Poetic Justice for French Imperialists, If True

Islamist Rebels Withdrawing En Masse from Northern Syria


Fighters ‘Headed to Mali’ According to Reports

by Jason Ditz

According to the rebel-linked Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, hundreds of foreign rebels have been fleeing from the Idlib Province in Northwestern Syria through Turkey, claiming they are planning to “join jihadists in Mali.”

The reports come amid intense fighting in the Idlib Province, and suggest that while foreign Islamist fighters were eager to flock to Syria to fight the Alawite President Assad, they don’t have any particular ties to the nation and are willing to ditch that civil war for a more promising fight.

This could prove to be extremely bad news for the French troops invading Mali, as if these reports prove true they will end up facing Islamist troops that the French government was openly bankrolling, and who likely have far more fighting experience against modern military forces than the existing insurgency.

Whether this will significantly change the situation on the ground in Syria is unclear, as the overall size of the rebels there is not well understood, nor is it clear if the Syrian military will attempt to retake Idlib Province in the face of the pullout or just focus their attention elsewhere.

Erdogan Surprises Everybody At the UN, Calling-Out Zionism As the Crime Against Humanity That It Is

Erdogan says Zionism crime against humanity


PM speaking at Vienna forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, a UN forum for West-Islam dialogue; Kerry set to visit Turkey Friday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Photo: REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called Zionism a “crime against humanity” likening it with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Islamophobia  while speaking at a UN forum on Wednesday.  Erdogan was speaking Wednesday before a Vienna forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, a UN framework for West-Islam dialogue.

UN Watch urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon who was present on the stage yet stayed silent, according to UN Watch, to speak out and condemn the speech. It also called on Erdogan to apologize.

“We remind secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that his predecessor Kofi Annan recognized that the UN’s 1975 Zionism-is-racism resolution was an expression of anti-Semitism, and he welcomed its repeal,” UN Watch stated.

In its condemnation of Erdogan’s remarks which it called “Ahmedinejad-style pronouncements,” UN Watch stated that the remarks “will only strengthen the belief that his government is hewing to a confrontational stance, and fundamentally unwilling to end its four-year-old feud with Israel.”

Israel sent messages to Ankara over the last two weeks that it is interested in creating a more “positive dynamic” in its badly strained relationship with Turkey so the two countries can work together to further common interests, government officials said on Monday.

The messages were sent prior to John Kerry’s maiden trip abroad as US secretary of state, a trip that will take him to nine countries including Turkey. Kerry is scheduled to arrive in Turkey on Friday.

It is widely expected that Kerry will raise the issue of ties with Israel during his talks with Turkish leaders in Ankara.

The US has long been pressing both Ankara and Jerusalem to take steps to improve relations that went into a nosedive following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

Hazara Militia Being Formed To Defend Quetta

( Jafria Alliance urges Swat-like operation in Quetta )

Pakistan’s Hazaras to take up arms over attacks


In this Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 photo, Pakistanis gather at the rubble of a market which was destroyed by a bomb blast on Saturday, February 16, 2013, in Quetta, Pakistan.  — Photo by AP

QUETTA: Ismatullah holds an AK-47 and checks vehicles on the road. “Enough is enough. We have no trust in the security forces any more and we’ll protect our community ourselves,” says the teenage Shia student.

Extremist bombers killed nearly 200 people in Pakistan’s southwestern city of Quetta in the two worst bomb attacks to strike Shia Muslims from the minority Hazara community, just weeks apart on January 10 and February 16.

After each attack, thousands of Hazaras, including women and children, camped out in the bitter cold demanding that the army step in to protect them.

The government brokered an end to the protests, but refused to mobilise the troops.

Outlawed extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility and has threatened to exterminate all Shias. Few believe that dozens of men rounded up after the bomb attacks will ever be brought to justice.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court and rights groups accuse the authorities of failing to protect Hazaras and now young men like 18-year-old Ismatullah are taking up arms to defend themselves and their families.

Ismatullah’s best friend was shot dead last June near Hazara Town. He lost more friends when suicide bombers flattened a snooker hall on January 10 and a massive bomb hidden in a water tanker destroyed a market on February 16.

“I couldn’t control myself when I saw scattered pieces of so many children and women of our community,” said the first year college student.

“Our community is only interested in education and business, but terrorists have forced us to take up whatever arms we have and take to the streets for our own security.”

At the moment they operate as volunteers under the name, Syed-ul-Shohada Scouts, registered as part of the Baluchistan Scouts Association, an affiliate of the worldwide scouting movement.

For years, young men like Ismatullah have volunteered to protect sensitive events, such as religious processions during the holy month of Muharram.

But their chairman says the threat is now so great that they should be paid full time as an auxiliary to government security forces.

“We have around 200 young men who perform security duties on specific occasions, but most of them are students and workers, and can’t work full-time,” said Syed Zaman, chairman of the Hazara Scouts.

“We are trying to make a system to start their salaries for permanent deployment and also coordinate with the security agencies. Hopefully, we will be able to form a regular force… and salaries in a month,” he said.

Scouts president Ghulam Haider said it was a mistake to rely on government security when the first of two suicide bombers struck at the snooker hall in the Alamdar Road neighbourhood.

“It resulted in another bomb blast minutes after the first one and we lost many more people,” Haider told AFP.

“We didn’t want that to happen again, so immediately after the blast on February 16, we armed our youth to man the streets and entry points, which helped to prevent the chances of a second attack,” he claimed.

Hazara Town, where the market was bombed, is very exposed, in the shadow of the Chiltan mountains and near the bypass which links the Afghan border town of Chaman to Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi.

While paramilitary Frontier Corps and police patrol the main approaches, they are not visible inside the neighbourhood.

“Security agencies can’t protect us. They don’t know the area because most of them come from outside Quetta. So we’re planning to set up our own permanent posts inside our areas,” said Haider.

The police, however, have their doubts.

“If we start private policing by arming one particular community, it will set the wrong precedent,” said Fiaz Ahmed Sunbal, head of Quetta police operations.

He claimed police were planning to close entrances to Hazara Town, and would recruit 200 young Hazaras to patrol their own areas.

Haider says closing off roads will isolate the community but welcomed the recruitment of Hazara Scouts as a long-term solution.

Others warn that time is running out.

“If they don’t do anything and something happens again, we will take up guns and go out and kill our opponents. There will be open war,” said 26-year-old shopkeeper Zahid Ali.

Counter-Terrorism As An Excuse for Everything Else

[The following article from Russia Today claims to highlight “new thinking” in the effort to counter terrorism, but it is just another Establishment excuse for NOT doing anything to end the flow of drugs, guns, or terrorism.  NEW THINKING on this compound issue would immediately insist that the Establishment end its sponsorship of all of those things.  Recent revelations about drug money serving as a “safety valve” for bankrupt corporations and economies (SEE:  Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor) confirm the direct Establishment connection to the drug “pipelines.” These drug pipelines transport contraband at maximum capacity, twenty-four hours a day, sending drugs, guns and militants/terrorists throughout the world .  It was state suppliers who put powerful weapons like automatic weapons and grenade launchers into the hands of terrorists and other criminals (Fast and Furious).  In the Mexican drug war, it was America’s selective drug war policies which elevated the Sinaloa Cartel over the rest (SEE:  US Government Informant Helped Sinaloa Narcos Stay Out of Jail). 

Finally, and most vital to any real understanding of “international terrorism,” is the link between governments and terrorists.  You can get a glimpse of all of these elements in the reports on Saudis and Qataris buying guns from the Bosnian and Croatian “al-CIA-da”-linked terrorists empowered by the West (SEE: Saudi Arabia Supplies Syrian Militants with Croatian Arms: Report), shipping Bosnian and Croatian heavy weapons through their Albanian “al-CIA-da” drug pipeline, to their Libyan “al-CIA-da” terrorists, who have been relocated to Syria, to overthrow the government there for the Americans and Saudis. 

If it was not for state-sponsorship, then there would be no terrorism of any magnitude today.  If it was not for America and Arab sponsorship of Sunni terrorism in the world then there would be no terrorists to fight.]

New thinking to tackle new terrorism


Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011).

AFP Photo / Al-Andalus / TV grab

AFP Photo / Al-Andalus / TV grab

Terrorism and violent extremism are very dangerous trends which are spreading under slogans of reformed democracy, and calls for street protest.

Lately there has been a growing destructive wave of radicalism, which provoked tensions in various regions and created favourable conditions for bringing new adherents, especially young people, into the movement.

Recent events show that the threat of terrorism has not diminished but has acquired a new dimension and gravity. It is adapting to new realities, spreading to regions previously untouched. Terrorism has crossed all borders, it is fast-arming, and it develops new funding sources. Al-Qaida and the Taliban in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region continue to generate terrorist threats, with a heavy reliance on the drugs trade. Terrorists have strong connections to organized crime, including in West Africa and the Sahel region.

This is a threat to international peace and security which is hard to predict and address. Transnational cooperation is crucial if this threat is to be dealt with effectively. Much has been done to create the effective global response system, which includes a solid treaty base.

In June 2012 the UN General Assembly recommitted the international community to the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, thus strengthening the resolve to support victims of terrorism everywhere and to adopt a comprehensive anti-terrorism approach based on respect for human rights and the rule of law. No counter-terrorism policy could be effective without addressing conditions that are terrorism’s breeding grounds. Development and security were critically linked.

Three conferences on the subject of terrorism will be held in the near future. In April, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Working Group on human rights while countering terrorism, a new project on human rights training for counter-terrorism law enforcement officials, would hold its first conference in Amman, Jordan. In two weeks, the CTIFT United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre would hold an International Conference on National and Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategies, in Bogota, Colombia. And this summer, the CTITF and the Swiss Government would host a conference of counter-terrorism focal points aimed at addressing conditions conducive to terrorism’s spread. States are in need of capacity-building to respond to the financing of terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism Committee’s special meeting on that subject last November, chaired by India’s Permanent Representative, was an important step.

We attach huge importance to the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the “1267” and “1988” Committees on, respectively, Al-Qaida and the Taliban. It is also critical to maintain a focus on sanctions and to prevent nuclear terrorism.

The UN Security Council needs a common approach, yet it displays a lack of unity, especially in the context of the Syrian events unfolding against the backdrop of Al-Qaida-linked terrorism.

The United Nations has an essential coordinating role to play. At the same time, the level of participation must be expanded. Counter-terrorism also requires improved cooperation of law enforcement agencies. Timely and appropriate reaction remains a priority for the United Nations and its Security Council.

Humanitarian, security and politicians have to engage in an open, sustained policy dialogue to ensure that anti-terrorism measures never thwart timely delivery of aid to civilians. It is very important that all states cope with increasing humanitarian emergencies around the world, citing challenges in Mali and the broader Sahel region, where terrorism was feeding on extreme destitution and undermining development through violence, intolerance and human rights abuses.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Turkish and Qatari support for Syrian insurgents is tantamount to a declaration of war against Iraq

Amiri says Turkey, Qatar hamper peaceful Syria solution


BAGHDAD – Reuters

A man walks in front of a burning building after a Syrian Air force air strike in Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus in this January 27, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Goran TomasevicA man walks in front of a burning building after a Syrian Air force air strike in Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus in this January 27, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Turkish and Qatari support for Syrian insurgents is tantamount to a declaration of war against Iraq, which will suffer from the fallout of an increasingly sectarian conflict next door, an Iraqi Shi’ite politician said.

Hadi al-Amiri, transport minister and head of the formerly armed Badr Organisation, said SunniMuslim Turkey and Qatar had stymied all efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict peacefully.

Iraq is calmer than in the communal bloodletting that killed tens of thousands in 2006-2007, but the war in neighbouring Syria is straining its precarious sectarian balance.

Amiri accused Ankara and Doha, which support the opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, of arming jihadi groups in Syria, where many Sunni militants are fighting, including the Qaeda-approved Nusra Front, which has links to al Qaeda in Iraq.

“Presenting money and weapons to al Qaeda (in Syria) by Qatar and Turkey is a declaration of armed action against Iraq,” Amiri told Reuters in an interview this week. “These weapons will reach Iraqi chests for sure.”

Sectarian-tinged unrest has been on the rise in Iraq. Tens of thousands of Iraqi Sunnis have staged protests against Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government in their western stronghold of Anbar bordering Syria, and al Qaeda has urged them to take up arms.

Al Qaeda-linked militants appear to be regrouping in Anbar’s caves and valleys, with some moving into Syria to join the fight against Assad, whose Alawite sect springs from Shi’ite Islam.

Scores of Iraqi Shi’ite militants are also fighting in Syria alongside forces loyal to Assad, who is backed by Shi’ite Iran.

Amiri, whose Badr Organisation laid down its weapons in 2004, said he was against militias, criticising the recent formation of a new Shi’ite militia named al-Mukhtar Army.

Some people in Baghdad’s southwestern district of Jihad have received death threat leaflets signed by al-Mukhtar Army telling them to leave the mixed Sunni-Shi’ite neighborhood.

“Using militias again is a big mistake,” Amiri said. “If we (Shi’ites) form militia and they (Sunnis) form militia, then Iraq will be lost.”

Kurdish-Shi’ite alliance  

Turning to the Baghdad government’s dispute with autonomous Kurds over land and oil rights in the north, Amiri said this should not undermine traditional ties between Shi’ites and Kurds who were both oppressed under former strongman Saddam Hussein.

“This has nothing to do with this deep strategic alliance. Technical problems have to be fixed based on the constitution and the oil and gas law,” he declared.

Baghdad says it alone has the authority to control Iraqi oil exports, while the Kurds say their right to export from their autonomous northern region is enshrined in Iraq’s federal constitution, drawn up after the U.S.-led invasion of 2003.

New legislation to govern the world’s fourth largest oil reserves has been caught up for years in a struggle over how to share power between Iraq’s Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish factions, which has intensified since U.S. troops withdrew a year ago.

“Frankly, we are in the federal government and the prime minister is serious about this issue,” Amiri said. “He won’t make a concession … he is a stubborn and won’t bargain”.

Tajikistan’s Sangtoudeh-II Power Plant to Open in Nowrouz as Planned

Envoy: Tajikistan’s Sangtoudeh-II Power Plant to Open in Nowrouz as Planned



TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to Dushanbe Ali Asqar She’rdoust said that the second phase of Tajikistan’s Sangtoudeh-II power plant is scheduled to come online during the upcoming Nowrouz festivities although the Tajik Electricity Company has not yet settled its overdue payments to Iran as shareholder of the power plant.

Nowrouz, which coincides with the first day of spring on the solar calendar, is mostly celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. This year March 21 coincided with the first day of Nowrouz. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon will officially inaugurate Tajikistan’s Sangtoudeh-II concurrent with Nowrouz festivities.

The news came while the Iranian embassy in Dushanbe last week in a letter to Tajik Electricity Company asked it to pay back its 12-milion-dollar overdue debt to Iran. Tajikistan’s Electricity Company still owes huge sums to Sangtoudeh-II power plant as it is the main user of its power output.

Sangtoudeh-II power plant has the capacity to produce 220 megawatts of electricity. It will increase Tajikistan’s annual electricity output to 1bln kilowatt/hours.

Iran has contributed $180bln to construction of Sangtoudeh-II and Tajikistan’s share is $40bln. The power plant’s construction work began on September 5, 2011 at the presence of the Iranian and Tajik presidents.

Sangtoudeh-II is located 120 km Southeast of the Capital city of Dushanbe.

Earlier this month, Iran’s Ambassador to Tajikistan Ali Asqar She’rdoust lauded the growing relations between the two brotherly countries in the last two decades.

“Tehran and Dushanbe have had a good volume of cooperation in political, economic, commercial, and cultural fields and their positive results can be seen all over Tajikistan,” She’rdoust said, referring to the 20-year-long relations between Iran and Tajikistan.

She’rdoust, who was addressing a ceremony to mark the 34th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Dushanbe, stressed protecting Tajikistan’s independence, security and stability is a top priority of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Also during the ceremony, Tajikistan’s Minister of Education Nuriddin Saidov lauded the growing ties and cooperation between his country and Iran, and described Tehran as a trustworthy partner of Dushanbe.

Saidov said the trade ties between Iran and Tajikistan have reached $220mln in 2012, and added that the figure was $24mln in 1991, when Tajikistan had just gained independence from the former Soviet Union.

He said that Iran is a Tajikistan’s trustworthy partner in economic, trade and cultural fields.

Iran and Tajikistan have recently accelerated expansion of their ties and cooperation and observers believe that the good achievements gained in area of their mutual cooperation should be deemed as a result of the efforts made by the two countries’ officials.

Waking up in Waziristan

[Pakistan and Afghanistan have begun to deal with each other as if the US and NATO were already long gone.  That will include the opening of new strategic corridors between the two countries, compliments of their friends in the UAE and in USAID, and the commerce which that development will bring.  But, there is little chance that these roads will benefit the US or NATO, since they all pass through hostile territory in Miramshah and in Wana.  This is undoubtedly the reason that the US is so adamant that Pakistan launch an “operation in North Waziristan.” The Wana route would be the shortest route from Kabul to Karachi, but can Pakistan wring a cease-fire out of the Wazir militias before the 2014 cut-off, in order to facilitate the withdrawal of NATO?  Will President Karzai’s stopping of American warfare by proxy (using elements of the TTP against Pakistan), persuade the Pak Army to halt further support to the Afghan Taliban?  If this is an actual opening to bring peace to Afghanistan, then that does not neccessarily mean that it will benefit the NATO withdrawal mission.  The fact that Karzai has taken his actions against the Pentagon and their surrogates in Eastern Afghanistan (SEE: Afghan Nat. Security Council Meeting Evicts Spec. Forces from Wardak and Logar for Employing Criminal Gangs ) indicates that this is a somewhat hostile move by Karzai.  If Pakistan is looking for some sort of revenge against the US for sabotaging their efforts to rehabilitate their local militants (SEE: India/Pakistani Detente’ Went Into the Ground with Mullah Nazir) then there can be little doubt that there will be no NATO convoys getting by the forces of Mullah Nazir Group in either Afghanistan or South Waziristan.  After the State Dept. designation of the Mullah Nazir Group as terrorists (SEE: Terrorist Designations of the Commander Nazir Group and Malang Wazir),look for a major escalation of the drone war upon the group, eventually a resumption of special forces raids, unless other assets like Blackwater and the Mehsud Taliban take-on the Wazirs for Obama.  Will Obama crash Karzai’s party?  Only time will tell.]

Pak-Afghan talks for new trade corridor get boost


A Pashtun man passes a road sign while pulling supplies towards the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing. – File photo by Reuters

A Pashtun man passes a road sign while pulling supplies towards the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing. – File photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan for opening a third trade corridor through Waziristan got a fresh impetus during the visit of Afghan Defence Minister Gen Bismillah Mohammadi when the two countries narrowed their longstanding strategic differences.

The high-ranking Afghan defence ministry delegation departed on Thursday after completing a five-day visit during which they held meetings with civilian and political leadership and inspected a number of Army’s training facilities.

During his several interactions, Gen Bismillah is said to have stressed the need for finalisation of the agreement on third trade corridor, which will not only reduce the travel time and distance between Karachi and Kabul, but will also contribute to development of border areas of both countries.

“Afghans have recognised the centrality of Pakistan for peace and stability in their country not only in terms of kinetic military operations, but also with regard to socio-economic development of conflict zones,” an official said.

The third route has been under discussion since 2003, but deep-running mistrust between the two neighbours had prevented its materialisation. The Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA 2010) had provided for a third entry-exit point on the Pak-Afghan border in addition to the two existing points — Chaman and Torkham, but had deferred its operationalisation till a “mutually- acceptable date”.

The proposed third trade corridor is a three branched route originating from Karachi and ending in Kabul. Once made functional the distance between Karachi and Kabul would be reduced by some 400 kilometres. The traffic on the new trade corridor would pass through less frequently used roads and join the Indus Highway. After crossing the Indus River the route would divide into three branches entering Afghanistan in three different provinces.

The three routes will be Route-1: D.I. Khan-Tank-Makeen-Miran Shah-Ghulam Khan, and onward to Afghanistan; Route-2: D.I. Khan-Tank-Wana-Angoor Adda, and onward to Afghanistan; and Route-3: Bannu-Miramshah-Ghulam Khan, and onward to Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, the traffic would come into the newly-constructed Afghanistan Ring Road.

“The third trade corridor is set to become a reality because of the construction of 2200-kilometre-long Afghanistan Ring Road which connects major Afghan cities and development of road network in Fata by FWO as part of the counter-insurgency operations,” an official said.

He further said: “The biggest spin-off will be the livelihood revolution and economic prosperity that this corridor will bring in the region.
However, in order to draw its true dividend, security situation has to improve.”

TRAINING OF AFGHAN TROOPS: The six-member Afghan defence delegation visited various military education and training institutions, including the National Defence University, Command and Staff College, Quetta, School of Infantry and Tactics, Quetta, Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, National University of Modern Language (NUML) and National University of Science and Technology to witness training activities.

During their visits to these centres full spectrum of training from low intensity conflict to conventional warfare, and from tactical to higher defence training was exhibited.

The Afghan delegation showed keen interest in getting their troops trained in Pakistan.

Pakistan had long been offering training facilities to Afghans, but the offers were not considered because of differences between the two countries.

The new-found Afghan interest in training in Pakistan is being seen as a major progress in relations.

The visiting delegation reportedly acknowledged benefits of training in Pakistan, including the similarity of operational environment in two countries and a better option for training of female soldiers who have been reluctant to train in other countries.

Waking up in Waziristan

pakistan today

Meet the warm, friendly side of Pakistan

South Waziristan was not exactly where I expected to wake upon my birthday in 2012. It is, after all, not yet at the top of everyone’s ‘must visit’ holiday places. To be honest, most friends had been somewhat horrified that I was making this trip, raising the spectre of all sorts of terrible things that could happen, though the more adventurous ones were envious because it’s a place of mystery that few get to visit. But despite the concern, it was peaceful, exciting and remarkably beautiful. South Waziristan is waking up and coming to life again after truly terrible times.

I visited the areas around Jandola, Chagmalai, Spinkai, Kotkai, Janata and Sararaogha in November to talk with the people who have returned after the military operations against the insurgents, and to see what’s happening in the reconstruction and rehabilitation activities. As a consultant who works across the civil-military divide and who regularly evaluates aid and development projects, I am able to assess the quality and outcomes of such projects.

The first thing I noticed was that the locals were warm, welcoming and they weren’t carrying guns. Nobody is allowed to move in these areas with a weapon. The long tradition of carrying weapons has undergone an enforced but important change. The second thing was that all women were not wearing burqas, were out and many were working in the fields. So, that quickly dispelled two well-worn perceptions.

South Waziristan has extraordinary scenery with mountains and cliffs rising sharply against the skyline with a river meandering through beautiful valleys. However, the spectacularly stark terrain makes it a hard place to conduct operations and it is easy to see why the losses were so heavy in subduing the insurgency.

Although casualties have reduced since 2010, peace building will be a long-term challenge given the external influences at play in the region. But much has already been done to restore a peaceful environment for the local people to return to the area to rebuild their lives and it is already making a difference.

For the rehabilitation and reconstruction of South Waziristan, the government of Pakistan is working in tandem with Pakistan Army, and a very small number of international donors, UN agencies and local NGOs. The government has enhanced its footprint. As the security situation further stabilises, more agencies will be able to work in the area. Electricity services for 35 villages have been restored. An impressive new 117km road with excellent bridges transverses the area. This road will join up with a similar road through Wana, to connect with the Indus Highway to form a third trade corridor between the Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics. This will contribute significantly to the economy of the South Waziristan and stimulate development and job opportunities.

Health and education facilities are undergoing reconstruction with 12 health care facilities already completed while some 45 schools for both boys and girls are being rebuilt, many of which are already operating and more are underway.

Although most families have been eager to return, it has been tough for most. Many have returned to damaged or destroyed homes and a complete loss of their livelihoods. UNHCR is building one-room shelters for the more vulnerable returnees such as widows but to date, progress is slow and the shelters are not culturally appropriate as they are mostly built in the open, not with the traditional compound walls. A Pakistani NGO, Resettling the Indus, is building, more culturally, appropriate houses, working with the local communities, and undertaking planning for a number of villages soon to be re-settled.

As part of the resettlement package, families receive food support for a period of six months provided by the World Food Programme and their donors. However, after that, it can be hard as there are still very few jobs and many have to live on whatever savings they have until they can get work or set up a micro-business. Water systems have been restored in 35 areas. Markets have been built in 30 places to help locals re-establish businesses and are handed over at no cost, provided they are used for the purpose agreed. Agricultural practices are being improved to make the small amount of arable land more productive.

Sports stadia have been constructed and are very popular for the favourite pastimes of cricket and football. The sports fields and a new community centre are also venues for festivals and Eid celebrations to bring the communities and those working there together. Discussions with the locals about what life was like in the shadow of the militants, their time away in IDP camps and with host families in other parts of Pakistan, and returning home, were revealing and deeply touching. As a woman, and a foreigner, I wasn’t sure that the men would be particularly comfortable with me. However, they extended their hands warmly to mine, talked freely and laughed with me and were entirely comfortable with me, mingling amongst them to take photographs. It turned out to be rather fun. Many spoke freely but others, still perhaps afraid of repercussions from any lingering militant sympathisers amongst them, were understandably uncomfortable in talking of the past. The terrible atrocities, they underwent at the hands of the militants, are still all too fresh in their minds.

