Archive for the ‘terror’ Category

Losing Terror War? Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran

March 11, 2009
Defense Intelligence Agency chief Army Lt. Gen. Michael Maples tells senators during a Capitol Hill hearing that Al Qaeda has resurfaced in a country it was forced to flee seven years ago.
By Greg Miller
Los Angeles Times
March 11, 2009
Reporting from Washington — Al Qaeda has expanded its presence in Afghanistan, taking advantage of the sinking security situation to resurface in the country it was forced to flee seven years ago, the top U.S. military intelligence official testified Tuesday.

Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, described Al Qaeda’s efforts as one of the reasons for the Obama administration’s decision last month to order additional troops to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is no longer the haven for Al Qaeda that it was before the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. But in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Maples said, “I believe Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan is more significant, although still at a relatively minor scale, than we have seen in the past.”

Maples also cited intelligence indicating that Iran is playing a more active role in supporting a militant group based in Pakistan that is launching attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworl
d/world/la-fg-intel11-2009mar11,0,421
8559.story

Intelligence Officials Testify On National Security Threats 
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Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, left, and Defense Intelligence Agency chief Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples testify on Capitol Hill at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Maples said Al Qaeda has resurfaced in Afghanistan in a way not seen since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. Blair said the U.S. intelligence assessment is that Iran does not have any highly enriched uranium.  Alex Wong / Getty Images

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A progressive Presidency is a terrible thing to waste. It only comes around once every so often. Wouldn’t it be a shame if Americans’ hopes for the Obama Administration were squandered in Afghanistan?

See:
http://nasir-khan.blogspot.com/2009/03/c
an-congress-save-obama-from-afghan.html

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Official: 4 Guantanamo Prisoners Transferred to Iraq

February 9, 2009

A senior Iraqi security official says that four prisoners have been transferred from the U.S. military detention center in Guantanamo Bay to Iraqi custody.

The security official says the men, Iraqis who were arrested in Afghanistan, have been interrogated by Iraqi authorities.

The official, who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, added that one Iraqi remained in Guantanamo.

The family of one of the prisoners, Hassan Abdul Hadi al-Jawhar, says the International Red Cross confirmed to them their son had been released.

Neda Abdul Hadi, Hassan’s sister, said her brother disappeared in 1999 while doing military service and later they received a letter from him in 2004 saying he was in Guantanamo.

–Associated Press

Obama Told His Actions On Gitmo Could “jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror”

January 30, 2009

“We shouldn’t make policy decisions based on human rights and legal advocacy groups,” retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kurt Lippold said in a telephone interview. “We should consider what is best for the American people, which is not to jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror — or even more adversely impact the families who have already suffered losses as a result of the war.”

The former commander of the USS Cole, the American war ship that was struck by a suicide boat in Yemeni waters more than eight years ago, on Thursday slammed President Barack Obama’s orders to close the Guantanamo detention center and reassess the prisoners being held there.

By Carol Rosenberg
McClatchy Newspapers

Lippold also spoke about the trial….

Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.

Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2009/j
an/30/former-uss-cole-commander-slams-ob
ama-guantanamo/

Related from CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/0
1/29/cole.charges/index.html

Related:
Obama’s Unnecessary Muslim Apolo
gia; Misguided on al-Qaeda

Pakistan Against Terror: “deliberately not taking action or incapable”

January 28, 2009

Before America pumps a lot more money into Pakistan to fight terrorism, we Americans might consider the words of India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the issue of anti-terror action by Pakistan:

“Yes, one way you can make a differentiation that they are deliberately not doing or are incapable of doing. But as far as  India is concerned, the net impact is the same … the perpetrators are launching terror attacks from the territory of Pakistan,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

“The infrastructural facilities there (are) used by them (for) committing crimes in India, not necessarily in this case but in a large number of cases in the past,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera news channel.

Mukherjee said India expects the Pakistan government to act against the perpetrators of terror acts operating from Pakistani soil.

“We expect Pakistan to act. Whatever is to be done from our side we are doing so … but Pakistan has to act because the handlers and planners (of  Mumbai attacks) were from Pakistan,” he said.

