Category Archives: Al Qaeda

Bravo! Bravissimo!

Al Qaeda’s ballyhooed plans to release a fancy-pants video on the intertubes on 9/11 came to naught, apparently because of free-lance hackers!

Sources close to US intelligence said, “Hackers knocked out Al Qaeda’s online means of communication, thus preventing them from posting anything to commemorate the anniversary.”

Western intelligence suspects two hackers who have targeted Islamicist sites before were responsible: Aaron Weisburd from Internet Haganah and Rusty Shackleford from the web group My Pet Jawa.

Thus the title of this post. The pseudonymous Rusty Shackleford of the Jawa Report (the old name is soooo 2005) denies it and denies being a hacker at all. Not that he’s against whoever did the business. In fact, he’s in favor and would buy that person or persons a beer or three to celebrate.

p.s. Do you want to read 10 years of old Osama bin Laden whinging on the topic of killing infidels, the caliphate, killing infidels, collecting jizya, killing infidels, overthrowing the Saudi royals, killing infidels, and numerous details of personal hygeine, all translated into English?

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Five Letters from Bin Laden

Found, in Pakistan, five letters from Bin Laden. That’s basically what the article says, with a few unimportant details thrown in.

Update: Continue reading

al-Qaeda spreads Opium in Diyala Iraq

Patrick Cockburn gives reality a leftist twist for The Independent:

The cultivation of opium poppies whose product is turned into heroin is spreading rapidly across Iraq as farmers find they can no longer make a living through growing traditional crops.

Afghan[s] with experience in planting poppies have been helping farmers switch to producing opium in fertile parts of Diyala province, once famous for its oranges and pomegranates, north-east of Baghdad.

At a heavily guarded farm near the town of Buhriz, south of the provincial capital Baquba, poppies are grown between the orange trees in order to hide them, according to a local source.

Here is the narrative you are supposed to believe. Opium has been grown in Iraq since the Sumerian era in 3400BC. Farmers in Diyala province of Iraq cannot make a living growing regular food crops. Recently, these Afghans just happened to be walking by with everything that was needed to grow opium poppies. Farmers not realizing that opium gets processed and turned into heroin thought it sounded like a wonderful idea to grow opium between the orange trees in their orchards. The fact that the al-Qaeda “resistance” hides out here and has killed a bunch of farmers before seizing their land doesn’t have anything to do with why opium poppies are being cultivated in Diyala. That is just a coincidence. By the way, all the violence in the province is caused not by al-Qaeda but by American troops. There are not any heroin labs in Iraq.

Those who read past the first three paragraphs will discover there is more to it.

Diyala, an area of foothills stretching from just east of Baghdad to the Iranian border, with easy transit across the Iranian border, is the primary center of violence and al-Qaeda terrorist activity in Iraq. Al-Qaeda jihadists and criminals imported opium poppies and Afghan experts in opium cultivation to Iraq, first in the south around Basra and now also in Diyala. al-Qaeda jihadists and other violent criminal gangs have taken over a bunch of farms in the boonies after either killing or driving away the owners and are cultivating opium poppies and preparing for jihad operations on their stolen land. There are not any known heroin labs in Iraq, yet.

The Al-Qaeda “resistance” romanticized by the likes of Cockburn are not Minutemen or heroes. They are criminal gangs something like MS-13, the Crips, and the Bloods, only more violent and fascist and not nearly as civic minded.

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All eyes on Baitullah Mehsud

It is time for some news from the Far End of the World, the region that touches the sky where the Pashtun tribes live between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Baitullah Mehsud, the rising young al-Quaeda/Taliban commander who has been accused of responsibility for the assassination/murder of Benazir Bhutto, is all of a sudden very popular with the Pakistani military, which is seeking him out in order to kill him as dead as vulture vomit, and then kill him some more. It is possible that some want the military to capture him first. Judging from what seems to happen to captured Taliban commanders (free and clear after a little bribe), I’m against capture. Mehsud, who captured five Christians recently, has freed the the Christians under intense political pressure.

