Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ISIS says spokesman killed in Aleppo

Awww...this is a real bloody shame, ain't it?

The story comes from Al Arabiya.

ISIS says spokesman killed in Aleppo

The ISIS group on Tuesday said its spokesman Abu Mohamed al-Adnani was killed while monitoring military operations in the Syrian province of Aleppo.

The announcement came as a US defense official said an ISIS "senior leader" was targeted in a US-led coalition air strike Tuesday in Aleppo province.

"Coalition forces conducted an air strike in Al-Bab, Syria, targeting an (ISIS) senior leader," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"We are still assessing the results of the operation at this time."

Quoting a "military source", ISIS news agency Amaq said: "Sheikh Abu Mohamed al-Adnani, the spokesman of the ISIS, was martyred while surveying operations to repel the military campaigns against Aleppo".

It said he died after a "long voyage crowned by sacrifice" and vowed "revenge" at the hands of a "new generation born unto the ISIS".

Analysts have described Adnani as a key figure of the militant group.

"In the collective militant memory Abu Mohamed al-Adnani will always be the one who announced the 'restoration of the caliphate' in June 2014," said militant expert Romain Caillet.

Adnani was originally from the western Syrian province of Idlib and joined the militant movement in Iraq where he served now slain Al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and held several positions.

Aymenn Jawad Tamimi, an expert on militant groups, said Adnani's death "is significant symbolically and in pointing to the wider decline of the ISIS".

"If a coalition air strike hit him, it shows intelligence penetration by the coalition is very high. Otherwise it would not have been possible to take out so many high-ranking figures," he said.

Another analyst, Charles Lister, tweeted that Adnani's death is a "big blow to ISIS".

Amaq did not say how Adnani was "martyred".

ISIS has regularly urged followers to target disbelievers.

Adnani made such request in September 2014, calling on supporters to use stones, knives or even vehicles in their attacks to kill French or US citizens.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

'IS suicide bomber' kills 71 army recruits in Yemen

This is CLASSIC al Qaeda tactics that came over when al Qaeda in Iraq morphed into ISIS.  It still works.

The story comes from DAWN.

'IS suicide bomber' kills 71 army recruits in Yemen

ADEN: An Islamic State group militant rammed his explosives-laden car into an army recruiting centre in Aden Monday, killing 71 people in the deadliest militant attack on the Yemeni city in over a year.

The army, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, is training young recruits to join its nationwide war against Huthi rebels and their allies.

Aden is the temporary base of Yemen's internationally recognised government, which was forced into exile after insurgents seized Sanaa and other parts of the war-torn country.

Security officials told AFP the attacker drove the car bomb into a gathering of recruits at a school in the north of the port city.

The recruits were among 5,000 newly enrolled soldiers being trained to fight the Huthi rebels in the north along the border with Saudi Arabia, military sources said.

Although the complex was locked as recruits registered inside, the attacker drove in when the gate was opened for a delivery vehicle, officials said.

Witnesses said some recruits were buried when a roof collapsed after the blast which left a gaping hole on the building's facade.

Debris was scattered around the complex and nearby buildings were damaged.

The assault killed at least 71 people and wounded 98, medical sources told AFP.

They could not immediately verify whether all those who died were recruits.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Twitter that its hospital in Aden “received 45 dead and at least 60 wounded” following the explosion.

Aden has experienced a wave of bombings and shootings targeting officials and security forces.

Attacks in the city are often claimed by militants from either Al-Qaeda or IS, which have both taken advantage of the chaos in Yemen to make gains in the south and southeast.
String of attacks

IS claimed Monday's bombing on its official propaganda outlet, Amaq.

Earlier this month, a suicide bomber drove his vehicle into a large group of army reinforcements sent from Aden to fight militants in neighbouring Lahj, killing five soldiers, military officials said.

No group has claimed that attack.

But on July 20, four policemen were killed in a bombing attack in Aden that was claimed by IS. And in May, twin suicide bombings in Aden claimed by IS killed at least 41 people.

Yemeni authorities have trained hundreds of soldiers in the city over the past two months as part of operations to retake neighbouring southern provinces from militants.

President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi condemned the “cowardly terrorist act”.

“It comes as a response to the painful strikes by the heroes of the army and popular resistance, backed by Arab coalition forces,” he said.

Earlier this month, government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition entered Abyan's provincial capital of Zinjibar.

Troops retook other towns across Abyan but have been met by fierce resistance in the key Al-Qaeda stronghold of Al-Mahfid, security sources said.

The militants still have a presence in areas surrounding the recaptured towns and control large parts of neighbouring Shabwa province, the sources say.

The Arab coalition battling the rebels in Yemen has also been providing troops with air cover throughout their war against the militants.

The United States has carried out numerous drone strikes against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives in Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March last year and has helped government forces push the rebels out of Aden and four other southern provinces since July 2015.

The war in Yemen has also impacted on security in Saudi Arabia, where shelling from the kingdom's impoverished neighbour killed three Saudi children and wounded nine other people on Sunday.

