Archive for category The West

and they probably believe every word of it too, such is the disease

(i added the video…seemed to me something was missing here…)

a call for jewish leadership to step forward now

By Beth Gilinsky and Rabbi Aryeh Spero

on Sunday, April 04, 2010

“Humanity sympathizes with a strenuous aspiration. It can’t have respect for people who lack self respect.” Pierre Van Paassen - “The Forgotten Ally”

We have been receiving numerous communications from the People of Israel expressing how demoralized and abandoned the Jewish People in Israel feel by the lack of any strong and meaningful statement and vigorous, public demonstrations sponsored by any of the major and established Jewish organizations in support of Israel’s position regarding Jerusalem.

They feel that the treatment of Israel during the last three weeks by President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and spokesmen for the Administration has been an unprecedented humiliation of the Jewish State and a willful isolation of it among the community of nations.

In addition, they are alarmed at the silence of the Jewish community in light of how the Obama Administration has been making statements and taking measures that everyone knows give license for the Arab population within Israel and on its borders to renew intifada and rioting that will severely harm the individual Israeli, as is already being done.

Furthermore, the brazen and humiliating way in which the Prime Minister of Israel, the de facto representative of the entire Jewish People, was treated by the entire staff of the White House in front of all the eyes of the world should not be tolerated. It is encouraging other Western countries, as well as Arab countries, to treat Israel as a diplomatic pariah and even question Israel’s legitimacy as a state itself.

The Israeli People are not looking for yet another statement from the establishment Jewish community as to how we are in favor of a peace process, a “two-state solution”, or that the last three weeks of humiliation “disrupts” further peace negotiations. What they are looking for, and what the establishment Jewish organizations should do, is to express their outrage at the mistreatment and humiliation of the Jewish State and attempts to portray the Jewish State as being the sole entity blocking a successful War on Terror. This is reminiscent of previous blood libels throughout history, where the Jewish People have been accused that their existence, rituals, or means of survival has been the cause for the loss of Muslim or Christian life.

The Jewish world is awaiting your affirmation that the entire city of Jerusalem is to be under Jewish sovereignty and is its eternal, united capital.

Furthermore, it is apparentMIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS that the Obama Administration, from the President to Mrs. Clinton, to David Axelrod, and the President’s spokesmen are engaging in an attempt to overturn the will of the Israeli People who voted for the current Prime Minister and his coalition partners. They view it — and rightly so — as a belittlement not only to their sovereignty, but also to their right to determine who their leaders should be.

On so many fronts, the past three weeks have been an absolute and unwarranted, yet purposeful, humiliation of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. We would expect that the establishment Jewish organizations and leaders would have the courage to stand up, with pride, for the Jewish People and its state. Instead, we are witnessing a silence that conveys the message that the leadership of the Jewish community is more interested in being friends with the Administration than doing its duty by announcing to the world that this cannot be tolerated. We look for the Jewish organizations and its leaders to speak Truth to Power.

The silence of the established Jewish organizations on this matter, in contrast to the outspokenness from J Street, has elevated and allowed J Street to become the most visible and prominent organization speaking out about these issues within the Jewish community. No doubt, many of our leaders are working behind the scenes to repair the rupture of the last three weeks. In this case, however, that is simply not enough and evades the real issue. The world at large has seen a public humiliation and rebuke of the State of Israel go unanswered. Unless it sees a profoundly public rebuke of such treatment, it will assume that such humiliating treatment of Jews and the Jewish State are now acceptable and de rigueur.

The World must hear. The World must see. It takes little courage to meet with other leaders behind closed doors. The courage that is needed now is one where the world sees that Israel, its representatives and the Jewish People cannot tolerate that which no other nation or community would tolerate. Failure to do so openly and in public will guarantee that this will happen again, even if this particular crisis is “smoothed out.”

Leaders are not simply men and women who work behind the scenes. Leaders of a community are those who have enough conviction and pride in the profile of their community that they boldly, with enthusiasm, defend their People when unjustly humiliated. Doing so stops the slide of demoralization in its people and restores their confidence in themselves as a People, a people with a legitimate destiny. The American Jewish Community expects that type of leadership from those who claim to be its leaders.

meaningful reform

Africa is loaded with natural resources and poor people. We hear about the corruption in Africa, the corrupt leaders. We don’t hear too much how those corrupt African leaders work with other corrupt people in The West. Western people are always only “helping out” in Africa, so it seems. It’s too bad nothing ever seems to help huh? What’s up with that? Must be those corrupt African leaders.

[Just like with organ trafficking, if we refuse to look at the entire chain of supply and demand and brokers, and instead focus myopically on only one part of the problem, we can make a big show about pulling our hair out forever and ever trying to solve it, bending over backwards, but it will never be solved. (Wink wink wink!)]

Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: Hidden Resource for Development

In December 2008 Global Financial Integrity released its groundbreaking analysis of Illicit Financial Flowsfrom Developing Countries: 2002 – 2006. We estimated such flows at $859 billion to $1.06 trillion a year.

…Much attention has been focused on corruption in recent years, that is, the proceeds of bribery and theft by government officials. In the cross-border flow of illicit money, we find that funds generated by this means are about 3 percent of the global total. Criminal proceeds generated through drug trafficking, racketeering, counterfeiting and more are about 30 to 35 percent of the total. The proceeds of commercial tax evasion, mainly through trade mispricing, are by far the largest component, at some 60 to 65 percent of the global total.

...This massive flow of illicit money out of Africa is facilitated by a global shadow financial system comprising tax havens, secrecy jurisdictions, disguised corporations, anonymous trust accounts, fake foundations, trade mispricing, and money laundering techniques. The impact of this structure and the funds it shifts out of Africa is staggering. It drains hard currency reserves, heightens inflation, reduces tax collection, cancels investment, and undermines free trade. It has its greatest impact on those at the bottom of income scales in their countries, removing resources that could otherwise be used for poverty alleviation and economic growth.

So in other words, Africa is being robbed blind, assets being massively funneled out of Africa and into — oh where to? Into the global shadow financial system. Who runs all that? Shhhhhhhh…….

Existing research shows that African countries have experienced massive outflows of illicit capital mainly to Western financial institutions.  (top page 10)

How does one separate the global shadow financial system from Western financial institutions? Well, it seems one does not.

Mind you, this report comes out of a think tank. The paper describes common ways to cook books and transfer money out of Africa. It’s all very very bad. Here’s a current example. On page 8, they note that none of this begins to account for drug trafficking, human trafficking, the sex trade, etc. So actually the problem is much worse than stated. The report then goes on to talk about Meaningful Reform. We must have some Meaningful Reform.

waiting patiently for their Meaningful Reform
The key issue discussed at the meeting, according to Estulin, was “the next step in globalization, which is the creation of the African Union.” This is part of an unfolding agenda of the ceding of national sovereignty to unnacountable regional governments which can more easily administer and implement the aims of the financial oligarchs. One of these aims is the elite’s exhaustively documented penchant for population reduction, including tying development aid to population control problems. “The creation of the borderless African continent will be spearheaded by the IMF.”

Bring on that Meaningful Reform.

Now, exactly as predicted, everyone from Kissinger to Soros is using the economic collapse to call for a new financial order of greater international (read: unelected, undemocratic and unaccountable) control over world financial markets.

More Meaningful Reform…

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after her talks with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London on Thursday (1 April) that the two leaders had agreed to push for the bank levies to be agreed by the G20 group of the world’s richest and fastest growing economies. Merkel said that the EU and the US should “go for a global approach at the G20 summit” to be held in Toronto in June….G20 finance ministers will meet in Washington on 22-23 April to discuss proposals from the International Monetary Fund on bank levies. US President Barack Obama has already called for a “financial crisis responsibility fee” to be levied on banks’ assets. The 0.15% levy is expected to raise US$90 billion (€62.94bn) over ten years.

Ahh, great idea. So perhaps they can arrange to pay a teeny tiny fee with a little chunk of all that stolen money and, and then they might carry on and on and on about how wonderful they are and selfless and ethical, and it’s such a burden you know but they’ll do it anyway. And then they’ll turn around and raise customer fees to cover their “financial crisis responsibility fee,” award themselves some bonuses and live happily ever after. Win win win!


