[HI, GUYS...I AM SORTA BACK.
Still recovering from some pretty major surgery...8hrs. Things will return to normal shortly.==Peter.]
TAKING A BREAK IN POSTING—————
things will return to normal as soon as I am able.–Peter
Still recovering from some pretty major surgery...8hrs. Things will return to normal shortly.==Peter.]
things will return to normal as soon as I am able.–Peter
According to CSR, in a society growing distrust of the Russian president Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin
Russia is waiting for a heavy political crisis, which is comparable with the end of 1980, according to a report of the Center for Strategic Studies, “The political crisis in Russia and possible mechanisms for its development.”
According to analysts of CSR, the political crisis in the society has already begun, but so far resides in latent form and may soon move into the open.CSR experts say the growing legitimacy of the decline of Russian power in general and the general mistrust of its two key figures – President Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin.
This thesis is the report’s authors – the president of the fund CSR Mikhail Dmitriev and Director of Economic and Social Research CSR Sergei Belanovsky – underpin sociological research center, as well as an analysis of survey results of leading Russian sociological companies – VTsIOM, Levada Center and FOM.
In CSR, referring to its own case studies, notes that recently “a growing trend growth rate” Vote for some third party, not for Dmitry Medvedev or Vladimir Putin. “
“If the trends of confidence in the authorities to maintain the stability at least over the next 10-15 months, Russia will face a political crisis. It is possible that, by its intensity, this crisis will exceed the period of the late 1990′s and came close to the era of the late 1980′s. ”
Even in the official data of the leading sociological services, the report says, is decreasing ratings of various branches of government.
Thus, according to research by Public Opinion Foundation, from May 2009 to March 2011 balance (minus rating of confidence rating of mistrust) for Dmitry Medvedev, was minus 12 points for Vladimir Putin – minus 21, and for the party “United Russia” – minus 18.
“Dynamics of the ratings is virtually the same and for the president and prime minister, and for United Russia.” This means that the emerging trend applies not to a particular person, and the political regime as a whole, indicating that during its delegitimizing ” – the report says.
In this case, the authors say, if the “trend of confidence in the authorities to maintain the stability” at least over the next 10-15 months, “in its intensity, this crisis will exceed the period of the late 1990′s and came close to the era of the late 1980′s. “
To prevent the development of the crisis, experts suggest to the structural reform of higher echelons of power.
Among the proposed measures – the rejection of attempts at any price to achieve a parliamentary majority for United Russia and the formation of a coalition government after the elections. “
In addition, CSR doubted the possibility of a democratic election of any of the ‘ruling tandem, “and the use of administrative resources, according to the authors of the document, will lead to more emergency deligitimizatsii power.
True, specific advice and guidance in this part of the report does not contain.Noted only that “as a result of the process of delegitimizing authorities receive additional acceleration, and the new Russian president would actually be unable to effectively perform their functions objectively very difficult situation.”
Report of the Center for Strategic Studies released a couple of weeks after a similar publication of the Institute of Contemporary Development “ PressUncovering the future. Strategy 2012. Abstract .
In the analytical paper INSOR addressed to the future president, offered to return the elections at all levels of the political system, including the election of governors, to discontinue the practice of “management of democracy, free outdoor activity and abolition of censorship on the federal TV channels.
The authors do not hide that would like to see the provisions of this document became the basis of pre-election program of Dmitry Medvedev, if he would run for the next election.
In the leadership of the Party “United Russia” offers the institute, the board of trustees which is headed by Medvedev himself, Presscalled a provocation . EP seen in “an artificial model, which has no relation to real life.”
Immediately after the publication of the report INSOR with big political statement was made first vice-premier of Russia Igor Shuvalov.
Speaking at the forum “Russia and the world: in search of innovative strategies in Moscow, he said that Russia should take place a considerable transformation of the society, but the Press, without any political upheavals , these events in Egypt and other Arab countries, and especially more without a change of government.
Plumes of Cesium 137, Iodine 131, and Xenon 133, have reached the United States as of March 23, 2011.Higher plumes, reaching 5000 meters (15,000 feet) are forecast to reach Portugal, Spain, and central europe.All animations are from professional forecasting services. Links are below.
The radiation flow, forecast and shown by these several models… tells the tale of the isotopes coming our way… .. it will be up to you to decide if you should go outside during the time these clouds are over the USA, Canada, and Mexico…radiation forecasting links:
…thanks to youtube user androdameia for the below EUROPE radiation monitoring link:
spain radiation link:
http://www.blackcatsystems.com/RadMap/map.htmlhttp://www.epa.gov (click on radiation update)
dutch radiation monitoring:
swiss radiation monitoring:
Finland radiation monitoring:
French radiation monitoring: (thanks to youtube user: RehKurts ! )
jet stream forecasting:
“The presence of two such high-ranking Guantanamo graduates in the new Yemen-based al Qaeda is certainly ground for questioning.”
by F. William Engdahl*
On December 25 US authorities arrested a Nigerian named Abdulmutallab aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on charges of having tried to blow up the plane with smuggled explosives. Since then reports have been broadcast from CNN, the New York Times and other sources that he was “suspected” of having been trained in Yemen for his terror mission. What the world has been subjected to since is the emergence of a new target for the US ‘War on Terror,’ namely a desolate state on the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen. A closer look at the background suggests the Pentagon and US intelligence have a hidden agenda in Yemen.
For some months the world has seen a steady escalation of US military involvement in Yemen, a dismally poor land adjacent to Saudi Arabia on its north, the Red Sea on its west, the Gulf of Aden on its south, opening to the Arabian Sea, overlooking another desolate land that has been in the headlines of late, Somalia. The evidence suggests that the Pentagon and US intelligence are moving to militarize a strategic chokepoint for the world’s oil flows, Bab el-Mandab, and using the Somalia piracy incident, together with claims of a new Al Qaeda threat arising from Yemen, to militarize one of the world’s most important oil transport routes. In addition, undeveloped petroleum reserves in the territory between Yemen and Saudi Arabia are reportedly among the world’s largest.
The 23-year-old Nigerian man charged with the failed bomb attempt, Abdulmutallab, reportedly has been talking, claiming he was sent on his mission by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen. This has conveniently turned the world’s attention on Yemen as a new center of the alleged Al Qaeda terror organization.
Notably, Bruce Riedel, a 30-year CIA veteran who advised President Obama on the policy leading to the Afghan troop surge, wrote in his blog of the alleged ties of the Detroit bomber to Yemen, “The attempt to destroy Northwest Airlines Flight 253 en route from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day underscores the growing ambition of al Qaeda’s Yemen franchise, which has grown from a largely Yemeni agenda to become a player in the global Islamic jihad in the last year…The weak Yemeni government of President Ali Abdallah Salih, which has never fully controlled the country and now faces a host of growing problems, will need significant American support to defeat AQAP.” 
Some basic Yemen geopolitics
Before we can say much about the latest incident, it is useful to look more closely at the Yemen situation. Here several things stand out as peculiar when stacked against Washington’s claims about a resurgent Al Qaeda organization in the Arabian Peninsula.
In early 2009 the chess pieces on the Yemeni board began to move. Tariq al-Fadhli, a former jihadist leader originally from South Yemen, broke a 15 year alliance with the Yemeni government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and announced he was joining the broad-based opposition coalition known as the Southern Movement (SM). Al-Fadhli had been a member of the Mujahideen movement in Afghanistan in the late 1980’s. His break with the government was reported in Arab and Yemeni media in April 2009. Al-Fadhli’s break with the Yemen dictatorship gave new power to the Southern Movement (SM). He has since become a leading figure in the alliance.
Yemen itself is a synthetic amalgam created after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, when the southern Peoples’ Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) lost its main foreign sponsor. Unification of the northern Yemen Arab Republic and the southern PDRY state led to a short-lived optimism that ended in a brief civil war in 1994, as southern army factions organized a revolt against what they saw as the corrupt crony state rule of northern President Ali Abdullah Saleh. President Saleh has held a one-man rule since 1978, first as President of North Yemen (the Yemen Arab Republic) and since 1990 as President of the unified new Yemen. The southern army revolt failed as Saleh enlisted al-Fadhli and other Yemeni Salafists, followers of a conservative interpretation of Islam, and jihadists to fight the formerly Marxist forces of the Yemen Socialist Party in the south.
Before 1990 Washington and the Saudi Kingdom backed and supported Saleh and his policy of Islamization as a bid to contain the communist south.  Since then Saleh has relied on a strong Salafist-jihadi movement to retain a one-man dictatorial rule. The break with Saleh by al-Fadhli and his joining the southern opposition group with his former socialist foes marked a major setback for Saleh.
Soon after al-Fadhli joined the Southern Movement coalition, on April 28, 2009 protests in the southern Yemeni provinces of Lahj, Dalea and Hadramout intensified. There were demonstrations by tens of thousands of dismissed military personnel and civil servants demanding better pay and benefits, demonstrations that had been taking place in growing numbers since 2006. The April demonstrations included for the first time a public appearance by al-Fadhli. His appearance served to change a long moribund southern socialist movement into a broader nationalist campaign. It also galvanized President Saleh, who then called on Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council states for help, warning that the entire Arabian Peninsula would suffer the consequences.
Complicating the picture in what some call a failed state, in the north Saleh faces an al-Houthi Zaydi Shi’ite rebellion. On September 11, 2009, in an Al-Jazeera TV interview, Saleh accused Iraq’s Shi’ite opposition leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, and also Iran, of backing the north Yemen Shi’ite Houthist rebels in an Al-Jazeera TV interview. Yemen’s Saleh declared, “We cannot accuse the Iranian official side, but the Iranians are contacting us, saying that they are prepared for a mediation. This means that the Iranians have contacts with them [the Houthists], given that they want to mediate between the Yemeni government and them. Also, Muqtada al-Sadr in al-Najaf in Iraq is asking that he be accepted as a mediator. This means they have a link.” 
Yemen authorities claim they have seized caches of weapons made in Iran, while the Houthists claim to have captured Yemeni equipment with Saudi Arabian markings, accusing Sana’a (the capital of Yemen and site of the US Embassy) of acting as a Saudi proxy. Iran has rejected claims that Iranian weapons were found in north Yemen, calling claims of support to the rebels as baseless. 
What about al-Qaeda?
The picture that emerges is one of a desperate US-backed dictator, Yemen’s President Saleh, increasingly losing control after two decades as despotic ruler of the unified Yemen. Economic conditions in the country took a drastic downward slide in 2008 when world oil prices collapsed. Some 70% of the state revenues derive from Yemen’s oil sales. The central government of Saleh sits in former North Yemen in Sana’a, while the oil is in former South Yemen. Yet Saleh controls the oil revenue flows. Lack of oil revenue has made Saleh’s usual option of buying off opposition groups all but impossible.
Into this chaotic domestic picture comes the January 2009 announcement, prominently featured in select Internet websites, that al-Qaeda, the alleged global terrorist organization created by the late CIA-trained Saudi, Osama bin Laden, has opened a major new branch in Yemen for both Yemen and Saudi operations.
Al Qaeda in Yemen released a statement through online jihadist forums Jan. 20, 2009 from the group’s leader Nasir al-Wahayshi, announcing formation of a single al Qaeda group for the Arabian Peninsula under his command. According to al-Wahayshi, the new group, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, would consist of his former al Qaeda in Yemen, as well as members of the defunct Saudi al Qaeda group. The press release claimed, interestingly enough, that a Saudi national, a former Guantanamo detainee (Number 372), Abu-Sayyaf al-Shihri, would serve as al-Wahayshi’s deputy.
Days later an online video from al-Wahayshi appeared under the alarming title, “We Start from Here and We Will Meet at al-Aqsa.” Al-Aqsa refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem that Jews know as Temple Mount, the site of the destroyed Temple of Solomon, which Muslims call Al Haram Al Sharif. The video threatens Muslim leaders — including Yemeni’s President Saleh, the Saudi royal family, and Egyptian President Mubarak — and promises to take the jihad from Yemen to Israel to “liberate” Muslim holy sites and Gaza, something that would likely detonate World War III if anyone were mad enough to do it.
Also in that video, in addition to former Guantanamo inmate al-Shihri, is a statement from Abu-al-Harith Muhammad al-Awfi, identified as a field commander in the video, and allegedly former Guantanamo detainee 333. As it is well-established that torture methods are worthless to obtain truthful confessions, some have speculated that the real goal of CIA and Pentagon interrogators at Guantanamo prison since September 2001, has been to use brutal techniques to train or recruit sleeper terrorists who can be activated on command by US intelligence, a charge difficult to prove or disprove. The presence of two such high-ranking Guantanamo graduates in the new Yemen-based al Qaeda is certainly ground for questioning.
Al Qaeda in Yemen is apparently anathema to al-Fadhli and the enlarged mass-based Southern Movement. In an interview, al-Fadhli declared, “I have strong relations with all of the jihadists in the north and the south and everywhere, but not with al-Qaeda.”  That has not hindered Saleh from claiming the Southern Movement and al Qaeda are one and the same, a convenient way to insure backing from Washington.
According to US intelligence reports, there are a grand total of perhaps 200 al Qaeda members in southern Yemen. 
Al-Fadhli gave an interview distancing himself from al Qaeda in May 2009, declaring, “We [in South Yemen] have been invaded 15 years ago and we are under a vicious occupation. So we are busy with our cause and we do not look at any other cause in the world. We want our independence and to put an end to this occupation.”  Conveniently, the same day, al Qaeda made a large profile declaring its support for southern Yemen’s cause.
On May 14, in an audiotape released on the internet, al-Wahayshi, leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, expressed sympathy with the people of the southern provinces and their attempt to defend themselves against their “oppression,” declaring, “What is happening in Lahaj, Dhali, Abyan and Hadramaut and the other southern provinces cannot be approved. We have to support and help [the southerners].” He promised retaliation: “The oppression against you will not pass without punishment… the killing of Muslims in the streets is an unjustified major crime.” 
The curious emergence of a tiny but well-publicized al Qaeda in southern Yemen amid what observers call a broad-based popular-based Southern Movement front that eschews the radical global agenda of al Qaeda, serves to give the Pentagon a kind of casus belli to escalate US military operations in the strategic region.
Indeed, after declaring that the Yemen internal strife was Yemen’s own affair, President Obama ordered air strikes in Yemen. The Pentagon claimed its attacks on December 17 and 24 killed three key al Qaeda leaders but no evidence has yet proven this. Now the Christmas Day Detroit bomber drama gives new life to Washington’s “War on Terror” campaign in Yemen. Obama has now offered military assistance to the Saleh Yemen government.
