“Radio Mullah” Fazlullah Ordered the Attempted Murder of Malala Yousufzai

 

THE FACE OF A CHILD-KILLING MONSTER

Taliban’s ‘Radio Mullah’ sent hit squad after Pakistani schoolgirl

PESHAWAR: One of the Taliban’s most feared commanders, Maulana Fazlullah, carefully briefed two killers from his special hit squad on their next target.

The gunmen weren’t going after any army officer, politician or western diplomat. Their target was a 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who had angered the Taliban by speaking out for “western-style” girls’ education.

Tuesday’s shooting of Malala Yousufzai was the culmination of years of campaigning that had pitted the fearless, smiling young girl against one of Pakistan’s most ruthless Taliban commanders.

Their story began in 2009, when Fazlullah, known as Radio Mullah for his fiery radio broadcasts, took over Swat Valley, and ordered the closure of girls’ schools, including Yousufzai’s.

Outraged, the then-11-year-old kept a blog for the BBC under a pen name and later launched a campaign for girls’ education. It won her Pakistan’s highest civilian honour and death threats from the Taliban.

Yousufzai was not blind to the dangers. In her hometown of Mingora, Fazlullah’s Taliban fighters dumped bodies near where her family lived.

“I heard my father talking about another three bodies lying at Green Chowk,” she wrote in her diary, referring to a nearby roundabout.

A military offensive pushed Fazlullah out of Swat in 2009, but his men simply melted away across the border to Afghanistan. Earlier this year, they kidnapped and beheaded 17 Pakistani soldiers in one of several cross border raids.

Yousufzai continued speaking out despite the danger. As her fame grew, Fazlullah tried everything he could to silence her. The Taliban published death threats in the newspapers and slipped them under her door. But she ignored them.

The Taliban say that’s why they sent assassins, despite a tribal code forbidding the killing of women.

“We had no intentions to kill her but were forced when she would not stop (speaking against us),” said Sirajuddin Ahmad, a spokesman of Swat Taliban now based in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

He said the Taliban held a meeting a few months ago at which they unanimously agreed to kill her. The task was then given to military commanders to carry out.

The militia has a force of around 100 men specialized in targeted killing, fighters said. They chose two men, aged between 20-30, who were locals from Swat Valley.

The gunmen had proved their worth in previous assassinations, killing an opposition politician and attacking a leading hotelier for “obscenity” in promoting tourism.

Their trademark is to kill by shots to the head. Such hits, although dangerous, are also a badge of honour among the Taliban. The fighters who carry them out often receive personal calls of congratulations from senior leaders and may also get cash or guns.

Now it was Yousufzai’s turn. “Before the attack, the two fighters personally collected information about Malala’s route to school, timing, the vehicle she used and her security,” Ahmad said.

They decided to shoot her near a military checkpoint to make the point they could strike anywhere, he said.

On Tuesday, the two men stopped the bus she was riding home in. They asked for Yousufzai by name. Although the frightened girls said she wasn’t there, the men fired at her and also hit two other girls in the van. One of them remains in critical condition.

Shot in the head and the neck, Yousufzai still lies unconscious in hospital, unaware that world leaders from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to UN President Barack Obama have pledged support. Schoolchildren in Swat prayed for her recovery.

“The American people are shocked by this deplorable shooting of a girl who was targeted because she dared to attend school,” a statement from the White House said.

On Wednesday, the singer Madonna dedicated a song to Yousufzai during a LA concert. In a gesture that bemused many Pakistanis, she performed a striptease that revealed Yousufzai’s first name, Malala, written across her back.

Her would-be killers said they had no idea their attack would propel their victim, already a national hero, into a global icon.

“Actually the media gave it so much importance and now even Ban Ki-moon used dirty language against us,” Ahmad said. The international community stayed silent when the Pakistani security forces killed women during a crackdown, he complained.

Now that they had failed to kill Yousufzai, they would target her father, Ahmad said.

Ziauddin Yousufzai, the headmaster of a girls’ school, is on their hit list for speaking against them, his activities to promote peace in the region and for encouraging his daughter.

“We have a clear-cut stance. Anyone who takes side with the government against us will have to die at our hands,” Ahmad warned. “You will see. Other important people will soon become victims.”

Only the Pakistani Women Are Ready To Wipe-Out the Big Men Who Call Themselves “Mujahedeen”

Tehrik of Taliban against Pakistan?

Tehrik of Taliban against Pakistan?Awami National Party (ANP) leader Bushra Gohar succinctly summed up the very intentions of the Taliban, yesterday, when she said “the militants are even scared of children now.” Thehorrendous act of terror showed that there are no limits to whom and where the Taliban can strike – even in regions that have been given the green signal by the government and law-enforcement agencies as being Taliban free.

It wasn’t until late into the night on Tuesday thatpolitical parties issued statementscondemning the attack. Even then, most leaders decided against issuing an all-out condemnation of the Taliban or calling for action against them. Barring the ANP, none of the party’s representatives said the Taliban should be dealt with forcefully in order to restore peace in the country.

The violence and terror unleashed by the Taliban and their various factions over the last half a decade is there for everyone to see. Countless innocent lives have been lost to bomb blasts, IED attacks, suicide attacks, targeted killings and other similar variants of violence. Why, then, has it been so difficult for the mainstream political parties to openly voice their opposition to the Taliban?

How many more lives will be lost before the decision makers and power brokers go all out against these men who have committed so many heinous crimes?

In the 24 hours, or more, that have transpired since the attack on the brave young girl there have been widespread peaceful protests across the country and abroad, against the act. People have also taken to social media to register and voice their disgust.

Has the time come for the political parties, the elected representatives, the military and other law-enforcement agencies to unite against the Taliban and launch an all-out operation against them?

How long will it take until the decision makers put their foot down and condemn the terrorists without mincing their words?

Dawn.com invites its readers to share their opinions and debate over this issue…

“Any Female Playing A Role In War Against Mujahideen Should Be Killed.–Official TTP Statement

[The people of Pakistan, ALL OF THEM, are confronted with a choice which they must make--Will Pakistan be ruled by the animals who take pride in the murder of children, throwing acid in little girls' faces and the burning of their schools, or will they join hands with the rest of the human race?  Altaf Hussain said "the attack on Malala as an attack on all humanity."  He is absolutely correct.  If Pakistanis do not join hands in a national crusade for their children, then they will be handing them over to the animals who think themselves to be modern-day Prophets of God.  Any Muslim man, who has been faithful to the real word of the Quran and not just selected quotes taken out of context, could easily refute all of the pious-sounding words of the ignorant Taliban as they murder and maim the innocent in favor of serving a false "shariah."  They could do that, if they weren't afraid to defend themselves, their families and the word of God itself against the criminal gangs who roam the countryside, calling themselves "mujahedeen."]

Altaf urges all workers to collect details on muftis, ulemas

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KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Friday urged all office bearers, party workers and peace loving citizens of Karachi and the country to submit within a week the details of all muftis and ulemas (clerics) in their localities, regardless of their sectarian affiliations, with the party’s unit and sector offices situated in their respective areas, DawnNews reported.

The MQM chief said that the particulars of all religious leaders holding different positions and titles such as mufti, imam, aalim and khatib would then be collected from the units and sectors at the zonal level from where they would be immediately consolidated at the MQM headquarter Nine Zero in Karachi.

He further instructed all sector and unit office bearers to note down the names and addresses of all those who refuse to share their particulars so that the list of their names could be sent to the government which could then itself obtain the details. The MQM chief said the measure would benefit the country and its innocent citizens.

Earlier on Thursday, Altaf Hussain had given a 24-hour-long ultimatum to all top muftis and ulema (clerics) of the country to openly denounce the cowardly attack on Pakistani child activist Malala Yousufzai and vowed to expose all those who failed to condemn the attack by banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Altaf gives muftis, ulema 24 hrs to condemn attack on Malala

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MQM Chief Altaf Hussain. — File Photo

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Thursday gave 24 hours ultimatum to all top muftis and ulema (clerics) of the country to openly denounce the cowardly attack on young Pakistani children’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai or else he will ‘expose’ them, DawnNews reported.

In a statement, issued by the party, Hussain vowed to expose all clerics, who will fail to condemn the attack by banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in his scheduled speech at the party’s workers convention on Sunday.

The MQM chief had declared the attack on Malala as an attack on all humanity and said that perpetrators of the vile act should be swiftly brought to justice.

Malala along with two other schoolmates sustained bullet injuries when armed assailants opened fire on their school van in Mingora city, Swat on Tuesday.

The TTP had taken responsibility for attacking the national peace award winner on the same day.

The Taliban, who have killed thousands of people across Pakistan in the last five years and destroyed hundreds of girls’ schools, have issued a statement saying that any female who opposes them should be killed.

 

Mexican Warlordism and Their Dialogue of Weapons

The use of symbolic violence in Mexico’s drug war

Despite taboos and lost legitimacy, armed groups around the world  engage in extreme acts of violence, symbolic and otherwise. In order for  decision-makers to understand what can be done about the increasing  brutality, they must understand what’s behind it. In the fourth  installment of Baker Institute Viewpoints, an institute postdoctoral  fellow in drug policy and two outside scholars conducting doctoral  research on these issues explain why some armed groups utilize extreme  symbolic forms of violence, and how they justify their actions.  In the final post of the three-day series, Nathan Jonesthe institute’s Alfred C. Glassell III Postdoctoral Fellow in Drug Policy, explores the underpinnings of drug-related violence in Mexico.

Extreme and symbolic violence has become a form communication in the context of weak Mexican state capacity and the presence of powerful organized crime groups.  It is important not to exaggerate the use of symbolic violence in the Mexican “drug war,” as it can lead to false understandings.  Before explaining how extreme violence is used in the context of Mexico, we must first understand Mexican drug violence in comparative and historical context.

Homicide rates in comparative perspective

Based upon media accounts in the United States, many believe that Mexico is extremely violent.  Indeed in comparison to United States’ homicide rates of less than 5 per 100,000, Mexico does appear high. It should noted that these homicides are often highly localized and vary by region. Violence must be kept in perspective. Mexican homicide rates of about 24 per 100,000 (preliminary data 2011) are a fraction of other Latin American countries such as Venezuela (49 per 100,000 in 2009), Honduras (82.1 per 100,000 in 2010) and El Salvador (66 per 100,000 in 2010).  As Harvard doctoral candidate Viridiana Rios has argued, Mexico suffers from “mediatic violence” that is more likely to grab headlines and capture public attention.

Why do once relatively peaceful Mexican cartels now use extreme and symbolic forms of violence?

Let me begin by ruling out common causal explanations. I am extremely skeptical of cultural explanations of violence in Mexico. Mexico’s homicide rates were on a downward trend for decades — until the end of the administration of President Vicente Fox (2000-2006), according to Rios’ dissertation.  Nor do I believe that the drug war has tapped into some mythical violent pre-Hispanic past, given those previously descending rates of violence and other stronger structural explanations.

Structural explanations of violence

Structural explanations about the changes in the government and society better align with the timing of increased violence. Many blame President Felipe Calderon’s crackdown on drug trafficking organizations for the violence. As Rios has shown, the problem was simmering before he took office. He simply pulled the lid off an already boiling-over pot and through kingpin strategies exacerbated inter- and intra-cartel conflicts.

Mexico’s higher levels of violence stem from a change in the macro state-cartel relationship and took decades to become apparent.  In the 1980s the relationship could be characterized as “collusive,” as Shirk and Astorgaargue.  But following the death of American DEA agent Enrique Camarena, the U.S. government put incredible pressure on its Mexican counterpart to capture those responsible and disband the corrupt Direccion Federal de Seguridad, which had hitherto managed drug traffickers. This led to what Duran Martinez and Snyder argue is a more violent equilibrium caused by the presence of many trafficking groups and many law enforcement agencies that could no longer easily negotiate with each other.

However, in the United States we also possess many law enforcement agencies and many street and prison gangs — yet have low levels of violence.  The primary difference is the strength of state institutions.  Those committing crimes in the United States can be relatively certain that they will be prosecuted and spend time in prison at some point.  This is why Skarbek argues prison gangs can dominate and demand a “tax” from street gangs as he illustrates with La Eme in Southern California.  On the other hand, a study from Mexico’s prestigiousInstituto Tecnologico de Monterrey estimates the Mexican legal system resolves less than 2% of all crimes, leading to widespread impunity.

The Calderon administration has already begun instituting important judicial reforms, though these will take decades to be fully implemented.  Americans should remember our own history of addressing organized crime.  The end of Prohibition did not witness the end organized crime power in America.  It did, however, deny organized crime significant profits, which weakened it and allowed the U.S. government to strengthen its own law enforcement apparatus, turning organized crime into a manageable problem. This process took decades.

Challenging the drug prohibition regime

An understanding of this history makes it all the more understandable that Latin American leaders such as Guatemalan President Perez Molina are calling for a fundamental reevaluation of the global drug prohibition regime. Faced with weak state capacity and powerful organized crime actors, they believe they must both change the global prohibition regime and strengthen state capacity to hasten the moment when their nations can enjoy low violence equilibriums.

In the context of weak state institutions and a confrontational relationship with the state, Mexican traffickers fight among each other for control of territory to traffic drugs and extort local populations.  These organized crime groups have entered an equilibrium, in which, as Michael Hampson argues, symbolic violence has become a cost-effective mechanism of control of local populations and a language to signal dominance in territories where other drug trafficking organizations are present or considering encroachment.

The role of technology

Technology has magnified the effect and reach of symbolic violence.  Traffickers have utilized youtube and social media to spread their acts and notoriety.  Traffickers time their killings to maximize media coverage and leavenarco-mantas or notes for local populations and/or rival traffickers.  Social media has proven of limited utility in reporting on criminal actions where traffickers enforce media blackouts.  Traffickers have targeted social media users who denounce drug violence with symbolic assassinations.

Whereas established organized crime groups can enjoy the reputation for violence established by previous acts or predecessors, newly organized crime groups must establish a reputation for violence from scratch.  Thus, hyper-violent acts like the five severed heads thrown onto a nightclub dance-floor in 2006 announced the emergence of La Familia Michoacana.  One of the unfortunate unintended consequences of Calderon’s kingpin strategies has been the creation of more new and reputation hungry organized crime groups as they splinter-off from decapitated “cartels.”

Stronger state capacity will take decades for full implementation

The Calderon Administration sees 2011 as a turning point in which violence levels appear to have stopped their steep climb and it hopes will begin a steady decrease.  Unfortunately this may not lead to a significant improvement in the perception of violence because the use of extreme violence by ever more desperate groups facing stronger state institutions are likely to continue until these institutions are sufficiently effective to deter them — a process that will take decades, just as it did in the United States.

Nathan Jones is the Alfred C. Glassell III Postdoctoral Fellow in Drug Policy at the Baker Institute. His areas of interest include U.S.-Mexico security issues, illicit networks and cross-border flows.

Attempted Murder of 14-year-old Schoolgirl In Swat By Pakistani Taliban

 Malala Yousafzai

SWAT: Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have claimed responsibility of an attack on Malala Yousafzai, the National Peace Prize Winner.

 

TTP spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan said his group was behind the shooting.

 

“We carried out this attack,” spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP, speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location. “Anybody who speaks against us will be attacked in the same way.”

 

“She was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her idol,” Ehsan said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

 

“She was young but she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas,” he said.