But you will notice that when it comes to Africa, no matter how much wealth has been sucked out of that continent into the coffers of international bankers and corrupt people of The West, absolutely mind staggering amounts of wealth, the problem with Africa, we are told, is always the same: the people there can’t get along.

Immediately a crisis breaks out in Africa, the Western media invokes the genie of ‘tribalism,’ or if they want to be politically ‘sensitive’ they use the term ‘ethnic.’

…Africa is at the mercy of Western propaganda and media conglomerates which relentlessly paint the Continent as one beset by poverty, crime, diseases and endless wars which has to be rescued by white aid workers and sanctimonious celebrities. …Bad advice, meddlesome aid agencies and ‘charities,’ resource speculators and competing geopolitics have all served to exacerbate the sociopolitical fault lines in Africa caused by the wholesale adoption of Western political ideologies and values. As a result, Kenya and most African countries have developed societies headed by Westernized elites, negligible middle classes and a vast poverty-stricken majority that reaps very little of the benefits of economic growth.
…What is reprehensible is the cynical manner in which the people’s genuine anger has been orchestrated into ‘tribal conflict.’ That is the danger that Africa faces-unscrupulous leaders backed by foreign interests dividing their people in order to cling to power.

And the corruption is “unbelievable” you know. !!! The AFRICAN corruption, just to be clear. According to Hillary Clinton. It breeds extremism you know. Like Patsy Underpants.

God only knows how those African leaders managed to get so corrupt. It is an enduring mystery. But you should really send some money down there or something, because the poor children are starving to death.

what do you mean you lost His Highness?

Remember this post from the other day: teevee pimps? Regarding the Georgian station Imedi?

To quickly recap, Imedi ran that stunt recently simulating a Russian attack on Georgia. The post was about who owned the station, which is a matter of some confusion.

Joseph Kay claimed to be the long lost nephew and executor of the original Georgian oligarch owner, Badri Patarkatsishvili.

Patarkatsishvili was the owner of the Imedi TV station which was stormed by special forces on 7 November 2007. On his death Kay announced that Patarkatsishvili, whom he claimed was a relative (the claim is disputed), had given him control of Imedi.

Kay last year then said - in a statement subsequently underlined by Mikheil Saakashvili’s own office - that he had sold 90% of Imedi to the sovereign wealth fund of the Gulf emirate Rah Al-Khaimah.

The 90% ownership interest, Ras Al-Khaimah Invesment Authority (RAKIA), is (one of?) the (many) sovereign wealth fund(s) of the absolute monarchy of the United Arab Emirates.

Now that things have gone sort of pear-shaped after that teevee stunt, RAKIA claims to have nothing to do with Imedi.

But allegedly, through a series of unfortunate mishaps and poor spelling choices and barely plausible explanations, as though these guys can’t afford lawyers or something, RAKIA now claims they do not never have never did have anything to do with any of this no way. Nope. Never heard of it. It was RAAK, not RAK, and not RAKIA. Innocent mistake. Sorry we missed it, we’re just really busy counting our money. ‘ Kay?

And now, I couldn’t make this up if I tried, we learn that the head of ADIA (and RAKIA?) has gone missing when his glider crashed in a lake in Morocco.

The United Arab Emirates state news agency says the head of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund — the world’s largest — is missing after his glider crashed in Morocco.

The official Emirates News Agency said that Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s glider went down in a lake in Morocco on Friday. The pilot of the aircraft was rescued in good condition, but authorities continued the search for Al Nahyan.

Al Nahyan is the managing director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. He is also the younger brother of Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the leader of the United Arab Emirates. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority could not be immediately reached for comment.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed al Nahyan, managing director of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)
Tina Hager/Arabian Eye (BusinessWeek)


Wow that’s really really strange huh? He just disappeared in the lake?

One of these lakes?

And he had just restructured the board last week.

And his brother reportedly died in a helicopter crash in 2008.


I’ll be honest and say I do not understand how all these funds are structured. Very very confusing. For an idea of how much money the UAE has to invest, start at #25 on this list. RAKIA seems to be a separate and much smaller fund than ADIA, but both are UAE funds.

25.Abu Dhabi Investment Council/ADIC - Abu Dhabi/UAE - 100% Government of Abu Dhabi - oil rich Emirate - Abu Dhabi the world’s richest city - ADIC bought a 90% stake worth some $800 Million in the Chrysler Building, one of New York’s most iconic skyscrapers

…25a)Abu Dhabi Investment Authority/ADIA - Abu Dhabi - with estimated $900 Billion ADIA is actually the world’s largest SWF, providing Citigroup with $7,5 Billion /4,9% joining the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation’s /GIC injection of $6,9 Billion - total provided $14,4 Billion, holds 8% stake in EFG Hermes/investment bank and 10% pre IPO stake in Apollo Management/ private US equity firm - ADIA filed an arbitration claim against Citigroup saying it was misled when it invested the $7,5 Billion in the bank two years ago, seeking rescission of the investment or damages in excess of $4 Billion - U.S.- bank considers claim entirely without merit, but apparently failed in its relation with this important investor

25b)Mubadala Development Co. - Abu Dhabi -$14,7 Billion - increasingly powerful state investment company -invested $1,4 Billion/7,5% into US private equity firm Carlyle Group/ triangular industry-government-defence (top defence tecnologies, energy supply and strategic information tecnology)

And way down the list… after 26(f):

27. RAK Investment Authority/Rakia - Ras al-Khaimah/ UAE - $1,2 Billion

It’s almost like a little leftover pile of fun money.


In 2008, the ADIA made a big deal with Citigroup (links removed).

It was a whirlwind of negotiations for Citigroup and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). For a week, dealmakers from both sides, some dressed in traditional white Arab robes and others in Western suits, worked furiously across the globe. Then, on the Monday after Thanksgiving they signed a deal, with the biggest bank in the U.S. agreeing to sell a 4.9% stake to the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund in ADIA’s new headquarters, the tallest skyscraper in Abu Dhabi. Citigroup (C) chairman Robert E. Rubin, on hand as Citigroup’s top official, shook hands on the deal with Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ADIA’s managing director and the 12th son of Abu Dhabi’s late patriarch Sheikh Zayed, before dashing off to meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan. Forty eight hours later, the investment arm of the richest Gulf emirate, wired $7.5 billion to a Citigroup account.

Our pain is their gain.

The dollar looks sick, and U.S. stocks are getting pummeled. But those jitters are merely wetting the appetite of ADIA and other sovereign wealth funds for U.S. investments. These mega investors can afford to take a long term view. “The short term for us is three to five years forward,” says Sheikh Ahmed in his dark mahogany paneled office, after a servant poured small cups of Bedouin style cardamom-flavored coffee. “We find (the American market) very attractive.

…Abu Dhabi wants to be among the world’s most attractive destinations, and ADIA’s Sheikh Ahmed is pushing the giant fund to be best in class as well. So ADIA is tapping the best financial brainpower. And with huge fees and potential capital stakes at stake, top Wall Street players are more than willing to oblige. In recent months, veteran investor Wilbur Ross, BlackRock (BLK) CEO Larry Fink, and Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein all have visited executives at the fund.

When this article was written in 2008, money people considered ADIA extremely thorough and saavy investors. ADIA had already made many prominent investments, outmaneuvering Wall Street firms. ADIA created smaller investment vehicles for certain high risk projects.

I think that’s where RAKIA fits in.

I can see how it makes sense to set up separate funds for risky investment that may or may not turn out to be good ideas. Like theoretically buying a teevee station and using it for blatant psyops against Russia.

Still it’s hard to believe that this has anything to do with Sheikh al Nahyan disappearing, but still, what a coincidence.

UPDATE: A few more details about ADIA and how sovereign wealth funds work…

Back to October 2008, the Santiago Principles govern the way sovereign wealth funds are supposed to behave themselves as they gobble up assets of the industrialized world.

Given the massive size of some of these entities, many industrialized countries are justifiably concerned about how these can be used to achieve geopolitical objectives which may have little to do with investing in the sense SWFs were originally intended for–preserving and enhancing sovereign wealth.

