Archive for the ‘British’ Category

Terrorist Released from Gitmo is Killing British, American Troops

March 11, 2009

The Taleban commander responsible for increasingly sophisticated explosives attacks on British soldiers in Afghanistan is a former detainee from Guantanamo Bay, British officials and Taleban sources have told The Times.

Abdul Ghulam Rasoul was held in Guantanamo for six years before his release, in December 2007, by the unanimous decision of a review board that determined he was no longer a threat.

British officials told The Times that Rasoul is the man that has since resurfaced as Mullah Abdullah Zakir, the Taleban’s new operations chief in southern Afghanistan and the architect of a new offensive against British and American troops.

The revelation of Rasoul’s return to the battlefield underscores the challenges faced by the Obama administration in carrying out its vow to close Guantanamo, and raises fresh questions about the quality of American intelligence used there.Pentagon records of Rasoul’s time in Guantanamo show he told investigators he had never been a commander in the Taleban, one of the factors that recommended him for release.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/ne
ws/world/us_and_americas/article5
888427.ece

Related:

 Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

http://libertyjustincase.com/
2009/03/11/prisoner-8/

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British, French Submarines “Collide”

February 16, 2009

A British and a French submarine, both of them nuclear-powered and carrying nuclear weapons, collided in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, the Sun newspaper reported on Monday.

The tabloid said HMS Vanguard and France’s Le Triomphant were both damaged in the incident, but there were no reports of damage to the nuclear parts. The British sub has now been towed to Faslane in Scotland for repair.

Both vessels — between them carrying about 250 sailors — were reportedly submerged and on separate missions when they crashed on February 3 or 4.

The Ministry of Defence refuses to comment on submarine operations but a spokesman said: “We can confirm that the UK?s deterrent capability has remained unaffected at all times and there has been no compromise to nuclear safety.”

HMS Vanguard is one of four nuclear submarines operated by the British military as part of its Trident system, and one is always on deterrent patrol.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090216/wl_uk_af
p/britainfrancenuclearweapons_20090216082323

Related from The Sun:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne
ws/article2240543.ece

France's "Le Triomphant" nuclear submarine. A ... 
France’s “Le Triomphant” nuclear submarine. A British and a French submarine, both of them nuclear-powered and carrying nuclear weapons, collided in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, the Sun newspaper reported.(AFP/File/Philippe Huguen)

World stocks sag on concerns about Obama plans

February 12, 2009

Thongs of happy Americans turned out on the Mall in Washington on January 20 to cheer Barack Obama’s inauguration.

And Europeans and much of the rest of the world also embraced the “hope” of Obama — as exemplified by a gathering in Berlin last July 24 before some 200,000 people.

After the troubles of the last few weeks it is not at all certain that the Obama hope remains alive — maybe it is on life support.

Pan Pylas of the Associate Press wrote today: “The raft of grim corporate news in Europe comes as the markets have largely given the thumbs-down to the passing of a $789 billion stimulus bill in Congress and U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s bank rescue plan, which could cost up to $2 trillion. On the Geithner plan, investors worried about the lack of detail, specifically the absence of any indications about how the banks’ toxic assets would be bought.”

“Policymakers will argue these details will be hammered out over time, but in the meantime the economic and financial black hole will potentially deepen, and for markets this means risk aversion will likely remain elevated,” said Daragh Maher, an analyst at Calyon Credit Agricole.

Read the entire story:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009021
2/ap_on_bi_ge/world_markets

obama_span_blog.jpg
Above: Obama in Berlin.

Related:
http://raymondpronk.wordpress.com/2008/0
7/25/obamas-berlin-speech-the-first-new-wor
ld-order-citizen-fellow-traveller-world-citizen/

Dow Drops 200 in 30 Minutes As Stimulus Rejected

Merkel and Brown Challenge Obama, Call for Global Economy Rules

January 31, 2009

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown argued for tougher control of the international economy, opening up a potential split with the United States on ending the financial crisis.

AFP

Merkel said a UN economic council based on the UN Security Council may have to be created to police the global economy, while Brown said his “shared revolution” would strengthen current international institutions.

Both proposals went counter to US ideas rejecting any global enforcer. At a Group of 20 summit in November, Washington fought for national regulators to take precedence.

Brown and Merkel set out the case for greater international control at the World Economic Forum in Davos, both looking forward to a new G20 summit on the crisis to be held in London in April.