Somali Pirates escalate as if on cue
As if on cue, at the same time CNN headlines broadcast new terror threats from Yemen, the long-running Somalia pirate attacks on commercial shipping in the same Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea across from southern Yemen escalated dramatically after having been reduced by multinational ship patrols.
On December 29, Moscow’s RAI Novosti reported that Somali pirates seized a Greek cargo vessel in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia’s coast. Earlier the same day a British-flagged chemical tanker and its 26 crew were also seized in the Gulf of Aden. In a sign of sophisticated skills in using western media, pirate commander Mohamed Shakir told the British newspaper The Times by phone, “We have hijacked a ship with [a] British flag in the Gulf of Aden late yesterday.” The US intelligence brief,Stratfor, reports that The Times, owned by neo-conservative financial backer, Rupert Murdoch, is sometimes used by Israeli intelligence to plant useful stories.
The two latest events brought a record number of attacks and hijackings for 2009. As of December 22, attacks by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the east coast of Somalia numbered 174, with 35 vessels hijacked and 587 crew taken hostage so far in 2009, almost all successful pirate activity, according to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center. The open question is, who is providing the Somali “pirates” with arms and logistics sufficient to elude international patrols from numerous nations?
Notably, on January 3, President Saleh got a phone call from Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in which he briefed president Saleh on latest developments in Somalia. Sheikh Sharif, whose own base in Mogadishu is so weak he is sometimes referred to as President of Mogadishu Airport, told Saleh he would share information with Saleh about any terror activities that might be launched from Somali territories targeting stability and security of Yemen and the region.
The Oil chokepoint and other oily affairs
The strategic significance of the region between Yemen and Somalia becomes the point of geopolitical interest. It is the site of Bab el-Mandab, one of what the US Government lists as seven strategic world oil shipping chokepoints. The US Government Energy Information Agency states that “closure of the Bab el-Mandab could keep tankers from the Persian Gulf from reaching the Suez Canal/Sumed pipeline complex, diverting them around the southern tip of Africa. The Strait of Bab el-Mandab is a chokepoint between the horn of Africa and the Middle East, and a strategic link between the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean.” 
Bab el-Mandab, between Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Oil and other exports from the Persian Gulf must pass through Bab el -Mandab before entering the Suez Canal. In 2006, the Energy Department in Washington reported that an estimated 3.3 million barrels a day of oil flowed through this narrow waterway to Europe, the United States, and Asia. Most oil, or some 2.1 million barrels a day, goes north through the Bab el-Mandab to the Suez/Sumed complex into the Mediterranean.
An excuse for a US or NATO militarization of the waters around Bab el-Mandab would give Washington another major link in its pursuit of control of the seven most critical oil chokepoints around the world, a major part of any future US strategy aimed at denying oil flows to China, the EU or any region or country that opposes US policy. Given that significant flows of Saudi oil pass through Bab el-Mandab, a US military control there would serve to deter the Saudi Kingdom from becoming serious about transacting future oil sales with China or others no longer in dollars, as was recently reported by UK Independent journalist Robert Fisk.
It would also be in a position to threaten China’s oil transport from Port Sudan on the Red Sea just north of Bab el-Mandab, a major lifeline in China’s national energy needs.
In addition to its geopolitical position as a major global oil transit chokepoint, Yemen is reported to hold some of the world’s greatest untapped oil reserves. Yemen’s Masila Basin and Shabwa Basin are reported by international oil companies to contain “world class discoveries.”  France’s Total and several smaller international oil companies are engaged in developing Yemen’s oil production. Some fifteen years ago I was told in a private meeting with a well-informed Washington insider that Yemen contained “enough undeveloped oil to fill the oil demand of the entire world for the next fifty years.” Perhaps there is more to Washington’s recent Yemen concern than a rag-tag al Qaeda whose very existence as a global terror organization has been doubted by seasoned Islamic experts.
Tokyo : A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Miyagi prefecture and its vicinity in northeastern Japan Monday morning, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The agency issued a tsunami alert for the Pacific coast of the prefecture following the quake, which occurred at 7. 24 a.m. (local time) However, the tsunami alert was lifted at 9.05 a.m., Xinhua reported.
The quake’s focus was 80 km east of Oshika Peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake’s epicentre was some 161 km east- northeast of Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, located in the Tohoku region on the island of Honshu, and 368 km northeast of Tokyo. It occurred at 7.23 a.m. local time Monday (2223 GMT Sunday), at a depth of 5.9 kilometres
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the Monday’s quake.
On March 11, the Miyagi prefecture and other neighbouring regions were struck by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake off the coast and ensuing tsunami, which killed over 10,000 people and caused severe damage and huge property loss.
The toll from the March 11 quake and ensuing tsunami stood at 10,489 Sunday, while 16,621 people were listed as missing, DPA reported police as saying.
[If they were any kind of real military threat, they would have organized such a defensive investigative unit, months, or years ago.]
Lashkar-e-Khorasan will identify and execute those suspected of working for the CIA.
Known as Lashkar-e-Khorasan (LeKh), the group’s only purpose is to identify, capture and execute people allegedly working for what is described as a web of local spies created by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The Lashkar draws it strength from both the Haqqani network and the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group — two militias that control the regions along the Afghan border, which the US describes as the most dangerous place on Earth.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) led by Hakimullah Mehsud also has its sympathies and what is described as occasional “active cooperation” with the Lashkar.
Though the exact number of members in LeKh is unknown, one source in the tribal areas said it was more than 300.
The regions where the cell works are Datta Khel, Miramshah and Mir Ali town of North Waziristan, as well as surrounding areas where US drone strikes have been frequent.
The vigilance cell was set up for the first time last year by top commanders of the groups, both having a tacit peace understanding with the Pakistan military operating in nearby South Waziristan. The military operation in South Waziristan aims to root out homegrown Taliban striking inside the country.
“In the beginning, it was a loose network with members casually going out and trying to find out who is providing information to the US,” an associate of one of the groups explained to The Express Tribune. “It is more organised now and they are working scientifically on the counter-intelligence line.”
An intelligence official at Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi and several local sources from Mir Ali and Miramshah also confirmed the existence and activities of the Lashkar, but appeared unaware of its structure.
In 2010, the US stepped up its drone campaign in the mountainous border regions to eliminate what officials in Washington called high-value targets including top leadership of al Qaeda and their local facilitators.
The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated by the US military stationed in Afghanistan to eradicate Taliban militants struck inside Pakistani border areas more than 100 times in 2010 alone, killing some al Qaeda fugitives, but mostly targeting civilians.
Though American officials do not comment on the drone campaign publicly, it is commonly known that the predator hits a mechanical chip on the ground that spies allegedly place at Taliban hideouts. [SEE: Paramilitary Pretense, Who Controls the Predators?--ed.]
“The LeKh is working to find out who exactly does that and how Americans are able to find out where the mujahideen (militants) are holding a meeting or which vehicle they are travelling on,” the affiliate of Bahadur group added.
Once a suspect is caught “spying” he is taken to a Taliban court or Darul Qaza where judges or Qazis ask him to explain his position. If proved guilty, the person is executed immediately.
Two months ago, the LeKh was behind the beheading of almost half a dozen motor mechanics in Mir Ali after US officials changed their policy of hitting compounds and instead started targeting moving target or vehicles with Taliban leaders on board.
The mechanics, mostly from nearby Bannu district, became a prey of LeKh’s outrage after they were blamed for placing chips in a Taliban Hilux car to make them a target for US drone strikes.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2011.
Doha : Qatar has declined reports that the Gulf Arab emirate had seized two Iranian ships loaded with weapons.
Qatar News Agency in a statement from the interior ministry said reports on stopping two Iranian ships with weapons on board in the territorial waters of Qatar were baseless, Xinhua reported.
A Kuwaiti newspaper said Sunday two boats from Iran were stopped in Qatar’s territorial waters, but provided no further details.
Tensions in the oil-rich Gulf region were mounting as opposition protesters who staged month-long rallies in the tiny island nation of Bahrain.
By TCN Special Correspondent,
New Delhi: University students held demonstration in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in New Delhi today, in solidarity with Arab uprising, and against Saudi brutal invasion in Bahrain on Friday. The protest was organized under the banner of Indian People’s Solidarity with Arab Uprising
“We hail the people’s upsurge against US/Saudi puppet dictatorships in Bahrain. The Hamad AL Khalifa’s dictatorial regime is facing an unprecedented challenge from the people of Bahrain and we condemn such type of regimes,” said one of the protesters from JNU.
Protest before Saudi Embassy Against Bahrain Invasion
“This is a historic moment, and all progressive and democratic voices across the world join the protesters in solidarity with not just Bahrain, but several other countries like Libya, Yemen and Saudi Arabia where people are now revolting against anti-people puppet regimes supported by the US,” said Saira Mujtaba, a student of MCRC Jamia Millia Islamia.
After protest a delegation of the students met Saudi officials and submitted their resolution demanding complete withdrawal of Saudi forces from Bahrain and Yemen.
It is to be noted that the Hamad AL Khalifa regime, which has consistently been backed by the US, Israel and Saudi Arab, is facing an unprecedented challenge from the people of Bahrain. People are braving tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and truncheons every single day. The regime has also tried to quell the movement by shutting down internet services, a key organizing tool of the protests.
[Later that day, or the next, the factory blew up, killing at least 40 people, who were scavenging through for weapons and ammunition.]
Yemenis anti-government protesters demonstrating in Sanaa yesterday as embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh said he does not want to cling on to power. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP
Islamic militants seized control of a weapons factory, a strategic mountain and a nearby town in the southern Yemen province of Abyan yesterday as a political stalemate in the capital causes security to unravel around the country.
The fragile nation has been rocked by weeks of mass protests against the long-serving president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who refuses to step down.
Mr Saleh’s fate is of deep concern to the US as he is a key ally in the fight against al Qaeda, but with his attention on massive anti-government protests in the capital, security has declined in the provinces.
Residents of the southern Abyan province said police reduced their presence in towns weeks ago. Elsewhere, residents have pushed out police and soldiers and set up their own local militias for self defence.
In the areas they took over, the militants set up checkpoints around the small factory and in the town of al-Husn, patrolling the streets and searching cars.
They also seized control of a nearby Khanfar mountain that holds a radio station and a presidential guest house, said Ali Dahmash, an expert on Islamic militant groups who lives nearby.
Residents in the nearby town of Jaar, which was seized by the militants yesterday, said they heard gunfire, but the scope of the battle wasn’t immediately clear.
The area lies close to the southern port town of Aden.
In another province of Yemen, security officials say suspected al Qaeda gunmen killed seven soldiers and wounded seven others in an attack on a military post. The attack took place at Ubaida area in the central Marib province, another province where the militant group is active and only under nominal government control.
Al Qaeda has seized control of towns in southern Yemen before, but in the past was vigorously confronted by security forces loyal to Mr Saleh.
The instability highlights the unraveling security situation throughout Yemen as a stalemate ensues between the country’s president of 32 years and hundreds of thousands of citizens who want him to leave power.
They have camped in cities and towns for weeks, demanding his removal, inspired by the wave of people power sweeping the Middle East. After forces to Mr Saleh opened fire on demonstrators last week, killing over 40, the protesters’ ranks were bolstered by a series of high-level officials from the country’s military, diplomatic corps and civil servants, including the president’s former chief adviser, Ali Mohsen.
But Mr Saleh refuses to step down immediately, saying it would draw the country into a long civil war. He has offered to resign at the end of the year after setting new elections.
BOSTON—Radiation from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan is showing up in rain in the United States.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said Sunday that very low concentrations of radioiodine-131 that were likely from the Japanese power plant severely damaged by the earthquake and tsunami earlier this month have been detected in a sample of rainwater. Officials did not say where the sample was taken.
The agency said the sample was taken in the past week and is one of more than 100 around the country. It is part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency network that monitors for radioactivity.
State officials say similar testing was done in other states, including California, Pennsylvania and Washington, and showed comparable levels of I-131 in rain.
Officials also say there is no health impact to drinking water supplies, but will continue to monitor
“The drinking water supply in Massachusetts is unaffected by this short-term, slight elevation in radiation,” said John Auerbach, commissioner of public health.
I-131 has a short duration, lasting eight days, officials said. In addition, finding concentrations of I-131 in rainwater samples is significantly higher than in a lake or pond because falling water is diluted, officials said. As a result, health officials do not expect health concerns.
Testing last week of samples from the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs showed no detectable levels of I-131, health officials said.
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. directed the Department of Environmental Protection to collect additional samples for testing from several water bodies across Massachusetts Sunday. Results will be available over the next several days.
Mounting problems, including badly miscalculated radiation figures and inadequate storage tanks for huge amounts of contaminated water, stymied emergency workers Sunday as they struggled to bring Japan’s nuclear complex back from the edge of disaster. Workers were trying to remove the radioactive water from the nuclear compound and restart the regular cooling systems for the dangerously hot fuel.
Company officials initially reported that radiation in leaking water in the Unit 2 reactor was 10 million times above normal, but they later said the huge number was miscalculated.
Nevada and other western states have reported minuscule amounts of radiation are showing up, but scientists say there is no health risk.
Air raid on territory kills two members of Islamic Jihad, group vows retaliation
BEERSHEBA, Israel: Israel deployed a long-anticipated rocket shield outside the Gaza Strip Sunday, shortly after an Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinians, but stressed the initial deployment was experimental.
The positioning of Iron Dome just north of Beersheba, a southern city twice hit by rockets during this month’s flare-up of cross-border violence, was described by the military as an “acceleration” of the system’s scheduled field evaluations.
But officials were quick to point out the system could not yet provide complete protection against the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza.
“Israel has been under missile threat for 20 years, since the  Gulf War. I do not want to foster the illusion that Iron Dome, which we are deploying today for the first time, will provide a complete or comprehensive answer,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet.
“Iron Dome is still in the experimental stage and we do not have the possibility of deploying batteries to protect every home, school, base and installation,” he added.
The Israeli airstrike on Gaza Sunday threatened to prompt more tit-for-tat attacks a day after fighters committed to calm if Israel reciprocated.
“Two Palestinians were killed and another wounded Sunday morning in an Israeli air raid on targets east of Jabaliya,” said Gaza emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Selmiya.
Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigade, claimed the men as its own and said it would respond to the “crime” against them.
“The lives of our martyrs will not be wasted,” a statement said. “We will answer this crime against our mujahedeen in the right time and place.”