The achievements of the Pakistan Army in South Waziristan are in stark contrast to the experience in Afghanistan of NATO/ISAF with the donor-supported reconstruction through the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). Despite billions of donor dollars pouring in to PRTs, they have not been able to achieve their goals. Lack of ability to stabilise areas, sub-standard materials provided by contractors, plus a frequent lack of cultural understanding have been some of the main inhibitors. But the story is very different in South Waziristan. Unlike the NATO/ISAF troops in Afghanistan, the Pakistan Army is of the same country, the same people, and although it is still challenging, acceptance and cultural understanding is greater. Also, as the army directly controls the reconstruction process on the ground, working closely with and for the government, donors and humanitarian agencies, there is full transparency and accountability.

South Waziristan was a real surprise not only for me but the many people I’ve spoken to since. There is so little awareness of life there. Unfortunately, good news stories do not attract the same attention as the negative. Yes, there will be many big challenges ahead but people’s resolve is greater. Let’s hope that the goal of long-term stability can be fully realised and the people of South Waziristan can prosper in true peace and harmony.

The writer is a disaster management and civil-military relations consultant, based in Islamabad where she consults for government and UN agencies. She has also worked with ERRA and NDMA. She can be contacted at: jennifer.mckay@gmail.com

Why the Sauds Are Hedging Their Bets In Syria–Or, When Will the Arabs Gang-Up On Qatar?

Is Saudi Arabia Shifting Its Stance 
On Syria?

al monitor

Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani (L), Morocco’s foreign minister, Saad-Eddine El Othmani (C), and his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Saud al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, attend a conference of the Friends of Syria group in Marrakech, Dec. 12, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Abderrahmane Mokhtari )
By: Daoud Rammal Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon).
اقرا المقال الأصلي باللغة العربية

Authorities and prominent figures in Lebanon were not kept in the dark regarding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s speech. Some of them were even briefed on some of its most important elements and had military information stating that the Syrian leadership would make no statement before it settles the battle on the ground in Daraya. All of this transpired within hours of the Syrian president’s speech.

Summary :

Saudi Arabia braces to deal with the repercussions of its support for Syria’s armed opposition as it re-establishes communication with Damascus, writes Daoud Rammal.

Publisher: As-Safir (Lebanon)
Original Title:
Why Did Riyadh Decide to Re-Open Security Channel with Damascus?
Author: Daoud Rammal
First Published: January 8, 2013
Posted on: January 9 2013
Translated by: Sami-Joe Abboud

Categories :  Saudi Arabia    Syria   Security

According to a diplomatic report, it was noteworthy that Assad did not mention Saudi Arabia despite the fact that he talked about countries financing, arming and supporting insurgents. The report explains that this is due to Saudi and Egyptian positions, as expressed by their ministers of finance, calling for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. This represents a “shift in the two countries’ approach to events in Syria,” the report adds.

Why did Assad avoid mentioning any of the countries, and not just Saudi Arabia? A veteran diplomat in close communication with Arab and foreign ambassadors in Lebanon told As-Safir that Saudi contact with the Syrian capital has been constant and that diplomatic information and reports have indicated this on more than one occasion. He also added that an Egyptian intelligence delegation recently visited Damascus.

The diplomatic source said that “Saudi leadership reopened channels of communication with the Syrian leadership at the security level due to the Saudis’ misguided prediction of the fall of the Syrian regime. Therefore, they feared that the fundamentalist and extremist groups that they financed and armed in order to overthrow Assad and his regime would retaliate within Saudi Arabia, especially following the blast that took place near the Interior Ministry in the Saudi capital. Moreover, a group of countries led by the United Arab Emirates within the GCC explicitly announced what appeared to be a war on the Muslim Brotherhood in a bid to pursue their cells. This is all in addition to a markedly positive attitude on the part of the Sultanate of Oman and growing rejection in Kuwait of Syrian extremist groups at the forefront of the Syrian opposition.”

The same source stated that “all of this prompted Riyadh to re-connect with Damascus under the supervision of the Saudi monarch’s son, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, and to entrust this task to Saudi security officials,” adding that the meetings are taking place in Jordan in the presence of Jordanian intelligence officers.

The source further points out that Syria told Saudi Arabia during the meetings that the Syrian leadership would not accept any discussions about settlements, either with Saudi Arabia or any other country until these countries stop funding and arming extremists. They want them to withdraw these groups from all of the occupied Syrian territories “as the Syrian state is determined to eliminate all terrorist and Salafist cells. The source says that this position is supported by several Arab countries that had not cut their undeclared ties with the Syrian leadership.”

The same source dealt with the security and political role played by Jordan. Jordanian leadership recently showed flagrant bias toward the Syrian leadership in light of the rising fears that the fall of the Syrian regime would pave the way for the rise of the Brotherhood in Jordan with the support of Gulf circles — more specifically in Qatar — and the resulting danger that this could pose to the Hashemite throne.

The source indicates that the “Saudi decision to reopen security channels to communicate with the Syrian leadership results from several factors:

• The steadfastness of Assad and his army over the past 22 months.
• The growing role of Salafist forces in Syria and the fear of the spread of this role to Saudi Arabia and other countries.
• The position taken by a number of Gulf states, especially the United Arab Emirates, to confront the spread of the Muslim Brotherhood.
• The US position after the renewal of President Barack Obama’s term. John Kerry, known for his friendship with Assad, was nominated to take over the State Department as successor to Secretary Hillary Clinton. This coincided with a prominent UK position as the British government expressed fears of a rising generation of Salafists — al-Qaeda in Syria — and fears of them infiltrating European countries to carry out acts of terrorism.
• Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s announcement that the West is praying that Russia and China keep practicing their veto against any move for Western intervention in Syria. Saudi Arabia realized that Lavrov would not have said this had he not been sure of the West’s inability to intervene militarily in Syria and its insistence on a political rather than a military solution.
• Assad would not have called for early parliamentary elections had he not been confident that his army controls the largest part of the Syrian territory, and the cities in particular. Moreover, Assad knows full well that a segment of the Syrian people who once sympathized with the Syrian opposition are no longer supportive of it given the practices of the Salafists and Jabhat al-Nusra in particular, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, which is seeking to establish an Islamist emirate in rural areas surrounding Aleppo.”

The source says, “It is sufficient to simply reflect on the content of Assad’s speech to conclude that the regime is largely controlling the ground,” adding that the regime is now adopting a new field approach consisting of reducing the area of military deployment, focusing on controlling cities, limiting the size of expansion in the countryside and building something like a security belt around Damascus to prevent opponents from approaching it.


Lebanon investigates posters mocking Saudi king

Lebanon investigates posters mocking Saudi king


A banner depicting Saudi Arabia’s king as the King of Spades holding a blood-stained sword hangs on a bridge north of the Lebanese capital Beirut on 19 February 2013. (Photo: AFP – Chady Souaid)

Lebanon’s state prosecutor on Tuesday ordered an investigation to reveal the source of the posters hung around Beirut’s suburbs showing a caricature of the Saudi king carrying a bloody machete, state news reported.

The ultra-conservative kingdom meanwhile Tuesday announced it had beheaded its fourteenth convict this year.

The Lebanese National News Agency reported that prosecutor Hatem Madi launched an investigation into the posters after receiving complaints from Saudi Ambassador Ali Awad Asiri.


Surprise Inspection At Russian 201st In Tajikistan Revealed Multiple Deficiencies


Russian Army Not Quite Ready for Action

ria novosti

The General Staff has started carrying out surprise inspections to gauge the preparedness of military units for combat. The first test revealed sluggish personnel and poorly-maintained equipment.

The first surprise inspection in 20 years took place on February 17-20 and included the Central and Southern Military Districts, the Airborne Force and the Military-Transport Aviation Command. Airborne and Army officers were deemed sluggish in transmitting combat-alert signals. Many young officers and soldiers apparently don’t drive well, and can’t shoot much better. Several malfunctioning airplanes and helicopters remained grounded.

Last Friday General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov reviewed the results of the inspection during a teleconference at the Command Center of the Armed Forces. The military district commanders were not alerted to the inspection in advance. After the combat-alert signals were sounded, soldiers had to redeploy military equipment to a training center or to airlift it to another region. In all, the selective review involved 7,000 military personnel, 48 airplanes and helicopters, and several hundred surface vehicles.

Although Gerasimov said the inspection had revealed the sufficiently high combat-training standards of the military headquarters and units, almost all the duty officers had trouble relaying the combat-alert signals using the automated systems. This was particularly true of the Airborne Force and the 201st Russian Military Base in Tajikistan. The military units that were alerted received average marks (C grades) for their shooting skills.

Gerasimov said only 66 percent of the airplanes and helicopters were operational. Many defective Msta self-propelled howitzers and BMD-2 airborne infantry fighting vehicles were unable to leave their military bases. Surprise inspections will become a fact of life, the General Staff Chief said.

Combat preparedness inspections were frequent in Soviet times, and each officer was involved in these inspections at least once every two years, said Reserve Colonel Viktor Murakhovsky. These useful inspections and reviews provide the General Staff with an objective picture of real combat readiness, the military expert noted. The equipment defects can be explained by the organizational chaos evident in the past few years. Thus, the decision of the new Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, to reinstate repair and maintenance units, something that had been outsourced until now, should be implemented as soon as possible.

Wahhabi “Al-CIA-da” In Kosovo and Bosnia Ship Heavy Weapons To Syrian Jihadis

Syrian Rebels Get Arms from Kosovo and Bosnia

oriental review

By Dmitry MININ (Russia)

Syrian Rebels Get Arms from Kosovo and BosniaThe DEBKA website, close to Israeli military intelligence, knows well all the behind the curtain details of regional politics. A few days ago it reported about basically new turns of the way the events unfold in Syria. According to it, the Syrian extremists received a load of heavy weapons for the first time since the war started. The senders are the groups from Kosovo and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina linked to Al Qaeda. The package includes Kornet and Fagot anti-tank systems delivered by the Soviet Union to former Yugoslavia in the past. The weapons ended up in the hands of extremists as a result of well-known bloody events. As to Israeli intelligence sources, the heavy weapons have been delivered from the Balkans to Syria by sea with the help of Albanian mafia, which is dry behind ears in such operations…

This is the first time the Syrian anti-government forces got a substantial load of heavy arms getting around the control of Western and Arab special agencies (the foreign intelligence agencies have simply overlooked the delivery). The major part of weapons is sent to Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al Qaeda linked Islamist group.

Having received arms, the Jabhat al-Nusra armed groups risked an intervention to Lebanon and engaged Hezbollah in the Shiite stronghold of Bekaa valley trying to do away with an ally of Bashar Assad. They have become strong enough to launch offensives in some areas inside Syria. The combat actions go along with intensive terrorist activities, for instance, another bloody act took place in the heart of Damascus near the Baath headquarters, not far from the Russian embassy. It resulted in the death of dozens civilians, including many children from a neighboring school. According to the United Nations, at least 70 thousand people have lost their lives in Syria as a result of the confrontation between the government forces and the rebels. Two mortar shells exploded at the Tishreen stadium in Damascus when the athletes were training. As to SANA, a player form the Watbah football team was killed; his two fellow players were wounded.

The Middle East events could not have passed the Muslim part of the Balkans. The arms supplies to Syria are not an exception. After the guns silenced there, the radical movements and Islamist organizations started to conduct their activities under cover, but today it is coming to light. The reason is the extremists had felt comfortable in Europe till they started to be refused entry and citizenship by many countries of the continent making them go to other places. In the past Al Qaeda supported the Kosovo and Bosnian brothers in faith with experienced personnel and arms. Now it wants the debts to be paid back. Al Qaeda emissaries have no intent to curb their activities in the Balkans. 

While war raged in Bosnia and Herzegovina, around two thousand militants from Arab countries went there to join the fray. Some of them had direct links to Osama bin Laden. After the war ended as a result of Dayton accords, many of them remained in the country and became the citizens. The Saudi Arabia funded King Fahd mosque in Sarajevo that is believed to be the headquarters of the Wahhabi militants. Off and on terrorist acts committed by Islamists take place in the Republic. For instance, 23-year-old Mevlid Jasarevic, came from Serbia, the southern region of Sandzak, to shoot his rifle at the US embassy building in Sarajevo. He heavily wounded a policeman. A bomb went off at the police precinct station in Bugojno, one constable died, six wounded. It was done by a local Wahhabi militant.

At the beginning of February 2013 local Albanian radicals declared the establishment of the “Islamic Movement to Unite” or LISBA, which is considered in the West as the first really fundamentalist party in the Balkans. The party is registered and is preparing for Kosovo parliamentary elections. LISBA has a public leader, Arsim Krasniqi, though Fuad Ramiqi is widelyreported to be its controlling figure. He is known to be is associated through the fundamentalist European Muslim Network, led by the Islamist media celebrity Tariq Ramadan, with the Qatar-based hate preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. He has ties with the more moderate Party for Democratic Action or SDA in Bosnia-Herzegovina and similar organizations in Macedonia. Ramiqi protested against a legal ban on girls wearing headscarves (hijab) in Kosovo public schools.

This is just the top of the iceberg. The radicalization of population in Kosovo is boosted by total unemployment and spreading criminality. The self-proclaimed Kosovo independence supported by the West gave little to common people, it’s no surprise they are vulnerable to Islamist propaganda. Some Kosovars are linked to arms smuggling, they act as instructors on its use in Syria enriching their own combat experience. Drug flows are already flooding Europe. In future it may be added by the re-export of war skills to defend the European Muslims rights.

The policy of the West in Syria is myopic. It goes on losing control over the events in this country. In fact it gives refuge to terrorists and faces the prospect of raging terror spilling over to Europe. Hotbeds of Islamic extremism that appeared with the connivance of the West in the former Yugoslavia are sparked again under the influence of Middle East events. Europe appears to be threatened by a big fire…

SourceStrategic Culture Foundation

So-Called “Militias” That Are Indistinguishable from Terrorists, or Criminal Gangs

[The effort is now on to soften the blow of this deadly cut to the American psywar in Afghanistan, by describing the war crimes committed in Wardak and Logar simply as “unprofessional behavior” or “misconduct.”  How could it have been merely unprofessional conduct, when the actions described by the Karzai spokesman are clearly acts of terrorism, committed by men who had been trained and armed by the Special Operators who worked with the Provincial Reconstruction Teams, which are the cornerstone of the NATO strategy.  The activities conducted by the Special Forces Operators in Wardak and Logar were identical to past SpecOp-enabled tragedies.  The so-called “Self Defense Forces” of Colombia are comparable as an identical older example.  The “militias” that were created there were no more than thugs, just like those described to Karzai.  They strong-armed their fellow citizens, while hiding under a mantle of legitimacy, that was derived from their having been trained and armed by American Green Berets and Navy Seals, just like the “Los Zetas” of Mexico.  

Normally, American client states accept the basic barbarity employed by Washington’s Special Operators without daring to criticize American actions in the press.  The fact that Karzai has come forward and done this, implies that he is burning his bridges to the Americans and the perks which they offer.  Further Karzai actions have disrupted counterinsurgency operations in the eastern provinces, which made use of Pakistan’s TTP militants Mullah Faqir and Mullah Fazlullah as sledgehammers against the Pak Army (SEE:the Militants Floodgate Into Waziristan ), who operated in safety from Afghanistan.  All of these roadblocks to Special Operations in the east are in addition to the Karzai order for an end to airstrikes against civilian homes (SEE:  NATO to follow order to halt Afghan airstrikes),  adding-up to a clear and explicit Afghan rebuff to further American military actions.  What hand Pakistan has had in all of this is uncertain, but there is clear motive to either suspect that they might be retaliating for the American scrambling of Pak counterinsurgency, or working backroom deals to remove the obstacles to them settling the Afghan problem after we allegedly leave in 2014.]

A US Special Forces night raid in an Afghan family home in September, 2011. “Study: US Night Raids Aimed at Afghan Civilians (Obama Death Squads)

ISAF to investigate alleged U.S. forces misconduct in Afghan province 

Xinhua net

KABUL, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) — The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) will take on all allegations of misconduct of coalition forces in an eastern Afghan province, said an ISAF spokesman on Monday.

“ISAF is aware of the decision made at the (Afghan) National Security Council yesterday. We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and go to great lengths to determine the facts surrounding them,” spokesman Brigadier General Gunter Katz told reporters at a weekly press briefing.

In a meeting of Afghanistan’s National Security Council chaired by President Hamid Karzai on Sunday which discussed the security situation in the provinces of Wardak and neighboring Logar province, the president had tasked the Afghan Defense Ministry to make sure the U.S. special forces leave Wardak province within two weeks, according to a statement of the presidential palace said.

The statement said a team assigned by president Karzai found armed individuals named as U.S. special forces were engaged in ” harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people. ”

The presidential statement also said that “effective from February 24, 2013 onward, the ISAF has to stop all its special force operations in Wardak province.”

Over the past few weeks there have been various allegations of U.S. special forces conducting themselves in an unprofessional manner in Wardak, Katz said, adding, “So far we could not find evidence that would support these allegations.”

However, he said that ISAF will work with representatives of the Afghan government to find a solution to the concerns of the citizens in the province 35 km west of capital Kabul.

“We regard the situation in Wardak as very serious and we will resolve it in full cooperation with our Afghan partners,” the ISAF spokesman noted.

‘A true Muslim can never do this’


Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Benazir Ahmed expressed his ‘shock’ after visiting the site from where the ‘Islamists’ launched violent attacks on Friday.

After visiting Baitul Mukarram National Mosque on Saturday along with other police officials, the DMP commissioner told journalists, the “Islamists who had positioned themselves inside the national mosque were detonating hand bombs within the place of worship. The prayer mats were set on fire as the militants broke the mosque’s wall to hurl brick bats at the police.”

‘The Muslims of Bangladesh are faithful. But I am shocked and speechless after this visit to the mosque.”

“A true Muslim can never take part in something like this. This is extreme anarchy, the result of a wicked intention”, he added.

The DMP top brass urged the people of faith to remain alert against “those who use religion as a shield for their activities”.

On the attacks targeting journalists, the Police Commissioner said, “Attacking police tantamounts to sedition. They have attacked journalists because they want to destroy the democratic structure of the country”.

রাজধানীর পল্টন এলাকায় পুলিশের সঙ্গে সংঘর্ষের পর বায়তুল মোকাররম মসজিদের ভেতরে বিক্ষোভ দেখায় বিক্ষুব্ধরা।

রাজধানীর পল্টন এলাকায় পুলিশের সঙ্গে সংঘর্ষের পর বায়তুল মোকাররম মসজিদের ভেতরে বিক্ষোভ দেখায় বিক্ষুব্ধরা।

Twelve Islamist and like-minded parties brought out an ‘Anti-Ganajagaran’ procession after midday prayers on Friday. Similar processions against the Shahbagh movement were brought out in several other parts of the country. They resorted to vandalism in Chittagong and Sylhet, destroying the protest podiums erected as a show of solidarity to Shahbagh’s demands. The protesters “desecrated” the Shaheed Minars at Sylhet and Feni. The national flag was torn and stamped in Chandpur.

Although these attacks were unleashed under the banner of the 12 like-minded Islamist parties but police said that it was the Jamaat-e-Islami which had led the violence. Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan also suspected Jamaat to be the main force behind the attacks.

The Islamists smashed a gate at Topkhana Road in front of the Workers’ Party office, which was erected demanding capital punishment for war criminals.

Violent clashes followed after the protesters showered the police with brick bats. The law enforcers fired rubber bullets and tear-gas shells to control the situation. A number of hand bombs were also detonated at that time.

Police have filed 11 cases over Friday’s violence in Dhaka, implicating thousands, including Islami Oikya Jote Chairman Abdul Latif Nezami.


Thousands marched down the streets in processions across the country on Sunday morning to oppose the nationwide strike called by the 12 small parties which is backed by the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami.

The ‘Ganajagaran Mancha’ at Shahbagh called upon the people to hit the streets to oppose the strike.

A procession from Shahbagh began around 9:45am, led by student organisation leaders, reported bdnews24.com Correspondent.

Students from Dhaka University halls and other educational institutions began gathering at Shahbagh since morning.

Industries Minister Dilip Barua expressed his solidarity with the procession taken out from Shahbagh.

The procession went round Paltan, scene of Friday’s mayhem by the anti-Shahbagh mob, and later returned to Shahbagh to join the ongoing protests.

Protesters had pledged to resist war criminals at the Saturday afternoon rally in Rayerbazar Intellectual Martyrs Mausoleum.

Later, Imran H Sarkar, the spokesperson for Ganajagaran Mancha at Shahbagh, announced that they would continue with demonstrations and appealed to the nation to reject Sunday’s strike.

In response to his calls, nationwide rallies were taking place with “Ganajagaran Mancha” banners demanding execution of ‘war criminals’.

Around 11am on Sunday night, as the 24-hour ultimatum to arrest Amar Desh Acting Editor Mahmudur Rahman expired, Imran said the protesters wanted to see Rahman arrested before the time the Mirpur protest would begin in the afternoon.

He threatened tougher movement if the arrest was not made by Monday.

Demonstrators will return to Shahbagh intersection at 3pm as part of daily protest programme. Protest at Shahbagh will continue until 10pm alongside the Mirpur programme.

Losing Readership Because of Google Panda Search Algorithyms?

I am sure that those of you who have websites of your own have noticed a drop-off of readership by as much as 20% s per day, since Christmas.  No Sunglasses has lost at least 200 readers per day, spread evenly across all visiting countries.  I experienced an even higher loss previously, when Russian internet was cut-off in Turkmenistan, so I attributed it to something like that, until I learned about Google Panda, which apparently updated its search algorithms just before that.  There is no way to restore the loss of readership through any kind of appeal or technical gimmickry, but you can learn what the Google guys are looking for with their algorithms.  From Mr. Google’s mouth, follows below:

More guidance on building high-quality sites

Google Webmaster Central Blog - Official news on crawling and indexing sites for the Google index

In recent months we’ve been especiallyfocused on helping people find high-quality sites in Google’s search results. The “Panda” algorithm change has improved rankings for a large number of high-quality websites, so most of you reading have nothing to be concerned about. However, for the sites that may have been affected by Panda we wanted to provide additional guidance on how Google searches for high-quality sites.

Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals. Some publishers have fixated on our prior Panda algorithm change, but Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year. In fact, since we launched Panda, we’ve rolled out over a dozen additional tweaks to our ranking algorithms, and some sites have incorrectly assumed that changes in their rankings were related to Panda. Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users.

What counts as a high-quality site?

Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find “high-quality” sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content. The recent “Panda” change tackles the difficult task of algorithmically assessing website quality. Taking a step back, we wanted to explain some of the ideas and research that drive the development of our algorithms.

Below are some questions that one could use to assess the “quality” of a page or an article. These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves as we write algorithms that attempt to assess site quality. Think of it as our take at encoding what we think our users want.

Of course, we aren’t disclosing the actual ranking signals used in our algorithms because we don’t want folks to game our search results; but if you want to step into Google’s mindset, the questions below provide some guidance on how we’ve been looking at the issue:

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

Writing an algorithm to assess page or site quality is a much harder task, but we hope the questions above give some insight into how we try to write algorithms that distinguish higher-quality sites from lower-quality sites.

What you can do

We’ve been hearing from many of you that you want more guidance on what you can do to improve your rankings on Google, particularly if you think you’ve been impacted by the Panda update. We encourage you to keep questions like the ones above in mind as you focus on developing high-quality content rather than trying to optimize for any particular Google algorithm.

One other specific piece of guidance we’ve offered is that low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages, or moving low quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content.

We’re continuing to work on additional algorithmic iterations to help webmasters operating high-quality sites get more traffic from search. As you continue to improve your sites, rather than focusing on one particular algorithmic tweak, we encourage you to ask yourself the same sorts of questions we ask when looking at the big picture. This way your site will be more likely to rank well for the long-term. In the meantime, if you have feedback, please tell us through our Webmaster Forum. We continue to monitor threads on the forum and pass site info on to the search quality team as we work on future iterations of our ranking algorithms.

Written by , Google Fellow

Afghan Nat. Security Council Meeting Evicts Spec. Forces from Wardak and Logar for Employing Criminal Gangs


[The criminal policies of the American Special Forces are finally being called to account in Wardak and LogarProvinces of Afghanistan.  SOCOM’s highly illegal practices of fronting criminal gangs, who operate exactly like “terrorists,” are the reason for their expulsion in two weeks.  Pentagon strategy consists of training and deploying proxy gangs and warlords to carry-out the most controversial Spec Op tactics, such as  cutting throats, taking heads, torturing, abducting and disappearing people from their beds in the middle of the night, so that Special Forces can  create the impression that their hands are clean.  By “contracting-out” these most extreme actions to locals and private terror outfits like Blackwater, Special Forces are able to manage perceptions, creating the illusion that American hands are clean, just as long as government officials were willing to look the other way.  Evidently, Hamid Karzai is no longer willing to overlook state-sponsored terrorism, even when it is committed by the United States.  In addition to removing American support for terror-gangs in two provinces, Karzai has just arrested Maulvi Faqir of the Pakistani Taliban near Nangarhar, one of two TTP terrorists who were given sanctuary from Army operations in Waziristan in Eastern Afghanistan by Gen. McChrystal, before his early forcedd retirement (SEE:the Militants Floodgate Into Waziristan ).

Karzai is effectively, single-handedly, undoing American counter-terror/counter-insurgency policies in his homeland.  If he can withstand the tsunami of pressure that the Pentagon is surely unleashing about now, and make his decisions hold, then it will be a small matter to also block any Western troops after 2014.  Did Gen. Kayani manage to arrange a deal for all of this in retaliation for the American sabotaging of all Pakistani tribal strategies with the drone-murder of Mullah Nazir (SEE:India/Pakistani Detente’ Went Into the Ground with Mullah Nazir ).]

