Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’
The U.S. has promised India “very active” help to improve its counter-terrorism capabilities while asking Pakistan to act “urgently and transparently” to help catch the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror assaults and prevent future attacks.
The “terrible sophisticated” terror attack “raises questions about the importance of making certain that everything is done to bring the perpetrators to justice, but also to prevent follow-on attacks,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday.
“And in that regard, Pakistan has a special responsibility to act,” she said in Copenhagen, after a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, whom she briefed about her talks with Indian and Pakistani leaders
Even if Indian state has done very little to stop the persecution against Christians which took place last summer, I really consider that it’s necessary they are helped in these matters. That’s why I just don’t understand why Pakistan has agreed with Afghanistan and Turkey to cooperate in anti-terrorist matters,while they are not doing the same with India (apart from the three countries being Islamic and India being a non-Islamic country).
Apart from that, there is the inherent perils of having both India and Pakistan nuclear arsenals:
The Mumbai terrorist attacks and their potential to re-poison the relationship between India and Pakistan suggests that we should not be too sanguine about the stability of nuclear deterrence in a proliferated world. Even if nuclear weapons tend to encourage mutually-deterring relationships between possessor states (an assumption that, while plausible, is no more than an extrapolation from a single U.S.-Soviet case study and a mere decade of sometimes tension-filled Indo-Pakistani nuclear confrontation), there is no guarantee that any actual possessors’ relationship will be stable.
This is true particularly where bitter regional rivalries are susceptible to inflammation from other factors (e.g., cross-border terrorism and/or squabbles over contested frontiers). One would have to have a great deal of faith indeed in the conflict-moderating impact of nuclear weapons in order to be comfortable that the net result will be more stable and less dangerous than before. It is certainly possible that in such contexts the introduction of nuclear weapons would not increase stability. It would merely worsen the potential downside risks if troubled relationships deteriorate.
A two-week operation to secure the frontier city of Peshawar, which sits on a key supply route for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, killed 25 suspected militants, a Pakistani official said Monday.Security forces backed by warplanes and artillery swept through an area between the city and Pakistan’s wild tribal belt, where Taliban and al-Qaida militants have found refuge.
Zafrullah Khan, commander of paramilitary Frontier Constabulary troops in the area, said his force and police have taken control of 22 of 25 targeted villages and would clear the others within a week.
And blinded for life because they were actually going to school:
Related: Burned with acid in Pakistan.
Iran test-fired a new generation surface-to-surface missile on Wednesday, state media said, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeated once again that the Islamic Republic would crush any power acting against it.
Iran’s latest missile test followed persistent speculation in recent months of possible U.S. or Israeli strikes against its nuclear facilities, which the West suspects form part of a covert weapons program. Tehran denies the charge.U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, like outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush, has not ruled out military action although he has criticized the Bush administration for not pushing for more diplomacy and engagement with Tehran.
Of course, we can think that this is another “photoshopped” missile…
Meanwhile Obama seeks Iranian help in Afghanistan. Don’t think these are the best allies in the fight against Islamofascism…
Indonesia executed three Islamic militants Saturday for helping plan and carry out the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists.
Imam Samudra, 38, and brothers Amrozi Nurhasyim, 47, and Ali Ghufron, 48, were executed several miles from their high security prison on Nusakambangan island, said Qadar Faisal, one of their attorneys.
Their bodies will be taken by helicopter to their home villages for burial, he said.
The Oct. 12, 2002 twin nightclub attacks — allegedly funded by al-Qaida and carried out by members of the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah — thrust the world’s most populous Muslim nation onto the front lines in the war on terror.
The three never expressed remorse, saying the bombings were meant to punish the U.S. and its Western allies for alleged atrocities in Afghanistan and elsewhere. They even taunted relatives of victims at their trials five years ago.
Eric Breininger has been one of Germany’s most-wanted men since he joined the Islamist Jihad Union terrorist organization. He’s now resurfaced in a video from Afghanistan. His message: He has no plans for an attack against Germany.
German officials have been looking for the young man for months. It is a search that has spanned the globe, but which had largely been fruitless. Until Tuesday that is, when Eric Breininger, a young German man from the western state of Saarland, popped up in an Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) terror video claiming he is currently in Afghanistan.
