Archive for the ‘Islamist’ Category

Israel: Ground Attack Tonight?

January 2, 2009

Israel is launching a ground attack into Gaza tonight (January 2-3, 2009) according to an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) representative.

International voices have been calling for a cease-fire by Israel but Hamas has been launching and continues to fire rockets into Israel, which is provoking the Israeli leadership to launch the attack, we are told.

The aircraft attacks by Israel into Gaza continued well past sunset tonight for the first time since the air campaign began.
.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday a “durable and sustainable” cease-fire was needed to end the violence.

“We are working toward a cease-fire that would not allow a re-establishment of the status quo,” she said after meeting with President Bush at the White House.

The Bush-Rice meeting at the White House could have been as a result of Israel telling its key ally that the ground attack would commence soon….

Israeli soldiers stand on tanks at a staging area near Israel's ... 
Israeli soldiers stand on tanks at a staging area near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008. Israeli aircraft kept up a relentless string of assaults on Hamas-ruled Gaza on Tuesday, smashing a government complex, security installations and the home of a top militant commander as thousands of Israeli ground troops, backed by tanks and artillery, massed along the border, waiting for a signal to attack.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Despite its use of precision weapons, Israel has been urged to further reduce civilian injuries and deaths inside Gaza.

A United Nations agency said the civilian death toll in Gaza was over 25 percent of the total killed in the violence. A leading Palestinian human rights group put it at 40 percent.

Israel made a big show during the last few days of allowing humanitarian supplies into Gaza and removing neutral civilians from Gaza….
.
Gaza is now a disaster area, with sewage sytems opened and the risk of disease on the rise.

CNN reported that Robert Serry, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said during a video news conference that much of Gaza’s infrastructure has been destroyed.

“Protection of civilians, the fabric of Gaza, the future of the peace process and regional stability — all are trapped between the irresponsibility of Hamas rocket attacks and the excessiveness of Israel’s response,” he said from Jerusalem.

Related:
 Gaza: Israel’s Nuclear Site Within Hamas Rocket Range? Civilians Flee

 “Making a Lot of Martyrs”: Where’s Israel’s Ground Assault? Are Objectives Clear?

CNN:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090102/t
s_nm/us_palestinians_israel

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/meast/01/02/israel.gaza/index.html

AP:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090102/a
p_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_mideast

Israeli soldiers stand on their tanks in a deployment area near ... 
Israeli soldiers stand on their tanks in a deployment area near the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip. Israel has thousands of troops massed for a ground offensive on Gaza that would aim to deal a hammer blow to Hamas and re-establish Israel’s military credentials with its other foes, experts said.(AFP/Menahem Kahana)

*****************

By The Times (UK)

Israel is poised to launch a major ground offensive into Gaza tonight after allowing hundreds of foreigners living in the devastated territory to evacuate.

After a week of air strikes that have killed at least 420 Palestinians and left scores of buildings in rubble, the Israeli army was set to fling hundreds of troops and tanks into a blitz to stamp out Hamas’s military wing, The Times understands.

Despite the looming onslaught, more Hamas rockets – which have so far killed four Israelis – were fired into southern Israel today.

The Islamist group vowed that its attacks, which have lasted for years and which finally provoked the massive Israeli campaign, would not stop.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol
/news/world/middle_east/article
5434559.ece

******************

Egypt has urged Israel against launching a ground offensive against the Gaza Strip and is in contact with Hamas to seek an end to the week- long onslaught of the territory, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit has sent a message to his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni urging the Jewish state “to abstain from launching ground operations (into Gaza),” a statement said.

AFP

The message sent through the Egyptian ambassador to Tel Aviv also asked that Israel put an immediate end to its military operations against the territory, it added.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said in the statement that Egypt was in talks with leaders of the  Hamas movement which control Gaza about ” ceasefire proposals.”

Israel has called up reserves for an expected ground incursion into Gaza, which analysts say would sharply increase casualties among both Palestinians and Israelis.

India: (Slighly Veiled) Threat To Pakistan

December 21, 2008

India is keeping ‘open’ the option of a military strike on Pakistani soil even as the two hotels attacked in Mumbai reopened their doors.

By Rahul Bedi in Mumbai
As the Taj Mahal Palace hotel and the nearby Trident-Oberoi invited guests through their doors following the attacks that killed more than 170 people, the Indian government made clear that it held Pakistan responsible.

Related:
Pakistan: Outsiders Need Not Speculate on Terror, Mumbai: “Irresponsible”

India To Pakistan: “Military Option Still On The Table”

“Terrorism remains a scourge for our region. If a country [Pakistan] cannot keep the assurances that it has given, then it obliges us to consider the entire range of options that exist to protect our interests and people from this menace,” said Pranab Mukherjee, the Indian foreign minister.

Mr Mukherjee and the defence minister A K Antony met India’s three service chiefs and senior security officials on Saturday to consider all possible scenarios against their nuclear rival and neighbour, which they believe has given shelter to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamist group accused of masterminding the Mumbai attacks.