National Security Council Meeting Discusses Situation in Wardak and Logar Provinces

Afghanistan President    Feb 24, 2013

February 24, 2013 – The meeting of the National Security Council chaired by President Hamid Karzai on Sunday discussed as per agenda the security situation in the provinces of Logar and Maidan Wardak, the presence of the international forces beyond 2014 and the issue of land seizures in Afghanistan.

The meeting began by hearing briefings by the Minister of Interior, Director General for the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), chairman of the Transition Commission, Chief of Army Staff and the respective governors on the security situation as well as on the findings by a delegation that had been assigned to investigate the causes of insecurity in the two provinces.

After a thorough discussion, it became clear that armed individuals named as US special force stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people. A recent example in the province is an incident in which nine people were disappeared in an operation by this suspicious force and in a separate incident a student was taken away at night from his home, whose tortured body with throat cut was found two days later under a bridge. However, Americans reject having conducted any such operation and any involvement of their special force.

The meeting strongly noted that such actions have caused local public resentment and hatred.

In view of the above situation, the meeting made the following decisions:

1.    The Ministry of Defense was assigned to make sure all US special forces are out of the province within two weeks;

2.    All the Afghan national security forces are duty bound to protect the life and property of people in Maidan Wardak province by effectively stopping and bringing to justice any groups that enter peoples’ homes in the name of special force and who engage in annoying, harassing and murdering innocent people; and

3.    Effective from February 24, 2013 onward, the ISAF has to stop all its special force operations in Maidan Wardak province;

The Meeting also called on the local people to cooperate with the governor and security forces in identifying such groups and inform local authorities. The Wardak governor was also tasked to form community councils to engage people in preventing such destructive actions by irresponsible armed groups.

The meeting then heard and endorsed a security operational plan presented by Logar governor for the province.

Also on agenda for the meeting was the issue of land seizure in various provinces in Afghanistan.  The meeting directed the Ministry of Interior, the Attorney General Office as well as the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) to develop an orderly plan to handle the issue of the land seizure and restitute the lands illegally grabbed by powerful individuals by misuse of authority and official position.
The meeting also held an in-depth discussion on the military presence some countries are seeking beyond 2014 in Afghanistan.

The meeting decided that any military presence any country may be seeking to retain under the international coalition after 2014 may be allowed only after Afghan government’s formal agreement and discretion, to be achieved bilaterally.
The meeting underlined that the number, location, scope and the nature of operations of such troops, if agreed, would be determined through direct negotiations with Afghan government.

Karzai Orders Expulsion of US Special Forces from Their Two Most Disastrous Provinces

[France24 reports that US Special Forces are expelled from both Wardak Province and Logar Province (SEE: Kabul orders US special forces out of two provinces).  This might make planned operations from the two US Superbases at Bagram and Jalabad almost impossible.  This was also the site of the disastrous Special Forces helicopter downing, which took the lives of 30 Navy Seals.]

Sunday, 24 February 2013
Written by Karim Amini


President Hamid Karzai on Sunday ordered the expulsion of US Special Forces from Maidan Wardak province, west of Kabul, after hearing reports of “torture and murder of Afghan citizens” by these forces.

Speaking in a press conference immediately after the National Security Council meeting, President Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi told reporters that the US Special Forces and Afghan armed men who are paid and led by the US Special Forces have become a parallel structure to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

Maidan Wardak, in Kabul’s doorstep, has been one of the most dangerous provinces in the country.

In Sunday’s National Security Council meeting, governors of Maidan Wardak and Logar reported a growing insecurity in two provinces, neighbouring the capital.

Today’s decision reportedly came after complaints from the Wardak provincial governor and tribal elders.

“Today, the National Security Council ordered the Ministry of Defence to remove American Special Forces within two weeks from Wardak province,” said Faizi.

“A recent example in the province is an incident in which nine people were disappeared in an operation by this suspicious force and in a separate incident a student was taken away at night from his home, whose tortured body with throat cut was found two days later under a bridge,” he added.

The concerns were previously shared with the US military commanders in Kabul, he said. But, the US commanders rejected the reports.

Karzai’s spokesman said that the Afghan armed who men paid and led by the US forces operate in parallel to the ANSF in many provinces, mostly in the east as well as in Kabul.

The order comes days after Nato defence ministers announced after their summit in Brussels that they could be keeping 8-12,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of the “train, advise and assist mission” after their combat mission ends in 2014.

The Afghan security council meeting also decided that the Afghan government would have the final say on locations for bases of foreign troops in the country after 2014.

Earlier this week, the US Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta, said the US troops would be based not only around Kabul area after 2014, but across the country.

The decision, experts believe, would complicate negotiations over Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States.

Hyderabad Police Investigate DJS (Darsgah-e-Jihad-o-Shahadat ) Terror Outfit As Backdoor To IM (Islamic Mujahedeen)

“The wires of CCTV cameras installed in the Dilsukhnagar area, where blasts took place, were snapped four days before the deadly terror strike….Despite this, it is surprising to know that local authorities failed to notice that CCTV cameras were nonfunctional.”

Post blasts, spotlight on Darsgah-e-Jihad-o-Shahadat 

times of india


HYDERABAD: With no breakthrough achieved as yet in the February 21 bomb blasts in Dilsukhnagar that have claimed 16 lives and left nearly 150 persons injured, the investigating agencies are reportedly looking into the activities of Darsgah-e-Jihad-o-Shahadat (DJS), a city-based organisation that has been lying relatively low of late.

“DJS has been a training ground for militants in the past. Many of these militants had developed links with foreign intelligence agencies and terrorist organisations and carried out attacks in Hyderabad and elsewhere. It is pertinent to know the status of these members in the context of the latest blasts,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

Local police sources said since the founder of DJS Shaikh Mahboob Ali died in 2011, the organisation’s strength and appeal have shrunk. The new president of the DJS, Mohammed Abdul Majid, son-in-law of the founder, had staged a small protest on December 6, anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, last year. He also organised protests against a police officer in October for which he was imprisoned for more than two weeks.

Of relevance to the Dilsukhnagar blasts, Syed Maqbool, who was arrested by the Delhi police on October 23 last year for planning terror attacks across the country to be carried out by Indian Mujahideen (IM), was once linked to DJS. According to police sources, the alleged notorious terrorist Mohammed Abdul Shahid Bilal and his brother Samad, who were first linked with Mecca Masjid bomb blast and later killed in Karachi, were members of the DJS. Mohammed Viquar, who reportedly killed two policemen in 2009 and 2010, had his initial training with DJS too. The other militant who was killed in a police encounter in Delhi, Ghulam Yazdani, also owed his allegiance to DJS.

The founder’s grandson Nijihullah, who had been packed off to Saudi Arabia to escape police harassment, fell into the hands of Pakistani terror handlers. He was reportedly trained by them in Pakistan and later pushed back into India. His present whereabouts are not known.

DJS president Abdul Majid had told the media earlier that his organisation had trained about 50,000 youth in self-defence in the past. However, he insisted that his organisation had played no role in any terror activities or trained anybody. The two camps of the DJS where self-defence training was being imparted, Ujale Shah Eidgah grounds and Purani Haveli, are now defunct.

Those Wacky Wahhabi Head-Choppers’ Murder of the Day–A Jordanian Drug Dealer


Saudi beheads Jordanian over drug trafficking



the Militants Floodgate Into Waziristan

[The recent arrest of Maulvi Faqir inside Nuristan, Afghanistan was certainly unexpected, apparently, it was no accident (SEE:  Pakistan to contact Interpol over Maulvi Faqir: Rehman Malik ).  From the reading of the tea leaves escaping from behind at least three curtains of military censorship and psywar, it seems that Afghan intelligence grabbed Faqir as a bargaining chip with Pakistan, probably intended to obtain access to Mullah Baradar (still being held by Pakistan), the only legitimate source for real peace negotiations with Mullah Omar.  Now, if they would just grab Fazlullah, Pakistan might reciprocate by reining-in the Haqqanis, the forces of Mullah Wazir, and anyone else who is actually attacking across the border.  The claim by the Karzai government that Faqir was planning attacks within Afghanistan are highly unlikely (SEE REPORT BELOW), given the history of past intrigues (SEE: Dissecting the Anti-Pakistan Psyop).  The fact that Afghanistan is refusing to hand Faqir to Pakistan could be written-off because of an absence of any extradition treaties, but it is more likely that both Faqir and Fazlullah have secrets to tell about their stay in Nuristan which Afghan intelligence wishes they would not reveal.  After all, it was the untimely removal of multiple border posts which made the territory along that section along the Durand Line which is adjacent to Waziristan, a real “no man’s land” that no one’s army any longer tries to tame. .  This one bad decision was a malicious bit of  strategy that was hatched by commander of ISAF, Gen McChrystal’s, which made it possible for the Pak. Taliban to find safe sanctuary in Afghanistan.  The strategy was to create a rear staging area in Afghanistan, which would be a mirror image of the Pakistani sanctuary for the Afghan Taliban, only this safe staging area would be for the TTP.(SEE: McChrystal Opens the Militants Floodgate Into Waziristan, Removes Six Border Posts–10-19-2009)]

“ISLAMABAD: The US-led Nato forces vacated more than half a dozen key security checkposts on the Afghan side of the Pak-Afghan border just ahead of the major Pakistan Army ground offensive (code named: Rahe Nijaat) against Taliban-led militants in the volatile tribal area of South Waziristan, it is learnt.

It is feared that the American decision will facilitate Afghan Taliban in crossing over to Pakistan and support militants in striking back at the Pakistani security forces in the troubled tribal area.

Sources close to the NWFP government and military strategists involved in the planning of S Waziristan operation told The News over the weekend that the Americans vacated eight security checkposts on the Afghan side of the border just five days before the Army operation. Four of these close to South Waziristan including one each at Zambali and at Nurkha, and four in the north in the area of Nuristan where American forces recently came under violent attacks by the militants.

Latest reports indicate that the Americans have also removed some posts close to North Waziristan, which could encourage even more Afghan Taliban fighters to cross over to the Pakistan side. This has raised many eyebrows in government and military circles with points being made about “conflicting interests” and dubious American designs.”

“…Recent communication intercepts by Pakistani intelligence outfits have revealed that Taliban commander in Nuristan Qari Ziaur Rehman has invited TTP leader Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, former deputy of late Baitullah Mehsud, to come to Nuristan and operate from there if he finds space in Wazristan shrinking.

Experts believe the American move of vacating security checkposts on the Afghan side close to Pakistan’s border could undermine the military action by Pakistan Army. While on one hand it could offer an easy escape route to some militants, it is believed that this would facilitate movement of Afghan Taliban into Pakistan side to join hands with the al-Qaeda-backed local Taliban and other locals as well as foreign militant groups against the military action there.

Some observers see it as a tactical move by the US to ward off pressure from its own forces in Afghanistan that have been under severe attacks by the Afghan Taliban. Hence they want to provide them unhindered passage to Pakistan side, as it would help shift the main theatre of war from Afghanistan to inside Pakistan.

[Since the American plan was to duplicate the Waziristan situation in Eastern Afghanistan (in reverse), then this arrest of Faqir represents another potential disruption of a major operation which cannot be to the CIA’s liking.  This situation is comparable to the 2007 exposure of the MI6 attempts to create a “Taliban split,” in Helmand, to use in S. Waziristan, making use of Mansoor Dadullah, brother of Taliban hero Mullah Dadullah and designated by Mullah Omar himself as the heir to his brother’s role as “Emir” of the original Pakistani Taliban.  This revelation resulted in the expulsion of British spies Mervyn Patterson and Michael Semple, who were building the first anti-Taliban network in Helmand.  All of Pakistan’s efforts since then, to emulate the “Taliban split” tactics in Waziristan, have been thwarted by American drones, beginning with the Predator killing of Dadullah (SEE:  Waging War Upon Ourselves).  The latest drone “victory,” the killing of Mullah Nazir (the ultimate “anti-Taliban”), is just the latest instance of America exercising its CIA veto over the strategy of the Pakistani Army, or is it just another glimpse of the ongoing ISI/CIA waltz?  One fact seems certain–the CIA owns the  ISI.]

Faqir planned attacks on senior Afghan officials


By Mahbob Shah Mahbob Feb 23, 2013 – 15:22

JALALABAD (PAN): Dreaded Pakistani insurgent commander Maulvi Faqir Ahmad had sneaked into eastern Afghanistan for consultations with the Afghan Taliban, an intelligence official revealed on Saturday.

The former Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan No 2 was arrested six days ago along with four associates in the Basawal area of the Momand Dara district in Nangarhar province. He is currently under investigation at a detention centre in Kabul.

Ever-since the high-profile rebel leader’s detention — seen as a key step in bilateral cooperation between Pakistani and Afghan spy services — both security officials as well as militant leaders have been reticent, given the sensitivity of the nature.

However, a National Directorate of Security (NDS) agent in the east confided to Pajhwok Afghan News that the most-wanted militant was nabbed in week after he crossed from the restive Bajaur tribal into Nangarhar.

The operation, based on actionable intelligence, was precisely planned and executed by elite units of police and NDS, according to the source, who said Faqir and an Afghan Taliban commander in the Tirah Valley — Shamsul Arifeen — had twice been sighted on this side of the border.

The guerrilla commanders, who had lately teamed up, wanted to attack important targets, including senior Afghan leaders, the official said.  However, he would not elaborate on who was the militants’ hit-list.

Also arrested during the raid were Maulana Hakim, Shahid Khan, Maulvi Turabi and Fateh Khan.

A day earlier, Afghanistan declined handing over Faqir Mohammad to the Pakistan government, arguing there was no extradition treaty between the neighbours.

On Thursday, Islamabad said it had asked Kabul to extradite the man involved in terrorist activities inside Pakistan. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar asked for the insurgent commander’s handover during a telephonic conversation with her Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rassoul.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office told a weekly media briefing Islamabad: “We hope he (Faqir) would be handed over to Pakistan as soon as possible because he has the blood of many innocent Pakistanis on his hands,” Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan told journalists.

But his Afghan counterpart Janan Musazai, when approached for his comments, turned down Islamabad’s request. “During the recent tripartite meeting in London, the Afghan government requested the Pakistani side to return Afghan Taliban prisoners held by it so that they could participate in and support Afghanistan’s peace efforts.”

Musazai recalled the Pakistani side responded it could not hand over Taliban prisoners to the Afghan government because there was no prisoner exchange agreement between the two countries.

A political analyst, meanwhile, charaterised Islamabad’s demand as unjust, because the two sides have no yet concluded an agreement to the effect. Nangarhar University teacher, Prof. Abdur Rashid Malikzai, said Pakistan was yet to transfer a single Afghan fighter.

Another political commentator, Mohammad Anwar Sultani, blamed the Pakistani establishment for patronising insurgents who later turned against their mentors. “They placed a huge bounty on Faqir Mohammad’s head only after he started defying his supporters within the government.”

Sultani slammed Islamabad’s call as illogical in that many Afghan militants, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, were still being held in Pakistani jails.


The Saudi Abomination Which Promotes “Interfaith Dialogue” In Europe and Persecution of Christians At Home

Saudi religious police arrest Ethiopian workers for practicing Christianity



Saudi Arabia’s notorious religious police, known as the mutawa, swooped in on a private gathering of at least 53 Ethiopian Christians this month, shutting down their private prayer, and arresting the peaceful group of foreign workers for merely practicing their faith, FoxNews.com has learned.

The mixed group of men and women was seized in a private residence in the city of Dammam, the capital of the wealthy oil province in Eastern Arabia, and Saudi authorities charged three Christian leaders with seeking to convert Muslims to Christianity. The latest crackdown on Christianity in the ultra-fundamental Islamic country comes on the heels of a brutal 2011/2012 incarceration and torture of 36 Ethiopian Christians, and drew a sharp rebuke from a U.S. lawmaker.

“Nations that wish to be a part of the responsible nations of the world must see the protection of religious freedom and the principles of reason as an essential part of the duty of the state,” Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., who sits on the Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East, told FoxNews.com.

During Advent in 2011, Saudi authorities stormed a prayer meeting at the private home of one of the Ethiopian workers in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The Saudi mutawa imprisoned 29 women and six men for more than seven months in barbaric prison conditions, where the men faced severe beatings and the women were subjected to sexually intrusive torture methods. After Christian organizations and human rights groups, as well as the United States government, complained, the Saudis deported the 35 Christian Ethiopian workers in August 2012.

Last March, Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah Al al-Sheikh, the grand mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, declared it is “necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula.”

Still, Saudi officials claim to tolerate other faiths even as the mutawa, or Commission to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, mount their crackdowns, said Dwight Bashir, deputy director for policy at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

“During an official USCIRF visit to the Kingdom earlier this month, Saudi officials reiterated the government’s long-standing policy that members of the Commission to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, also known as the religious police, should not interfere in private worship,” Bashir said. “However, the past year has seen an uptick of reports that private religious gatherings have been raided resulting in arrests, harassment and deportations of foreign expatriate workers.

“The U.S. government and international community should demand that any expatriate worker detained and held without charge for private religious activity in the Kingdom should be released immediately,” Bashir added.

A spokeswoman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington said she “is not allowed” to give her name and referred a FoxNews.com query to Nail al-Jubeir, a spokesman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington. He did not immediately return FoxNews.com telephone and email requests. Diplomats from Ethiopia’s embassy in Washington told FoxNews.com they are looking into preparing a statement about the arrests.

Nina Shea, the director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com that the arrests in Dammam are “part of  Saudi Arabia’s policy to ban non-Muslim houses of worship and actually hunt down Christians in private homes.”

Shea, who was in the Saudi capital Riyadh as part of a U.S delegation two years ago, sharply criticized the Saudis for breaking their 2006 pledge to the U.S. government to not disrupt non-Islamic religious practices. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom termed in its 2012 report Saudi Arabia a “country of particular concern”– along with other authoritarian states such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, North Korea, China and Sudan– for repression of religious freedom.

The Saudi government adheres to a strict form of Sunni Islam called Wahhabism that has animated many followers to engage in terrorism across the globe. The 9/11 terrorists, 19 of whom were Saudis, followed the Wahhabi school of militant Islamic ideology.

Shea said “the U.S. government does not raise its voice in protest” as part of the U.S.-Saudi strategic partnership. She added the failure to push the Saudis to change their intolerant behavior “has taken the backseat to oil and the war on terror. The Saudis are playing a double game — cooperating with the war on terror and working against the war on terror campaign.” A telling example, she stressed, involves  the Saudi government  sending text books around the world that contain extreme forms of Islam.

Benjamin Weinthal  is a  journalist who reports on Christians in the Middle East and is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow Benjamin on Twitter: @BenWeinthal.

Hyderabad Bombing Leaves 16 dead and 120 injured

Specific alert was sent to Hyderabad yesterday morning: Govt
The two blasts on February 21, 2013 left 16 dead and 120 injured.
NEW DELHI: A specific alert warning attack by Pakistan-based terrorist group was shared by central security agencies with Hyderabad police on Thursday morning, home ministry officials said on Friday.

Twin blasts ripped through a crowded market in Hyderabad on Thursday, leaving 16 dead and 120 injured.

The ministry had sent specific alert yesterday morning to four cities — Hyderabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Hubli — warning them of probable attacks by terrorists, they said.

Besides, Maharashtra and Gujarat police forces were also sent the alert, the officials said.

According to home ministry officials, the alerts were also sent to all states on February 19 and 20, that Pakistan-based terrorist groups may carry out attacks in a major city to avenge the hanging of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

They said the central security agencies had sent an advisory on Tuesday asking all states to tighten security in sensitive places as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen may launch attacks.

The security agencies sent another advisory on Wednesday saying banned Indian Mujahideen may carry out terror attacks to avenge the hanging of Kasab and Guru.

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde had on Thursday said all states were alerted about a possible terror strike by militant groups.

However, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had said those were general alerts which often keep coming from the Centre.

Lahore High Court Sets Bail for Shaitan–To Hell With Hazara

[What greater proof could you need that this latest so-called “operation against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi” is just more Pak Army lies (SEE:  Pakistan targets militants, Shiites end protest).   In reality, LeJ, and by extension, all of the “Punjabi-Taliban”, work for Kayani and friends, so why would the govt. of Pakistan seriously interfere with their terroristic plans?  If LeJ is behind all the genocide of Hazara in Pakistan (and everyone knows that it is), then it is actually the Army’s proxy terrorists who are killing all the Shia.   The Hazara of Quetta must not understand or believe this fact, since they have demanded that the Army takeover Quetta.  Until the armies of Sunni murderers of the Saudi/Qatari/CIA terror alliance are stopped, then there will be no safe ground in either Pakistan or Afghanistan for the Shia Hazara.]

Extremist leader Malik Ishaq freed from jail


The Chief Monster of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Malik Ishaq was released from prison today. -File Photo

LAHORE: Pakistan on Tuesday released the head of a banned extremist group after a court granted him bail, following his arrest on suspicion of inciting sectarian hatred, his lawyer said.

Malik Ishaq, the leader of the feared Lashkar-e-Jhangvi organisation, which is said to have al Qaeda links, was held for making a “provocative” speech earlier this month.

Ishaq has been implicated in dozens of cases, mostly murder, and was accused of masterminding a 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, which wounded seven players and an assistant coach and killed eight Pakistanis.

“The court has accepted his bail application and later he was freed from jail,” Arif Mehmood Rana, his lawyer told AFP.

Ijaz Shafi Dogar, a senior police officer confirmed to AFP that he was being freed as he was not wanted in any other case.

“He was set free this evening from Kot Lakhpat jail,” Dogar said.

Ishaq was detained over a speech he made at a religious school on August 19 in the wake of a rise in sectarian violence between majority Sunni and minority Shia Muslims.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is regarded as the most extreme Sunni terror group in Pakistan and is accused of killing hundreds of Shias after its emergence in the early 1990s. -AFP

Hazara killers — supported from Punjab to the Middle East

[SEE:  The Stunning Investigative Story on the Birth of Balochistan Liberation Army]

Hazara killers — supported from Punjab to the Middle East



The February 16 bombing that killed over 90 people and injured more than 160, many of them critically, was the second major attack on Pakistan’s minority Shia Hazaras this year. — AP/File Photo

In the aftermath of the Quetta massacre, the arrests of a few Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) militants have been looked upon warily as nothing more than a ploy to placate an angry nation.

If there was sincerity and strategic considerations behind this move, however, the headquarters of the Sunni extremist group in Punjab would have been dismantled much earlier.

But with elections approaching, a full-fledged and whole-hearted operation against such militant groups seems highly unlikely, especially in the Punjab, the breeding ground of sectarian militants. This has much to do with the fact that in Punjab, extremist and militant groups have a strong electoral presence.

“I doubt that there will be a real crackdown,” says author and journalist, Zahid Hussain, talking to Dawn.com: “The Punjab government has been looking the other way for too long and pursues the policy of appeasement.” He added that it had even made a covert deal for the release of LeJ leader Malik Ishaq.

Seconding Hussain, defence analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi added: “The Punjab Government is known for patronising the LeJ and (its predecessor) Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP).”

But it’s not only the Punjab government complicit in the inaction against extremist sectarian outfits. The centre hasn’t appeared earnest about the issue either.

Hussain has serious reservations about Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority, for example. The authority was created in 2009 under an executive order. “It remains dormant and a toothless body because the bill has yet to be passed in the National Assembly. There is also the unresolved matter of whether it should fall under the umbrella of the interior ministry when in the original charter, it was to be under the prime minister,” he explains.

And so the scourge of extremism will continue, as was seen last week when terror revisited the Shia Hazaras on Kirani Road in the south-western Pakistani city Quetta. The attack was also a grim reminder that without a national consensus in Pakistan on how to deal with domestic terrorism, the next attack is not far behind.

The bomb that killed over 90 people and injured more than 160, many of them critically, was the second major attack on Pakistan’s minority Shia Hazaras this year. A twin-suicide attack at a snooker club on January 10 had killed 92 and wounded 121. With the Hazara community living huddled together in certain localities, they have become an even easier prey and large numbers can be annihilated in minutes.

Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) Chairperson Abdul Khaliq Hazara told Dawn.com that the terror and fear had reached such a crescendo that the Hazaras had stopped venturing out of their locales. “There is no place left in Quetta that remains safe for Hazaras, be it an educational institution, school, bus stops, government offices or a marketplace. Public space is increasingly shrinking for us,” he said.

Where the LeJ derives power from

The LeJ, which claimed responsibility for these attacks, is born out of SSP. It also has ties with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). In fact, some of the top TTP leaders, like the current spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan, were all members of LeJ in Punjab, before they became part of the TTP.

“These groups morph and gel and even support each other,” says Rizvi, who fears that “unless the government adopts a tough position and keeps up the pressure over an extended period of time” these attacks will continue.

Equally, if the government decides to pull the rug from under them, and has some successes to show to the people, it will gain legitimacy. “Nothing succeeds like success, and we saw that in Swat once the government decided to go all out; their efforts were lauded not criticized,” he points out.

The HDP chairperson agreed that “The state is more powerful than the militants. We believe the state knows who the culprits are and if it wants it can round up the militants, cleanse the city off them, even kill them, in just three days.” But, he adds, “They don’t want to.”

According to Rizvi, “Organisations like the LeJ, the SSP and the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat (ASWJ) are politically convenient, especially for all the Punjab-based political parties and even the present Punjab government – and they will not go beyond a certain point to enrage them.”