An army spokeswoman said “an air force plane attacked … a terrorist cell that was preparing to fire a rocket at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip.”
Hamas later issued a statement that made no mention of the incident, but repeated a call for calm agreed with Islamic Jihad and other factions at a meeting Saturday.
“We appreciate the agreement of the Palestinians factions committing to calm and call on all the fighters in the field to implement the agreement without any violations,” the statement said of the deal, reached after a week of attacks on Israel and Israeli airstrikes that killed eight Palestinians.
At Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said “Israel won’t accept this [rocket] fire and will continue to act to foil it with whatever means are needed … This morning, too, we hit a cell that was preparing a launch against Israel. We have no interest in escalating the incidents and it is important to allow [Israeli citizens] to live their normal lives.”
Before the Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said Israel “will not tolerate an attack on its civilians.”
“In the past two weeks there have been elements that have been trying to violate the calm and security. We have no interest in escalating the situation, but will not hesitate employing the [army] against anyone who attacks our people,” he said.
Following Saturday’s meeting, Khader Habib, an Islamic Jihad leader, told AFP that “everybody confirmed they respect the national consensus by calming things with the Zionist enemy.”
But he said this “depends on the nature of Israeli behavior, and we insist on the need to respond immediately to each escalation by the occupiers.”
Firing radar-guided missiles from a truck-sized launcher, Iron Dome is designed to track and blow up incoming threats in mid-air. Its development was stepped up after the 2006 Lebanon war and defense officials say it has aced several live trials. So far, Israel has acquired just two batteries and no decision has been made yet on where to deploy the second unit.
Brig. Gen. Doron Gavish, Israel’s air defense chief, said whatever lull ensued was irrelevant to Iron Dome planning. “We will carry out our evaluations regardless,” he told reporters.
“Regrettably, the way things look now, we will be required to provide our services for a long time hence.”
He would not comment on the protective radius provided by the Beersheba battery. But its positioning suggested it could cover Sderot, an Israeli town on the Gaza border that has borne the brunt of almost a decade of mortar bomb and rocket attacks.
According to Gavish, each unit can be dismantled and ferried out “within hours,” allowing for mobile responses over a large swathe of territory.
Elsewhere, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held positive talks Saturday in the West Bank with Hamas officials to discuss efforts to reconcile his Fatah party with Hamas, sources on both sides said. –Agencies
Peter Dale Scott’s Libyan Notebook
Updated March 27, 2011
The world is facing a very unpredictable and potentially dangerous situation in North Africa and the Middle East. What began as a memorable, promising, relatively nonviolent achievement of New Politics – the Revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt – has morphed very swiftly into a recrudescence of old habits: America, already mired in two decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sporadic air attacks in Yemen and Somalia, now bombing yet another Third World Country, in this case Libya.
USS Barry launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn in the Mediterranean Sea, March 19, 2011. US government handout
The initially stated aim of this bombing was to diminish Libyan civilian casualties. But many senior figures in Washington, including President Obama, have indicated that the US is gearing up for a quite different war for regime change, one that may well be protracted and could also easily expand beyond Libya.1 If it does expand, the hope for a nonviolent transition to civilian government in Tunisia and Egypt and other Middle East nations experiencing political unrest, may be lost to a hard-edged militarization of government, especially in Egypt. All of us, not just Egyptians, have a major stake in seeing that that does not happen.
The present article does not attempt to propose solutions or a course of action for the United States and its allies, or for the people of the Middle East. It attempts rather to examine the nature of the forces that have emerged in Libya over the last four decades that are presently being played out.
To this end I have begun to compile what I call my Libyan Notebook, a collection of relevant facts that underlie the present crisis. This Notebook will be judgmental, in that I am biased towards collecting facts that the US media tend to ignore, facts that are the product in many instances of investigative reporting that cuts to the heart of power relations, deep structures, and economic interests in the region including the US, Israel, and the Arab States as these have played out over the last two decades and more. But I hope that it will be usefully objective and open-ended, permitting others to draw diverse conclusions from the same set of facts.2
I wish to begin with two ill-understood topics: I. Who Are the Libyan Opposition, and II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms Coming From?
I. Who Are the Libyan Opposition
“If Muammar Al Gaddafi behaved paranoid, it was for good reason. It wasn’t long after he reached the age of 27 and led a small group of junior military officers in a bloodless coup d’état against Libyan King Idris on September 1, 1969, that threats to his power and life emerged – from monarchists, Israeli Mossad, Palestinian disaffections, Saudi security, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL), the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO), British intelligence, United States antagonism and, in 1995, the most serious of all, Al Qaeda-like Libyan Islamic fighting group, known as Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya. The Colonel reacted brutally, by either expelling or killing those he feared were against him.”3
Gaddafi and Nasser in a 1969 Photo.Getty image
2) National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL)
“With the aim of overthrowing Libyan strongman Muammar Khadafy, Israel and the U.S. trained anti-Libyan rebels in a number of West and Central African countries. The Paris-based African Confidential newsletter reported on January 5th, 1989, that the US and Israel had set up a series of bases in Chad and other neighboring countries to train 2000 Libyan rebels captured by the Chad army. The group, called The National Front for the Salvation of Libya, was based in Chad.”4
“US official records indicate that funding for the Chad-based secret war against Libya also came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Israel and Iraq. The Saudis, for instance, donated $7m to an opposition group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (also backed by French intelligence and the CIA). But a plan to assassinate Gadafi and take over the government on 8 May 1984 was crushed. In the following year, the US asked Egypt to invade Libya and overthrow Gadafi but President Mubarak refused. By the end of 1985, the Washington Post had exposed the plan after congressional leaders opposing it wrote in protest to President Reagan.”5
“The FNSL [National Front for the Salvation of Libya] was part of the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition held in London in 2005, and British resources are being used to support the FNSL and other ‘opposition’ in Libya…. The FNSL held its national congress in the USA in July 2007. Reports of ‘atrocities’ and civilian deaths are being channeled into the western press from operations in Washington DC, and the opposition FNSL is reportedly organizing resistance and military attacks from both inside and outside Libya.”6
3) National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO),
“The main group leading the insurrection is the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition which includes the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL). The NFSL, which is leading the violence, is a U.S.-sponsored armed militia of mostly Libyan expatriates and tribes opposed to al-Qaddafi.”7
4) Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, LIFG)
“The LIFG was founded in 1995 by a group of mujahideen veterans who had fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Upon their return to Libya they grew angry about what they viewed as the corruption and impiety of the Libyan regime and formed the LIFG to create a state that would show what they believed to be the true character of the Libyan people.
The most significant LIFG attack was a 1996 attempt to assassinate Gadhafi; LIFG members led by Wadi al-Shateh threw a bomb underneath his motorcade. The group also stages guerilla-style attacks against government security forces from its mountain bases. Although most LIFG members are strictly dedicated to toppling Gadhafi, intelligence reportedly indicates that some have joined forces with al-Qaida to wage jihad against Libyan and Western interests worldwide. ….
As recently as February 2004, then-Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that “one of the most immediate threats [to U.S. security] is from smaller international Sunni extremist groups that have benefited from al-Qaida links. They include … the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.”8
“In recent days Libyan officials have distributed security documents giving the details of Sufiyan al-Koumi, said to be a driver for Osama bin Laden, and of another militant allegedly involved in an “Islamic emirate” in Derna, in now-liberated eastern Libya. Koumi, the documents show, was freed in September 2010 as part of a “reform and repent” initiative organised by Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s son….
The LIFG, established in Afghanistan in the 1990s, has assassinated dozens of Libyan soldiers and policemen. In 2009, to mark Gaddafi’s 40 years in power, it apologised for trying to kill him and agreed to lay down its arms. MI6 [British Intelligence] has been accused in the past of supporting it. Six LIFG leaders, still in prison, disavowed their old ways and explained why fighting Gaddafi no longer constituted “legitimate” jihad. Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, another freed LIFG member, denied the official claims. “Gaddafi is trying to divide the people,” he told al-Jazeera. “He claims that there is an Islamist emirate in Derna and that I am its emir. He is taking advantage of the fact that I am a former political prisoner.”
Derna is famous as the home of a large number of suicide bombers in Iraq. It is also deeply hostile to Gaddafi. “Residents of eastern Libya in general, and Derna in particular, view the Gaddadfa (Gaddafi’s tribe) as uneducated, uncouth interlopers from an inconsequential part of the country who have ‘stolen’ the right to rule in Libya,” US diplomats were told in 2008, in a cable since released by WikiLeaks.
The last 110 members of the LIFG were freed on 16 February, the day after the Libyan uprising began. One of those released, Abdulwahab Mohammed Kayed, is the brother of Abu Yahya Al Libi, one of al Qaida’s top propagandists. Koumi fled Libya and is said to have ended up in Afghanistan working for Bin Laden. Captured in Pakistan, he was handed over to the US and sent to Guantánamo Bay in 2002. In 2009 he was sent back to Libya.9 US counter-terrorist experts have expressed concern that al-Qaida could take advantage of a political vacuum if Gaddafi is overthrown. But most analysts say that, although the Islamists’ ideology has strong resonance in eastern Libya, there is no sign that the protests are going to be hijacked by them.10
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Members released
“Fierce clashes between [Qadhafi's] security forces and Islamist guerrillas erupted in Benghazi in September 1995, leaving dozens killed on both sides. After weeks of intense fighting, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) formally declared its existence in a communiqué calling Qadhafi’s government “an apostate regime that has blasphemed against the faith of God Almighty” and declaring its overthrow to be “the foremost duty after faith in God.”  This and future LIFG communiqués were issued by Libyan Afghans who had been granted political asylum in Britain…. The involvement of the British government in the LIFG campaign against Qadhafi remains the subject of immense controversy. LIFG’s next big operation, a failed attempt to assassinate Qadhafi in February 1996 that killed several of his bodyguards, was later said to have been financed by British intelligence to the tune of $160,000, according to ex-MI5 officer David Shayler.  While Shayler’s allegations have not been independently confirmed, it is clear that Britain allowed LIFG to develop a base of logistical support and fundraising on its soil. At any rate, financing by bin Laden appears to have been much more important. According to one report, LIFG received up to $50,000 from the Saudi terrorist mastermind for each of its militants killed on the battlefield.” 11
“Americans, Britons and the French are finding themselves as comrades in arms with the rebel Islamic Fighting Group, the most radical element in the Al Qaeda network [to bring down Gaddhafi]. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted the risks of the unholy alliance in a congressional hearing, saying that the Libyan opposition is probably more anti-American than Muammar Gaddhafi. A decade ago, this very same delusion of a Western-Islamist partnership in Kosovo, Bosnia and Chechnya ended abruptly in the 9/11 attacks.”12
5) Transitional National Council
“A RIVAL transitional government to the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi looks set to win US and other international support as momentum builds to oust the longtime dictator.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed yesterday that the Obama administration was reaching out to opponents of Colonel Gaddafi. She said the US was willing to offer ‘any kind of assistance’ to remove him from power.
Protest leaders who have taken control in Libya’s eastern cities claim to have established a transitional “national council” that amounts to rival rule. They have called on the country’s army to join them as they prepare for an attack on the capital, Tripoli, where the Libyan leader retains control.
Confident the Libyan leader’s 42-year rule was coming to an end, Mrs Clinton said yesterday: ‘We are just at the beginning of what will follow Gaddafi.’”13
“He [Omar El- Hariri, Chief of Armed Forces for the Transitional National Council] remained under close surveillance by the security forces until Feb. 17, when the revolution started. It was not initiated by prominent figures of the older generation, he said, but began spontaneously when Tunisia and Egypt inspired the youth. ‘Children of Facebook!’ he declared, in English, with a broad smile.”14
“Libyan rebels in Benghazi said they have created a new national oil company to replace the corporation controlled by leader Muammar Qaddafi whose assets were frozen by the United Nations Security Council.
The Transitional National Council released a statement announcing the decision made at a March 19 meeting to establish the ‘Libyan Oil Company as supervisory authority on oil production and policies in the country, based temporarily in Benghazi, and the appointment of an interim director general” of the company.
The Council also said it “designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”15
Peter Dale Scott’s Libyan Notebook
II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms Coming From?
Robert Fisk, “Libya in turmoil: America’s secret plan to arm Libya’s rebels;
Obama asks Saudis to airlift weapons into Benghazi,” Independent, March 7, 2011:
“Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a “day of rage” from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington’s highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.
Washington’s request is in line with other US military co-operation with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 ….
But the Saudis remain the only US Arab ally strategically placed and capable of furnishing weapons to the guerrillas of Libya. Their assistance would allow Washington to disclaim any military involvement in the supply chain – even though the arms would be American and paid for by the Saudis.
The Saudis have been told that opponents of Gaddafi need anti-tank rockets and mortars as a first priority to hold off attacks by Gaddafi’s armour, and ground-to-air missiles to shoot down his fighter-bombers.
Supplies could reach Benghazi within 48 hours but they would need to be delivered to air bases in Libya or to Benghazi airport. If the guerrillas can then go on to the offensive and assault Gaddafi’s strongholds in western Libya, the political pressure on America and Nato – not least from Republican members of Congress – to establish a no-fly zone would be reduced.
US military planners have already made it clear that a zone of this kind would necessitate US air attacks on Libya’s functioning, if seriously depleted, anti-aircraft missile bases, thus bringing Washington directly into the war on the side of Gaddafi’s opponents.
For several days now, US Awacs surveillance aircraft have been flying around Libya, making constant contact with Malta air traffic control and requesting details of Libyan flight patterns, including journeys made in the past 48 hours by Gaddafi’s private jet which flew to Jordan and back to Libya just before the weekend.
Officially, Nato will only describe the presence of American Awacs planes as part of its post-9/11 Operation Active Endeavour, which has broad reach to undertake aerial counter-terrorism measures in the Middle East region.
US Awacs monitor Libya
The data from the Awacs is streamed to all Nato countries under the mission’s existing mandate. Now that Gaddafi has been reinstated as a super-terrorist in the West’s lexicon, however, the Nato mission can easily be used to search for targets of opportunity in Libya if active military operations are undertaken.
Al Jazeera English television channel last night broadcast recordings made by American aircraft to Maltese air traffic control, requesting information about Libyan flights, especially that of Gaddafi’s jet.
An American Awacs aircraft, tail number LX-N90442 could be heard contacting the Malta control tower on Saturday for information about a Libyan Dassault-Falcon 900 jet 5A-DCN on its way from Amman to Mitiga, Gaddafi’s own VIP airport.