In the video, Breininger — a 21-year-old convert to Islam who has adopted the nom de guerre Abdulgaffar el Almani — sounds little like the terrorist German officials suspect he has become. Indeed, in the six-minute-long clip, which was posted on the IJU Web site on Tuesday, he sounds more like a young schoolboy reading his homework out loud in front of the class. The mini-movie is called “A Call from Hindu Kush,” and its message is clear: “I am currently in Afghanistan and am not personally planning an attack on the country of Germany,” Breininger says into the camera.
The statement seems to be a direct response to growing concerns that Breininger was preparing to do just that — and that such an attack could be imminent. Much of that fear stems from knowledge of the group Breininger has joined. The IJU had close contacts with three terror suspects arrested in the western German region of Sauerlandlast year. The three, Fritz Gelowicz, Adem Yilmaz and Daniel Schneider, stand accused of trying to build a bomb for at attack in Germany. The IJU was also responsible for a suicide attack in Khost, Afghanistan carried out by Cüneyit C. from Bavaria. The March attack killed four people.
(…) Breininger’s video is not unlike others in the genre. He accuses the German government of double standards for promoting democracy in some parts of the world but not standing up for Muslims when they are treated poorly. He says that Germany is a potential target for Islamists because the country’s military, the Bundeswehr, is stationed in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan and that pulling soldiers out of those countries would reduce the danger of an attack. He warns that he and his comrades will wage “war against the occupiers” until the countries occupied are “liberated.” Any country that is a military ally of the United States, he says, should expect to be attacked.
A former computer programmer for the Department of Foreign Affairs of Canada was convicted on five terrorism-related charges on Wednesday. Justice Douglas J. A. Rutherford of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the programmer, Mohammad Momin Khawaja, had given money and support to a terrorist group that planned bombings in England. A British court found five people linked with Mr. Khawaja guilty last year of taking part in the bombing plot, which was not carried out; they were sentenced to life in prison. The Canadian judge said prosecutors had failed to prove that Mr. Khawaja knew about the British group’s plans to bomb British targets, but he found Mr. Khawaja guilty of having created a remote bomb detonator that the defendant called the “hifidigimonster.” The defense said that Mr. Khawaja thought the plotters planned to use the device in Afghanistan or Iraq.
“There is ample evidence apart from the support and preparation for violent jihad with the mujahedeen in Afghanistan or elsewhere, establishing that Momin Khawaja knew he was dealing with a group whose objects and purposes included activity that meets the (Criminal) Code definition of terrorist activity,” the judge wrote in his 24,000-word decision.
“His most tangible and visible facilitation of that activity was his work in developing the Hi-Fi Digimonster, the remote trigger for an IED. He agreed to build about 30 of them. On the evidence, it is unclear what he knew or anticipated as to where they would be used, or that Khawaja even cared where they would be used. His emir or leader asked him to provide them and he agreed.”
Three Indonesian Islamic militants on death row for the 2002 Bali bombings will be executed next month, prosecutors said Friday.
The convicts — Imam Samudra, Amrozi Nurhasyim and Ali Ghufron — have “exhausted their legal options,” Jasman Panjaitan, a spokesman for Indonesia’s Attorney General, told reporters.
The militants, who maintain their attacks were meant to punish the U.S. and its Western allies for alleged atrocities in Afghanistan, will be executed by a firing squad in the island prison where they are being held. Panjaitan did not provide an exact date.
They were convicted of planning and helping carry out the Oct. 12, 2002, suicide bombings targeting two nightclubs on the resort island of Bali that left 202 people dead, many of them foreign tourists.
They don’t like that type of death penalty because it is un-Islamic… I’m not normally in favour of death penalty but in this case they deserve it.
Related posts: Court: Bali bombers may be killed by firing squad.
Taliban gunmen on a motorbike killed a Christian aid worker in the Afghan capital on Monday, and the militant group said it had targeted the woman because she was proselytizing.
The woman, a British national, worked with handicapped Afghans and was killed in the western part of Kabul as she was walking alone around 8 a.m., police said. Najib Samsoor, a district police chief, originally said the woman was from South Africa, but the British government later said she was British.
The gunmen shot the victim in the body and leg with a pistol, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary. Officials did not release her name.
Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the slaying, saying the woman was killed because she was spreading Christianity.
Also two German soldiers have been killed by a blast in Afghanistan. And yesterday 30 people were killed after Talibans stopped a bus on a highway and took all the passengers hostage.
