Archive for July 2008
The International Herald Tribune today reports on a recent CIA mission to Pakistan to confront leaders of the ISI there about the ties ISI members retain to the Taliban and al Qaeda.
The CIA assessment specifically points to links between members of the spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, and the militant network led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, which American officials believe maintains close ties to senior figures of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
The CIA has depended heavily on the ISI for information about militants in Pakistan, despite longstanding concerns about divided loyalties within the Pakistani spy service, which had close relations with the Taliban in Afghanistan before the Sept. 11 attacks.
This is not new, but is useful when juxtaposed with the conclusions of the new and very useful Rand Corporation report on how to end terrorism.
While the central argument of the study is to make police work and intelligence the backbone of the counterterrorism efforts, it also argues strongly for a greatly reduced U.S. military presence and overall reduced footprint abroad.
And in the meantime, Bush is praising “Pakistan as an ally on counterterrorism”. I’m not surprised that there are people who consider that Bush’s GWOT is off target. That same Rand Corporation report says:
The analysis focuses on a little-studied aspect of what one might call a terrorist group’s “life cycle.” Examining 648 historical cases of terrorist groups between 1968 and 2006 and their eventual ends, the report concludes that most groups end because they are either incorporated into the political process (43 percent) or are eliminated through police and intelligence services seizing or killing group leaders (40 percent).
“In most cases, military force is too blunt of an instrument and ineffective at ending terrorist groups,” says Jones, a well-known Rand expert on Afghanistan who is also an adjunct political science professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
For one thing, they point out, a major American military role sets the stage for a backlash. “The U.S. military can play a critical role in building indigenous capacity but should generally resist being drawn into combat operations in Muslim countries, where its presence is likely to increase terrorist recruitment,” Jones and Libicki wrote.
Interesting thing… But according to the ISI involvement with Taliban and Islamist terrorists (they have been used against India), who is really recruiting those terrorists? And if Pakistan is soooo good an ally, why CIA has pointed out those plots between members of ISI and Taliban terrorists? Wouldn’t that be a real violation of other people’s territory? What is more: the result of those “talks” between Pakistani Government and the Taliban are already on the table:
Pakistan’s talks with extremists have resulted in a 40 percent rise in rebel activity in Afghanistan, the NATO force said Wednesday, as authorities reported a British soldier had been killed.
Yes, Pakistan is a great ally.
(…) The Constitutional Tribunal must deliberate about the legitimacy of another party, the pro-Kurd DTP, which means that the Turkish political life is the hands of the Judicial power. The situation is similar to the one lived by Algeria when the Islamic Front was eliminated.
According to other analists the ban on both parties (the other is AKP, scroll down for updates) would take Turkey away from Europe.
Terrorism will be the legacy of the fight between Islamists and the far-right. It is not the first time that Erdogan has made a statement for the country’s unity. The “deep State”, linked to the military groups and the myth of Ataturk, has been decimated by the Islamic government. The greatest blow on secularism has been the arrest of the “Ergenekon”. Some days before the July 9th terrorist attacks, two ex-generals were arrested, accused of being leaders of a group labeled as terrorist and who inspired several political murders in last twenty years.
(…) But there is another link, geopolitical this time, of Erdogan’s strategy. On the one hand, he is the mediator between Israel and Syria. On the other hand, regarding energy, he has pointed to Turkey.
In Ceyhan, a Mediaterranean port which could be greater than Rotterdam, the Turkish government has made an economic revolution. Both pipelines from Baku and Tiblisi join there with the pipeline from Kirkuk, Iraqi city famous because of its richesses on oil. The third pipeline will be built by ENI, the Turkish Calik Group and Indian oil company.
In Ceyhan several facilities’ construction is planned for next years with a total value of 5 billion dollards: a refinery, Eolian towers and places of storage. Turkey wants to be the main energetic node for all Europe, but for that they are in agreements with Teheran, considered as a privilleged partner for the Kurdish revolt.
By the way, the AKP has escaped the constitutional ban but the Tribunal has imposed financial sanctions on it. So one of two things that was “taking Turkey away from Europe” is eliminated. A very interesting thing considered the energetical role Turkey is going to play for Europe.