“So while they will condemn acts of sectarian attacks and militancy, they will never muster the courage to condemn a particular group,” he explains.

In addition, says Rizvi, these groups have embedded themselves in society by setting up schools, hospitals, mosques and other welfare organisations and created a strong support base, including those in the lower ranks of the police and the intelligence agencies.”

“There is no place left in Quetta that remains safe for Hazaras, be it an educational institution, school, bus stops, government offices or a marketplace. Public space is increasingly shrinking for us.”

It is very easy for the LeJ, a predominantly Punjabi group to thrive in Balochistan, he further explains. “With a non-existent provincial government and the support of the Taliban, the place became a safe haven.”

The LeJ made inroads in Balochistan and had steadily spread its wings (since 2004-05), where the ethnic Hazara community has been their main target. Talking to Dawn.com, senior journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai said: “Call it infiltration, or what you will, but the LeJ has succeeded in recruiting many Baloch, once considered quite secular.”

According to Hussain, the Baloch have “been indoctrinated into hating the Hazara community.”

Khaliq points out that the whereabouts of the militant camps was common knowledge. According to reliable sources, the training camps are run in Mastung and Khuzdar, from where earlier attacks on Shia pilgrims going to Iran have taken place. Those who are apprehended, meanwhile, are released for want of enough evidence – and if the evidence is there, it’s not produced in the courts.

The desire to eliminate Shias altogether is also constantly fed from the outside. “A proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia is being waged in Balochistan.” says Khaliq. It is widely held that these anti-Shia militants receive funding from the Sunni-Wahabi sheikhdoms of the Arab world. The Shias, on the other hand are perceived to be supporting Iran.

Hussain, meanwhile, expresses surprise over the mushrooming of madressas in Balochistan, which lacks “even the most basic facilities for locals”. The senior journalist adds that it’s common knowledge such ‘nurseries’ of extremism were being financed by Sunni-Wahabi leaning Middle Eastern countries.

So where do the agencies come in?

Some experts are also of the view that these assaults are carried out to deflect international attention from the ongoing separatist movement in Balochistan.

The HDP spokesperson insists that such acts of terrorism are carried out in collusion with the security and intelligence agencies.

Yusufzai, however, does not believe in this commonly held viewpoint. “These agencies would never allow their own country to get destabilised and they would never want to eliminate the Shia community. After all there are many Shias within these organisations too,” he points out.

According to Yusufzai, the intelligence agencies’ ‘incompetence’ can be attributed to “overwork”.

“Their hands are full with the ongoing separatist movement in one province, and the attacks by the TTP in others – and then these other militants fanning sectarianism. And if that were not all; these agencies are also being used for political purposes!” says Yusufzai.

Hussain plays down the involvement of the agencies, but adds, “They have the knowledge of who the culprits are but they are not focused on fighting these groups. So while they may not be in direct collusion; by their inaction they are helping these extremists gets stronger.”

Mossad Looks To Build the Bulgarian Bus Case In Cyprus

[The alleged case of a Lebanese man, bearing a Swedish passport, reconning buses in Cyprus which sometimes carried Israelis, among thousands of Goyim, is totally a Mossad/CIA set-up, with no actual evidence except for a notebook the man carried.  All articles on the Internet pertaining to the alleged case all derive from the Zionist press, either Reuters or Haaretz.   No strategic info contained there, as far as the news reports.  The NY Times is harping on the story below.]

Trial Offers Rare Look at Work of Hezbollah in Europe


LIMASSOL, Cyprus — In a little-noticed trial in a small courtroom here on Wednesday, a 24-year-old man provided a rare look inside a covert global war between Israel and Iran, admitting that he is an operative of the militant group Hezbollah, for which he acted as a courier in Europe and staked out locations in this port city that Israelis were known to frequent.

World Bank Regional Dir. for C.A. On Impending Release of Rogun Dam Feasibility Studies

Saroj Kumar Jha Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia, Europe and Central Asia

Q&A with Saroj Kumar Jha, Regional Director for Central Asia, on the current status of the Rogun Assessment Studies

the world bank


In this follow-up Q&A, Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia, describes the latest findings in the Assessment Studies for the proposed Rogun Hydropower Project and explains the importance of cooperative energy and water resource management in Central Asia.

Q1: What is the purpose of the sessions with government and civil society that were held last week?

SKJ: The purpose of the riparian information-sharing and consultation meetings is to share emerging analysis from the assessment studies on the proposed Rogun hydropower project with interested stakeholders from the Amu Darya Basin countries.  The questions and concerns expressed by participants during these meetings are vital to a robust regional dialogue on the proposed project, and to ensuring quality studies. We are committed to an open, independent, and inclusive process of information-sharing, and we will continue making efforts to get all the stakeholders at the table.

Q2: What new information was discussed during the information-sharing meetings?

SKJ: We recently posted two reports online (www.worldbank.org/eca/rogun) that contribute to understanding two of the key issues identified by stakeholders during two previous riparian consultations in May 2011 and November 2012, namely dam safety and water management.  The reports document findings on hydrology (water management) and the geological stability of the right bank of the Vakhsh River (dam safety) at the dam site.

In addition to these reports, several presentations have also been shared online and discussed at the meetings. The presentations on seismic hazard assessment and geology assessment contributed to a rich discussion on the key issues of dam and public safety, including analysis of possible earthquakes, tectonic faults, landslides, salt wedge, and other factors on the proposed project feasibility. The interim findings from the presentations, reports and feedback from the Panels of Experts are that the dam type under consideration and stability of the slopes appear to be acceptable.

On the second key riparian issue, water management, the hydrology report considers runoff, temperature, and precipitation at the proposed Rogun site and examines the existing network of hydro-meteorological monitoring stations, probable maximum floods, and climate change impacts. The interim finding, supported by independent experts, is that hydrologic data needed for project design and risk assessment is of adequate quality, and that the estimated Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) is based on international good practice (i.e., ICOLD standards) and is appropriately conservative for the benefit of dam and public safety. The hydrology report also addressed climate change impact, with the conclusion that climate change could result in increased temperature, which would modify flood regime and river flow pattern.

The hydrology report is accompanied by an additional presentation on the planned Vakhsh River Cascade simulation modelling which will enable analysis of the impact of the proposed project on flows along the Vakhsh River and the Amu Darya.  The model will reflect the Government of Tajikistan’s commitment to maintain flow patterns and consistency with the Nukus declaration and Protocol 566, which they again reiterated during the third riparian meetings.  This modeling and associated environmental and social impact assessment are critical to understanding the potential effects on countries throughout the Amu Darya Basin.

All of these assessments – seismic hazard, hydrology, cascade modeling, geology — will inform the assessment of various dam height options, as will differences in environmental and social impacts.  These various dam height options and the approach to estimating the resettlement and social infrastructure costs have also been presented and discussed during the meetings and the presentations are also available on-line. We encourage interested stakeholders to review the two reports and the additional presentations and submit comments and questions to rogunconsult@worldbank.org by March 4, 2013.

Q3: Who are the experts involved in the assessment studies?

SKJ: The Techno-Economic Assessment Study (TEAS) and the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) are being conducted by teams from Coyne & Bellier and Poyry. These international consultant firms were contracted on a competitive basis by the Government of Tajikistan and are financed through an IDA project. The World Bank has been directly involved in the selection of consultants and the Bank technical team has direct access to all studies and reports produced by the consultants. In addition, the World Bank is funding two independent Panels of Experts (PoEs): Engineering and Dam Safety Panel and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Panel. Representatives from these panels have attended all of the information-sharing meetings and visited the proposed Rogun site and Dushanbe many times. They are ensuring due diligence and international quality standards, as well as objectivity and credibility through independent advice and guidance.

The Panels of Experts are comprised of Roger Gill, Hydropower Policy; Ljiljana  Spasic-Gril, Dam Engineering/Dam Safety/Seismic Engineering; Paul Marinos, Engineering Geology/Rock Mechanics; Ezio Todini, Hydrology; Torkil Jønch Clausen, Water Resources; Erik Helland-Hansen, Environmental planning/Hydropower; Richard Fuggle, Environment; Frederic Giovannetti, Resettlement;  and Gregory Morris, Sedimentation.  Another two members, one for electro-mechanical plant and works and the other for advice on seismicity are being inducted by the Bank. Each expert fully appreciates that a thorough, independent assessment of all aspects of Rogun is crucial to determining its viability in technical, financial, social and environmental terms. These experts are also helping to ensure public safety, assess potential and perceived downstream impacts, and identify areas that need further examination. We are pleased to have a world-class team on this.

Q4: What is the next step after the assessment studies are completed?

SKJ: These studies are a complex process that requires detailed analysis across a range of issues, drawing linkages among the components of analysis, and ensuring adequate technical review and revision.  The schedule needs to allow time for the Panels of Experts, World Bank specialists as well as riparian governments and civil society to review and comment on the study findings.  This takes time. Throughout this process we are hoping to facilitate a constructive, fact-based dialogue among all stakeholders about not only the proposed Rogun Hydropower Project, but also the development benefits of international cooperation on energy and water resources in Central Asia.

It is important to clarify that these assessment studies will decide neither whether the proposed Rogun dam will be built, nor the final design, should a project proceed. They will serve as an input to decision-making. A variety of other factors such as international agreements and financing would need to be considered before the future of the proposed Rogun project is decided. The World Bank has made no financial commitment to support construction of the proposed dam. Our role is to help establish objective, independent, and comprehensive facts for all stakeholders.

Q5: What else is the Bank doing to help improve the energy situation in Tajikistan?

SKJ: Our basic principle is that World Bank support should benefit the people of Tajikistan. So during the severe winters of 2009-11 we provided emergency funding to ensure supplies of gas.  But this is not a sustainable solution.  Hence we took a deeper analysis in our recent report titled “Tajikistan’s Winter Energy Crisis: Electricity Supply and Demand Alternatives.” It shows that Tajikistan’s electricity situation is dire and getting worse.  The Tajik people are well aware of the social toll of living with inadequate electricity – comprising 70% of the population — particularly those in rural and vulnerable households.  They also firmly believe that the Tajik electricity system can and should be financially viable and transparently operated.  We agree, which is why we have been supporting measures to reduce energy losses and increase financial accountability in Barki Tojik.

So why another report?  The purpose was to prompt technical discussions about what exactly can be done quickly to reduce the burden of winter electricity shortages for the Tajik people.  Among the proposals are steps to improve energy efficiency, including in TALCO, which our studies show can reduce its energy use through efficiency measures by about 20%.  We also proposed to revitalize regional trade, increase investments in thermal power supply, and rehabilitate aging hydropower assets. We showed it is possible, with concerted effort, to close the gap by 2020 with these measures. But the costs are significant – US$3.4 billion over the next 8 years. Given the complexity of large storage hydropower projects and the time needed to build them, those investments were not included among the proposed solutions to solve the near-term challenges. The report has been done in parallel with the Rogun assessment studies and does not prejudge the proposed Rogun project.

Implementing the recommendations from the winter energy report would require political will and international cooperation, and we are already working with the Government of Tajikistan and development partners to start the process.

Q6: How would you describe the energy and water situation in Central Asia?

SKJ: Central Asia is endowed with water and rich and varied energy resources. Water resources, which are increasingly under stress, have an important geographic and economic dimension, with downstream countries highly dependent on upstream countries for essential water for irrigation. Water and energy in Central Asia are central for poverty alleviation, food security, community livelihoods, and job creation. For example, two million households experience winter heat and power shortages. The energy-water linkages become inseparable from interests of national security, regional stability and economic growth, and need to be urgently addressed in a cooperative manner. The Bank’s approach to water and energy issues in Central Asia is based on both regional and country level programs which aim to deliver benefits to each country in the region. We also closely work with our development partners to help ensure coordinated assistance.

As part of its regional approach, the Bank – in partnership with DfID, SECO, and the European Commission – has initiated a comprehensive Central Asia Energy-Water Development Program (CAEWDP), which covers both the water and energy sectors, aims to improve analysis to support the countries of the region in well-informed decision-making, strengthen regional institutions, and stimulate investments. Among other activities, CAEWDP supports the multi-country Amu Darya Basin riparian dialogue, as well as analytical work for the proposed Central Asia – South Asia transmission line called CASA-1000.  CAEWDP is also examining the economic value of increased energy trade within Central Asia and is guiding, with direction from all five countries, investments in the knowledge base (encompassing data, modeling and information sharing), new investments in hydrometeorology, and identification of adaptation measures for climate change. The Bank is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of factors enabling and constraining water-related growth in the region.

To complement the regional work and dialogue, the Bank is supporting 32 country-specific investments in energy and water projects and a similar number of studies and advisory services in Central Asia. Many have regional significance and benefits while others deliver more localized country level benefits. Let me give you some examples of our projects in energy and water sectors in individual countries of the region.

In Kazakhstan, the Bank has funded a long-term program to improve water-based economic and environmental conditions in the northern portions of the Syr Darya River and Aral Sea. The recently completed Nura River Project helped clean up mercury pollution in this important river. In the energy sector, the Bank has helped establish a state-of-the-art power system management and dispatch center, and upgrade the transmission network throughout the country.

In Uzbekistan, the Bank has supported water management in the Ferghana Valley. An energy efficiency credit-line through Uzbek commercial banks helps achieve energy efficiency in the industrial enterprises. In the power sector, the Bank is supporting transmission system upgrades to increase supply reliability and reduce technical and commercial losses. Three quarters of our portfolio in Uzbekistan focuses on water and energy.

In the Kyrgyz Republic, the Bank has funded a project to improve irrigation service delivery through Water User Associations. The energy component of the ongoing Emergency Recovery Project is helping with essential repairs, rehabilitation, and fuel to keep the system running. In Kyrgyzstan and also in Tajikistan, the Bank is supporting a project to improve hydrometeorology services and data, with a focus on these two countries but with a component for regional coordination.

In Tajikistan, in partnership with its private sector affiliate (IFC) and the Government of Switzerland, the Bank financed the Pamir Energy Project, a public-private partnership to deliver electricity to a highly remote mountainous area in the eastern part of the country. Together with the Swiss Government, we are also financing and implementing a successful energy loss reduction program. And, as I mentioned before, our recent winter energy study identifies measures to help Tajikistan resolve its acute winter energy deficit in the near term.

“Throw the Shias out of the fold of Islam!”–Pak. Wahhabi Apologist

“Throw the Shias out of the fold of Islam!” Ansar Abbasi justifies #ShiaGenocide through his column in Jang


More than 110 Shia women, men and children were killed in Quetta on 16 Feb 2013  to "protect the honour of the Companions of the Prophet."

More than 21,000 Shia women, men and children have been killed in Pakistan by Takfiri Deobandi “Soldiers of the Companions”.”

Author: Mahpara Qalandar

In his column of 21 February 2013 published in Urdu daily Jang, Ansar Abbasi (pro-Taliban journalist) has continued his subtle justification of the Shia genocide at the hands of Takrifi Deobandi groups such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (aka ASWJ) and their sponsors such as the PML-N and some media houses such as the Geo-Jang group itself.

Writing his column against the background of the latest Shia carnage in Quetta in which 113 Shia men and women of every age were killed and hundreds injured by Takfiri Deobandi terrorists of Sipah-e-Sahaba (Soldiers of the Companions of Prophet aka ASWJ-LeJ), he starts in his usual style by quoting from the Quran and the Hadith by pleading for the unity of Pakistani Muslims. (Read the columns here: http://jang.com.pk/jang/feb2013-daily/21-02-2013/col16.htm)


In essence, Ansar Abbasi repeats the typical Salafist-Wahhabi Nazi-puritanical theory that sects are not allowed in Islam. In other words, all Shias, Sunni Barelvis etc should convert to Deobandi-Wahhabi sect in order to make Islam one and pure.

After urging the people to become just one group of Muslims, and not a collection of sects, Ansar Abbasi says,

(i) Allah is pleased with the Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

(ii) In the Koran, Allah says that He is as much happy with the Companions as they are happy with Him

(iii) According to the hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that all of his companions are like the stars in the sky. This inauthentic (Zaeef) Hadith is often quoted by LeJ-ASWJ terrorists and neo-Nazis of Islam in order to silence all historically recorded criticism of the conduct of certain Sahaba after the Prophet’s death, particularly those who physically and politically hurt the Family and descendants (Ahle Bait and Aaal) of the Prophet Muhammad.

After this, Ansar Abbasi takes out his Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASWJ-LeJ) dagger and attacks the Shias: “How can one be so consumed in sectarian hatred that one starts saying indecent words about the companions and the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him)?”

Then he demands of the government and supports what has been previously demanded by Ahemd Ludhianvi, Malik Ishaq and pro-establishment Fake Liberals eg Ali Chishti, “The government should do legislation against those who insult the companions and the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and punish them to the maximum.”


Ansar Abbasi is a liar and a hypocrite. He claims that the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are sacrosanct and those who insult them should be severely punished. But he does not tell his readers who are Islamofascists like him that in the very Quran, Allah tells the Prophet (peace be upon him) that there are hypocrites around him. These are the words of Allah,

“If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while.  Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter” (33: 60-62).

“And some of the illiterates around you are hypocrites; and some of the people of Medinah; hypocrisy has become ingrained in them; you do not know them*; We know them; We shall soon punish them twice – they will then be consigned towards the terrible punishment.(Until now or as well as We do. In life and in the grave of hell.)” (9:101)

In another place, Allah says,

“Already Allah knows the hinderers among you and those [hypocrites] who say to their brothers, ‘Come to us,’ and do not go to battle, except for a few” (33: 18).

Muaviya bin Abu Sufian, a companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) whom Ansar Abbasi and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi idealize, was the one who started the evil tradition of cursing Imam Ali, the cousin, heir, and son-in-law of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in every Friday sermon. The cursing of the Imam Ali (the fourt Rashidun Caliph) continued for hundreds of years till the Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz put an end to it. What Muslim will not condemn a man who started the tradition of cursing a personality about whom the Prophet said, “I am from Ali and Ali is from me!” There are countless statements by the Prophet (peace be upon him) which glorify Imam Ali.

Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) narrates,

“The Prophet of Allah [peace be upon him] once said to me, ‘Even to look at Ali is an act of worship!’”

And this is what Allah says about the hypocrites,

“O Prophet, fear Allah and do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise” (33:1).

Ansar Abbasi has in a very cunning way justified the genocide of the Shias. Not a single word about the Shia genocide appears in his column. Not a word of condemnation of the genocide or Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s crimes appears in his column. Like a true Yazidi and Jhangvi, he has blamed the victims, infants and little children included, for being Shia.

One hopes that the Muslims of Pakistan—of course excluding Takfiris like Ansar Abbasi himself—will condemn those in the media who justify the Shia genocide.

Exerpts from Caliphate and Monarchy (Khilafat-o-Mulookiat) by Syed Abul Ala Maudoodi

Maulana Maudoodi (famous Sunni scholar) reached to this conclusion AFTER years of research and reading/examining hundreds of books. Unlike self serving mullahs of today’s Pakistan who do not care about facts at all, Maulana Maudoodi did acknowledge how certain Sahaba (Companions) of the Prophet engaged in greed and mischief after the Prophet’s death and caused irreparable damage to Islam and violated the honour of the family and descendants of the Prophet.


Suicide Squad Attacks Peshawar Office of Govt. Political Authority During Tribal Meeting


[The attack took place during a meeting of local political figures, as well as another meeting between Pak. P.A. and Niaz Ahmed Khan tribal reps.]

Unabated violence: Bombers mount brazen attack in Peshawar cantt

Published: February 19, 2013

Pakistani army soldiers move at the office of the top political official of Khyber tribal region after the militants attack in Peshawar PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: In yet another high-profile attack, two suicide bombers stormed the office of the political agent of Khyber Agency in the high security zone of Peshawar on Monday, killing five people and injuring over a dozen more.

Political Agent Mutahir Zeb was unhurt but his deputy, Assistant Political Agent Khalid Mumtaz Khundi, was wounded in the attack that was not immediately claimed by any militant group.

According to police, two bombers, dressed as Levies personnel, first opened fire at the gate of the PA office located on Bara Road in the garrison area, killing and injuring some guards. Then they entered the building and a gunfight erupted.

“One of the bombers blew himself up when hit by bullets. The other, however, managed to reach the control room, destroying the building and the adjacent office,” SSP Operation Imran Shaid told The Express Tribune. 

Before detonating his bomb, one of the attackers tried to break into the part of the building where Additional Political Agent Attaur Rehman was presiding over a meeting of tribal politicians.

Jamil Shah, spokesman for the Lady Reading Hospital, said five people were killed and seven others admitted with serious injuries. Four security officials – Bakhatar, Barkat Dad, Hakimullah and Misri Khan – and an unidentified civilian were among the dead, he added.

APA Khundi was driven to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) for the treatment of his wounds.

Office-bearers of all political parties in Khyber Agency were discussing preparations for the next general election when the complex reverberated with heavy gunfire, Shah Hussain Shinwari, the president of ANP’s Khyber Agency chapter, told The Express Tribune.

“The firing continued for 15 minutes, after which we heard two loud explosions,” said Shinwari. “Within 20 minutes, army troops reached the spot, cordoned off the complex and started searching for the attackers’ bodies.”

Muhammad Iqbal Afridi, the local leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said the militants also hurled some grenades. “Security forces evacuated us from the building. While leaving, I saw two dead bodies and blood everywhere,” he told AFP.

“We have found two bodies in pieces. The bombers were about 20-years old and armed with automatic rifles as well as suicide vests,” said AIG Special Branch Sahfqat Malik who is also the head of the Bomb Disposal Squad. He added that the bombers were carrying up to eight kilos of explosives.

The meeting participants believe they were not the target. “It is easier for militants to target our public rallies than break into our offices. They were definitely looking for something else,” said one of the participants.

The complex contains the PA office, police cells to detain suspected militants, and residential quarters. And there were reports that attackers were trying to reach the detention cells where suspects are held.

It was the second high-profile terrorist attack in three days. On February 15, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti escaped a suicide attack in his hometown of Mardan. The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group had also claimed the December 22 assassination of senior provincial minister Bashir Bilour in a suicide bombing at a political meeting in Peshawar.  (With additional input from Agencies)

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2013.

Pakistani Taliban Allegedly Running-Out of Bombers and Bomb-Makers

Taliban Running Out of Suicide Bombers

Written by: Ashfaq Yusufzai
The police have been cracking down on Taliban recruits. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS.

PESHAWAR, Feb 19 2013 (IPS) – Taliban militants have been losing grip over the handling of their would-be suicide bombers. Of late they failed to carry out their missions as planned.


The anti-militancy offensives against the Taliban coupled with the killing of many experts who trained would-be suicide bombers have meant that many would-be bombers are stuck with shabby devices and are therefore unable to carry out other acts of terror, experts say.

The botched attack on a base at the Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar Dec. 15 is a glaring example. “The vehicle in which five terrorists were traveling exploded far from the security installations and personnel. The plan was for the militants to enter the airport in a suicide attack,” Brigadier Khalid Shah told IPS.

Reports said that the following day, five others on a suicide mission were killed in nearby Pawaka village. They were held up all night and had no contact with their handlers. The place they were sent to was unfamiliar to them because their handlers couldn’t reach them in the face of tight security.

“They had been sent by Tehreek Taliban Pakistan to the airbase in Peshawar,” said Shah, who fought against the Taliban in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) until his retirement in March 2012.

Security expert Major (retired) Shehrayar Khan says the killing of Taliban’s explosives expert Badr Mansoor and trainer of suicide bombers Qari Hussain Mehsud and others has had a tangible impact on the Taliban’s capacity to handle explosives and to train and equip suicide bombers.

The Taliban’s capability to hit targets with precision has decreased, he said. “The Taliban have been trying their level best to minimise civilian casualties in terrorist attacks and only hit forces and members of the Awami National Party and other opponents. But they have failed to do so.” said.

The Taliban have been facing scathing criticism for killing and injuring women, children and other innocent people in bomb and suicide attacks. Their efforts to single out their opponents and spare others have not been successful.

An explosives expert, Qari Hussain, had successfully trained newly-recruited young boys – introducing them to guns and explosives, brainwashing them, and playing a vital role in planning strikes, Major Khan said.

“The young guys from 10 to 18 years were indoctrinated with the help of videos and lectures in training camps in Waziristan that they would go to paradise after they kill army and police people in suicide attacks. This way, the Taliban killed hundreds of security people.”

The murder of Mansoor, who acted as a suspected bridge between al-Qaeda and Taliban groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and coordinated terrorist attacks, also came as a severe blow to the Taliban. Mansoor reportedly masterminded attacks on Ahmadis in Karachi and Lahore that killed about 100 people May 2010. Ahmadis are from a sect disowned by orthodox Muslims.

Jamil Khan from the special branch police told IPS that the failure of two suicide bombers to hit their target in Peshawar Dec. 2 was apparently due to lack of training and logistics support. Major Shehryar Khan said the surrender of another would-be bomber and his alleged handler in Peshawar Nov. 20, and the killing of a would-be bomber in Dera Ismail Khan Nov. 23 before a Muharram procession were clear manifestations that Taliban militants are losing their grip to use bombers as planned.

The special branch police say the Taliban have particularly lost experts who could manufacture explosives-laden jackets.

“The police have been fighting terrorism since 2005, they have come to know the Taliban’s ways of planning operations, and are now in a better position to thwart such bids,” Khan said.