US Secretary of Defense actually asked for more troops, US even announced they were going to rely more on Afghanistan tribal militias. But other Governments (and countries) are not very interested. It’s interesting to see the lack of publicity (and of blaming) Afghanistan gets. If this would be Iraq we would have all MSM 24 hours a day, blaming the US about the lack of progress. As this is an international coalition sanctioned by UN, no one blames UN for the disaster.
Related links: Michael Yon has been travelling throughout Afghanistan. Check out his story and the photos he took here.
While relying less on the central government in Kabul, “US forces would scale back combat operations to focus more on training Afghan government forces and tribal militias,” the report said.
“The plan is controversial because it could extend the influence of warlords while undermining the government of President Hamid Karzai,” it said, noting that such a plan also could stoke rivalries between security units in Afghanistan.
But “the US military’s willingness to consider such risks reflects the growing worry about worsening conditions in Afghanistan,” the report added.
“Until recently, the military would not have considered a move to bolster tribal militias, but, with relatively few troops available, military leaders believe only a new approach to the war can stanch the spreading violence.”
Not a very good plan… really. More power to warlords, means more power to druglords. Whatever NATO ministers have agreed to do about them.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday urged southeastern European leaders to shift their military efforts from Iraq to Afghanistan, where their forces are more urgently needed
Speaking at a meeting here of the Southeast European Defense Ministerial, Gates said that as the security situation in Iraq continues to improve, countries should considered filling the “urgent need” for trainers in Afghanistan.
“Your assistance will not only help Afghanistan better protect and care for its citizens, it will also reinforce your important role in insuring peace and stability around the globe,” Gates said during a press conference with the Macedonian minister of defense.
The Afghan president’s brother sat with former Taleban leaders at a religious meal hosted by the Saudi King Abdullah last month, the BBC has learnt.
The meeting is regarded as a possible prelude to talks between the Afghan government and the Islamic movement. (movement, the Talibans are a “movement”… This Bbbbbbeebbbbbeeeccccccccccccs are some kind of assholes, aren’t they???).
Reports suggest negotiations took place during this meeting, although this has been strongly denied by both sides.
Recently, British and US officials said a resolution to the conflict would require negotiations with the Taleban.
Well, some days ago Karzai asked for new talks with Taliban leaders, so there you go!!
Britain’s commander in Afghanistan has said the war against the Taliban cannot be won, the Sunday Times reported.
It quoted Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith as saying in an interview that if the Taliban were willing to talk, then that might be “precisely the sort of progress” needed to end the insurgency.
“We’re not going to win this war. It’s about reducing it to a manageable level of insurgency that’s not a strategic threat and can be managed by the Afghan army,” he said.
He said his forces had “taken the sting out of the Taliban for 2008″ but that troops may well leave Afghanistan with there still being a low level of insurgency.
But Afghanistan’s Defense Minister expressed his disappointment on Sunday at the commander’s statements, maintaining the insurgency had to be defeated.
“I think this is the personal opinion of that commander,” Abdul Rahim Wardak told reporters.
“The main objective of the Afghan government and the whole international community is that we have to defeat this war of terror and be successful,” he said.
Wow… Afghan Taliban’s war cannot be defeated because there are Pakistani Talibans and the war is not called a war by the NATO countries with armed forces deployed there (as terrorist attack against French soldiers has proved….). There are also other considerations as the NATO’s strategic alliance with war lords, main producers of heroin in the country and the recovering of the routes which are use to distribute the drug in Central Asian.
But I feel that the objective of a mission cannot be achieved if you deny the nature of that mission. And this mission is a WAR, whatever Governments involved there say.
Anyway, this Brigadier looks like he is working for the insurgency…. Imagine what would have happened in WWII if a US/British… commander would have said: “it’s impossible to defeat Hitler“.
- German Foreign Minister Wants to End Foreign Participation in Operation “Enduring Freedom”.
- French Troops: We Won’t Go to Afghanistan.
Related posts: Karzai calls for talks with the Talibans.
Al Jazeera reports that Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, is going (again) to make the same mistake. This time he is seeking help from Saudi Arabia “to facilitate talks with the Taliban in order to end the conflict in the country“, while denying any talks had already taken place. He added he “was trying to encourage the group to lay down their arms“.
