American Resistance To Empire

Peshawar’s Pistol-Packin’ “School Marms”

A schoolteacher from Frontier College cocks a handgun during the training session, in which teachers were taught how to use guns, take cover and return fire

Women trained to use Kalashnikovs and handguns… to defend their CLASSROOMS:

The female teachers taught to kill in the aftermath of Pakistani Taliban massacre

daily mail

  • Teachers in Peshawar are being taught to use assault rifles and handguns
  • They learn the basics of how to take cover and return fire at terrorists
  • The government-led initiative is a response to last month’s deadly attack
  • On December 16 terrorists stormed Public Army School, killing 145 people

Armed to the teeth with handguns and assault rifles, these are the Pakistani teachers trained to kill in defence of their classrooms.

Following a government announcement that teachers in Peshawar, Pakistan, will be armed and receive combat training to ‘engage’ terrorists, this is the first group pictured to undergo their instruction.

The initiative is a response to the December 16 tragedy in which a group of terrorists stormed the city’s Public Army School, massacring 145 people, including 132 schoolchildren.

Two teachers practice aiming an assault rifle as they receive their weapons training

The women, in Peshawar, Pakistan, practice releasing the magazines and reloading the guns

The announcement that teachers and school staff members would receive arms training in the region was a response to last month’s deadly terrorist attack, in which 132 schoolchildren were killed. Pictured are two teachers learning how to use a handgun and an assault rifle

Officials in Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakthunkhwa province, said the move would allow teachers to fight off terrorists ‘for [an] initial five to 10 minutes’ before back-up arrives.

The group of eight teachers were trained by an instructor in how to use various handguns and Kalashnikovs, as well as the principles of taking cover before returning fire.

Pictures show the group, from Frontier College, assembling, loading and looking down the sights of the guns at the behest of a weapons instructor.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa information minister Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani has said the training would allow school staff members to ‘engage’ attackers for five to ten minutes before law enforcement personnel could respond.

He told reporters on January 13: ‘The provincial cabinet has decided to allow teachers and other staff members to keep their licensed weapons with them so that in case of any eventuality they could engage attackers for initial five to 10 minutes before personnel of law-enforcement agencies will show up to respond to the attack.’

The 35,000 educational institutions – including schools, colleges and universities – across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been ordered to beef up security following the brutal attack on the Army Public School.

Mr Ghani also announced earlier this month that authorities would build walls at least 8ft high around government-run education institutions, and would also introduce community policing systems whereby civilians with experience operating weapons would be trained and paid to guard educational facilities.

Private sector schools, colleges and universities have meanwhile been issued with strict guidelines with requirements including having guards, Mr Ghani said, adding that schools’ licenses could be revoked if they did not follow the rules.

In response to the Taliban attack, Pakistan’s parliament last week passed a constitutional amendment approving the establishment of military courts to hear terrorism-related cases.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also lifted the country’s six-year-old moratorium on the use of the death penalty, reinstating it for terror cases in the wake of the slaughter at the school.

However, critics have warned the move to arm teachers could put children at even greater risk, as well as affect teachers’ performance at work.

Two teachers watch on as they are taught how to operate a handgun, training which will allow them to ‘engage’ terrorists should their school come under attack

As the group of eight teachers listens intently, a weapons instructor demonstrates how to fire a Kalashnikov

This group were the first set of teachers to undergo the training as part of a new government initiative

Funeral prayers in Pakistan as PM vows to continue war on terror

Taliban Capture Mind-Washed Guantanamo (Former) Taliban, Recruiting For “Islamic State”

Taliban capture IS leader Mullah Rauf, 45 supporters


LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The Taliban on Wednesday captured Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim, an Islamic State (IS) ally, along with 45 supporters in the Kajaki district of southern Helmand province, a reliable source confided to Pajhwok Afghan News.

However, security officials expressed unawareness about the detention of Rauf, who became a recruiter for the IS group in Afghanistan after falling out with the Taliban. Rauf, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, was a military commander in Herat and Kabul during Taliban’s regime.