A woman sent by the Taliban to target former chief of Jamaat-e-Islamic (JI) Qazi Hussain Ahmed blew herself up after Qazi’s convoy had passed by Nov. 19 in Mohmand Agency of FATA. Five people were injured in the attack.

Jamiat Ulemai Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman escaped two suicide attacks in Swabi and Charsadda Mar. 30 and 31 last year. The second attack killed eight people and injured 29 others but failed with the intended target.

“Now the Taliban use women and children in terror acts because they have run out of suicide bombers,” said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister for the northern Pakistani province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). “They now send untrained people who are either arrested in time or who detonate their explosives at the wrong time.”

The Taliban are also running out of people to carry out these tasks, he said. “Militants don’t find enough ideologically motivated people who volunteer to become suicide bombers. Due to this many have been arrested in the past few months,” he said.

Shafqat Malik, head of the bomb disposal squad in KP said they had foiled more than 700 sabotage bids in 2012 because of the effectiveness of his department and the declining capacity of the terrorists. “The Taliban are no longer a massive threat because they can’t organise attacks like they did previously.

“We now have state-of-the-art equipment, snipers and gadgets that discover the IEDs. The government’s restrictions on the supply of the fertilisers have helped decrease the acts of terrorism.”

Video showing protester standing against police stuns Bahrain

Video showing protester standing against police stuns Bahrain


France 24

Screenshot of a video showing an outraged protester screaming at police officers.Screenshot of a video showing an outraged protester screaming at police officers.

The second anniversary of Bahrain’s popular uprising was marked by renewed violence, resulting in the death of a 16-year old boy. In the video, filmed right after the teenager’s death, a desperate protester can be seen risking his life to stand up to the police.

The victim’s name was Hussein al-Jaziri. According to opposition websites, the teenager was killed by fragmentary bullets.

Overwhelmed by this death, which he had just witnessed, a protester walked up to police and screamed at them. The policemen tried to intimidate him, but seemed thrown off balance by the protester’s daring.

“You criminals! You murderers! You hope to escape God’s wrath? God will avenge us! Go on, shoot me! Shoot me if you dare, I won’t leave!” the man in the video says.


“True Jihad” and Pseudo-Islam

Jihad and Spreading Islam by Force

By Sheikh Abdullah ibn Bayyah

Deputy President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars

Many false accusations have been said about Islam. In this article, I discuss and refute misconceptions about Jihad in Islam.


Forcing Islam on People

Embracing Islam  under compulsion is unacceptable. Islamic Shari`ah  is all based on free choice, and when free choice is lacking, one’s conducts shall have no effect, whether in beliefs, contracts, commitments, etc. This is substantiated  in numerous texts in the Glorious Qur’an and Prophetic hadiths.

Read Also:

Allah says,{Let there be no compulsion in religion} (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

This is a self-evident verse from the above mentioned surah, which was sent down in Medinah, where Muslims were gaining more and more power — contrary to the Pope’s claim that it was sent down when Muslims were weak. It is a regretful, ill-founded claim. The truth is, a number of youths from Al-Ansar (Madinan supporters of the Prophet) were raised among Jews, and their families wanted to force them to embrace their religion. Then, Allah forbade them, asserting the rule of noncompulsion.

Also, in Surat Yunus, Allah says,

{Had your Lord so willed, all who are on the earth would have believed altogether. Will you, then, (be the one to) compel people so that they become believers?}(Hud 11:118)

He also says, in Surat Al-Kahf,

{And say,The truth is from your Lord. So, whoever wills let him believe. And whoever wills let him disbelieve.} (Al-Kahf 18:29)

And in Surat Al-Ghashiyah, Allah says,

{So, remind (people). You are but a reminder. You are not over them domineering} (Al-Ghashiyah 88: 21-22)

Similarly, when someone renounces Islam due to coercion, this renunciation shall have no effect. Allah says,

{…except for one who has been compelled (to renounce his faith) while his heart remains at peace with faith}(An-Nahl 16:106)

In Islamic jurisprudence, coercion is an unbearable pressure that renders contracts and commitments made thereunder null and void. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was reported to have said,

“Allah has pardoned my Ummah for mistakes, forgetfulness, and that which they are forced to do”(Ibn Majah)


Concept of Jihad

Jihad is a beautiful concept that has been misused, whether by extremist adherence or by utter negligence. What does Jihad mean linguistically and technically? And why is it legislated in the Qur’an?

In Arabic usage, Jihad is the “exertion of the utmost effort to achieve something that is probably desirable”.

Religiously, Jihad has three types, as identified by Ar-Raghib in Al-Mufradat: (1) Jihad against an express enemy, (2) Jihad against Satan, and  (3)  Jihad against one’s own self.

The last two meanings are stated  in several hadiths. For example, Imam  Ahmad in his Musnad and Abu Dawud in his Sunan reported Fudalah Ibn `Ubayd  as  narrating that the Prophet said:

“A true mujahid is the one who strives against his own self in obedience to Allah” (Authinticated by Al-Albani)

Jihad is not synonymous to fighting alone, rather it means to preach and defend what is right.

In a weak hadith reported by Al-Bayhaqi, Jabir narrated that, upon return from his last battle at Tabuk, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him said) said,“We have returned from the minor Jihad to the major Jihad” He interpreted it as meaning to combat one’s whims.

In fact, taking care of one’s parents is a sort of Jihad. The Prophet said,

“Then let your taking care of them be your Jihad.” (Al-Bukhari)

Ibn Taymiyyah defined Jihad saying,

“It encompasses all sorts of worship, whether inward or outward, including love of Allah, devotion to Him, reliance on Him, submission of one’s soul and property to Him, patience, asceticism, and continuing remembrance of Him. It takes all possible forms — physical, spiritual, mental, verbal, etc.”

The first meaning, Jihad or fighting against hostile non-Muslims, is the most common. Many Qur’anic verses and Prophetic hadiths detailed its merits, conditions, and guidelines. History reveals significant instances and practices of it between Muslims and non-Muslims, which have ever been an object of large-scale attention and  heated debate, wavering between glorification and condemnation, over enthusiasm and neglect.

Jihad in Islam is not necessarily synonymous to fighting; it has a much broader sense. Basically, it means to preach and defend what is right. In Surah Al-Furqan, Allah says,

{And strive against them (i.e., advocates of falsehood) by means of it  (i.e., the Qur’an), with the utmost strife.} (Al-Furqan 25:52)

That is, refute false claims with every possible evidence. Obviously, recitation of the Qur’an has nothing to do with military actions. Therefore, not every Jihad should be fighting, and not every fighting should be Jihad. In its essence, Jihad is a call for freedom.

Not every Jihad is a military action, nor is every military action Jihad. Ibn Khaldun divided warfare into four types, depending on the motive. He wrote,

The origin of all wars is revengefulness. Two wars are unjust: war of expansion and war of aggression. And two wars are just: war in defence of religion (Jihad) and war against rebels (sovereignty protection war, as he called it).

Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah is a great Mauritanian scholar of fiqh and Shari`ah. He is the Deputy President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Beirut, Director of the Global Center for Renewal & Guidance, UK and a member of the European Research & Fatwa Council, Ireland.

Entire Bulgarian Govt. Resigns Amidst Hezbollah/Bus Bombing Controversy

[SEE:  Al-Arabiya: Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov denies country’s request to put Hezbollah on blacklistBulgarian Revelations Explode Hezbollah Bombing “Hypothesis” ; Bulgarian PM Refuses to Comment on Hezbollah Allegations ]

Bulgarian PM Refutes FinMin, Says He Is Definitely Fired


Bulgaria: Bulgarian PM Refutes FinMin, Says He Is Definitely Fired
Borisov made the shocking announcement Wednesday that his cabinet is to resign en masse around noon. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has declared that he does not intend to work any longer with Finance Minister Simeon Djankov.

Earlier on Wednesday, Djankov,  who was shockingly dismissed earlier in the week was only to be followed by the resignation of the whole center-right GERB government, had claimed that he remains in office.

“My resignation has not bee voted by the parliament yet, so formally I continue to serve as Bulgaria‘s finance minister. It will be my aim over the next few weeks and months to work with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, so that at the next elections GERB may win full majority and rule one more term,” Djankov told reporters.

However, the Prime Minister begged to differ.

“Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov resigned and I accepted it, proposing to the MPs to dismiss him,” Borisov said.

“This was my decision and I have not changed my mind,” he added.

Borisov declared that Djankov will not be included in a potential new GERB government.

Borisov made the shocking announcement Wednesday that his cabinet is to resign en masse around noon. The move follows a series of mass protest rallies against high electricity prices that morphed into wider discontent over austerity and the way the country is being run.

Borissov told MPs that his party would not be part of a caretaker government.

Bulgaria‘s Parliament will vote on the Cabinet‘s resignation on Thursday, it has been made clear.

Wahhabi Beheading of Sri Lankan Babysitter Feuls Anti-Muslim Tensions On the Island–Saudi Ambassador Flees

[SEE:  Saudi Barbarians Continue Reign of Terror Against Foreign Workers, Beheading Sri Lankan Babysitter Today]

Saudi Ambassador leaves Sri Lanka urgently

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Colombo: The Saudi Arabian Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Abdulaziz bin Abdul-rahman Al Jammaz has left for the home country without informing Sri Lankan authorities officially, Sri Lankan media had learned.

Sri Lanka Ministry of External Affairs also has confirmed to media that official communication on his departure has not been received.

Saudi Arabian Embassy in Colombo also has declined to comment.

Saudi – Sri Lanka relations soured after the Kingdom beheaded a Sri Lankan a housemaid for the murder of an infant under her care recently. The maid was a minor when the alleged crime was committed.

Sri Lanka recalled its ambassador to the Kingdom as a mark of protest to the execution of the maid despite numerous international requests to commute her death sentence.

The Saudi decision to behead the housemaid has incited communal tensions against the Muslims in the predominantly Sinhala Buddhist country.

Sinhala Buddhist extremists have launched an anti-Muslim campaign and a journalist of a Muslim newspaper was also manhandled at an agitation held before a Muslim business premises a few days ago.

Moscow Police Arrest Two IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) Recruiters

Militant Recruiter Suspects Held in Moscow Region

ria novosti

Militant Recruiter Suspects Held in Moscow Region

Militant Recruiter Suspects Held in Moscow Region

© RIA Novosti.

MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow Region police have detained two Uzbekistan nationals suspected of recruiting militants and sending them to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, the Russian Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

“In 2012 alone, they sent from Moscow and Moscow region 38 Uzbek nationals and at least 18 citizens from [other] Central Asian countries, as well as Russians, to militant training camps,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

The two men are believed to be members of an international terrorist organization and have been on an international wanted list, the ministry said, without specifying which one.

It did not say when they were detained or exactly in what part of the Moscow region.

A large number of mobile phones as well as religious extremist and terrorist literature were seized from the suspects during the search, the ministry said.

The detainees will be extradited to Uzbekistan.

Govt. Paramilitary Forces Begin Major Operation Against LeJ In Balochistan, Hazara End Protest, Bury Their Martyred

A Pakistani Shiite girl takes part in a sit-in protest with others to condemn the Saturday bombing which killed scores of people, in Quetta, Pakistan on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013. The families of the bombing victims have refused to bury their loved ones until authorities take action against the militants who were responsible. Mispelled and partially shown writing reads, “don’t kill me. I am Shia.” Arshad Butt / AP Photo

Pakistan targets militants, Shiites end protest



QUETTA, Pakistan — Thousands of Shiite Muslims ended three days of protests in southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday after the government launched a paramilitary operation against militants responsible for a weekend bombing targeting the minority sect that killed 89 people.

The protesters in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, began preparations to bury the bombing victims after Shiite leaders announced an end to the demonstration. Relatives had refused to bury their loved ones until the army took control of Quetta and launched a targeted operation against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the group that claimed responsibility for Saturday’s bombing.

Shiites have criticized police and paramilitary forces under control of the Interior Ministry in Quetta for failing to protect the minority sect, which comprises up to 20 percent of the country’s population of 180 million.

There was no indication the army would take control of the city. But the government announced that paramilitary forces began an operation against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and other militant groups Monday night.

Four members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, including a senior commander, were killed in a shootout Tuesday, and over 170 other suspected militants were arrested, said Baluchistan’s home secretary, Akbar Hussain Durrani.

The government also replaced the top police officer in Baluchistan on Tuesday, said Fayaz Sumbal, deputy police chief in Quetta. Sumbal has also been ordered to replace the chief of police operations in Quetta, he said.

“Our demands have been accepted,” a top Shiite leader in Quetta, Amin Shaheedi, told reporters after holding talks with a government delegation sent from Islamabad. “We appeal to our people to go to their homes in a peaceful manner.”

It remains to be seen what impact the government’s actions will have on the problem of sectarian violence in Quetta. Suspected militants are notoriously difficult to prosecute in Pakistan, and it’s unclear if the operation against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and others will be sustained.

Radical Sunni militants have stepped up attacks against Shiites over the past year because they do not consider them to be real Muslims. Violence has been especially bad in Baluchistan province, which has the highest concentration of Shiites in the country. A double bombing at a billiards hall in January in Quetta killed 86 people.

Pakistan has launched numerous military operations against militants in recent years, but the focus has been on the Pakistani Taliban, who have been waging a bloody insurgency against the state that has killed thousands of people.

Rights organizations have criticized the government for not doing enough to target militant groups attacking Shiites. They explain this apathy by pointing to past connections between the country’s military and anti-Shiite militants, and also allege the sectarian groups are seen as less of a threat than the Taliban because they are not targeting the state. Political parties have also relied on banned sectarian groups to deliver votes in elections.

The four Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants killed Tuesday in a suburb of Quetta included Shah Wali, a senior commander involved in attacking Shiites and police officials, said Durrani, the home secretary. Others included Abdul Wahab, a key planner and recruiter; Naeem Khan, a logistics expert who provided explosives; and Anwar Khan, a rank and file militant, said Durrani.

Seven other Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants were arrested in the operation Tuesday, said Durrani. The more than 170 suspected militants arrested earlier included Haji Mohammed Rafiq, a prominent member of another Sunni extremist organization, Ahle Sunnat Waljamaat, said the home secretary.

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf first announced the operation in a statement issued by his office Tuesday that said it “aimed at eliminating those responsible for playing with lives of innocent civilians and restoring peace and security in Quetta.”

Last year was the bloodiest in history for Pakistan’s Shiites, according to Human Rights Watch. Over 400 were killed in targeted attacks across the country, at least 125 of whom were died in Baluchistan.

With two massive bombings targeting Shiites in as many months this year already, 2013 looks like it could be even worse.

The government promised to take action against sectarian militants following protests in January against the billiards hall bombing. Shiites brought the bodies of the victims into the street at the time and refused to bury them unless the government took steps to protect them.

After four days, Islamabad decided to dissolve the provincial government and put a federally-appointed governor in charge. The government said paramilitary forces would receive police powers and launch an operation against the militants behind the billiards hall attack. But officials refused to put the army in control of the city, as they have done this time around.

Around 15,000 Shiites took to the streets to protest near the site of the recent attack Tuesday, before their leaders called an end to the demonstration. Others stayed beside the bodies of the bombing victims inside a nearby mosque. Some chanted “God is great.” Others held placards that said “Stop killing Shiites.”

Shiite leaders made speeches to the crowd saying their demands had been accepted and urged them to disperse peacefully after the talks with the government delegation. They also urged Shiites in other parts of the country, such as Karachi and Islamabad, to end smaller protests held over the past few days.

Associated Press writers Munir Ahmed, Zarar Khan, Asif Shahzad and Sebastian Abbot contributed to this report from Islamabad.

Mossad’s Debka File Reports Assad Withdrawal from Golan An Invitation To Syrian “al-Qaeda”

[SEE:  French Army Reports To UN That Israeli Sub Doing Recon Along Coastal Road Between Sidon and Tyre]

Assad’s troops retreat from Golan, leaving Islamist rebels to confront Israel


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

Syrian rebels occupy Golan

Syrian rebels occupy Golan

President Bashar Assad has evacuated most of the troops of his 5th Army Division from their permanent bases on the Golan opposite Israeli forces and transferred the unit along with its artillery to Damascus,DEBKAfile’s military sources report.
The Syrian ruler’s step had three purposes:

1. To reinforce his Damascus defenses;

2. To carve out a buffer zone along the Israeli border and leave it under rebel control.

3. To provide the jihadists fighting in rebel ranks with access to the Israeli border fence. Senior officers in the IDF’s northern command believe it is just a matter of time before these al Qaeda-associated fighters hurl themselves at the border fence to break through, or target Israeli military targets from across the Syrian border.

Assad first practiced this stratagem on Syria’s northern frontier with Turkey.

Six months ago, he opened the door of his border region to let armed bands of the separatist PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party) through from Iraq and set up new strike bases opposite Turkey’s back door, to which they could flee after attacks.
The PKK took full advantage of this opportunity. Indeed, to curb the Kurdish offensive, Ankara was forced to enter into negotiations with PKK leaders for a settlement of their claims, although they are still poised in Syria to resume their attacks.
Israel does not have that option because most of the Islamists fighting with the Syrian rebels are associated with al Qaeda and committed to jihad against the Jewish state.
DEBKAfile reports that Saturday, Feb. 16, Israeli government and military leaders were at odds over whether to extend medical treatment to seven Syrians injured in battle on the Golan. In the event, they were allowed to cross the border and transferred to hospital in Safed.

But because of the argument, the official communiqué said only that the decision was taken on humanitarian grounds but omitted to specify whether the injured Syrians were soldiers or rebels.
However, there was never any doubt that they were in fact Syrian conscripts wounded in the course of their unit’s withdrawal from the Golan. The argument against giving the soldiers medical treatment was that they were Bashar Assad’s troops and looking after them was tantamount to endorsing Assad’s hostile schemes and therefore unacceptable. It was settled by avoiding identifying the wounded men.

French Army Reports To UN That Israeli Sub Doing Recon Along Coastal Road Between Sidon and Tyre

Israeli submarines between Sidon and Tyre

charles ayoub

Through devices not owned by the Lebanese army, but owned by the French army were identified every day and there is an Israeli submarine patrols of Naqoura Tyre to Sidon and fro like studying the road and places the possibility of cutting the road and get off by helicopter or air bombardment. Thus the French troops did not inform the Party of God this topic but informed the UN.

Prime Minister Ashraf Orders Targeted Operation Against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) In Quetta

PM orders targeted operation in Quetta


Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has ordered on Tuesday the security forces to begin targeted operations in Quetta, DawnNews reported.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s spokesperson, Prime Minister Raja ordered for the initiation of targeted operations in Quetta adding that those responsible for the Quetta carnage should be targeted.

The statement further said that immediate action should be taken in those areas where information indicates presence of terrorist elements and that security forces should conduct targeted operations.

The spokesman further said that the prime minister would monitor the Quetta operation.

Moreover Prime Minister also ordered for the removal of Balochistan’s Inspector General of Police, Tariq Umer Khatab, and replaced him with Mushtaq Sukhera media channels reported. The prime minister also ordered the transfer of various other police officials posted in Balochistan.

Meanwhile, thousands of Shia protested for a third day in Quetta, demanding the army take control of the city and launch a targeted operation against sectarian militant groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).

The group claimed responsibility for the bombing Saturday that killed 87 people and one in January that killed at least 93.

States join battle over drone flights


States join battle over drone flights

the hill

By Megan R. Wilson

The nascent drone industry is coming under threat from lawmakers on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures who are weighing restrictions on their use in the United States.

Eighteen states have considered bills that would limit the use of unmanned aerial systems, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and more are likely to follow suit.

In Washington, meanwhile, lawmakers are pushing for new civil liberties and privacy protections to ease fears about invasive surveillance from the skies.

Manufacturers of unmanned aerial systems say there is vast potential for police departments and law enforcement officials to use drones in their work. But the idea is being met with strong resistance in some states, including Virginia, which last week sent a bill to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) that would create a two-year moratorium on police work with unmanned aircraft.

Several states — including California, Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Missouri — are considering a moratorium similar to Virginia’s.

The drone industry fears lawmakers will enact overly restrictive regulations that prevent law enforcement from taking advantage of the technology.

“It would really deny law enforcement agencies this extra tool they can use to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively,” said Gretchen West, the executive vice president of Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), “They’re not just used arbitrarily, they are used for specific missions.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) encouraged the passage of the moratorium in Virginia, and hopes other state-level actions will put pressure on Congress to act.

“There has been an organic interest in regulating these things,” said Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the ACLU. “State-level legislation always helps spur federal action, but we’ve already seen independent interest in doing this at the federal level.”

Congress approved legislation last year that ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to begin the process of opening U.S. airspace to more drone flights. The agency moved Thursday to create six test sites around the country, and also put forward a draft plan for privacy protections at the sites.

West said the privacy push is misguided. Unmanned aircraft, she said, “shouldn’t be singled out as more dangerous” than the airplanes and helicopters that have long been used in police work.

But a number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill disagree.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) last month said drones “could pose a significant threat to the privacy and civil liberties of millions of American,” and he has put the issue on his committee’s agenda for the year.

“We make a tragic mistake thinking that merely giving up more and more of our privacy will make us safer. It will not. Security and liberty are both essential in a free society, and we cannot forsake one for the other,” Leahy said in a speech at Georgetown University.

Officials with AUVSI, the largest trade group for unmanned aircraft companies, are reaching out to lawmakers to correct what they say are misperceptions about the capabilities of drones. Fears about an Orwellian police state, they say, are overblown.

“They’re not capable of persistent surveillance,” West said.

“We’ve been very active on Capitol Hill to try and talk to lawmakers to make sure they understand the benefits of the technology,” West said. “If there does need to be some sort of legislation, we need to make sure it’s the right legislation that wouldn’t unnecessarily restrict the use of this technology and its benefits.”

West said she doesn’t use the word “drone” when talking about the domestic variety because it only feeds the idea that the military versions of the aircraft are coming to America.

“There really is a sensationalism connected to the word ‘drone,’ so we don’t use it,” she said.

The FAA has been issuing permits for some unmanned aircraft to select private individuals and public agencies — such as law enforcement — since 2008.

The unmanned systems that are being used by law enforcement, West said, weigh an average of 25 pounds and only have 30 minutes to an hour of flight time. The cost is a fraction of what a police department would pay for a helicopter.

West said the FAA puts requirements on how the domestic unmanned aerial systems can be used. They may not be flown more than 400 feet in the air, for example, or out of the operator’s line of sight.

The drone industry says the FAA permits are difficult to obtain and wants the process to be streamlined, but an electronic privacy group says the FAA needs to toughen the regulations.

“As drone licenses become more common, the FAA needs to bake in provisions for privacy and accountability,” said Amie Stepanovich, the associate legal counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). “AUVSI put forward some voluntary guidelines for drone operators saying they have to respect privacy,” she adds, “but they are not sufficient to address the threat drones pose. Privacy is mentioned only one time, and it’s not a clear standard.”

Several court cases have upheld law enforcement agencies’ rights to aerially surveil citizens, but privacy advocates say drone flights will reopen the debate.

“Drones are going to cause people to take on a privacy renaissance,” Stepanovich said. “They’re going to want to take their privacy back.”

Slippery FM Davutoğlu Claims “That There Is No Jihad (spoon),” Even Though He Facilitates A Jihadi Army In Syria

Jihad not related to terrorism, Turkish FM Davutoğlu says


ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News



‘For us, jihad is a sacred notion; let us not taint this notion by using it like neocons and pro-Israelis in America,’ Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoğlu says. AA photo

Erdem Güneş
Erdem Güneşerdem.gunes@hdn.com.tr

There is no connection between jihad and terrorism, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlusaid yesterday, adding that suggestions to the contrary come from American neo-cons and Israelis.

“Jihad is the name of fighting for our honor if required but firstly it means fighting against our own self’s limits, according to us,” Davutoğlu said yesterday in Istanbul at the headquarters of the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD), where he attended the conference “Turkey in the light of international developments, 2013.”

“For us, jihad is a sacred notion; let us not taint this notion by using it like neo-cons and pro-Israelis in America,” Davutoğlu said while condemning an opposition party deputy who asked the Turkish government on its policy regarding the jihadist movement in Syria at a Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission meeting on Feb. 15.

Davutoğlu also criticized the particular deputy for asking question in English instead of Turkish since the session was held in the Turkish Assembly, albeit with EU officials.

“A mentality has appeared now that is tainting these notions [of jihad]; they have introduced [this usage] into our culture, and they even use it in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, which was founded with help that came from a jihad fatwa [during Turkey’s Liberation War],” Davutoğlu said.

Davutoğlu also told an anecdote about a Turkish diplomat named Cihad Erginay – who is Turkey’s envoy to the Czech Republic – in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

“His name is also jihad; the ones who greeted him in the airport were walking behind and yelled at him ‘Cihat,’ then everybody hits the deck,” Davutoğlu said, adding that this was part of the outcome of the misunderstanding of the word jihad.

Question over al-Nusra Front

Meanwhile, Aykan Erdemir, a main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy told the Daily News on the phone yesterday that he was the one to ask Davutoğlu if Turkey considered the al-Nusra Front in Syria, which identifies itself a jihadist movement, as a terrorist organization like the U.S. and NATO do.

“It was a yes or no question; in not answering it, he called me an Orientalist, which is total defamation. Does he also blame al-Nusra for Orientalism? Do you count this organization as a terrorist organization or not, that was the question. The Turkish public must be informed about Turkey’s position,” Erdemir said.


