Under Umbrella of “Drug Control” US Is Preparing Death Squads for Azerbaijan and Central Asia


George Borodin: guests from Colombia, El Salvador, and Kosovo: The U.S. is prepared in Azerbaijan and Central Asia “death squads”


Deputy Secretary of State and Head of the Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement in the U.S. Department of State William Brownfield (right) pledged robust support CARICC.  Together with the Director Lt. Gen. CARICC Beksultanov Sarsekovym.  Source: CARICC.

Deputy Secretary of State and Head of the Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement in the U.S. Department of State William Brownfield (right) pledged robust support CARICC. Together with the Director Lt. Gen. CARICC Beksultanov Sarsekovym. Source: CARICC.

Undersecretary of State William Brownfield said that "the Central Asian Initiative on Drugs," the U.S. will be higher than the struggle for influence between Washington and Moscow.  Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Richard Solash.

Undersecretary of State William Brownfield said that “the Central Asian Initiative on Drugs,” the U.S. will be higher than the struggle for influence between Washington and Moscow. Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Richard Solash.

Director CARICC B. Sarsekov (left) with the Director of the Office for law enforcement issues and drug control in Europe and Asia, the U.S. State Department ID Kostelanchikom.  Source: CARICC.

Director CARICC B. Sarsekov (left) with the Director of the Office for law enforcement issues and drug control in Europe and Asia, the U.S. State Department ID Kostelanchikom.Source: CARICC.

Today, under the burden of “fighting drugs” the United States are trying to create a loyal group of law enforcement agencies and special purpose units in the Central Asian states. One of the mechanisms of this process is CARICC – Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre on fight against drugs. All that the U.S. did in Central America in the 1970-1990’s: there training counternarcotics police later turned into a murderous death squads and civil wars for decades. Drug production in the meantime increased in proportion to American intervention. Today, the process of “Afghanization” Central Asia is gaining momentum and to the point of no return, there is very little time.

In foreign practice, the Obama administration’s entrenched certain tactical approach: hands of other states to act and conduct their own initiative as a multilateral mechanism of international organizations. Thus, the war was waged against Libya by France and the United States provided only “support” functions. The “New Silk Road” will initiate Turkey and the United States in its “neutral, but an enthusiastic companion” (1). League of Arab States, one after the other issues calls for the overthrow of the legitimate, but disliked the leaders of the United States. UN Security Council resolution against Syria in October 2011 put forward France, Britain, Germany and Portugal and the United States it is only “support” – in the company of Colombia, Nigeria, Gabon and Bosnia. It’s really more intelligent and sophisticated tactics, compared with a cowboy fell swoop the previous U.S. administration: the costs and accrue a negative response to others; the more so in the budget deficit, “the transfer of the burden of defense spending allies – the only sensible way” (2-3 .)

United Nations, the main international mechanism, the U.S. is trying to turn into a multilateral extension of the State Department to give international legitimacy to its sole initiatives. Washington is also trying to use a separate structure in its UN, U.S., destination: The IAEA has recently used to put pressure on Iran, the Office on Drugs and Crime United Nations (UNODC) – tool penetration into Central Asia.

Another favorite American maneuver – the creation of “regional” institutions thousands of miles from their borders, in which the United States are members or observers. Directing the activities of these structures, the curators of Washington repeated local leadership, “it’s your idea, your structure, do everything yourself, we will only help” – and thus get a (semi) compliant mechanism that serves as their outpost in the remote region.

As a pretext for the creation of such mechanisms, the United States are using the theme of “cooperation in areas of common interest.” The most plausible and persuasive cover serves as a “joint fight against drugs,” and this card is played out most actively against Russia and Central Asia. In recent months, Washington has coined especially mocking argument: his “war on drugs” they activate in response to concern about the implications of Russia “withdrawal” of troops from Afghanistan (in fact, no “O”, of course – a reduction of troops).

