osama bin Laden has been receiving periodic dialysis in a military hospital in Peshawar, says Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large of the news agency UPI.

''The imprints of every major act of international Islamist terrorism invariably passes through Pakistan, right from 9/11 - where virtually all the participants had trained, resided or met in, coordinated with, or received funding from or through Pakistan,'' Borchgrave cites the confidential document as saying.

But one does not have to go to Borchgrave's unnamed sources to find Pakistan’s involvement in terrorist activity leading to 9/11. The 9/11 commission report itself nails Pakistan in chapter after chapter, revealing that the Pakistani intelligence was in cahoots with the Taliban and al Qaeda, far more than Iran and Iraq ever were. Among the inquiry commission's observations, quoted verbatim here * ''Pak[istan's] intel[ligence service] is in bed with bin Laden and would warn him that the United States was getting ready for a bombing campaign'' – quoting Richard Clarke * ''Islamabad was behaving like a rogue state in two areas – backing Taliban/bin Laden terror and provoking war with India'' - quoting NSC Bruce Riedel * Pakistani intelligence officers reportedly introduced bin Laden to Taliban leaders in Kandahar -Commission's own observation. * Pakistan's military intelligence service, known as the ISID (Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate), was the Taliban's primary patron - Commission's observation * Pakistan helped nurture the Taliban.

The Pakistani army and intelligence services, especially below the top ranks, have long been ambivalent about confronting Islamist extremists. Many in the government have sympathized with or provided support to the extremists - Commission's observation. Next Page: Karachi was gateway for 9/11 hijackers

Elsewhere, even as the Bush administration made a big to-do about ten hijackers passing through Iran and tried to implicate Teheran on that grounds, the 9/11 report shows that several hijackers who rammed the planes into American targets used Karachi as a base and trained there for weeks on end. In fact, the report paints Karachi as the gateway to terrorism, drawing an elaborate picture of the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed using the port city to plan the attack, gather the hijackers there, and put them through their paces. ''Much of his (KSM's) activity in mid-1999 had revolved around the collection of training and informational materials for the participants in the planes operation,''the 9/11 report says.

 ''For instance, he collected Western aviation magazines; telephone directories for American cities such as San Diego and Long Beach, California (from Karachi flea markets); brochures for schools; and airline timetables, and he conducted Internet searches on US flight schools.'' ''He also purchased flight simulator software and a few movies depicting hijackings. To house his students, KSM rented a safehouse in Karachi with money provided by bin Laden,'' the report adds. But all this is not good enough for the American media, which has almost completely ignored Pakistan’s role in 9/11 while going on a feeding frenzy over a few speculative morsels tossed out by the Bush administration about the involvement of Iran and Iraq.

Not a single US TV channel or newspaper collated, let alone reported or highlighted, the multiple indictment of Pakistan contained in the report. Even a cursory key word search would have shown more than 200 references to Pakistan, many of them damning. There are less than 100 references to Iran and Iraq combined. While the commission report repeatedly implicates Pakistan and its intelligence agency ISI in terrorist activity, it too appears to have failed to record some well-chronicled events that might have pointed to the impending catastrophe.

For instance, the report does not contain any reference to Niaz Khan, a Pakistani waiter in Britain who walked into an FBI office in New Jersey nearly a year before 9/11 and alerted them about a plot to fly planes into buildings. Nor does it go into reports that terrorist mastermind Mohammed Atta received a wire transfer of funds from a source in Karachi connected to the ISI. Despite this, Pakistan finds itself incriminated in the report far more than Iran or Iraq. The commission itself is frequently censorious of Pakistan's role, but in the end it recommends more carrots as a means of bringing back what it suggests is a failed state from the brink. Pakistani officials have issued their pro forma denials about Islamabad's involvement, clutching instead at a few paras in the report that recommend a sustained (and conditional) US engagement with the military dictatorship.

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