Cross-border attacks from Yemen have intensified since the suspension in early August of UN-brokered peace talks between the rebels and the government.
ICRC delivers medicines

The Arab coalition has also stepped up air raids in Yemen since peace talks collapsed.

A coalition air strike north of Sanaa on Monday killed eight civilians including a child, rescuers and witnesses said.

More than 6,600 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Yemen since March 2015 and more than 80 per cent of the population has been left needing humanitarian aid, the UN says.

A plane chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) landed at Sanaa airport on Monday, carrying insulin for thousands of people with diabetes.

“Yemen's health sector is in a terrible state,” said the head of the ICRC in Yemen, Alexandre Faite. “Less than 30 per cent of the required medicines and medical supplies have entered Yemen in 2015,” he added.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Zawahiri says jihadists should prepare for guerrilla war in Iraq

People ask how Israel, surrounded by Arab and Muslim enemies since it's birth, could have survived this long - well, look at the jihadi factions in Syria and Iraq and the complete cluster going on there and you'll have a good idea.

The story comes from The Long War Journal.

Zawahiri says jihadists should prepare for guerrilla war in Iraq

As Sahab, al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, released the third episode of Ayman al Zawahiri’s “Brief Messages to a Victorious Ummah” series on Aug. 25. The latest installment is subtitled “Fear Allah in Iraq.” The al Qaeda leader clearly expects the Islamic State to continue to lose ground, arguing that the Sunnis of Iraq should “reorganize themselves” for a “protracted guerrilla war to defeat the neo-Safavid [Iranian]-Crusader occupation of their regions as they did before.”

Zawahiri critiques the Islamic State’s approach to waging jihad in Iraq in his brief message, which is just over four minutes long. His arguments further highlight how al Qaeda and the Islamic State have evolved very different strategies for waging jihad. Whereas al Qaeda wants to be viewed as a popular revolutionary force, serving the interests of Muslims, the Islamic State deliberately markets itself as a top-down authoritarian regime that seeks to overtly impose its will on the populace. Al Qaeda and the Islamic State share the same long-term goal, as they both want to resurrect an Islamic caliphate. But they diverge on the steps that should be taken to achieve this goal.

Al Qaeda’s senior leaders think that the Islamic State’s methodology for waging jihad alienates the Muslim population and therefore makes it easier for the Sunni jihadists’ enemies to defeat them.

Zawahiri lays out a way forward for the jihadists in Iraq should the Islamic State’s caliphate continue to crumble.

Zawahiri says the jihadists in Iraq “must review their prior experiences to save them from the mistakes that led to their separation” from the Muslim community. These mistakes caused the jihadists to fall into “the abyss of extremism” and “takfir” (the practice of declaring other Muslims to be nonbelievers). They are also guilty of the “spilling forbidden [Muslim] blood,” Zawahiri says, and this path only serves the “proxies of America.”

In a telling passage, Zawahiri calls on “our brethren, the heroes of Islam, the mujahideen of the Levant” to assist “their brethren in Iraq in reorganizing themselves.”

Zawahiri famously sought to keep Al Nusrah Front in Syria, which was recently rebranded as Jabhat Fath al Sham (JFS, or Conquest of the Levant Front), separate from Baghdadi’s Islamic State. Zawahiri ruled that Baghdadi’s organization should be confined to Iraq, but the Islamic State refused to comply with his order.

Zawahiri now says the “battle is one,” with the Levant being “an extension of Iraq” and Iraq serving as “the depth of the Levant.”

That is, Zawahiri wants the jihadists in Iraq to follow the same strategy employed by al Qaeda in Syria. Under Zawahiri’s guidance, the group formerly known as Al Nusrah deeply embedded itself within the anti-Assad opposition and cultivated roots within the Syrian society.

Al Qaeda’s senior leadership publicly approved of Al Nusrah Front’s recent rebranding as JFS. This rebranding was spun as a clear “break” between Al Nusrah and al Qaeda. But Zawahiri’s own deputy, Abu Khayr al Masri, blessed the move shortly beforehand.

There is no hint in Zawahiri’s message that he feels betrayed by the jihadists in Syria. On the contrary, he wants the jihadists in Iraq to follow their model. When Zawahiri asks the “mujahideen of the Levant” to help their “brethren” in Iraq, he is clearly referring to JFS and others who have been following al Qaeda’s strategy.

The al Qaeda master further connects the jihad in Iraq to Syria by pointing out that Iranian-backed “militias and mercenaries” fight in both countries. Zawahiri says this is because Iran and its allies seek to annihilate Sunnis across the Middle East. He claims that Sunnis are being tortured and slaughtered in Iraq under the “pretext” of fighting Baghdadi’s Islamic State, but the supposed real reason for this can be found in the Iran’s expansionist goals. Zawahiri claims that the Iranians and the Americans have reached an “accord” that will allow a Crusader-Iranian-Alawite coalition (meaning an alliance of Western, Iranian and Assad regime forces) to swallow the whole region.