Mullah Abdul Salaam, the former Taliban commander and governor of Uruzgan province, who recently joined the government and helped NATO retake Musa Qala, has been made the district chief of Musa Qala.

Pakistan is on alert over the Shiite holy month of Moharram, which will reach its peak observance on Jan 20.

It’s questionable whether this is really information from Afghanistan or Pakistan, but it is about a man of Pakistani heritage who was headed to Afghanistan to go on Jihad. Britain has jailed Sohail Qureshi, a London dentist who had his mind set on going to Afghanistan and joining the Taliban in order to kill NATO soldiers (including British soldiers). The sentence is 4 1/2 years, but he’s likely to be out in one year. Now that’s multiculti punishment for you! Going to war against your own country is the most clear, unambiguous example of treason possible. One year in jail for treason! When did they stop hanging people for treason again?

Iran is beginning to expel its Afghan refugees, many of whom have been in Iran since the Soviet invasion of 1979 or were born in Iran. Afghanistan is pleading for Iran to hold off. This is the middle of winter after all.

Now this is good news! Islamic political parties are losing their appeal for voters in Pakistan.

British special forces stationed in Taliban-infested Helmand province (where most of the Heroin comes from), kept up their spirits on Christmas by patrolling in Santa hats.

But as they neared the final mile of their patrol, almost five hours after they set out, every man who had one swapped his helmet for a Santa hat. Armed with heavy machine guns, mortars and grenade launchers, the men continued through a derelict bazaar, grinning like children, but looking like a violent Father Christmas audition.

China is going into copper mining near Kabul.

All that remains from Soviet attempts in the 1970s to assess one of the world’s biggest copper reserves is exploratory drill holes.

But in five years time, if all goes to plan, the landscape in the Aynak exploration area will finally be changed into one of the world’s largest open cast mines thanks to a $3bn investment by the China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC).

And finally, a traveling exhibition of ancient artworks from Afghan’s pre-Islamic past has found its way to Amsterdam, and in May will begin a 17-month tour of the USA. Time magazine gives an overview.

The Amsterdam exhibition presents 250 objects from four archaeological sites — Tepe Fullol, Ai Khanum, Tillya-tepe, and Begram — dating back as far as 4,000 years ago. It includes gold and silver vases from the Bactrian Bronze Age; a Greek limestone pillar and sundials from the 2nd century BC; Indian-related ivory figures and furniture from the 1st century AD; and a spectacular gold collection from Tillya-Tepe that includes bracelets, hearts, a crown, and even a pair of golden shoe soles meant to convey an aristocrat’s disinclination for walking.

But just as Afghanistan’s geography invited cultural influence, so too did it draw a sequence of invasion and conquest that has put the country’s heritage in constant peril. The Taliban’s destruction of art was the culmination of years of catastrophe visited on the National Museum, and the extraordinary story of how the surviving art got here is as much part of the exhibit as the art itself.

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Adam Gadahn: “I don’t need it to travel anyway.”

Adam Gadahn, the American traitor in al-Qaeda, says in his latest anti-American jihadist rant:

Adam Gadahn: In a symbolic act of protest at America’s continuing detention and mental and physical torture of Muslims like Sheik Omar Abd Al-Rahman, John Walker Lindh, Abu Zubeidah, and thousands of others like them, and in protest at the cruel and barbaric treatment it metes out to millions of innocents around the world, and in symbolic rejection of the American citizenship which honorable, decent, and compassionate people are ashamed to carry, I will now proceed to destroy my American passport. Yes, this is the original passport.

[Adam Gadahn holds passport up to camera and tears it up]

Adam Gadahn: But don’t get too excited. I don’t need it to travel anyway.

This seems to be an oblique reference to American border security problems. Gadahn and other al-Qaeda can travel almost anywhere in the world they want, even to the US via the border with Mexico.

Passports are only critical for law-abiding citizens. Gadahn and those who surround him are thoroughgoing criminals and brigands.