Independence - us Westerners don’t like you foreigners using SWFs to further your national objectives by buying our firms in the defense, transportation, energy, and natural resource sectors. Your financial interests in them may diminish our “national security,” although we don’t feel the need to define these considerations too specifically;
Transparency - insofar as us Westerners cannot really regulate the activities of your SWFs, we would at least appreciate it if you could tell us what they’re investing in so we can take action if necessary (nevermind that we don’t demand similar levels of transparency from our hedge funds);
Accountability - us Westerners know that you authoritarian regimes can pretty much use your SWFs to invest in whatever you please. Maybe you should be more “democratic” so that the populace can have greater discretion about where their sovereign wealth is invested in.

In April 2009, ADIA hired a senior investment banker from Rothschild, Alex Carré de Malberg as head of investment banking to lead its advisory business for Middle East and Africa.

“Opportunities are emerging when families and corporates reposition their portfolios. In times of crisis, you only keep parts of your business that fit your long term objectives, and you sell anything that is not synergistic.”…Carré de Malberg, who worked for over a decade at independent family-owned investment bank Rothschild, said investors often need “a second, non-conflicted” opinion on cross-border situations in developed markets, alongside U.S. or European investment banks or lending banks…Carré de Malberg developed an intimate knowledge of the Middle East as he set up Rothschild’s operations in the United Arab Emirates. …M&A activity went relatively quiet in the last half of 2008 as the global economic crisis unfolded and credit dried up, but signs are emerging that companies, family offices and private equity firms are on the hunt for acquisitions as asset valuations have fallen…He has advised family offices, companies and private equity firms on M&A and leveraged buy-outs, helped governments with privatization programmes, worked on initial public offerings and arranged pre-IPO financing.

In November 2009, playing the role of “trusted adviser” to Gordon Brown and others, the Rothschild family.

Baron Rothschild shares most people’s view that there is a new world order. In his opinion, banks will deleverage and there will be a new form of global governance. “But you have to be careful of caricatures: we don’t want to go from ultra liberalism to protectionism.”

So how did the Rothschilds manage to emerge relatively unscathed from the financial meltdown? “You could say that we may have more insights than others, or you may look at the structure of our business,” he says. “As a family business, we want to limit risk. There is a natural pride in being a trusted adviser.”

It is that role as trusted adviser to both governments and companies that Rothschilds is hoping to build on in the region. “In today’s world we have a strong offering of debt and equity,” he says. “They are two arms of the same body looking for money.”

End of November 2009, Rothschild adviser comes on board to restructure Dubai’s assets.

Paul Reynolds, head of Rothschild’s advisory operations in the Middle East, was this week asked to work for the Dubai government’s chief restructuring officer alongside Aidan Birkett of Deloitte, who was appointed on Wednesday. The team is tasked with assessing the group’s assets, which is likely to result in a large scale sell-off of assets…The neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi is seen as one of the main buyers of Dubai’s assets.

About a week later, Dubai starts to fall apart.

“Dubai will struggle to tap the debt capital market in the near business cycle,” Stephen de Stadler, managing director at Fitch Ratings in the Middle East told Zawya Dow Jones. “Now that the bond is rated junk, certain investors will be forced to sell.” …Deloitte’s Aidan Birkett has been appointed to restructure Dubai World. Rothschild and Moelis & Co. are also advising on the restructuring.

Two weeks ago, ADIA says as much as 45% invested in the developed world.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the worlds’ largest sovereign wealth funds, has invested as much as 45 percent of its assets in developed markets, the fund said in its first annual review….Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates and home to about 8 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, is trying to diversify away from oil. ADIA and its Norwegian and Chinese peers are the three largest sovereign wealth funds in the world, managing over $1 trillion between them, Preqin Ltd said March 11. The emirate lent neighboring Dubai $20 billion last year to help it meet its debt obligations.

Thanks to James for the links.

still working the knobs to get a war going

1. Israel lies about killing Palestinians

Doctors who treated two Palestinian youths shot dead by Israeli troops in the West Bank have refuted the army’s claim that they had used rubber bullets and said the medical evidence showed that live ammunition had been fired.

The shooting of Mohammed and Osaid Qadus, both teenagers, in the village of Iraq Burin was followed yesterday by the deaths of another two youths shot by Israeli forces. The renewed violence came as it was confirmed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet President Barack Obama in Washington tomorrow amid continued US efforts to relaunch indirect negotiations between the two sides in the conflict.

…The two Palestinians who died yesterday – said to be in their late teens – were from Awarta near Nablus and were on village farmland overlooked by the Jewish settlement of Itamar. Villagers said they assumed the pair were working the land. The Israeli military said they had tried to stab a soldier.

The Israeli military said on Saturday that it had opened an investigation into the shootings but also insisted that soldiers had responded with tear gas and rubber bullets to a “violent and illegal riot” and added: “Live fire was not used.”

But a hospital X-ray released by the Israeli human rights agency Btselem and also shown to The Independent by doctors at Nablus’s private Speciality hospital show what appears to be a conventional metal bullet lodged in the brain of Osaid Qadus, who died there of his injuries at about 3am yesterday.

Dr Ahmad Hamad, the duty resident in the hospital’s accident and emergency department when the boys were brought in, said Mohammed Qadus had suffered a single shot in the chest. He said there was a small entry wound and a larger exit wound in his back.

Another doctor, Abdul Karim Hashesh, was on duty when the bodies of the youths shot yesterday arrived at Nablus’s Rafidia Hospital. He said that one, Mohammed Kuarik was hit by a total of seven bullets while the other, Saleh Kuaraik, was hit by at least three. Young Palestinians burned tyres and set up roadblocks of rocks across one of the main roads into Awarta in protest at the shootings yesterday afternoon.

more @ independent

2. tension may hasten attack on Iran. is that the point of the tension? to JUSTIFY hastening the attack on Iran?

WASHINGTON - A pro-Israel conference opening Sunday exposed fears that a row over illegal Jewish settlements built on Palestinian territories had left scars in US-Israeli ties but raised the risk of Israeli strikes against Iran.

Hardline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — while he visits Washington this week for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) three-day annual policy conference — is now to meet President Barack Obama Tuesday….”I think that the impact of this crisis is to hasten Iranian efforts to achieve a nuclear weapons capability,” Satloff warned.

“And ultimately, because there are scars now in the US-Israeli strategic relationship,” the impact may be “even to hasten the clock on Israeli preventive action against that Iranian nuclear capability,” he said.

more @ middle east online

3. Syria to help with security in Lebanon refugee camps — “The West” warns of an outburst of violence in the camps & “demand” Syria’s involvement? seems suspicious to me.

Syria was reportedly set to make a comeback to Lebanon in its new role to help rein in the security situation across Palestinian refugee camps throughout the country.

The daily Al-Akhbar, which carried the report, said Syria, Lebanon as well as some Palestinian figures have received several messages from the West warning against the outburst of violence in refugee camps in Lebanon.

The letters, according to the daily, have demanded that Syria help contain the situation in Lebanon refugee camps.

Damascus expressed readiness to meet the West’s demand, but requested an amendment to the structure of Lebanon’s security in order to make security institutions “cooperative and responsive” to the Syrian leadership.


4. Naval Intelligence alert on al-qaeda attack in Red Sea similar to USS Cole, which might be linked to Iran? Hmm? What do you think?

DUBAI - THE US government has warned ships sailing off Yemen’s coast of the risk of al-Qaeda attacks similar to a suicide bombing of the US warship Cole in 2000 that killed 17 US sailors.

The US Office of Naval Intelligence said on its website that ships in the Red Sea, the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait between Yemen and Djibouti, and the Gulf of Aden along Yemen’s coast were at the greatest risk.

‘Information suggests that al-Qaeda remains interested in maritime attacks in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden along the coast of Yemen,’ the office said in a statement, citing an advisory by the US Department of Transportation. ‘Although it is unclear how they would proceed, it may be similar in nature to the attacks against the USS Cole in October 2000 and the M/V Limburg in October 2002 where a small to mid-size boat laden with explosives was detonated.’

Yemen, at the forefront of Western security concerns since a failed December attack on a US-bound plane, boosted security on its coast earlier this year to prevent militants reaching its shores from nearby Somalia to reinforce al-Qaeda in Yemen. Al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based arm claimed responsibility for the failed December plane attempt. Western allies and neighbouring oil exporter Saudi Arabia fear al-Qaeda is exploiting instability on several fronts in impoverished Yemen to recruit and train militants for attacks in the region and beyond.