Pakistani hospital workers carry injured Malala Yousafzai, 14, on a stretcher at a hospital following an attack by gunmen in Mingora on October 9, 2012 source

Shooting of teen peace activist triggers revulsion at terror apologists

ANITA JOSHUA

Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old peace activist who became the `voice of girls in Swat’ when the Taliban controlled the valley in 2008, was injured in a shooting incident on Tuesday; triggering a nationwide wave of revulsion at terrorists and their apologists.

Malala was returning from school in Swat when unidentified assailants opened fire at the vehicle in which she was travelling. Two other passengers were also injured in the attack. Malala was first taken to a local hospital. Her condition was reported to be stable even as Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf announced in Parliament that a helicopter was being sent to Mingora to bring her to Islamabad for treatment.

Malala had received death threats from the Taliban for speaking out against terrorism and advocating girls education. According to some media reports, the assailants first asked the passengers in the vehicle to identify Malala. When they did not oblige, the assailants opened indiscriminate fire at the vehicle.

Malala shot to prominence in 2009 when she began writing a diary in Urdu under the pseudonym `Gul Makai’ for the BBC about the travails of living under the Taliban regime. She was only 11 then but her heart-rending accounts caught international attention and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by Amsterdam-based advocacy group KidsRights in 2011.

As news broke of Malala being shot, condemnation was quick to follow from across the political spectrum with even the religious right wing parties joining in. The Jam’at-ud-Da’wah also condemned the shooting even as cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf came in for scathing criticism for being an apologist for terrorism and his advocacy of peace deals with terrorists instead of military action against them.

Anguished by the television footage of the girl being treated in hospital, the general drift of the discourse on all platforms – television and social media – was that the `fog of war’ was not an excuse Pakistan could any longer afford. The nation would have to see terrorism for all its evils without making excuses for it; that there cannot be “good terrorists and bad terrorists’’.

DEA–The Biggest Cartel

EPN and corruption to be imported

General Oscar Naranjo, and the president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto. 
Photo: Eduardo Miranda

DEA documents indicate that during the government of Alvaro Uribe several staff supported the drug trafficking activities of the paramilitary United Self Defense Forces of Colombia, the Office of Envigado criminal group and the Norte del Valle Cartel. One of those identified by the U.S. agency is General Oscar Naranjo, who the PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto appointed security advisor in case Mexico.The chairing Colombian General Oscar Adolfo Naranjo Trujillo, whom Enrique Peña Nieto announced as the next security adviser, should become President of Mexico had relations with drug traffickers and paramilitaries of his country and was involved in bribery and other corruption.

MEXICO CITY (Process). – This was established in documents U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA, for its acronym in English) made from interrogations of former leaders of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), who stated that politicians and officials close to President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) gave them support for their military and drug trafficking.

Salvatore Mancuso Gómez, one of the former leaders of the AUC, extradited to the U.S. in 2008 on charges of drug trafficking, went further and told the DEA that Juan Manuel Santos, the defense minister and the government of Colombian President Uribe participated in a plot to overthrow in 1995 the then president Ernesto Samper. He explained that this conspiracy resulted in the murder of politician Alvaro Gomez Hurtado and said even at that murder “were involved” Gen. Naranjo and one of his officers, Danilo González Gil.

DEA agents also questioned Rafael Garcia, and former official of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS), Colombia’s intelligence agency.

Garcia revealed that Jorge Noguera Cotes, DAS director from 2002 to 2005, provided logistical support and infrastructure of the institution to which the AUC traficaran drugs into the U.S. through Mexico and Venezuela and even Noguera himself “was responsible for initial contacts “with the Beltran Leyva cartel.

The memoranda of the DEA has copies of Process-are intended to document “corruption of public officials in Colombia.” Are dated between March 2010 and March 2011, and are addressed to Jay Bergman, regional director of the Division of the DEA Andes, whose offices are in Bogotá.

In the package of documents there is also a “research report” dated August 4, 2009. It was developed by members of the DEA office in New York.

All of them are names of officials, military and police chiefs, legislators and businessmen allegedly linked to the activities of the AUC. In fact, when DEA agents asked Mancuso on political corruption in Colombia, he replied that “according to its own estimates of the AUC over 35% of the congressmen elected in 2002 had some link, financial or other “, with that organization.

General Contacts

According to a DEA memo dated March 25, 2010, Mancuso reported that in 1997 the police arrested him along with Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, commander of the Northern Bloc of the AUC, because they were in possession of automatic weapons and grenades. The police temporarily detained in a prison in the department of La Guajira. Sought help from Carlos Castaño, then top leader of the AUC.

“Then, ‘says the report, Brown called the (at that time) head of the National Police of Colombia, Gen. Rosso Jose Serrano Cadena, and asked for help. Serrano turn called Oscar Naranjo with instructions to get out of jail and Tovar Pupo Mancuso. This (Naranjo) meanwhile sent Colonel Danilo Gonzalez Gil, who rented a plane that took him to La Guajira in order to resolve the legal situation (the paramilitaries). Both were released after paying a bribe. “

As part of the so-called Justice and Peace process, which allowed the demobilization of the paramilitaries in return for reducing their penalties for their crimes, including killings of civilians, Mancuso appeared in 2006 and 2007 to Colombian prosecutors. According to the memorandum of the DEA, Mancuso said that when these hearings Naranjo began before the media described him as “a liar” and that the general himself “instructed Diego Murillo Bejarano, Don Berna (drug dealer, head of the criminal organization of Envigado and then one of the spokesmen of the AUC), to be silent “Mancuso.

At that time Don Berna and Mancuso were in the same prison in the town of Itagui, Antioquia. According to the document, the first told the second “to keep quiet about corruption in the police or they could hurt your family.” Mancuso said that as a result of his statements “were assassination attempts against his family, while the Colombian government withdrew security devices protecting” to it.
Mancuso told the DEA that the police Col. Danilo Gonzalez-a who described “Naranjo favorite son” – “used to be seen in meetings with members of the North Valle Cartel”, which came even “with his police uniform.”

Gonzalez was in junior Naranjo National Police of Colombia and close associate of the DEA. He was killed in March 2004 in a law office mafia bosses. By this time the government of Colombia had discharged in the police and U.S. authorities had framed for its relations with the North Valley Cartel.

The memorandum notes that when DEA agents Mancuso asked “who else could verify his claims about police corruption”, he responded that Don Berna and Luis Gomez Bustamante, Scratch-another former leader of the AUC also extradited to the United -States, “were aware of the widespread corruption of General Naranjo”. He even said that “the relationship between Bustamante and Gomez Naranjo began when both were members of Los Pepes, a paramilitary group created to assassinate members and relatives of Pablo Escobar Gaviria.”

According to the document, Mancuso recalled that in 2003 the police arrested in Bogota Alberto Agredo drug trafficker. He said that while he was in police custody, Murillo Bejarano sent his then deputy Carlos Echeverri with Naranjo Aguilar and paid “$ 500,000 as a bribe to let him go (Agredo)”. He stated that “Agredo was arrested on two other occasions with the sole purpose of blackmail.”

Another DEA memo, also dated March 25, 2010, to review the interrogation Carlos Mario Jimenez Naranjo, Macaco, former member of the Norte del Valle Cartel, commander of the Central Bolivar Bloc of the AUC from 1998 to 2006 and extradited to United States in 2008 for drug trafficking.

Macaco told DEA agents that Wilber Varela, head of the Norte del Valle Cartel, was “long associated” with Naranjo. Varela himself stated that “once told him he had purchased eight cellular interception devices and gave three of them to Dijin (Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Interpol) so used the General Naranjo”.

Varela was killed in Merida, Venezuela, in January 2008. After his death, and amid diplomatic tensions between Bogota and Caracas, Ramon Rodriguez Chacin, Minister of Popular Power for Interior and Justice of Venezuela, offered on March 4 of that year a press conference in which he accused the government Colombia being the murder.

He showed a computer that investigators found in Venezuela where Varela died and that would have belonged. He said he had information on that computer that established “consanguineous and affinal ties, more than that, business” between the drug dealer and Naranjo. He added that Varela “was killed before he capturáramos not to reveal important information” (Proceso 1859).

Plot

During interrogation he was subjected by the DEA, Salvatore Mancuso said Juan Manuel Santos, former Minister of Defense of the Uribe government and current president of Colombia, “maintained ties with the AUC and cocaine traffickers.”Moreover, Santos said “was involved in planning a military coup against the administration of (Ernesto) Samper” (1994-1998).

The memo said the DEA’s March 25, 2010 stands:

“Mancuso said Santos and the rest of the oligarchy of Bogota were upset by the corruption and inefficiency of the Samper administration and decided to join forces with the Norte del Valle Cartel and the AUC in order to replace a politician Samper popular choice (…)

“Interim President Alvaro Gomez Hurtado should be. Mancuso said that Santos and the rest of the conspirators wanted information about bribes that the Norte del Valle Cartel had paid Samper administration and that this information and the support of the Colombian military they destabilize the Samper government, which would replace by an interim government headed by Gómez Hurtado. “

The document continues: “Mancuso said Santos and 20 other people were flown to the city of Monteria, in the department of Cordoba, and then took a helicopter belonging to Luis Hernando Gomez Bustamante (aka Scratch, a major cartel kingpins North Valley) that transported them to San Pedro de Urabá, Antioquia, where they planned the coup. Unfortunately for the conspirators, was that Gomez Hurtado declined to be president and threatened to expose the plan. According to Mancuso, Danilo González Gil and Naranjo were involved in the murder of Gomez Hurtado to cover the conspiracy. “

Gómez Hurtado was deputy, senator and three-time candidate for President of Colombia. His murder occurred on November 2, 1995 as he was leaving the premises of the University Sergio Arboleda.

Actually Mancuso’s statements to the DEA on Santos involvement in a plot to overthrow Samper not new. We had made the May 15, 2007 before tax of Colombia, during the Justice and Peace process. Only then did not mention that the plot would have resulted in the death of Gomez Hurtado.

According to a note published Caracol Radio in May 2007, Santos, then defense minister, denied allegations that Gomez Bustamante made against him in the Justice and Peace process. Admitted Samper wanted to leave the government, but never proposed overthrow.

But this alleged plot, for illegal wiretapping scandal by the intelligence services and the police have made statements that strained relations with Venezuela, in May of that year the opposition parties to the government of Uribe and Radical Change Party (Uribe coalition) in the Colombian Congress proposed a motion of censure against Santos. On June 13 of that year, Congress rejected the motion because backtracked Radical Change.

As Semana magazine published on January 20, 2010, Gomez-Bustamante extradited to the United States in July 2007 – told a Colombian-American judicial commission that former President Samper and his Interior Minister Horacio Serpa, allegedly masterminding Gómez Hurtado’s death and that Colonel Danilo Gonzalez allegedly used two noncommissioned officers of the National Police you trust to commit the murder. Both Serpa Samper denied any involvement in the killing and described the statements of Gomez Bustamante of “fantasy”.

The Bodyguard

In interviews with the DEA, Mancuso and Jimenez Naranjo noted that several close aides to former President Uribe took money from the AUC and drug trafficking organizations in exchange for offering support.

One of them, retired Gen. Mauricio Velasco Santoyo, Uribe Security chief from 2002 to 2005.

Santoyo said Naranjo Jiménez received a “salary” of the AUC and a brother-this was the security chief drug trafficker Daniel Barrera Barrera, El Loco Barrera.

Another questioned by the DEA, Francisco Florez Upegui, Don Pancho, former leader of the Office of Envigado-Santoyo said had links to the Office of Envigado and Peter Gallon Henao-linked drug trafficking activities “had access to corrupt officials at the highest level in the Colombian police, which received ‘special favors’ through Santoyo “.

These statements to the DEA in March and May 2010, respectively, apparently were unfounded: the Colombian press reported that on Monday February Santoyo DEA gave the agency’s hangar at the military airport in Bogota. The reason: faces drug trafficking charges in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

According to the U.S. indictment, the AUC and the Office of Envigado paid kickbacks to Montoya for it to assist in drug trafficking operations and hand them operational intelligence on the DEA and Colombian authorities.

Oscar Rodriguez, Santoyo lawyer, said he “pleaded guilty” during a hearing on Friday 13 in federal court in Alexandria, as published on Wednesday 18 Colombian newspaper El Espectador.

The cartel of the three letters

A “research report” prepared by the DEA office in New York, dated August 4, 2009, accounts for interrogation made by members of that agency to Rafael Garcia, head of the Information Systems DAS September 2002 to January 2005.The interrogation took place in Montevideo, Uruguay, from 28 to 30 July 2009.

According to that document, Garcia said during the 2002 presidential election “Raul Montoya Flores, a wealthy businessman who was a friend of Gilberto Molina, former member of the Medellin Cartel during the nineties, provided large amounts of money to finance the presidential campaign” of Uribe. He argued that “Molina bank accounts were used to pay for the murder of the editor of the newspaper The Spectator, Guillermo Cano”.

Garcia noted that in 2002 when Uribe won the presidential election, he appointed as director Jorge Noguera Cotes DAS. The request made by Sergio Araujo Castro, figurehead commander of the Northern Bloc of the AUC, Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, Jorge 40. At that time Garcia Noguera appointed head of the Information Systems DAS.

Garcia said his job was to “support the AUC”, which included obtaining intelligence secrets and manipulate or alter judicial information to benefit the AUC and major traffickers. He said that to do this, the DAS was supported by collaborators located within several legal entities of the Colombian government.

For example: “The overall exprocurador then ambassador of Colombia in Mexico, Juan Camilo Osorio, the DAS provided information on seizures of assets that were outstanding arrest warrants and extradition requests, which facilitated the task of altering DAS delete files or criminals. “

Garcia said that the then Colonel Mauricio Velasco Santoyo, Uribe’s security chief, was “receiver” of information obtained illegally by the DAS and sometimes he requested the agency will “investigate individuals which were subsequently subjected to threats of death or attempts on their lives. “

Garcia said that the AUC provided information about an operation against the National Police of Colombia would make in the department of Magdalena. This corporation realized and began investigating. At that time the DAS received information about an operation against the AUC should inform them: The Operation Cyclone, which would carry out the Anti-Money Laundering Unit of the Attorney General’s Office. Garcia declined to provide information to the paramilitary organization. He confessed that he feared for his safety and that of your family. Noguera talked to his boss.

“Noguera told Garcia that President Uribe and Attorney Osorio had knowledge of everything that they (Noguera and Garcia) were doing and made an appointment with the president in which he approved the release of secret information,” the report rests DEA.

He adds, “Garcia gave the information to the AUC, which resulted in the failure of Operation Cyclone”.

Garcia said that in 2003 Noguera created an underground group to infiltrate Venezuela and provide support for the Democratic Bloc (BD), President Chavez opposition organization. He said the BD allowed clandestine group that used Venezuelan territory and coastal areas to traffic drugs in exchange for support of the DAS and the AUC to overthrow Chávez.

Garcia said the DAS became known as “the cartel of the three letters” because, in its support to the AUC, was directly involved in drug trafficking.

He told: “The narcotics were being transported from Colombia to Venezuela and then to Guatemala and Mexico via speedboats carrying tons of cocaine. The former governor of the department of Cesar, Hernando Molina Araujo, established routes and facilitated contacts in Guatemala for loads of cocaine. “

The DEA document adds: “Noguera was responsible for initiating contacts with the organization of the Beltran Leyva Mexican. Garcia also traveled to Mexico and representing Noguera met with members of the Beltran Leyva, who negotiated with drug shipments. “

Garcia and Noguera had denounced in 2006 in Colombia. A year later the Colombian justice stopped him and started against a judgment that climbed to the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, which in September 2011 was sentenced to 25 years in prison for an alliance with the paramilitaries of the AUC and facilitate insider.