Watch or read about it at MEMRI.

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The Assassins Got Benazir Bhutto

The modern-day Assassins led by their vanguard in al-Qaeda managed to murder Benazir Bhutto and roughly 20 bystanders in Rawalpindi. The Canadian Press reports:

The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, about 18 kilometres south of Islamabad, the capital. She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto’s security adviser.

Bob Krumm states this is the biggest news story of 2007, and claims that this could be as big a deal as the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. That would imply it would start a war as big as World War I. I don’t think it will cause that big a reaction because it will not offend Muslims the same way that any offense committed by Americans would, but would put it second, after Petraeus’ success in Iraq with the surge.

From the first day she came back to Pakistan, the Jihadists were out to kill her and she seemed to be seeking martyrdom. In that first day back she held an enormous, well publicized, rally down the middle of a main road. A Jihadist carried an infant to her, wrapped in explosives, for her to kiss. But luckily for Bhutto, she had retired beneath the top of her transport and was uninjured by the explosion that killed 140 people, including the infant bomb. Yesterday the police stopped a 15-year old suicide bomber with a bomb full of nails. She has been going out into crowds too frequently. She went to Rawalpindi, where her father was hanged to death by General Zia ul Haq, who overthrew him in a military coup.

Mark Steyn writes:

Benazir Bhutto’s return to Pakistan had a mad recklessness about it which give today’s events a horrible inevitability. As I always say when I’m asked about her, she was my next-door neighbor for a while – which affects a kind of intimacy, though in fact I knew her only for sidewalk pleasantries. She was beautiful and charming and sophisticated and smart and modern, and everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be – though in practice, as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, she was just another grubby wardheeler from one of the world’s most corrupt political classes.Since her last spell in power, Pakistan has changed, profoundly. Its sovereignty is meaningless in increasingly significant chunks of its territory, and, within the portions Musharraf is just about holding together, to an ever more radicalized generation of young Muslim men Miss Bhutto was entirely unacceptable as the leader of their nation. […]

As I said, she was everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be. We should be modest enough to acknowledge when reality conflicts with our illusions. Rest in peace, Benazir.

The best thing that might come out of this martyrdom is that al-Qaeda’s allies in Pakistani military and intelligence services finally awaken to the reality that al-Qaeda and the Taliban have overstepped, that they are not allies by any stretch of the imagination, and that Pakistan finally acts decisively to destroy al-Qaeda and the Taliban branch and root.

The second best thing that might come out of it is that NATO, the UN, the EU, and the US will finally stop fooling themselves about whether the Taliban is a reliable partner in negotiations. It is not. It never will be. Hopefully, this tragedy will open some eyes.

Who has roundups? Jules Crittendon. Pajamas. Instapundit.

More on Pakistan.

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Karzai prays for the Taliban on Eid al-Adha

It is time for some news from the Far End of the World, the region that touches the sky where the Pashtun tribes live between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Karzai prayed for the Taliban today.

‘Today … is a day we should remember those families who have lost loved ones in different terrorist acts like bombs and suicide attacks,’ Karzai said after prayers to mark the Eid al-Adha Muslim festival.’Today I also ask forgiveness from God for those Afghans who have been killed in the fight against the homeland if they are Taliban or otherwise,’ he said.

Karzai also chided the USA for fighting terrorists in Afghanistan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says Afghanistan is not a hideout for terrorism, but a victim of it.During an address Wednesday marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, Mr. Karzai urged the U.S. and its allies to target terrorists outside of Afghanistan.

That means in Pakistan. How, exactly, the US could operate freely in the Talibanistan regions of the borderland between Pakistan and Afghanistan is not clear.

The US military provides humanitarian aid, especially for the kids, in Afghanistan.

Each patrol was a foray into villages regarded as Taliban sanctuaries. Each began with tension and the possibility of violence. But the Taliban did not confront the heavily armed paratroopers, and within minutes the mood of the patrols shifted.Once the villagers realized that the platoons were accompanied by medics, they pushed forward sick children and pleaded for help.