The Transportation Department statement said more sophisticated methods of attack by al-Qaeda in the waters near Yemen could include missiles or projectiles. The US advisory, dated March 10, said more sophisticated methods of attack by al-Qaeda in the waters near Yemen could include missiles or projectiles.

‘Although the time and location of such an attack are unknown, ships in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandab Strait, and the Gulf of Aden along the coast of Yemen are at the greatest risk of becoming targets of such an attack,’ the statement added. ‘All vessels transiting the waters in the vicinity of Yemen are urged to operate at a heightened state of readiness.’ — REUTERS


5. meanwhile, India is supposedly really upset about Headley’s deal, but the Indian papers don’t have much to say about it, which isn’t that surprising, seeing as the Indian government is real tight with the Israelis, and Mossad and the CIA and RAW all work together. where is this “UPROAR” he’s talking about? the *families* get screwed, but don’t the families always get screwed? the links to US intelligence are now protected, but so are the links to RAW and Mossad. convenient all around, except for the families of the innocent people murdered by CORRUPT INTELLIGENCE OPERATIVES.

News that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had reached a plea bargain with David Coleman Headley, who played a key role in the planning of the terrorist strike in Mumbai in November 2008 in which 166 people were killed, has caused an uproar in India.

The deal enables the US government to hold back from formally producing any evidence against Headley in a court of law that might have included details of his links with US intelligence or oblige any cross-examination of Headley by the prosecution.

Nor can the families of the 166 victims be represented by a lawyer to question Headley during his trial commencing in Chicago. Headley’s links with the US intelligence will now remain classified A spy unsettles US-India ties
By M K Bhadrakumar

News that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had reached a plea bargain with David Coleman Headley, who played a key role in the planning of the terrorist strike in Mumbai in November 2008 in which 166 people were killed, has caused an uproar in India.

The deal enables the US government to hold back from formally producing any evidence against Headley in a court of law that might have included details of his links with US intelligence or oblige any cross-examination of Headley by the prosecution.
Nor can the families of the 166 victims be represented by a lawyer to question Headley during his trial commencing in Chicago. Headley’s links with the US intelligence will now remain classified information and the Pakistani nationals involved in the Mumbai attacks will get away scot-free. Furthermore, the FBI will not allow Headley’s extradition to India and will restrict access so that Indian agencies cannot interrogate him regarding his links with US and Pakistani intelligence.

…The plea bargain raises explosive questions. The LeT began planning the attack on Mumbai sometime around September 2006. According to the plea bargain, Headley paid five visits to India on reconnaissance missions between 2006 and the November 2008 strike, each time returning to the US via Pakistan where he met “with various co-conspirators, including but not limited to members of LeT”.

The plea bargain simply refers to the Pakistani handlers of Headley as A, B, C and D. But who are they? We will never know.
The LeT’s close links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are legion and it is inconceivable that such a massive operation - with huge international ramifications and the potential to trigger war with India - could have been undertaken without the knowledge of the ISI, headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani, the present army chief, from October 2004 until October 2007.

more @ asia times

blow-up envoy

Richard Holbrooke is a Zionist Jew with a long track record of supporting Jewish causes.

  • As US Ambassador to the United Nations, he worked to secure Israel’s membership in the UN’s Western European and Others regional group, which ended Israel’s historic exclusion from regional deliberations and permitted election to leadership positions in UN sub-bodies. The Israeli government officially thanked Holbrooke for this favor.
  • Holbrooke secured consultative status at the UN for the Zionist women’s organization, Hadassah. This allowed Hadassah to be recognized as a NGO and give expert advice to the UN.
  • Under the Carter administration, following through on genocidal Kissinger policies, Holbrooke authorized arms shipments to the Indonesian government during a supposed blockade, and Indonesian government forces used these weapons to brutally suppress the Timorese.
  • As vice chairman at Credit Suisse First Boston, affiliated with a Swiss bank facing a class-action lawsuit to settle Holocaust-era claims, Holbrooke urged Switzerland to return assets to Holocaust victims.
  • The Jewish community widely praised Holbrooke for his role in ending the Bosnian war. The ADL and  the World Jewish Congress gave him awards.

As Richard Holbrooke, US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, accepted his latest assignment on January 22, 2009 from the hands of the foreign policy establishment that made him rich and famous, he boldly and graciously projected the same establishment’s crimes onto the designated scapegoat.

Mr. President [Obama], Madame Secretary [Clinton], Mr. Vice President [Biden], you’ve asked me to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan, two very distinct countries with extraordinarily different histories, and yet intertwined by geography, ethnicity, and the current drama. This is a very difficult assignment, as we all know. Nobody can say the war in Afghanistan has gone well. And yet, as we speak here today, American men and women and their coalition partners are fighting a very difficult struggle against a ruthless and determined enemy without any scruples at all, an enemy that is willing to behead women who dare to teach in a school to young girls, an enemy that has done some of the most odious things on earth.

And across the border, lurks a greater enemy still: the people who committed the atrocities of September 11th, 2001.


On February 20, 2010, Holbrooke said that al Qaeda planned to infiltrate Central Asia and train militants there to destabilize the region. This al Qaeda menace would allegedly spread from Afghanistan, where they miraculously outwit coalition forces for years on end. Mr. Holbrooke says al Qaeda “trains international terrorists.” I’m guessing they provide things like passports, weapons, lodging, logistical support.

Stability in the vast resource-rich region sprawling between China, Russia and Afghanistan is crucial to the West as it lies on a new supply route for NATO-led operations in Afghanistan.

The region’s main home-grown extremist group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), wants to topple Central Asia’s secular post-Soviet leaders and establish strict Islamic rule.

In Central Asia, according to security experts, the al Qaeda terrorists will assist the home grown terrorists to take advantage of the failed state opening. Failed states justify terrorism, right? People understand that hopelessness leads to radicalization, which leads to terrorism.

People also understand that terrorism justifies military expansion. We can’t allow terrorists to go around beheading people. Military expansion makes for “stability,” and stability is crucial to The West. Why? Because it allows the NATO operations in Afghanistan to continue. And these operations have been very effective in stopping terrorists…. oh wait…. actually…

Right around here official logic falls apart, since Afghanistan is really about controlling the incredibly lucrative illegal drug market. But of course, that can never be admitted. That’s why Holbrooke can talk about the ruthless and determined enemies with no scruples who commit heinous crimes and behead people and murdered Americans on 911 etc. with a straight face (him not the enemies, to be clear), as he gets a promotion.

US Special Inflatable Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan
24″ tall


So Holbrooke did a quickie tour of Central Asia around February 21st. It all seemed rather terse and rushed.

A reticent Richard Holbrooke completed a lightning tour of Central Asia on February 21, a trip designed to bolster regional support for NATO efforts in Afghanistan…The envoy was scheduled to travel to all five Central Asian capitals, though a trip to Ashgabat was cancelled at the last minute due to “scheduling conflicts,” said an American Embassy representative there. After Astana, Holbrooke traveled to Georgia to meet with President Mikhail Saakashvili…It was difficult to discern the substance of Holbrooke’s various meetings, as his availability to journalists was limited. A press briefing originally scheduled to be given February 19 in tandem with President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan was cancelled at the last minute….No press availability was even scheduled for Holbrooke during the Tashkent-leg of his trip….During a terse public appearance in Dushanbe, Holbrooke warned of the continuing threat of Islamic terrorists to the region’s security.

And then we heard about Iran capturing the terrorist Rigi, exposing his connections to the CIA, on February 22nd.

Moslehi said Rigi had been arrested on board a plane flying between Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia and the Gulf Arab emirate of Dubai. Television pictures showed him being taken off a plane in handcuffs, accompanied by four masked men.

“We have clear documents proving that Rigi was in cooperation with American, Israeli and British intelligence services,” Press TV quoted the intelligence minister as saying.
“Dubai has a smeared hand in this scandal that shows the Zionist regime wants to turn the region into a safe haven for terrorists with the help of America and Europe,” Moslehi declared, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Which all makes Mr. Holbrooke look like a….what’s the word….a LIAR.

But wait there’s more.