Even as Zawahiri rails against Iran, however, some of al Qaeda’s most senior leaders are stationed inside the country today.

All three episodes of Zawahiri’s “Brief Messages to a Victorious Ummah” series have been released this month. As Sahab has suffered production delays over the past two years, but the current pace of releases indicates that the official media shop for al Qaeda’s senior leadership is able to regularly churn out content once again. In the first episode of the new series, Zawahiri blasted the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In the second, he called on Muslims to support the Afghan Taliban and reject the Islamic State’s upstart presence in Afghanistan.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dutch party suggests closing mosques, banning Quran

Who says a political party can't come up with a GREAT idea?!!

The story comes from Israel National News.

Dutch party suggests closing mosques, banning Quran

Dutch politician Geert Wilders' party, which is leading polls ahead of parliamentary elections next year, vows to reverse "Islamization".

The political party of Dutch politician Geert Wilders, which is leading polls ahead of parliamentary elections next year, has vowed to close mosques and “ban the Quran” in its manifesto, AFP reported on Friday.

“All mosques and Islamic schools closed, a ban on the Quran,” said the document outlining the electoral program of the Freedom Party (PVV) ahead of March 2017 legislative elections, which was posted on Wilders’ Twitter feed Thursday.

The PVV says it will reverse the “Islamization” of the country with a range of measures including closing the borders, shutting asylum seeker centers, banning migrants from Islamic countries and stopping Muslim women from wearing the headscarf in public.

On the back of Europe’s migrant crisis, opinion polls have for months given Wilders’ PVV the edge over the current coalition parties of the Labour Party and the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, noted AFP.

Late last year polls predicted soaring support for the PVV saying it could gain as many as 38 seats in the 150-seat parliament, but that has slipped back, according to the news agency. In August, a poll from Ipsos gave it 28 seats — still way up on the 12 it currently has.

The immigrant crisis has polarized the Netherlands, a nation of 17 million people, leading to heated debate and some attacks on refugee centers.

Wilders can be considered somewhat of a controversial figure, especially with regards to his views on Muslims.

His anti-Islam rhetoric has in the past sparked outrage around the Muslim world and prompted death threats that have led to him living under round-the-clock protection.

Late last year, it was revealed that Wilders had been the target of a jihadist assassination attempt.

He also sparked outrage with a plan to broadcast cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed on national television, a plan which was branded a “provocation” by local Muslims.

Wilders is known for his support of Israel, having in the past saying that the Jewish state needs defendable borders and that for this reason Jews must settle Judea and Samaria.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Photo of the Day: I'm With ....It

Turkey is now in Syria, but IS aren’t the only target

This article nails it - ISIS is nothing to Turkey and it's Mohammedan's the Kurds that Turkey is after.

The story comes from DAWN.

Turkey is now in Syria, but IS aren’t the only target

HOW the West would love to believe that Turkey’s army in Syria — all 10 tanks of it — are striking at last at everyone’s enemy, the blood-soaked cult of the militant Islamic State group. But few in Syria or Turkey will be fooled.

The IS have been sitting in Jarabulus for many months; it is the advance of the American-armed Kurdish YPG militia along the Turkish border towards Jarabulus that worries Sultan Erdogan.

And yet again as Turkish troops advanced, he bundled up the YPG (People’s Protection Units) — who the Turks believe have connections with the PKK or Kurdistan Workers’ Party, whom they view as much more dangerous — as “terrorists”, along with the IS. In other words, he’s calling both the anti-Assad IS and the anti-IS Kurds the enemies of Turkey (as he did after the suicide bombing of a wedding in Gazientep last weekend), lumping his pet hates together. Only his obsession with Fethullah Gulen, whom he blames for July’s failed coup, has been omitted from his latest “battle” objectives in Syria.

Erdogan’s latest ally, Tsar Vladimir, will have no objections. At one blow, Turkey strikes — however feebly — at both the IS and the pro-American Kurdish militia with whose apparatchiks Moscow has remained studiously aloof. The Syrians will know — and surely will have been told — that Putin supports Turkey’s little incursion. They will be in no mood to protest since their own government army was fighting the same Kurdish group in the city of Hassakeh until a ceasefire two days ago. Here, too, the YPG was trying to seize Syrian sovereign territory.

Put simply, the YPG is getting too big for its boots. It is using the anti-IS war to carve out a little homeland inside Syria along the Turkish border and gobbling up as much of Syria as it can before the civil war ends. The Turks don’t want a Kurdish mini-state on their frontier any more than the Syrians want to lose territory to the Kurds. The anti-Assad “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) is supposed to be among Turkey’s little squadron of armour heading for Jarabulus but this is likely to be of little interest to Damascus: Syrian troops have long since ceased to regard the FSA as a serious military force and will not worry if its men wish to “martyr” themselves.