He recently joined the IS, a jihadi group which controls large swaths of land in Iraq and Syria, and has been leading hundreds of masked gunmen in northern districts of Helmand.

A Taliban commander in Helmand, wishing anonymity, told Pajhwok Afghan News they disarmed Rauf and his 45 gunmen and detained them on Wednesday in compliance with directives from the Taliban’s governor for Helmand, Mullah Abdul Rahim Akhund.

He said the men were in their custody and their fate would be decided by Taliban religious leaders and judges.

The Taliban commander said they had been directed to arrest Mullah Rauf because he was against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban’s official name. He said Mullah Rauf was involved in anti-Islamic activities.

A tribal elder in Kajaki, Abdul Ahad Masoomi, also a member of the provincial reform committee, told Pajhwok Afghan News that harsh differences had recently surfaced between local militants and Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim group.

“Mullah Khadim, who claims allegiance to Daesh (Arabic acronym for IS) forcibly assembled local residents on Thursday last in the Kakaji’s Azan area and told the people that Mullah Omar no longer exists and they should now support him.”

Masoomi said Mullah Rauf and his masked gunmen arrived in the area in dozens of vehicles. A day after (on Friday) they left, Taliban insurgents arrived in the area and told residents that Rauf was an infidel and no one should support him, according to the elder.

Masoomi said he had no knowledge of Rauf’s arrest, but confirmed he had serious differences with his former colleagues.

Kajaki police chief Faizullah Akhund said differences among Taliban and masked gunmen had recently deepened, but they had no information about Rauf’s detention.

He said Taliban’s governor Mullah Akhund on Wednesday visited Olang area and held a meeting with local Taliban leaders, but no details of the meeting were available.

Pajhwok tried to seek comment from Taliban’s overall spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, but did not succeed.

But this scribe was able to find a message Ahmadi had sent to local Taliban. In the message, Ahmadi confirmed Mullah Rauf had been arrested.

Pajhwok received the message from local Taliban sources. “Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim has been detained along with 45 associates and their fate will be decided later,” the message says.

An official at the provincial National Directorate of Security (NDS) also confirmed harsh differences between the two groups, but had no information about Mullah Rauf’s detention.

A senior official in Helmand said Mullah Rauf had been one of Mullah Omar’s close aides. He was detained during Taliban’s last year in power in northern Afghanistan and was handed over to the US.

He was held for seven years in Guantanamo Bay detention centre and was released in 2007 and flown back to Kabul where he remained under Afghan government’s observation. But Rauf fled to Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, and was appointed as a member of Taliban’s Quetta Council and head of the military council.

However, he developed differences with the Taliban and was expelled from the movement before joining the IS.

There Can Be Only One “Islamic State,” According To Mullah Omar

[SEE: Taliban capture IS leader Mullah Rauf, 45 supporters ]

Ex-Gitmo detainee leads contingent of Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan

Long war journal


A former Guantanamo detainee, Mullah Raouf Khadim, is reportedly leading a contingent of Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand. Khadim’s role was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press (AP).

Raouf had served as a top Taliban military leader until he and his allies lost an internal power struggle, paving the way for him to switch allegiances.

“A number of tribal leaders, jihadi commanders and some ulema [religious leaders] and other people have contacted me to tell me that Mullah Raouf had contacted them and invited them to join him,” the AP quoted Gen. Mahmood Khan, an Afghan military official, as saying.

Raouf’s fighters have reportedly engaged in skirmishes with their Taliban counterparts.

The Taliban is trying to thwart Raouf’s recruiting efforts on behalf of the Islamic State. It is not clear if Raouf has developed operational ties to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s organization, or if his allegiance is more aspirational. The Islamic State has been attempting to cut into the Taliban’s and al Qaeda’s dominant share of the jihadist market in the region since last year, when al Qaeda officially disowned the Islamic State.

The revelation of Raouf’s role came just days before the top US military commander in Afghanistan warned of the Islamic State’s recruiting efforts.

“We are seeing reports of some recruiting” on behalf of the Islamic State, General John Campbell told the Army Times. “There have been some night letter drops, there have been reports of people trying to recruit both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, quite frankly.”