A catalog of pediatric suffering quickly formed into queues: children with grotesque burns and skin infections, distended scrapes and scorpion and spider bites, bleeding ears, dimmed eyes or heavy, rolling coughs. Some were bandaged in dirty rags. Others were in wheelbarrows because they lacked the strength to walk.

The US can help people and their kids, while all the Taliban can promise is an ugly, painful death.

In even sadder news, Ismail Gulgee was discovered murdered in his home in Karachi, Pakistan.

Ismail Gulgee, Pakistan’s most prominent artist, was found murdered today with his wife and a maid in their Karachi home, police said. He was 81.They said the three were found gagged in different rooms of the house, which is in the city’s most upmarket district.

The hands of his wife, Zarina, were tied.

See some pictures here. Follow the links to the Painting Gallery.

And finally, convicted felons have charged Pakistan with secretly detaining terror suspects. This is hard to confirm or deny, as false accusations of illegal imprisonment and abuse in prison are standard operating procedure for Al Qaeda operatives who spend time in jail.

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Not just no, but hell no

Paul Elias reports:

The lawyer and parents of John Walker Lindh, the American-born Taliban soldier serving 20 years in prison after his capture in Afghanistan, renewed their call to President Bush on Tuesday to commute his sentence and set him free.

See the headline.

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Would the Media sell its soul to interview the Devil himself?

We shall find out shortly.

Al-Qaida has invited journalists to send questions to its No. 2 figure, Ayman al-Zawahri, in the first such offer by the increasingly media-savvy terror network to “interview” one of its leaders since the 9-11 attacks.

The invitation is a new twist in al-Qaida’s campaign to reach a broader audience, and represents an attempt by al-Zawahri to present himself as a sophisticated leader rather than a mass murderer.

According to the Beeb, the devilish Zawahiri is “opening himself up to questioning in a similar fashion to televised political debates.” Is that a Fox debate or one on CNN?

Maybe if we’re lucky at least one snowman will ask him a silly question about taxpayer-supported, socialist-style health care, to which Adam Gadahn can give him some kind of Chomskian, anti-American answer to spout off and impress the leftards at DU.

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News from the Far End of the World: The End of the Beginning in Afghanistan

PM Gordon Brown of the UK proposed talking with the Taliban or perhaps not, or perhaps he proposed doing it before he said he wouldn’t. I can’t tell. But in any case, the diplomatic offensive in Afghanistan and Talibanistan is getting more serious, with both NATO and the Afghan government making inroads.

Officials claim that 5,000 Taleban members have already agreed to give up their arms. These are mainly “tier two” and “tier three” Taleban; the latter being local farmers who fought intermittently for about £5 a day. However, they also said that 70 Taleban “leaders” had been killed this year alone.

President Karzai of Afghanistan has admitted that he has been in negotiation with mid-level Taliban leaders to persuade them to part ways with Mullah Omar prior to the assault on Musa Qala (about which more later). Jerome Starkey reports:

Mullah Mohammad Ishaq Nizami claimed that Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, was trying to isolate Mullah Omar by wooing his lieutenants in the Quetta Shura. The council of elders in neighbouring Pakistan controls insurgents in Kandahar and Helmand.

He said: “Karzai is trying to get the 18 people in the Quetta Shura. If he succeeds it will be a defeat for Mullah Omar. The Taleban and the government are tired of fighting and they want to negotiate.”

A nameless NATO official chimes in with a Rumsfieldian quote:

“These are talks about talks. It might not be the beginning of the end, but it’s the end of the beginning. It’s not official. It is representatives of representatives, like the role the Church played at the start of the Northern Ireland peace process.”

The End of the Beginning. It’s progress.

Musa Qala has been retaken from Taliban control with more than 50 Taliban fighters dead. The locals are not sad to see them go. Noor Khan writes for the AP:

[Taliban] fighters did collect “taxes” from businesses, farmers and others, money used to help fund the insurgency that raged across the northern part of Helmand province in 2007, a year of record violence in Afghanistan.