It’s all bad news for the IS, of course. And deeply ironic, for it was at the very same Jarabulus — under Turkish shellfire yesterday — where TE Lawrence “of Arabia” spent some of the happiest months of his life before the First World War, digging through the ancient ruins of Carcamish, and where he began to frame his affectionate but also deeply racist view of the Arabs. The sterility of the desert, Lawrence would later write of anyone who lived there “robbed him of compassion and perverted his human kindness to the image of the waste in which he hid”.

He wrote of the Arab’s “delight in pain” and of how the desert became “a spiritual iceberg, in which was preserved intact but unimproved for all ages a vision of the unity of God”. Perhaps Lawrence got closer to the mind of the IS than we might imagine. Now the Turks can discover this for themselves in the new ruins of Jarabulus.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Abu Zubaydah file

This is the kind of indepth reporting that you can ONLY get from The Long War Journal, people.  Visit the hell out of this site if you're serious about counter-terrorism and the War on Islam.

The Abu Zubaydah file

The US government has released an unclassified profile of the jihadist known as Abu Zubaydah, who is held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Abu Zubaydah’s case is currently being evaluated by the Periodic Review Board (PRB), which was established in 2011 “to review whether continued detention of particular individuals held at Guantanamo remains necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States.”

Abu Zubaydah has been at the center of controversy for years. He was one of the first detainees subjected to the CIA’s so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, in 2002.

Some argue that he was not really a senior al Qaeda operative at the time of his capture and that his importance was exaggerated by the US intelligence community during the Bush administration. One version of Abu Zubaydah’s story, citing excerpts from his diary and other fragmentary evidence, holds that he never swore bayat (oath of allegiance) to Osama bin Laden and was merely an independent jihadist facilitator.

The US government’s unclassified summary tells a different story, citing several key pieces of evidence that tie Abu Zubaydah to al Qaeda’s senior leaders and the terror group’s global operations. Abu Zubaydah allegedly “played a key role in al Qaeda’s communications,” “closely interacted” with Osama bin Laden’s “second-in-command,” enlisted al Qaeda operatives in planned attacks against Israel, worked with 9/11 planner Khalid Shaykh Mohammed in 2002, and may have had foreknowledge of al Qaeda’s three most successful attacks between August 1998 and September 2001. The PRB summary also notes that he has been convicted in absentia in Jordan for his well-known role in the so-called millennium terror plots.

Abu Zubaydah “possibly had some advanced knowledge of the bombings of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the USS Cole bombing in 2000,” according to the government’s PRB summary. He was also “generally aware of the impending 9/11 attacks and possibly coordinated the training at Khaldan camp of two of the hijackers.”

The 1998 US Embassy Bombings and the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 were al Qaeda’s two most effective operations prior to 9/11. It is doubtful that a truly independent actor could have had “some knowledge” of these plots, as well as be “generally aware” of the 9/11 attacks beforehand, given al Qaeda’s penchant for secrecy and compartmentalized planning.

In addition, the two future 9/11 hijackers were not the only al Qaeda operatives thought to have trained at Khaldan camp, which Abu Zubaydah helped oversee.

According to declassified and leaked files prepared by Joint Task Force – Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO), as well as other reports, numerous al Qaeda operatives trained at Khaldan. Trainees at Khaldan included: Ramzi Yousef (the nephew of Khalid Shaykh Mohammed and also the chief bomb maker for the 1993 World Trade Center attack, as well as the point man for a plot to bring down airliners in 1995), Mohamed al-‘Owhali (convicted for his role in the 1998 US Embassy Bombings), Zacarias Moussaoui (who was slated to take part in the 9/11 hijackings, or a follow-on al Qaeda plot, prior to his arrest in Aug. 2001), and Richard Reid (al Qaeda’s would-be shoe bomber in December 2001), among others. Abu Zubaydah would later argue before a tribunal at Guantanamo that he taught “defensive jihad,” as opposed to “offensive jihad,” and was not hostile to the US and its partners. The dossiers of Khaldan’s graduates, as well as many other facts, undermine this argument.

According to the summary presented to the PRB, Abu Zubaydah “played a key role in al Qaeda’s communications with supporters and operatives abroad and closely interacted with al Qaeda’s second-in-command at the time, Abu Hafs al Masri.”

The 9/11 Commission described Abu Hafs al Masri, who was killed in an American airstrike in late 2001, as bin Laden’s “chief of operations” prior to 9/11. Bin Laden and Abu Hafs “occupied undisputed leadership positions atop al Qaeda’s organizational structure.” The 9/11 Commission continued: “Within this structure, al Qaeda’s worldwide terrorist operations relied heavily on the ideas and work of enterprising and strong-willed field commanders who enjoyed considerable autonomy.” Therefore, a senior jihadist could be part of al Qaeda’s organization and still maintain “considerable autonomy” – a detail worth remembering when evaluating Abu Zubaydah’s dossier.