Nato Awacs 07 is heard to say: “Do you have information on an aircraft with the Squawk 2017 position about 85 miles east of our [sic]?”
Malta air traffic control replies: “Seven, that sounds to be Falcon 900- at flight level 340, with a destination Mitiga, according to flight plan.”
But Saudi Arabia is already facing dangers from a co-ordinated day of protest by its own Shia Muslim citizens who, emboldened by the Shia uprising in the neighbouring island of Bahrain, have called for street protests against the ruling family of al-Saud on Friday.
After pouring troops and security police into the province of Qatif last week, the Saudis announced a nationwide ban on all public demonstrations.
Shia organisers claim that up to 20,000 protesters plan to demonstrate with women in the front rows to prevent the Saudi army from opening fire.
If the Saudi government accedes to America’s request to send guns and missiles to Libyan rebels, however, it would be almost impossible for President Barack Obama to condemn the kingdom for any violence against the Shias of the north-east provinces.
Thus has the Arab awakening, the demand for democracy in North Africa, the Shia revolt and the rising against Gaddafi become entangled in the space of just a few hours with US military priorities in the region. “16
“Libya rebels coordinating with West on air assault,” Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2011
“Reports from the region suggest that the Saudis and Egyptians have been providing arms. Though U.S. officials could not confirm that, they say it is plausible.”17
“Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2011:
“CAIRO-Egypt’s military has begun shipping arms over the border to Libyan rebels with Washington’s knowledge, U.S. and Libyan rebel officials said.
The shipments-mostly small arms such as assault rifles and ammunition-appear to be the first confirmed case of an outside government arming the rebel fighters. Those fighters have been losing ground for days in the face of a steady westward advance by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
The Egyptian shipments are the strongest indication to date that some Arab countries are heeding Western calls to take a lead in efforts to intervene on behalf of pro-democracy rebels in their fight against Mr. Gadhafi in Libya. Washington and other Western countries have long voiced frustration with Arab states’ unwillingness to help resolve crises in their own region, even as they criticized Western powers for attempting to do so.
The shipments also follow an unusually robust diplomatic response from Arab states. There have been rare public calls for foreign military intervention in an Arab country, including a vote by the 23-member Arab League last week urging the U.N. to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.
The vote provided critical political cover to Western powers wary of intervening militarily without a broad regional and international mandate. On Thursday evening, the U.N. Security Council voted on a resolution endorsing a no-fly zone in Libya and authorizing military action in support of the rebels.
Within the council, Lebanon took a lead role drafting and circulating the draft of the resolution, which calls for “all necessary measures” to enforce a ban on flights over Libya. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have taken the lead in offering to participate in enforcing a no-fly zone, according to U.N. diplomats.
Libyan rebel officials in Benghazi, meanwhile, have praised Qatar from the first days of the uprising, calling the small Gulf state their staunchest ally. Qatar has consistently pressed behind the scenes for tough and urgent international action behind the scenes, these officials said.
Qatari flags fly prominently in rebel-held Benghazi. After pro-Gadhafi forces retook the town of Ras Lanuf last week, Libyan state TV broadcast images of food-aid packages bearing the Qatari flag.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters in Benghazi
The White House has been reluctant to back calls from leaders in Congress for arming Libya’s rebels directly, arguing that the U.S. must first fully assess who the fighters are and what policies they will pursue if they succeeded in toppling Col. Gadhafi. U.S. officials believe the opposition includes some Islamist elements. They fear that Islamist groups hostile to the U.S. could try to hijack the opposition and take any arms that are provided.
The Egyptian weapons transfers began ‘a few days ago’ and are ongoing, according to a senior U.S. official. ‘There’s no formal U.S. policy or acknowledgement that this is going on,’ said the senior official. But ‘this is something we have knowledge of.’
Calls to Egypt’s foreign ministry and the spokesman for the prime minister seeking comment went unanswered. There is no means of reaching Egypt’s military for comment. An Egyptian official in Washington said he had no knowledge of weapon shipments.
The U.S. official also noted that the shipments appeared to come “too little, too late” to tip the military balance in favor of the rebels, who have faced an onslaught from Libyan forces backed by tanks, artillery and aircraft.
“We know the Egyptian military council is helping us, but they can’t be so visible,” said Hani Souflakis, a Libyan businessman in Cairo who has been acting as a rebel liaison with the Egyptian government since the uprising began.
“Weapons are getting through,” said Mr. Souflakis, who says he has regular contacts with Egyptian officials in Cairo and the rebel leadership in Libya. “Americans have given the green light to the Egyptians to help. The Americans don’t want to be involved in a direct level, but the Egyptians wouldn’t do it if they didn’t get the green light.”
Western officials and rebel leaders in Libya said the U.S. has wanted to avoid being seen as taking a leadership role in any military action against Mr. Gadhafi after its invasions of Iraq and Afganistan fueled anger and mistrust with Washington throughout the region.
But the U.S. stated clearly it wants Mr. Gadhafi out of power and has signaled it would support those offering help to the rebels militarily or otherwise.
A spokesman for the rebel government in Benghazi said arms shipments have begun arriving to the rebels but declined to specify where they came from.
“Our military committee is purchasing arms and arming our people. The weapons are coming, but the nature of the weapons, the amount, where it’s coming from, that has been classified,” said the spokesman, Mustafa al-Gherryani.
The U.S. official said Egypt wanted to keep the shipments covert. In public, Egypt has sought to maintain a neutral stance toward the rebel uprising in Libya. Egypt abstained during the Arab League’s vote calling for the U.N. to impose a no-fly zone on Mr. Gadhafi, according to people familiar with the internal Arab League deliberations.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian laborers are believed to still be in Libya.
On the other hand, the Egyptian military’s covert support for the rebels suggests that it has calculated that Mr. Gadhafi is unlikely to remain in power, at least in the eastern half of the country, and therefore Egypt is eager to begin to build good relations with the rebels.
Rebel forces in the past 24 hours appeared to make some progress fending off pro-Gadhafi forces’ assaults and have rolled out new weapons for the first time since the uprising began last month. Among them are rebel tanks that have taken up positions on the front lines in recent days. Rebels also launched fighter-jet attacks on government positions on Wednesday for the first time so far.
The tanks and fighter jets are believed to have been among the weapons seized by rebels from defected units of the Libyan army in the eastern half of the country, but they have received spare parts or trained mechanics from outside the country to help them deploy them, some rebel officials have speculated.
-Sam Dagher and Adam Entous contributed to this article.18
Benjamin Gottlieb, “Egypt Arms Libyan Rebels As Gaddafi’s Conquest Continues,” NeonTommy Annenberg Digital News, March 17, 2011:
Arms shipments from Egypt’s military have begun flowing across the border into Libya with U.S. knowledge, Libyan rebels and U.S. officials said Thursday.
Made up mostly of small arms, such as assault rifles and ammunition, the shipments are the first confirmed reports of an outside government supporting rebel fighters with weapons. Rebels have been loosing ground for days against pro-Gaddafi forces aiming to end the conflict before foreign intervention plans are finalized.
Although the U.N. approved a “no-fly zone” over Libya late Thursday, rebel forces fear that any planned foreign intervention would be too little to late.
The shipment of arms indicated an unusually bold response by an Arab nation intervening in a conflict outside its borders. There have also been rare public decrees for the West to intervene in the conflict – the Arab League voted 23-0 last week encouraging the U.N. to impose the “no-fly zone” over Libya.
In spite of reports of arms flowing across the Egyptian boarder, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Menha Bakhoum told Reuters that Egypt would not be involved in any military intervention in neighboring Libya.
“Egypt will not be among those Arab states. We will not be involved in any military intervention. No intervention period,” Bakhoum said.
Bakhoum was responding to comments by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said Thursday that discussions were on the table regarding Arab involvement in U.S. and European intervention in the conflict.
Clinton has said repeatedly that the U.S. desires involvement from a neighboring Arab nation in any planned intervention.
A Libyan rebel government spokesman in Benghazi, Mustafa al-Gherryani, said rebels have begun receiving arms shipments from neighboring nations, however he declined to reveal their origin.
“Our military committee is purchasing arms and arming our people. The weapons are coming, but the nature of the weapons, the amount, where it’s coming from, that has been classified,” he said.19
Yoichi Shimatsu, “Mideast Revolutions and 9-11 Intrigues Created in Qatar,” New America Media, March 1, 2011
“It may puzzle and perhaps dismay young protesters in Benghazi, Cairo and Tunisia that their democratic hopes are being manipulated by an ultra-conservative Arab elite which has underhandedly backed a surge of militant Islamist radicals across North Africa. Credible U.S. intelligence reports have cited evidence pointing to Qatar’s long-running support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and jihadist fighters returning from Afghanistan.
The links to Qatar uncovered by anti-terrorism investigators in the wake of 9-11 need to be reexamined now that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an on-and-off affiliate of Al Qaeda, has seized armories across half of the North African country. Libya’s well-stocked arsenals contain high-power explosives, rocket launchers and chemical weapons. LIFG is on the State Department’s terrorist list.
Most worrying, according to a U.S. intelligence official cited by CNN, is the probable loss of chemical weapons. The Federation of American Scientists reports that, as of 2008, only 40 percent of Libya’s mustard gas was destroyed in the second round of decommissioning. Chemical canisters along the Egyptian border were yet to be retrieved and are now presumably in the hands of armed militants.
After initially letting slip that the earliest Libyan protests were organized by the LIFG, Al Jazeera quickly changed its line to present a heavily filtered account portraying the events as ‘peaceful protests’. To explain away the gunshot deaths of Libyan soldiers during the uprising, the Qatar-based network presented a bizarre scenario of 150 dead soldiers in Libya having been executed by their officers for ‘refusing to fight’. The mysterious officers then miraculously vacated their base disappearing into thin air while surrounded by angry protesters! Off the record, one American intelligence analyst called these media claims an ‘absurdity’ and suggested instead the obvious: that the soldiers were gunned down in an armed assault by war-hardened returned militants from Iraq and Afghanistan….
According to a Congressional Research Service report of January 2008, ‘Some observers have raised questions about possible support for Al Qaeda by some Qatari citizens, including members of Qatar’s large ruling family. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Qatar’s Interior Minister provided a safe haven to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed during the mid-1990s, and press reports indicate other terrorists may have received financial support or safe haven in Qatar after September 11, 2001.’
The national security chief, Interior Minister Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani, is further mentioned as paying for a 1995 trip by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed ‘to join the Bosnia jihad.’ The report recalls how after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, FBI officials “narrowly missed an opportunity to capture” the suspect in Qatar. ‘Former U.S. officials have since stated their belief that a high-ranking member of the Qatari government alerted him to the impending raid, allowing him to flee the country.’”20
Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2011:
“Reporting from Washington-
Despite fears that Islamic extremists may be playing a hidden role in the rebellion against Moammar Kadafi, the U.S. intelligence community has found no organized presence of Al Qaeda or its allies among the Libyan opposition, American officials say.
A U.S. intelligence-gathering effort that began shortly after anti-Kadafi forces started seizing towns in eastern Libya last month has not uncovered a significant presence of Islamic militants among the insurgents.
‘We’re keeping an eye out for extremist activity in Libya, but we haven’t seen much, if any, to date,’ said a U.S. counter-terrorism official. A Defense official added that the U.S. had not seen a direct link between the opposition and extremists.”21
New York Times, March 7, 2011:
This fiercely independent port city on the Mediterranean coast, once the center of a simmering Islamist insurgency in the 1990s, is now branded by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi as an Islamic emirate infiltrating his embattled country….
But Darnah offers a more complex reality: a mélange where secular currents are intersecting with religious ones, drawn together by nationalist opposition to Colonel Qaddafi’s four decades of often bizarre rule. This old Barbary port, with a reputation as one of Libya’s most pious cities and, in the words of a WikiLeaks cable, a “wellspring for foreign fighters in Iraq,” suggests a more nuanced picture of what role militant Islam may play in a city and country fumbling to forge a body politic in a land without one….
Here, leaders of tribes like the Obeidat, Zliten, Tajjoura and Misratah already exercise authority, along with judges and a three-member council: Mr. Abu Rashed, a judge and a former diplomat, all secular figures.
Other than them, only the Muslim Brotherhood and more militant strands thought to number in the hundreds show signs of organization, many having forged bonds in prison or fighting the government in the 1990s. One of those men is Abdul-Hakim al-Hasidi, who fought for five years in Afghanistan, ended up in Colonel Qaddafi’s jails for four years and now, with hundreds of armed men, runs the defenses of Darnah and its hinterland.
He helps run much of the city’s rump bureaucracy as well, drawing on a formidable talent for logistics recognized by many in the town.22
Daily Telegraph [London] March 25, 2011:
“In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited ‘around 25′ men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are ‘today are on the front lines in Adjabiya.
Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters ‘are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,’ but added that the ‘members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader’.
His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad’s president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, ‘including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries’.
Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against ‘the foreign invasion’ in Afghanistan, before being ‘captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan’. He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008.
US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which killed dozens of Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996.”23
Wikileaks Cable extract “Die Hard in Derna,” June 2, 2008:
“Rejecting the idea that Derna was uniformly extremist, xxxxxxxxxxxx and his business partner described the town as being divided between religiously conservative and secular residents. A “large number” of Derna’s citizens were not happy about the increasingly conservative religious atmosphere that had prevailed since the 1980′s, he claimed. Elaborating, al-Mansuri attributed adherence to more extreme iterations of Islam to “unnatural foreign influences” on religious practices in Derna. A number of Libyans who had fought and in some cases undergone “religious and ideological training” in Afghanistan, Lebanon and the West Bank in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s had returned to eastern Libya, including Derna, in the mid to late 1980′s. Claiming their return was “not coincidental”, he described a deliberate, coordinated campaign to propagate more conservative iterations of Islam, in part to prepare the ground for the eventual overthrow by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) of Muammar Qadhafi’s regime, which is “hated” by conservative Islamists. (Note: After taking pains to curry favor with the ‘ulema’ in Libya in the years immediately after the 1969 revolution, Qadhafi broke with them in the late 1970′s, criticizing aspects of Islam as “un-revolutionary”. Although he renewed efforts to cultivate Muslim leaders in the 1990′s, deep suspicions remain….)…. Most young men watched a mix of al-Jazeera news, religious sermons and western action films on English language satellite channels broadcast from the Gulf. The result was a heady mixture of violence, religious conservatism and hatred of U.S. policy in Iraq and Palestine. The consensus view in Derna is that the U.S. blindly supports Israel and has invaded Iraq to secure oil reserves and position itself to attack Iran, he said. He dismissed P/E Chief’s attempts to clarify U.S. policy, stressing that most people base their judgments on information they receive from satellite television and at the mosque. PRIDE IN DERNA’S HISTORY AS A TOWN OF FIGHTERS 11. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx attributed the flow of foreign fighters from Derna in part to local pride in the town’s reputation as a historical locus of resistance to occupation. While many of the town’s citizens were uncomfortable with the town’s increasingly conservative Islamist bent, the fact that young men from Derna traveled to Iraq in disproportionate numbers to fight against coalition forces was viewed through a different lens. Not everyone liked the “bearded ones” (a reference to conservative imams) or their message, xxxxxxxxxxxx said, but the duty of a Muslim in general – and of a son of Derna in particular – was to resist occupation of Muslim lands through jihad. “It’s jihad – it’s our duty, and you’re talking about people who don’t have much else to be proud of.” Derna’s residents might take issue with attempts to ban smoking or restrict social activities, but there was consensus on “basic issues” like jihad. Depictions on al-Jazeera of events in Iraq and Palestine fueled the widely-held view in Derna that resistance to coalition forces was “correct and necessary”.24
Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. His most recent book is American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan.