NATO Uses Turkey, Who Uses Free Syrian Army, To Self-Authorize NATO Attack On Syria

[This Israeli government spokesman is appealing to the world to accept the proposition that any stray bullets or shells coming across the border from Syria are an  "attack" upon Turkey, and by extension, an attack upon NATO.  This statement is intended to back-up the recent Turkish Parliament authorization for military operations inside Syria.  So Turkey is now ready to do what Israel has been afraid to do, go to war against Syria.  It would almost seem as though Israel and Turkey had planned all of this from the beginning, were it not for that ugly little incident with the Gaza Flotilla and the IDF attack upon the MV Mavi Marmara aid ship, on May 31 2010.  Less than one year later, in March or April 2011. the civil war was beginning inside Syria.  

Is it more likely that two bitter antagonists could completely reverse their animosity in less than a year, to suddenly emerge united with one purpose, or is it more reasonable to assume that Israel and Turkey were secretly working hand-in-glove all along?

The anti-Syria project is part of the Greater Middle East strategy of the United States.  Therefore, we are at this critical juncture in the anti-Syrian project (Israel supporting Turkey's call for NATO intervention, while Obama appears to be cautioning against it) because that has been the plan all along, to give the President the appearance of having "clean hands."  Either that, or this has been an Israeli operation from the beginning, to force Turkey and the US/NATO into eliminating Syria for Israel.  For that matter, you would then have to credit the Israelis for the entire Greater Middle East project, even though the whole thing fell apart when US/NATO forces failed to pile-on on the side of Israel against Hezbollah in 2006.  If Israelis had been in charge of the terror war at that time, Syria would have been bombed back to the Stone Age long ago.  Therefore, the only reasonable assumption to make is that Israel has been handling the CIA's dirty work in laying the groundwork for this latest anti-Syrian operation, in order to maintain plausible deniability for Washington.  

Turkey and Israel appeared to be set at odds, in order to elevate Turkey's image in the Muslim world.  Saudi Arabia and Qatar were allowed to conduct their own foreign policies (which appeared to be going against the desires of Obama) for the same reason, to elevate their status on the Muslim street.   Together, the three "maverick" Arab governments have appeared to take the lead in the American/NATO/Arab alliance, creating a so-called "Islamic NATO," which was used to overthrow the Libyan government and to murder Muammar Qaddafi.  This Islamist NATO has led the preliminary battles which have been scheduled as the opening rounds of the bigger war to come, as justification at the United Nations Security Council to empower the real NATO forces inside Syria, so they can do the same to Bashar al-Assad.  

Turkey has been America's primary puppet in this grand deception all along, meaning that the Turkish government has sanctioned the attack which killed eight Turkish citizens on the MV Mavi Marmara in the Gaza Flotilla and probably the PKK attack upon the  Turkish Navy Barracks at Iskenderun earlier that same morning, as well.  In that rocket attack, seven Turks were killed.  State acquiescence to false flag attacks upon their own citizens seems to be a requirement of all participants in America's terror war, a pattern set by the example of the US Govt. itself on 9-11-2001 (SEE:  US/NATO Seeking Escape Mechanism for New Formula for Imperial Aggression).  The "war on terror," a.k.a., "plan for Greater Middle East," is a Pentagon operation, from the beginning, intended to unleash the power of NATO through a series of wars of aggression, without upsetting the American image in the world.  In this way, the US military can utilize its power to the fullest, even violating the nuclear threshold, without turning the world against us.  Now, all that is left is for NATO forces to be successfully brought to bear in Syria, squaring the circle, without making us the "bad guys" against a global "Arab Spring."  NATO is still perfecting the mechanism which will enable them to reliably use "false-flag operations" to create "fault-free" wars of aggression, attacking yourself, to obtain the right to defend yourself, from yourself.]    

Israel says Syrian mortar strike was attack on NATO


PARIS (Reuters) – Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said on Thursday a deadly Syrian mortar strike on a Turkish town had to be considered an attack on a member of the NATO alliance.
Israel is technically at war with Damascus and occupies the Golan Heights that it seized in the 1967 war and later annexed, but it has generally taken a cautious line on the uprising in its Arab neighbor.

“One has to say that according to the NATO treaty, it was an attack on a member of NATO, and that means France,” Meridor told reporters during a visit to Paris, referring to France’s membership of NATO.

Syria and Israel have not exchanged fire in three decades, and a parliamentary briefing in July by the Israeli armed forces chief about the risk of “uncontrollable deterioration” in Syria were interpreted by local media as a caution against opening a new fighting front with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Meridor said he did not want to go into details about the incident but said the deaths in Syria had to end.

“Syria is in a horrible situation, a civil war. Each day men, women and children are being killed and it must be stopped,” Meridor said after meeting France’s foreign and defense ministers.

“We are in a process that isn’t finished. We don’t see the end for now.”

Turkey’s government on Thursday said “aggressive action” against its territory by Syria’s military had become a serious threat to its national security and parliament approved the deployment of Turkish troops beyond its borders if needed.

Immediately after the incident, Ankara, which has the second-largest army in NATO, called a meeting of the organization’s North Atlantic Council.

Syria has apologized through the United Nations for the mortar strike in Turkey and said such an incident would not be repeated.

Israel has been particularly worried that Hezbollah, the Iranian-inspired Shiite militia in neighboring Lebanon, may gain access to the chemical weapons should Assad’s grip slip amid a 18-month-old insurgency.

Assad, from the minority Alawite sect, considered an offshoot of Shia Islam, has close ties both with Shi’ite Iran and Hezbollah, which was originally set up to oppose Israel.

“The alliance with Iran is extremely worrying (for us). Iran on one side, Hezbollah on the other, with Syria in the middle. For us, it’s very important that this unholy alliance is broken,” Meridor said.

“If the Assad regime were to fall, it would be a vital strike on Iran,” he said.

(Reporting By John Irish)

Turkey’s NATO Trap for Obama

Turkey’s NATO Trap for Obama

Turkey, a NATO member with a religious-Sunni, right-wing political base, is setting a dangerous trap for President Obama.

The United States cannot let itself be drawn into war with Syria by virtue of its formal alliance with Turkey, through NATO. Already, Turkey has been shelling Syria. For more than a year, Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan has been itching for a fight with Syria, and now—following a minor incident involving a single mortar shell that crossed the Syrian-Turkish border—he may get one.

If he does, the United States has to stay out of it.

Weirdly, it isn’t even known who fired the mortar, which landed in a Turkish village. As The New York Timesreports: “It was unclear if the mortar that struck Turkey was fired by government forces or by rebels fighting to oust the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.”

The problem for Obama is, if he backs Turkey in what is looking increasingly like Turkish nationalist frenzy, a combination Sunni-Muslim solidarity with Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood rebels and old Ottoman Empire wistfulness, he’ll find himself involved in yet another Middle East war with no end. And if he doesn’t, count on Mitt Romney to accuse him of abandoning a NATO ally.

Various NATO and European circles are calling for restraint, including Catherine Ashton of the EU and the British foreign secretary, William Hague. But the Turks don’t seem ready to restrain themselves, even though their allies in the Syrian civil war are more and more overt terrorists. The horrific bombings in Aleppothis week that left scores of Syrians dead have now been claimed by a partner of Al Qaeda in Syria, a little-known grouplet called Jabhet al-Nusra. The Syrian revolt is increasingly marked by outright terrorism, and extremist Islamists are all over the place. (In contrast, the mainstream part of the revolt seems to be led by the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is far more extreme and less moderate than, say, the branch that runs Egypt today.)

Worryingly, US rhetoric is not exactly emphasizing restraint. Hillary Clinton said she was “outraged” by the minor mortar attack into Turkey, which could have been shrugged off, and she said that the situation was “very, very dangerous.” The Pentagon spokesman called it “yet another example of the depraved behavior of the Syrian regime.” And, despite the relatively restrained comments from some NATO members, NATO itself seemed to activate its formal alliance mechanism, pledging “to stand by Turkey,” adding that it “demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an ally, and urges the Syrian regime to put an end to flagrant violations of international law.” Or else?

A statement from Clinton’s office expressed solidarity with Turkey, in the NATO context, reports The Cable:

She pledged the United States’ strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our Turkish ally and endorsed the statement in the North Atlantic Council this evening, which condemned Syria’s aggression and called for Alliance solidarity with Turkey. She also made clear that the United States would support Turkey in the United Nations Security Council as well.

And, thanks to The Cable, Clinton’s full statement:

We are outraged that the Syrians have been shooting across the border. We are very regretful about the loss of life that has occurred on the Turkish side,” Clinton said. “But this also comes down to a regime that is causing untold suffering to its own people, solely driven by their desire to stay in power, aided and abetted by nations like Iran that are standing firmly beside the Assad regime regardless of the damage, the loss of life, the violence that is happening both inside of Syria and now increasingly across Syria’s borders with their neighbors. It’s a very, very dangerous situation.

Russia, which has strongly warned against foreign intervention in Syria, has urged Damascus to say that the attack on Syria was an accident. Said Foreign Minister Lavrov, who’s in Pakistan:

Through our ambassador to Syria, we have spoken to the Syrian authorities who assured us…that what happened at the border with Turkey was a tragic accident, and that it will not happen again. We think it is of fundamental importance for Damascus to state that officially.

Meanwhile, the Turks are blustering and the Turkey’s parliament has authorized more strikes.

For a hint on how Romney might handle this situation, read Robert Dreyfuss’s last post on the candidate’s fearmongerng Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal.

Did the Mexican and U.S. government negotiate with the Sinaloa Drug Cartel?

Did the Mexican and U.S. government negotiate with the Sinaloa Drug Cartel?

VOXXI

By Phillippe Diederich USA

An article in Business Insider claims that according to leaked emails that is exactly what happened. In the emails, an anonymous Mexican Diplomat identifying himself as MX-1 said the U.S. pretty much invited the Sinaloa Drug Cartel into the U.S. The leaked emails date back to 2010 and are correspondence from Stratfor, a private security firm which operates all over the world. The emails were made public by Wikileaks and posted on their website in August.

The Business Insider article points out that the statements made to Stratfor by MX-1, which Bill Conroy of Nacro News says sounds just like statements by Fernando de la Mora Salcedo, a Mexican foreign service officer, support the theory that Sinlaloa Cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is an informant for the U.S., and that Operation Fast and Furious was a deal to exchange arms for information between the cartel and the U.S.

Joaquin Guzman Did the Mexican and U.S. government negotiate with the Sinaloa Drug Cartel?

FILE – In this June 10, 1993 file photo, Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias “El Chapo Guzman” is shown to the press after his arrest at the high security prison of Almoloya de Juarez, outskirts of Mexico City. In the 10 years since he escaped from a high security federal prison in a laundry truck, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has transformed himself from a middling Mexican capo into arguably the most powerful drug trafficker in the world. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)

The Stratfor emails point to concerns about cartel violence in Ciudad Juarez, and along the border, where the U.S has a free-trade zone with Mexico, and where U.S. maquiladora factories and assembly plants sprawl out along the Mexican side of the border. Violence is bad for business. In some of the emails, Stratfor staffers show concern that wealthy, large business owners are making deals with the drug cartels in order to continue operating without violence or problems.

In some of the emails MX-1 talks of how the cartels and both the Mexican and U.S. government speak through “signals,” and not through meetings. In one of the emails MX-1 tells Stratfor staffers how the Mexican government signals the cartels, allowing them to operate as long as there is no violence.

Here is MX-1′s explanation:

In any event, “negotiations” would take place (assuming a non-disputed plaza) as follows:

- They bring some drugs, they transport some drugs, they are discrete, they don’t bother anyone, no one gets hurt.

- Government turns the other way

- They kill someone or do something violent

- Government responds by taking down drug network or making arrests.

And if it is a disputed plaza, this is how it works:

- Group comes in, government waits to see how dominant cartel responds

- If dominant cartel fights them, government takes them down

- If dominant cartel is allied, no problem.

- If group comes in and starts committing violence, they get taken down: first by the government letting the dominant cartel do their

thing, then punishing both cartels.

“As you can see, this is not a good strategy, but this is how ‘negotiations’ take place with cartels, through signals. There are no meetings, etc…”

The U.S. and the Mexican government want the inter-narco violence to stop. To do so, they would allow drugs to move north to the U.S. as long as there is little or no violence. In the signals the U.S. government gave the cartels, the U.S. took the side of the Sinaloa Cartel, telling Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, who heads the Juarez Cartel, that the Sinaloa Cartel is stronger. Here is what MX-1 wrote in the email:

So, the MX strategy is not to negotiate. However, I think the US sent a signal that could be construed as follows:

“To the VCF and Sinaloa cartels: Thank you for providing our market with drugs over the years. We are now concerned about your perpetration of violence, and would like to see you stop that. In this regard, please know that Sinaloa is bigger and better than VCF. Also note that CDJ is very important to us, as is the whole border. In this light, please talk amongst yourselves and lets all get back to business. Again, we recognize that Sinaloa is bigger and better, so either VCF gets in line or we will mess you up.”

MX-1 also adds at the end of the email, “In sum, I have a gut feeling that the US agencies tried to send a signal telling the cartels to negotiate themselves. They unilaterally declared a winner, and this is unprecedented, and deserves analysis.”

Did the strategy by the U.S. and Mexican governments work? According to the report “Drug Violence in Mexico; Data and Analysis Through 2011″ by the Trans-Border Institute, organized crime violence along the border actually decreased in 2011. The report says, “Mexican border cities accounted for 29.5 percent of such homicides in 2010, but only 17 percent in 2011.”

So is the U.S. aiding Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán and the Sinaloa Cartel? According to a July 2012 report in  Al Jazeera, this is exactly what is going on. The article claims Mexican officials have said the U.S. government does not fight drug trafficking as much as manage it. And while this sounds like a conspiracy theory to many, one need only look back at Dark Alliance, where the CIA covered up Contra drug trafficking into the U.S. Now we also have Operation Fast and Furious where the U.S. government purposely smuggled weapons into Mexico and then lost track of them.

Free Syrian Army Fires Mortar Into Turkey, Turkey Shells Own Allies In Response

[It is never possible to know for certain exactly what is going on inside Syria.  Having said that, the only semi-reliable means for knowing the truth of the matter is to give both versions of a reported incident, on the theory that the truth is somewhere in between them.  The two quotes below were taken from a British source, the Telegraph and a Chinese source, the Xinhuanet news report given in its entirety below that.  The Telegraph reporter pinpointed the source of the errant mortar round which killed five Turkish citizens--a rebel-occupied Syrian Army base.   The Xinhuanet reporter quotes a Turkish Zaman news article to report the calculated Turkish destruction of that target.  Two-plus-two equals a "false flag attack" upon Turkey by its own allies.]

“They were struck by a mortar round fired from inside Syria and thought to be aimed from the military base at the Tal al-Abyad border post, which fell into Syrian rebel hands last month.”

“Our armed forces on border region have given the required response in line with the rule of engagements. Targets in Syria, which were detected by radar, were shot by shelling,” the Turkish prime ministry said in a statement.

Turkey continues to hit targets in Syria

 

English.news.cn

ANKARA, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — Turkey’s military continued artillery strikes early Thursday on targets in the Tel Abyad district near the Syrian border, local newspaper Today’s Zaman reported.

Some Syrian soldiers at a military post in Tel Abyad were killed, the paper said on its website, without giving the exact number of deaths.

Turkey started the military strikes on Syrian targets on Wednesday after mortar shells from the Syrian side killed five people in Akcakale, a border town in Turkey’s southeastern Sanliurfa province.