Related:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Pak_incap
able_of_action_against_terror/articleshow/4044
627.cms

Pakistan Resisting Terror War But Wants U.S. Funding
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 Pakistan Hopes Obama Can Deliver Even Part of the Bush-Cheney Love (and Money)
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Pakistan’s President Continues Audition for Obama Attention, Funding, Support
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Pakistan Auditions For “New Start” in U.S. Policy, Funding From President Obama on CNN

Pentagon Says Many Former Gitmo Prisoners Return to Terror; Some Experts Don’t Agree

January 24, 2009

The Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community estimates that some 61 former Guantanamo Bay prisoners have returned to terrorist activities after their release.  Several reporters and intelligence experts disagree.

The Pentagon report, released days before President Obama took office, says 18 former Gitmo detainees are confirmed to have participated in terrorist attacks, and 43 are suspected to have been involved in attacks.

That figure would be about 11 percent of the roughly 520 prisoners who have been released from the Guantanamo facility.

President Barack Obama ordered the Gitmo prison closed just after he took office this week.

Several experts say the Pentagon has inflated the numbers of released prisoners known to have returned to terror activities.  Some say this number inflation is meant to influence policy…..

The issue really is: what if one man goes from prison back to mass killing and terror?

Realted:
Al-Qaeda, Gitmo Quandary: After Prison, Suppose Just One Terrorists Destroys Your Way of Life?

Detainee-turned-terrorist numbers raise eyebrows

Related:
Pentagon: 61 ex-Guantanamo inmates return to terrorism

From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/
24/gitmo.detainees/index.html

Embracing Terror, Suicide Belittles Islam

January 13, 2009

WELL-MEANING Western commentators make a grave error when they insist that Islamist terrorists want to drag the Muslim world back to the seventh century.

It’s much worse than that.

Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban and related fanatics really want to take their homelands (and the rest of the world) back beyond the era of Mohammed – to the grisly ancient days of human sacrifice.

The Prophet sought to purify the idolatrous devotions of his people, to do away with heartless desert cults. He felt the fervor of one living god and shared his illumination. The faith that arose in his wake had epochs of glory and eras of infamy, but it endured.

Now Islam is under assault from within, under attack from nominal Muslims who believe their vision supersedes that of Mohammed. They invoke the name of Allah but behave in the manner of ancient priests whose robes were drenched in blood.

Jordanian kids in terrorist garb at anti-Israel protest in Gaza. 

By Ralph Peters
The New York Post

What’s the meaning of those beheading videos and suicide bombings, the slaughter of fellow Muslims and the exploitation by pagan cults, such as Hamas, of masses of the faithful as human shields? Why stone 13-year-old girls to death? What’s this celebration of blood lust all about?

It’s about the threatened collapse of the Middle East back into an age of human sacrifice – the precise sort of gruesome travesty the Prophet inveighed against.

Today’s “Muslim” terrorists have nothing to do with Islam’s golden ages. They belong to the days of winged devil-gods and stone altars stinking of clotted human blood.

The true enemies of Islam aren’t Americans or Europeans or even Israelis, all of whom could not care less what backwater Middle Easterners call their god. The worst enemies of the Muslim faith are the butchers convinced that Allah demands that rivers of blood be shed to praise his name.

The reluctance of many Muslims to speak out against this travesty – this perversion – of their faith has various causes….

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/01132009/posto
pinion/opedcolumnists/blood_sacrifice_149872.htm

Pakistan is World Leader in Anti-Terror Fight — Musharraf

January 10, 2009

Pakistan has done more than any other nation in the global war against terrorism, former President Pervez Musharraf said, in defense of his country’s response to the attacks in Mumbai.

“Pakistan has lost a large number of security personnel and civilians in the fight against terrorism,” Musharraf said today in a televised interview from Islamabad. “The world community, including India and Pakistan, must fight the root of extremism and terrorism.”

By Farhan Sharif
Bloomberg

Ties between India and Pakistan have deteriorated since the Nov. 26-29 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that left 164 people dead. India and the U.S. have pressed for a thorough investigation of the attacks, and the government in Islamabad has confirmed that the surviving gunman is a Pakistani national.