If the United States so concerned about drugs, why do they flatly refuse to fight drug production and drug trafficking in Afghanistan (4), and instead seek to “assist” Russia and Central Asian states in their territories? Intercept drugs at the source is much easier, especially when the territory is occupied 140,000th military contingent as part-time drug dealers are CIA agents, and precursors and drugs are transported under the control of the same warlords who “provide security” of U.S. and NATO convoys ( 5). Center was created by means of NATO member states: the United States (3.2 million), Great Britain, Italy, Turkey, France, Czech Republic, as well as Finland and Luxembourg – a total of 15,400,000 USD (9). These same states plus Afghanistan and Pakistan have observer status at CARICC – while China and Iran on the list are not registered. Observer States had access to the entire volume of information collected and analyzed by the Center. Director Sarsekov says CARICC “ready to cooperate with western countries” and proposes to expand the mandate of the Centre for all types of cross-border crime, not limiting it to the fight against drug trafficking – as evidenced by Wikileaks dispatches disclosed the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent (10). Indeed, CARICC takes a lot of international visitors: foreign delegations arrive in the center of one another. Training CARICC conduct “international experts with extensive law enforcement and managerial experience” (11).

U.S. sees CARICC as “very important and effective tool”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally oversaw the development of the Centre (12). As an “observer” The United States takes an active part in its work. Hardware and software for CARICC put U.S. Central Command (13). In the “technical support / service” CARICC also involved the Office of Military Cooperation U.S. Department of Defense (Office of Military Cooperation, OMC), as reported in a telegram to the U.S. Embassy in Astana, disclosed in the latest WikiLeaks documents servings September 1, 2011 (14) . The United States insisted that multilateral efforts to combat the drug passed through CARICC and NATO-Russia Council, and not through the Collective Security Treaty Organization (15).Washington also hoped to link the activities CARICC the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which now trains police officers and other professionals involved in the protection of the law, but because of objections by Russian officials to the United States had to abandon those plans (16). In an attempt to hide the involvement of the Armed Forces of the United States in CARICC, though rather clumsy. Russian version of the site CARICC reports that “from May 16, 2011 in CARICC held a two-week training course for high ranking law enforcement agencies and special services of the parties, organized with the support of UNODC and donors.” Coverage of the same event in the English language is different: training courses have been organized “with the support of UNODC and the U.S. Central Command” (emphasis added) (17).

For all its benefits for the U.S. CARICC – only one of the stages of penetration into the power structure of the Central Asian states. In June 2011 Deputy Secretary of State and Head of the Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement in the U.S. State Department (Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, INL) William Brownfield (William Brownfield), which will be discussed separately, has announced some ” Central Asian Initiative on Drugs “(Central Asian Counternarcotics Initiative, CACI) (18). In this project, the legal and practical aspects of which develops over the UNODC, we are talking directly to the creation of anti-drug “Special Forces” in the five Central Asian states, which would be linked to their counterparts in Afghanistan and Russia, and would coordinate through the UNODC and CARICC. As the model results in Brownfield “remarkably effective and proven specially selected units” created within the anti-narcotics police of Afghanistan by the Agency on U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA). Washington will provide funding for training, purchase equipment and supplies for these special groups: $ 4.2 million to the initiative of the State Department has already allocated (19). Brownfield also noted that the implementation of the initiative does not require a massive military presence, neither the U.S. nor the Russian Federation. In summer and autumn of this year, he and his staff circulated by the Central Asian capitals, urging them to guide the need for such a model of special forces in the region.

Undersecretary of State William Brownfield, even among the arrogant power “diplomats” stands calmly and insolence. For this post Brownfield came in January 2011 directly from the chair of U.S. Ambassador to Colombia (2007-2010) (20). Brownfield previously served as ambassador to Venezuela, where it is not for his ambassadorial work twice received from President Hugo Chavez’s warnings of expulsion (21). In 1996-1999, the Brownfield served as deputy head of that Office, struggling with drugs and “strengthening the rule of law”, particularly in Bosnia and Kosovo. In 1993 he graduated from the National Military Institute (National War College). In 1989-1990. When the U.S. invaded Panama, served as political advisor to the commander of U.S. Southern Command in Panama. A Brownfield began his career in Venezuela in 1979 and in El Salvador in 1981-1983. (22) – During the Civil War and the highest activity of the right-wing “death squads”.

David Kostelanchik (David Kostelancik), Director for Europe and Eurasia in the Office of William Brownfield, began his career in Turkey (1989-1991) and Albania (1992-1993) in 1994 was a special assistant to Ambassador T. Pickering in Moscow. In 1998-2001. engaged in military-political issues in NATO’s Central European affairs in the State Department and National Security Council. In 2007 Kostelanchik to advance in the same National War Institute, and then left for Moscow for the post of Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs and head of the inner section (Russian) politics (23). D. Kostelanchika residence in Virginia (24) is located in a convenient 4-mile distance from Langley – much closer than to State Department.