“Our armed forces on border region have given the required response in line with the rule of engagements. Targets in Syria, which were detected by radar, were shot by shelling,” the Turkish prime ministry said in a statement.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has contacted NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN-Arab League joint special envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahim, according to the statement.

“Turkey will never remain unresponsive against these sorts of provocations of Syrian regime within the framework of rules of engagement and international law,” the statement added.

Three or four Syrian artillery shells landed in Akcakale, in Sanliurfa province bordering Syria, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported, citing Sanliurfa Governor Celalettin Guvenc.

One of the artillery shells hit a house, killing a mother and her four children. “In the incident, 10 people were wounded, including police officers. Two of those wounded are in serious condition,” Guvenc said.

“We have evacuated 30 residents in the region close to the Turkish-Syrian border, and schools went on a recess as a precaution,” Guvenc added.

NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said on Wednesday that NATO was closely monitoring the situation in southeastern Turkey. Turkey is a member of the alliance.

Ankara has repeatedly complained about the spillover of Syrian artillery and gun fire into its territory. Last week, the Turkish government signaled that it would take action if mortar strikes were repeated on its territory from Syria.

Is Talal Bugti Heroic Enough To Lead Unified Pakistani Resistance Against State Terrorism?

 SOURCE

Talal urges democratic forces to make grand alliance

LAHORE: The Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief on Tuesday said all political forces should be united on a one-point agenda of making a grand alliance for free and fair elections in the country.

Talal Bugti, son of late Nawab Akbar Bugti, called on Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hassan in Mansoora, where both leaders discussed the Balochistan issue and the current political situation in the country.

Talal said that the Balochistan issue should be taken seriously and joint efforts should be exerted to resolve problems of the people of Balochistan. He, however, said that peace in Balochistan could only be restored through conferring due rights to people.

He said that democratic people in Balochistan had either been killed or removed to field undemocratic forces. Talal said that mutilated bodies of Baloch youth were being dumped on roads to create panic among those who were voicing against atrocities.

Talal said he was sure that former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf would definitely meet an exemplary fate for undermining Pakistan’s solidarity, the Lal Masjid operation, handing over Dr Aafia Siddiqui to the US and for the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti.

The Jamhoori Watan Party chief said that the undemocratic forces ruling the country under President Asif Zardari were planning to rig the elections. He hoped that the patriotic parties would join hands in a grand alliance to foil the conspiracies against the country’s ideology, solidarity and integrity failing which the establishment and the undemocratic forces would “play their dirty role” in the elections to maintain status quo.

Talal Bugti also invited the JI chief to visit Balochistan.

The JWP chief also asked media to come to take the lead without any fear in promoting the idea of a great alliance, which was the need of the hour, especially in Balochistan, where mutilated bodies were being found and democratic forces were being killed.

Addressing the joint press conference, JI chief Munawar Hassan said that India was meddling in Balochistan and US intentions were crystal clear. He said, “We all should demonstrate our unity.”

He also urged all political parties to get together on one agenda – for the recovery of the missing persons. Hassan said that the government was harbouring terrorists in the name of reconciliation for the last five years.

He said the government should evolve a consensus among all stakeholders of Balochistan to restore peace in the province.

He said that the accountability of Nawab Akbar Bugti’s killers was a must for foiling unholy US designs in the region. The JI chief saluted Talal’s services for the country’s solidarity and unity. Hassan announced that the JI would soon hold a public meeting at the Minar-e-Pakistan in support of Talal’s agenda for the country’s solidarity and national unity to ensure that his voice became the voice of the nation.

He said further justice must be done to the Baloch to pull them out of a sense of deprivation and for the solution of their problems. He said that the government had intentionally created conditions that promoted terrorism and sectarian hatred in the country, especially in Karachi and Balochistan, adding that it was patronising a gang of criminals trading in target killings and extortion.

JI deputy chiefs Muhammad Aslam Saleemi, Dr Muhammad Kamal, General Secretary Liaqat Baloch and other party leaders were also present on the occasion.

Later, The Jamhoori Watan Party chief also held meeting with Jamiat-e-Ahle-Hadith chief Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer and discussed with him Balochistan situation.

Three Simultaneous Car-Bombs Blow Hell Out of Central Aleppo

 three terrorist bombings in the yard Saadallah Jabri in Aleppo resulted in the deaths of 31 and dozens of wounded citizens

Aleppo, (SANA) -

Exploded this morning three car bombs close times terrorists led by suicide bombers in the yard Saadallah Jabri in Aleppo what led to the martyrdom and wounding dozens of people.

An official source said SANA correspondent in Aleppo that the first and second car were detonated by suicide bombers near the Tourist Club Hotel which led to the martyrdom of 31 and wounding dozens of people in addition to causing substantial material damage location of the blasts.

The source stated that coincide with the occurrence of the blasts killed a number of mortar shells fired by terrorists in the middle of the arena and cardamom market and the subsequent entry of three gunmen armed with explosive belts from the northern side of the hotel were wearing clothing Syrian Arab Army has been dealing with them and eliminate them.

The source added that the third car driven by a suicide bomber also exploded in the beauty area Masharqa after shooting guard by the elements present in the place The explosion caused no casualties.

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Attackers of US Diplomatic Vehicle Near Mexico City Knew That They Were Hitting the CIA

[(SEE:  Mexican official: CIA ‘manages’ drug trade )  This sounds like rival drug gangs trying to eliminate the Sinaloa Cartel's ace in the hole, their exclusive relationship with American officials, which gave Sinaloa practical immunity in exchange for informing on everyone else (SEE:  Fighting “Simulated Wars” Nearly Always Leads To Real Wars).]

AP Exclusive: US car was targeted in Mexico ambush

E. EDUARDO CASTILLO, Associated Press 

FILE – In this Aug. 24, 2012. file photo, an armored U.S. embassy vehicle is checked by military personal after it was attacked by unknown assailants on the highway leading to the city of Cuernavaca, near Tres Marias, Mexico. A senior U.S. official says there is strong circumstantial evidence that Mexican federal police who fired on a U.S. embassy vehicle, wounding two CIA agents, were working for organized crime on a targeted assassination attempt.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A senior U.S. official says there is strong circumstantial evidence that Mexican federal police who fired on a U.S. Embassy vehicle, wounding two CIA officers, were working for organized crime in a targeted assassination attempt.

Meanwhile, a Mexican official with knowledge of the case confirmed on Tuesday that prosecutors are investigating whether the Beltran Leyva Cartel was behind the Aug. 24 ambush.

The Mexican official said that is among several lines of investigation into the shooting of an armored SUV that was clearly marked with diplomatic license plates on a rural road near Cuernavaca south of Mexico City. Federal police, at times battered by allegations of infiltration and corruption by drug cartels, have said the shooting was a case of mistaken identity as officers were looking into the kidnapping of a government employee in that area.

“That’s not a ‘We’re trying to shake down a couple people for a traffic violation sort of operation. That’s a ‘We are specifically trying to kill the people in this vehicle’,” a U.S. official familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. “This is not a ‘Whoops, we got the wrong people.’ “

Photos of the gray Toyota SUV, a model known to be used by Drug Enforcement Administration agents and other U.S. Embassy employees working in Mexico, showed it riddled with heavy gunfire. The U.S. Embassy called the attack an “ambush.”

When asked by the AP if the Mexican federal police officers involved in the shooting were tied to organized crime, the U.S. official said, “The circumstantial evidence is pretty damn strong.”

Both the U.S. and Mexican officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the diplomatic issue.

A federal police on Tuesday maintained the position that their agents fired on the vehicle by mistake, thinking it belonged to a band of kidnappers they were pursuing, according to a spokesman who was not authorized to speak on the record.

The U.S. State Department declined to discuss details.

“We will not comment on an ongoing investigation,” said William Ostick, a spokesman. “This is a matter of great significance to both our countries and we will continue to cooperate with Mexican authorities in their investigation.”

The Mexican official said one line of investigation is that members of the Beltran Leyva Cartel were interested in attacking the people in the car because some of their lookouts had seen them passing through the area and presumed they were investigating the cartel. It’s possible they didn’t know they were Americans.

The rural road near Cuernavaca where the attack took place is known territory of the remnants of the Beltran Leyvas, a once-powerful cartel now run by Hector Beltran Leyva since the Navy killed his brother, drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva, in Cuernavaca in late 2009. Beltran Leyva was once aligned with Mexico’s powerful cartel, Sinaloa, headed by fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. But the groups split in 2008 and continued government hits on Beltran Leyva leadership since then have splintered that cartel into small gangs warring for the area.

The CIA officers were heading down a dirt road to the military installation with a Mexican navy captain in the vehicle when a carload of gunmen opened fire and gave chase. The embassy SUV tried to escape, but three other cars joined the original vehicle in pursuing it down the road, according to the original navy statement. Occupants of all four vehicles fired.

“This is somebody with a powerful automatic weapon just unloading an entire clip, reloading, and continuing to fire at that same impact point, clearly with the intention of penetrating the armor and presumably killing those who are inside,” the U.S. official told the AP.

Surveillance cameras in the area recorded two civilian vehicles chasing the U.S. Embassy SUV, the Mexican official said. So far Mexican officials have said only federal police fired on the SUV.

The two CIA officers received non-life-threatening wounds and have returned to the United States. The navy captain was uninjured and radioed the navy for help.

Twelve officers have been detained in the case and are being held under a form of house arrest pending possible charges, and 51 officers have testified in the case. The FBI, which is leading the investigation for the U.S., has been in on interviews of the detainees. At FBI headquarters in Washington, spokesman Paul Bresson declined to comment.

A Mexican federal police spokesman said last month that the officers may not have noticed the diplomatic plates. The official said police focused on the unusual sight of a bulletproof sport utility vehicle traveling at high speed on a rural road, not on the car’s distinctive diplomatic plates.

But Raul Benitez, a security expert at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, said Mexican military sources have told him that “the attack was not an error,” and “the objective was to annihilate the three passengers in the car.”

“The same car with the same people had been going up and back (to the marine training camp) for a week, so perhaps some lookout who worked for drug traffickers informed the police, or the Beltrans” about the vehicle, Benitez said.

He said the federal police must have known that they were attacking a diplomatic vehicle.

“I don’t think we’re yet in a position to say definitively who did it, who paid them and why they did it,” the U.S. official said. “We have been assured repeatedly in private and in public that the government of Mexico will investigate this to the end and provide a final answer as to what occurred, and I think our posture at this stage is we take them at their word.”

Mexico’s federal police agency, which President Felipe Calderon calls the most professional and highly trained of the country’s law enforcement, has been hit with allegations of wrongdoing in recent months. In August, all 348 officers assigned to security details at the Mexico City International Airport were replaced in the wake of a June shooting of three federal policemen, who were killed by a fellow officer believed to be involved in trafficking drugs through the terminal.

Ten federal police officers were arrested in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez in 2011, accused of running an extortion ring.

Attacks on diplomatic personnel in Mexico were once considered rare, but the CIA attack was the third shooting incident in two years.

In 2011, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was killed and another wounded in a drug gang shooting in northern Mexico.

A drug-gang shooting in 2010 in the border city of Ciudad Juarez killed a U.S. consulate employee, her husband and another man.

That could be the result of the break-up of larger cartels, said Andrew Selee of the Washington-based Mexico Institute, noting that historically drug traffickers didn’t want the attention that a hit on U.S. personnel normally brings.

“The lower level leaders in the cartels are making decisions the more seasoned leaders wouldn’t,” he said. “It’s the lower level leaders who feel empowered to order hits.”

_____

Associated Press writers Mark Stevenson in Mexico City and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report

Univision’s bombshell–Fast and Furious not just in Arizona, or Mexico

Univision’s bombshell: Fast & Furious not just in Arizona, or Mexico

by Ed Morrissey

The other shoe dropped on the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious last night, and it should sting — if enough people pay attention to it. Univision reported that the effort wasn’t just limited to one ATF office in Arizona — it had other operations in Florida and Texas as well. The ATF and Department of Justice lost more weapons than they have so far acknowledged, and those weapons have been tied to even more murders than previously thought — including a massacre of teens and young adults. This report literally showed blood flowing in the streets as a result of Fast and Furious, as ABC News reports:

On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez. Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers. Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape. Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.

Indirectly, the United States government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers. Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to a Mexican army document obtained exclusively by Univision News.

Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre.

Even more troubling was the expanding scope of Fast and Furious, which wasn’t limited to Arizona — nor to Mexico, for that matter:

The Univision News investigation also found ATF offices from states besides Arizona pursued similar misguided strategies. In Florida, the weapons from Operation Castaway ended up in the hands of criminals in Colombia, Honduras and Venezuela[,] the lead informant in the case told Univision News in a prison interview. …

Other firearms under ATF surveillance were permitted to leave the country from Texas, according to court documents and the exclusive testimony of Magdalena Avila Villalobos, the sister of an ICE agent who survived a confrontation with cartel hit men on a rural highway in Mexico on February 15, 2011. His fellow agent, Jaime Zapata, was killed during the attacks.

“It’s not from Arizona and Fast and Furious,” Avila Villalobos told Univision News, speaking in her brother’s stead for the first time, “but it’s a very similar operation…” She later added, “Those weapons that have been recovered, it’s been confirmed that they were weapons used in the shootout that killed Jaime Zapata and wounded Victor Avila.”

Give ABC News credit for partnering with Univision on this report.  The American media has mostly been uninterested in this story, with the notable exceptions of Sharyl Attkisson at CBS and the LA Times.  This new report shows that Operation Fast and Furious was a larger program than the Obama administration has admitted, with several offices coordinating on those efforts, with a much wider scope for gun distribution than anyone let on.

Just FYI — the Obama White House is still insisting that executive privilege applies on Fast and Furious communications.  I’d guess that has something to do with the information broadcast by Univision last night.  That’s just one reason Paul Ryan has now joined the call for Eric Holder’s resignation:

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan agrees with presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s call for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, or for President Barack Obama to fire him, over Operation Fast and Furious, a Ryan spokesman told The Daily Caller.

“The congressman agrees with the governor,” Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck told TheDC on Sunday, referring to Mitt Romney’s call for Holder’s resignation or termination over the gunwalking scandal last December.

“Either Mr. Holder himself should resign, or the president should ask for his resignation or remove him,” Romney said in December 2011. “It’s unacceptable for him to continue in that position now given the fact that he has misled Congress and entirely botched the investigation of the Fast and Furious program.”

We need a resignation — followed by a real investigation.

Chechen ex-militant: Georgia trained anti-Russian terrorists, then killed them in false flag op

Chechen ex-militant: Georgia trained anti-Russian terrorists, then killed them in false flag op

 Georgian police snipers ride along a road in a mountain gorge near the border with Russia’s Dagestan region, on August 29, 2012 (AFP Photo)

 

A former Chechen militant has accused Georgia of training a network of Islamic terrorists, claiming that a recent anti-terrorist mission on the border with Russia was in fact a pseudo-operation targeting Georgian-trained jihadists.

Last month Georgia claimed its forces had killed 11 militants who infiltrated the country through the Russian republic of Dagestan in a special operation personally led by the Georgian interior minister.

But Khizri Aldamov, who was an emissary of Chechen militants in Georgia for 18 years, before switching sides and returning to the fold of Moscow loyalist Ramzan Kadyrov earlier this year, has now put forward a different version of events.

In a recent video conference at Moscow’s Ria Novosti news agency, he claimed the people shot were recruited by Georgia to stir up Chechen separatism in Russia, and the whole operation was staged.