But that wish is going to be a little difficult. The situation in Afghanistan is not improving, as
terrorism insurgency is growing. The US general in Afghanistan has called for more troops ASAP, but celebrates also the last operations against AQ and the Taliban carried out by Pakistan. He also said that a much more urgent priority than troops are “economic aid and political support“.
But Spanish Defence Minister asked just for the opposite: less troops and a change to a more political and humanitarian mission to “make the acceptance grow in between the Aghan population. Spanish Defence Minister, Carme Chacón, critisized yesterday US work in Afghanistan :
Chacón stated that “a better coordination between ISAF and Enduring Freedom is essential, so the political or strategic goals of one operation are not undermined by what’s going on in the battle camp“.
Meanwhile, more refugees from Pakistan are fleeing into Afghanistan. Supposedly, Pakistan is carrying an operation against the Talibans near Afghan-Pakistani frontier.
- Suspected US-missile kills 6 in Pakistan. The missiles struck the home of a local Taliban commander before midnight Tuesday near Mir Ali, a town in the North Waziristan region.
- AQ criticizes Pakistani leaders in new video. “Monday’s message was posted on militant Web sites commonly used by al-Qaida. In the hour-long video, an unnamed narrator speaking Urdu calls on Pakistani Muslims to prepare for holy war and take up arms against corrupt governments“.
Afghan Taliban warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has claimed, in a video received on Sept, 29th by an Afghan press agency, the responsibility of the ambush which killed 10 French soldiers near Kabul, last August, 18th (1, 2, 3). In that document, Hekmatyar also states that he lost 10 men in the confrontation. The attack has already been claimed by a Taliban group, different from Hezb-e-Islami (Islamic party, HIG), the one commanded by Hekmatyar.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in a video aired on May 2007.
Taliban leader Mullah Omar on Monday urged U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan to withdraw or face a similar defeat to occupying Soviet troops a generation ago.
In a rare message, posted on militant websites and monitored by the U.S.-based SITE intelligence group, Omar offered a bargain to the U.S.-led forces that drove the Taliban from power in 2001 but are now fighting a fierce insurgency by the Islamist militia.
“Reconsider your wrong decision of wrong occupation, and seek a safe exit to withdraw your forces,” said the message, which the Taliban said came from Omar.
“If you leave our lands, we can arrange for you a reasonable opportunity for your departure,” he said, adding that the Taliban posed no harm to anyone in the world.
If the occupation persisted, “you will be defeated in all parts of the world … like the former Soviet Union,” Omar said.
The mixture of Taliban
terrorism insurgency and denial of the word “war” idiocy from Western countries is not a good one. As if only by simply changing words, the reality would change also…
- Bernard Henry-Lévy speaks about French troops in Afghanistan.
- French Minister of defense denies reports that denounced French troops’s lack of equipment.
- French troops unprepared for Taliban ambush: report.
- WHO cancels polio jabs for Afghan children after doctors killed.
- Expanding Violence: Germany Discovers a War in Afghanistan.
- Paris Match Taliban photos shock France.
- UK group assesses Islamism as a major security threat.
- S. Asian nations vow to jointly fight terrorism.
- What Pakistan’s Intelligence ties say about Ending War on Terrorism.
- The Deobandi fatwa Against Terrorism Didn’t Treat the Jihadi Root.
- Ambassador: AQ leaving Iraq for Afghanistan.
- Mehbooba Andyar: the Afghan runner trying to escape the Taliban.
- AP photographer witnessed the murder of two women in Afghanistan.
- The Karachi Kids.
- Pakistan: pro-Taliban militias stablish Sharia courts.
- Pakistani Jihad will continue.
- Taliban’s atrocities.
- Talibans are no longer at Peshawar’s gates.
Gunmen on Monday kidnapped the Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Khaleq Farahi, in the volatile north west of the country.
A spokesman for the Afghan Consulate said the ambassador had been abducted by unidentified armed men in Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province.
Pakistan’s Geo News reported that the kidnappers fired at a consular vehicle before abducting the Afghan envoy near the consulate in the Hayatabad area of Peshawar.
Police sources said the driver of the vehicle was killed during the abduction, but there was no more information about the attack.
No-one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
This is curious, isn’t it? Just now, he is kidnapped… We will see how this evolves…
- Pakistan gets a message against closer co-operation with US.
- Pakistan: US did not warn of any strike.
- WHO cancels polio jabs for Afghan children after doctors killed.
- Pakistan’s tribal areas: A wild frontier.