Indian authorities say Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only one of 10 gunmen to survive the assault in Mumbai, told interrogators the attacks were planned and carried out by the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Until three days ago, Pakistan said there was no proof its nationals were involved.

Musharraf, an army general who seized power in a 1999 coup, turned Pakistan into an ally of the U.S. in its war against terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks. He quit as president in August to avoid impeachment by a civilian coalition government elected in February.

The Mumbai attacks interrupted the five-year peace process between the two South Asian nations, which have fought three wars since independence in 1947.

Indian Allegations

“I regret that all the developments on both sides for dialogue, peace and coordination built in the past over many years were washed out by one terror incident, which the people of both sides condemn,” Musharraf said, referring to the mounting tension between the two neighbors.

Pakistan has rejected Indian allegations the attackers received the support of official agencies in Pakistan and said such accusations could raise tensions. India is examining all options to stop border infiltration and prevent terrorist attacks, Defense Minister A.K. Antony said on Jan. 7.

“Pakistan’s forces and people have all the ability to defend the country,” Musharraf said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=asH0IVWuaIos

Obama Didn’t Want Man of Knowledge and Integrity at CIA

January 7, 2009

WOULD you ask your accountant to perform brain surgery on your child? That’s the closest analogy I can find to the choice of Democratic Party hack Leon Panetta to head the CIA.

Earth to President-elect Obama: Intelligence is serious. And infernally complicated. When we politicize it – as we have for 16 years – we get 9/11. Or, yes, Iraq.

The extreme left, to which Panetta’s nomination panders, howled that Bush and Cheney corrupted the intelligence system. Well, I worked in the intel world in the mid 1990s and saw how the Clinton team undermined the system’s integrity.

Al Qaeda a serious threat? The Clinton White House didn’t want to hear it. Clinton was the pioneer in corrupting intelligence. Bush was just a follow-on homesteader.

By Ralph Peters
New York Post

Now we’ve fallen so low that left-wing cadres can applaud the nomination of a CIA chief whose sole qualification is that he’s a party loyalist, untainted by experience.

The director’s job at the CIA isn’t a party favor. This is potentially a matter of life and death for thousands of Americans. But the choice of Panetta tells us all that Barack Obama doesn’t take intelligence seriously.

Mark my words: It’ll bite him in the butt.

After the military, the intel community is the most complex arm of government. You can’t do on-the-job training at the top. While a CIA boss needn’t be a career intelligence professional, he or she does need a deep familiarity with the purposes, capabilities, limitations and intricacies of intelligence.

Oh, and you’d better understand the intelligence bureaucracy.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), who was blindsided – and appalled – by the Obama mafia’s choice, has the essential knowledge of how the system works. She, or a similar expert, should have gotten this nod. But the president-elect wanted a clean-slate yes-man, not a person of knowledge and integrity….

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/01072009/post
opinion/opedcolumnists/an_awful_pick_148973.htm

Pros and Cons of Picking Panetta for CIA

January 7, 2009

There are, I suspect, quite a few jobs in government for which having no experience is not a liability. But few would list CIA director among them. Which is why Barack Obama‘s pick of Leon Panetta is causing so much consternation.

A former congressman, Mr. Panetta, 70, served as budget director and then as chief of staff in the Clinton administration. But he’s never spent a day in the intelligence community.

The outgoing chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa), and the incoming chairman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), are cool to the choice. Both Ms. Feinstein and Mr. Rockefeller had recommended deputy director Steven Kappes.

By Jack Kelly
Real Clear Politics

Mr. Obama originally had planned to tap John Brennan, who was head of the National Counterterrorism Center at the time of his retirement in 2005. But the rumored appointment ignited a storm of protest from left wingers who opposed the coercive interrogation techniques the CIA used on some high level al Qaida prisoners.

“The fact that I was not involved in the decision-making process for any of these controversial policies and actions has been ignored,” Mr. Brennan said in a Nov. 26 letter withdrawing his name.

By yielding to Mr. Brennan’s critics, Mr. Obama made it all but impossible to pick anyone who held a senior position in the intelligence community during the Bush administration, which may be why Mr. Kappes was passed over.

If you think it dangerous, at a time when we are engaged in two wars, to have a novice at the CIA, then you’re likely appalled by the Panetta nomination.