Obama To Map the Human Brain for Improved Behavioral Control

UNL brain mapping

specialized MRI scan

Obama to propose project to map human brain


David Jackson


The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a decades-long project to map the inner workings of the brain.

As The New York Times points out, the project is designed “to do for the brain what the Human Genome Project did for genetics.”

The Times said the “Brain Activity Map” project could be part of a budget proposal to be released in March, though details — including the costs — are still being worked out.

Obama referenced the brain-mapping project during his State of the Union speech while advocating federal spending on research and development.

“Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy — every dollar,” Obama said on Feb. 12. “Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s.”

From the Times:

“The project, which the administration has been looking to unveil as early as March, will include federal agencies, private foundations and teams of neuroscientists and nanoscientists in a concerted effort to advance the knowledge of the brain’s billions of neurons and gain greater insights into perception, actions and, ultimately, consciousness.

“Scientists with the highest hopes for the project also see it as a way to develop the technology essential to understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as to find new therapies for a variety of mental illnesses.

“Moreover, the project holds the potential of paving the way for advances in artificial intelligence.”

US-Saudi funded terrorists sowing chaos in Pakistan

US-Saudi funded terrorists sowing chaos in Pakistan


Quetta Feb 18

Pakistani Shia Muslims gather around the coffins of bomb attack victims as they demonstrate in Quetta on February 18, 2013.

Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s southwest Baluchistan province, bordering both US-occupied Afghanistan as well as Iran, was the site of a grisly market bombing that has killed over 80 people.

According to reports, the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the attack. Billed as a “Sunni extremist group,” it instead fits the pattern of global terrorism sponsored by the US, Israel, and their Arab partners Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The terrorist Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group was in fact created, according to the BBC, to counter Iran’s Islamic Revolution in the 1980’s, and is still active today. Considering the openly admitted US-Israeli-Saudi plot to use Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups across the Middle East to counter Iran’s influence, it begs the question whether these same interests are funding terrorism in Pakistan to not only counter Iranian-sympathetic Pakistani communities, but to undermine and destabilize Pakistan itself.

The US-Saudi Global Terror Network

While the United States is close allies with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, it is well established that the chief financier of extremist militant groups for the past 3 decades, including al-Qaeda, are in fact Saudi Arabia and Qatar. While Qatari state-owned propaganda like Al Jazeera apply a veneer of progressive pro-democracy to its narratives, Qatar itself is involved in arming, funding, and even providing direct military support for sectarian extremists from northern Mali, to Libya, to Syria and beyond.

France 24’s report “Is Qatar fuelling the crisis in north Mali?” provides a useful vignette of Saudi-Qatari terror sponsorship, stating:

“The MNLA [secular Tuareg separatists], al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine and MUJAO [movement for unity and Jihad in West Africa] have all received cash from Doha.”

A month later Sadou Diallo, the mayor of the north Malian city of Gao [which had fallen to the Islamists] told RTL radio: “The French government knows perfectly well who is supporting these terrorists. Qatar, for example, continues to send so-called aid and food every day to the airports of Gao and Timbuktu.”

The report also stated:

“Qatar has an established a network of institutions it funds in Mali, including madrassas, schools and charities that it has been funding from the 1980s,” he wrote, adding that Qatar would be expecting a return on this investment.

“Mali has huge oil and gas potential and it needs help developing its infrastructure,” he said. “Qatar is well placed to help, and could also, on the back of good relations with an Islamist-ruled north Mali, exploit rich gold and uranium deposits in the country.”

These institutions are present not only in Mali, but around the world, and provide a nearly inexhaustible supply of militants for both the Persian Gulf monarchies and their Western allies to use both as a perpetual casus belli to invade and occupy foreign nations such as Mali and Afghanistan, as well as a sizable, persistent mercenary force, as seen in Libya and Syria. Such institutions jointly run by Western intelligence agencies across Europe and in America, fuel domestic fear-mongering and the resulting security state that allows Western governments to more closely control their populations as they pursue reckless, unpopular policies at home and abroad.

Since Saudi-Qatari geopolitical interests are entwined with Anglo-American interests, both the “investment” and “return on this investment” are clearly part of a joint venture. France’s involvement in Mali has demonstrably failed to curb such extremists, has instead, predictably left the nation occupied by Western interests while driving terrorists further north into the real target, Algeria.

Additionally, it should be noted, that France in particular, played a leading role along side Qatar and Saudi Arabia in handing Libya over to these very same extremists. French politicians were in Benghazi shaking hands with militants they would be “fighting” in the near future in northern Mali.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is Part of US-Saudi Terror Network

In terms of Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, as well as the infamous Lashkar-e-Taiba that carried out the 2008 Mumbai, India attack killing over 160, both are affiliates of Al Qaeda, and both have been linked financially, directly to Saudi Arabia. In the Guardian’s article, “WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists,” the US State Department even acknowledges that Saudi Arabia is indeed funding terrorism in Pakistan:

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.

“More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups,” says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” she said.

Three other Arab countries are listed as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has also been financially linked to the Persian Gulf monarchies. Stanford University’s “Mapping Militant Organizations: Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,” states under “External Influences:”

LeJ has received money from several Persian Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates[25] These countries funded LeJ and other Sunni militant groups primarily to counter the rising influence of Iran’s revolutionary Shiism.

Astonishingly, despite these admission, the US works politically, financially, economically, and even militarily in tandem with these very same state-sponsors of rampant, global terrorism. In Libya and Syria, the US has even assisted in the funding and arming of Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups, and had conspired with Saudi Arabia since at least 2007 to overthrow both Syria and Iran with these terrorist groups. And while Saudi Arabia funds terrorism in Pakistan, the US is well documented to be funding political subversion in the very areas where the most heinous attacks are being carried out.

US Political Subversion in Baluchistan, Pakistan

The US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has been directly funding and supporting the work of the “Balochistan Institute for Development” (BIFD) which claims to be “the leading resource on democracy, development and human rights in Balochistan, Pakistan.” In addition to organizing the annual NED-BFID “Workshop on Media, Democracy & Human Rights” BFID reports that USAID had provided funding for a “media-center” for the Baluchistan Assembly to “provide better facilities to reporters who cover the proceedings of the Balochistan Assembly.” We must assume BFID meant reporters “trained” at NED-BFID workshops.

There is also Voice of Balochistan whose every top-story is US-funded propaganda drawn from foundation-funded Reporters Without Borders, Soros-funded Human Rights Watch, and even a direct message from the US State Department itself. Like other US State Department funded propaganda outfits around the world – such as Thailand’s Prachatai – funding is generally obfuscated in order to maintain “credibility” even when the front’s constant torrent of obvious propaganda more than exposes them.

Perhaps the most absurd operations being run to undermine Pakistan through the “Free Baluchistan” movement are the US and London-based organizations. The “Baloch Society of North America” almost appears to be a parody at first, but nonetheless serves as a useful aggregate and bellwether regarding US meddling in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. The group’s founder, Dr. Wahid. Baloch, openly admits he has met with US politicians in regards to Baluchistan independence. This includes Neo-Con warmonger, PNAC signatory, corporate-lobbyist, and National Endowment for Democracy director Zalmay Khalilzad.

Dr. Wahid Baloch considers Baluchistan province “occupied” by both the Iranian and Pakistani governments – he and his movement’s humanitarian hand-wringing gives Washington the perfect pretext to create an armed conflagration against either Iran or Pakistan, or both, as planned in detail by various US policy think-tanks.

There is also the Baloch Students Organisation-Azad, or BSO. While it maintains a presence in Pakistan, it has coordinators based in London. London-based BSO members include “information secretaries” that propagate their message via social media, just as US and British-funded youth organizations did during the West’s operations against other targeted nations during the US-engineered “Arab Spring.”

And while the US does not openly admit to funding and arming terrorists in Pakistan yet, many across established Western policy think-tanks have called for it.

Selig Harrison of the convicted criminal, George Soros-funded Center for International Policy, has published two pieces regarding the armed “liberation” of Baluchistan.

Harrison’s February 2011 piece, “Free Baluchistan,” calls to “aid the 6 million Baluch insurgents fighting for independence from Pakistan in the face of growing ISI repression.” He continues by explaining the various merits of such meddling by stating:

“Pakistan has given China a base at Gwadar in the heart of Baluch territory. So an independent Baluchistan would serve U.S. strategic interests in addition to the immediate goal of countering Islamist forces.”

Harrison would follow up his frank call to carve up Pakistan by addressing the issue of Chinese-Pakistani relations in a March 2011 piece titled, “The Chinese Cozy Up to the Pakistanis.” He states:

“China’s expanding reach is a natural and acceptable accompaniment of its growing power-but only up to a point. ”

He continues:

“To counter what China is doing in Pakistan, the United States should play hardball by supporting the movement for an independent Baluchistan along the Arabian Sea and working with Baluch insurgents to oust the Chinese from their budding naval base at Gwadar. Beijing wants its inroads into Gilgit and Baltistan to be the first step on its way to an Arabian Sea outlet at Gwadar.”

While aspirations of freedom and independence are used to sell Western meddling in Pakistan, the geopolitical interests couched behind this rhetoric is openly admitted to. The prophetic words of Harrison should ring loud in one’s ears today. It is in fact this month, that Pakistan officially hands over the port in Gwadar to China, and Harrison’s armed militants are creating bloodshed and chaos, attempting to trigger a destructive sectarian war that will indeed threaten to “oust the Chinese from their budding naval base at Gwadar.”

Like in Syria, we have a documented conspiracy years in the making being carried out before our very eyes. The people of Pakistan must not fall into the trap laid by the West who seeks to engulf Baluchistan in sectarian bloodshed with the aid of Saudi and Qatari-laundered cash and weapons. For the rest of the world, we must continue to uncover the corporate-financier special interests driving these insidious plots, boycott and permanently replace them on a local level.

The US-Saudi terror racket has spilled blood from New York City, across Northern Africa, throughout the Middle East, and as far as Pakistan and beyond. If we do not undermine and ultimately excise these special interests, their plans and double games will only get bolder and the inevitability of their engineered chaos effecting us individually will only grow.


Tony Cartalucci is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer. He has been published on many alternative media websites, including Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg. His writings deal with world events from a Southeast Asian perspective as well as promoting self-sufficiency as one of the keys to true freedom. His website is Land Destroyer Report. More articles by Tony Cartalucci

Time for Shias to leave Pakistan?

Time for Shias to leave Pakistan


pakistan-quetta-blast-hazara-shia-290It is a massacre alright. Sunni extremists, aligned with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, are killing Shias by the dozens in Pakistan.

I was yet to compile the list of the 106 (mostly Shias) killed in the twin bomb blasts in Quetta last month, that the news of another bomb blast killing yet another 84 (mostly Shias) in Quetta came over the wire. As the Shia massacres in Pakistan gain momentum, the State, including the Superior Courts, appear completely impotent.

In such troubling times some Shias may have a choice. They may sit and wait for a messiah or relocate to a Shia-exclusive enclave elsewhere, or to escape from Pakistan altogether. It may sound harsh, but it is an inescapable truth that Pakistan has been run over by the extremists and life is going to be even tougher for the minorities and moderate Sunnis in the near future.

In the two consecutive months this year, bomb blasts have killed hundreds of Shia Hazaras in Quetta, a Garrison town where each and every street is manned by intelligence operatives. Still, the militants operate with impunity. Saturday’s bomb blast, which has killed over 80 and injured hundreds, occurred almost within a month of the last bomb blast that delivered even a higher death toll.

Space is fast running out in Shia graveyards in Quetta. It may be the time for Shias to relocate to protect their next generation.

Many naively believe that peace will prevail in Pakistan and Afghanistan after the scheduled withdrawal of Nato troops from Afghanistan in 2014. While I vehemently oppose prolonging the stay of the Nato forces in the region, still I believe this would spell even a bigger disaster for the minorities in Pakistan. The battle-hardened veterans of the Afghan war will return to Pakistan to target Shias, Ahmadis, and other religious minorities. Even Barelvis may not escape the wrath of the mostly Deobandi-led militancy.

There are reasons for my pessimism. I saw the same happen in the late nineties when the Afghan war veterans were pushed into Indian-administered Kashmir. The resulting militancy left over 70,000 dead in Kashmir but failed to make any tangible progress towards the resolution of the dispute that has pitched India, Pakistan, and Kashmiris in a deadly decades old conflict.

What looked like a gory beginning of a new millennium in Indian-administered Kashmir, the security landscape however suddenly transformed in 2002 when the militants started to relocate to Pakistan and Afghanistan to join the Pashtun Taliban. The result was a decline in militancy which is evident from the graph below that shows the drop in the number of news reports about militancy in Srinagar starting after 2002.

Source: Tabulations by the author using the Factiva (2013) database.

Source: Tabulations by the author using the Factiva (2013) database.

A spike in militancy in Pakistan however is observed at the same time when militancy subsided in Indian-administered Kashmir. See the graph below that documents the number of civilians and security force personnel who became victims of terrorist violence in Pakistan. Since 2003, Pakistan has been the target of terrorism orchestrated by the very agents who once afforded the state its strategic depth.

Source: http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/database/casualties.htm (Feb. 15, 2013).

Source: http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/database/casualties.htm (Feb. 15, 2013).

Shias and other religious minorities are the most targeted in Pakistan. No city is safe anymore. The past few weeks saw the targeted killing of Shia lawyers, doctors, and other professionals in Peshawar. Shia legislators were shot dead in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi. While the State is struggling to suppress violence against Shias, the deep-rooted support for militants in society and the inadequate judicial system in Pakistan has created the situation where hardly any terrorist has been convicted of sectarian or other terrorism in Pakistan. In the past few years, several known militants have been set free by the courts because of the archaic judicial system that is incapable of convicting those involved in the modern-day guerilla warfare.

Some, not all, Shias have a choice. They can abandon the death traps in Quetta and Peshawar by relocating to the Shia majority areas in Karachi, Lahore, and other cities. A better option is to plead with the embassies in Islamabad for asylum for the Shia, especially the Hazara, youth.

Seeking asylum abroad may not win the approval of Pakistan’s superior courts, who have recently mocked those who held dual citizenship. However, it is better to be alive in exile than to be splattered on a wall in Pakistan.

Murtaza_Haider-80-newMurtaza Haider, Ph.D. is the Associate Dean of research and graduate programs at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto. He can be reached by email at murtaza.haider@ryerson.ca

Royal Bahraini Cry-Babies Whine About Latest Protest, Blaming Iran, As Usual

Bahrain Says it Arrested Alleged Terror Cell Tied to Iran, Lebanon


إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية


Bahrain’s interior minister said police have arrested eight members of an alleged terrorist cell linked to Iran and Lebanon following widespread clashes in the Gulf nation during protests marking the second anniversary of an Arab Spring-inspired uprising.

A statement Sunday on the ministry’s website said the suspected terror network received training and financial support from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon — references to Iranian-backed Shiite groups such as Hizbullah and others.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa said the eight “moved between Iran, Iraq and Lebanon and received training in using arms and explosives as well as financial aid.”

“Details about the case will be announced as soon as the investigation is completed,” he said.

Sheikh Rashid also denounced the “escalation in violence” in the kingdom where a protester and a policeman were killed during Shiite-led protests to mark the second anniversary of the 2011 uprising there on Thursday.

He said “terrorist acts had taken place over the past three days” in which “two people were killed and 75 policemen were wounded,” adding that “there has been an escalation… with the use of firearms” and explosives.

Bahrain’s Western-backed Sunni monarchy has frequently accused Shiite power Iran and its allies of aiding the uprising by Bahrain’s majority Shiites. Iran denies the charges.

Bahrain courts have previously convicted suspects for alleged coup plotting and links to Iran and Hizbullah, but no clear evidence has been made public.

Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

6 Men and Women Tortured for Their Beliefs In Turkmenistan

Six people were tortured for belonging to a religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses


On January 24, after the Committee of the UN Human Rights lodged a complaint regarding unfair convictions of ten members of Jehovah’s Witnesses who refused to perform military service on religious grounds, 30 police officers broke into the house of the family Nasyrlaevyh , whose head and turned a complaint to the UN, and arrested six people living there: Tahira and Abdurasul Nasyrlaevyh , Khudayarov IsmailovBahram Shamuradova , and husband and wife, whose names are hidden for privacy.
All were taken to the police station number 1 Dashoguz and then doshoguzskoe City Police Department. They were required to sign an acknowledgment that they were involved in “illegal religious gathering” in the house Nasyrlaevyh. All the detainees were subjected to severe beatings and abuse, the woman threatened with rape.

Three detained by court fined each of 750 manat (U.S. $ 265) and after 40 hours in police released. Previously all detainees required to sign a statement that they have no complaints against the police, Norwegian human rights organization “Forum 18”.

Human rights activists say that they were not able to get comments this blatant violation of human rights by officials, including the director of the Turkmen National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights Yazdursun Kurbannazarovoy , head of the institution Shemshat Atajanova , chairman of the relevant committee of the Majlis (parliament) Pirnazarov Hudaynazarova and also the Vice Chairman of the local meetings (Council on Religious Affairs under the President of Turkmenistan)Kurbanberdy Nursahatova .

Victims of arbitrariness appealed to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov , the General Prosecutor of Turkmenistan and the regional prosecutor Dashoguz, and the State Commission for rasmotreniya of citizens on the activities of law enforcement agencies, but the answers they have not received reports “Forum 18”.

The Direct Cost of American/Saudi Sponsorship of Sunni Terrorism Can Be Measured In Shia Lives

image Baghdad

36 killed, 100 injured in Iraq car bomb attacks targeting Shias


Quetta blast death toll reaches 84

Shiites lash out after Pakistan bombing kills 81


QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Angry residents on Sunday demanded government protection from an onslaught of attacks against Shiite Muslims, a day after 81 people were killed in a massive bombing that a local official said was a sign that security agencies were too scared to do their jobs.

Saturday’s blast at a produce market in the city of Quetta also wounded 160 people and underlined the precarious situation for Shiites living in a majority Sunni country where many extremist groups don’t consider them real Muslims.

Most of the dead and wounded were Hazaras, an ethnic group that migrated from Afghanistan over a century ago. Shiite Muslims, including Hazaras, have often been targeted by Sunni extremists in the province of Baluchistan where Quetta is the capital, the southern city of Karachi and northwestern Pakistan.

At the blast site, members of the Hazara community helped authorities dig through rubble to find the dead or survivors. Most of their efforts were focused on a two-story building that was completely destroyed. More than 20 shops nearby were also demolished.

Clothing and shoes were scattered through the concrete rubble, broken steel bars and shattered wooden window frames littering the streets.

One of those helping, 40-year-old Qurban Ali, was instructing young people to be patient and careful while removing the rubble, lest they hurt themselves or survivors still buried in the debris. His cousin Abbas was still missing after the blast.

Like many Hazaras, he lashed out at the people who perpetrated the violence.

“Who are these people who made us Hazara so grim and sad? Why are they after us?” he asked. “Not one month or week passes here without the killing of a member of the Hazara community … Why is the government — both central and provincial — so lethargic in protecting Shiites?”

Near the rubble, a group of more than 50 women were wailing and beating their heads in mourning.

On the road to the neighborhood where the attack occurred, Hazara youth burned tires and chanted for the arrests of the killers. A number of Shiite groups also staged a sit-in and were demanding the immediate removal of the chief secretary of Baluchistan and the top police official, said Rahim Jaffery, who heads a Shiite organization called the Council for the Protection of Mourning.

“We are demanding the city (protection) be handed over to the army so that the killing of Hazara Shiites can be stopped,” he said.

Jaffery said a mass funeral for the victims had been planned for Sunday afternoon but all Shiite groups were meeting to decide whether to stage a protest similar to one in January when they refused to bury their dead for four days.

That protest led the prime minister to sack the chief minister of the province and his cabinet and put Governor Zulfiqar Magsi directly in charge of the region — a move that many Shiites thought would help protect their community. But the governor’s comments revealed his frustration at a job growing ever more difficult.

Magsi said the blast was the result of a failure of the security and intelligence agencies in the province.

“Officials and personnel of these institutions are scared (of the terrorists). Therefore they don’t take action against them,” he said in comments that were broadcast on local television.

A militant group called Lashkar-e-Jhangvi called one local television station to claim responsibility for the attack.

Pakistan’s intelligence agencies helped nurture Sunni militant groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in the 1980s and 1990s to counter a perceived threat from neighboring Iran, which is mostly Shiite. Pakistan banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in 2001, but the group continues to operate fairly freely in their war against Shiites.

Last year was particularly deadly for Shiites in Pakistan. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 400 were killed in targeted attacks across the country. The human rights group said more than 125 were killed in Baluchistan province, most of whom belonged to the Hazara community.

Human rights groups have accused the government of not doing enough to protect Shiites.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


More Saudi Bribery, More Threats To Blow the Lid Off

[The following case involving Saudi bribery is the twin of the infamous BAE bribery case of Saudi Prince Bandar.  The massive briberies which that investigation was uncovering were vital to the covert operations being run by Bandar, on behalf of the Saudi king and the US.  This is why Bandar threatened to cut the intelligence he was providing to Britain and warned of renewed terrorist attacks upon London, implying that he could direct the actions of “al-Qaeda.”  The current case of Prince Abdulaziz bin Mishal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, for bribery, cannot be as deeply interconnected as the Bandar affair proved to be, but it too, is eliciting a Saudi warning about uncovering that which has been kept so carefully hidden by the various spy agencies at the root of both affairs].

The following excerpt comes from The BAE Bribes Funded Covert Ops

“Here’s the key point of the paragraph–the description of how BAE bribes to Bandar bin Sultan and others were laundered through some offshore accounts and then used to fund covert ops.

Remember, that the real story behind the BAE "Al Yamamah" scandal is that, under the arms-for-oil barter deal, the British accumulated well-over $100 billion, in off-the-books, offshore funds, that have been used to finance covert operations, for the past 23 years (the deal was first signed in 1985, and has been regularly updated ever since).”

[US courts were inadvertently uncovering the Saudi slush fund, which has been used extensively since it was created by the friends of Ollie North, to finance the American/Saudi “Rogue CIA.”  This Rogue CIA was created during the early years of the first Reagan Administration, to circumvent the Congressional Boland Amendment, restrictions, which banned the provision of aid to the Contra death squads for the purpose of overthrowing the Nicaraguan government.  Since then, the same rogue agents of “private contractors” (mostly retired intelligence or military men) have used the Saudi slush fund to finance their terrorism in the world and their organization, which came to be called “al-Qaeda.”]

Saudi prince loses secret court bid


A Saudi prince has failed to persuade a High Court judge to hear allegations that he was "guilty of wrongdoing" behind closed doors.

Mr Justice Morgan today said the allegations – made about Prince Abdulaziz bin Mishal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during litigation in the wake of a business dispute – should be aired at open court hearings.

The judge ruled that it was "not necessary in the interests of justice to conduct relevant hearings in private" after two newspapers – the Guardian and the Financial Times – raised concerns about Prince Abdulaziz’s privacy bid.

He said Prince Abdulaziz was a director of one of the companies involved in litigation under way in the Companies Court – which is part of the High Court – in London.

Mr Justice Morgan said allegations had been made that Prince Abdulaziz was "guilty of wrongdoing" in relation to two transactions – described as "the Beirut transaction" and "the Nairobi transaction".

Prince Abdulaziz – his father Prince Mishal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and one of his advisers – had argued that the allegations "should not be given a public airing".

A lawyer representing Prince Abdulaziz had "put forward various matters to show that the allegations were false", said the judge.

The lawyer had "stressed" that Prince Abdulaziz and his father were part of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia and "stressed" the "importance to them of their reputation".

He had argued that hearings where allegations would be aired should be in private to protect reputations.

The lawyer had raised concerns that the two princes might not be able to "vindicate their reputation".

And he had argued that the allegations would "affect the reputation" of the ruling family of Saudi Arabia and submitted that publicity would harm international relations.

"He submitted that the two princes would be associated with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the allegations would lead to an adverse effect on relations between the USA and Saudi Arabia," said Mr Justice Morgan.

"Further Saudi Arabia would regard the UK with suspicion in so far as the courts of the UK had permitted these allegations to be made public in court proceedings."

The lawyer also said Prince Mishal was 86, "frail and in poor health" and argued that the allegations were likely to "cause distress" to Prince Mishal and could "cause him serious health issues".

And he had argued that publicity about the allegation in relation to the "Beirut transaction" would result in a "serious threat" to the "personal safety" of Prince Abdulaziz and his adviser.

Mr Justice Morgan added: "They were said to be at risk of personal injury or death from reprisals from citizens of Saudi Arabia or certain organisations."

Guy Vassall-Adams, for the Guardian and the Financial Times, had said the "open justice principle" might mean that "embarrassing and damaging" allegations were widely published when they had yet to be tested.

But he had argued that the "strength of the public interest in open justice" prevailed over protection of parties and witnesses from embarrassment, said the judge.

"Every day serious allegations are made in both criminal and civil cases, of murder, drug dealing and corruption in criminal cases and of fraud and dishonesty or clinical negligence in civil cases," Mr Vassall-Adams had argued.

"Such allegations have enormous potential for grave reputational harm. Most of the people involved do not have the wealth or power of the applicants with diplomats and public relations consultants available to them."

And Mr Vassall-Adams had argued that "suggestions of harm" as a result of a public hearing had not been supported by "clear and cogent evidence".

Mr Justice Morgan ruled against the applications made by Prince Abdulaziz – his father and adviser.

He said they had not provided "clear and cogent" evidence in relation to submissions about the risk to international relations, the risk of distress to Prince Mishal or the suggestion of vulnerability to "physical attack".