Fariq Khan, a Musa Qala resident in his early 30s who owns a telephone shop, said the Taliban would take about $8 from each family every month during a collection at the mosque. Though small, the amount is significant; teachers in Afghanistan are paid only $50 a month.

Trucks passing through paid $50 and poppy farmers had to turn over 10 percent of their profits, Khan said, speaking to The Associated Press in Kandahar.

Musa Qala was the site of 50 to 70 heroin labs used to process the opium poppies grown across northern Helmand _ the world’s largest poppy growing region. Khan said small labs employed 15 Afghans, while larger operations had some 60 workers.

Another Musa Qala resident, Mohammed Rauf, said the town has dozens of labs run by residents. “When the Taliban took control after this peace agreement failed, the heroin factories increased,” he said in a telephone interview.

The Islamist MMA coalition in Pakistan is near collapse and has suspended itself.

I don’t understand the tendency for Muslims in Pakistan and Iraq to boycott politics. It is a foolish surrender to the opposition.

Mushy dodged yet another al Qaeda assassination plot. Assassin and Old Man of the Mountain Osama bin Laden’s response has not been reported, but can be imagined.

The Taliban are not in retreat everywhere. Attacks on video rental and music shops continue. Kim Barker reports from Peshawar.

In Peshawar, the police have solved few of the bombings, which have managed to almost shut down the struggling entertainment industry here. No one was arrested in one of the most serious attacks, a suicide bomber who killed the city’s police chief and 15 others last January, let alone the smaller bombs that explode regularly. No one has claimed responsibility for any of the attacks.

In Peshawar, as many as 3,000 police patrol the city of 4 million. That means a rate of one officer for every 1,333 people, compared with Chicago, with one officer for about every 210 people. But the Peshawar police are expected to solve normal crimes plus tackle a growing Islamic insurgency, which often traces back to Taliban-controlled towns or the nearby tribal areas, where tribal justice reigns and there is no law enforcement, let alone police. Coordination between police departments here is unlikely or impossible.

“The militancy factor in the last one year, wasn’t here before,” said Muhammad Tahir, the senior superintendent of police in Peshawar. “Basically the erosion of state authority has taken place.”

As Tahir explained that the militants were better equipped than police in parts of the province, his phone rang — another bombing. This time, a bomb being carried by a woman had blown up near an office of Pakistan’s most powerful spy agency. Government officials initially said the woman was the country’s first female suicide bomber, but Tahir later said she was probably carrying the bomb when it was unexpectedly detonated by mobile phone, killing only her.

Finally, the major motion picture The Kite Runner has caused unexpected problems for its local stars. Ed Pilkington reports:

The film includes a rape scene involving individuals from two rival tribes. Although the scene is sensitively portrayed, with the unstrapping of a belt rather than graphic action, it has prompted fears of possible ethnic unrest. Paramount Pictures delayed the release of the film by six weeks to December 14 to give time to guarantee the boys’ safety.

The four boys include Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada, now 13, who plays Hassan, a low-caste member of the Hazara tribe; and Zekeria Ebrahimi, 11, who is cast in the role of Hassan’s best friend, a relatively rich Pashtun called Amir. In a key scene Amir fails to intervene when Hassan is raped by a Pashtun man – a betrayal that develops through the film and lies at its emotional core.

Ahmad’s characterisation of Hassan has been highly praised. The New York Times has said it “ranks among the great child performances on film”.

Rich Klein, a Middle East expert with a Washington-based consultancy firm employed by Paramount to organise the relocation of the boys, said it was a huge relief that they were now out of harm’s way. “We were working with eight people, three different languages, and four time zones. But we have found the right place for the boys where they won’t feel any sense of anxiety or dislocation in their lives.”

Mr Klein said Paramount had recognised it had made an error in casting local Afghan actors. “A mistake was made. It was unintentional – the situation was not fully understood in terms of Afghan culture and history and the relationship between the Hazara and Pashtun people.”

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