Some might believe that U.S. officials with the track record of cooperation aim to rescue the Russian people on heroin? As for the main anti-drug department of the USA – the Agency for U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA), Ministry of Justice, its mission is to prevent the flow of drugs into the United States. International activities of DEA controlled by the fact that in 2006 it was included in the U.S. intelligence community, now consisting of 16 structures. Perhaps there will be decent in DEA officers, who consider the task of the true fight against narcotic evil. But they do not specify the course of the Agency, and when in their operative work imposed razvedkadrov development, the latter prevail.

However, not only the diplomacy of force and DEA, but Central Command and the U.S. Armed Forces, the giant war machine ravaged their area of ​​responsibility of full-scale wars and conflicts of low intensity, as the “fight against drugs” – and even in Central Asia! However, anti-drug activities in the CENTCOM cover quickly gives way to the formation and training of local military special forces.

Center of U.S. military activity in Central Asia, in addition to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan became. According to a press release, in Tajikistan, Central Command conducts 50 to 60 programs and activities in the field of security, and in 2011 – 70 (25). In particular, the completed construction of the National Center for training, systems are being interdepartmental communication to the Government of Tajikistan, built a bridge across the Panj River to the border and customs checkpoints on the Tajik-Afghan border – the complex, which “helps to increase the commercial exchange that enhances communication Tajikistan, with its southern neighbor “(26). Institute of Foreign Languages ​​U.S. Department of Defense spent two 16-week courses in English for the Tajiks, the reconstruction of the Police Academy in Tajikistan, provided assistance in training personnel. Built frontier posts in Shurabad and Yahchi, Pune, at the opening of which in June 2011 came to himself Brownfield – it installed “underfloor heating”! (27) Military Partner Tajikistan – National Guard Virginia – is also expanding its military cooperation: conducting training and information exchange in 2011, supplemented by the formation of “peacekeeping unit” training “disaster relief” and the civil-military medical readiness.

Medical services to the civilian population in the host country forces – is a classic technique events “winning hearts and minds” of Field Manual on counterinsurgency (anti-guerrilla) activities, the current version of which was developed under the leadership of Gen. Mattis, now commander of U.S. Central Command, and Gen. Petraeus now director of the CIA (28). You can imagine how stun Tajik border guards presented America “underfloor heating”. As well as a new form, brilliant equipment, modern computers – the so-constructed emotional connection with the curator, under the doctrine of psychological warfare.

A special role in American regional structure is given as Kazakhstan’s largest, prosperous and close to the Russian state in Central Asia, without which no valid Eurasian integration. However, the enactment of the Kazakh leadership of Russia, the U.S. and China against each other in the medium term will turn Kazakhstan into an arena of fierce struggle of the three powers – and the position of fighting the landfill altogether unenviable. This process may already have begun: May 17, 2011 in Aktobe saw the first act of terrorism. As described by Michael Park in the article “” Dagestanizatsiya “: extremists have declared total war special forces” on the site of IA REGNUM, to destabilize Kazakhstan is possible an extensive set of subversive acts: acts of terrorism in Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan infiltration of illegal armed formations, mass demonstrations fringe, accompanied by a demonstrative cruelty to certain groups, a series of explosions on pipelines, provoking Kazakhstan disproportionate and unjust military action (29).

And it gets inside the Customs Union of Russia today and in the future – within the Eurasian Union.

When William Brownfield speaks of “specially selected and tested secret units” within the Central Asian Initiative on Drugs, the questions arise: “selected” by whom? “Trusted” whose intelligence? employees to whom? In fact, under the burden of drug control, the United States in Central Asia are building a loyal force apparatus. For what purpose and objectives?

1. To ensure obedience to the will of the state U.S. legal control is not enough – you need power and control. During stabilization or destabilization of the internal situation of the power unit loyal support the government if it is given to the U.S. line – or help to overthrow him, if it went off course. They suppress the resistance of the masses and eliminate the resistance leaders, and bring people to the desired political position. All these tasks can not be performed by the U.S. military without prejudice to the reputation of the U.S. in addition, local collaborators will perform the dirty work, with particular zeal to settle personal scores (see the experience of the “Galicia” and other national units SS reprisals against Gaddafi.)