According to Wayne Madsen (via There Are No Sunglasses):

With the entire highly-vaunted U.S. intelligence community at his disposal, Holbrooke and his State Department and CIA team were forced to resort to dealing with Bishkek-Manas airport officials when their Iranian-Baluchi Jundallah guerrillas leader failed to show up in Bishkek on the Kyrgyzstan aircraft from Dubai.

…In an interview on Iranian TV, Rigi saus he was flying to Bishkek to meet an “important” American. The reason for the clandestine meeting in Manas was that the American would be easily spotted if he met Rigi anywhere else. At the time of the planned meeting between Rigi and the “important” American, AF-PAK Special Envoy Holbrooke was on a meandering journey in central Asia and Afghanistan “without a fixed schedule.” Holbrooke was in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on February 19.

Iran conducted the charade with the Kyrgyzstan airline in order to keep Holbrooke waiting nervously at Manas. Iran had already captured their prize of Rigi when the ISI, possibly after Rigi’s departure from Kuwaiteh or after he crossed into Afghanistan, took him under their protection and put him on the charter jet flight to Bandar Abbas. Possibly, ISI was at Spin Boldak and Rigi mistakenly believed the watch team was working for the CIA, when, in fact, they were working for the ISI, which had promised to turn Rigi over to the Iranians.

…Holbrooke and his party become concerned when Kyrgyzstan 454 is late. When the flight arrives, Holbrooke is told Rigi is not on board the flight and that two men were taken off the plane at Bandar Abbas. Holbrooke, clearly embarrassed and angry, departs Kyrgyzstan knowing the Iranians have nabbed one of the CIA’s top assets in the military operations being planned against Iran. Holbrooke, one of the most powerful American Jewish Zionists in the Obama administration, has egg all over his face, courtesy of a well-planned Iranian intelligence operation.

That is rather amusing.

the passport caper

Remember a little while back how they told us that al qaeda was recruiting Western-looking women to do terrorist attacks?

Defne Bayrak anyone?

And shortly after that, several other stories pushed the idea along.

LONDON: Al-Qaida in Yemen has trained a group of woman suicide bombers with ‘non-Arab’ appearance to attack Western targets, including airliners and power stations, US officials have warned.

Details of the bombers emerged just hours after Britain raised the UK threat state to “severe” [naturally! timing is everything - ed.] amid fears that al-Qaida was planning a wave of attacks against western targets, ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ reported.

The woman suicide bombers, who may be travelling on Western passports, have been prepared for their missions by al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen responsible for the botched Christmas Day attempt to blow up a US airliner, it said.


And see? Now we know that some of those three dozen American terrorists-in-training may have been women.

Well just so you know who looks to be training those “al qaeda” Western-looking female operatives: Mossad. No doubt with help from CIA, etc.

Six more British passports were used in the assassination of a Hamas commander in a Dubai hotel last month, police have claimed.

The revelation from Dubai today means that up to 12 British identities are believed to have been stolen or forged to carry out the hit, allegedly by Israel’s feared secret service, Mossad.

One of the six new British passports is in the name of a dark-haired woman calling herself Gabriella Barney. She appears to have been posing as the daughter of Michael Barney, named as one of the original 11 suspects.

Up to six women are now believed to have been part of the hit squad.

And then there’s this guy, a Hamas leader’s son who Israel supposedly flipped to make him one of their agents.

Or was it Scooby Doo? One can never tell these days.

Well anyway, that’s about the level of seriousness that people should take ANYTHING THEY SAY.

fitting the facts around the new policy in Afghanistan: reconciliation with Taliban?

1. Dutch govt falls apart over Afghanistan

THE HAGUE — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende met Queen Beatrix on Monday to chart the way forward after his government collapsed over the Netherlands’s role in Afghanistan. Balkenende held 90 minutes of talks with the head of state at her working palace in The Hague early Monday, government spokeswoman Fridy van Hapert said.  Thereafter, the queen was to meet the leaders of the two Dutch houses of parliament, political party chiefs and the deputy president of the council of state advisory body.

…NATO had asked the Netherlands to extend its four-year-old mission, mainly in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, by a year to August 2011….The queen must now decide whether or not to accept the resignations and call early elections….If the queen accepts the resignations, as widely excepted, parliamentary elections will have to be brought forward. They had been scheduled for March next year.

more @ afp

2. Dutch troops to exit Afghanistan as planned — very small contingent of soldiers. the Dutch play some other role in the drama.

Following the collapse of his cabinet, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende says he expects his country’s troops to leave Afghanistan as planned….Around 1,600 Dutch troops have been stationed in southern Afghanistan since 2006. According to their mandate they should have returned home in 2008, but their deployment was extended by two years since no other NATO member state offered replacements.

more @ press tv

3. last week: NATO (supposedly) flabbergasted, this will play into the hands of the Taliban. (wink wink?)

This is not the first time Nato is amazed and annoyed by the Dutch political approach to Afghanistan. At a time when practically all Nato members have committed to sending more troops, the Netherlands is trying to abandon its mission in Uruzgan. At a press conference in October, Rasmussen said the Netherlands would play into the hands of the Taliban if it left….But most worried about how to proceed if the Dutch cabinet does take a dive.

more here

4. earlier this month: Taliban will negotiate, but path fraught with risk. if only there were some way to get everyone to the table so we can be one big happy family again…..there must be so much drug money to make there that it outweighs the ongoing war profiteering.

LONDON (Reuters) - Unthinkable a year ago and still officially beyond the pale, the idea of a political role for Taliban leaders in Afghanistan is creeping onto the agenda as war-weary governments seek to bring an end to an unpopular war.

Some say this could open the door for negotiations if the Taliban think they can secure a better settlement through talks than by waiting for U.S.-led troops to leave and then fighting their way to power through a renewed civil war. “The Taliban know they can’t take over the country. They would be presiding over a country with persistent and perennial poverty and civil war. So they would like to negotiate,” said one diplomat involved in discussions about Afghanistan.

Many analysts say talks would need to involve Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar — condemned in the West for his refusal to hand over al Qaeda leaders after the September 11, 2001 attacks. ..And the price for a settlement could be high as far as the west is concerned — for example the rehabilitation of Mullah Omar as supreme leader of Afghanistan — even if not directly running the government.The Taliban for their part are expected to come under pressure from Pakistan to negotiate to try to end a war which has increasingly spilled over from Afghanistan. …Washington says many Taliban leaders including Mullah Omar are based in Pakistan. And while Pakistan has far less leverage over the Taliban than it had when it nurtured them in the 1990s, it could still make life hard for them if they refused to talk.Rather like the secret talks between then U.S. National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and the North Vietnamese which tried, and ultimately failed, to secure an honorable exit from Vietnam, any negotiations would be long and easily derailed. They would also be fraught with risk for both the United States and the Taliban. Any hint of compromise could unleash a public backlash in the United States, as well as alienate the Taliban’s own fighters and supporters…. U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke said Sunday there had been no direct, secret contacts with the Taliban, but said Washington recognized the importance of reconciliation.

more @ reuters

5. oh ho HO, pakistan capture top Taliban with info provided by Mullah Omar’s second in command

Netting another big catch, Pakistan’s security agencies have captured a top Afghan Taliban leader following information provided by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Mullah Omar’s second in command.

Mulvi Kabir, former Taliban governor in Afghanistan’s Nangahar Province, and a key figure in the Taliban regime was recently captured in Pakistan, Fox News reported. The arrest is one of the few big catches after Baradar, who is Taliban’s number two leader. Considered to be among the top 10 most wanted Taliban leaders, Kabir was apprehended in Nawshera district of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province by Pakistani police forces in recent days, the Fox news said.

A senior US military official called it a significant detention, it said, adding that the arrest of Kabir is based on the intelligence gathered from Baradar. Besides Kabir, two other top Taliban leaders have been arrested in recent days. Pakistani agencies arrested Mullah Salam of Afghanistan’s Kunduz province and Mullah Mohammad, who reportedly controlled the Baghlan province recently. The two are considered to be among the most important captures Pakistan has made in relation to the Taliban in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001.


