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October 10, 2011 - 2nd ed

terrorism • maritime piracy • jihadism • Failed States • ndsp • intel • counterterrorism

Homeland Security Bill Targets Homegrown Islamist Extremism

A House bill set for markup on Wednesday would give protection against civil lawsuits to those who report suspicious activity, designate a federal czar to counter homegrown violent Islamist extremism, and require Border Patrol agents to be capable of stopping every single person who tries to cross into the country illegally. But perhaps the most noteworthy aspect...

Thanks to @switch_d

AQAP confirms Anwar al Awlaki killed in US drone strike

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has confirmed that Anwar al Awlaki was killed in a US drone strike last month, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. In a statement released to online jihadist forums, AQAP also confirmed the killing of Samir Khan, who edited AQAP's online English publication, Inspire...

Qatar: analysts discuss Al Qaeda role in Gulf

After the arrest of 41 people under charges of Al Qaeda membership and of planning an attack on American bases in Kuwait and Qatar, a discussion on the role of Al Qaeda in the region has been reopened in the Gulf countries. "Al Qaeda would never have been what it is now without the support of many Gulf countries. At the same time, Al Qaeda continues to attack...

Al Qaeda kidnap plot to free Osama bin Laden's three widows being held in Pakistan

Pakistani authorities fear Al Qaeda are plotting to kidnap a government official in order to force the hand over of Osama bin Laden's three widows and eight children.Yemen-born Amal al-Sadah, 29, and Saudis Khairiah Sabar and Siham Sabar are in custody in Pakistan after the U.S. raid in May which killed their terror chief husband. Although travel restrictions...

Saudi court puts 85 Al Qaeda-linked cell militants on trial

Saudi Arabia has started to try 85 alleged members of an Al Qaeda-linked cell which attacked three housing compounds for foreigners in the capital Riyadh in 2003, local newspapers reported today. The attacks, which took place on a single night, killed 20 people according to Saudi Arabia's official news agency, and marked the start of a violent Al Qaeda campaign that included plots against military bases, foreigners and industrial and energy facilities between 2003-06...

30 Afghan militants killed after cross-border raid

Pakistani soldiers killed 30 Afghan militants who had crossed the border to attack the army, military officials said on Monday. The raid on Sunday night by a group of more than 200 Afghans could further damage an already difficult relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan, who often accuse each other of failing to halt cross-border operations by militants.One Pakistani soldier was...

Suicide bombers in U.S., UK and France ready to strike if Syria attacked: Grand mufti

Syria’s Grand Mufti Shiekh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun in a video posted on YouTube, said suicide bombers were present in the United States, France and Britain and ready to strike if Western powers launch a military strike on his country...

Thanks to @CarvajalF

Gaza Terrorist Killed by Own Bomb

The IDF spokesperson's office announced Monday that an explosive device detonated in northern Gaza, killing a terrorist who was trying to plant a bomb near the security fence separating Israel's southern communities from Hamas-ruled Gaza. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine's military wing claimed the man...

The Wretched Scandal of Reporting from Gaza

In a visit sponsored by the non-governmental organization Save The Children (an NGO not immune to anti-Israel bias according to NGO Monitor), the Daily Telegraph’s Mary Riddell reports on “The wretched scandal of Gaza“. The real scandal, however, is Riddell’s Pavlovian need to attribute blame for Gaza’s situation solely to Israel...


Hard Questions About Terror

City officials finally showed some backbone regarding the NYPD. For first time since 9/11, some elected officials had the courage to grill Police Commissioner Ray Kelly about his secretive anti-terrorism policies after documents surfaced, showing widespread and possibly illegal spying by the NYPD's Intelligence Division on the city's Muslims...

Understanding Yemen’s unrest: Al-Qaeda, Saleh, and opposition movements’ power struggle

Despite months of protests, Yemeni President Saleh, 69, has remained defiant, reversing repeated pledges to quit and while fears of al-Qaeda's influence have been voiced, other criteria also threaten the country's stability. With Saleh's new pledge to leave power now in doubts, the future of Yemen is once more in tatters. In a speech over the week-end, Saleh...

Moroccans mosque imams protest tight government controls on preaching

Dozens of preachers from mosques across Morocco protested Monday in the capital over tight controls on their preaching, the first time such a demonstration has been allowed to go forward. The small protest was significant because Morocco keeps a very close watch on the nation’s mosques to guard against extremist thought like that of al-Qaida...

Is Iraq the model for the Mideast after all?

In Syria, elite army units are bloodily assaulting a now-armed resistance. Supporters of dictator Bashar al-Assad are being picked off in targeted assassinations while opposition activists are tortured to death. Western countries stand fecklessly by as Russia and China veto action by the U.N. Security Council. At least 2,900 dead have been counted — and the carnage may be just getting started. I could write a column about all of this. But I’d like to propose, instead, that we think again about the war in Iraq...

Italian ship attacked off Somali coast

An Italian ship was attacked Monday off the Somali coast, the ship's owner said. The last message from the captain indicated that the vessel, the Montecristo, was attacked by a ship with five armed people, the D'Alesio Group said in a statement...

Foreign insects, diseases got into US in the years after 9/11

Dozens of foreign insects and plant diseases slipped undetected into the United States in the years after 9/11, when authorities were so focused on preventing another attack that they overlooked a pest explosion that threatened the quality of the nation's food supply. At the time, hundreds of agricultural scientists responsible for stopping invasive species at the border were reassigned to anti-terrorism duties in the newly formed Homeland Security Department...


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Blood of the Martyr is Light and Fire: Statement on the Martyrdom of Shaykh Anwar al-’Awlaqi and his Colleagues

On October 10, 2011, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) issued a statement confirming the "martyrdom" of U.S. nationals Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. According to the statement: "The Americans killed the scholar Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaqi and Samir Khan, but they did not prove any crime they committed and they never presented any proof against them from their laws of unjust freedom. So, where is the freedom, justice, human rights and respect of freedoms they boast of? Did America become so suffocated that it contradicted…these principles it claims it established its country on?" AQAP further warned, "The blood of the Shaykh [al-Awlaki] and his companions will not have been spilled in vain...Our knights will...take revenge soon." The statement from AQAP made no mention of master bombmaker Ibrahim al-Assiri, who was also rumored killed in the same drone missile strike...

Thanks to @azelin

Mistreatment of Conflict-Related Security Detainees in National Directorate of Security and Afghan National Police Facilities

UNAMA today released a report that documents the torture and mistreatment of detainees in a number of detention facilities of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Afghan National Police (ANP) across the country. UNAMA is committed to assisting the Afghan Government and people attain the highest standards of human rights and its detention observation programme is a crucial aspect of this work. UNAMA’s report, the result of extensive interviews from October 2010 to August 2011 of 379 detainees at 47 facilities in 22 provinces, and of thorough analysis that concluded in September 2011, found the use of interrogation techniques that constitute torture under international law and crimes under Afghan law, as well as other forms of mistreatment. The report includes recommendations to the National Directorate of Security, the Ministry of Interior (MoI), the Government of Afghanistan, Afghan judicial institutions and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)...