2. Unconventional warfare (irregular war) the U.S. will lead the future due to deep partnerships with foreign military, according to the plans of General Mattis the commander of Central Command(30). U.S. Secretary of Defense L. Panetta confirmed that the budget increase of special forcesin the reduction of military expenditure necessary “to fight the rebels, the U.S. did not have to do it”(31). U.S. special forces, in addition to special operations, special forces are training other states – “the industry in the stage of rapid growth,” says the Central Command.

3. Safety and security of transit of military cargo for the U.S. occupation troops in Afghanistan and NATO’s supply lines in the North (Northern Distribution Network, NDN) requires strict order in the transit countries. In the future, as the realization of the American integration project called “New” or “modern” silk road, you will need the security of a huge network of transport and energy lines, and most importantly, pipelines. According to the strategy of the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS) ModernSilk Road “will implement a counterinsurgency mission,” U.S.(32).

4. Providing key strategic advantages: Central Asia in conjunction with Afghanistan – the “heart” of the Eurasian region, the last bastion on the way to world domination – provides a base for projecting U.S. threats on three main enemies: Iran, Russia and China. Adoption of the military-political presence in Central Asia to the United States today is as important as the structuring of Western Europe in NATO in the years after World War II.

5. Finally, the political-military U.S. presence in Central Asia undermines any independent from Washington and they are not controlled by a regional integration initiative – CSTO, SCO, and future Eurasian UnionU.S. actions in Central Asia largely duplicate their policy in Central and South America, and it concerns the integration process and the “fight against drugs”, and counter-insurgency war.Thus, in 1993 by the U.S. was founded, “the Central American Integration System” (Central American Integration System, SICA) – the system of economic and political integration. In 2000, Washington launched “Plan Colombia”, which quickly turned from counternarcotics to counterinsurgency and a year later was supplemented by strengthening the capacity of the Colombian army to protect oil pipelines. Colombia is known, became a military foothold in Central America, the United States.

Recognized as a world historian and expert on the role of the CIA in the drug trade, Peter Dale Scott (Peter Dale Scott) as a result of decades of study of anti-drug efforts of the United States came to the conclusion that the increase in drug trafficking is due, not in spite of the efforts of Americans (33). Alfred McCoy (Alfred McCoy), another world-renowned expert on the role of the CIA in the drug trade, states that where the U.S. led “war on drugs,” Drug Production generally increased (34). Drug production increased in proportion to terrorism, loss of life and suffering of a nation whose territory the United States have chosen to “fight against drugs.”

It should be understood: in the fight against drugs Russian and U.S. interests are not “common.” American power apparatus using drugs as a political weapon: the U.S., first create a crisis, then use it to infiltrate the power structures of the target to put them in the service of their interests. The formula is simple: to enter into an alliance with narkotorguyuschimi groups – to declare war on drugs – to establish military and political presence in the region where the drugs are sent.

CARICC for the U.S. – it’s intelligence and coordinating resources in the region and a platform for training of law enforcement agencies, the price of 3.2 million dollars – a paltry price to pay for, to know all that he knows Russia and other states. In the case of U.S. CARICC invites States to play in someone else’s game with marked cards. In this game impossible to win.

It is unlikely that Russian foreign policy establishment in the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry understands the American idea: in their actions that understanding can not be traced.

And in Central Asia, those who participate in the American game, should know they face the same fate as the Central America – the role of “cannon fodder” in the service of American interests and decades of bloody civil wars, dropping in the development of an indefinite amount of time. Understand whether the leaders of Central Asian states, in which game they are drawn? Do they want for themselves and their states of such a future, which has been present in Afghanistan, when the nation was torn at the same time radical extremism and foreign occupation? The process of “Afghanization” Central Asia is gaining momentum and to the point of no return, there is very little time. A position of the leaders of Central Asian states are unlikely be called stable: the drug mafia and overthrew the more stable leadership. The coup d’etat by the trafficking networks in contact with the U.S. secret services, a general massacre and endless foreign occupation – it is most likely future for them all..

1. Andrew Kuchins, Thomas Sanderson, David Gordon. The Northern Distribution Network and the Modern Silk Road – Planning for Afghanistan’s Future // Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). December 2009. P.3.