The MSM have treated this in a different way but signs of relief are somewhat generalised:
- The Times: The AKP’s ruling is “a notable victory for a popular and capable government, an important judgment on the role of Islam in a modern, secular state and a triumph for Turkish democracy“. Yeah, what accuracy…
- Die Presse (Austria): It was a close decision, but also the right one. Following the ruling, Turkey’s ruling party the AKP is now free to continue its balancing act between Islam and Western reform. The judges have not blocked the loophole for the emergence of a modern Turkey. … It is to be hoped that in the future Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan … will desist from any attempt to strengthen religion. Yeah, of course, if his party wasn’t banned (and he himself was allowed to run for office when he had been banned because of his conviction on “religious hate” charges), he is going to stop his plans.
- Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany): Erdoğan never took seriously the fears of many Western-oriented Turks of a growing Islamicisation of the country, despite all his assertions that he wanted to be the ‘prime minister of all Turks’. He still does not know how to listen to his critics or include them in his plans. The Turkish prime minister should get back to reversing the considerable democratic deficit in his country instead of acting solely in the interests of devout Muslims. Religious freedoms and civil rights must be guaranteed for all Turks, including Christians and Kurds. Otherwise the country’s European prospects will come to nothing. Much more realistic as you see.
- La Reppublica (Italy): Despite the positive side of the judgement, “which dispels the climate of uncertainty, Erdoğan is clear that Turkey has lost precious time, above all concerning the attempt to enter the EU which it started in 2005.
- A plot against the Government and the process against the AKP continues.
- the procedure against the alleged pro-Kemalist coup proceeds in Turkey.
- the Islamist branch of the Ergenekon?
The places of religious worship are one of the main targets of terrorist attacks in Iraq. According to the Iraqi Human Rights’ Ministery, it has by now dramatic proportions.
From 2003 to 2007, 350 have been attacked: 313 mosques (of which, 219 shia and 94 sunni mosques) and 41 Christian hurches.
The official statistics also include the victims of different professions all linked to culture: between 2005 and 2007, 224 university teachers, 197 journalists, 95 lawyers and 27 judges have been murdered.
All the society is menaced, according to these official statistics, although the numbers differ of other studies.
It would have been truly good to know the proportion of people killed because of their religion…
Khamenei: “The Zionists would like Lebanon to be meat between their teeth, so they could do to it whatever they want, whenever they want.
“Today, the strong arm of the Lebanese resistance and the Lebanese Hizbullah has prevented this nightmare of the Zionists from coming true. This is why the American president says Hizbullah must be disarmed. Yes, of course this is what you want. Of course this is what the Zionists want. But this will not happen.
“The Lebanese people value Hizbullah and the resistance, because they know it is this strong arm that has prevented the Zionists from doing whatever they want, whenever they want, to Lebanon.”
Anyone still doubting of the Iranian support towards Hizbullah?
An umbrella organisation representing over 300 Hindu outfits in the UK on Sunday appealed to the government to probe into reports about British charities suspected of sending funds to terrorist groups in Pakistan that have been launching attacks against India.
The appeal by Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) comes in the wake of serial bombings in Gujarat in which at least 45 people were killed.
The HFB requested Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to order a probe into reports of British charities sending funds to Pakistan-based terrorist groups.
Indian authorities have said the Indian Mujahideen, which claimed responsibility for the attacks, seems to be a front outfit for terrorist organisations operating out of Pakistan.
“India has been suffering from terror attacks by Islamic militants for many years. The Ahmedabad blasts that killed 45 people yesterday are not isolated. There have been several other blasts that have taken place recently in Jaipur, Bangalore and other places,” HFB secretary general Ramesh Kallidai said.
“But what is of great concern to British Indians is that there have been several reports of British charities sending money to Pakistan that are being diverted to terrorism against India.”
via Islamic terrorism.
Hamas (Harakat Al Muqawama Al Islamiyya or Islamic Resistance Movement) is listed by the US as a terrorist organization. Even though Hamas has been responsible for the deaths of Israeli civilians, it is not on Britain’s list of proscribed organizations.