General Campbell stated that the Islamic State has a “hard message to sell” in Afghanistan. “The Taliban have their allegiance to Mullah Omar and a different philosophy and ideology than [the Islamic State], but, potentially, there are people who are disgruntled with the Taliban, they haven’t seen [Taliban commander] Mullah Omar in years, or they want to go a different way,” said Campbell.

Separately, Ariana TV in Kabul quoted Campbell as saying that “young Taliban” members may be wooed into the Islamic State’s ranks.

Raouf concealed his Taliban role while detained at Guantanamo

Raouf spent several years at Guantanamo, but was transferred to Afghanistan in 2007.

The AP cites an Afghan official as noting that Raouf “was a corps commander during the Taliban’s 1996-2001 rule” of Afghanistan. During hearings at Guantanamo, however, Raouf hid his Taliban role. [See LWJ report, Former Gitmo detainee turned Taliban leader threatens Afghan elders.]

“I am not a member of the Taliban,” Raouf said during his combatant status review tribunal (CSRT) at Guantanamo. During his administrative review board (ARB) hearing, Raouf also denied receiving any weapons training or fighting for the Taliban. He said that he had merely served food from a nearby bakery to the Taliban’s soldiers.

“I wish there was a way I could prove to you that I will not be a danger anymore,” Raouf told military officials. He said he wanted to work with the Karzai government, which was then in power. “If they do not mind, I’d love to go there and help them out with the new government and work for them.”

According to a leaked Oct. 26, 2004 threat assessment authored by Joint Task Force – Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO), Raouf was able to accurately identify several high-level Taliban leaders and “admitted involvement in the production and sales of opium, as well as association with criminal elements within the Taliban and the Northern Alliance.”

Raouf was “generally cooperative” during interrogations or debriefings, but he was “uncooperative in terms of discussing his complete involvement with the Taliban and the opium trade.” He remained “vague and inconsistent when questioned on high-level Taliban leadership or topics of a sensitive nature.” Raouf also “evaded answering questions regarding his role and leadership within the Taliban.”

The JTF-GTMO team suspected, however, that there was more to Raouf’s story. He was deemed a “medium” threat (as opposed to high or low) to the US, its interests and allies. And JTF-GTMO recommended that he be transferred to the control of another country for continued detention.

Ties to the so-called “Taliban Five”

JTF-GTMO’s threat assessment connects Raouf to at least two members of the so-called “Taliban Five,” a group of senior Taliban officials who were exchanged for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. [See LWJ report, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl exchanged for top 5 Taliban commanders at Gitmo.]

The leaked file notes that Raouf was “associated” with Mohammad Fazl, who served as the Taliban’s chief of staff and commanded a few thousand fighters.

Other senior Taliban commanders identified Raouf during their time in custody at Guantanamo. Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa is one of them. Khairkhwa identified Raouf as “a possible military leader, military commander, or possibly even as mayor of Khost,” Afghanistan but apparently never explained Raouf’s true role.

Both Fazl and Khairkwa are members of the “Taliban Five” and were transferred to Qatar last year.

Raouf has worked closely with another senior Taliban leader known as Mullah Abdul Qayoum Zakir. Like Raouf, Zakir was once held at Guantanamo and attempted to hide the true extent of his role within the Taliban while in custody. [See LWJ report, The Gitmo Files: 2 of Afghanistan’s most wanted hid leadership roles while in US custody.]

After being transferred to Afghanistan, both Raouf and Zakir quickly emerged as top Taliban commanders once again. At one point, Zakir led the Taliban’s efforts to counter the coalition’s surge of forces in southern Afghanistan.

However, both Raouf and Zakir were removed from the senior leadership positions they held within the Taliban after leaving Guantanamo. In April 2014, the Taliban announced that Zakir had resigned from his position as the head of the Taliban’s military commission due to “ill health.” It has been reported that in reality Zakir was forced out. [See LWJ report, Head of Taliban’s military commission resigns due to ‘ill health’.]