“Georgian President Saakashvili’s plan was to send his own guys across the border into Russia, not the other way round, and then shoot them. But there was no mission; this was a set-up,” Aldamov told RT.

He says the purpose of the operation was to frame Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, and present Georgia as an anti-terrorist force, while getting rid of those Aldamov says “knew too much” about the country’s Islamic training program.

“Saakashvili is allergic to Russia, allergic to Putin, allergic to Kadyrov,” said Aldamov.

The two neighbors have been locked in a long-standing dispute over the two republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, whose independence Moscow supports, a conflict which escalated after the August 2008 war.

Along with some of the Georgian media, Aldamov questions some of the details of Tbilisi’s operation against the militants, the aftermath of which was shown on Georgian television.

“First of all, their weapons were American-made, second – none of them fired a single shot. That’s not all; the uniforms of these so-called fighters were brand new,” he alleges.

Aldamov claims that in his role as a go-between for Georgia and Chechen separatists, he trained many Islamist recruits himself. The practice supposedly continues today in Georgia, through the official Counter Terror Center.

“Everything is still controlled by the center – all the Mujahideen are in its hands. Any Chechen who lives in Georgia and wants to study in an Islamic country has to go through the center, and there they recruit him.”

Aldamov’s allegations caused a stir, but have not received universal endorsement.

Badri Nachkebia, a Georgian expert in conflict and political violence present at the conference, questioned whether Aldamov had a pro-Russian agenda after his sudden return to Chechnya. He also contradicted the assertion that the militants had been killed with one shot each – as if by their trusted allies – noting that three Georgian special services soldiers had been killed during the operation, and six more injured.

Meanwhile, political expert Nana Devdariani said that while the country may have harbored Chechen militants, it is unlikely that the operation was an inside job, or that there was a border crossing from Georgia into Russia, considering how well fortified the Russian side is.

On the official level, Georgian ministers insist there was a crossing from Dagestan, while Russian officials have categorically denied the claim.

In the clandestine circumstances of a simmering regional conflict where both sides have an agenda (not to mention that Georgia faces a national election next week), the truth will be hard to come by, and claims such as Aldamov’s may be impossible to confirm or deny.

Islamist-Baath divide still torments Syria

Islamist-Baath divide still torments Syria

Gulf News

Today’s civil war has deep roots in Hafez Al Assad’s crushing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the rebellion has increasingly taken on an Islamist colouring

By Patrick Seale | Special to Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Niño Jose Heredia/©Gulf News

The pitiless, vengeful, blood-thirsty battle now being waged in Syria is not something new or unexpected. Nor is it a mere by-product of the Arab Spring, although events in Tunisia and Egypt have undoubtedly contributed to creating an insurrectionary atmosphere in the whole region. Rather, the Syrian uprising, as it has gradually evolved over the past 18 months, should be seen as only the latest, if by far the most violent, episode in the long war between Islamists and Baathists, which dates back to the founding of the secular Baath Party in the 1940s. The struggle between them is by now little short of a death-feud.

This is not to suggest that the present rebellion is driven only by religious motives and sectarian hate. Although these are real enough, other grievances have piled up over the past decades: the ravages of youth unemployment; the brutality of Syria’s security services; the domination of key centres of economic, military and political life by the minority Alawi community; the blatant consumerism of a privileged class, grown rich on state patronage, in sharp contrast with the hardship suffered by the mass of the population, including in particular the inhabitants of the ‘poverty belt’ around Damascus, Aleppo and other cities. These deprived suburbs are largely the result of inward migration from the long-neglected countryside, which in the past decade has suffered catastrophic losses from a drought of unprecedented severity.

But beyond all this is the decades-long hostility of Islamists for Syria’s Baath-dominated regime. Formed by two Damascus schoolmasters soon after the Second World War, the Baath party was created as a secular and socialist movement dedicated to bringing about Arab unity and independence. Schoolboy members of the party clashed repeatedly at that time with members of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood. When the party seized power in Damascus in 1963, its clash with the Islamists burst into the open. The civilian leadership of the party had by then been largely displaced by Baathist officers ‑ including Hafiz AlAssad, father of the current President Bashar Al Assad‑ mostly from minority backgrounds. In turn, these Baathist officers had allied themselves with Akram AlHawrani, the charismatic leader of a peasant revolt, which was challenging the great landowners of the central Syrian plain, most of them resident in Hama.

Hama is today remembered as the centre of the Muslim Brothers’ armed uprising against Hafiz Al Assad, which he crushed in blood in February 1982, leaving a bitter legacy of sectarian hostility. Few recall, however, that 18 years earlier, in April 1964, rioting by Muslim rebels against the Baathist regime had already flared into something like a religious war. Funded by the old land-owning families, enraged at being dispossessed, and egged on by the imam of the Sultan Mosque in Hama, the rebels threw up roadblocks, stockpiled food and weapons, ransacked wine shops to spill the offending liquor in the gutters, and beat up any Baath party man they could find.

After two days of street fighting, the regime shelled the Sultan Mosque where the rebels had taken cover and from where they had been firing. The minaret collapsed, killing many of them. Many others were wounded but many more disappeared underground. The shelling of the mosque outraged Muslim opinion, igniting a fever of strikes and demonstrations across the country.

Thus, today’s civil war ‑ for that is what it has become ‑ has deep roots in modern Syrian history. The rebellion has increasingly taken on an Islamist colouring, as the Swedish writer Aron Lund explains in an informative 45-page report on Syrian Jihadism, published this month by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. It is striking, as he points out, that virtually all the members of the various armed insurgent groups are Sunni Arabs; that the fighting has been largely restricted to Sunni Arab areas only, whereas areas inhabited by Alawis, Druze or Christians have remained passive or supportive of the regime; that defections from the regime are nearly 100 per cent Sunni; that money, arms and volunteers are pouring in from Islamic states or from pro-Islamic organisations and individuals; and that religion is the insurgent movement’s most important common denominator.

In the last few months, the Syrian National Council (SNC) ‑ that is to say the Turkey-based civilian ‘political’ opposition ‑ has been largely up-staged by fighters on the ground. Most of these fighters are grouped into nine Military Councils (majlis askariya) of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), each Council divided into a number of brigades (kataib). But, in much the same way as these Councils have marginalised the SNC, so they also seem unwilling to take orders from the Turkey-based FSA commander, Col Riad AlAssad.

Lund points out that, with rare exceptions, the FSA is an entirely Sunni Arab phenomenon, and that most FSA brigades use religious rhetoric and are named after heroic figures or events in Sunni Islamic history. It is thought that about 2,000 non-Syrians, some linked to Al Qaida, are now fighting in Syria, about 10 per cent of the total rebel manpower, estimated at about 20,000 (although some sources put the figure twice as high at 40,000.) Most of these fighters would seem to be active only in protecting their home areas.

Three major fighting units, among a score of others ‑ Jabhat Al Nosra, the Ahrar Al Sham Brigades and Suqur Al Sham Division ‑ are among the most extreme Salafi groups in the Syrian rebel movement. The first has been linked to suicide and car bomb attacks in Syrian cities and to the assassination of pro-regime figures; the second carries out ambushes and uses remotely-triggered bombings and sniper fire against army patrols; and the third uses suicide bombers and frames its propaganda in jihadi rhetoric. The leaders of the last two have declared that their aim is to establish an Islamic state in Syria. All three seem to have welcomed AlQaida fighters into their ranks.

These fighting groups have gravely destabilised the Syrian regime but, without a foreign military intervention in their favour, they seem unlikely to topple it. The regime is fighting back with air and ground attacks, evidently determined to crush all pockets of armed rebellion on Syrian territory.

This is the conundrum facing the UN peace envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi. His task is to persuade the world community to impose a ceasefire on both sides, before bringing them to the table. But only when all are persuaded that there can be no decisive win for either side might they heed his call. In the meantime, thousands more will die or be driven from their homes and the country will sink further into blood and chaos, making the divide between the Islamists and President Bashar AlAssad virtually unbridgeable.

 

Patrick Seale is a commentator and author of several books on Middle East affairs

JUST THE FACTS–The New Conquistadors

JUST THE FACTS 

New Conquistadors

Just the Facts

Nicaragua Follows Southern Neighbors’ Lead and Formalizes Pullout of “School Of the Americas”

Nicaragua Formalizes Pullout of SOA

Nicaragua formalizes pullout of SOA

Flying Solo: Nicaraguan military officers will no longer participate in the U.S. School of the Americas (photo/ Tim Rogers)
By David Hutt / special to The Nicaragua Dispatch 

The ‘School of the Americas’ (SOA) occupies a very dark place in Latin American history.

The U.S. military academy, based in Fort Benning, Georgia, has been training Latin American soldiers for well over half a century. More than 64,000 have passed through its doors, a significant number of which have been accused and convicted of human rights abuses. It has educated 11 dictators, including Panama’s former drug-dealing strongman, Manuel Noriega, and El Salvador’s Roberto D’Aubuisson, who controlled that country’s infamous death squads.

In March of this year, SOA graduate Pedro Pimentel Ríos of Guatemala was sentenced to 6,060 years in prison for his actions during the 1982 Dos Erres Massacre that left more than 200 dead. Three years earlier, in 2009, two-time graduate Gen. Romeo Orlando Vásquez led the military putsch against Honduras’s democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya.

Dropping out of School: President Daniel Ortega and Father Roy Bourgeois are joined by the president’s daughter, Camila (left), Sandinista foreign policy advisor Miguel D’Escoto (right) and the SOA Watch’s Lisa Sullivan and Mary Anne Perrone (photo courtesy of SOAWlatina.org)

This month, Nicaragua became the sixth Latin American country—and the first in Central America—to announce the end of its participation in the school’s officers’ training program. In practice, Nicaragua has been slowly reducing its participation in the program over the past few years; it sent no new officers to the school this year.

In 2004, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez rather unsurprisingly severed his country’s links to the school, which he considers an “imperialist” training camp. Two years later Argentina made a similar decision. Neighboring Uruguay saw its neighbors’ pullout as an opportunity to affirm its long-standing dismissal of the school. Then came Bolivia in 2008, and Ecuador in 2012.

In 2007 Costa Rica, which has no standing army but sends police officers to the SOA for training, also toyed with the idea of discontinuing its participation. But the country decided to keep sending officers for anti-narcotics training.

In announcing his decision several weeks ago, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said, “The SOA is an ethical and moral anathema. All of the countries of Latin America have been victims of its graduates. The SOA is a symbol of death, a symbol of terror.”

Ortega went on to empathize that “We have been gradually reducing our numbers of troops at the SOA, sending only five last year and none this year. We have now entered a new phase and we will not continue to send troops to the SOA. This is the least that we can do.”

The decision came after Ortega met with a delegation from the “School of the Americas Watch” (SOAW), a campaign group that has been bringing awareness to the human rights abuses committed by SOA graduates since 1990. The group’s founder, Maryknoll priest Father Roy Bourgeois, was motivated to act after witnessing the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero in El Salvador in 1980. He describes the SOA as a “symbol of United States foreign policy whose role is always the same: to protect U.S. economic interests and control the natural resources of Latin American countries.”

In 2001, the school attempted to distance itself from the past by renaming itself the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.” It also justified its existence by commenting that “no school should be held accountable for the actions of its graduates.”

However, there have been questions about how much has changed. Maj. Joseph Blair, a former director at the school, said, “There are no substantive changes besides the name. They teach the identical courses that I taught, and changed the course names and use the same manuals.”

The SOAW delegation spent 10 days touring Nicaragua meeting representatives from rural communities, Sandinista Youth brigades and the president. Lisa Sullivan, who works as the Latin America Coordinator for “School of the Americas Watch,” described her last meeting with President Ortega in 2008.

“After sixteen years of absolute economic dependency on the U.S., and with wounds of a U.S.-funded war still raw, the timing was just not right in 2008 to announce Nicaragua’s withdrawal from the SOA,” she said.

Four years later, the SOAW delegation found the Nicaraguan president better able to listen to their cause.

“From the moment we stepped into Nicaragua, it was clear that a lot had changed in four years,” Sullivan commentated. “In recent years, the ALBA bloc of Latin American and Caribbean nations had offered Nicaragua the economic solidarity some degree of independence from the U.S. Still, the U.S. still controlled a large amount of funds for Nicaragua, and they were reluctant to anger their giant neighbor,” she said.

David Hutt is a freelance writer from London, UK, who will be on the trail of Latin America during the next year and will be working as a tour guide in León, Nicaragua. Follow his travels and misadventures on his blog, and follow him on twitter @davidhutt1990

Anti-American Autumn Follows the Arab Spring

Anti-American Autumn Follows the Arab Spring

Anti-American Autumn Follows the Arab Spring

The brutal assassination of the American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three US diplomats in Benghazi, the cradle of anti-Qaddafi uprising in Libya, suggests an extremely improvident foreign policy of the United States in recent years.

The commentators and experts are busy seeking a triggering motive of the thugs. Was the mediocre film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ a true cause of the uprising or just a pretext?

‪The more we listen to them the more distressing is the impression. The West has lost the conscience and does not even dare to recognize the fatal mistake committed to Colonel Gaddafi. A few days ago the US president speaking at the UN General Assembly repeated a terrific mantra:

We intervened in Libya alongside a broad coalition, and with the mandate of the UN Security Council, because we had the ability to stop the slaughter of innocents; and because we believed that the aspirations of the people were more powerful than a tyrant.

 And as we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop, and a new dawn can begin.

First of all there was no UN Security Council mandate for intervention in Libya. If you essay a task reading the resolution 1973 (2011) on ‘no-fly zone in Libya’, you will find out that it does not contain a single word regarding possible intervention. The flexibility of that resolution was the only reason of its fatal approval by the Security Council.

Today Libya is being torn in parts by the rivaling tribes. During Gaddafi’s rule it was a confederation of tribes mostly loyal to central authority. Now they are not. Eastern tribes have already declared factual secession and ignored the parliamentary elections. They are trying to pocket the revenues of gas and oil fields exploration on their territories. One of the most economically prosperous countries of Maghreb is rapidly turning into Afghanistan or Somalia.

Every Libyan tribe now has its own armed militias with estimated total manpower exceeding 100,000. They permanently fight each other for lands, pastures, fresh water sources, but mainly – oil fields. For example a large scale war between Misratah and Benghazi clans for Sirte basin is looming nowadays. No one has a slightest intention to concede these assets to the central authorities in Tripoli.

Alexander Mezyaev from Strategic Culture Foundation describes the daily slaughterhouse routine in Libya:

‘On the whole, there are no signs that tensions are going down in Libya, where fighting flared up non-stop over the past 5-6 months. Serious clashes between the Toubou brigades and Arab groups began in Sabha, southern Libya, in June and took hundreds of lives. Later battles raged in Kufra, south-east Libya. The traditional inter-clan dispute over border control in the western part of Libya escalated into a three-day armed conflict between Zuwara city on the one side and the cities of al-Jumail and Reghladin on the other, with around 50 people being killed. Ten people died when Arabs and Tuaregs hammered each other in Ghadames, and around 1,600 Tuaregs were forced to flee to the nearby Derg later on. In June, the Zentan and Mashashia tribes locked horns in the Nafusa mountains, leaving over 70 people dead and some 150 – wounded. Government forces were deployed between Zentan and Shagiga to keep apart two local communities warring over land. The Barki council continued to pursue “federalist” policies in the east of Libya. Violence spilled even into the premier’s premises where a guard and a “rebel fighter” were killed in a shootout last May. Government facilities, international community representatives, and the security forces come under fire in east Libya with frightening regularity.’