6. US supporting Afghan warlord

Kalagush—The United States is helping an Afghan warlord and former enemy to take control of a district bordering Pakistan, military officers and independent experts say. The strategy to back Mullah Sadiq as effective ruler of Kamdesh district in eastern Nuristan province is part of a wider attempt to bring stability to the country so international forces can leave. Sadiq is a former commander of the militant Hizb-e-Islami group, responsible for years of attacks on coalition and Afghan troops, as well as civilians. US support for Sadiq — who has said he wants to ally with President Hamid Karzai’s government against the Taliban — is causing friction between US foreign policy staff in Afghanistan and the military.

Senior officers said Sadiq could swing Nuristani people behind Karzai and provide a prototype breakthrough in the battle against the Taliban insurgency. But US state department officials and independent experts fear Sadiq wants a temporary alliance with US troops to defeat local Taliban factions before taking over the mountainous border province as a personal fiefdom.

Commander Russell McCormack, military head of Nuristan’s Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), said the US must work with Sadiq. “He is influential, intelligent and he uses diplomacy and true Islam — rather than the barbaric form that the Taliban professes,” McCormack told AFP at Kalagush, the only US base in Nuristan. …The plan is part of a new counter-insurgency strategy to instil public confidence in Karzai’s government and bring an end to the war.

With the US withdrawal to begin in July 2011, Karzai last month launched a bid for “reconciliation” with mainstream insurgents. The tactic is also being tested further south in Helmand province where 15,000 US, NATO and Afghan troops are on the offensive in Marjah, a region controlled for years by Taliban and drug traffickers.

more @ pak observer

set the table


follow the finger to the philippines - 1/18/10

foreshadowing - 1/19/10

abu sayyaf: ready to come out of the crockpot - 1/20/10

1. Abu Sayyaf militant captured, linked to 9 year old kidnapping and murders of westerners. with links to aq and JI, let’s see if he talks about the Karachi Project…

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 19, 2010) – Philippine authorities arrested a wanted Abu Sayyaf militant accused of kidnapping three US citizens and 17 Filipino tourists at a posh resort nine years ago.

Security officials said Jumadali Arad was arrested late Thursday afternoon while trying to board a passenger ship bound for Zamboanga City.

Arad was among those who raided the Dos Palmas resort in Palawan province near central Philippines in 2001 and kidnapped US missionary couple, Martin and Gracia Burnham, and California man Guillermo Sobero and the Filipinos, and brought them to Basilan province, south of Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

Guillermo Sobero was beheaded in 2001 in Basilan while Martin Burnham was shot and killed in 2002 during a US-led military rescue operation in Mindanao. Gracia Burnham was also shot and wounded during the rescue operation.

“The arrest of Arad is part of the military’s continuing operation against terrorism,” said Army First Lieutenant Steffani Cacho, a regional military spokeswoman.

The Abu Sayyaf, which means “bearer of the sword, has been linked to many kidnappings of foreigners and terrorism in the southern Philippines and was linked by authorities to the al-Qaeda terror network of Osama bin Laden and the Indonesian Jemaah Islamiya. (Mindanao Examiner)


2. more details: he was going to the southern Philippines, on a mission to buy ammo for abu sayyaf commander Isnilon Hapilon

It said Jumadali Arad was captured at Manila harbour on Thursday as he was about to board a ship bound for the southern Philippines, where the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group has planted bombs and carried out kidnappings despite US-backed military offensives against the militants.

Arad had been in hiding since 2001, when Abu Sayyaf abducted three American and 17 Filipino tourists from the Dos Palmas resort in south-western Palawan province at the start of a year-long kidnapping spree, said marine commandant Major General Juancho Sabban….

Arad, who allegedly drove a speedboat loaded with the hostages during the kidnappings, was reportedly on a mission to buy ammunition for Abu Sayyaf commander Isnilon Hapilon when he was arrested on Thursday, the military said in a statement.

Hapilon has been indicted in the US on kidnapping and murder charges, and Washington offered a US$5 million (S$7.07 million) reward for his capture. — AP


3. a little more: those kidnappings 9 years ago JUSTIFIED the US military presence in Southern Philippines. this says there’s no top commander (no mention of Hapilon) and the group has split into at least five factions

The kidnappings and violence prompted Washington to deploy hundreds of troops to the southern Mindanao region, where they have been training Philippine forces and sharing intelligence. U.S. military personnel are not allowed to engage in combat in the Philippines.

Although the government claims to have crippled the Abu Sayyaf after several offensives, the group still poses a major threat. It held three Red Cross workers and several others hostage last year, attacked troops and blew up bridges. A roadside bomb in September killed two U.S. soldiers.

The militants, however, have remained without a central leader following the killings of its top commanders and have split into at least five factions, police said.


4. more: navy operatives captured him on the way to Zamboanga City, and he PROMPTLY CONFESSED during arrest! who needs courts.

Operatives of the Navy and Southern Police District arrested Thursday a suspected member of Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim militant group linked with the al-Qaeda, accused in the kidnappings of three Americans and dozens of Filipinos nine years ago, a Navy spokesman reported Friday.
Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said  Jumadali Arad was captured at 5:15 p.m. at the gate of Pier 2 in North Harbor, Tondo, Manila, as he was about to board a ship bound for Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

In his arrest, Arad confessed to the kidnappings and admitted being a member of the Abu Sayyaf.

Arad allegedly drove a speedboat loaded with the hostages that included American missionary Gracia Burnham, who survived the jungle captivity, and husband Martin who was killed in the military rescue in 2002. The third American, Guillermo Sobero, was beheaded by the militants on Basilan Island.


Philippines Terror SuspectIn this photo taken yesterday and released by the Philippine Navy, Jumadail Arad, a suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf group, is shown after his arrest. AP (source)

(ahem) This man evaded capture by the US military for NINE YEARS. Sure.

5. more: current militant activity — Chinese hostages and homemade bombs. the search for these hostages has led to soldiers dying.

Two soldiers were killed and one wounded on southern Basilan Island on Friday when they tripped the wire on a homemade bomb during an operation to track down militants, said regional commander Rear Adm. Alex Pama.

They are believed to be holding two Chinese workers snatched from a plywood factory last year, Pama said. A third hostage, a Filipino, was beheaded a month after the November abductions.


6. regarding Zamboanga City, where he was headed: see this post from 1/28/10

1/28/10: Philippines: air force general and 8 others killed in Cotabato City, southern Philippines, near Jolo Island. general stationed in Zamboango City, very near to Jolo Island, where Abu Sayyaf allegedly operates from.

COTABATO CITY, Philippines—(UPDATE 4) An Air Force general and eight other people were killed when a military Nomad plane crashed into a residential area here before noon Thursday, authorities said. Mayor Muslimin Sema said the Nomad plane crashed into at least two houses in Barangay Rosary Heights here around 11:35 a.m., killing all eight passengers, including Maj. Gen. Mario Lacson of the 3rd Air Division based in Zamboanga City.

Gumitom said she heard a loud noise before the plane hit her house.

…Maj. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said Lacson and his party were on their way to Zamboanga City. “The plane crashed two minutes after takeoff,” Cabangbang said by phone.

Maj. Gen. Carlix Donila, commander of the 5053rd Search and Rescue Squadron based in Davao City, said moments before the crash the “pilot made a call (to the Cotabato airport tower) and he said ‘power loss.’” Sema said based on witnesses’ account, the plane was trying to land again at the airport after takeoff and appeared to be having “some trouble.” “It was flying in a zig-zag mode and crashed.”

more @ enquirer

also see foreshadowing (link up top), which ties Abu Sayyaf and the Philippines to Pakistan, and describes the US military presence in the Southern Philippines, where, supposedly, the are not allowed to engage in fighting against the rebels, but only to help the Philippine military.

  • The US military of building permanent structures in different military camps in the country. She said US forces have established “permanent” and “continuous” presence in Zamboanga, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the south.

  • The Philippine military has no access to the camps built by the US soldiers in these areas since they are “fenced off by barbed wires and guarded by US Marines.”

7. meanwhile, 5 Arabic translators arrested over alleged plot to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson military base in South Carolina… blah blah blah PAKISTAN….. blah blah blah MUSLIM….. blah blah blah ARABIC….. blah blah blah FORT HOOD. the army takes these allegations “extremely seriously” even though there is “NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE to support the allegations.”

FIVE men have been arrested amid a probe into food poisoning at Fort Jackson US military base.

Sources told Fox News the five men were detained in December over allegations that they attempted to poison the food supply at the South Carolina base.