The 9/11 Commission cited the career of Khalid Shaykh Mohammed (KSM), the chief organizer of the 9/11 hijackings, as an example of how al Qaeda’s hierarchy worked. Although KSM didn’t swear bayat to bin Laden (or so KSM claimed after being captured), he still planned the 9/11 attacks under the watchful eye al Qaeda’s most senior officials. Unlike Abu Zubaydah, no one seriously disputes KSM’s al Qaeda role. According to multiple reports, Abu Zubaydah divulged during his first days in US custody that one of KSM’s aliases was “Mukhtar.” Zubaydah also told FBI officials that KSM played a key role in the 9/11 hijackings. Again, we are left to wonder how someone supposedly outside of al Qaeda’s orbit could have known such important details concerning the secretive group’s inner workings.

In fact, according to the PRB summary and other files, Abu Zubaydah worked directly with KSM.

“Following 9/11,” the PRB summary reads, “[Abu Zubaydah] took a more active role in attack preparations, sending operatives to al Qaeda senior member Khalid Shaykh Muhammad…to discuss the feasibility of exploding a radiological device in the United States, and supporting remote-controlled bomb attacks against US and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan.”

The first part of the sentence refers to Abu Zubaydah’s involvement with Jose Padilla and Binyam Mohamed. They conceived a far-fetched plan to use a dirty bomb inside the US. KSM allegedly thought that their idea was foolish and so he directed one or both of them to consider setting fire to high rise buildings using natural gas instead. Zubaydah reportedly revealed details about Padilla and Mohamed while in US custody. Padilla was arrested in Chicago in May 2002 and eventually convicted on terrorism charges. Mohamed was detained in Pakistan and then held elsewhere before being sent to Guantanamo. Mohamed was transferred to the UK in 2009.

It is telling that Abu Zubaydah was able to seamlessly pass Padilla and Mohamed on to KSM, who was attempting to strike the US again just months after the 9/11 hijackings.

The second part of the sentence above from the PRB’s summary (“supporting remote-controlled bomb attacks” in Afghanistan) is a reference to Abu Zubaydah’s “Martyrs Brigade.” According to leaked JTF-GTMO files, the “Martyrs Brigade” was jointly created by Abu Zubaydah and Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, a top al Qaeda military commander who answered directly to Osama bin Laden. Known al Qaeda members joined the team, which was planning to travel back to Afghanistan to fight US and Coalition forces.

The PRB file notes that Abu Zubaydah “most actively plotted attacks against Israel, enlisting operatives from various militant groups, including al Qaeda, to conduct operations in Israel and against Israeli interests abroad.”

A brief biography released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) in 2006 contained additional allegations regarding his anti-Israeli plotting. According to that biography, Abu Zubaydah had “enlisted” the help of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who would go on to establish al Qaeda in Iraq, to find “a smuggling route into Israel for moving persons and materials.” Abu Zubaydah had previously helped Zarqawi and dozens of others escape from Afghanistan into Iran in late 2001. Abu Zubaydah raised $50,000 from Saudi donors for his planned attacks in Israel. The money was passed to senior al Qaeda leadership, according to the ODNI’s biography, and may have even been repurposed for the 9/11 plot.

The millennium plots

Abu Zubaydah’s role in various planned terrorist attacks in late 1999 and early 2000 is well known. Khaldan’s graduates were directly responsible for some of the plots.

Abu Zubaydah “was convicted in absentia by the Jordanian Government for his role in planning attacks against Israeli, Jordanian, and Western targets during the Millennium time frame in Jordan,” the newly released PRB file reads.

The 9/11 Commission discussed the millennium plots in Jordan at length in its final report. Jordanian authorities unraveled the plans beginning on Nov. 30, 1999, when they intercepted a telephone call from Abu Zubaydah to an operative known as Abu Hoshar.

“The time for training is over,” Abu Zubaydah said.

The Jordanians suspected, according to the 9/11 Commission, “that this was a signal for Abu Hoshar to commence a terrorist operation.” Jordanian police then arrested 16 jihadists, including Abu Hoshar and his comrade Raed Hijazi. [See LWJ report, Jordan rearrests millennium bombings plotter.]

By late 1998, Abu Hoshar and Hijazi had begun planning to attack multiple sites frequented by Western tourists. “Hijazi and Abu Hoshar cased the intended targets and sent reports to Abu Zubaydah, who approved their plan,” according to the 9/11 Commission. Hijazi stockpiled the ingredients necessary to make the bombs their plan required.

Hijazi and Abu Hoshar contacted another alleged al Qaeda operative, Khalid Deek, in early 1999. They acquired a copy of the Encyclopedia of Jihad, a terrorist manual authored by Deek. The 9/11 Commission reported what happened next. In June 1999, “with help from Deek, Abu Hoshar arranged with Abu Zubaydah for Hijazi and three others to go to Afghanistan for added training in explosives.”

Then, in late November 1999, “Hijazi reportedly swore before Abu Zubaydah the bayat [oath of allegiance] to Bin Laden, committing himself to do anything Bin Laden ordered.”

How could Abu Zubaydah accept Hijazi’s blood oath to Osama bin Laden if he wasn’t really part of al Qaeda? This is one of many details that doesn’t make sense if Abu Zubaydah remained apart from al Qaeda.

Another one of the plots extended all the way into the US.