His website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.
Recommended citation: Peter Dale Scott, “Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?,” The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 13 No 3, March 28, 2011.
1 “Defense Secretary Gates, who recently warned against any further protracted US ground war, said on March 23 that the end of military action in Libya is unknown and could last longer than a few weeks. ‘I think there are any number of possible outcomes here and no one is in a position to predict them,’ Gates told reporters in Egypt” (C-Span, March 24, 2011).
2 Interested readers may wish to consult my first exploration, “Googling ‘Revolution’ in North Africa.”
3 Dan Lieberman, “Muammar Al Gaddafi Meets His Own Rebels,”CounterCurrents.org, March 9, 2011.
4 Joel Bainerman, Inside the Covert Operations of the CIA & Israel’s Mossad(New York: S.P.I. Books, 1994), 14.
5 Richard Keeble, “The Secret War Against Libya,” MediaLens, 2002.
6 “Petroleum and Empire in North Africa. NATO Invasion of Libya Underway,” By Keith Harmon Snow, 2 March 2011.
7 Ghali Hassan, “U.S. Love Affair with Murderous Dictators and Hate for Democracy.” Axis of Logic, Mar 17, 2011.
8 Center for Defense Information, “In the Spotlight: The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG),” January 18, 2005
9 Qadhafi was concerned about Al Qaeda terrorism in Libya, and in 1996 Libya became the first government to place Osama bin Laden on Interpol’s Wanted List (Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror [New York: Columbia UP, 2002], 142). Thereafter American and Libyan intelligence collaborated closely for some years against Al Qaeda. Beginning when?
10 Ian Black, “Libya rebels rejects Gaddafi’s al-Qaida spin,” Guardian, March 1, 2011.
11 Gary Gambill, “The Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Jamestown Foundation,”Terrorism Monitor, May 5, 2005,; citing Al-Hayat (London), 20 October 1995 [“communiqué”]; “The Shayler affair: The spooks, the Colonel and the jailed whistle-blower,” The Observer (London), 9 August 1998; Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, Ben Laden: La Verite interdite (Bin Ladin: The Forbidden Truth). Cf. also Annie Machon, Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 And the Shayler Affair (Book Guild Publishing, 2005) [Shayler].
12 Yoichi Shimatsu, “Attack on Libya: Why Odyssey Dawn Is Doomed,” New America Media, March 20, 2011.
13 “US reaches out to Libyan insurgents,” The Australian, March 1, 2011,
14 “How a onetime friend to Gadhafi became his rival,” Globe and Mail [Toronto], March 4, 2011.
15 Libyan Rebel Council in Benghazi Forms Oil Company to Replace Qaddafi’s,”Bloomberg, March 22, 2011.
16 Robert Fisk, “America’s secret plan to arm Libya’s rebels,” Independent, March 7, 2011.
17 “Libya rebels coordinating with West on air assault,” Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2011.
18 “Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2011,
19 Benjamin Gottlieb, “Egypt Arms Libyan Rebels As Gaddafi’s Conquest Continues,” NeonTommy Annenberg Digital News, March 17, 2011.
20 Yoichi Shimatsu, “Mideast Revolutions and 9-11 Intrigues Created in Qatar,”New America Media, March 1, 2011. The al-Thani family’s protection of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is confirmed by former CIA officer Robert Baer (Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2003). Cf. Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil (New York: Crown, 2003); Peter Lance, Triple Cross (New York: Regan/HarperCollins, 2006), 234-37.
21 Ken Dilanian, “U.S. finds no organized Al Qaeda presence in Libya opposition, officials say,” Los Angeles Times, March 24, 1011
22 Anthony Shadid, “Diverse Character in City Qaddafi Calls Islamist,” New York Times, March 7, 2011.
23 “Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links,” Daily Telegraph [London], March 25, 2011.
Our political map, with its constant shift to the right, reflects precisely this colonial logic, which has become the logic of our lives: The West is allowed what the natives are not.
Two other Arab uprisings are going on aside from the civil war in Libya. But no one in Washington has called on Bahrain’s government to step down, and Saudi Arabia, which cuts off the hands of thieves, has been allowed to invade the emirate to take part in the suppression there. Protesters are being slaughtered daily in Yemen, and the West is helping. As always, Arab blood, high octane, is on sale.
To claim that this is a double standard is like complaining that a missile has a warhead and a tail. For two decades now, states have been taken apart in the name of “human rights”: Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and now Libya, using human-rights missiles deployed against humans. Western media outlets are already producing a global discourse about “a war with values” and “contradictions between values and strategy,” as if strategy didn’t include “values.”
Once again the West is quoting Homer and dropping business and partnership with Muammar Gadhafi in favor of ratings, oil and especially the use of the machinery of war. The public likes this, until it has to pay in blood and money. After the graves are covered, the mood can change. In general, indifference – the progeny of the malls, reality TV and beach vacations – takes control.
Something is rotten there. Not only the corruption of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi or French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Not only the dismantling of the welfare state, the disappearance of the left, but – in place of all this – the return of colonial theology. It begins at home with the great hostility toward Arabs and Muslims, and now, with the help of Gadhafi’s drugged image, another “no-fly zone,” which has turned, with a great global wink, into a tremendous, high-tech shooting gallery.
The destruction of Iraq – a crime with the scope of genocide – began with aerial attacks and a siege that went on for more than a decade. No one planned the moves at the time. So there’s no point asking what the goal of the attack on Libya is. Saving human lives? As in Iraq? Maybe democracy? As in Saudi Arabia? Those who possess giant war machines with funding for research and development prefer trial and error. There are no goals. Will Al-Qaida also get there quickly? Well, there’s a huge arsenal that needs refreshing, once in the name of “human rights,” once in the name of “the war on terror.” Something will come out of this. Ratings, oil, a peace conference, photo-ops, Sarkozy next to Angela Merkel, Berlusconi next to David Cameron and Barack Obama. A smile. Speeches.
The rush in Israel doesn’t come from concerns about the lives of Libyan opposition fighters, and even the “values” have received no warm words. Since the Sinai Campaign, Israel has learned to get excited only as long as Arabs are getting killed by Western intervention. And what about Operation Cast Lead, a naive person might ask. What did the West have against Cast Lead? Well, the fact is, they didn’t get in our way, a cynical person from the silent majority might respond. That’s Israel’s loss, historically speaking.
How many generations can recognize truth along the lines of “the main thing is that the killing benefits us” and not be damaged? Can humanism really be built on disgust over one racist rabbi from Safed or over Avigdor Lieberman and wax enthusiastic about wars like those in Iraq or Libya? Our political map, with its constant shift to the right, reflects precisely this colonial logic, which has become the logic of our lives: The West is allowed what the natives are not.
For the blink of an eye, we thought Obama would change our lives, but the U.S. presidential election – the author Gore Vidal once said – is like vying to become manager at a big bank. The customers don’t care who’s in charge. And from the Middle East, it’s easy to see how right he was.
By Yitzhak Laor
Yoichi Shimatsu, Senior Advisor to the 4th Media, based in Hong Kong, covered the rise of Islamic militancy in North Africa in the 1990s for the Japan Times group.
In the 2005 political thriller “Syriana”, starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, Qatar is at the heart of an international intrigue. The title was based on the concept of “Pax Syriana”, a secret arrangement between two mutually hostile powers to divide a region into their respective spheres of dominance.
Washington think-tanks use this term to describe a reshaping of the Middle East to suit American interests, but in the knowledge that this goal is attainable only through covert cooperation with the enemy, namely the elite financial sponsors of Al Qaeda and the Islamic Brotherhood.
The thinly veiled fiction was based on the political reality of that thumb of desert that juts out of the Arabian Peninsula into the Gulf – the emirate of Qatar. Home of the state-owned Al Jazeera network, Qatar is on the surface the pro-Western host of the U.S. Central Command and an active supporter of “democratic revolutions” now sweeping the Mideast. It is also accused of being a state sponsor of terrorism.
Chemical weapons looted
It may puzzle and perhaps dismay young protesters in Benghazi, Cairo and Tunis that their democratic hopes are being manipulated by an ultra-conservative Arab elite, which has underhandedly backed a surge of militant Islamist radicals across North Africa. Credible U.S. intelligence reports have cited evidence pointing to the emirate’s long-running support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and jihadist fighters returning from Afghanistan
The links to Qatar uncovered by anti-terrorism investigators in the wake of 9-11 need to be reexamined now that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an on-and-off affiliate of Al Qaeda, has seized armories across half of the North African country. Libya’s well-stocked arsenals contain high-power explosives, rocket launchers and chemical weapons. LIFG is on the State Department’s terrorist list.
Most worrying, according to a U.S. intelligence official cited by CNN, is the probable loss of chemical weapons. The Federation of American Scientists reports that, as of 2008, only 40 percent of Libya’s mustard gas was destroyed in the second round of decommissioning. Chemical canisters along the Egyptian border were yet to be retrieved and are now presumably in the hands of armed militants.
After letting slip that the earliest Libyan protests were organize d by the LIFG, Al Jazeera quickly changed its line to present a heavily filtered account of “peaceful protests”. To explain away the gunshot deaths of Libya soldiers during the uprising, the Qatar-based network presented a bizarre scenario of150 dead soldiers in Sirte having been executed by their officers for “refusing to fight”. The mysterious officers then miraculously vacated their base disappearing into thin air while surrounded by angry protesters! Off the record, one American intelligence analyst called these media claims an “absurdity” and suggested instead the obvious:-that the soldiers were gunned down in an armed assault by war-hardened returnees from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many Libyan Army units have “defected” to the opposition if for no other purpose than to try to recover the troves of weapons seized by the militants. Al Jazeera’s role in erasing the fingerprints of the armed militants vindicates the earlier conclusion of Western anti-terrorism experts of Qatar’s sponsorship of terrorism.
Payments for terror
According to a Congressional Research Service report of January 2008, “Some observers have raised questions about possible support for Al Qaeda by some Qatari citizens, including members of Qatar’s large ruling family. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Qatar’s Interior Minister provided safe haven to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed during the mid-1990s, and press reports indicate other terrorists may have received financial support or safe haven in Qatar after September 11, 2001.”
The national security chief, Interior Minister Abdullah bin Khalid Al Thani, is further mentioned as paying for a 1995 trip by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed “to join the Bosnia jihad.” The report recalls how after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, FBI officials “narrowly missed an opportunity to capture” the suspect in Qatar. “Former U.S. officials have since stated their belief that a high-ranking member of the Qatari government alerted him to the impending raid, allowing him to flee the country.”
Qatar’s spymaster also “welcomed dozens of so-called ‘Afghan Arab’ veterans of the anti-Soviet conflict in Afghanistan to Qatar in the early 1990s. These ties go back to the late 1980s, when “the United States and Qatar engaged in a prolonged diplomatic dispute regarding Qatar’s black-market procurement of U.S.-made Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.The dispute froze planned economic and military cooperation, and Congress approved a ban on arms sales to Qatar until the months leading up to the 1991 Gulf War, when Qatar allowed coalition forces to operate from Qatari territory.”
The hidden connections to the terrorist network broke out into public view when an Egyptian suicide bomber attacked a Doha movie theater in 2003. Foreign Minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, reacted in haste and anger calling it an “act of unpardonable treachery by Bin Laden.” His slip of tongue led to the discovery that from the start of the first Gulf War Qatar had been paying millions of dollars to Al Qaeda as compensation for its hosting of the U.S. Central Command during the Iraq War. .Anti-terrorism experts allege that Doha upped its payments following the theater bombing.
More worrisome is the February 9, 2000 cable from the American Embassy in Doha, issuing a security alert on Qatari resident in the U.S. named Mohamed Ali Dahham Mansoori, who guided a three-man team that allegedly scouted the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty and the White House for the upcoming 9-11 attack. The three suspects traveled under aliases with Qatar passports. Their air tickets to Los Angeles and hotel rooms were paid for by a “convicted terrorist,” according to the FBI asserted. The trio’s role in 9-11 was subsequently tomb-stoned with all evidence suppressed, probably due to the warming US diplomatic relationship with Qatar’s royal family.
Mirage or Reality?
Doha, a cluster of shiny towers and fountains in a peninsula that is otherwise barren,seems the unlikeliest spot for financial and institutional support for Islamist terrorists. In Qatar, however, mirages are real, and reality is a mirage. Hailed as a model of political reform by Western diplomats and think tanks like the Brookings Institution, which has a Doha center, Qatar’s legal code is nonetheless firmly based on sharia law. Its education system , with links to dozens of American and British universities, is also the academic platform for the Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the intellectual champion of the Muslim Brotherhood and advocate of suicide bombings.
The emirate’s insistence on preserving Gulf Arab traditions stands in contrast to Qatar’s business-savvy role as the region’s biggest supplier of natural gas. Per-capita GDP is estimated at about $90,000 a year; and average income around $65,000. Excluding small tax-haven countries, its population is the richest in the world. Qataris, then, are the Swiss of the Arab world, and their small nation, like Switzerland, is a haven for arms trafficking, illicit money transfers and other skullduggery.Even something as innocuous as TGI Fridays, a struggling fast-food chain in America, is in Doha an upscale retreat for off-duty Marine officers, petroleum engineers, international weapons dealers and their incognito clients from across the Mideast.