2. Joseph M. Parent, Paul K. MacDonald The Wisdom of Retrenchment – America Must Cut Back to Move Forward // Foreign Affairs. November/December 2011.

3. При всём том вое, который поднял Пентагон по поводу сокращения расходов, военный бюджет уменьшается всего лишь на 7-8% на ближайшие 10 лет, и к 2017 г. будет составлять 522,5 миллиардов долл. (без учёта расходов на войны, которые идут отдельной статьей). Военный бюджет России в 2010 г. составил 52,6 млрд.долл., Китая – 114 млрд.долл. Источник: Wikipedia, List of countries by military expenditures.

4. За исключением тех 5-6% наркопроизводства, которое питает движение Талибан.

5. Александр Чайковский Терроризм и наркота: в Москву едет командующий США и НАТО в Европе // ИА Regnum. 4 октября 2011. http://www.regnum.ru/news/1452401.html.

6. Сайт Регионального представительства УНП ООН в Центральной Азии (UNODC ROCA) – http://www.unodc.org/centralasia/.

7. Россия присоединилась к ЦАРИКЦ одной из последних 4 сентября 2009 г. (Казахстан – 16 сентября 2011 г.), решение было ратифицировано в марте 2011 г.

8. US Embassy Tashkent cable ID 08TASHKENT485. Caricc Ready To Move Forward As Pilot Phase Nears Completion. Date: 24 Apr 2008. Paragraph3. Wikileaks ID 151157, First published on 26 Aug 2011. http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08TASHKENT485&q=caricc

9. Mid-term evaluation of project TD/RER/H22 Establishment of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre – CARICC. Peter Allan, Consultant.

10. US Embassy Tashkent cable ID 08TASHKENT485. Caricc Ready To Move Forward As Pilot Phase Nears Completion. Date: 24 Apr 2008. Summary. Wikileaks ID 151157, First published on 26 Aug 2011. http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08TASHKENT485&q=caricc

11. Завершение очередных курсов обучения руководящего состава компетентных органов. Сайт ЦАРИКЦ: http://www.caricc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=251&Itemid=1&lang=russian.

12. Представитель Госдепартамента США в ЦАРИКЦ. ЦАРИКЦ: http://www.caricc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=247&Itemid=1

13. Avaz Yuldohev Only five member nations ratify CARICC establishment agreement by Feb 1 // Asia-Plus. February 5, 2010. http://news.tj/en/news/only-five-member-nations-ratify-caricc-establishment-agreement-feb-1.

14. US Embassy Astana Cable, reference ID 10ASTANA225. Kazakhstan: Scenesetter For Srap Holbrooke. Date 18 Feb 2010. Source: Wikileaks ID #249282. First published 1 Sep 2011. http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=10ASTANA225.

15. US Embassy Moscow cable ID 10MOSCOW226. Scenesetter For February 4 US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Drug Trafficking Working Group Meeting. Date: 29 Jan 2010. Paragraph 7. Source: Wikileaks ID 246266. First published 24 Aug 2011. http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/01/10MOSCOW226.html#.

16. US Embassy Dushanbe cable ID 09DUSHANBE702. New Russian Ambassador Proposes Closer Cooperation. Date: 5 Jun 2009. Paragraph 6. Wikileaks ID 210433. First published 1 Sep 2011. http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09DUSHANBE702&q=caricc.

17. Executive-level law enforcement training course conducted at CARICC. CARICC website: http://www.caricc.org/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1&limit=5&limitstart=15&lang=english.

18. Richard Solash US Promotes New Plan to Battle Drug Trade In Afghanistan, Central Asia, Russia // Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. July 19, 2011.

19. US issues $4.2mln for Central Asia Counternarcotics Initiative. The American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce. 10 October 2011. http://www.aucconline.com/news.php?news_id=259.

20. William Brownfield Biography, State Department http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/154184.htm.

21. William Brownfield Biography, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Brownfield.

22. William Brownfield Biography, http://www.allgov.com/Official/Brownfield_William.

23. David J. Kostelancik visits Nizhny Novgorod American Center. 13.03.2009. http://amcorners.ru/news/news796/ac147/

24. Property valuation of Bridle Path Lane, Fairfax, VA. http://www.city-data.com/fairfax-county/B/Bridle-Path-Lane-2.html.