- Pakistan strikes back and accuses US of cooperating with terrorism.
- Pakistan restores three judges ousted by Musharraf.
- india accuses Pakistani intelligence of terrorist attack.
- Afghanistan accuses Pakistani intelligence of the terrorist attack against the Indian embassy.
via LaurenceJarvikOnline: Bernard Henri-Levy on Afghanistan. Original article in Gulf News.
First, the Taliban’s state of mind: the fact that they hate the French only a little less than they hate the Americans, and that the clever minds who thought they might get into the Taliban’s good graces by keeping a low profile and being discreet and ingratiating – even collaborating with them – were sadly mistaken.
Then there is the fact that they are not “resistance fighters”, “religious students” or anything of the sort. Instead they are motivated by cynicism, choosing to celebrate a recent military success by displaying trophies and parading around as in ancient times.
(…) for years and years, the French have had elite commandos fighting shoulder to shoulder with the American Special Forces in the Afghan mountains.
The report reminds these people – and this is key – that France is fighting a war over there, a real war that also happens to be as undeclared as the war it fought in Algeria 50 years ago.
Thanks to JCDurbant, we have several statements by French politicians about this (my translation):
This is a policy of aligning under the United States, even when we know the past errors and when we are seeing hte future errors. Marine Le Pen
Not a man, not a coin for an imperialist war! The death in combat, last August, of ten young soldiers has reminded abruptly to French people that, without being consulted, their army is engaged with the American soldiers and those of NATO in a bloody war that brings them painful memories of those held against the Vietnamese and Algerian peoples. French Communists
Sept 20th: demonstrations for the withdrawal of Imperialist troops from Afghanistan LCR
- we say no to any French commitmment to the American interests which are not those of the great majority of the American people who has pronuounced several times against the intervention.
– freedom and independence from the Afghan people based on the right of every people to decide for themselves (note: of course, the Taliban were going to let Afghan people decide freely for themselves). The Workers Party
Well, it’s curious that both far-right and far-left think the same: that this is a war fought for the USA, without remembering French obligations due to NATO treaty and that US fought in the Vietnamese war because French asked them to save their asses.
French Defense Minister, Hervé Morin, denies the information published by The Globe and Mail, in which a NATO secret report was published denouncing the lack of bullets, communications or other equipment that the French troops ambushed and killed by Taliban militants were suffering of.
The reason to deny the report is that it was written by one of the troopers who took part on the action, sooo it was made on “a hot moment” and it was only based on the data this officer had in that moment. It was not “the result of an investigation or of a conter-analysis” to consider the events. The minister, Hervé Morin, is “shocked by the early publication” of the report. Of course, he also denies they lacked of bullets during this operation.
The General Jean Louis Georgelin, French Army Chief of State, has precised that the report “was made on a hot moment by the American Forces who took part in the action“.
Looks like that now the people who should be giving their opinion about far-away operations in details such as “lack of bullets…” are the people who didn’t take part in those operations.
Or was it that French can’t stand being saved by Americans and that the latter denounced they lack of bullets to defend themselves?
A NATO report on the incident obtained by The Globe and Mail provides the most in-depth account so far of an attack on Aug. 18 that shook the countries involved in the increasingly bloody campaign. The NATO report, marked “secret,” reveals woefully unprepared French troops surprised by well-armed insurgents in a valley east of Kabul. Ten soldiers were killed, the report concludes, but the other soldiers were lucky to escape without more deaths.
The French did not have enough bullets, radios and other equipment, the report said. The troops were forced to abandon a counterattack when the weapons on their vehicles ran out of ammunition only 90 minutes into a battle that stretched over two days. One French platoon had only a single radio and it was quickly disabled, leaving them unable to call for help. Chillingly, in an indication that the French troopers may have been at the mercy of their attackers, the dead soldiers from that platoon “showed signs of being killed at close range,” the report said.
By contrast, the insurgents were dangerously well prepared. The investigation found evidence of well-trained snipers among the guerrillas – highly unusual, because the Taliban are frequently mocked for their poor marksmanship – and indications they were supplied with incendiary bullets designed to punch holes in armour.
h/t Michael Yon.
This is worrying indeed. If the Taliban are well prepared (God knows who is giving them weapons now…) and by contrast, the NATO forces are not (they don’t have even bullets, for God’s sake!!), we are in deep shit.
Related posts: Paris Match Taliban photoshoot shocks France.