Despite the many connections with terrorism, Qatar got back into the good graces of the Obama administration with donations to the Clinton Foundation, including one of up to $5 million in 2008. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reciprocated with a February 2010 visit to inaugurate the Carnegie Mellon University in Doha’s Education City complex, which also houses Qaradawai’s Islamist institute. In early January, just before the Tunis and Cairo protests, she took a longer sojourn for the Forum for the Future, co-hosted by the royal family.
The relations between Washington and Doha has been sold to the public as a partnership for democracy and human rights, but beneath the smiles and photo ops is the hard fact of a Syriana-type arrangement to carve up the “future Mideast” between the Anglo-American energy industry and an ultraconservative elite set on imposing sharia law. For this “enemy of my enemy” alliance, the common foes are the secular governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and next Algeria.
Blowback in Libya
Covert cooperation between the West and sponsors of Islamic extremism is not new . In the 1950s, the CIA provided money and weapons to the Muslim Brotherhood for their battle against Egyptian independence leaderAbdul Gamal Nasser. US. intelligence operatives trained and armed mujahideen insurgents in the anti-Soviet Afghan war, including Osama bin Laden, then known by his cover name Tim Osman. According to former UK counterintelligence officer David Shayler, the British MI-6 hired Libyan militant Anas al-Liby, from the Al Qaeda-friendly Al-Muqtaliya group and later linked to the bombing of US embassies in East Africa, to assassinate Colonel Muammar Qadhafi in 1996.
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, under the leadership of Abu al-Laith al-Libi, formally merged into Al Qaida in 2007. Two years later, Libi disowned armed violence and negotiated with Qadhafi for acceptance of LIFG as an above-ground political association. The sudden rejection of violence coincided with the Muslim Brotherhood’s makeover as a democratic force and Qatar’s advocacy of political reform across the Mideast. As a legal entity, it incited the first protests in Benghazi in mid-February. Within days of the uprising’s start, however, the LIFG reverted to its old ways, brandishing automatic weapons. What it plans to do with chemical weapons and advanced explosives is anyone’s guess, while one psychological point remains clear: The militants are eager to pay back Americans and Europeans for10 years of bombing, maiming and torture.
The constant temptation in a partnership between enemies is betrayal. The White House had counted on the protests to nudge Saif al-Islam Gadhafi to replace his father in a relatively smooth transition to democracy. The Gadhafi clan, however, united against the threat of an Islamist resurgence. Washington also miscalculated the potential for Al Qaeda elements and Brotherhood acting independently of high-level deals made in Doha.
Possible outcomes – from the collapse of the Qadhafi regime to the partition of Libya – could easily prompt Al Qaeda allies and the militant arm of the Brotherhood to establish the Libyan-Egyptian border as the next global training center for jihadists, now that the Afghan-Pakistan tribal regions no longer provide a safe platform for jihad operations. Any US or NATO intervention will only lead to a third front in the endless war. The more easily grasped alternative to a Syriana duopoly is an even older political formula: The winner takes all.
On this 10th anniversary year of the 9-11 attacks, Washington is staggering under a huge “blowback” from an out-of-control North Africa, self-inflicted by its own greed for oil and uranium, fears of declining influence, deceitful ambition and misplaced trust.
My wife kept pushing me to find the answer to this question, so I did. You will find the answer at the end.
Because of the “China Syndrome” movie, something like this is hard to research, but I did manage to find this interesting article from the Mar 1, 1962 issue of New Scientist:
Russian scientist, M. A. Lavrentiev, VP Academy of Sciences, USSR–
I also found the following research paper abstract, which discusses Dr. Lavrentiev’s work with explosive hardening and welding:
In addition to Soviet research, we have the following from UK:
The temperature reached at the core of a nuclear meltdown is estimated to reach 3000C., according to the following research into reactor meltdowns from plinius.eu.
|General ® Mirza Aslam Beg
|The Nobel Peace prize winner, Obama now has a war of his own making in Libya, because he was not at all satisfied with the wars he inherited from Bush. Now from his imperial presidency, he is hell-bent on taking this war to greater heights than even Bush could do in Afghanistan and Iraq. From the Eastern Room of the White House, he gave his toughest speech saying: “Libya was central to the whole wave of challenges in the Middle East and now is the opportunity to realign our interests, in pursuit of the UN resolution and all steps will be taken, short of the boots, to get Qaddafi.” It appears Obama is looking for another Kosovo or Kuwait, although Libya is altogether a different ballgame. In such great haste, the Operation Odessy Dawn was launched, killing hundreds of civilians, damaging Qaddafi’s air defence and military command and control systems. Hundreds of targets have been engaged by Tomahawk missiles, while the allied air forces of Great Britain, France, Italy and Canada, have engaged military targets around Benghazi and Tripoli. In fact a massive air attack has been launched without a clear-cut strategy, trying to restrain the “murderous madness of Qaddafi, and if necessary targeted actions will be taken,” (meaning assassination) as Sarkozy, the French President has declared. The Prime Minster of Great Britain, has warned “Qaddafi has lied to the international community. He must go, by whatever means possible.” Thus Qaddafi has become an end in itself for the West, making the war personal and that is where, this war launched in such haste, by this ‘Unholy Alliance,’ is likely to go haywire. Let us count the pit-falls: The war has no clear-cut objective. Is it to get Qaddafi dead or alive; or protect the civilians being killed by Qaddafi; or despite such display of ‘Shock and Awe’ can the airpower alone eliminate Qaddafi? The NATO airpower bombed Serbia for 78 days to get Milosevic, how many days the coalition air power will take to get Qaddafi? And suppose, Qaddafi gets eliminated, who can stop his son or some one else to carry the banner forward? And if the main objective is to gain control over the strategic oil producing regions of the country, that would be possible only by physically invading the land. Who amongst the allies would be willing to land troops and bell the cat? The air operations “would fast be sliding down the slippery slope into a full blown campaign of regime-change” and that won’t be fine with the State Department, without the troops on land. The air assault is not likely to produce even short-term gains. The conflict will prolong, with serious consequences. The Arab World opinion in particular and the Muslim World in general, will turn against the invasion of a Muslim country, which posed no threat to any of the countries of the ‘Unholy Alliance’. For sure, Qaddafi would emerge as the champion of the Arab cause. And the worst that will happen is that, very soon the Jehadis from Iraq, Afghanistan and the neighbouring countries, particularly the Takfeeris from Iraq will start pouring-in to liberate the Muslim land, as it happened in Afghanistan in 2001. The rebels in Libya are joining Qaddafi’s loyalists, to face the external threat, the same as the armed forces of Shah of Iran, joined the Islamic revolutionaries, to defeat the Iraqi invaders, in 1980-88. The powerful Salafi leader, Abu Masab, now has joined the Jehad against the ‘Crusaders’. In 1996, the CIA had bribed Abu Masab to assassinate Qaddafi, but failed. Now, he is getting arms and ammunition from Qaddafi. In fact, Libya is another Afghanistan in the making. Obama ignored Pentagon advice and also failed to consult the Congress for waging the war. Reportedly, in taking this decision, “Obama bowed to pressure from a triumvirate of women in his administration – Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice.” In fact Obama acted Pervez Musharraf, who in 2001, agreed to all the ‘Seven Conditionalities of Pentagon’ without consulting his cabinet or the military command and joined the immoral American war on Afghanistan – a neighbourly Muslim country, that had done no harm to Pakistan. Pakistan continues to suffer the consequences of this fatal decision. The Arab League and the OIC feel cheated, because the UN resolution was to impose a no-fly-zone over Libya, followed by sanctions, but it turned into a full-fledged attack by the Western Alliance. The distrust so created, will have serious consequences. The invasion will also arouse Arab nationalism, that will assert itself, despite the divisions and dissentions within. The war by the international coalition will also dampen the democratic awakening in the Middle East and particularly risks changing that narrative in Libya. By accepting the demand of the UN resolution, for a ceasefire, Qaddafi “in one move has reversed the most powerful argument behind the UN revolution,” and has prevented the massacre in Benghazi. Qaddafi would thus retain control over most of the land, and the rebels will lose popular support. The Russians and the Chinese did not veto the UN resolution, because they wanted the West to be militarily drawn into Libya, the same as in 2001, the Americans blundered into Afghanistan, with Russia and China supporting the UN resolution. The West expects to win the war quickly, but that is a pipe-dream and no victory is in sight and the expected military glory in Libya, is elusive as in Iraq and Afghanistan. No doubt, this war is Obama’s Kargil into Libya. The fact of the matter is that, another Muslim country has been invaded with such arrogance of power, which is seen as continuation of the last 30 years of state-sponsored terrorism against the World of Islam: such as, the occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1978-80; the eight years war of liberation by the Afghans, from 1980 to 88; the eight years Iran-Iraq war from 1980-88; the first Gulf War of 1991; the nine years civil war in Afghanistan from 1992-2001; invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by the US and allies, 2001; invasion and occupation of Iraq by the US since 2003; Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 and the on-going brutal wars in Palestine and Kashmir, together have caused the death of over six million Muslims and many more seriously wounded and maimed. And the crime continues, with new ferocity. What will be the outcome of this war on Libya – the “mediaeval call for crusades” as described by the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, explains the very hollowness of the civilized behaviour of the very civilized world. It is the Muslim World that would suffer with more death and destruction and pillage of yet another country, while, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Kashmir, continue to burn and bleed. The oppressors of the world have to give a chance to peace but that is not to be, because the New Great Game has just begun – the Saudi and GCC armed forces have entered Bahrain, under the watchful eyes of the West. The fire so lit, will spread far and beyond. (The writer is former Chief of Army Staff)|
|[This helps to confirm that Pakistan is moving against the BLA and its supporter, especially its leadership of the Marri and the Bugti tribes. SEE: Afghanistan: Pakistani suicide bomber kills two Bugti Baloch refugees and injured three girls]|
|on 2011/3/27 1:00:00 (17 reads)|
|Occupied Balochistan: Pakistani Para-Military forces at 3 o’clock midnight raided a Baloch house in Faizabad area of Quetta city, the capital of Balochistan. One man had been killed and four members of the family including two women and a girl have been wounded.
According to details Pakistan Para-Military forces have attacked the house of Mir Habib-ul-Rehman Marri in the early hours of Saturday (26/03/2011). The occupying forces threw hand grenades and fired rocket launchers indiscriminate. Resultantly, the head of the house, Mr, Habib Marri has been killed and all members of his family including his nephew Gul Mir Marri, two women and a girl have been badly been wounded.
The raid lasted around 4 O clock in the early morning. According to close relatives’ and eye-witnesses account Mir Habib Marri was instantly shot dead as he open the gate of his house to talk to the officers that were shelling his house. Seven hand grenades were hurled at the house immediately after his brutal killing, as a result of grenades attacks all members of the family have been fatally injured among them are children and elderly women and men. His nephew, Gul Mir’s, condition is very critical and he has been admitted in the Quetta Civil Hospital. He has received three bullets wounded in the upper torso.
This naked aggression of Pakistani military has infuriated entire Baloch nation. Soon after this blatant attack angry youth took to streets and violent protests have been observed in several localities of Quetta.
Meanwhile the BNV (Baloch National Voice) has strongly condemned the unprovoked attack on the house of Mir Habib Marri, his subsequent killing and wounding other members of his family. The statement of the BNV further read that the defeated and hesitant Pakistani army considers every Baloch even children and elderly women as Sarmachaars and attack their houses indiscriminately.
They said that the state [Pakistan] should know that its days are numbered and Baloch struggle for their National Liberation cannot be stopped by such brutal and broad daylight killings.
They paid rich tributes to Shaheed Habib Marri and other Martyrs of Balochistan. The BNV has strongly criticized Pakistani media for ignoring the state atrocities against the people of Balochistan.
|[The ISI must finally be making its move against the BLA terrorist training camps in Afghanistan as reported by News Central Asia's excellent investigative reporting series on the troubles of Balochistan and Pakistan, in general. SEE: The Stunning Investigative Story on the Birth of Balochistan Liberation Army–Mar 1, 2005 ; Final Solution Frenzy (NCA), Parts 1-4 ]|
|on 2011/3/26 2:00:00 (170 reads)|
|Spin Boldak: A Pakistani suicide bomber was apprehended in seriously injured condition by Afghan Police after he tried to blow himself up near the house of a Bugti Baloch refugee in the bordering town of Spin Bolkak in Afghanistan.
According to detail two Bugti Baloch were killed and three girls of the same family have been seriously wounded when a Pakistani suicide bomber attack their home in Afghanistan. One of the deceased has been named has Dur Khan S/O Gul Bahar Bugti.
The attacker has been arrested by Afghan police in critically injured condition. According to Afghan state media the bomber has admitted that he and several other suicide bombers have been tasked [by Pakistan] to attack Baloch refugees in Afghanistan. It must be noted that several Baloch families, mainly from Marri and Bugti tribes, have fled to Afghanistan after Pakistan (army) have attacked and destroyed their home in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 military offensives. The military incursions are still ongoing in the several areas of Balochistan.
It is also pertinent to mention that in August 2010 the ISI sponsored death squad (Sepah-e-Shohada-e-Balochistan) had also threatened to attack Baloch activists in Afghanistan and other foreign countries.
Meanwhile Sher Mohammad Bugti, the central spokesperson, of BRP (Baloch Republican Party) while strongly condemning the attack on the house of Gul Bahar Bugti has said that the attack was carried out with the help of Pakistani agencies. Mr Bugti further said that he had informed the International Humanitarian groups and International Media that Pakistan was planning to target Baloch refugees living in Afghanistan. “The attack in Spin Boldak just confirmed our concerns that Pakistan is behind the attack”.
Sher Mohammad Bugti said that the Baloch had time and time again informed the International Human Rights Organisation about Pakistan’s atrocities against Baloch people but the International Community seems to have given a free hand to Pakistan. He warned the International Community that the existence this country [Pakistan] is not a threat only to Baloch Nation but also to the peace and security of entire world.
He said Pakistan was using fighter jets to bomb Baloch villages, using chemical weapons against Baloch civilian and mutilated and decomposed bodies of Baloch youth are being recovered on regular basis but the media is silent on such heinous crimes of Pakistan. He urged the International Community to take serous note of Balochistan issue and play their due role to help the Baloch Nation.
Here in Turkey, we’re consumed by the hunt for the forbidden manuscripts of The Imam’s Army. The police have arrested the author, Ahmet Şık, on suspicion of membership in the Ergenekon conspiracy, and they’re hunting down every copy of the draft of his book.