25. CENTCOM, Tajikistan expand security partnership. US Central Command press-release. June 29, 2010. http://www.centcom.mil/press-releases/centcom-tajikistan-expand-security-partnership.

26. Idem.

27. Tajikistan: US Government rebuilds border guard facilities in Shurobod // Fergana News Information Agency. June 30, 2011. http://enews.fergananews.com/news.php?id=2108. См. также видео: Американские дипломаты на таджикско-афганской границе, 29 июня 2011 г. http://nm.tj/politics/381-amerikanskie-diplomaty-na-tadzhiksko-afganskoy-granice-video.html; оригинал видео на английском: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB5X4GU7-C8&feature=player_embedded#!

28. Counterinsurgency, Field Manual 3-24, Marine Corps Warfighting. Publication no. 3-33.5 Washington, DC: Department of the Army and Department of the Navy, December 2006.

29. Михаил Пак. “Дагестанизация”: экстремисты объявили спецслужбам тотальную войну: Казахстан за неделю // ИА Regnum. 16.11.2011. http://www.regnum.ru/news/1467798.html

30. Greg Grant Grunts to Rebuild Like SOF, Move Away From Bases: Mattis // DoD Buzz – Online Defense and Acquisition Journal. February 19th, 2009. http://www.dodbuzz.com/2009/02/19/grunts-sof-fob-based-coin-must-end-mattis/

31. См. важный материал Thom Shanker, Elisabeth Bumiller Weighing Pentagon Cuts, Panetta Faces Deep Pressures // The New York Times. November 6, 2011.

32. Andrew Kuchins, Thomas Sanderson, David Gordon. The Northern Distribution Network and the Modern Silk Road – Planning for Afghanistan’s Future // Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). December 2009. P.22.

33. Peter Dale Scott Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2003. P. 75

34. Alfred W. McCoy The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. Lawrence Hill Books, Second revised edition. 2003. P. 449.

Георгий Бородин – эксперт Института внешнеполитических исследований и инициатив (ИНВИССИН, Москва)



Official: 4 Ohio fluid-injection wells cannot open in wake of quake

[SEE: Fracking activity risks not recognized, US energy dept. warnsOklahoma Fracking Zone Suffers Biggest OK Quake, Ever–(Ohioans Take Note)]

Official: 4 Ohio fluid-injection wells cannot open in wake of quake

From Maggie Schneider, CNN
Officials have shut down fluid-injection wells in eastern Ohio in the aftermath of heightened seismic activity in the area.
Officials have shut down fluid-injection wells in eastern Ohio in the aftermath of heightened seismic activity in the area.

(CNN) — State leaders have ordered that four fluid-injection wells in eastern Ohio will be “indefinitely” prohibited from opening in the aftermath of heightened seismic activity in the area, an official said.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director James Zehringer had announced on Friday that one such well — which injects “fluid deep underground into porous rock formations, such as sandstone or limestone, or into or below the shallow soil layer,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains — was closed after a series of small earthquakes in and around Youngstown.

Then on Saturday, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck that released at least 40 times more energy than any of the previous 10 or more tremors that had rattled the region in 2011.

Andy Ware, deputy director of Ohio’s natural resources department, told CNN on Sunday that Zehringer and Gov. John Kasich subsequently ordered that four nearby injection well projects will not open in the coming weeks, as had previously been planned. They ‘ll be inoperational until a determination is made in an investigation of a possible link between the earthquakes and the fluid-injection wells, he added.

“They will (not open) until we are satisfied that the process can be safely resumed,” said Ware.

Such disposal wells act as a disposal for waste fluid that is a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking. That technology involves injecting water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground at high pressure to crack the shale and allow the oil or gas to flow.

Last Friday’s order affecting the first well in Youngstown came six days after a magnitude 2.5 earthquake that struck that area around 1:24 a.m. on December 24. After Saturday’s larger earthquake, scientists recommended that operations stop at all wells within a 5-mile radius of that original site.

“We need to get more information,” Ware said.

The epicenter for Saturday’s tremor was 5 miles northwest of Youngstown, 6 miles southeast of Warren and 55 miles east-southeast of Cleveland, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. According to the preliminary estimate, the earthquake struck 1.4 miles deep.