The administration of Barack Obama not only supported ousting Colonel Gaddafi (just refresh in memory his delighted speech on October 20, 2011), but also facilitated raising Muslim Brotherhood to the power in Egypt. Today we witness anti-American demonstrations there as well (no victims yet by sheer luck). And they also support anti-Assad insurgents in Syria. What will happen to the feeding handin Damascus in case the guerrillas succeed we can’t even imagine.

Unfortunately the lessons of history are not learned in Washington. They have already paid a lot for distinguishing ‘good’ and ‘bad’ jihad (we are sorry to use this sacred word in ungodly militant meaning here). They consider the terror against geopolitical rivals as an admissible form of ‘national liberation’, while anti-American actions – as crimes against humanity. The price of such political schizophrenia for the US will be rising.

‪We shouldn’t relate these landmark events of the anti-American autumn exclusively to a movie parody released in America. The problem is much deeper. A villain global genie has already been let out of the bottle and is busy crushing the ancient mausoleum in Tripoli, demolishing Christian shrines in Kosovo, Indonesia, Nigeria, killing Egyptian Copts etc.

To understand the geopolitical solitaire on the Middle East properly we should name the winners and losers of the ‘Arab Spring’ gamble. The Gulf monarchies are certainly among the first. It is an open secret that the Gulf countries aspired to control Libyan gas for a long time. Qatar, having ambitious plans over the huge European liquefied gas market, was the main interested party in ousting the Libyan leader. As a bonus Qatar’s Emir Al-Thani has managed to get rid of his personal adversary (several harsh exchanges between them during some pan-Arab meetings were not left unnoticed) and a penultimate powerful secular leader of the Arabic world (the last one is Syria’s president Bashar Assad). Today the influence of pro-Salafi Islamists is seriously strengthened in Libya. The former military governor of Tripoli Abdelhakim Belhadj, theQatar protégé, is considered one the most influential figures there. Despite a miserable result in the recently held ‘democratic’ elections to the General National Congress, he still plays a decisive role in Libya.

The main loser is obviously Europe (to say nothing of the Libyan people who would live in a new Afghanistan). It hasn’t achieved any goal originally pursued. The attempt to show its political and military might has nearly turned fiasco and factual second Suez crisis. The idea to establish a liberal secular state in Libya has failed as well. Those taking Mahmoud Jibril for liberal are deeply mistaken: he has already called for restoration of polygamy and, according to him, would strictly act in line with Sharia principles.

Moreover the operation in Libya has created new problems for the European continent. They have lost a reliable gas supplier (no serious company would invest into what is now called Libya). They face multiplied illegal immigration from Africa. The threat of the emergence of a huge oil-rich terrorist hub on the other side of Mediterranean armed by sophisticated weapons including MANPADS is as tangible as never before. But maybe the most dangerous is the loss of the Third World leaders’ confidence. Now they know that flirtations and secessions to the West would not guarantee them against democratic bombings.

What should be the lessons of the tragedy in Benghazi? First of all the party of war in the UN Security Council should contain its ambitions to reshuffle the Middle East. Their irresponsible policies have already cost a lot not only to the region, but its own reputations. The clearly expressed will to make Security Council act symphonic to maintain international peace and security would be a smart first step. (Unfortunately, Mrs.Clinton gave a wrong signal earlier this week leaving Security Council conference room while her Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov was about to switch on his microphone. The role of an offended girl does not correspond to the status of the US official.) They should understand that further attempts to destabilize Syria letting alone an apparent suicidal strike against Iran would catalyze irreversible processes in a global scale. The result will be shocking for the West: they would discover that they are definitely loosing subjectivity in international politics. The most retrograde forces will be advanced to the forefront putting an end to all human achievements in science, culture, arts, democracy and humanism. The agents of decadence are powerful even inside the US establishment. Will the sane and sober elements in national elites in America and other countries be able to cope with them is an issue critically important for the survival of contemporary world.

Los Zetas Control Mexican Penal System As Their Endless Labor Pool

Leaks: replacement Zetas

Leaks scented mushrooms.  Photo: AP / Adriana Alvarado

Leaks scented mushrooms. 
Foto: AP / Adriana Alvarado

Besides being one of the most violent and organizations increasingly consolidate their dominance throughout the country, in recent years Los Zetas have imposed its law in most prisons in the north. In those places co-opted directors and trustees and even organized mass escapes, as of Monday 17 Cereso in Piedras Negras, to free its members and supporters and replenish the lost paintings in their war against the Gulf Cartel and combat with the military government and police.

Saltillo. (Process). – The Zetas control most of the prisons in the north and for the last four years, in complicity with their managers-have organized mass escapes in Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and Zacatecas. In the latest, on Monday, 17, were 131 inmates who left the Social Rehabilitation Centre (Cereso) of Piedras Negras in the front door.

During that time the organized criminal group of 546 gunmen evasion or sympathizers, according to figures of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security, which allowed him to replace their fallen members.

The leakage of Piedras Negras Cereso inmates took to the streets, where two buses were waiting to take them, admitted the state attorney, Homero Ramos Gloria, and the owner of the local Public Security, Jorge Luis Delgado Moran. As they dug the tunnel was only a screen to “cover up officials” who facilitated the escape prison.

The ruse did not work, so a judge issued a warrant Rio Grande rooting for 40 days against 16 people identified as suspects of the crime of escape of prisoners, including Cereso director, José Miguel Resendiz Perez, the head and Deputy Director of Security and Custody, Héctor Miguel Anguiano Saul Rosales and Francisco Ambriz Jacques, respectively, and several guards.

According to state officials, several of the inmates were transferred to Tamaulipas and others to strengthen the Zetas in their war against the Gulf Cartel (CDG).

The penultimate flight was in the morning of February 19 in the Cereso of Apodaca, Nuevo Leon. On that occasion 37 inmates climbed the tower from which slipped six, using ropes, to the street where waiting and gunmen aboard several trucks.

Previously Delta had taken the ambulance 44 members of CDG to be beaten to death in the courtyard of the prison while guards gave them protection.

Nuevo Leon Governor Rodrigo Medina Cruz said the next day that the custodians of the tower six were being questioned. Shortly after the officers were seated and 29 prison guards, who confessed to receiving money from Los Zetas cells to allow them luxury, sell drugs, extort internal and enlivened with mariachis have parties and women.

Jorge Domene, security spokesman for Nuevo Leon, said the prison director, Geronimo Miguel Andres Martinez received bribes from the criminal organization for about 35,000 pesos per month, while the heads of the guard got between 20 000 and 25 000 , shift managers and custodians 10,000 in 4000-6000.

The fugitives were taken by Los Zetas to a ranch in the town of Anahuac, in upstate. Among them were three lords, who were reassigned as regional managers, other cells formed in the Monterrey metropolitan area and the state in rural municipalities.

Among the leaders were Oscar Soriano Manuel Bernal, The Spider, Rogelio Chacha Quintanilla, The Yeyo, and Jose Ricardo Barajas Lopez, The Speakers.To date 17 have been recaptured, including El Yeyo, and two were killed in clashes with the military.

The Speaker remains at large but senior Army him as the focal point for implementation of 49 people whose bodies were abandoned in Cadereyta last May. They say he even recorded with your cell performance and then uploaded the video to YouTube website, where it was only a few hours.

The largest mass escape organized by Los Zetas occurred the morning of December 17, 2010 at the Center of sentencing (Cedes) of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. On that occasion came at least two vehicles-a van and a school bus to pick up 151-convicts.

Days after Gov. Eugenio Hernandez Flores said the escape was carried out in collusion with the trustees: “It was a betrayal of the trust placed in them,” he said.

He reported that the director of the state prisons, Horacio Sepulveda-seventh that occupied that position in his administration, and the director of Kedesh, Efrain Hernandez, with only two months in office, were missing. The Attorney General’s Office to 41 trustees appropriated for alleged complicity in the escape.

On May 19, 2009 there was another rescue of prisoners in the prison of Cieneguillas, Zacatecas. This time fled 53. The operation was documented in a video that shows the ease with which the Zetas have access to prisons to get their accomplices.

The outside cameras and reception recorded the time in which 10 trucks arrived at the parking services without showing any documents, guards the main access either alerted by radio to his superiors about the arrival of the convoy.

The video shows the entry of a group of gunmen who locked the custodians.Minutes later we see that they run all prisoners. Up to the vans and leave prison.

The then Secretary of Government, Carlos Pinto Nunez told the guards Process facilitated the escape: “The trustees do not resist and left lock … From the beginning we assumed that there was complicity, even were well enclosed, for they could open and close cell “.

 

Recruiting system

 

A colonel who heads the operations of “special forces” in the country’s northeast Process described, provided omit their identity, the exponential growth of Los Zetas from the administration of Vicente Fox

At first, he says, the group was consolidated in Nuevo Laredo, where they were sent in 2001 by Osiel Cardenas to defend the place and prevent the killers of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, La Barbie, the Sinaloa Cartel, to settle in the area.

From there it spread rapidly to the main cities of the entity and Nuevo Leon.Began recruiting members among municipal police forces, who were in charge of caring for the narcotienditas “that then reproduced as fungi” he says.

During the Fox administration Zetas-CDG dispute against rival Sinaloa Cartel and other smaller groups caused 10 000 deaths, including police chiefs and uniformed. “At that stage-sets the source-Los Zetas were within reach hundreds of assassins trained in municipal and state police forces.”

He mentions that in some municipalities in the metropolitan area of ​​Monterrey “cartel” was synonymous with “law enforcement agencies”.

He began purging the police in Nuevo Leon in the town of Garcia, 99% were dismissed, in Escobedo, 90% in Guadeloupe, more than 70%, and in Santa Catarina and Monterrey, more than 60%.

Los Zetas changed their approach and began to recruit hitmen, hawks and stakes between gang thousand marginalized areas. There they found a vein endless “cannon fodder”, but inexperienced in handling firearms, added the colonel.

Besides, he says, organized mass escapes on penalties that control to replace their fallen members.

 

Criminal Control

 

The organization Citizens in Support of Human Rights, founded on April 23, 1993 between the Christian base communities of Guadalupe City, Nuevo Leon, worked several years with the inmates in the penal institution.

Its director, Consuelo Morales, tells that the association process left that job because the prisons are controlled by organized crime. Everyone knows, he says, that prison officials working for the CDG and Los Zetas, either by threats or bribes.

Those who are sent inside capos. They control from the drug trade, which is trading at expensive prices, to spaces of the floor to sleep. They have imposed a system of terror to the extent that families of prisoners must pay daily to avoid being hit.

In criminal and Topo Chico Los Zetas get up to 15 million pesos every month for their illegal activities, said the colonel.

The Diocese of Saltillo, represented by Bishop Raul Vera Lopez, also has a performing pastoral work in the prisons, but in recent months his work has been hampered by the mafia.

“We know that the prisons of our region are in the power of organized crime.Nobody we forget what has happened in other prisons where there have been leaks like this “(Monday’s 17 in Piedras Negras), Vera Lopez said local media on Wednesday, 19.

“Prisons have laws and governments themselves, imposed by organized crime, which causes suffering to common criminals. There is no order of legality and justice, much less a state of law in which we can trust, “he said.

To change this situation, he said, honesty is required in the administration of the criminal from the highest levels. He concluded: “It is unfortunate the degree of disorder we have reached and it seems that things could go worse, and you do not see that with the change of regime corruption is going to end.”

Fat Pig of Qatar Spreading More Lies At UN

[Some more of that "non-lethal" aid exploded in Damascus yesterday.]

Qatar’s PM: ‘We have a Plan B for Syria’

By Samuel Burke and Claire Calzonetti

After more than a year of unimaginable violence and a mounting death toll in Syria, the possibility seems lower than ever that real action will be taken to stop the slaughter.

The United Nations had been the only source of hope for a resolution, but back in May the U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, caused a stir when he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that there was no “Plan B” in Syria. 

But Monday, Qatar’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani, gave a glimmer of hope by telling Amanpour that there is indeed a “Plan B” for Syria.

“We believe that we can solve it peacefully,” Al Thani said. He is in New York for the yearly United Nations General Assembly, and he says Arab countries are working on a plan of their own.

U.N. focuses on Syria

Qatar is a tiny country, with big money and big power. With its oil and gas riches, Qatar holds real clout in the Arab world.

“You need to make safe haven areas, first of all,” Al Thani says.

That would require a no-fly zone.

“If the Syrians want to break that, that’s another subject. We need somebody to have the teeth to tell them don’t do that, because that will not be allowed.”

While Al Thani wouldn’t offer up specifics about who will participate in this Plan B, he said the support might be wider than expected.
“I believe there are a lot of Arab countries who will participate. And there are also European countries who will participate.”

Nonetheless, he said the region needs the United States to step up.

“We are in an election period, so maybe this isn’t a diplomatic way to say it, but I hope that after the election the American government looks at this matter in different way.”

Al Thani maintains he isn’t looking for military intervention and says Qatar is not providing weapons to the Syrian uprisings, but said his country is providing logistic help – citing humanitarian aide and medicines.
Qatar played a key role in the liberation of Libya as the first Arab nation to recognize the rebels and to support NATO’s mission there.

In fact, Libyans were so thankful they hung the Qatari flag over a Gadhafi compound in Tripoli.

But Al Thani says that was possible through work via NATO and the help of the United States.

Now Qatar’s sights are on Syria.

And Qatar certainly isn’t lacking the money to send weapons to help the rebels.

“Money is not everything.” Al Thani says. “Will is more important than the money. A lot of countries have the money. But they don’t have the will.
President Assad was recently quoted in the Al Hayat newspaper criticizing the tiny, wealth nation, saying, “Qatar uses the power of money and revolves in the orbit of the West to repeat the Libyan scenario.”

Al Thani responded: “Qatar and the others interfere in Syria, because of his failure.”

Syrian Terrorists Claim Control Over Most of Syria

“The international community’s efforts to halt more than 18 months of bloodshed in Syria have so far failed to make any headway.”

[It is a total falsehood that the international community has been trying to halt the bloodshed in Syria, since it took them so long to build the violence to this point.  For the "international community," there is only one acceptable way to halt the war against Syria--the removal of Bashar al-Assad and the empowerment of an Islamist (Wahabbi) government.  The sheer audacity of American hypocrisy is unmatched in all of human history.  May we all burn in the hell that we are creating.] 

Rebels claim control over most of Syria

AFP

 

ATMA: The rebel Free Syrian Army said on Sunday that it now controls most of the war-torn country, a day after announcing that it has moved its command centre from Turkey to “liberated areas” inside Syria.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon and UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi held talks about Syria on Saturday, agreeing the crisis was “a steadily increasing threat to regional peace and stability,” according to a statement.

Brahimi, who was appointed in early September, is due to brief the UN Security Council on Monday about his first round of talks with both the regime, including PresidentBashar al-Assad, and opposition groups.

The international community’s efforts to halt more than 18 months of bloodshed in Syria have so far failed to make any headway, and fighting persisted on the ground overnight and on Monday morning.

Regime forces shelled many rebel-held areas, including in and around Damascus, second city Aleppo in the north, neighbouring Idlib, the central cities of Hama and Homs, and Daraa in the south, a watchdog said.

In Aleppo, the key battleground for the past two months, an AFP correspondent reported clashes as rebels exchanged fire in Bustan al-Qasr and Bustan al-Zahraa neighbourhoods.

Government forces shelled the Aleppo districts of Fardus, Sakhur and Suleiman al-Halabi, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based-based watchdog.