The UK government officially boycotts Hamas, but its failure to officially list it as a terrorist organiziation allows many individuals, such as Azzam Tamimi and others connected with Islam Expo, to shill for the terror group.
Additionally, Britain allows the charity Interpal to operate legally and qualify for tax reductions. On August 22, 2003, the US government designated Interpal as a terrorist entity, stating that it gathered funds for the Hamas terror group. Not surprisingly Ibrahim Hewitt, who is chairman of Interpal, chaired a seminar at the 2008 Islam Expo.
Azzam Tamimi is so openly supportive of Hamas that the Malaysian news agency, Bernama, referred to him in July 2006 as a “Hamas special envoy”.
Azzam Tamimi is a Palestinian by birth, and on November 2, 2004 he appeared on a BBC show entitled Hardtalk. Here, in response to the comment “..continuing violence – that’s what Hamas and your friends in Hamas speaks for?” Tamimi said: “We don’t call it ‘violence’. We call it ‘legitimate struggle'; we call it ‘jihad’ …” Later in the interview, he was asked about Hamas’ suicide bombings in ISrael, and answered: “If I have the opportunity I would do it .. If I can go to Palestine and sacrifice myself I would do it. Why not?”
(…) This year’s Islam Expo was held in the large exhibition complex at Olympia in West London. Islam Expo 2008 aimed to: “Introduce the British public to Islam as a global culture and faith that spans continents, races and languages”, to “Shed light over the Islamic civilisationâ€™s great achievements in the various fields of knowledge; from science to technology and from art to literature,” to “Create stronger foundations for Muslims to understand their heritage and develop their identity as major pioneers of human civilisation,” “Combat the myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings of Islam,” “Encourage positive interaction between Muslims and the different races and cultures of British society. Working towards a more open, tolerant and pluralistic Britain,” and “Promote multi-culturalism as an enrichment of British identity.”
Several well-known speakers were invited. These included American lecturer John Esposito. Another guest, Robert Leiken, was in 2007 a co-author of an article entitled: “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood.” Leiken bizarrely argued that Western governments should negotiate with the Muslim Brotherhood because it was not as violent as Al Qaeda.
As well as having Muslim and non-Muslim politicians attending the event, there were stalls representing foreign governments such as Sudan’s genocidal regime and also Iran.
Technorati Tags: Azzam+Tamami, Great+Britain, Hamas, Hindu+Forum+of+Britain, India, Indian+Mujahideen, Interpal, Iran, Islam+Expo+2008, Jihad, Jihadism, John+Exposito, Muslim+Brotherhood, Ramesh+Kallidal, Robert+Leiken, Sudan, terrorism, UK
“The burqa is a prison, a straitjacket,” state undersecretary for urban policies, Fadela Amara, born in France to Algerian parents who is also a practising Muslim herself, said. In an interview with daily Le Parisien, Amara, former chairwoman of the ‘Ni putes ni soumises’ (‘Neither Prostitutes Nor Subdued’) association said she approved of the recent decision of the judicial authorities in Paris which denied French nationality to a Moroccan woman because she was accustomed of wearing an all-covering burqa. To Amara, the ruling of the Council of State enables to “reaffirm the principle of equality between genders”. This decision “is a true trampoline for the emancipation and freedom of women” and it can “dissuade certain fanatics from imposing the burqa on their wives”, she added. Women that she calls “black crows”. The burqa and headscarf to her “are the same thing. It is only a matter of centimetres of fabric”. But both “are a sign of the oppression of women. We must fight this obscurantist practice which puts in danger the equality between men and women“. (ANSAmed).
via Creeping Sharia.