But if you think of the CIA as a rogue, dysfunctional agency that needs to be reined in, you may think Mr. Obama’s choice is inspired.

Many of those worried about Mr. Panetta have an outdated view of the importance of the CIA. After 9/11 a huge new layer of bureaucracy was imposed on the intelligence community. This was mostly stupid, because there was too much bureaucracy already. But it made the CIA much less important.

Most of the intelligence we gather is collected by the National Security Agency, through its electronic eavesdropping, and by the satellite photos taken by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

The CIA essentially got out of the HUMINT (human intelligence) business when the Clinton administration slashed its budget in the early 1990s. Most of such little intelligence as the CIA now gathers comes from interrogation of prisoners. But most prisoner interrogations are done by the military.

The CIA does still have its analysis branch, which has missed most of the major developments of the last 20 years. And analysis work has been migrating to the various multi-agency intelligence centers established after 9/11.

The real head cheese is the Director of National Intelligence. For DNI, Mr. Obama has selected retired Admiral Dennis Blair. He’s a former commander of Pacific Command and a former associate director of the CIA, a Rhodes scholar who once water-skied behind the destroyer he was commanding. Admiral Blair doesn’t need Mr. Panetta’s advice on intelligence matters.

But as a skilled bureaucratic infighter whose loyalty will be to the president and not to the CIA, Mr. Panetta may be, thinks Michael Ledeen, just the right guy “to watch Obama’s back at a place that’s full of stilettos and a track record for attempted presidential assassination second to none.”

Because I think the CIA requires wholesale reform, I think better of the Panetta nomination than most other commentators do. But I have two huge concerns.

It was Mr. Panetta, as President Clinton’s budget director, who gutted our HUMINT capability. And Mr. Panetta’s eagerness to define anything that makes terrorists uncomfortable as “torture” means we’ll be getting precious little information from future interrogations.

Mr. Obama is taking a big chance. If there is a successful terrorist attack on the U.S. during his watch, this is the appointment that will doom his presidency.

 

London 2012 Olympics ‘Vulnerable to Terrorist Attack’

December 15, 2008

John Patten, a former Home Office minister and an advisor to the British Olympic Association, has warned that inadequate security procedures have left London 2012 venues vulnerable to terrorist attack.

By Paul Kelso
The Telegraph (UK)
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Patten, who was a Cabinet minister in the last Conservative government and served as Northern Ireland secretary said that the Olympic Park site in east London is already vulnerable to terrorists who could plant smart bombs in the foundations of venues currently under construction.

Writing in the latest edition of The Spectator, Patten, who is a member of the BOA’s advisory board, claims that well-placed sources have told him the Olympic project is suffering from a lack of security planning.

Patten claims that the acrimonious departure of Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, who was overseeing Olympic security before he sued the force claiming racial equality, has hindered the project.

London 2012 'vulnerable to terrorist attack'

Centre of attraction: an artist’s impression of the London 2012 stadium now under construction and which could be vulnerable to attack

He also suggests that the key agencies involved in organising security are bickering over who takes the lead role, undermining confidence in the entire project.

“In an age of determined and technologically sophisticated incremental terrorism, the Met and the Security Services must overcome everything from highly unfortunate public rows over employment discrimination affecting key officers involved to more private inter-agency rivalries,” Patten writes.

“Forget about policing crowds in 2012, pipework and brickwork is being laid now which is vulnerable to smart devices that can lurk latent until 2012. At least one person from that world tells me that there is no real integrated concept of operations yet. Someone or somebody must provide that focus and work with a semi-detached Home Secretary.”

Patten’s observations, part of a wide-ranging critique of the project, will fuel concerns already expressed that security planning is behind schedule.

Earlier this year, the Public Accounts Committee warned that security master-planning for the project was behind schedule.

The Home Office is working on a strategy document and had planned to put it to the Olympic board before the end of the year. It is expected to unveil its plans in the new year.

When questioned on the issue by The Daily Telegraph last month, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was satisfied that the total security budget of £838 million would be sufficient to cover the final bill, but declined to comment on details of the plan.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/london
2012/3703883/London-2012-vulnerable-to-terrorist-attack.html