It added that two rebel fighters were killed in Daraa province where the uprising against the Assad regime broke out in March 2011.

The Observatory said that 150 people were killed across Syria on Saturday– 88 civilians, 30 rebels and 32 soldiers. Another 25 bodies were found in Damascus.

As the fighting continued unabated, a rebel commander told AFP that the regime’s aerial superiority was the only thing preventing the Free Syrian Army from taking control of the capital.

Turkish Plans To “Weaponize” Refugees from Syria, Exporting Them To Europe

Turkish authorities plan to unleash Syrian refugees on Europe

Katerina

By Katerina Nikolas

The dispatch of 1,800 guards to the Greek – Turkish Evros border was to thwart a plan by Turkish authorities to flood Europe with Syrian refugees, thus forcing Europe to deal with the Syrian issue.

According to a WikiLeaks report Turkish Intelligence Services MIT plan to send a small army of Syrian refugees, including extreme Islamists, into Greece. The MIT plot intended to force Europe to intervene on the Syrian issue and halt the flow of refugees into Turkey.

The report says “Total estimated at 800-1000 individuals who are, first, to ‘take measure of” the Greek reaction and behind them is about a small ‘army’ 15-20000 Syrian refugees who for now are stacked in Turkish refugee camps.”

Europeonline reported Turkey was becoming increasingly nervous about the number of Salafists seeping into Turkey with the refugees. They quote Turkish rights activist Mehmet Salmanoglu saying “Other kinds of people are arriving now. They are not Syrians. They are long-bearded men who have money.”

In Antakya locals are concerned “that military aid from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some other Gulf countries to the Syrian rebels is promoting the presence of Islamists in Turkey.” In turn, MIT are exploiting the situation by assisting extremists to gain entrance to Europe through the porous Turkish-Greek border.

In turn, pressure within Europe by increased Islamic immigration, could be the push the U.S. needs to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, with the aid of Europe as an ally. Bloomberg reported former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen said the U.S. and its allies would probably take more aggressive action against the Assad regime.

Back to the WikiLeaks report. Greek Intelligence received the information about the MIT plan via Frontex and the German Intelligence Service, prompting direct action by Greek Prime Minister Anthonis Samaras to immediately strengthen the border at Evros. Whilst Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias said the additional guards was to halt the flow of illegal immigration to Greece, and a possible increase due to the Syrian situation, no Turkish plot was revealed at the time. Germany “feared the existence of extreme Salafists among individuals of these groups of refugees.”

Following the tightening of the border and a clampdown on illegal immigrants in Athens, leading to arrests and deportations, Greece has been accused by human rights groups of acting illegally. However, it now appears that Greece had the support of Germany and Frontex, who felt the need to increase defenses against an influx of Islamic extremists. Greece alone has borne the insult for its “xenophobia” in the press.

Mr. Erdogan, It Is A Crime To Train Terrorists At Refugee Camps

[Google Trans. doesn't do a very good job with some languages, Turkish is one of those problem languages.  Nonetheless, there are some big developments taking place in Turkey which we need to watch, over Erdogan's deceitful Syrian campaign.  The following article touches upon several of the big headaches for the "Islamist-lite" Turkish P.M., all of them centered on building internal political opposition.  Noisy protests against Syrian gunmen running loose on the streets are taking place in Hatay (SEE: Tension in an unauthorized demonstration in Hatay), the site of the primary Syrian terrorist training camp called Apaydın.  In addition to that, the leader of Turkey's opposition Republican People's Party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has made that camp the focus of escalating national antiwar sentiments (SEE:  Kilicdaroglu: Apaydin Camp dedicated to training gunmen and sending them to Syria- Cham Press).  Mr. Kilicdaroglu is charging that the camp violates national laws by being a closed camp, that is run by foreigners.  He is demanding a public accounting of that facility, embarassing Erdogan, who flew into a cursing rage at the opposition's actions.  He has since cancelled his next appearance at the UN, claiming that the anti-Kurd campaign is getting too serious.   He is also charging that the camp violates international treaty obligations under the UN convention on the treatment of refugees, specifically, the training of terrorists at refugee camps.  To deflect the heat, he has allowed the Turkish Parliament’s Human Rights Commission to visit Apaydın camp (SEE:  Commission denies rumors of militant training camp at Apaydın).  They have basically "pooh-poohed" the notion, claiming that they saw only women and children.  It would be in keeping with Imperial NGO policy to have used this Human Rights organization to hide behind in Turkey, just as it has used other such groups to whitewash CIA activities in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Russia.  International scandal may help to force Erdogan's hand and get these camps closed.]  

Turkish opposition came into conflict with the Syrian prime minister Government blamed for the influx of refugees and opponents of Bashar al-Assad

Photo: Gleb Garanich / Reuters
Syrian conflict could provoke a serious political crisis in Turkey. The course of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, one of the most determined opponents of the regime in Damascus, causing more problems in the most Ankara. The opposition accuses the authorities that their intervention in the Syrian war has destabilized the border. Locals protest against the presence of 83 thousand refugees from Syria and armed opponents of Bashar al-Assad, which is becoming increasingly difficult to get along with. Experts do not rule out that under the pressure of the opponents Government will reconsider its policy toward Syria.
The war in Syria has political passions are running high in Ankara. The main opposition force – the Republican People’s Party (CHP) – accused Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in a failure on the Syrian track, and foretold his imminent resignation. CHP Deputy Chairman Gursel Tekin convinced Ahmet Davutoglu care – the only way for the Turkish government to bring down a wave of criticism.
The political crisis in Turkey exacerbates activation Kurdish militants in the south-east. Almost every day new information becomes available about the attacks on Turkish Kurds checkpoints in border areas. According to experts, the ruling Justice and Development Party itself provoked the activity of Kurdish rebels, weakening the central government in Damascus, which was previously held under the control of national minorities.
In late August, there was another conflict in Turkey’s political summit – between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the head of the Republican People’s Party Kemal Kilicdaroglu. A group of deputies from the CHP arrived in camp Syrian opposition Apaydyn (Hatay). There, according to various sources, is based on three thousand to five thousand armed opposition. After CHP deputies denied access to the camp, Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the ruling party and the prime minister personally to create a “closed military base” and violating the constitution.
The new round of confrontation on the Syrian issue was in the beginning of September, when in Antakya, the same border province of Hatay, organized a protest against the city flooded armed Syrians. For the Turkish leadership it became alarming signal: the locals many sympathizers Damascus Shiites. Any clashes with Syrian opposition could cause armed conflict in sectarian violence. In such a scenario developing events in neighboring Lebanon and Syria (see “Kommersant” on 27 July).
Opponents Tayyip Erdogan strongly urge expelled from Turkey of all Syrians, including their internal security threat. The same opinion is shared by the opposition press. One of these publications – the newspaper “Sozdzhu” – regularly publishes reports that the Syrians “hold in wild terror” in the border of Turkish cities.
Ankara about these issues is well known. According to experts, the Turkish government under pressure from opponents may revise its policy. According to “Kommersant” Now the Syrians from the site of potential conflict in the south-eastern provinces to the north of the country. Those who refuse to move to a specially built camps for them, the Turkish authorities have proposed to seek asylum in another country, or to return home. It looks like an idyll between refugees and official Ankara has ended. Too expensive for her to pay Tayyip Erdogan and his party.
Olga Kuznetsova

ACLU takes CIA to court as agency denies existence of drone programme

ACLU takes CIA to court as agency denies existence of drone programme

Despite references by president and defence secretary, CIA has refused FOIA request on grounds it cannot confirm drone use

 in New York

guardian.co.uk

Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey

US secretary of defence Leon Panetta has publicly acknowledged the drone programme’s existence. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The American Civil Liberties Union will go to court on Thursday in an attempt to get the CIA to hand over documents related to PresidentBarack Obama’s controversial “targeted killing” programme that uses unmanned drones to strike suspected Islamic militants.

The programme has been repeatedly referenced in public by numerous senior officials, including by Obama himself and defence secretary Leon Panetta, but the spy agency has refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request from the civil liberties group because it says it will not confirm the secretive use of drones.

As a result the ACLU has gone to court to argue that the CIA cannot deny the existence of a programme that has been so widely reported, including in great detail in off-the-record briefings by administration and agency officials. Jameel Jaffer, the deputy legal director of the ACLU, said: “It is preposterous. The assertion that this programme is a secret is nothing short of absurd.

“For more than two years, senior officials have been making claims about the programme both on the record and off. They’ve claimed that the programme is effective, lawful and closely supervised. If they can make these claims, there is no reason why they should not be required to respond to [FOIA] requests.”

The so-called targeted killing programme has become one of the most controversial aspects of Obama’s national security policy. It has been used in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia to strike at suspected terrorists and their supporters. Proponents of the programme say attacks can be highly accurate and come at little risk to American forces as there is no need for ground forces. Critics point out that there often civilian casualties and little is known about how targets are identified and targeted.

The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism tracks the strikesand has calculated that there have been 344 CIA drone hits in Pakistan alone since 2002, killing up to 3,325 people, including 881 civilians. Another area of concern is the use of drones to kill American citizens, such as radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old Colorado-born son. Both died in drone strikes in Yemen and relatives have sued top Pentagon and CIA officials for damages.

The ACLU’s demand for details of the programme – including documents related to its legal justification drawn up by the department of justice – is aimed at prompting a national debate on the scope of the drone programme and how it is used. Its legality is a particular issue. The memorandum justifying the legal basis for the targeted killing has now been requested by at least 10 members of Congress and three different lawsuits but it remains so secret that that acknowledging its existence is a classified matter. “The public has a right to decide for itself whether or not the programme is lawful or moral,” Jaffer said.

Some legal and security experts agree and believe that the current boom in drone warfare is only like to increase the demand for greater openness about how and why the weapons are used. Professor Amos Guiora, a national security and legal expert at the University of Utah, said: “Given that the drones are the warfare of the future you need a public debate about what’s being done in the public’s name.”

Mexico Bleeding from US-Trained Death Squads Along with DEA’s Cartel War

[SEE:Fighting “Simulated Wars” Nearly Always Leads To Real Wars ;Mexicans raise questions over CIA role in drug war ]

Mexican Special Forces Employed as Death Squads in Drug War, Email Records Released by WikiLeaks Reveal

by Bill Conroy

Specially Trained Troops Conducted “Surgical” Strikes on Narco-Trafficking Cells, Gangs and Addicts

Ciudad Juarez earned the reputation as the most dangerous city in the world as its murder rate ramped up exponentially between 2008 and 2011, with some 10,000 murders attributed to a “cartel” turf war being waged in the Mexican border community of some 1.2 million just south of El Paso, Texas.

However, a trail of email correspondence involving a Mexican diplomat obtained by the secret-spilling organization WikiLeaks seems to show that not all of the bloodshed in Juarez is attributable solely to sparring drug organizations — the narrative pushed by the US mainstream media.

In fact, the emails, which involve communications between a Mexican consulate officer stationed in the US and a Texas-based  private intelligence firm calledStratfor, seem to support a theory advanced in a Narco News story published back in December 2008, just as the violence in Juarez was beginning to heat up in the wake of a surge of Mexican troops into the city.

The initial surge of Mexican troops into Juarez took place in the spring of 2008 and it was followed by another surge of some 5,000 troops the next year.

The 2008 Narco News story was based on an analysis of murder cases in Juarez between January and mid-July of that year.

From the story:

The one clear pattern that emerges from the data is that the murders in Juarez are, in almost all cases, not the result of random violence or shootouts between rival drug gangs. In most cases, they are cold-blooded assassinations, often involving coordinated teams of armed, sometimes masked, men who are making use of intelligence, surveillance and paramilitary-like tactics to take out their victims.

… Is Juarez a city in the grips of a death-squad campaign being carried out by paramilitary operatives of a corrupt Mexican military seeking to corner the narco-trafficking business, with the acquiescence, maybe even complicity, of the Mexican government — and with our own government now set to support this bloodshed through its funding of Plan Mexico [the Merida Initiative]?

 “Surgical” Death

The description in the emails obtained by WikiLeaks of the Mexican diplomat, who doubled as a confidential source for Stratfor and is codenamed MX1, matches the publicly available information on Fernando de la Mora Salcedo — a Mexican foreign service officer who studied law at the University of New Mexico, served in theMexican Consulate in El Paso, Texas, and was more recently stationed in theMexican Consulate in Phoenix (though, sources indicate, he appears to have recently been recalled to Mexico).

MX1, in one of the emails released by WikiLeaks, describes the Mexican military’s mission in Juarez as involving a special-operations and intelligence-unit component that was embedded within the larger Mexican military force. These special units were charged with carrying out “surgical strikes” against narco-trafficking “cells” and “third war” criminals.

Stripped of the military jargon, these special strike forces sound very much like death squads.

From MX1’s email correspondence with Stratfor:

So, as you have no doubt gathered by now, the National Security Council decided to really up the ante in Juarez. We expect 5,000 additional troops and up to 1,000 additional federal police. Among the new elements, there will be at least 10 specialized intelligence units, as well as special forces units from both the Army and the Air Force. One of the intelligence units will be from the Navy (not for publication).

… The military will surgically remove cells that had been previously identified, but for whatever reason were not taken down yet. Periods of adjustment will ensue, but the military will fill any void left in terms of territorial control, ultimately causing the competing DTOs [drug trafficking organizations] to wait/give up. [Emphasis added.]

… The first to fall will be those waging the “third war”, as they are a bunch of retarded morons that have no chance against a force deployment of this size, and thrive only because of impunity.

The “third war” MX1 referred to in the email correspondence is described as follows in a 2009 article penned by Stratfor analysts Fred Burton and Scott Stewart:

This third war is the war being waged on the Mexican population by criminals who may or may not be involved with the cartels. Unlike the other battles, where cartel members or government forces are the primary targets and civilians are only killed as collateral damage, on this battlefront, civilians are squarely in the crosshairs.

In another Stratfor email, titled “Answers from MX1” and dated March 16, 2009, the Mexican diplomat goes into further detail about the Mexican military mission in Juarez.

Some have suggested that CDJ [Juarez] will be a laboratory of sorts for this massive strategy. If you look beneath the surface, you are likely to see some parallels between the tactics employed under

Democratic Security v2.0″ in Colombia. We will see if this works or not, but my impression is that it WILL WORK, precisely because so many powerful people have vested so much political capital in making it so.

So, now, the interesting stuff:

• All of the Special Forces that arrived in [Juarez in] the last 32 hours come from Mexico City. They are the “paracaidistas” [paratroopers]. They were present in Juarez before, but never in these numbers. Some were previously deployed in Guerrero.

• Some of the Special Forces that have arrived have experience in fighting the Gulf Cartel throughout its traditional areas of operation. Others have also been active in Sonora and Sinaloa.

The bulk, however, was immediately prior in Mexico City, where some finished specialized training as recently as two months ago. This would be the first time that they have the opportunity to put that training to the test.

… • The Mexican Air Force Special Forces are well trained to be extremely discrete and precise in their operations. They will be used for very targeted operations down the line, but it is expected that they will be out on patrol for the first few weeks of the operation, unless we get enough actionable intelligence really soon to mount operations in the coming days.

Narco News published a story in April 2011, which would have been some two years after the second military troop surge in Juarez, but while the Mexican militarywas still very active in Juarez, that revealed a US company, L3-MPRI, a division of a major US contractor, was involved in providing training to Mexican troops.

The training, according to an Internet job posting published by the company, was part of an effort called “Project Sparta,” which is designed “to train Mexican Army soldiers in basic and advanced urban warfare operations” with the ultimate goal of creating an “Urban Warfare Elite Force.”