Pakistan brought the first “defamation of religions” resolution to the UN Human Rights Council in 1999 — before the attacks of 9/11 and a resulting “backlash” against Muslims. That first resolution was entitled “Defamation of Islam.” That title was later changed to include all religions, although the texts of all subsequent resolutions have continued to single out Islam. The resolutions have passed the UN Human Rights Council every year since the first was introduced. In 2005, the delegate from Yemen introduced a similar resolution to the UN General Assembly, and it passed, as it has every year since, with landslide votes. In March, the Islamic nations were successful in introducing a change to the mandate of the UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of expression — an official who travels the world investigating and reporting on censorship and violations of free speech — to now “report on instances where the abuse of the right of freedom of expression constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination.” The issue is expected to be a focal point of the UN World Conference Against Racism next year in Geneva (a gathering Canada plans to boycott after the 2001 meeting in Durban devolved into acrimonious exchanges over Israel).
The trend has rights advocates worried for numerous reasons, beginning with the language used. If the notion of “defaming” a religion sounds a little unfamiliar, that’s because it is a major departure from the traditional understanding of what defamation means. Defamation laws traditionally protect individual people from being materially harmed by the dissemination of falsehoods. But “defamation of religions” is not about protecting individual believers from damage to their reputations caused by false statements — but rather about protecting a religion, or some interpretation of it, or the feelings of the followers. While a traditional defence in a defamation lawsuit is that the accused was merely telling the truth, religions by definition present competing claims on the truth, and one person’s religious truth is easily another’s apostasy. “Truth” is no defence in such cases. The subjective perception of insult is what matters, and what puts the whole approach on a collision course with the human rights regime — especially in countries with an official state religion.
Read it all, it’s very important.
h/t Think Progress Watch.
The Court of Appeals, specialized in terrorism issues, delayed looking into a request by the defense lawyer of journalist Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani to release him until November 2008.
The court took the decision in an appeal session on Tuesday on the case of 15 people, called Sana’a Second Cell, convicted by a primary court of forming an armed group to attack country’s interests and supporting rebels in Sa’ada, north of Yemen.
The first convict Jafar al-Marhabi was sentenced to death and other 13 were sentenced to different terms in jail. Al-Khaiwani was sentenced to six years term in jail over “writing articles against the president and possessing CDs supporting al-Houthi’s rebellion and threatening the country’s interests”. The court quitted one of the convicts after he died inside the detention unit.
If you are interested in receiving updates on Al-Khaiwani, please join “Campaign for a Free Media in Yemen” on Facebook.
George Bush, the US president, has praised Pakistan for making a “very strong commitment” to combating “extremists” after talks with Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Pakistani prime minister.
The talks came as a missile attack just inside Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan killed at least six people, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
Speaking at a news conference in Washington DC, Bush called Pakistan “strong ally and a vibrant democracy” (what had Bush had before the press conference???) and said that the US “supports the sovereignty of Pakistan“.
Gilani, who will be in the US for three days, said in turn that the country’s battle against Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters was “a war … against Pakistan, and we’ll fight for our own cause”. (oh, yeah, that’s why they want dialogue with the Taliban while the latter install Shariah courts in the Bajaur tribal region because Pakistani institutions have NO strength there).
However he later said in an interview with CNN that Monday’s missile strike was “certainly” a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty “if it is proved”. (of course, the use of Islamist “militants” against India by the Pakistani Intelligence Service ISI is NOT a “violation of sovereignty”...).
The White House later said that Bush had also offered Pakistan $115 million over two years in food aid, of which $42.5 million will be available over the next six to nine months, during the talks.
Abu Yahia al-Libi, who escaped from Bagram prison in 2005, said “bringing religions together … means renouncing Islam.”
Saudi King Abdullah sponsored this month’s dialogue in Madrid among Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, and encouraged all faiths to turn away from extremism.
But al-Libi said “equating Islam with other religions is a betrayal of Islam.” He called for “the speedy killing of this tyrant.”
Don’t worry, al-Libi, he is just doing that out of publicity. Have you read what Saudi books say about the believers in other faiths?
Nevertheless, I imagine what this man would have said if the World Conference on Dialogue would have been held in Saudi Arabia, with the attendance of Jewish rabbis, and then of Christian priests…
Technorati Tags: Abu+Yahia+al-Libi, Saudi+Arabia, Saudi+King+Abdullah, Islamism, terrorism, Judaism, Christianity, Hindu, Buddhism, Al-Qaeda, World+Conference+on+Dialogue, Madrid’s+World+Conference+on+Dialogue
“You often hear that Afghanistan is the root for all the evils in terms of drugs problems in the world,” UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) country representative Christina Oguz told reporters.