They were all part of the base’s Arabic translation training program, referred to in the army as “Lima 09″. “Each of them uses Arabic as his first language,” one source said. In an earlier report, before the arrests emerged, a military source told Fox News the suspects were Muslims.

CBN News reported that the five arrested men were Islamic and cited a source who said they may have been in contact with five Washington, DC Muslims, who were arrested in December after authorities uncovered their plans to travel to Pakistan to wage jihad against the US.

However, it was unclear whether the men were still in custody.

An ongoing probe into the alleged Fort Jackson plot began two months ago, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division spokesman Chris Grey told Fox News. The army was taking the allegations “extremely seriously,” Mr Grey said, adding there was “no credible information to support the allegations”.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation told Fox News they were aware of the Fort Jackson investigation, however they said the inquiry would be carried out by the army’s CID. The investigation has surfaced in the wake of a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas last November, which killed 12 people and wounded 31 others. It was allegedly undertaken by US Army major Nidal Malik Hasan, an American-born Muslim of Palestinian descent, who was serving as a psychiatrist. He has been charged and a prosecution is ongoing.


the Bangkok of Latin America

A lot of human trafficking passes through Texas on it’s way into the United States and onward. Some statistics:

  • 18,000 foreign nationals trafficked into the US each year
  • plus an estimated 200,000 American children at high risk for trafficking into the sex industry each year
  • major ports of entry are southern and central Texas, Southern California, parts of Arizona and New Mexico
  • emerging ports include Atlanta, Houston, Orlando and Washington DC
  • the I-10 corridor is a main route for human traffickers in the US
  • after drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with illegal arms as the second largest criminal industry in the world
  • human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry


On February 2, Penny brought to our attention Dave McGowan’s latest, Sleazefest in Seattle. (Penny has an extensive Dave McGowan collection at her place, please avail thyself.) Since Dave’s site may be experiencing some sort of technical difficulty at the moment, you can also read Sleazefest in Seattle over at SOTT.

In completely unrelated news, various concerned parties have recently reported that Vancouver is a major hub for trafficking in a most unsavory type of freight: humans. And much of that freight is said to come from the same place those alleged cherries were supposed to be shipped out to; as University of British Columbia law professor Benjamin Perrin recently noted, “Vancouver is considered to be a hub for Pacific human trafficking.” The British Columbia Human Rights Coalition concurred, reporting that, “Canada has been identified as both a transit and a destination point for human trafficking, and Vancouver has been singled out by the US state department as a port of major concern.”


And it gets better. According to far more shocking allegations (, there is no shortage of other unsavory freight being shipped through Vancouver, including illegal drugs and weapons, and, perhaps inevitably, child pornography. According to witness statements taken from social workers, tribal elders and self-described victims, Vancouver is home to a protected network of pedophiles engaged in such pursuits as rape, torture, murder, child pornography, production of snuff films, and ethnic cleansing. Other then all that though, it seems like a great place to hold the Olympic games, especially since, as Perrin noted, “Traffickers will view the 2010 Olympics as the biggest business opportunity for them in decades.”

The network is said to be protected by virtually all levels of law enforcement and the judiciary, as well as by well-placed confederates in the church, the media, and other institutions of the state. If all of that sounds all too familiar, it is probably because you’ve spent time swimming in the sewers of the Franklin case in Omaha, Nebraska (, or possibly the Marc Dutroux case in Belgium (

Are you with me so far?


Now we have Haiti, and Puello, and El Salvador to sort through. I was just following that line of thought back down into South America. There’s a place in South America called the Tri-Border Area (TBA), where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet.

Back in 2002, CNN reported, from various unspecified “intelligence sources,” that al Qaeda terrorists were meeting in this area and plotting to attack US and Israeli interests, in conjunction with Hezbollah.

CNN has learned from coalition intelligence sources that several top terrorist operatives met recently in the area — where the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay intersect — to plan attacks against U.S. and Israeli targets in the Western hemisphere. Sources said the meetings, which took place in and around Ciudad del Este, were attended by representatives of Hezbollah and other groups sympathetic to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network….Other indications of the threat came from intelligence sources in the Middle East, who told CNN of a new terrorist effort aimed at U.S. and Israeli interests and coordinated by a man named Imad Mugniyeh.

Argentine officials point to more evidence they say indicates terrorist activity in the tri-border area — thousands of U.S. dollars bearing stamps from Lebanese currency exchange banks, tens of thousands of dollars in phony bills, and receipts from wire transfers made between the tri-border area and the Middle East.

Oh dear.

In 2003, a paper titled Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America (pdf) described in detail the many criminal and Islamist elements from around the world operating in the TBA, an organized crime paradise. Chinese, Russian, Lebanese, etc. Eventually, the TBA came to the attention of the appropriate authorities.

The bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992, followed by the bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (Asociación Mutual Israeli-Argentina —AMIA), a Jewish community center, in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, focused the attention of the TBA countries, Israel, and the United States on the TBA because the investigation into both attacks led back to Hizballah operatives in the TBA.

There’s actually a very well-developed narrative about this area being connected to Hezbollah, Hamas, Lebanon, Iran and al Qaeda, among others. (Terrorist threat in the Tri-Border Area: myth or reality? 2004; Organized Crime: From Trafficking to Terrorism, Volume 2, pp. 159-161)

The narrative does not mention human trafficking, however. And the other thing conspicuously missing: Jews in any context other than victim of the organized criminals in the TBA.

The criminals from the TBA used some US banks to launder their money.

One of the most well known money laundering scandals involved Banestado, the bank of Brazil’s Parana state. In 1995, five banks in the tri-border region, including Banestado, were authorized to open currency exchange accounts, known as CC-5 accounts. CC-5 accounts quickly became popular in money laundering, and brokers opened hundreds of fake CC-5 accounts, into which criminals deposited millions of reals. The money was then wired in dollars to the Banestado branch in New York City and from there to other banks, usually in countries considered to be tax havens. Money changers and complicit Banestado officials took cuts from each transaction. More than 250 phony CC-5 accounts have since been identified, and it is suspected that as much as $30 billion passed through Banestado accounts in the U.S. between 1996 and 1999, a portion of which was likely laundered. The case is still being investigated. (6/10/08)


But human trafficking does, of course, take place, and it is a huge and fast-growing organized crime industry. And it takes place in the TBA.

Sit by the swimming pool of the exclusive Iguazú Jungle hotel and you can watch the “contrabandistas” emerging from the undergrowth. All day, an army of smugglers can be seen passing along the mountainous path that separates Argentina from Brazil. … Everything from fake branded clothing to Class A drugs are ferried back and forth along these clandestine routes. The list of contraband goods now also extends to human beings.

…Many of those trafficked through the triple frontier are destined for the illegal labour market in Brazil or Argentina. The trade in babies for adoption is also widely reported. But a large proportion end up as sex workers. Many end up in brothels across the region, although a high number are destined for the triple frontier’s own thriving sex industry.

Children are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers. Charities working with at-risk children in the border region estimate that as many as 3,500 young people could be involved. “Many girls are trafficked via the pique. It’s all highly organised”, explains Marcelina Antunez, director of Luz de Infancia, a children’s care centre in the Argentine town of Puerto Iguazú.

Driving the trade is the flood of foreign tourists who come to visit the world famous Iguazú waterfalls. Much of the demand for prostitution is casual. Yet the region also attracts a hardened group of sex tourists.

…”The triple frontera is the Bangkok of Latin America…after the tsunami, many sex tourists started coming here instead of Asia,” notes Cynthia Bendlin, director of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for the triple frontier area. IOM runs a number of awareness programmes to highlight the dangers of the trafficking trade. But it is an uphill struggle. Many of the children most at risk either live on the street or come from very impoverished families, Ms Bendlin explains. (2007)

A tourist destination, with beautiful hotels. Many tourists come to see the Igauzu falls. But hey, there’s really nothing to worry about because the place is crawling with feds and agency people, including CIA, on account of all the Arab terrorists there, so relax! Who would dare do any illegal trafficking with all these law enforcement people around?