The “new specialized reaction force” will support “federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the war against organized crime and the drug cartels,” the L-3 MPRI help-wanted ad states.

At the time the Narco News article was published in 2011, a spokesman for L3-MPRI denied that the company had an active contract in Mexico and its job postings for Project Sparta were subsequently pulled from the Internet — though Narco News had already made screen shots of the postings, which can be found at this link.

A Modest Proposal

An even more troubling revelation in the MX1 email trail is what the Mexican diplomat describes in a July 13, 2009, email as a “change in strategy” in the Mexican troop deployment in Juarez — a change that refocused the mission on a more “modest goal.” This new strategy is troubling in light of the wave of attacks in 2009 on drug rehab clinics in Juarez in which dozens of people, mostly recovering drug addicts, were slaughtered in commando style assaults. To this day, no one has really provided a definitive explanation for these senseless attacks — though some have suggested the “cartels” were seeking to kill potential informants at these clinics.

However, MX1’s description in the Stratfor email correspondence of the “modest goal” [eerily like that of Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal”) seems to raise the quite troubling possibility that some of these assaults on the Juarez drug-rehab clinics may have been orchestrated by elements of the Mexican military.

From the July 13, 2009, MX1 email correspondence:

The larger picture of the change in strategy has to do with a more modest goal. As the major cartels have all guaranteed routes into the US, the addiction problem [in] Juarez is causing most of the violence. About 80% of kidnapping victims that survived that you talk to mention that their captors seemed to be high on something.

Therefore, a major component of the [Mexican military] strategy will be to prevent kidnappings and the like by directing efforts against drug addicts and gangs. Gangs are presenting major problems because they are pissed off at each other and their cartel bosses because they are not getting what they were promised. The more modest goal of combating the social violence is supposed to give some breathing room to the [cartel] bosses so that they can issue orders to calm things down. [Emphasis added.]

Gustavo De La Rosa, a well-known human-rights worker who was forced to flee Juarez after his life was threatened, raised similar concerns about the Mexican military’s apparent involvement in death-squad activity in an Oct. 3, 2009, article published by London’s Guardian newspaper.

De La Rosa, as quoted in the Guardian story:

There are execution squads [in Juarez], another breed forensically killing malandros [“down-and-outs, urchins, petty criminals and addicts"], planned assassinations of the unwanted. And if we look at exactly how they are done, they are experts in killing characteristic of training by the army or police.

I do not think these killings are the work of sicarios [cartel assassins], because I don’t think that anyone would want to pay the money the cartel sicarios charge to kill malandros. Sicarios kill members of the rival cartel; you wouldn’t need a sicario to kill malandros in a rehabilitation centre or abandoned house taking drugs.

I’m not saying … that the [Mexican] army is directly killing these people. But, in a city living in a culture of delinquency, soldiers become part of that culture. I kept a map and watched how these [death] squads move across the army checkpoints without hindrance. Until I was told to stop.”

Narco News attempted to contact De La Rosa by email, but he did not reply prior to publication. Mexican diplomat de la Mora Salcedo and Stratfor also were contacted previously by Narco News for comment but have not responded.

One US drug-war agent who reviewed the 2008 data on murder cases in Juarez for Narco News had this to say back then about his take on the Juarez bloodshed:

They’re anything but random acts. Some of these murders are likely the result of cartel turf battles, but the numbers seem too high for the cartels alone. I don’t think they would be killing each other at that rate.

With the murder tally in Mexico now exceeding 100,000 since President Felipe Calderon launched his war on the cartels in 2007 — and is now well beyond 10,000in Juarez alone — it seems the tired US mainstream media meme of attributing the carnage to “cartel” turf wars alone simply does not hold water, particularly in light of the revelations by MX1.

But such a dark truth will be hard to swallow for many, given it’s easier to believe, to accept, that only criminals are capable of murder. But in war, the rule of law breaks down, and the definition of who is or is not criminal is usually defined, in the end, by those with the most bullets.

That is the nature of the drug war.

But there is a bright side for those who are looking to profit from the horror, according to MX1, who shared the following aside in one of the Stratfor emailsdetailing the Mexican troop build-up and “surgical” attack plans in Juarez:

No doubt, interesting times ahead. Also, a pretty good time to invest in Juarez. Buy property, it is dirt cheap right now, but will be worth exponentially more as soon as things calm down. They will calm down.

 

Prior Stories in This Series:

• Mexican Diplomat Traded Secrets with Private Intel Firm Stratfor, WikiLeaks Documents Reveal

• US, Mexican Officials Brokering Deals with Drug “Cartels,” WikiLeaks Documents Show

Narco News was provided access to the Stratfor emails through an investigative partnership organized by WikiLeaks that includes journalists, academics and human rights organizations.

Hezbollah Would Eat the Free Syrian Army Alive

[This brings us to the point that the Big Bosses had hoped to avoid--the point where the psyop in Syria is failing, and a handful of out-of-control Sunni radicals could easily upset their complex calculations to take control in Syria.  The Sunni commanders have tried to have their way with Hezbollah by kidnapping Shia hostages in Syria, never realizing until it was too late, just how quickly the Shiite resistance forces would overwhelm this strategy.  The employees of the Big Corporation in northern Syria (the jihadi army) are trying to hold onto their jobs for as long as they can, before the Syrian strategem completely collapses.  These diehard Sunni jihadists are completely insane, and therefore, they cannot ever be fully controlled.  If these units are foolish enough to take the fight to the Shia resistance forces of Hezbollah (whether in Syria or Lebanon), then they will have opened the floodgates for another professional army to come in.  The front-line fighters of Hezbollah are the most fearsome guerilla force in the world.  They stopped the Zionist Empire cold in southern Lebanon.  They will completely reverse the tide of war, enabling Syria to eat the Free Syrian Army alive.  If the Empire loses Syria completely, then the Big Game falls apart on the critical western end of the New Middle East.  The economic clock will have run-out before a new round of intrigues could be prepared (Plan "B" for Syria), meaning that it is all or nothing for the Empire in Syria.  My bet is that the planners of our New Order will not allow the situation to deteriorate to that point, meaning loss on the little battlefield will force a NATO invasion of the greater Syrian region.  We are about to see what happens when the United States has to pay-up for all the promises that have been made.]

Syria rebel: Sunni jihadists after Shiite hostages

Syrian rebel commander Abu Ibrahim, whose real name is Ammar al-Dadikhli, pauses during an interview with the Associated Press at Bab Al-Salameh border crossing, near the Syrian town of Azaz, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Ibrahim, who is holding 10 Lebanese Shiites hostage, said Thursday he is willing to release the men but fears it could provoke attacks by Sunni extremists who would disagree with his decision. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
By PAUL SCHEMM

Associated Press

AZAZ, Syria (AP) — A Syrian rebel commander holding 10 Lebanese Shiites hostage said Thursday he is willing to release the men but fears doing so could set off a wave of reprisal attacks by Sunni extremists.

What began as an effort to force Lebanon’s Shiite militant group Hezbollah to stop supporting the Syrian regime has become the latest flashpoint in a conflict with growing sectarian overtones.

The rebel leader behind the kidnappings, Ammar al-Dadikhli, is a burly former cross-border trader who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Ibrahim. His 1,200-strong Northern Storm Brigade controls the vital crossing from Syria’s Aleppo province into neighboring Turkey, and in May he ordered the seizure of the Lebanese Shiites, who had been on a bus tour of religious sites in the area, on the grounds they belonged to Hezbollah.

He said the kidnappings were aimed at persuading Hezbollah, a strident backer of President Bashar Assad, to reconsider its commitment to the Syrian regime. Instead it set off a string of revenge kidnappings by Shiite clansmen inside Lebanon, with two Turks and some 20 Syrians being snatched by gunmen. All but four of the Syrians have since been released, with the last Turk freed Thursday night.

The stakes are high. If anything were to happen to the Lebanese hostages, who by all accounts have been well treated, it would ignite Shiite rage and set fire to Lebanon’s already delicate sectarian balance.

On Aug. 24, Abu Ibrahim moved to defuse the situation by releasing one of the hostages, 60-year-old Hussein Omar, to the Turkish authorities.

Omar told media outlets he had been well treated, but the expected release of the 10 others failed to materialize. Abu Ibrahim said Thursday he is holding on to the others for their own safety.

‘‘After (Omar’s) release, the Northern Storm brigade began to receive threats from Sunni extremist groups in Lebanon, Iraq and some in Syria,’’ Abu Ibrahim told The Associated Press in an interview at a customs house in this Syrian border town.

‘‘They told us, the hostages are members of Hezbollah and should be killed.’’

Though both broadly share anti-U.S. attitudes, militant Shiite and Sunni groups have been rivals in the region for decades. Sunni hard-liners consider Shiites to be heretics, while Shiites complain of centuries of oppression at the hands of their rival Muslim sect.

In Syria, Sunni jihadists appear to want to impose their vision of a sectarian conflict on the uprising, which started with largely secular calls for change against an authoritarian regime and has morphed into a civil war. The extremists — whose role in the conflict appears to be on the rise — point out that the regime is dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, with close ties to Iran.

Abu Ibrahim said he fears his men will be attacked by Sunni extremists if he releases the Lebanese Shiites and that the hostages will also be targeted.

‘‘We would like to make a deal and turn them over to one of the great powers, like the United States, to protect ourselves and them, so those extremists won’t harm them,’’ he said. ‘‘If they are handed back to Lebanon, they will be targeted, but if they are given to a big country, it will be like an international deal.’’

Despite condemning the regime’s use of heavy weapons against civilians and providing some humanitarian aid to the rebels, Western powers have steered clear of any direct intervention into the 18-month old conflict that activists say has claimed more than 20,000 lives.

It is also doubtful that the United States, already reeling from a series of attacks on its embassies in the Middle East prompted by an anti-Islam film, would be looking to get involved in a hostage exchange.

Already the Syrian conflict has had a number of spillover effects in Lebanon, including riots and gun battles between supporters and opponents of Assad’s regime, and now the wave of kidnappings.

In contrast to its normally aggressive response to most provocations, however, Hezbollah, which is also deeply involved in Lebanon’s tortuous politics, has tried to downplay the Syrian hostage-taking.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah appealed for calm in the wake of the 11 men’s capture and uncharacteristically deferred to the Lebanese government to handle negotiations for their release. He also denied any involvement in the retaliatory kidnappings by Shiite clans.

According to Abu Ibrahim, however, extremist Sunni groups appear to be going in the opposite direction.

While the majority of Syria’s rebels are Sunni and many are religious, most say they disagree with the extreme approach adopted by Sunni jihadists that often involves singling out Syria’s many minorities and the imposition of Islamic law.

‘‘We don’t like the Salafis or extremists,’’ said Abu Ibrahim, adding that he had little dealings with them, but had yet to come into direct conflict.

‘‘They are only playing a small role in the revolution,’’ he said, estimating that they made up less than 10 percent of the fighters.end of story marker

British Intelligence Has Named the Mastermind Behind the Deadly Attack in Benghazi–Ayman al-Zawahiri

[Just when the US spymasters have deemed it safe to bring our "Al-Qaeda" connections out into the open, the ungrateful "Islamists" stab us in the back.  How dare they?!!  There are opportunists lurking behind the curtain, just as there are out in front.  Play with hornets' nests and you WILL get stung.]

ливия протест сша американский флаг бенгази беспорядки

Photo: EPA

British intelligence services have named the Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri as the mastermind behind the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, which claimed the lives of the US Ambassador to Libya, as well as of three other American officials.

A source in the British armed forces’ analytic department said al Zawahiri issued an order for the attack, which appears to be a “well-planned” one.

According to the source, the militia task force comprised 20 specially trained gunmen, who used the demonstrations as a pretext to staging an assault.

TASS

Mexico is re-thinking anti-gang war plan

[SEE:  Fighting “Simulated Wars” Nearly Always Leads To Real Wars;  Mexican official: CIA 'manages' drug trade]

Mexico is re-thinking anti-gang war plan

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s U.S.-backed militarized offensive against its gangsters likely will rely even more upon the commando tactics gaining currency in Washington policy debates, analysts say.

U.S. officials already have bet heavily on improving Mexican federal security forces by providing $1.8 billion for training and equipment under the congressionally approved Merida Initiative. The focus now may shift decidedly toward more unconventional warfare strategies developed in countries like Colombia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The best way to root out these gangs is intelligence and special forces like we did with (Osama) bin Laden,” said Texas Republican Congressman Michael McCaul, referring to the al-Qaida leader killed by Navy SEALs last year.

The gangster wars, which have played out in several towns and cities precariously close to the Texas border, also have incited political sparring between Texas politicians like Gov. Rick Perry, who says spillover violence is a threat to the state, and federal officials who call the claims exaggerated.

The already close U.S. involvement with Mexican security forces was underscored by the Aug. 24 attacks on a two U.S. advisers, reportedly CIA employees, and a Mexican navy captain outside Mexico City. Officials have yet to clarify the motive for the attack, but say the men were heading to a marine training camp in the nearby mountains.

Incoming President Enrique Peña Nieto, who takes office Dec. 1, has vowed to continue President Felipe Calderon‘s anti-gangster campaign but also to dramatically reduce the body count – a tally of some 60,000 people.

“Peña Nieto wants three things: reduce the violence, reduce the violence, reduce the violence,” said analystGeorge Grayson, a political science professor at the College of William and Mary, who has written extensively on Mexican national security and the anti-gang campaign.

“He’s going to have to use a scalpel more than a broadsword,” Grayson said. “The path of least resistance is special ops.”

National police force

Peña’s security strategy won’t be based on special forces alone. He also has proposed creating a national gendarme force, modeled on those in France, Spain or Chile, that would take over much of the country’s policing from local and state police. With few details of how it will be created or what its role will be, many analysts see the plan as something of a head scratcher.

“Whether that force will remain under military or transferred to civilian control is still not clear,” said Iñigo Guevara, a Latin America Defense and Security consultant based in Washington, D.C. “In any case, the Mexican military will remain at the forefront of the war.”

Probably not coincidentally, Navy SEAL vice admirals now serve both as second in command of the U.S. Southern Command overseeing military affairs and operations in Latin America and the Caribbean and as the military attaché at the embassy in Mexico City.

The new U.S. consul general in Nuevo Laredo, considered a base of the Zetas, is a counterterrorism expert with intelligence experience at both the White House and State Department.

Gen. Oscar Naranjo, the retired head of Colombia’s national police who Peña hired as national security adviser, has called for using “shock units” to target “high value” gangsters, saying, “It’s not good that you don’t have elite groups pursing the murderers.”

Mexican Navy Chief Admiral Mariano Saynez also took the unusual step of publicly urging Peña to focus on well-researched surgical strikes instead of wholly depending on troops that anchored Calderon’s strategy.

Naval strike brigade

Trained in part by U.S. marines and special operations commandos, the Mexican navy’s 7th Infantry Brigade long has been used as a strike force against high priority targets. While they’re patrolling and launching lightning raids across northern Mexico, the marines largely have focused on the Zetas, the criminal gang based in cities bordering south Texas and founded years ago by deserters from Mexico’s army special forces.

The expected shift in Mexican strategy dovetails with Washington think tanks that see primordial threats posed by “transnational organized crime.” While they lack political agendas, gangster bands from Latin America to Africa hold de facto power in great swaths of territory.

“It is ramping up. There is a lot more interest than there used to be,” said Doug Farah, a Washington analyst who advises U.S. military and law enforcement on Latin America organized crime.

 

dudley.althaus@chron.com