“I think this is wrong. It is not correct to blame Afghanistan alone for the heroin problem in the world,” she said.
Afghanistan produces more than 93 percent of the world’s opium and UNODC estimates that 60 percent of it was last year turned into heroin inside the country.
All the chemicals for this process are smuggled into Afghanistan.
“These chemicals originate from China, South Korea, the Russian Federation, Europe and some other countries,” Oguz said.
The UNODC estimates that about 13,000 tons of chemicals are required for the amount of heroin produced in Afghanistan, with opium output at about 8,200 tons.
No, clearly Afghanistan is not the only one to blame in this process…
The fatwa has two main targets:
Create a separation in the eyes of the public discourse between Islam (as a religion) and terrorism as an illegal violent activity.Such a move is legitimate and to be encouraged as it diminishes the tensions towards Muslims in non-Muslim countries, particularly in the West, as some are claiming that the Islamic religion is theologically linked to the acts and statements of the Jihadists. The logic of “we are Muslims and we are against Terrorism,” helps significantly the disassociation between the community and the acts of violence. However, without criticizing the ideological roots of this violence, the fatwa seem to state a wishful thinking, not an injunction. A more powerful fatwa should have openly and expressly said: “we reject the calls for violent Jihad regardless of the motives.” For the followers of Jihadism do not consider their Jihad as “terrorism.” Their answer has always been -to these types of fatwas- “but we aren’t performing terrorism, we are conducting Jihad.” Thus, at this crucial level, the Deobandi fatwa missed the crux of the problem.
Deny governments the ability to use the accusation that Islam condones Terrorism to oppress Muslims.
The fatwa is concerned with geopolitics more than theological reform. Concern for the safety of one’s co-religfionists is of course legitimate and should be addressed. But Jihadism, the legitimizing root of political violence, cannot be ignored in any effort to protect the lives of Muslims.
(…)Who is “innocent”?The fatwa defined terrorism as violence “targeting innocent people.” Such a definition is not new and doesn’t set clear boundaries. For the question at hand is what does “innocent” mean? On several web sites and on many shows on al Jazeera television, Jihadi apologists often use the Arabic term“bare’e” for “innocent” and assure the audience that Jihad cannot target the latter.But Usama Bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri, and to some extent Hassan Nasrallah, all claim that innocence is relative.(…) In short, the status of “innocence” doesn’t overlap fully with the status of “civilians.” It is a matter of discretion in Jihadi warfare. Hence, to claim that Terrorism is defined as targeting innocent people is to claim that not all civilians are innocent, and that not only breaches international law, but gives credence to Jihadi violence.Who is a “terrorist”?Moreover, still the fatwa doesn’t identify al Qaeda, or any other similar group, including the Taliban, as Terrorist organizations. And as of now, no subsequent fatwas based on this Deobandi fatwa have done so yet. Therefore, in terms of identification of terror entities, the edict has failed to show its followers who is the terror perpetrator.This text simply doesn’t bring novelty to the debate about Jihadi-rooted Terrorism. For years, particularly since 2001, Islamist ideologues and militant groups have refrained from simply naming those terror groups as such. Spokespersons have constantly repeated that condemning terrorism in general is enough.If the Muslim scholars followed this logic on the question of occupations, then neither Iraq nor Palestine should be specifically mention. But that is not the case.
People who thought Deobandis have changed are veeeeeeeery wrong…
First a Christian was beheaded in front of his family in Indonesia, while the killers were planning also the beheading of an American teacher before they were arrested:
Indonesian terror suspects executed a Christian teacher in front of his family and were planning to assassinate an American language teacher before their arrest this month, a top anti-terrorism official and the suspects’ lawyer said Monday.
The ten alleged militants have also told officers they were plotting to attack the Supreme Court to avenge the upcoming executions of the Bali nightclub bombers and attack a joint Singaporean-Indonesian military exercise, the security official said.