What’s in that book? Who knows? Supposedly it blows the lid on Fethullah Gülen’s control of the Turkish police, or supposedly it contains the organizational blueprint for overthrowing Turkey’s democratically-elected government. I stress supposedly: I haven’t read it, and Turkey is conspiracy-theory central.
The effort to silence Şık is inherently doomed. Here’s a site thatclaims to have the manuscript–and to be counting down to releasing it. Do they really have it? No idea. But there’s probably nothing the authorities could have done to publicize this book–or any crackpot claiming to have this book–better than to pitch up at the offices of a large newspaper to wipe the draft off someone’s computer. These developments have enraged quite some number of journalists, even ones who until this point had been quite friendly to the government.
The growth of this Facebook group is interesting: Ahmet Şık’ın Kitabı Bende de Var, which means, “I’ve got Ahmet Şık’s book too.” About 500 people are joining every hour; right now it has 54,125 members. This is striking in a country not characterized by “political self-organization.” To give you a sense of numbers, this AKP Facebook page has 38,753 members and has been around, I think, for years.
I don’t think you can or should draw firm conclusions from the size of a Facebook page, but “rapidly growing groups” do offer hints, not only about public sentiment, but about who is trying to influence it and the influence they’re trying to have. This brings me to the depressing part. Among others, the organizers of the group are the Yayın Kolektifi. The photos on their website won’t fill you with hope:
Now, does this mean the 54,125 people who have thus far added their names to that list are communists? Of course not. Is there widespread support for communism in Turkey? Not at all. The TKP–the communist party–took 0.22 percent of the vote in the last general election, which can pretty much be chalked up to a sampling error. There are about a dozen other miniscule communist parties, so small that the social sense of the word “party” is more apt to describe them than the political one. This is not at all to say that there has never been a serious communist movement in Turkey; to understand anything about modern Turkey, you have to appreciate that it was a key Cold War playing field. But the country is not now laboring under the Red Menace.
All the same, the comparative political energy of organizers who are keen to advance the thought of Marx and Lenin is an ominous sign about the state of Turkish civil society. I’m sure some will say, “It’s just a bit of salon Marxism, nothing to worry about.” Even if that’s true–which I doubt–it’s a sign of deep political immaturity. I mean, come on. We all know full well that wherever the posters of Marx and Lenin have gone up, the word Samizdat has not been far behind.
I say “we all know,” but most young people in Turkey, or at least the ones I’ve spoken to, have no idea. How would they? If so few in the West really know or care what communism meant–and the literature is widely available to consult, in English–how would people who only read Turkish grasp this? From Bukovsky’s archives: December 1970 report by KGB regarding “alarming political tendencies”in Samizdat and Preventive measures. Not translated, as far as I know, into English. Certainly not translated into Turkish.
In an advanced democracy, you can buy all the copies of Ahmet Şık’s book you like, as well as all the books by Marx and Lenin, and you can keep them and read them and talk about them without fear. But this isn’t an advanced democracy, it’s a fragile, new democracy; and the Leftists and the Islamists occupy a political space much greater than their real numbers. This is not a symptom of Red-Green alliance–they hate each other. But it’s a symptom of something, and it’s not robust political health.
So where are the normal people who are outraged by this? They’re not starting Facebook groups. Not like this one, anyway, not yet. They’re not taking to the streets in large numbers. I very much doubt it’s because they’re thrilled about having a government that seizes books. It’s because they don’t want trouble, the whole thing scares them, and they think there’s no point in protesting–that’s something only crazy Americans and communists do. They figure they don’t know what’s really going on. They think everything in Turkey’s a complicated, opaque game controlled by someone else and nothing’s what it seems. (This is not an entirely crazy conclusion to draw in a country whose fate has been determined by real conspiracy after real conspiracy.) Besides, they have jobs and they have families, so they don’t have the time. There’s a Turkish proverb that’s relevant here: Bana dokunmayan yılan bin yaşasın–let the snake that doesn’t bite me live a thousand years. (If you want to explain all of Turkish foreign policy in two proverbs, by the way, go with that one and Türk’ün Türk’ten başka dostu yoktur: A Turk has no friend but a Turk.)
Turkey is in fact a democracy–a new, struggling one, not an advanced one–so normal people actually have much more power than they realize. Certainly, no other group has more power in Turkey than voters–not the AKP, not Gülen, not the United States, not Soros, not the Jews, not the communists, not international capital, not the military. But I suspect this realization would be as terrifying to many people here as it is liberating. They would feel, if this really dawned on them, the way little kids feel when their parents lose them in the supermarket.
On the bright side, 54,125 people joined that group in the space of about 48 hours. They’re definitely not all communists.
A police officer (L) takes digital copies of the draft book ‘The Imam’s Army’ before erasing the originals from Ertuğrul Mavioğlu’s (2nd L) computer at the Radikal daily’s newsroom on Thursday. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
Police raids Thursday in search of digital copies of an unpublished manuscript, which were deleted from computers at a printing house and an Istanbul newspaper, were criticized by experts Friday on both legal and practical grounds.
“This is not confiscating a book; this is not banning a book either. It is impossible to describe such a police action according to the current laws. This is indescribable,” Bülent Utku, a lawyer for arrested journalist Ahmet Şık, the author of the unpublished book, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.
Şık was arrested two weeks ago as a suspect in the Ergenekon case, an investigation into an alleged coup plot.
According to Utku, the police operations against copies of the draft of Şık’s “İmamın Ordusu” (The Imam’s Army) – seized and deleted from the offices of the İthaki Publishing House, which owns the rights to the book, and daily Radikal based on a court order – had no legal grounds in the Turkish judicial system.
Under the country’s Press Law, only three copies of any publication may be confiscated, though there can be exceptions in certain conditions, including charges related to terrorism propaganda, law professor Ersan Şen told the Daily News.
“I would not go into the details of this in terms of whether this is censorship or not, it has its definition in the law,” Şen said. The academic added, however, that the “book” has not been published and there has been no court decision determining that the alleged Ergenekon gang as a terrorist organization.
The Press Law does not allow legal interference before publication “and it certainly does not allow elimination [of the digital file],” he said, explaining that this was why the prosecution used the Turkish Penal Law or the Law of Criminal Procedure on the grounds that the unpublished work was not a book but material to be used in criminal activity.
“Even in that case, the Law of Criminal Procedure does not allow the elimination of evidence” Şen said, calling the police action illegal.
Indestructible once online
In addition to its questionable legality, the move to destroy digital copies of the manuscript was also impractical, technology experts said.
“If a file is on the Internet, especially if it is exchanging hands on the sharing sites, it is not possible to erase it completely,” said Recep Baltaş, the editor of the monthly computer magazine CHIP. He explained that it is not possible to know how many users have downloaded a file to their computers and from where they could upload it after online versions were deleted.
“One of the reasons for this is that one user may share the file in PDF format and another as a ZIP file,” he said.
Even if the manuscript file had not been uploaded to a website or online file-sharing service, but only distributed through e-mail, “all e-mail servers in the world keep copies of sent mail on their servers,” Baltaş said. He added that it would only be possible to destroy a digital file completely if it was created on a single computer and not distributed anywhere electronically.
So far it is known that Şık emailed the document to at least two people. It is not certain whether the file is available at another online location or not.
Background of the arrest and raids
The unpublished book was found in digital form on a computer at the office of the dissident online news portal OdaTV; Şık has stated he did not know how it got there, calling the staff of the website people he would not stand together with under any circumstances.
Şık’s arrest has been already criticized in legal circles since the evidence against him was not revealed to his lawyers.
The manuscript deals with the alleged organization founded within the Turkish police by the Fethullah Gülen religious community, a fact that has led to suspicions that Şık was arrested due to the book’s contents, rather than his involvement in the alleged Ergenekon gang, which he has worked as a journalist to expose. Ergenekon Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz has said Şık was not arrested due to his book, which led to more questions when the raids were made Thursday.
Ergenekon is an alleged ultranationalist, shadowy gang accused of planning to topple the government by staging a coup, initially by spreading chaos and mayhem. Some believe it to be an extension of the “deep state,” an alleged shadow organization of bureaucracy and military within the state whose existence has been voiced by people including presidents but for which an exact definition has never been made.
Şık’s arrest created confusion on these grounds also, since he is known as a journalist who has tried throughout his career to uncover the deep state.
The decision by the 12th Court for Serious Crimes authorizing the raids read: “It was understood that directives and notes written by the organization’s prominent name Soner Yalçın [the founder of OdaTV] were inserted into the drafts of a book being written by Ahmet Şık. It was pointed out that the drafts contained propaganda for the Ergenekon terror organization, and aimed at affecting a fair trial and causing disinformation and sensation among the public, thus giving organization members moral support and motivation.”
WASHINGTON, March 27 (UPI) — Members of Congress began rediscovering the War Powers Act, that battered relic from 1973, almost immediately after U.S. warplanes began introducing modern firepower to Moammar Gadhafi’s forces little more than a week ago.Gadhafi’s mercenaries and militia were slaughtering outgunned civilian rebels when the U.N. Security Council authorized a “no-fly zone” over Libya. The United States, Britain, France and others used the authorization largely to destroy Gadhafi’s antiaircraft defenses and some of his forces on the ground, giving the rebels breathing room.
But the question for many in Congress is whether President Barack Obama had the authority to order such military action.
Article 1 of the Constitution gives Congress the sole power to declare war. However, the last time Congress declared war was after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
Since then presidents have used the military as a regular extension of U.S. foreign policy, so much so that Congress enacted the War Powers Resolution, commonly referred to as the War Powers Act, in 1973. President Richard Nixon’s veto of the resolution was massively overridden: 284–135 in the House, and 75–18 in the Senate, more than the two-thirds needed, and the resolution became law.
The War Powers Resolution says the president, as commander in chief, can put U.S. forces in harm’s way only after a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization or a national emergency created by an attack on the United States or its military.
The resolution also requires the president “in every possible instance to consult with Congress before introducing U.S. forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities unless there has been a declaration of war or other specific congressional authorization,” the Congressional Research Service says. “It also requires the president to report to Congress any introduction of forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities … or in numbers which substantially enlarge U.S. forces equipped for combat already in a foreign nation.”
The law says once the president submits a report, “Congress must authorize the use of forces within 60 to 90 days or the forces must be withdrawn.”
To say that presidents have viewed the War Powers Resolution with a jaundiced eye is an understatement.
Every president since 1973 has taken the position that the resolution is an unconstitutional infringement on presidential authority, the CRS says — though the U.S. Supreme Court and the other federal courts have never directly ruled on the issue. The one foray into legally trying to hold a president accountable to the War Powers Resolution did not turn out well for members of Congress.
Obama’s use of force in Libya has raised congressional hackles. Predictably, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, brought up impeachment in an interview with The Raw Story weblog, as reported by clevelandleader.com.
Kucinich said the fact Obama acted on his own without congressional approval “would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense,” though he doubted Congress had the nerve to follow through.
Other congressional criticism was more muted. U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, supported the no-fly zone, but said, “Before any further military commitments are made, the administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission,” The Huffington Post reported.
Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, also called for Obama to explain the Libyan operation to the U.S. public.
The Huffington Post interviewed other members of Congress with sharper views who questioned whether there was a threat to the United States as required by the War Powers Resolution.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said: “I think (Obama) has a duty and an obligation to come to Congress. I see no clear and present danger to the United States of America. I just don’t. We’re in a bit of the fog at the moment as to what the president is trying to ultimately do.”
“In the absence of a credible, direct threat to the United States and its allies or to our valuable national interests, what excuse is there for not seeking congressional approval of military action?” liberal Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., asked. “I think it is wrong and a usurpation of power and the fact that prior presidents have done it is not an excuse.”
Another liberal, Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., was supportive but cautious, CBS News reported.
“I think it is important that we show that we’re a powerful country who is willing to step in and protect those who are not able to protect themselves,” he said. “I do believe though that the president should have and should still come to Congress for authorization.”
Obama has in fact “consulted” with Congress in a way, calling in representatives of congressional leaders to the White House before his South American trip, not to ask for permission but to explain to them what he was doing.
And last week, while the president was abroad, the White House released a letter from the president to Boehner and the president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii. In the letter, dated March 21, Obama said he was informing Congress of the Libyan operation “consistent with the War Powers Resolution.”
Obama told the congressional leaders “at my direction, U.S. military forces commenced operations (on March 19) to assist an international effort authorized by the United Nations Security Council and undertaken with the support of European allies and Arab partners, to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe … “
The president added: “U.S. military forces, under … U.S. Africa Command, began a series of strikes against air defense systems and military airfields for the purposes of preparing a no-fly zone. These strikes will be limited in their nature, duration, and scope. … These limited U.S. actions will set the stage for further action by other coalition partners.”
The resolution authorizes U.N. member states “to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in Libya, including the establishment and enforcement of a ‘no-fly zone’ in the airspace of Libya. United States military efforts are discrete and focused on employing unique U.S. military capabilities to set the conditions for our European allies and Arab partners to carry out the measures authorized by the U.N. Security Council Resolution.”
Obama said Gadhafi was sent “a very clear message that a cease-fire must be implemented immediately,” but though Libya’s foreign ministry announced an immediate cease-fire Gadhafi’s forces continued to advance.
“Left unaddressed, the growing instability in Libya could ignite wider instability in the Middle East, with dangerous consequences to the national security interests of the United States,” Obama contended.
“The United States has not deployed ground forces into Libya,” the president said. “United States forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster.”
Obama said he ordered the Libyan actions, “which are in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as commander in chief and chief executive.
“I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution. I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.”
Significantly, Obama used the phrase “consistent” with the resolution, as have presidents before him, rather than “pursuant” to the resolution, which would indicate the resolution was accepted law that had to be obeyed.
Presidential use of military force without specifically meeting the provisions of the War Powers Resolution was challenged in court in March 1999 by 18 Republican members of Congress led by Rep. Tom Campbell of Texas.
President Bill Clinton had ordered U.S. forces to participate in the NATO bombing operation over Kosovo to stop the “ethnic cleansing” and massacres of ethnic Albanian Muslims.
A series of House and Senate votes supporting or opposing the war left the issue up in the air though Congress eventually passed emergency funding that underwrote the operation.
On April 30, 1999, Campbell and 17 other House members filed suit in federal court asking for a ruling that would require the president to get authorization from Congress for the Kosovo bombings or discontinue military operations.