There was a lot of shaking “and a rumbling sound,” said Jimmy Hughes, a former Youngstown police chief running for sheriff of Mahoning County. “I could see the house move. … It seemed like the ground was moving. ”

Ohio is far from the edges of Earth’s major tectonic plates, with the nearest ones in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the U.S. Geological Survey explains on its website. Still, there are many known faults in this region, with the federal agency noting that it is likely there are additional “smaller or deeply buried” ones that haven’t been detected.

While earthquakes are not unprecedented in the area, the rate of them in the past year has been unusual. That fact led Zehringer, the Ohio department head, to act late last week.

“While conclusive evidence cannot link the seismic activity to the well, Zehringer has adopted an approach requiring prudence and caution regarding the site,” the natural resources department said Friday in a press release, explaining its decision to shut the first well.

Ben Lupo — CEO of D&L Energy, an independent natural gas and oil exploration, production and marketing group that is affiliated with the first well that was closed — recently told CNN affiliate WKBN that there’s full cooperation with experts, though he expressed grave doubts that the injection wells were to blame for the quakes.

“We have approximately 1,000 wells between Ohio and Pennsylvania and we’ve never had a problem … with an earthquake or spill,” Lupo said.

Dr. Won-Young Kim, one of the Columbia University experts asked by the state to examine possible connections between fracking and seismic activity, said that a problem could arise if fluid moves through the ground and affects “a weak fault, waiting to be triggered.” He explained the underground waste “slowly migrates” and could cause issues miles away, adding that the danger could persist for some time as the fluid travels and seeps down toward the fault.

“In my opinion, yes,” the recent spate of earthquakes around Youngstown is related to a fluid-injection well, Kim stated — though there has been no definitive determination, by the state or other authorities, indicating as much.

There have been “moderately frequent” reports of earthquakes in northern Ohio since the first recorded one was reported in 1823, the federal agency noted. A 1986 tremor, measuring magnitude 4.8, caused some damage. Another in 1998 measured a 4.5 and was centered in northwest Pennsylvania.

CNN’s Greg Botelho, Susan Candiotti and Ross Levitt contributed to this report.

No Movement In NATO Traffic, But More Cargo Ships Arrive At Karachi

Ship with Nato supplies berths at port

Shipping sources told Dawn that after the US vessel Freedom which had sailed into the port on Saturday was accommodated at berths 11 and 12. – File Photo

KARACHI: The situation at Karachi port already struggling to cope with severe congestion may worsen as a US vessel carrying military hardware, including about 350 heavy vehicles, for Nato/Isaf forces in Afghanistan sailed into the port on Saturday evening just when the sun was setting on the horizon for the last time in 2011.

Another two ships with Nato supplies, including reefer containers with refrigeration system, are due in a few days.

Terminals and areas around the port are already chock-a-block with hundreds of containers unloaded before Pakistan stopped
Nato supplies in the aftermath of the Nov 26 attacks on its Mohamnd posts, killing 24 soldiers.

Shipping sources told Dawn that after the US vessel Freedom which had sailed into the port on Saturday was accommodated at berths 11 and 12. Another two vessels, MV Alliance Beaumont and Liberty Pride, with more cargo for Nato/Isaf troops were due over the next few days.

The manifest of the Freedom declares the cargo as “goods in transit to Afghanistan” and the importer is the US military and the consignor, Surface Deployment and Command.

The vessel is loaded with Humvee vehicles widely used by US forces in the Afghan war. The last container carrier, President Truman, carrying military hardware called at Karachi port on Dec 7. Other vessels which reported after the air strikes on the border posts were Liberty Promise and President Jackson, which called on Nov 29. A carrier also brought around 1,200 US military vehicles during the period.

Although there is no apparent breakthrough in relations between Pakistan and the United States since the border post attack, the resumption of calls by US vessels carrying military hardware and vehicles, according to a knowledgeable source, indicated some behind-the-scene developments.

There has been no announcement by either side about any change in their stances with the Pakistan Army rejecting the findings of US inquiry on the attack as unacceptable and the US insisting on calling it a mistake.

Shipping and terminal operators said the US had recently ordered to re-manifest all its military cargo stranded at Pakistani ports for exports.

However, experts on Pakistan-US relations are of the view that these are pressure tactics being used for opening up negotiations because the US is still keen on keeping the supply line open.

Pakistan wants to impose a transit fee because $50 million per month paid through the Coalition Support Fund has proven insufficient.