The revelations point to the resilience of Islamist militant networks in Indonesia despite a U.S.-backed crackdown that has netted more than 400 suspects in recent years and reduced the risk of more large-scale attacks on Western targets, most experts say.
Police evacuated the Christian Theological Arastamar Institute (STT SETIA) which is located in an eastern district of the Indonesian capital after it suffered damages during clashes between Christians and Muslims over the week-end. At least 1,500 students were moved to nearby police headquarters and a local Christian-based political party. The situation remains critical and further violence between opposite factions cannot be ruled out….
The reason? a Christian student threw a slipper against a house owned by a local Muslim. An important thing you see…
They were dressed as women they were not “dressed with modesty” and so they were found guilty by the Sharia Law Court:
Islamic officials last week detained 16 transvestites competing in the “Miss Universe Asia 2008″ contest at a beach resort hotel in the north-eastern state of Kelantan, which is ruled by the fundamentalist PAS party.
PAS, which has ambitions of turning Malaysia into a theocratic state under Islamic rule, has made headlines for banning skimpy clothes and enforcing laws on separate male and female queues in shops.
Yes, we are hearing the demonstrations, the cries, the protests of gay organziations throughout the world. Ah, no, no.. there have been none. Sorry.
The explosion took place in the Tehran suburb of Khavarshahar as the military convoy left a munitions’ warehouse controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. According to reports received by Western officials, the convoy was taking a consignment of military equipment to Hizbollah, the Shia Muslim militia Iran supports in southern Lebanon, when the explosion occurred.
Senior Revolutionary Guard commanders immediately imposed a news black-out following the explosion, even though it could be heard throughout the capital Tehran, and no details of the incident have so far appeared in the Iranian media.
But Western officials yesterday said they had received reports that the explosion took place in Tehran on July 19, and that the Revolutionary Guards had launched an investigation into the causes of the blast.
The Chinese government for months has warned about the risk terrorism poses to the Olympic Games, but when an Islamist group claimed responsibility for recent blasts and threatened to target the games this past weekend, officials played it down.
In a video message, a Uighur group based in China’s northwestern Muslim region said it would employ “tactics never used before” in its planned attacks. The Olympics begin in Beijing on August 8.
A commander named as Sayfallah (“sword of Allah” in Arabic) said the message was a last warning to those planning to participate in or attend the Olympics to “change their plans,” according to translations provided by terrorism analysis sites IntelCenter and Laura Mansfield.
The group said it carried out two bus bombings in Kunming earlier this month and one in Shanghai in May, as well as two other recent blasts in the southern cities of Wenzhou and Guangzhou.
Chinese authorities said first Kumning explosions were actually terrorism, while the “city authorities” denied that possibility. So now, some Uighur Muslim says they threaten the Olympics. The “curious” thing is that Uighurs want independence and have not often before claimed anything related to Jihad. And CHina has been sending weapons to the Talibans before Sept 11 and to Sudan till 2005, even after the embargo.
So, considering its not-very-clear-role towards Islamic extremism, what is the real threat of Muslim Uighurs to the Olympic Games?
Technorati Tags: Uighurs, Jihad+in+China, terrorism, China, Olympic+Games, Beijing+2008
it is quite likely that the ISI is involved in the killing to some degree. The question is: by how many degrees of separation from it? During a 60-year rivalry, Pakistan has made skilful use of Islamist militants against India, in the contested region of Kashmir, and elsewhere. This must have bequeathed its current spooks a heavy case-load of proven and would-be terrorists, in Pakistan, Bangladesh and many parts of India.
It is almost inconceivable that the ISI is no longer trying to keep tabs on these men. It is also likely that some in its ranks, despite the progress of a four-year effort to make peace between India and Pakistan, want to keep up the fight. But the extent to which they are having their wish seems to be largely a matter of guesswork.
The article is altogether very interesting, but those two paragraphs are the most important for me. Because this is not the first time Pakistani intelligence is accused of being behing a terrorist attack. It is not the first time India accuses Pakistan of that same thing.