"I consider that it is not necessary in the interests of justice to conduct the relevant hearings in private," concluded the judge.

"I consider that the court hearings in this litigation should take place in open court, unless there emerges some new material which would justify a different approach."

Yet Another Mass-Murder Today In Quetta, Killing 58 Shia

Bomb in Pakistan’s Quetta kills 58, injures 176, police say

times of india



QUETTA, PAKISTAN: At least 58 people were killed and over 176 others injured when a blast hit a market area in Pakistan’s Quetta city Saturday evening, reported Xinhua citing local media. The toll was expected to rise further.
The death toll may further rise as two markets comprising over 60 shops were levelled to ground following the blast, burying dozens of people under the debris, Xinhua quoted local Urdu TV channel Dunya as saying. Several of the injured were also in a critical condition.
Rescue work was under way on the blast site with teams striving hard to pull out the people stranded in the rubbles.
Wazir Khan, deputy inspector general of Quetta police, said that the blast was triggered off by a remote controlled device and the explosive materials were fixed in a rickshaw.
He said that the explosion happened in a town where a vast population of Hazara community of Shia Muslims is settled.
Local media quoted unidentified police sources as saying that an estimated over 100 kg of explosive materials were used in the blast.
Following the blast, angry Shia protestors cordoned off the area and did not allow police, rescue teams and media to reach the blast site.
The protestors said that Hazara community was targeted dozens of times in Quetta over the last two years in which hundreds of innocent Shia Muslims lost their lives, but the government failed to provide adequate security to them.
All the injured people, including over 30 women and children, have been shifted to a military hospital of Quetta for security concerns.
According to hospital sources, the death toll may further rise as several people among the injured were in critical condition.
Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen, a group of Shia Muslims announced a three-day mourning over the incident and gave a strike call in Quetta on Sunday.
No group claimed responsibility for the blast yet.
The bomb went off at about 5:40pm (local time) at Karani road area of Quetta, the provincial capital of the country’s southwest Balochistan province.
This is the second major blast, targeting Shia Muslims in the area since the beginning of this month.

Bahrain Revolutionaries Try Their Hand At Bombmaking, Again

[This latest Bahraini attempt to build an effective IED was preempted.  Their last try was sort of amateurish (SEE:  Bahrain police injured in bomb attack).  Doesn’t a lack of progress in revolutionary bombmaking skills sort of prove that the Iranians are playing no part in the Bahrain revolution, other than spiritual support?  Is it hard to understand just how easy it would be to smuggle someone into Bahrain with bomb-building expertise, equivalent to that level which we taught to “al-Qaeda”?   All that they would need would be someone like Ramsi Yousef, who could make powerful devices from common chemicals.  Why doesn’t some good patriotic American veteran, who fits this description, find his way to Manama, Bahrain?]

Bahrain police find bomb on causeway to Saudi Arabia

the daily star

A Bahraini protester flashes the sign for victory as he holds up a scarf during an anti-government rally to demand political reforms on February 15, 2013, in the village of Shakhurah, west of the Bahraini capital Manama.  AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH
A Bahraini protester flashes the sign for victory as he holds up a scarf during an anti-government rally to demand political reforms on February 15, 2013, in the village of Shakhurah, west of the Bahraini capital Manama. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH

ABU DHABI: Bahrain police found a bomb planted on a busy causeway linking the island to Saudi Arabia, and four officers were shot and wounded in a village, officials said in the latest violence to hit the kingdom on the second anniversary of its uprising.

The 2 kg bomb, discovered on Thursday near a mosque on the Bahraini end of the route used by thousands of people a day, was safely defused, said the Information Authority in the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab state.

Late on Friday, four officers were hit by birdshot pellets in the Shi’ite Muslim village of Karzakan, the authority added, quoting the island’s chief of public security Major-General Tariq Hassan al-Hassan.

The announcements came as thousands were expected to take to the streets of the capital on Saturday for the funeral of a teenager the opposition said was killed in clashes between police and activists earlier this week.

The violence has cast a shadow over talks launched this week between mostly Shi’ite Muslim opposition groups and the Sunni Muslim-dominated government to try to end political deadlock in Bahrain, home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

Bahrain has seen almost daily demonstrations in the run-up to the anniversary of the pro-democracy revolt, which has put the kingdom on the front line of a region-wide tussle for influence between Shi’ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Arab states such as Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain accuses Iran of stirring up trouble in the kingdom, which Tehran denies.

Mass protests that erupted in February 2011 at the height of the Arab Spring were crushed, but demonstrations demanding greater rights for Bahrain’s Shi’ite majority and an end to the absolute power of the Sunni ruling family have continued.

Thousands took to the streets again on Friday, leading opposition group al-Wefaq said on its website, with clashes breaking out with security forces in several villages and districts.

(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Saudi Arabia Owns “Al-Qaeda,” So Why Is the UN Sponsoring A Counter-Terrorism Conference There?

[The first report on the farcical Conference from Kuwait News, given below, had a copy-block on it, so I took a snapshot, in order to get all the juicy details.  Why is it even neccessary to point-out the idiocy of the United Nations having the world’s primary sponsor of state terrorism host a conference on “Counter-Terrorism”?  Everywhere in the world, where radical Sunni terrorism is killing the innocent, you will find Saudi and Qatari petrodollars at work, sowing their demonic seeds of Shaitan (SEE:  Saudi Arabia IS “al Qaida”). 

Wahhabism is of the devil.]

Counter Terrorism Int Conference

Saudi Arabia to host global counter-terrorism conference


Alongside the United Nations, Riyadh will host an international counter-terrorism conference on Saturday (February 16th) to examine ways to combat terrorism, alarabiya.net reported.

The two-day conference will discuss measures to prevent and combat terrorism, build state capacities and strengthen the role of the UN in that regard.

Conference participants include representatives from the 21 member states of the Advisory Board of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) as well as participants from the UN, the European Union, 28 global centres active in combating terrorism, and the Saudi government.

The conference aims to promote collaboration between international, regional and national counter-terrorism centres and to encourage participating centres to take part in and improve current UNCCT projects.

Saudi Newspaper Posts Anti-Christian Cartoon–Zero Riots, So Far

[Another case of there being one standard for Saudis and other Zionists, and another more restrictive standard for everybody else.  Slander either the Jews or Islam and the whole world threatens to explode…slander Christians, even Papists, and the whole world merely yawns.]

Al-Rahi’s Caricature in Saudi Daily Sparks Anger on Social Media


إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية

by Naharnet


Al-Watan Saudi newspaper published on Tuesday a caricature criticizing Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi’s visit to Syria, which sparked popular outrage on social media websites.

Jihad Awrati’s caricature replaced al-Rahi’s mitre with a rocket and highlighted the common letters between the patriarch and the Syrian president’s names in Arabic.

The depiction was met with anger and criticism on social media websites.

“Political differences are no excuse to depict al-Rahi in this manner,” television personality Bassam Abu Zeid tweeted.

Meanwhile, radio Jaras Scoop said it strongly condemns al-Watan’s caricature.

Al-Rahi’s visit to Syria, through which he aimed at taking part in the inauguration celebration of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Levant and Antioch Youhanna al-Yaziji, created a heated debate locally as several officials including President Michel Suleiman called against politicizing it.

The March 14 and 8 alliances are deeply split over the revolt in Syria as the opposition backs the collapse of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

However, sources in the church described the visit as “religious,” and supported by the Vatican.

North Korean “Dialogue of Weapons” Shaped To Agitate America In Order To Force Negotiations

“It’s all ready. A fourth and fifth nuclear test and a rocket launch could be conducted soon, possibly this year.”

[The Western press is trying to build-up a sense of urgency about North Korean intentions.   The photo of the seismograph below (from NPR, Did North Korea Test A ‘Miniature’ Nuclear Bomb?) is evidence that the Koreans are still conducting tests of small nuclear weapons.  Until now, the small explosions were written-off as “duds” (SEE:  Dud or deception? Experts examine N. Korea claim).  All of a sudden (or because N. Korea’s name has come-up on the “hit list”) the narrative has changed.  Now, the N. Korean tests are efforts at “miniaturization,” so that the huge nuclear weapons that would normally have been developed are small enough to fit on existing N. Korean ICBMs.  

The Reuters report below quotes unnamed Korean officials to flesh-out the story of the growing N. Korean “threat,” stating that they intended to conduct more tests this year as a means to force the US into negotiations.  That would mean that N. Korea’s nuclear tests are a form of political terrorism, intended to force American actions.  Everything about these stories suggests that we are witnessing the birth of nuclear state terrorism in Pyongyang. 

If this new slant on the semi-official narrative is true, that our mad world planners are really prepared to take-on North Korea, will they be confronted with a Syria-like scenario, against China, as Kim Jong Il’s protector?  Even if that is not the case, the Imperialists may be biting off more than they can chew.]

Exclusive: North Korea tells China of preparations for fresh nuclear test


An official with the Korea Meteorological Administration shows a seismic image of a tremor caused by North Korea's nuclear test, in Seoul on Tuesday.

An official with the Korea Meteorological Administration shows a seismic image of a tremor caused by North Korea’s nuclear test, in Seoul on Tuesday.

Kim Jae-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test is much more powerful than the previous two, according to estimates made by instruments that measure seismic waves from the blast. It’s about the size of the bomb that devastated Hiroshima in World War II.

But it’s not so easy to verify the claim that the nuclear explosive has also been miniaturized. That’s a critical claim because a small warhead would be essential if the rogue regime chose to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

Big bombs are easier to make, but they aren’t all that useful as a threat.

“It doesn’t do the North Koreans much good if they have to put it in a truck,” says Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. But the threat level obviously rises as the bombs get more compact.

And that’s the claim with the North Korean nuclear test.

“KCNA, the Korean news agency, has come out and said it was a smaller and light design, I believe were the exact words,” says James Acton, a senior associate in the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

It may be possible to glean more information about that claim if gases from the underground test have escaped into the atmosphere. Sniffer aircraft scoop up air samples that might be used to learn more details about the design of the explosive.

“Even if it’s possible to infer some design details, any conclusions are only likely to be fairly tentative,” Acton says. “So although I think it may well have been a miniaturized device, we actually may never know.”

The United States undertook hundreds of nuclear tests before developing reliable small warheads. But Acton says the North Korean program has been designed from the start to produce a compact weapon. That means it could have made real strides, even though this is just the third test.

“There’s also the possibility that the North Koreans have received outside assistance. That could make their task of creating a miniaturized warhead easier,” he says.

Even if North Korea has produced a compact warhead, it doesn’t yet have the ability to strike the United States with a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korean engineers have launched missiles into space, but Acton says so far they haven’t shown that they can build a warhead that is rugged enough to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speeds and blistering temperatures.

“Not only do you have to have a weapon that’s light enough to fit in the nose cone and small enough to fit in a nose cone, you also have to have a re-entry vehicle and design combination that is durable enough to survive the rigors of re-entry,” Acton says.

Even so, North Korea may have the ability to threaten its neighbors with a warhead on a shorter-range missile, which moves more slowly and can carry a bigger warhead.

“Some of the missiles that they have — the shorter range missiles — they might only be looking at a payload of about three feet, in which case we’d have to believe that that’s doable,” says Corey Hinderstein, vice president of the international program at the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

As things stand, the nation could build a handful of weapons. North Korea is apparently no longer producing plutonium, and there’s probably enough on hand for about a dozen warheads. Some of that plutonium could have been used in the latest test. But there’s another possibility.

“The real interesting question is whether this used highly enriched uranium,” Hinderstein says.

It’s harder to build a compact nuclear warhead with uranium, compared with plutonium, but it is possible. And uranium can be enriched in secret. No reactor is required.

“At least publicly, they have declared that they are not producing any highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons — that all of their interest in uranium enrichment has been in support of their nuclear energy program,” Hinderstein says.

So if the sniffer aircraft detect a uranium bomb, that would be a very significant finding about the North Korean nuclear program.

“It doesn’t necessarily change their capability, but it may change the number of weapons they could have at their disposal in the near future,” Hinderstein says.

It’s nothing to panic about, she adds, but clearly with each advance the situation becomes more uncomfortable.

The Relentless March Of The U.S. Police State


The Relentless March Of The U.S. Police State – OpEd 

Albany Tribune

Written by
Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University, wrote recently:

An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them. If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will. . . . Since 9/11, we have created the very government the framers feared: a government with sweeping and largely unchecked powers resting on the hope that they will be used wisely.

Turley does not say much in this article about the other rail of the Police State Railway that Americans are riding to hell: the drug war, with its massive arrests, prosecution, and imprisonment of people charged only with victimless crimes and its militarization of the state and local police all over the country. (On the militarization of the police, see especially this research paper, a revised version of which will appear in the spring issue of The Independent Review.) This massive bloating of police power and legalized oppression and the corresponding suppression of individual rights have brought down to the lowest level the threats to life, liberty, and happiness that the war on terrorism has created in what most people view as a more remote and less threatening venue—”out there” somewhere, in drone-istan.

Each day, the U.S. police state grows larger, more powerful, more pervasive, and more menacing. When will the majority awaken to the realization that this threat has nothing to do with party politics, that it makes no difference whether a Republican or a Democrat occupies the presidency while our freedoms are demolished?

This country was never a paradise of liberty; it always countenanced the oppression of plenty of people, especially Indians, blacks, and socially marginalized people who did not behave as the “respectable” white elites wanted them to behave. Yet, for the majority of Americans, freedom was a reality in most spheres of life, if only because the governments of the day were too weak to crush the people’s freedoms more thoroughly.

For many decades, however, these freedoms have been smashed one after another under the pretense of protecting people from foreign enemies, criminals, and terrorists. Thus have Americans marched with little more than a whimper toward a destination that combines elements of the dystopias imagined by novelists such as Huxley, Orwell, and Bradbury with ever more high-tech innovations used to monitor our every move, whether it be financial or personal.

The question is: how much farther must we travel down this road before people will be compelled to admit that “the land of the free” is more a reassuring myth than a description of the land in which we actually live—to recognize that the freedoms to go shopping and browse the Web are not enough to make a society genuinely free?

Robert Higgs About Robert Higgs
Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.
View all posts by Robert Higgs →

Congressional Rules for Authorizing A Covert Action Or Assassination

50 USC § 413b – Presidential approval and reporting of covert actions

Legal Information Institute  Cornell Univ

USCPrelim is a preliminary release and may be subject to further revision before it is released again as a final version.

Current through Pub. L. 112-283. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

(a) Presidential findings

The President may not authorize the conduct of a covert action by departments, agencies, or entities of the United States Government unless the President determines such an action is necessary to support identifiable foreign policy objectives of the United States and is important to the national security of the United States, which determination shall be set forth in a finding that shall meet each of the following conditions:
(1) Each finding shall be in writing, unless immediate action by the United States is required and time does not permit the preparation of a written finding, in which case a written record of the President’s decision shall be contemporaneously made and shall be reduced to a written finding as soon as possible but in no event more than 48 hours after the decision is made.
(2) Except as permitted by paragraph (1), a finding may not authorize or sanction a covert action, or any aspect of any such action, which already has occurred.
(3) Each finding shall specify each department, agency, or entity of the United States Government authorized to fund or otherwise participate in any significant way in such action. Any employee, contractor, or contract agent of a department, agency, or entity of the United States Government other than the Central Intelligence Agency directed to participate in any way in a covert action shall be subject either to the policies and regulations of the Central Intelligence Agency, or to written policies or regulations adopted by such department, agency, or entity, to govern such participation.
(4) Each finding shall specify whether it is contemplated that any third party which is not an element of, or a contractor or contract agent of, the United States Government, or is not otherwise subject to United States Government policies and regulations, will be used to fund or otherwise participate in any significant way in the covert action concerned, or be used to undertake the covert action concerned on behalf of the United States.
(5) A finding may not authorize any action that would violate the Constitution or any statute of the United States.
(b) Reports to congressional intelligence committees; production of information

To the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters, the Director of National Intelligence and the heads of all departments, agencies, and entities of the United States Government involved in a covert action—
(1) shall keep the congressional intelligence committees fully and currently informed of all covert actions which are the responsibility of, are engaged in by, or are carried out for or on behalf of, any department, agency, or entity of the United States Government, including significant failures; and
(2) shall furnish to the congressional intelligence committees any information or material concerning covert actions (including the legal basis under which the covert action is being or was conducted) which is in the possession, custody, or control of any department, agency, or entity of the United States Government and which is requested by either of the congressional intelligence committees in order to carry out its authorized responsibilities.
(c) Timing of reports; access to finding

(1) The President shall ensure that any finding approved pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be reported in writing to the congressional intelligence committees as soon as possible after such approval and before the initiation of the covert action authorized by the finding, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) and paragraph (3).
(2) If the President determines that it is essential to limit access to the finding to meet extraordinary circumstances affecting vital interests of the United States, the finding may be reported to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the congressional intelligence committees, the Speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and such other member or members of the congressional leadership as may be included by the President.
(3) Whenever a finding is not reported pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of this section, [1] the President shall fully inform the congressional intelligence committees in a timely fashion and shall provide a statement of the reasons for not giving prior notice.
(4) In a case under paragraph (1), (2), or (3), a copy of the finding, signed by the President, shall be provided to the chairman of each congressional intelligence committee.

(A) When access to a finding, or a notification provided under subsection (d)(1), is limited to the Members of Congress specified in paragraph (2), a written statement of the reasons for limiting such access shall also be provided.
(B) Not later than 180 days after a statement of reasons is submitted in accordance with subparagraph (A) or this subparagraph, the President shall ensure that—

(i) all members of the congressional intelligence committees are provided access to the finding or notification; or
(ii) a statement of reasons that it is essential to continue to limit access to such finding or such notification to meet extraordinary circumstances affecting vital interests of the United States is submitted to the Members of Congress specified in paragraph (2).
(d) Changes in previously approved actions

(1) The President shall ensure that the congressional intelligence committees, or, if applicable, the Members of Congress specified in subsection (c)(2) of this section, are notified in writing of any significant change in a previously approved covert action, or any significant undertaking pursuant to a previously approved finding, in the same manner as findings are reported pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.
(2) In determining whether an activity constitutes a significant undertaking for purposes of paragraph (1), the President shall consider whether the activity—

(A) involves significant risk of loss of life;
(B) requires an expansion of existing authorities, including authorities relating to research, development, or operations;
(C) results in the expenditure of significant funds or other resources;
(D) requires notification under section 414 of this title;
(E) gives rise to a significant risk of disclosing intelligence sources or methods; or
(F) presents a reasonably foreseeable risk of serious damage to the diplomatic relations of the United States if such activity were disclosed without authorization.
(e) “Covert action” defined

As used in this subchapter, the term “covert action” means an activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly, but does not include—
(1) activities the primary purpose of which is to acquire intelligence, traditional counterintelligence activities, traditional activities to improve or maintain the operational security of United States Government programs, or administrative activities;
(2) traditional diplomatic or military activities or routine support to such activities;
(3) traditional law enforcement activities conducted by United States Government law enforcement agencies or routine support to such activities; or
(4) activities to provide routine support to the overt activities (other than activities described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3)) of other United States Government agencies abroad.
(f) Prohibition on covert actions intended to influence United States political processes, etc.

No covert action may be conducted which is intended to influence United States political processes, public opinion, policies, or media.
(g) Notice and general description where access to finding or notification limited; maintenance of records and written statements

(1) In any case where access to a finding reported under subsection (c) or notification provided under subsection (d)(1) is not made available to all members of a congressional intelligence committee in accordance with subsection (c)(2), the President shall notify all members of such committee that such finding or such notification has been provided only to the members specified in subsection (c)(2).
(2) In any case where access to a finding reported under subsection (c) or notification provided under subsection (d)(1) is not made available to all members of a congressional intelligence committee in accordance with subsection (c)(2), the President shall provide to all members of such committee a general description regarding the finding or notification, as applicable, consistent with the reasons for not yet fully informing all members of such committee.
(3) The President shall maintain—

(A) a record of the members of Congress to whom a finding is reported under subsection (c) or notification is provided under subsection (d)(1) and the date on which each member of Congress receives such finding or notification; and
(B) each written statement provided under subsection (c)(5).

[1]  So in original. Probably should be “subsection,”.

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.

Latest U.S. sanction Wipes-Out Gold Trading Option for Iranian Oil for Turkey and India

Exclusive: Turkey to Iran gold trade wiped out by new U.S. sanction



  • Turkey's Halkbank headquarters are seen in Ankara November 19, 2012. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

By Asli Kandemir


(Reuters) – Tighter U.S. sanctions are killing off Turkey’s gold-for-gas trade with Iran and have stopped state-owned lender Halkbank from processing other nations’ energy payments to the OPEC oil producer, bankers said on Friday.

U.S. officials have sought to prevent Turkish gold exports, which indirectly pay Iran for its natural gas, from providing a financial lifeline to Tehran, largely frozen out of the global banking system by Western sanctions over its nuclear program.

Turkey, Iran’s biggest natural gas customer, has been paying Iran for its imports with Turkish lira, because sanctions prevent it from paying in dollars or euros.

Iranians then use those lira, held in Halkbank accounts, to buy gold in Turkey, and couriers carry bullion worth millions of dollars in hand luggage to Dubai, where it can be sold for foreign currency or shipped to Iran.

Halkbank had also been processing a portion of India’s payments for Iranian oil.

A provision of U.S. sanctions, made law last summer and implemented from February 6, effectively tightens control on sales of precious metals to Iran and prevents Halkbank from processing oil payments by other countries back to Tehran, bankers said.

"Halkbank can only accept payments for Turkish oil and gas purchases and Iran is only allowed to buy food, medicine and industrial products with that money," one senior Turkish banker told Reuters.

"The gas for gold trade is very difficult after the second round of sanctions. Iranians cannot just withdraw the cash and buy whatever they want. They have to prove what they are buying … so gold exports will definitely fall," he said.

Trade in Turkish gold bars to Iran via Dubai was already drying up as banks and dealers declined to buy the bullion to avoid sanctions risks associated with the trade.

Reuters first reported the boom in Turkish gold sales to Iran via Dubai last year.

Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Cağlayan signaled a decline in the trade last week when he said that, while Turkey would not be swayed by U.S. pressure to halt gold exports to Iran, Tehran’s demand for the metal was expected to fall.

"You could say that the United States has achieved its aim," said a western diplomat. "If Turkey is going to continue energy imports from Iran, there is no other way to go than trading sanction-free goods."


Washington says Tehran is enriching uranium to levels that could be used in nuclear weapons and has been trying to ratchet up economic pressure on Tehran. Iran says the program is for peaceful purposes.

Turkish ministers had acknowledged the "gold-for-gas" trade but said it was carried out entirely by the private sector and was not subject to U.S. sanctions.

Turkey like China, India and Japan is heavily dependent on imported energy and, while it has cut back on oil from Iran, has made clear it cannot simply stop buying Iranian oil and gas.

"With so many restrictions, Iran’s cash may accumulate in Halkbank accounts… they may have difficulty getting some of that money out of Turkey," another senior Turkish banker said.

That could mean Tehran will look elsewhere for allies willing to try to get round the U.S. sanctions, although it may struggle to continue to receive gold as a payment method.

"The gold trade may switch to countries that support Iran politically but Russian banks, for example, would be very cautious because they are very much in the global banking system," the second banker said.

"China may be another option. But I can say that the gold trade is over for Turkey."

Turkey, which is not a major gold producer, was a net gold, jewelry and precious metals importer in 2011 but swung to being a net exporter last year. Analysts said Iranian demand had prompted both the high imports two years ago – which were largely sold on to Iran – and the surge in exports last year.

Gold exports to Iran rose to $6.5 billion in 2012, more than ten times the level of 2011, while exports to the United Arab Emirates – much of it for onward shipment to Iran or conversion to hard currency – rose to $4.6 billion from $280 million.

Overall Turkish bullion exports fell to 10.5 tonnes in December from 15.2 tonnes in November.

(editing by Nick Tattersall and Richard Mably)


[The following was allegedly found in an abandoned temple in Timbuktu, where “al-CIA-da” forces allegedly left it behind.  It predicts international intervention in late January, the rebel defeat and subsequent dispersal among the civilian population.  The alleged “al-Qaeda” acolytes are admonished to establish civilian protest groups as cover for their activities and to encourage locals to assume the fight.]