The British prime minister, his concentration broken by his own mobile phone ringing during a press conference, called for “a shared revolution in common action to deal with real problems.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090131/
ts_afp/davoseconomypolitics_20090131
074426

Related:
Germany Calls U.S. Auto Bailout “Protectionism”
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/BUSINESS/01/
30/davos.wef.friday.wrap/index.html

International Effort “Guarantees” Gaza Cease Fire

January 17, 2009

On Tuesday, Israel was already looking for a way to end the fighting in Gaza.

But Hamas was pledging to fight to the last drop of blood.

And Hamas was supported and emboldened by allies such as Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and thousands of of protesting and angry anti-Israeli people.

So a group in the international community made a pledge, in the form of a question, to Israel: If we can help you achieve your goals will you end the fighting?

Israel agreed.  And as of today, Israel, the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Italy and others are living up to that agreement.

Israel really needed two things: a halt to the rocket attacks into Israel and a way to assure that Hamas doesn’t rearm.

Today, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters that France and Germany had joined Britain in a pledge to curtail the bloodshed in Gaza now, by offering long-term support in keeping Hamas from rearming.

 “The Israelis, Egyptians and Palestinian Authority know this offer is available,” he said. “I think this may make it easier for people to come to a cease-fire.”
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Brown said that if a cease-fire is reached, Britain has people ready to enter Gaza to provide humanitarian aid to help relieve the obvious suffering.

“Britain will not be found lacking in the support we can give,” he said.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office released a statement indicating that she, Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had sent letters to Israeli and Egyptian leaders expressing a willingness to take a series of concrete measures to combat arms smuggling.

She said they all expressed support for “the efforts of the Israeli and Egyptian governments to reach a lasting cease-fire in Gaza.”

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi also joined in the offer of help, his office said Saturday.

European diplomats are part of a global push to calm the situation in Gaza, where more than 1,100 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have been killed since an Israeli offensive against Hamas terrorists began in late December.

Israel thought the U.S. so important to the international effort that prime Minister Ehud Olmert sent Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to Washington DC to sign an agreement with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The two-and-a-half page document outlines a framework under which the United States will provide military and intelligence assets, including detection and surveillance equipment, as well as logistical help and training to Israel, Egypt and other nations in the region. The equipment and training would be used for monitoring Gaza’s land and sea borders.

The document also calls for the U.S. to expand work with its NATO partners in the effort, particularly in the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and eastern Africa, according to a text.

It also commits Washington to use relevant components of the U.S. military to assist Mideast governments in preventing weapons and explosives flows to Gaza that originate in or transit their territories.

“If this doesn’t satisfy the Israeli cabinet, what will?” a Western observer asked

Related from the Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232
100167091&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2
FShowFull

Related:
 Russia “Herding Squirrels” Iran, Syria, Hamas Toward Cease Fire

India terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the new Al Qaeda?

December 21, 2008

U. S. intelligence was caught off-guard by Lashkar-e-Taiba‘s “highly sophisticated” Mumbai terror strikes last month, which top spies now consider the debut of a new “brand name” to rival Al Qaeda.

The Islamist group was formed with Pakistani government help decades ago, but U.S. officials admit underestimating Lashkar’s shift from waging a minor conflict in the Kashmir region to threatening Westerners and Jews.

By James Gordon Meek
New York Daily News
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“There is real concern over the fact LeT has raised its profile,” a U.S. counterterror official told the Daily News. “A lot of people are watching closely now to see if they’re plotting new attacks.”

The group is as mainstream in Pakistan as its ally Hamas is in the Palestinian territories.

Before the mayhem that began Nov. 26, no Lashkar camps in Pakistan’s tribal areas had been targeted during an intense CIA offensive in the fall, a senior intelligence official confirmed.

The agency has used unmanned drones to fire missiles at Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives directing the insurgency in Afghanistan. Lashkar cross-trains with the two terror groups.

But U.S. counterterror efforts are now getting beefed up, sources said.

“Assume that the intelligence community has new targets it previously hoped would be only distractions, of which LeT is one,” a third U.S. official told The News.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Lashkar – which once focused on the India-Pakistan fight over Kashmir – hit a “new threshold” of terror by killing Americans, Brits and Jews.

Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm., ... 
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seen, during a press conference at a
U.S base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008.
(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

“They specifically targeted a Jewish center that was off the main drag,” Mullen recently told reporters. “It raises this outfit to a much higher level than where it was before.”

Brooklyn Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivkah, were slain there, leaving their baby, Moshe, an orphan.

Many also were surprised by what one internal U.S. government document called “hit and run” tactics that killed scores of Indians and six Americans.

Mullen said the 10 thugs “in a highly sophisticated manner [held] at bay an entire city.”