The number of Indian Muslim youth involved in anti-US activities and in support of the pan-Islamic objectives of Al Qaeda and the IIF is estimated to be still small, but larger than in the past. For the first time, this could provide an opening to Al Qaeda and the IIF to recruit Indian Muslim youth for their terrorist strikes directed against the US. Till now, the Indian Muslim youth, whether in India or the Gulf or in the West, were not subject to the same close surveillance by the Western intelligence agencies as the Arabs and the Pakistanis were. Thus, recruitment of Indian Muslims in India or abroad would provide Al Qaeda and the IIF with the possibility of recruiting volunteers for their anti-US operations, who will be able to evade detection by the Western intelligence agencies much easier than the Arabs or the Pakistanis. This is a danger which should not be lightly dismissed.
The driver for Osama bin Laden was not told of any rights against self-incrimination under years of interrogation, FBI agents told the Guantanamo war crimes court on Thursday.
The military commission trying Hamdan has ruled he has no rights against self-incrimination.
Hamdan, a Yemeni father of two with a fourth-grade education, is the first Guantanamo prisoner to face trial before the controversial tribunal at the remote base on Cuba. He faces life in prison if convicted. His trial is the first U.S. war crimes trial since World War II.
Prosecutors are seeking to portray Hamdan as a close associate of bin Laden who was aware of plotting for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and supported them with his efforts. Defense attorneys have characterized Hamdan as a simple employee.
From Stix Blog:
And now I’m going to translate something which appeared on Spanish media some days ago:
According to Bin Laden’s Driver, Salim Hamdan, he heard Al-Qaeda’s leader, Bin Laden saying that he “was happy with the numbre of people killed in 9/11 terrorist attacks” and thought that the kidnapped plane which crashed in Pennsylvania was “knocked down”.
The proofs offered by Ali Soufan, an ex-FBI agent, should be a considerable support in the case of the Prosecutors against Hamdam, tried by war crimes in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He is accused of being near the Al-Qaeda’s leadership. The Driver, a Yemeni father of two sons, is the first Guantánamo’s prisoner judged before the base’s tribunal. He can face life imprisonment if he is condemned.
“Bin Laden was happy with the resuls and he (Hamdam) heard Bin Laden said that he never hoped the operation would be so succesful”, said Ali Soufan. “Bin Laden hoped that the dead would be between 1,000 and 1,500, so he was happy with the results”.
Soufan also declared that Hamdam had spoken to him about a conversation he overheard by hazard when he was driving Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, after the attacks. Both men were looking at a magazine which showed the flying routes of the kidnapped flights on Sept 11.
“If they haven’t knocked it down, this fourth plane would have crashed on the dome”, Bin Laden told Al-Zawahiri, according to the conversation Hamdam had with Soufan. “I assumed”, said the latter, “that “the dome” meant the Congress or the White House”, he continued. “Hamdan said he didn’t knew what they were meaning with “the dome””.
Flight 93 of United Airlines crashed on a field in Pennsylvania. US civil servants have never admitted that the plane was knocked down, but in that moment there was some speculation regarding that possibility.
To describe the relationship between the driver and the Al-Qaeda leader, Soufan spoke about some marital advice Bin Laden had given Hamdan, suggesting him to go back to Yemen and find a “woman who belonged to a family of piety and religion”.
Hmm, magnificent. Are they really sure he wasn’t read his Miranda rights?
Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar has been reported killed before
Reports from Pakistan say a leading al-Qaeda chemical weapons expert, Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, has been killed in a missile strike.
Taleban officials in the tribal area of South Waziristan confirmed to the BBC that he was killed in a missile strike that left at least six people dead.
The US, which has a reward of $5m on his head, said it had no information.
He was wrongly reported to have been killed in 2006 in a strike aimed at al-Qaeda deputy head Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Khabab may be most remembered for his experiments with chemical weapons. In video that shocked a world grown somewhat used to terrorism, the AQ terrorist exposed dogs to chemicals used for weapons and watched them die horrible deaths.
Well, err, I’m not the least surprised: why being good to animals if you aren’t good to humans?