Today, Raouf claims he is loyal to the Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s Islamic State. And he is not the only ex-Guantanamo detainee who is attempting to expand the Islamic State’s influence into Afghanistan and Pakistan. Muslim Dost, who was also once held in Cuba, has been helping Baghdadi’s organization by recruiting and spreading its propaganda throughout the region.

The Perversely Bestial, Inhuman Nature of CIA Guantanamo Torturers


Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag


Samir Naji is a Yemeni accused of serving in Osama bin Laden’s security detail and has been imprisoned for nearly 13 years without charge in Guantanamo Bay. He was cleared for release in 2009, but remains in detention. The following first-person testimony, recorded during his most recent meeting with lawyers from the international human rights organization Reprieve, has just been released by prison censors. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely his.

Also see
: Closing Guantanamo: Who’s left and what’s in the way

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (CNN)I’ve heard that the Senate report on CIA torture is 6,000 pages long. My story, though, takes place elsewhere: in Guantanamo, away from the CIA program that the report covers. The 6,000 pages of the Senate report are just the start of what Americans have to accept happened in their name.

It starts and ends in the silence of a tiny, freezing cold cell, alone. That’s when you hold yourself in a ball, and fight to ignore the confusion of what has just happened to you, and the fear of what might be coming next. Or the fear that comes when you realize that no one is coming to help; that the life, family and friends you knew are all far, far away.

The cell door opens. The next session, seemingly the 100th in a row. I think my first period of interrogation lasted three full months. Two teams of interrogators running shifts, day and night.

Each session begins with shouting, to wake me up. Then they hit me on the face and the back. I am so desperate for sleep, my head is swimming. There are photographs of faces stuck all around the walls of this room. They demand that I identify the individuals, but I can barely focus to see if I might know them. The shouting and the insults get louder, and then they nod to a man in the corner. He injects me twice in the arm with some unknown substance. It’s the last thing I know.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. This time the guards enter, making awful honking noises, like wild animals.

I tried to refuse to eat the little food they bring me, in protest at all this. The interrogator laughs at me, but then turns angry; he swears loudly, and pours an army meal pack over my head. They tell the man in the corner to start feeding me intravenously. He inserts the tube in two different places on my arm and makes it bleed.

Closing Guantanamo: Who’s left and what’s in the way

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. This time the guards push me on the floor and take turns trampling over my back.

I tell the interrogators that I can’t face not eating any more. They throw food on the floor of the room and tell me to eat like a pig. They won’t let me go to the restroom. They watch as it gets more painful, and laugh as they get the translator to describe how they will rape me if I pee in my pants.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. They make me stand and salute the American flag.

I’m in a sort of cinema room, where I have to watch videos of other prisoners being abused. Then they tell me that I have to dance for them, and run in circles whilst they pull on my chains. Every time I try and refuse, they touch me in my most private areas.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. It has rained, and there are muddy puddles everywhere. I’m shackled, so I can’t really walk; they deliberately drag me through the muddy puddles.

Now it’s the pornography room. Awful pictures everywhere. There is one with a man and a donkey. I’m stripped naked and have my beard shaved, in a gratuitous insult to my religion. I’m shown pornographic pictures of women. I’m told to make the noises of different animals, and when I refuse, they just hit me. It ends with them pouring cold water all over me.

Hours later in my cell, I am discovered, nearly frozen. The doctor tells them to bring me urgently to the clinic, where I am given a blanket and treatment. Over the next hours, they observe me as I warm up. They are just waiting for the moment that they can sign off on my return to interrogation.

Four years ago, six U.S. government security agencies sat together and reviewed my case. Their conclusion? That I was innocent of any crime and should be released. The dirty and sadistic methods I endured — which were then taken directly to Abu Ghraib — achieved nothing, except to shame that American flag hanging in the prison corridor, which I was made to salute.

One hundred and thirty-six prisoners are still being held at Guantanamo, whilst the politicians squabble over how to black out the Senate report. America cannot keep hiding from its past, and its present, like this. Our stories, and our continued detention, cannot be made to disappear.

READ: CIA misled public on torture, Senate report says