They had been trained by military pros in small arms and close combat for a year near Kashmir – though evidence isn’t a slam dunk that Pakistani spies aided them, sources said. The killers used satellite GPS units and phones and Google Earth to plan and execute the attacks.

Ex-CIA analyst Michael Scheuer declared it “a superb operation.”

Americans and Jews now face greater danger from Lashkar overseas, officials said.

“There are a lot of tourists in South Asia, and there’s really not a lot we can do,” Scheuer said.

“The question,” said another intelligence official, “is whether Mumbai is a ‘one-off’ or if such operations could be sustained.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/12/21/2008-12-21_india_terror_group_lashkaretaiba_the_new.html

Iraq’s Parliament Wants Non-U.S. Troops out, U.S. Soldiers Pick Up Slack

December 21, 2008

American troops will move into southern Iraq early next year to replace departing British forces, the top U.S. general in Iraq said.

The news came as Iraq’s parliament rejected a draft law requiring all foreign troops other than Americans to depart by July.

Associated Press

Britain says its 4,000 troops will withdraw from the southern city of Basra by the end of May.

Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the overall commander of U.S. and allied forces in Iraq, said in an interview with The Associated Press late Saturday that he is considering moving either a brigade or division headquarters — about 100 personnel — as well as an undetermined number of combat troops to Iraq’s second-largest city.

In this Sep. 16, 2008 file photo, Gen. Ray Odierno listens to ... 
In this Sep. 16, 2008 file photo, Gen. Ray Odierno listens to a question during a press briefing at camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. American troops will move into southern Iraq early next year to replace departing British forces, Odierno, the top U.S. general in Iraq said. The news came as Iraq’s parliament rejected a draft law requiring all foreign troops other than Americans to depart before the end of July 2009. Britain says its 4,000 troops will withdraw from the southern port city of Basra by the end of May.(AP Photo/Dusan Vranic, Pool)

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2008/12/21/wor
ld/AP-ML-Iraq.html?_r=1

Former UK Army Chief Attacks US Failures in Iraq

December 20, 2008

A former head of the British Army has accused the Americans of “appalling” decision making during the Iraq war.

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Telegraph (UK)
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Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, General Sir Mike Jackson, the former chief of the general staff, said that the violence in post-war Iraq was “much exacerbated by the security vacuum created by Washington’s appalling decisions” to disband the Iraqi security forces.

Gen Sir Mike, who was head of the British Army at the time of the war, added that the US policy to “de-Baathify” Iraq doubled the time taken to reach the point where the coalition could consider a withdrawal from the country.

Former Army chief General Sir Mike Jackson attacks US failures in Iraq

Former Army chief General Sir Mike Jackson decribed American decision making as ‘appalling’ Photo: PA

The general also added that Iranian backing for Shia militants, a development which led to hundreds of British casualties, further complicated the post-war environment.

The former defence chief, who said that he believed the campaign had been successful, was also critical of the US and British governments for failing to “understand fully” the complexity of the situation in Iraq and to create a proper reconstruction plan.

The general said that the euphoria which followed the toppling of Saddam was short lived because of various factions inside Iraq began to use violence in pursuit of political objectives.

But he added that the coalition, which suffered from political and military infighting, achieved “tremendous successes” including a referendum on a new Iraqi constitution and the subsequent elections, the creation of a new Iraqi security force and the avoidance of outright civil war.

Of the 136 troops who died in Iraq and the thousands injured, the general said that their deaths and wounds “were not in vain but rather suffered in the noble cause of a better future for Iraq and the region as a whole.”

‘India Was Ready to Strike Pakistan’

December 7, 2008

The Pakistani High Commissioner in London, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, says India was ready to launch a military strike on Pakistan in retaliation for the Mumbai terror attacks, Sky News reported.

Hassan said British and American officials had to intervene to prevent India from carrying out an attack.

Fox News

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, pictured in October, 2008. ... 
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
(AFP/File/Ng Han Guan)

“On the day of the Mumbai attacks, I got some information in London that India was going to act very drastically against Pakistan in retaliation to what happened,” Hassan told Sky News.

The senior diplomat alerted the Pakistani government and President Asif Ali Zardari to the threat.

In turn, Zardari urgently contacted high level British and American officials who intervened to calm the situation.

“The president spoke to people in various places and the next day Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke to Mr. Zardari and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to Shri Pranab Mukherjee, India’s external minister,” Hassan told Sky News. “It was probably because of that reason why the tension that was building up was eased a little.”

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,463126,00.html