On May 25, 1999, the 60th day of military operations passed. The congressional group at that time told the federal court that Clinton was in violation of the War Powers Resolution, which required hostilities to cease after 60 days in the absence of congressional approval or a presidential request for an extra 30 days to safely withdraw from combat.
However, Clinton did not ask for the extension, instead maintaining the War Powers Resolution was constitutionally defective.
All the congressional and presidential Sturm und Drang turned out to be moot. U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman dismissed the suit, saying Campbell and the others had no standing to bring it in the first place. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, sometimes called the second-most powerful court in the country, agreed.
The appeals court panel said the U.S. Supreme Court — as recently as 1997 — had refused to recognize the right of members of Congress to sue the executive branch. Besides, the panel’s prevailing opinion said, the case essentially presented a political, not a legal, controversy.
Citing its own precedent, the appeals court said: “It is uncontested that the Congress could terminate the (contested program) were a sufficient number in (the U.S. House and Senate) so inclined. Because the parties’ dispute is therefore fully susceptible to political resolution, we would (under circuit precedent) dismiss the complaint to avoid ‘meddling’ in the internal affairs of the legislative branch.”
The congressional group then asked the U.S. Supreme Court for review. The high court declined without comment.
[Malalai is a very special representative of the terror war's forgotten
victims human beings, the women of Afghanistan. Before we empowered the brutal Taliban to dominate the Afghan people, before we empowered the Mujahedeen to introduce militarized "Islam" to the Hindu Kush mountains, there was an era in Afghanistan's bloody history when women could live their lives out in the open, just like real human beings. The "burkha" was not yet required to hide the natural beauty of the Afghan women from the Afghan men. Things were normal. Malalai and the few others like her, who dare to risk their lives to talk about normal things, or the lack thereof, must be protected and allowed to thrive, in order to really, someday, give Peace a chance.]
The U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan should be brought to a halt because it has solidified, rather than weakened, oppression against women in her home country, Afghan human rights activist Malalai Joya said Saturday.
“Taliban leaders and the administration of Hamid Karzai are carbon copies of each other; both are misogynist. The Taliban are fascists, and Karzai is supported by the warlords,” said the 32-year-old author and former member of the Afghan parliament, speaking by phone from Boston.
Both factions gain support as a result of U.S. and NATO-inflicted civilian casualties, and both are benefiting from the influx of foreign aid — at the expense of progressive-minded Afghans, she said.
“We’re trapped between three enemies: the Taliban, the provincial warlords and foreign soldiers,” she said. “They need each other. They’re playing ‘Tom and Jerry.’ It’s like a family fighting with itself.”
Joya will elaborate on power struggles in Afghanistan (and women’s roles in tempering them) at a talk at 5 p.m. today at University of Vermont’s Billings Lecture Hall.
Her monthlong speaking tour of this country was delayed last week by U.S. visa authorities because, she was told, she was “unemployed and “living underground.”
Joya, a self-described “freedom-loving fighter,” said she has survived five attempts on her life for speaking out against the Taliban, the Karzai regime and what she terms the “U.S.-NATO occupation.”
But Saturday, she placed that danger in perspective.
“Millions of people face the same risk, day by day, in Afghanistan. The only difference between me and them is that I am speaking out,” Joya said. “The reason they want to eliminate me? I never show silence. I use my voice for the benefit of my people. I will never drop my watch.”
Moderates in Afghanistan discreetly refer to their Western-trained soldiers and police as “the Dollar Army,” because of what they say is a thin, mercenary allegiance to human rights, Joya said.
“‘The rabbit has responsibility for the carrot,’ as we say. We have the same gender-crimes now that we had during Taliban (rule): death by stoning, rape, poisoning girls at school, domestic violence and forced marriages,” she said.
“The only difference now, it is done under the name of democracy, with the mask of democracy,” she added. “These crimes are increasing rapidly, even by historical standards.”
And when the foreign troops pull out? Their absence would weaken the power now enjoyed by the Taliban and warlords, Joya answered.
“Nobody says it will be like heaven in my country,” she said. “But I know people will come into the streets. We will unite more. Hundreds of people already join protests against occupation.
“History reveals that this nation can liberate itself,” she continued. “We have a powerful history. We gave the British a lesson and the Russians. If the U.S. and NATO do not go out voluntarily, we will give them, with the passage of time, a very good lesson.
“People ask what will happen to our women? I ask them now: ‘What’s happening to the women while we argue?’ War crimes are being committed. We don’t want this kind of so-called helping hand that’s helping the enemies of my people,” she said.
“We know what to do, we know our destiny. I’m sure the progressive Afghan men will help us; they’ll unite with us to bring women’s rights and human rights to our country. But this presence of the troops in our country: It doubles our misery. They create more obstacles. They’ve made progressive, democratic-minded men and women in our country move ‘underground.’ But there are plenty of us.”
“The so-called war on terror is a war on civilians,” Joya said. “When cluster bombs kill civilians, for each dead body, America gives $2,000 to the family. It’s just blood money. It insults my people.
Yet Afghan moderates welcome American help — without “top-down justice” and military interference, she said.
“Education is the key to emancipation. No question we need a helping hand, with moral support, with financial support. You must not leave us alone — we have been forgotten,” she said. “The silence of good people is worse than the actions of bad people.”
How, specifically, can Americans help? Joya said a good start would be to increase pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to speed the exit of U.S. troops.
“We want the end of this occupation,” she said. “The blood of my people is not water.”
All three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation signed a letter dated March 18 to the U.S. Consulate in Afghanistan in support of Joya’s visa. The letter described Joya as “a rare symbol of hope for Afghanistan’s future.”
Joya extended credit for her visa approval to grassroots petitions and phone-ins.
“I want to thank all my supporters who put pressure on the government to give me a visa. Their support gave me more courage and more determination for me and my people to spread our message,” she said.
Joya’s Vermont appearance is sponsored by the Stop the F-35 Coalition, the International Socialist Organization, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Peace and Justice Center, Students for Justice in Palestine, Vermont Woman Newspaper, Veterans for Peace, Will Miller Social Justice Lecture Series and Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Her talk Friday night in Boston drew 1,200 people (among them, Noam Chomsky), Mass Peace Action organizer Cole Harrison said.
Joya’s subsequent venues, listed by the nonprofit Afghan Women’s Mission website, include: Amherst, Mass., Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Copies of Joya’s autobiography, “A Woman Among Warlords,” will be for sale at tonight’s talk at UVM.
Contact Joel Banner Baird at 660-1843 email@example.com. Baird’s blog:http://bit.ly/BairdsEye. Become a fan of the Burlington Free Press page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bfpnews.
|Demonstrators hold placards to protest against the U.S. military intervention in Libya outside the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, March 26, 2011. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)|
by Xiong Ping
BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) — Doubts, queries and criticisms from the international community are emerging as the West-led military action against Libya continues.
The military intervention has upset the world and triggered angry reaction in many parts of the world.
MILITARY ACTION ALLEGEDLY EXCEEDS UN MANDATE
On March 17, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. The resolution authorized the use of force to protect Libyan civilians. However, going far beyond the creation of a no-fly zone, Western forces struck the Libyan forces on the ground.
Ted Carpenter, an expert with the Washington-based Cato Research Institute, has said the real goal of the initial U.S.-led military mission is to unseat Libya’s long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Carpenter believed that the current military action by the United States and its NATO allies have already gone beyond the Security Council resolution and what the Arab League had expected.
“If the coalition comes out openly about overthrowing Gaddafi, then the coalition is well beyond these mandates,” Carpenter told Xinhua on Tuesday.
The Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament, on Wednesday adopted a statement, calling on Western countries to stop their military action in Libya to help bring “an immediate cease-fire and stop deaths and suffering among civilians.”
The military action has revealed the desire of several states to use the UN mandate as a pretext for achieving objectives “other than the declared protection of civilian population” in Libya, said the Duma statement.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday that Resolution 1973 had a clear framework, and that any action that goes beyond the framework “is illegal.”
Li Baodong, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, on Thursday called upon all parties concerned “to cease fire immediately in order to avoid escalating the conflict and worsening the already tense situation in the region.”
“The relevant Security Council resolution is aimed at humanitarian protection, rather than creating more civilian casualties and a bigger humanitarian catastrophe,” Li said when speaking at the consultations of the UN Security Council on Libya.
African Union (AU) Commission Chairman Jean Ping reiterated in France on Thursday that the AU opposed foreign military intervention in Libya. He added that Western forces did not conduct sufficient consultations with the AU before launching the military attacks on Libya.
South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday warned the West against abusing the UN resolution on Libya, calling for an immediate cease-fire in Libya and no violation of Libya’s sovereignty.
Editor: Xiong Tong
|THERE seems to be an anxiety in some circles in the West to somehow link Al Qaeda to the anti-regime revolt in Libya despite indications that Osama Bin Laden’s associates have not really made any inroads into Muammar Qadhafi’s tightly controlled country.
While it is highly unlikely that Al Qaeda does have any significant role in the Libyan rebellion, the militant group appears to be a major beneficiary of the crisis. It is reported to have acquired weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, from Libyan military warehouses in areas overrun by the anti-Qadhafi forces. That should indeed be worrying.
In an interview appearing in an Italian publication, a man described as a leader of Libyan dissidents claims that “international jihadists” who fought the US-led coalition troops in Iraq are now fighting Qadhafi’s regime in Libya.
The Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore quotes Abdul Hakim Al Hasidi, the presumed Al Qaeda leader in Libya, as saying that a small number of his people are “today in the front lines” in eastern Libya fighting Qadhafi’s forces.
Hasidi is described as a key anti-Qadhafi leader and a “jihadist” who fought against US-led “invaders” in Afghanistan and recruited Libyans to go to Iraq to fight against the allied forces there. He was captured in Pakistan in 2002, handed over to the US, then detained in Libya until he was released in 2008.
Hasidi reportedly “admitted” in the Italian newspaper interview that he had recruited “around 25” men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya” in Libya.
Hasidi insists that his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” and that “members of Al Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.” According to US and British government sources, Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which killed dozens of Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996. He subsequently joined Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
In February, Al Qaeda issued a call for supporters to back the Libyan revolt, which it said would lead to the imposition of Islamic law in the country. The LIFG is not believed to be part of the Al Qaeda organisation. However, according to the United States military’s West Point Academy, the two groups “increasingly co-operative relationship.”
Britain’s Daily Telegraph says that in 2007, documents captured by allied forces from the town of Sinja showed LIFG members accounting for the second-largest group of foreign fighters in Iraq. Saudi were the largest contingent.
The Qadhafi regime, long known for its intolerance of dissent, kept the LIFG — and indeed all other anti-Qadhafi groups — well under check, cracking down with a harsh hand whenever the strongman felt the slightest challenge to his rule. His intelligence and informant networks were very effective in pinpointing sources of dissent, and hence Al Qaeda could not plug in any of its roots in Qadhafi’s Libya.
There is no indication whatsoever that LIFG or Al Qaeda initiated the anti-Qadhafi revolt but it is possible that they joined the rebellion after it was well under way. They do have an advantage though — they have good fighting experience in Iraq. Their number will be very limited, as admitted by Hasidi himself.
However, that did not prevent Qadhafi from claiming from day one that Al Qaeda had corrupted his youths with drugs and turned them against him. Qadhafi was seeking to project himself as the victim of Al Qaeda’s ire and wrath for Libya’s support for the US-led “war on terror.” He equated his country as any other partner in the US effort to fight groups like Al Qaeda around the world.
That was indeed a turnaround for someone who, for at least three decades, supported militant groups in the region and beyond and played them against governments he deemed to be hostile to him. But the claim of being targeted by Al Qaeda did not achieve him anything since it was rejected outright by the US and allies.
The interim National Council formed in Benghazi, the eastern town in the hands of Libyan dissidents, appears to be largely independent and free of any specific political orientation. There is no indication that hard-line Islamist tendencies in the group, which is certified to have had a good start in governance by the former US ambassador to Libya.
Obviously, Hasidi and his likes would like to claim some credit for the anti-Qadhafi revolt. They are backed by media outlets which are eager to get “something new” on crises around the world.
An (unlikely) Al Qaeda domination of a post-Qadhafi Libya would be a worst-case scenario for the Libyan people. In any event, the US-led West would not permit that to happen.
Much more alarming is an assertion by Chadian President Idriss Deby Itn that Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has taken advantage of the strife in Libya to steal military weapons, including an unspecified number of surface-to-air missiles.
In an interview with an African magazine, Deby says that the weapons were stolen from areas controlled by Libyan rebels and then smuggled into an Al Qaeda sanctuary. He is not clear on numbers of weapons but insists that he is “100 per cent sure” of his information.
“The Islamists of Al Qaeda took advantage of the pillaging of arsenals in the rebel zone to acquire arms, including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries in Tenere,” he told the African weekly Jeune Afrique.
Tenere is a desert region of the Sahara that stretches from north-east Niger to western Chad. Sources in Mali and Nigeria have confirmed Deby’s account. Saddam Hussein’s (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of the likes of Al Qaeda was one of the fears and reasons cited for the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. The fears appear to have come true in Libya, eight years later. Al Qaeda’s reported possession of surface-to-air missiles should indeed be a cause for great concern since they could be used to shoot down passenger aircraft, something the group would not hesitate to do if it found such action serving its sinister purposes.
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Nuclear Site Alert Level = 100 CPM
How the Map Works:
A growing number of Radiation Monitoring Stations across the country, using various models of GeigerCounters, upload their Radiation Count data in real time to their computer using a Data Cable, and then over the Internet to this web site, all of this accomplished through GeigerGraph for Networks software.
How to Read the Map:
Referring to the Map Legend at the bottom left corner of the map, locate Monitoring Stations around the country that are contributing radiation data to this map as you read this, and watch the numbers on those monitoring stations update as frequently as every minute (your browser will automatically refresh). The numbers represent radiation Counts per Minute, abbreviated CPM, and under normal conditions, quantify the level of background radiation, i.e. environmental radiation from outer space as well as from the earth’s crust and air. Depending on your location within the US, your elevation or altitude, and your model of Geiger counter, this background radiation level might average anywhere from 5 to 60 CPM, and while background radiation levels are random, it would be unusual for those levels to exceed 100 CPM. Thus, the “Alert Level” for the National Radiation Map is 100 CPM, so if you see any Monitoring Stations with CPM value above 100, further indicated by an Alert symbolover those stations, it probably means that some radioactive source above and beyond background radiation is responsible.
Notice the Time and Date Stamp at the bottom center of the Map. That is Arizona Time, from where we service the Network, and your indication of how recently the Radiation Levels have been updated to the Map.