Ahmed Ressam, who was trained at the Khaldan camp, traveled from Canada to the US in late 1999 with the intent to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Ressam was arrested on Dec. 14, 1999 after customs officials discovered that his vehicle contained hidden explosives.

Ressam would later explain Abu Zubaydah’s role to the FBI. Ressam’s testimony was included in the Aug. 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) delivered to President George W. Bush.

“The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Laden’s first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US,” the PDB read. “Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack the Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation.” Ressam added that Bin Laden “was aware of the Los Angeles operation” and Abu Zubaydah “was planning his own US attack” as early as 1998.

An extensive dossier

The unclassified PRB file deals with just some of the known or suspected details of Abu Zubaydah’s career. There is much additional evidence tying him to al Qaeda’s global enterprise. At a minimum, however, the file indicates that the officials representing the US government in the PRB process continue to view Abu Zubaydah as well-placed figure in al Qaeda’s network. This is true whether Abu Zubaydah swore his allegiance to Osama bin Laden or not, as the intelligence shows that he consistently worked with al Qaeda’s most senior operatives.

Note: The spelling of al Qaeda has been made consistent throughout this article and therefore differs from how it is spelled in some of the US government’s files.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Over 1.2 Million People Could Have to Evacuate Mosul, Iraq

The story comes from Al Arabiya

Iraqi forces enter Qayyahrah, UN readies for exodus

Iraqi forces on Tuesday have swiftly advanced and stormed the center of Qayyarah, a district south of the ISIS-held city of Mosul, hours after it launched its operation against the militant group, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

Entering Qayyarah from three points started early morning on Tuesday to finally reclaim Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and ISIS’s last major urban stronghold in the country.

Counter-terrorism units are also taking part in the operation alongside the Iraqi army. Iraqi officials said the priority of the operation is to save and protect civilians in the area being used by ISIS as human shields.
‘Worsen displacement’

The United Nations said Tuesday it was rushing to build camps to accommodate what it expects to be a mass exodus from Mosul following the battle to eject ISIS.

The UN refugee agency warned that an expected battle to liberate Mosul was likely to “dramatically worsen” the displacement situation in the country.

Iraq is already facing one of the world’s biggest displacement crises, with 3.38 million people forced to flee their homes in the country since 2014.

In just the past few months alone, 213,000 people have been forced from their homes across the country, including around 48,000 who have fled Mosul, UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters in Geneva.

“The humanitarian impact of a military offensive there is expected to be enormous,” he said, cautioning that as many as 1.2 million civilians could be affected.

After retaking Fallujah, west of Baghdad, in June, the main focus of Iraqi security forces is Mosul, which is the ISIS group’s de facto capital in Iraq.

Iraqi special forces led an operation Tuesday aimed at retaking the militants-held town of Qayyarah, which is expected to be used as a launchpad for a broader operation against Mosul in the coming weeks or months.

Once the operation begins, UNHCR estimates that some 400,000 people could flee to the south of Mosul, around 250,000 to the east and another 100,000 to the northwest, towards the Syrian border, Edwards said.

He said contingency plans had been drawn up to provide shelter for up to 120,000 people fleeing conflict in Mosul and surrounding areas, while UNHCR was looking to set up six new camps across northern Iraq.

"Progress depends on both the availability of land and of funding," Edwards said, pointing out that UNHCR's overall appeal for $584 million for displaced Iraqis, including those who have fled to nearby countries, was only 38-percent funded.

He also warned that "finding available land for the new camps has become a critical issue," as many landowners were unwilling to lease land.

Other areas could not be used because they were too close to the frontline, or because setting up camps there could inflame ethnic, sectarian, religious or tribal tensions, he said.

The operation comes a day after six Iraqi civilians were killed when a bomb planted by the ISIS group went off as they tried to flee the Hawijah area, security officials said.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TwitterLand: Some Things Don't Go Away

Monday, August 22, 2016

Iraq hangs 36 people sentenced to death for killing of troops in 2014

Iraq has gone full blown Iranian Shia.

The story comes from DAWN.

Iraq hangs 36 people sentenced to death for killing of troops in 2014

BAGHDAD: Iraq said on Sunday it had hanged 36 militants sentenced to death over the mass killing of hundreds of mainly Shia soldiers at a camp north of Baghdad two years ago.

It is the highest number of militants executed in one day by the Iraqi government since Islamic State fighters took control of parts of northern and western Iraq in 2014.

The executions were carried out at a prison in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya, state television quoted the Justice Ministry as saying.

As many as 1,700 soldiers were killed two years ago after they fled from Camp Speicher, a former US military base just north of Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit, when it was overrun by Islamic State.

The government came under increased pressure from local Shia politicians to execute militants sentenced to death after a massive bombing that targeted a shopping street in Baghdad on July 3, killing at least 324 people.

Claimed by Islamic State, the truck bomb that blew up in the Karrada district was the deadliest since the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Iraq's Justice Ministry announced days later that 45 death sentences had been carried out since the beginning of the year.