This year’s budget included a provision in the Customs Act to levy a transit fee on such cargoes and both sides, the experts said, could move forward in negotiations if they accommodated each other’s interests.

The Nato/Isaf cargo which reached ports after Nov 26 is still stacked at container terminals, creating an unprecedented congestion, although a slowdown in economic activity because of a power and gas crisis has decreased imports and exports, resulting in lesser cargo traffic.

Ports and shipping sources said around 2,000TEUs (twenty feet equivalent) were stacked at Port Qasim and 1,700TEUs and 1,700 US military vehicles at Karachi port.

The vessel Freedom lifted US military cargo from the Baltimore, Jeddah and Jebel Ali (UAE) ports.

All Major Fata “Taliban” Groups Unite To Focus On Afghan Campaign

Taliban Groups Unite Against Us

Days after reports of tentative negotiations between the US and the Taliban, Channel 4 News learns of a probable deal between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban to fight under one banner, for one aim.

Afghan and Pakistani Taliban unite against US (g)

The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban have formed a five-member council and pledged to stop fighting their own armed forces, in order to concentrate their fight against US-led forces in Afghanistan.

After weeks of hectic efforts, a high-level delegation of the Afghan Taliban – sent by the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar – finally succeeded in bringing together different Pakistani militant groups under a single platform.

They have united and promised to stop the suicide attacks, kidnapping for ransom and killing of innocent people in the country, particularly in the militancy-torn tribal areas, which was all part of a fight against Pakistani security forces.

Taliban sources said Mullah Omar was not happy with the Pakistani Taliban’s actions and sent a message via his senior commanders: either stop what he termed ‘un-Islamic’ activities or to stop claiming him (Mulla Omar) as their supreme leader.

Sources also said that Mullah Omar was worried over increasing numbers of Pakistani Taliban diverting their attention from Afghanistan towards Pakistan and making it difficult for the Afghan Taliban to continue their resistance against the powerful Nato and ISAF forces in Afghanistan.

Focus on foreign forces

Mulla Omar, according to Taliban sources, wants Pakistani Taliban groups to focus on Afghanistan, where their fight against foreign forces was in decisive phase.

“Convey my message to the Pakistani Taliban that you had forgotten the real purpose. The real purpose was to fight against invading forces in Afghanistan and liberate it from their occupation,” a Taliban leader quoted Mulla Omar as telling him.

Convey my message to the Pakistani Taliban that you had forgotten the real purpose. The real purpose was to fight against invading forces in Afghanistan and liberate it from their occupation. Mulla Omar

The source also said that Mullah Omar was upset over the frequent kidnapping and killing of people who were suspected of spying for US forces, and urged them to stop it immediately.

The Taliban on Sunday issued a pamphlet in North Waziristan in which all militant groups were directed to stop kidnapping for ransom and killing innocent people. The five-member Shura council said it would investigate any complaints and would suggest punishment against the said group, if found guilty.

The five-strong council

The militant groups which signed accord and promised to work together with the Afghan Taliban include the Maulvi Nazeer group in South Waziristan, Hakimullah Mahsud group, Maulana Waliur Rahman group, both operating in South Waziristan and part of the TTP, Hafiz Gul Bahadur group in North Waziristan, and the powerful Haqqani network.

All groups have one representative on the five-member Shura that will also aim to resolve internal differences between different militant groups.

The TTP leader and his deputy seemed to have separate groups as both were shown in the pamphlet having different people in the Shura to represent them: the leader, Hakimullah Mahsud, has given the name of Maulvi Noor Saeed, the TTP leader in Orakzai Agency, to represent him in the Shura while Maulana Waliur Rahman will be represented by Maulvi Azmatullah in the forum.

However some sources argued that Hakimullah’s nominee will represent the TTP while Rahman’s representative will be sitting in the council on behalf of the Taliban of South Waziristan.

The powerful Haqqani network has chosen Maulvi Saeedullah; Hafiz Gul Bahadur selected Maulvi Sadar Hayat; and Maulvi Nazeer nominated Hafiz Ameer Hamza to represent them in the council that will be called ‘Shura-e-Murakeba’.

Militant groups have now been directed to cooperate with the Shura members. The Taliban’s pamphlet also threatened that any individual or group if found guilty would be dealt according to the Islamic Sharia law.