Immigration officer Emilio Osses, who oversees one of the Argentine checkpoints in the area, said that contrary to popular belief, this is not the worst trafficking hotspot on Argentina’s border. He says that this tri-border area is heavily controlled — saturated with officers from at least eight local, federal and international agencies, including lots of CIA agents.
And it’s largely because of the intelligence community that there’s a lot of hype around the tri-border, he said. There is a large and important Arab population here, and it’s believed that the terrorist cells that bombed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires had support in this area.

“That’s why it has this stigma of terrorism, corruption, and illegal trafficking,” Osses said. “In reality, the tri-border area suffers from propaganda.” But Osses goes on to admit that there’s a lot of room for illegal trafficking here. In the high season, 30,000 people per day cross the triple border — and that’s just at the official checkpoints. Like any border, much more of it is uncontrolled.

Jesus God, Mr. Osses. Do you think there’s a connection between all those agency people and the trafficking?

We’ll know our disinformation program is complete
when everything the American public believes is false.
– William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


So, anyway, it must be time to change the subject. New York Times, July 17, 2009: Inquiry on 1994 Blast at Argentina Jewish Center Gets New Life. Oh PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!

Despite all the international attention, despite investigative help from Israel and the United States, no one has been convicted for the July 18, 1994, bombing of the community center, in which 85 people died and more than 300 were injured….But suddenly, an investigation that former President Néstor Kirchner called a national disgrace has received new urgency and is again raising hopes among Jewish groups, though significant concerns about the inquiry remain.

last month, a federal judge here, Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, ordered the international capture of Samuel Salman El Reda, a 43-year-old Colombian citizen whom prosecutors here had accused of helping coordinate the local Hezbollah cell that Argentine investigators said had carried out the bombing.

Investigators here believe that they have solved the case in principle, having accused the Iranian government of planning and financing the attack, and Hezbollah of executing those plans.

But some experts, including a former American F.B.I. agent who assisted the Argentines in their investigation, are skeptical about the claims of direct Iranian involvement. “The guilt field was painted with a bit too broad a brush,” said the former agent, James Bernazzani, who led the F.B.I.’s Hezbollah operations unit in the late 1990s.

…Previous inquiries were riddled with incompetence, witnesses who were threatened and bribed, stolen evidence and accusations of a cover-up involving the former Argentine president Carlos Menem. The Argentines, nevertheless, maintain that Iran was behind the attack, and have had limited relations with Tehran partly because of the investigation’s importance to the nation’s 230,000 Jews, the largest Jewish community in Latin America. The 1994 bombing came two years after the Israeli Embassy here was bombed, killing 29 people, a case that also remains unsolved.

Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who took over the investigation in 2005, has intensified a line of inquiry that Mr. Galeano had played down: the involvement of Iran.

In 2006, Mr. Nisman formally accused several members of Iran’s government of planning and financing the bombing, including former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Central to the indictments was an Iranian defector, Abdolghassem Meshabi, who said that the plot had been hatched in Tehran and that Iranian officials had paid Mr. Menem about $10 million to help cover up Iran’s involvement.

And guess what? Yes, it all comes back to the TBA. Mr. Nisman has it all figured out. I mean, just look what he says.

Mr. Nisman, meanwhile, is pressing on with his investigation of Mr. El Reda. In the weeks before the bombing, Mr. El Reda shuttled between “safe houses” in Buenos Aires and a red brick house in Foz do Iguaçu, a Brazilian town in the Triple Frontier area where Argentina meets Brazil and Paraguay, investigators said.

From millions of phone call records and the help of an unidentified Hezbollah operative, investigators say they were able to piece together evidence of a terrorist cell involving Mr. El Reda that kept in close contact with Beirut leading up to the bombing.

On the morning of July 1, 1994, Mr. Nisman said, Mr. El Reda made a call from the international airport here to a cellphone registered in Foz do Iguaçu, a call that may have set off the final phase of the attack.

Other calls to the cellphone were made from public phone centers near the Jewish community center and near a mosque in Buenos Aires where the cultural attaché at the Iranian Embassy, one of the people charged in 2006, spent a great deal of time, Mr. Nisman wrote in court papers. Mr. El Reda had forged close ties with the Iranian attaché, Mr. Nisman said.

Calls were often made from those same locations to the communications center of Hezbollah in Beirut and to known militants in the Triple Frontier, Mr. Nisman said.

Mr. Bernazzani warned that that “doesn’t prove anything,” because what had been said on the calls was not known. “Telephones don’t get indicted, people do,” he said.

Mr. Nisman, nevertheless, said that at 7:41 a.m. on the day of the bombing a final call was made from Aeroparque airport in Buenos Aires. Forty minutes later, a flight bound for Puerto Iguazú in the Triple Frontier took off. Mr. Nisman said he believed that Mr. El Reda made the call before boarding the plane.

Then, at 9:53 a.m., a van loaded with about 600 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil exploded in front of the community center. A few days later Mr. El Reda left South America for Lebanon, where he still lives with his family, Mr. Nisman said.

Boy it makes a person wonder if Alberto NISMAN belongs to the largest Jewish community in Latin America, given the alacrity of his beliefs.

Not that it matters. Perish the thought.


In closing, I would just like to remind you that the 2016 Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro.

So happy.
“Traffickers will view the 2010 2016 Olympics as the biggest business opportunity for them in decades.”

UK colluding with Israel?

by Robert Fisk

Collusion. That’s what it’s all about. The United Arab Emirates suspect – only suspect, mark you – that Europe’s “security collaboration” with Israel has crossed a line into illegality, where British passports (and those of other other EU nations) can now be used to send Israeli agents into the Gulf to kill Israel’s enemies. At 3.49pm yesterday afternoon (Beirut time, 1.49pm in London), my Lebanese phone rang. It was a source – impeccable, I know him, he spoke with the authority I know he has in Abu Dhabi – to say that “the British passports are real. They are hologram pictures with the biometric stamp. They are not forged or fake. The names were really there. If you can fake a hologram or biometric stamp, what does this mean?”

The voice – I know the man and his origins well – wants to talk. “There are 18 people involved in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Besides the 11 already named, there are two Palestinians who are being interrogated and five others, including a woman. She was part of the team that staked out the hotel lobby.” Two hours later, an SMS arrives on my Beirut phone from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It is the same source.

“ONE MORE THING,” it says in capital letters, then continues in lower case. “The command room of the operation was in Austria (sic, in fact, all things are “sic” in this report)… meaning the suspects when here did not talk to each other but thru the command room on separate lines to avoid detection or linking themselves to one another… but it was detected and identified OK??” OK? I ask myself.

My source is both angry and insistent. “We have sent out details of the 11 named people to Interpol. Interpol has circulated them to 188 countries – but why hasn’t Britain warned foreign nations that these people are using passports in these names?” There was more to come.

“We have identified five credit cards belonging to these people, all issued in the United States.” The man will not give the EU nationalities of the extra five – this would make two women involved in Mr Mabhouh’s murder. He said that EU countries were cooperating with the UAE, including the UK. But “not one of the countries we have been speaking to has notified Interpol of the passports used in their name. Why not?”

The source insisted that one of the names on a passport – the name of a man who denies any knowledge of its use – has travelled on it in Asia (probably Indonesia) and EU countries over the past year. The Emirates have proof that an American entered their country in June 2006 on a British passport issued in the name of a UK citizen who was already in prison in the Emirates. The Emirates claim that the passport of an Israeli agent sent to kill a Hamas leader in Jordan was a genuine Canadian passport issued to a dual national of Israel.

Intelligence agencies – who in the view of this correspondent are often very unintelligent – have long used false passports. Oliver North and Robert McFarlane travelled to Iran to seek the release of US hostages in Lebanon on passports that were previously stolen from the Irish embassy in Athens. But the Emirates’ new information may make some European governments draw in their breath – and they had better have good replies to the questions. Intelligence services – Arab, Israeli, European or American – often adopt an arrogant attitude towards those from whom they wish to hide. How could the Arabs pick up on a Mossad killing, if that is what it was? Well, we shall see.

Collusion is a word the Arabs understand. It speaks of the 1956 Suez War, when Britain and France cooperated with Israel to invade Egypt. Both London and Paris denied the plot. They were lying. But for an Arab Gulf country which suspects its former masters (the UK, by name) may have connived in the murder of a visiting Hamas official, this is apparently now too much. There is much more to come out of this story. We will wait to see if there are any replies in Europe.