This document lays out a condential letter from Abdelmalek
Droukdel, the emir of al-Qaida in the Islamic
Maghreb, to his ghters in Mali.
The Associated Press found three out of six chapters on
the oor in a building occupied by al-Qaida ghters for
almost a year in Timbuktu. The other chapters are
missing. The AP has pieced together the order of the
pages as far as possible.
Instructions concerning the Islamic Jihadi Project in Azawad
From Abu Musab Abdel-Wudoud to his brother emirs and members of the
Shura Council of the organization and Ansar edDin in the Great Desert. VARIOUS
This paper contains a set of directions and recommendations that the
leadership of the organization presents to the brother emirs in the Sahara by which
to operate. They are in the context of the continual observation, advising and
instructing over the developments in the Sahara.
We have tried in a succinct way to treat the general picture and the idea way
of action that we see as suitable for the complicated reality and quickly changing
events connected to this Islamic Jihadi project in Azawad. This project, vital and
very important to us and to our jihad, is in this very sensitive and dangerous phase,
which requires us all to give it particular care and to prepare the ground for success
and avoid as much as possible the elements…. MAY BE MATERIAL MISSING
1) General picture of the Islamist Jihadi Project in Azawad
2) Setting the situation of al-Qaida in the current phase and defining the
nature of its internal and external activity
3) The ideal policies on how to deal with the various sectors of Azawad
society, as well as the external players
4) Important considerations on the draft agreement between Ansar Dine
and the Azawad Liberation Movement
5) A vision for forming and moving ahead with the temporary government
6) Important instructions on the possible foreign military intervention
General picture of the Islamist Jihadi Project in Azawad
Picturing something is a basic foundation for understanding it and if the
picture is not correct or does not take into account all aspects of the issue under
consideration, the planning and decisions that emerge will be deficient if not
outright wrong. For our project, it is very important that we take into account in
our overall picture two important matters:
The first matter: That the great powers with hegemony over the international
situation, despite their weakness and their retreat caused by military exhaustion
and the financial crisis, still have many cards to play that enable them to prevent
the creation of an Islamic state in Azawad ruled by the jihadis and Islamists.
And so, It is very probable, perhaps certain, that a military intervention will
occur, whether directly or indirectly, or that a complete economic, political and
military blockade will be imposed along with multiple pressures, which in the end
will either force us to retreat to our rear bases or will provoke the people against us
because of starvation or the cutting of supplies and salaries, or will enflame the
conflict between us and the other armed political movements in the region by
increasing the points of dispute and causing problems and following a carrot-andstick
policy with them to incite them against us.
And so, based on taking into account this important factor:
1) We must not go too far or take risks in our decisions or imagine that this
project is a stable Islamic state. It is too early for that, God knows. Instead, it is
necessary to be cautious in the matter and we must be more realistic and look at it
from a broader and more complete perspective to see a historic opportunity that
must be exploited to interact with the Azawad people, including all its sectors, with
the aim of uniting it and rallying it behind our Islamic project, by adopting its just
cause and achieving its legitimate goals, while giving it an authentic Islamist tinge.
This exceptional people, upon whose shoulders were established the Islamic
conquests of the region and the Moravid nation (which maintained Islam and
defended the Islamic nation for aged), is one of the warrior Islamic peoples that is a
candidate for championing Islam and bearing its burdens in the region in the future.
It is an important golden opportunity to extend bridges to the various
sectors and parts of Azawad society _ Arab and Tawareg and Zingiya (black) _ to
end the situation of political and social and intellectual separation (or isolation)
between the Mujahedeen and these sectors, particularly the big tribes, and the
main rebel movements with their various ideologies, and the elite of Azawad
society, its clerics, its groupings, its individuals and its noble forces.
2) Based on taking care of this important factor, we should also take into
consideration not to monopolize the political and military stage. We should not be
at the forefront.
That is not in our interest now. Rather, we should strive to include the main
effective powers in the region, such as the Azawad Liberation Movement and the
Arab Azawad Movement and others. This will have three fundamental benefits.
First, we would not alone bear the fault of the possible failure and the expected
blockade. Rather if it happens _ God forbid, though it is very probable _ all the main
parties would bear responsibility before the people, and everyone will consider the
matter objectively and responsibly. Second, administration of the region and
standing up to the international, foreign and regional challenge is a large duty that
exceeds our military and financial and structural capability for the time being. So it
is wise then for us not to bear the burden alone in this phase, but rather to
These people that are carrying on their backs the consequences of the
Islamic crusades. These people are a fighting nation which has the potential to
support Islam, and to carry its burden on their shoulders in the region as a whole.
This is an important opportunity to build bridges, between all factions of the
Azawadi community, including the Arabs, the Tuaregs and the blacks (word used =
zingiyea. Lee: is this derogatory?)
The aim of building these bridges is to make it so that our Mujahideen are
no longer isolated in society, and to integrate with the different factions, including
the big tribes and the main rebel movement and tribal chiefs.
And if we can achieve this positive thing in even a limited amount, then
even if the project fails later, it will be just enough that we will have planted the
first, good seed in this fertile soil and put pesticides and fertilizer on it, so that the
tree will grow more quickly. We look forward to seeing this tree as it will be: stable
and magnificent.
One of the wrong policies that we think you carried out is the extreme
speed with which you applied Shariah, not taking into consideration the gradual
evolution that should be applied in an environment that is ignorant of religion, and
a people which hasn’t applied Shariah in centuries. And our previous experience
proved that applying Shariah this way, without taking the environment into
consideration will lead to people rejecting the religion, and engender hatred toward
the Mujahideen, and will consequently lead to the failure of our experiment.
So in the first stage, we should have focused on preparing the terrain to
apply Shariah, to spread dawa, and to talk and preach to people in order
to convince them and educate them.
Until we see that the circumstances are ready to apply Shariah in a wise
way, we should instead take the example of Khalifa Omar Bin Abdul El Aziz …
because at his time, corruption was widespread so he could not reform the area all
at once. Some of the examples where we feel you were hasty in applying Shariah,
and which we hope you will not repeat include:
Point 1: The destruction of the shrines, because on the internal front we are
not strong, and there is a potential for an external intervention, and negative
repercussions are expected.
Point 2: The application of the "had" (religious punishment) in the case of
adultery, in the lashing of people and the use of force to try to stop things that are
haram, and the fact that you prevented women from going out, and prevented
children from playing, and searched the houses of the population etc etc … this
behavior, even at an individual level, is contradictory to the policy of Salaf (our
forebearers), so your officials need to control themselves, and commit themselves
to the guide that we will elaborate here.
No doubt, the situation of al-Qaida now and the nature of its activity in
Azawad are different from what they were before, given the challenges that these
important new situations have brought. That demands of us to establish a new
framework regulating the organizational relationship with Ansar Dine and defining
the nature of the appropriate activities, in a way that combines the continuation of
our global jihadi project and the preserving of the Azawad Islamic project, while
developing it and avoiding its failure.
Combining these two missions is a true dilemma. The final decision is very
important and consultations must be widened as much as possible. So we present
to you two basic proposals, which we arrived at after gathering the opinions of a
number of prominent figures. We ask you to let us know your opinion and the
opinion of Sheikh Abu Fadl on which of the two proposals is best.
First Proposal: (first line of proposal is cut off in the photo, Ch2Page1Bottom)
… and international of the organization.
As for internal activity, in this we would be under the emirate of Ansar Dine.
Our emir would follow their emir and our opinion would follow their opinion. By
internal activity, we mean all activity connected to participating in bearing the
responsibilities of the liberated areas.
In external activity, connected to our global jihad, we would be independent
of them (Ansar Dine). We would ensure that none of that activity or its
repercussions is attributed to them, as care must be taken over negative impacts on
the project of the state.
The second proposal:
A portion of the Mujahedeen of al-Qaida would be set aside and put under
the complete control of the emir of Ansar Dine to participate in bearing the burden
of running the affairs of the liberated cities.
The other portion would remain completely independent of Ansar Dine and
its activity would be limited to jihadi action outside the region.
We propose in this vein, concerning the first portion, that the brothers in the
future be sure to seize their right to belong to the nation of Azawad, that the future
constitution of the nation, if there is a constitution, provide that the basic condition
for nationality, citizenship and belonging to this nation be Islam and the covenant
…. All the active parties and all sectors of the people. And the second benefit
comes in easing the foreign and international pressure on us.
The Second Issue: It is very important that we view our Islamic project in
Azawad as a small newborn, with many phases ahead of it that it must pass
through to grow and mature. The current baby is in its first days, crawling on its
knees, and has not yet stood on its two legs. So is it wise that we start now to lay
burdens on it that will inevitably prevent it from standing on its own two feet and
perhaps even smother it?!! If we really want it to stand on its own two feet in this
world full of enemies waiting to pounce, we must ease its burden, take it by the
hand, help it and support it until it stands.
Based on this framework, we must adopt the logic of putting aside rivalries
and avoiding a policy of provocation or making enemies or agitating enemies. We
should make sure to win allies, be flexible in dealing with the realities and
compromise on some rights to achieve greater interests, as our Prophet, peace and
prayers of God be upon him, did with the treaty of Hudeibiya. Not every concession
to the enemy is forbidden or means accepting Kufr (disbelief) and evil. It’s not
necessarily an evil act to respond to their demands. The logic in this is to achieve
greater gains with the least concessions.
Not all concessions are forbidden. The reason is that you should gain the
most by giving the least concessions. And we should make a distinction between
the weak stage that our baby is going through, and between the adolescent stage
where we will be strong, and standing up ready to face our enemies. So like our
Cheikh Osama Bin Laden, may he rest in peace, says in a previous letter to our emir
of tanzeem (Zawahiri?): "In a state of strength, Muslims fight the kafirs either until
they become Muslims or unless they pay jzyah (a religious tax). However if the
situation is not like that, we follow what our Prophet Mohamed did when he
wanted to give a third of the fruits of the city to Ghatqan (?) so that they leave
Muslims alone. So instead of fighting them and gain their money, we give them a
third or our economy and at that time, the fruits of the city were its economy.
The smart, Muslim leader would do these kind of things in order to achieve
the word of God eventually and to support the religion. And another stance of the
Prophet that we remember the al-hadeebiya deal where he did a truce with Quraish
(same tribe that prophet comes from / made deal with them) because it was in the
grerater interest of the Muslims and that is how we should walk on the path of
Jihad, where God’s word will be supreme and form a state with Shariah, because
states are not created from one night to the next and there needs to be a lot of
elements for it to succeed. One of these very important elements is to take the
allegiances of the tribes."
And the Cheikh, may God have mercy on him, is right. The reform we are
calling for is not going to happen from one night to the other. Going gradually is a
rule from God that every reformer should take into account. This is our master,
Omar Ben Abdel Aziz, says as his son Abdel Malick came to see him: "My father
why don’t you apply things (why don’t you cancel all the things that disagree with
Shariah all at once.)? Omar answers in a confident tone: "Do not rush my son. God
in the Quran first before forbidding wine, he spoke twice negatively about it, and
then he made it haram. I am scared that if I do everything in one go it will create
fitna (discord)."
So in the name of God our brothers should work step by step, and take into
account the interest and the impact it might create and every mistake in this
important stage of the life of the baby will be a heavy burden on his shoulder. The
larger the mistake, the heavier the weight on his back and we could end up
suffocating him suddenly and causing his death. And that would be a disaster that
should not take us by surprise.
And at this stage a very important note about some of the events that
happened with you recently and which we see as wrong policies which do not
serve our Islamic project in the region which you and us should solve as soon as
No. 1: The decision to go to war against the Azawad Liberation Movement,
after becoming close and almost completing a deal with them, which we thought
would be positive, is a major mistake, in our assessment, which we could have
overcome and dealt with it in a circumscribed way instead of going into full-on war.
And with all the reasons our brother gave via their statements through the media
(we have not until now received any clarification from you, despite how perilous
the operation was !!) we can see that all these reasons are not good enough to
declare a war on a very important wing of the society which we should have made
sure to work with in order to reach a deal. This fighting will have a negative impact
on our project. So we ask you to solve the issue and correct it by working toward a
peace deal with the (NMLA.)
About the deal between Ansar Dine and Azawad Liberation Movement
Before enterring details of the deal, and discussing its points, we would like
to refer to a very important point that our state right now has a lot of similarities
with the state of the Prophet, may he rest in peace, when he came to Medina and
he created an Islamic entity there and there were a lot of dangers around him.
Know that the duty of establishing a just Islamic regime ruling people by the
Shariah of the people’s Lord is a very big duty that exceeds the capabilities of any
organization or movement whatever its size. So one of our goals is to include the
Islamic nation with us, its men and women, to achieve this goal. The people of jihad
serve as the directing and leading vanguard that works to implement this project
amid our Islamic nation and among the various sectors of its people. For our Islamic
nation, it is like the heart for the body.
4: As for foreign policies, you must adopt mature and moderate rhetoric that
reassures and calms. To do so, you must avoid any statements that are provocative
to neighboring countries and avoid repeated threats. Better for you to be silent and
pretend to be a "domestic" movement that has its own causes and concerns. There
is no call for you to show that we have an expansionary, jihadi, Qaida or any other
sort of project.
Gaining a region under our control and a people fighting for us and a refuge
for our members that allows us to move forward with our program at this stage is
no small thing and nothing to be underestimated. The enemy’s constant, persistent
effort now is to not leave any safe havens for the Mujahedeen. So take that into
No. 2: At this stage you should avoid issues of takfir (= accusing muslims of
being infidels)and the issue of sects and other issues that the mind of the youth
cannnot understand. The general logo at this stage should be defending Muslims
from those who want to victimize them, and this means that you should limit the
circle of confrontation and of your enemies to the maximum. Those that you can
marginalize, do that; if you can win their hearts, do that; if you can attract them, do
that. You are walking in a minefield full of tribalism, conspiracy, and revenge,
corruption and arrogance. So you have to be dilligent.

No. 3. And a wise policy in this stage, is not to push people away and make
sure to integrate everybody, to integrate good people, decent people,
notables, people with qualifications in every town; and know that the mission of
creating a just Islamic system is a huge mission, which is beyond the potential of
any organization or movement no matter how big it is. That is why we should
include all the ummah, with the men and women with us in order to achieve the
bigger goal. But of course the people of jihad will stay as the leaders that make
sure that the vision is being implemented in the ummah. It is (the people of jihad)
are to the ummah like the heart is to the body.
As for foreign policies you have to have a mature speech, which is
moderate and gives assurances and has a calming effect. And to achieve that you
have to avoid giving any confrontational speeches against neighboring countries
and do not threaten to them. And you can pretend to be silent by making as if its an
internal issue, and no need to always show our global, expansionistic jihadi project.
Gaining an area which is allied to us and a people that support us and
offers a safe haven for our members, which allows us to carry out our project at
this stage, is not a little thing. And the enemy is always seeking not to leave safe
havens for the mujahideen. Take that into account.


Meteor Explodes Over Chelyabinsk, Russia–900 injured (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Meteorite hits Russian Urals: Fireball explosion wreaks havoc, over 900 injured (PHOTOS, VIDEO)



Russia’s Urals region has been rocked by a meteorite explosion in the stratosphere. The impact wave damaged several buildings, and blew out thousands of windows amid frigid winter weather. Hundreds are seeking medical attention for minor injuries.


Eyewitness accounts of the meteorite phenomenon, handpicked by RT.

Around 950 people have sought medical attention in Chelyabinsk alone because of the disaster, the region’s governor Mikhail Yurevich told RIA Novosti. Over 110 of them have been hospitalized and two of them are in heavy condition. Among the injured there are 159 children, Emergency ministry reported.

Army units found three meteorite debris impact sites, two of which are in an area near Chebarkul Lake, west of Chelyabinsk. The third site was found some 80 kilometers further to the northwest, near the town of Zlatoust. One of the fragments that struck near Chebarkul left a crater six meters in diameter.

Servicemembers from the tank brigade that found the crater have confirmed that background radiation levels at the site are normal.

A hole in Chebarkul Lake made by meteorite debris. Photo by Chebarkul town head Andrey Orlov.
A hole in Chebarkul Lake made by meteorite debris. Photo by Chebarkul town head Andrey Orlov.

Police officers, environmentalists and EMERCOM experts at the site of a meteorite hit in the Chelyabinsk Region. Small 0.5-1 cm pieces of black matter resembling rock were found around the ice hole caused by the meteorite. Photo courtesy of the press service of the Interior Ministry′s Main Directorate for the Chelyabinsk Region.(RIA Novosti)
Police officers, environmentalists and EMERCOM experts at the site of a meteorite hit in the Chelyabinsk Region. Small 0.5-1 cm pieces of black matter resembling rock were found around the ice hole caused by the meteorite. Photo courtesy of the press service of the Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for the Chelyabinsk Region.(RIA Novosti)

Experts working at the site of the impact told Lifenews tabloid that the fragment is most likely solid, and consists of rock and iron.

A local fisherman told police he found a large hole in the lake’s ice, which could be a result of a meteorite impact. The site was immediately sealed off by police, a search team is now waiting for divers to arrive and explore the bottom of the lake.

Samples of water taken from the lake have not revealed any excessive radioactivity or foreign material.

Russian space agency Roskosmos has confirmed the object that crashed in the Chelyabinsk region is a meteorite:

“According to preliminary estimates, this space object is of non-technogenic origin and qualifies as a meteorite. It was moving at a low trajectory with a speed of about 30 km/s.”

According to estimates by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the space object weighed about 50 tons before entering Earth’s atmosphere.

Weather sattelite Meteosat 10 has taken an image of the meteriote shortly after entering the atmosphere.(Copyright 2013 © EUMETSAT)
Weather sattelite Meteosat 10 has taken an image of the meteriote shortly after entering the atmosphere.(Copyright 2013 © EUMETSAT)

Russian space agency Roskosmos has confirmed the object that crashed in the Chelyabinsk region is a meteorite:

“According to preliminary estimates, this space object is of non-technogenic origin and qualifies as a meteorite. It was moving at a low trajectory with a speed of about 30 km/s.”

According to estimates by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the space object weighed about 10 tons before entering Earth’s atmosphere.

­A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from space objects such as asteroids or comets, ranging in size from tiny to gigantic.

When a meteorite falls on Earth, passing through the atmosphere causes it to heat up and emit a trail of light, forming a fireball known as a meteor, or shooting or falling star.

A bright flash was seen in the Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Sverdlovsk regions, Russia’s Republic of Bashkiria and in northern Kazakhstan.

The Russian army has joined the rescue operation. Radiation, chemical and biological protection units have been put on high alert. Since the explosion occurred several kilometers above the Earth, a large ground area must be thoroughly checked for radiation and other threats.

According to preliminary reports, the worst damage on the ground in Chelyabinsk was at a zinc factory, the walls and roof of which were partially destroyed by an impact wave. The city’s Internet and mobile service were reportedly interrupted because of the damage inflicted near the factory.

Chelyabinsk administration’s website said nearly 3,000 buildings were damaged to varying extents by the meteor shower in the city, including 34 medical facilities and 361 schools and kindergartens. The total amount of window glass shattered amounts to 100,000 square meters, the site said, citing city administration head Sergey Davydov.

buildings were left without gas because facilities in the city had also been damaged, an Emergency Ministry spokesperson said, according to Russia 24 news channel.

The Emergency Ministry reported that 20,000 rescue workers are operating in the region. Three aircraft were deployed to survey the area and locate other possible impact locations.

The trail of a falling object is seen above a residential apartment block in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, on February 15, 2013.(AFP Photo / Oleg Kargopolov)
The trail of a falling object is seen above a residential apartment block in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, on February 15, 2013.(AFP Photo / Oleg Kargopolov)

Witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it seemed like an earthquake and thunder had struck at the same time, and that there were huge trails of smoke across the sky. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth.

The Urals regional center of the Emergency Ministry claimed it sent out a mass SMS warning residents about a possible meteorite shower. However, eyewitnesses said they either never received it, or got the message after the explosion had already occurred.

Classes for all Chelyabinsk schools have been canceled, mostly due to broken windows. Institute students have been dismissed until next Monday. Authorities also ordered all kindergartens with broken windows to return children to their families.

According to unconfirmed reports, the meteorite was intercepted by an air defense unit at the Urzhumka settlement near Chelyabinsk. A missile salvo blew the meteorite to pieces at an altitude of 20 kilometers, local newspaper Znak reports quoting a source in the military.

The regional Emergency Ministry denied that military air defenses were involved in the incident.

Regnum news agency quoted a military source who claimed that the vapor condensation trail of the meteorite speaks to the fact that the meteorite was intercepted by air defenses.

Police in the Chelyabinsk region are reportedly on high alert, and have begun ‘Operation Fortress’ in order to protect vital infrastructure.

Office buildings in downtown Chelyabinsk are being evacuated. Injuries were reported at one of the city’s secondary schools, supposedly from smashed windows.

An emergency message published on the website of the Chelyabinsk regional authority urged residents to pick up their children from school and remain at home if possible.

Those in Chelyabinsk who had their windows smashed are scrambling to cover the openings with anything available – the temperature in the city is currently -6°C.

Chelyabinsk regional governor Mikhail Yurevich is urgently returning to the region. Yurevich said that preserving the city’s central heating system is authorities’ primary goal.

“Do not panic, this is an ordinary situation we can manage in a couple of days,” the governor said in and address to city residents.

Background radiation levels in Chelyabinsk remain unchanged, the Emergency Ministry reported.

Local zinc factory was damaged the severest, some of its walls collapsing (Photo from Twitter.com user @TimurKhorev)
Local zinc factory was damaged the severest, some of its walls collapsing (Photo from Twitter.com user @TimurKhorev)

Screenshot from YouTube user Gregor Grimm
Screenshot from YouTube user Gregor Grimm

The regional Emergency Ministry said the phenomenon was a meteorite shower, but locals have speculated that it was a military fighter jet crash or a missile explosion.

“According to preliminary data, the flashes seen over the Urals were caused by [a] meteorite shower,” the Emergency Ministry told Itar-Tass news agency.

The ministry also said that no local power stations or civil aircraft were damaged by the meteorite shower, and that “all flights proceed according to schedule.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who also oversees the Russian defense industry, wrote on Twitter that he would speak with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev about the incident in the Urals.

“On Monday I will bring to Medvedev a straight picture of what has happened in the Urals and prospective proposals of how the country can find out about the dangers approaching Earth and deal with them,” Rogozin wrote.

Residents of the town of Emanzhilinsk, some 50 kilometers from Chelyabinsk, said they saw a flying object that suddenly burst into flames, broke apart and fell to earth, and that a black cloud had been seen hanging above the town. Witnesses in Chelyabinsk said the city’s air smells like gunpowder.

Screenshot from YouTube user Gregor Grimm
Screenshot from YouTube user Gregor Grimm

Residents across the Urals region were informed about the incident through a cellphone text message from the regional Emergency Ministry.

Many locals reported that the explosion rattled their houses and smashed windows. “This explosion, my ears popped, windows were smashed… phone doesn’t work,” Evgeniya Gabun wrote on Twitter.

“My window smashed, I am all shaking! Everybody says that a plane crashed,” Twitter user Katya Grechannikova reported.

“My windows were not smashed, but I first thought that my house is being dismantled, then I thought it was a UFO, and my eventual thought was an earthquake,” Bukreeva Olga wrote on Twitter.

The Mayak nuclear complex near the town of Ozersk was not affected by the incident, according to reports. Mayak, one of the world’s biggest nuclear facilities that used to house plutonium production reactors and a reprocessing plant, is located 72 kilometers northwest of Chelyabinsk.

It is believed that the incident may be connected to asteroid 2012 DA14, which measures 45 to 95 meters in diameter and will be passing by Earth tonight at around 19:25 GMT at the record close range of 27,000 kilometers.

Photo from Twitter.com user @varlamov
Photo from Twitter.com user @varlamov


Another Tunguska event?

The incident in Chelyabinsk bears a strong resemblance to the 1908 Tunguska event – an exceptionally powerful explosion in Siberia believed to have been caused by a fragment of a comet or meteor.

According to estimates, the energy of the Tunguska blast may have been as high as 50 megatons of TNT, equal to a nuclear explosion. Some 80 million trees were leveled over a 2,000-square-kilometer area. The Tunguska blast remains one of the most mysterious events in history, prompting a wide array of hypotheses on its cause, including a black hole passing through Earth and the wreck of an alien spacecraft.

It is believed that if the Tunguska event had happened 4 hours later, due to the rotation of the Earth it would have completely destroyed the city of Vyborg and significantly damaged St. Petersburg.

When a similar, though less powerful, unexplained explosion happened in Brazil in 1930, it was named the ‘Brazilian Tunguska.’ The Tunguska event also prompted debate and research into preventing or mitigating asteroid impacts.

Still from YouTube video/fed potapow
Still from YouTube video/fed potapow

Still from YouTube video/fed potapow
Still from YouTube video/fed potapow

Still from YouTube video/fed potapow
Still from YouTube video/fed potapow

Still from YouTube video/fed potapow
Still from YouTube video/fed potapow

Photo from Twitter.com user @znak_com
Photo from Twitter.com user @znak_com

Photo from Twitter.com user @Frolov_kgn Alexander
Photo from Twitter.com user @Frolov_kgn Alexander

Senators delay Brennan CIA vote over drone memos, Libya details

Senators delay Brennan CIA vote over drone memos, Libya details


Associated Press


The Senate Intelligence Committee will delay voting to confirm John Brennan as CIA director as the panel’s Democratic chairwoman demanded Wednesday that the White House turn over more details about lethal drone strikes on terror suspects and last September’s attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left the U.S. ambassador there and three other Americans dead.

Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said the vote likely will be pushed off until late February.

In a statement, the California Democrat said senators need to see more classified legal opinions that justify using the unmanned spy planes to kill Al Qaeda suspects overseas, including American citizens. The Obama administration last week released two of nine classified Justice Department memos outlining the legal reasoning to Feinstein’s committee just hours before Brennan’s confirmation hearing in front of the panel.

Feinstein said the memos are necessary “in order to fully evaluate the executive branch’s legal reasoning, and to broaden access to the opinions to appropriate members of the committee staff.”

The White House declined to comment Wednesday.

Feinstein and other lawmakers are considering creating a special court to review strikes against U.S. citizens. In 2011, drone strikes in Yemen killed three Americans: U.S. born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old-son and al-Qaida propagandist Samir Khan.

Last week, Brennan defended the strikes in his confirmation testimony, but also said he welcomed more discussion on the controversial program.

“American citizens by definition are due much greater due process than anybody else by dint of their citizenship,” Brennan told Feinstein’s committee.

The Senate and House Judiciary committees also want to see the documents, and other lawmakers are pressing the White House for more for information on the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi the killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.