The United Nations said on August 1 that Iraq's efforts to speed up the execution of militants could result in innocent people being put to death.

An estimated 1,200 people are on death row in Iraq, including possibly hundreds who have exhausted appeals, the UN statement said.

“Given the weaknesses of the Iraqi justice system, and the current environment in Iraq, I am gravely concerned that innocent people have been and may continue to be convicted and executed, resulting in gross, irreversible miscarriages of justice,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in the statement.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Photo of the Day: Putting While Rome Burns

Video: Minneapolis Isn't That Big of a City, Son

Green jacket, White Sox hat guy wants the spotlight. Wants to be famous. Thinks he's tough.

The search has begun. Tick tock, tick tock.

Europe hit by yet MORE sex attacks: Now 22 girls assaulted at Stockholm festival

The story comes from ExpressUK via The Religion of Peace.

Europe hit by yet MORE sex attacks: Now 22 girls assaulted at Stockholm festival

FURY has erupted in Sweden after it emerged that more than 20 girls have been sexually assaulted at a popular festival

Police confirmed they have received 22 reports from women saying they have been attacked during the We are Stockholm event.

Officials said seven complaints came on the festival’s first day on Tuesday this week, with another 15 reported by Thursday.

Stockholm police added the figure was expected to increase as the event is still ongoing.

They also refused to disclose the nationality of the suspected assailants.

Police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said: “Many report the incidents a while after the assault happened, so there is reason to believe the figure will increase.”

The official said the majority of the reports had involved men groping girls in the crowd.

Mr Lindgren added police had identified the assailants in about half the reported incidents as he said it is believed the same person had committed several assaults.

Police officer Mats Eriksson said the reported attacks had happened while the artists were on stage.

He added: “It is difficult to identify the perpetrators because there are so many people in a small area.

“Many [girls] say they have experienced an assault, but have no idea of who did it.”

The assaults come after the We are Stockholm music festival has been heavily criticised for covering up a series of sex attacks during last years arrangement.

It only came to light after the Cologne assaults in Germany on New Years Eve, the event’s management was slammed for not informing the public about girls as young as 12 being attacked by migrant youths.

Sweden has been hit by a series of shocking attacks this summer and young girls have now turned on the police after they urged the teenagers to wear bracelets telling men “not to grope”.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Photo of the Day: Priorities

The Long Reach of al-Baghdadi

The story comes from The Jerusalem Post.

Islamic State takes responsibility for Moscow attack

MOSCOW - Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on a traffic police post outside Moscow on Wednesday in which both attackers were killed, calling it revenge for Russia's aerial bombing campaign in Syria.

The militant group made the claim via the Amaq news agency, which it regularly uses to issue statements, and released a video in which the purported attackers said they wanted to take revenge for Russia killing Muslims in the Middle East.

Russia has been bombing militants in Syria since September last year, part of a military campaign in support of President Bashar Assad.

Islamic State called on its members to carry out jihad or holy war in Russia in a YouTube video last month, after which the Kremlin said such threats would not affect its fight against international terrorism.

"We have taken the path of jihad on the orders of our Amir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," one of the purported attackers said on the video released by Amaq, speaking in a mix of Arabic and Russian.

The video named the attackers as Uthman Mardalov and Salim Israilov.

"We have called this operation 'revenge operation.' Revenge for you bombing our brothers, because you kill our brothers every day in Syria and Iraq. ... This will be the start of everything that will come to you."

Russian investigators said on Wednesday that two unidentified people armed with a firearm and two axes had attacked a traffic police post outside Moscow.

One of them was shot dead while attacking the post, while the other was killed when he tried to put up armed resistance, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Two police officers were wounded in the attack, one seriously.

Friday, August 19, 2016

TweetLand: Irony

This Wasn't the Week To Be a Houthi in Yemen

Staggering numbers here.  Go to the Al Arabiya site and view the video.

The story comes from Al Arabiya.

Houthi militias incur 1,654 deaths in one week

Al Arabiya News Channel sources have confirmed the Houthi militias and forces loyal to ousted former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen have incurred nearly 1,654 deaths and 2,000 injured over the past week.

The strikes by the Saudi-led coalition forces started on Wednesday and has strategically targeted Houthi military sites in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. The strikes have also targeted sites in Saleh-stronghold city of Sanhan and coup-held city of Saada.

The coalition warplanes also recently bombed Houthi fighters from Yemen seeking to infiltrate Saudi Arabia. On Tuesday, a rocket fired by Yemeni rebels killed seven civilians inside Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the civil defense agency said.

It was the highest reported number of civilian casualties in the kingdom's south since a Saudi-led coalition intervened 17 months ago in Yemen.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Going to Pakistan is like 'going to hell', says Indian defence minister

I swear I get a huge laugh just about every day watching the shit storm exchange between the Pakis and the Indians - it's hilarious.

The story comes from Pakistan's DAWN.

Going to Pakistan is like 'going to hell', says Indian defence minister

SRINAGAR: India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday told a rally that “going to Pakistan is the same as going to hell”, as Indian security forces killed five protesters and injured 10 others on Tuesday.