Guests have already begun to trickle into the Trident, with about 100 of the 550 rooms booked and all four restaurants operational for the first full day of business in just over three weeks.

Earlier a private, multi-faith ceremony “to pray for solace and a safer future in the days ahead” was held at the hotel.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india
/3884110/India-threatens-Pakistan-as-Mumbai-hot
els-reopen.html

China Launching First Long-Range Naval Mission Since 15th Century

December 18, 2008

China is considering sending ships to fight pirates off the Horn of Africa in what would be the country’s first significant long-range naval combat mission since the 15th century.

Senior Colonel Huang Xueping, spokesman for China’s ministry of national defence, told the FT an anti-piracy mission was “still in the consideration stage”. But he said: “There will be an announcement very soon.”

The Saudi oil tanker Sirius Star is anchored off the coast of ... 
The Saudi oil tanker Sirius Star is anchored off the coast of Somalia in November 2008. Somalia’s insurgent Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys on Tuesday urged pirates to release a giant Saudi oil tanker and other foreign vessels being held in Somali waters.(AFP/US Navy)
.
Since late October, more than 30 ships have been attacked by pirates based in Somalia and up to 19 vessels captured. These include a Chinese fishing vessel with 30 crew seized off the coast of Yemen on Tuesday.

It was freed on Wednesday by a “multilateral force”, according to Xinhua, the official news agency.

The UN Security Council on Tuesday authorised states to conduct land and air attacks on pirate bases in Somalia. This follows the sending by Nato of ships to accompany World Food Programme vessels. The European Union, India, Russia and the US have also sent ships and helicopters on anti-piracy missions to the area.

By Kathrin Hille
FT

Beijing in recent years has tried to placate foreign fears over its military expansion by claiming it is pursing a “peaceful rise” as a power. Other than for a 2002 global tour and a handful of port calls to the US and Europe over the past decade, China’s navy has not ventured far out to sea since the 15th century voyages around the world undertaken by Zheng He, the country’s most famous explorer. But the country is increasing military spending at 15-20 per cent a year and the US and Japan believe it is developing a blue-water navy.

Chinese guided missile destroyer Qingdao
China has an extensive navy

A senior defence official told the FT in November that China wanted eventually to be able to add aircraft carriers to its navy, although he emphasised Beijing would “not use [an aircraft carrier] to pursue global deployment or global reach”.

Any Chinese anti-piracy operation is expected to be small and observers doubt Beijing would be comfortable taking part in a bigger international operation if it carried a significant risk of combat, even under a UN mandate.

Related:
China Says Navy Force to Fight Somali Pirates

Read the rest:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7a085f8e
-cc70-11dd-acbd-000077b07658.html

French marine commandos carry out an anti-piracy drill. Somali ... 
French marine commandos carry out an anti-piracy drill. Somali pirates have freed a Yemeni cargo ship captured 10 days ago, a minister in the country’s breakaway Puntland region said Wednesday.(AFP/File/Gerard Julien)

What We Know About Mumbai Terrorists: Mad Dogs Off The Leash

December 3, 2008

In Mumbai, it is now apparent that the terrorists that struck the hotels and other sites, killed nearly 200, tortured Jewish prisoners before putting them to death, and threw around hand grenades indiscriminately, were not your grandparents terrorists.

Because the Indian police captured one terrorist alive and a wealth of material and forensic evidence, we know several facts about the Mumbai terrorists:

–The surviving terrorist has told authorities he and the others were trained in Pakistan by the Islamist militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

–The terrorists were well armed with modern, first-rate automatic weapons and hand grenades.

–They used every conceivable modern technology to assist them in their deadly task: cell phones, GPS, Blackberries, text messaging and other tools were found.

–They had prepared physically and mentally for a long siege.  The dead terrorists are “beefy” well muscled men who seem to have worked out physically for months recently. There is some evidence that the terrorists used steroids.

–The susviving terrorist has spoken about mental and Islamic readiness and the fact that none of the terrorists had any fear of death.

–The terrorist, though Islamic fanatics, used cocaine, LSD and other drugs to assist them to stay awake and “one the edge.” Syringes, paraphernalia, and steroids were found on some of the terrorists.

–At least one terrorist wore a shirt bearing the Versace logo; a kind of Muslim taboo.  The use of the logo indicates that these men are unafraid to embrace what some Muslims consider “decadent.” 

The wearing of the “decadent” logo might seem a small, seemingly unimportant fact. But it could be evidence, combined with the drug use and other evidence, that these terrorist are unencumbered by any religious, cultural,  moral or other restrictions.

A criminal psychologist schooled in terrorism told Peace and Freedom, “these are mad dogs off the leash.”

Related:
Mumbai Terror Survivor Bought Cheap and Promised Pay “Dead or Alive” By Pakistan Handlers

This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with ... 
This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with a “Versace” logo carrying an automatic weapon as he enters a train station in Mumbai, late November 26. The man, Ajmal Amir Kamal, 21, is being interrogated in a safe house in Mumbai, reports said.(AFP/NDTV/File)