Parrikar went on to say that Indian troops had “sent back five terrorists yesterday”, referring to the gunmen who were reportedly killed while attempting a cross-border incursion on Monday.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry on Monday invited his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar for dialogue on the Kashmir dispute.

The move came as relations between Pakistan and India remain strained a day after ceasefire violations along the Line of Control on August 14.

Clashes erupted on Tuesday after crowds angered by the killing of a militant in Kashmir pelted them with stones and defied a curfew, an officials claimed.

Occupied Kashmir has witnessed violent protests since July 8, when security forces killed a field commander of militant group Hizbul Mujahideen who enjoyed widespread support in the Muslim-majority region.

Kashmir also saw an upsurge in violence around India's Independence Day holiday on Monday — which was observed as Black Day by Kashmiris — when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India would not bow to terrorism and accused neighbour and arch-rival Pakistan of glorifying it.

The latest casualties came as security forces opened fire with automatic rifles, a step up from their earlier use of shotguns, whose pellets are meant to incapacitate but not kill.

Locals say the shotguns have inflicted severe injuries, and even blinded, hundreds of people, among them innocent bystanders.

Indian troops killed a total of seven militants on Monday in two incidents, five of them gunmen who had allegedly attempted a cross-border incursion and two more, who had attacked a Srinagar police station.

One officer died in the police station shootout.

At least 64 people have been killed and thousands injured during 39 days of protests, while schools, shops, banks and offices remain closed in much of Kashmir as paramilitary troops patrol arterial roads, residential areas and mosques.

Kashmir is at the center of a decades-old rivalry between India and Pakistan, which also rules its northern part, and backed an insurgency in the late 1980s and 1990s that Indian security forces largely crushed. Both countries claim Kashmir in full.

New Delhi has rejected Pakistan's invitation to hold talks on the future of Jammu and Kashmir, India's northernmost state, and Modi said he had received messages of support from leaders in restive parts of Pakistan.

In a speech on Monday, Modi accused Pakistan of committing atrocities in its own province of Baluchistan, escalating a war of words that Islamabad said was intended to divert attention from the troubles in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Video: Hillary - The Tell Tale Signs

In this short video, notice how:

a) When outside the home, watch how feebly she walks up the front walk

b) Also outside, notice how Hillary is making sure to be holding on to the railing

c) Inside of the home, notice how she maintains a hold on the kitchen chairs

America’s Most Dangerous Enemy to Lead Mosul Assault

Read this damn article.  And just try to keep your blood pressure under 200/185. 

Bottom line is...the Obama administration is just fine and dandy with an Iranian commander giving our air support personnel and military advisors and artillery teams orders in the upcoming attack on Mosul in Iraq - the SAME fucking Iranian commander who led Iranian forces and trained jihadis in Iraq to kill hundreds of American troops.

We should be assigning one of our Special Ops people in Iraq to put a round through this motherfucker's head instead of following him into battle.

We have a President who is supporting a murderer of American troops.  We call that treason round these parts.

The story comes from

America’s Most Dangerous Enemy to Lead Mosul Assault

According to The Long War Journal‘s Threat Matrix blog, Qassem Suleimani is going to be heavily involved in the leadership of the upcoming offensive against Islamic State (ISIS) positions in Mosul.

The spokesman of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Front (PMF) announced on August 6 that Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, will play a major role in the upcoming operations to take the city of Mosul from the Islamic State. The spokesman defended the presence of Iranian military advisors in Iraq.

According to translations of his remarks published by IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency, the spokesman called Soleimani “one of the most important military advisors” from the Islamic Republic of Iran. He added that Soleimani and other Iranian advisors are in Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government and that they provide important consultation.

Soleimani is rumored to have arrived in Iraq last week to prepare for the battle of Mosul with the Iraqi government forces and PMF. An unnamed Iraqi parliamentarian claimed in an Asharq al Awsat article on August 3 that Soleimani arrived without a passport…

Soleimani directs IRGC operations in the Iraqi and Syrian theaters. The IRGC has deployed elite Iraqi and Lebanese proxies to Aleppo this past week to bolster the forces of Bashar al Assad, after rebels succeeded in breaking the siege of eastern Aleppo on August 6.

Now Suleimani is under international travel bans arising from his attempt to lead a set of assassinations against diplomats worldwide. Nevertheless, he has been allowed to travel freely to Iraq, Syria, and Russia. In the course of those travels he has served as Iran’s point man in its unconventional warfare. He has nearly succeeded in making Iran the dominant power in the northern Middle East, quite a feat given that it is managing to convince a more powerful Russia to follow its lead.

Suleimani led the Iranian efforts during the Iraq War, leading many proxy forces that killed some 3,000 Americans. He was badly injured in Syria last fall, but seems to have recovered well enough to take a leadership position on the ground. It is ironic to see him in the forefront of an effort that is backed by the United States, but under the Obama administration, such ironies abound.