Archive for category Yemen

the narrative progresses

Aha, the Defne Bayrak “Western” photo, which appears to my eyes a bad photoshop experiment, followed by her high profile interview on teevee… PLUS Sarkozy’s obsession with 2000 veiled Muslim women in France, who should remove their veils in public places because it’s dangerous, makes a lot more sense now.

Now that we know al qaeda is training women to attack The West.

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.

US officials quoted by the paper as saying that airliners and all forms of transport could be targeted as well as sports stadia, ports and power stations.

The report came as Foreign Ministers from across the world, including external affairs minister S M Krishna, are preparing to meet in London this week for two conferences to discuss the threat of terrorism in both Yemen and Afghanistan.

But official sources insisted that there was no specific intelligence which suggested that either conference was a potential target.

I covered the sports stadia idea here.

You may also notice that since these suspected women terrorists will be traveling on Western passports, that now further justifies the increased vigilance and scrutiny of: women with Western passports. Not a few people. Happy trails.

Though the terrorism could come from Yemen or Africa or Southeast Asia, it will surely be linked back to Pakistan, which our officials and experts assure us remains the heart of al qaeda.

by Sharon Weinberger, a national security reporter based in Washington

(Jan. 20) – The attempted Christmas Day bombing of a U.S.-bound flight may have increased the visibility of the Yemen-based wing of Al Qaida, but Pakistan’s tribal area remains the terrorist organization’s strongest base of support, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official said today.

“I would still say the [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] FATA is the beating heart of al-Qaida,” Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, told a group of journalists this morning.

Al-Qaida still has closer ties to the tribal areas of Pakistan than with any other affiliate group, said Benjamin, who previously served on President Clinton’s National Security Council and has co-written two books that trace the rise of al-Qaida.

On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a report saying that three dozen Americans traveled to Yemen to train with al-Qaida. And in congressional testimony today, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center said that analysts had been looking at threats from al-Qaida in Yemen for several months, but failed to make the connection to Abdulmutallab.

Damn, not that Human Error again…

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

And notice how the narrative develops in an orderly fashion, like a well-oiled machine.

[For additional context see: foreshadowing, pakistan is being totally screwed, and india so important. also: the flames burning all around]

note that it’s called the PERSIAN Gulf

1. Iran will retaliate on Western warships if Gulf attacked

Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Tuesday that Western warships stationed in the Gulf are “best targets” for the Islamic republic if its nuclear sites are attacked, Fars news agency reported. Iranian officials have repeatedly threatened to deliver a “crushing response” and hit U.S. targets, including its bases in the Gulf and neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, if Iran’s nuclear sites are attacked. “Why are there so many warships there? The Westerners know that these warships are the best target for operation by Iran if they do anything against (us),” Vahidi told a conference entitled “Persian Gulf” in Tehran. He also criticized the building of U.S. bases in the region and Washington’s “unofficial presence in Yemen.”(AFP)

source: naharnet

2. Iran’s FM visits Libya

Tripoli - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in Tripoli Thursday at the start of a three-day visit to Libya. Mottaki was accompanied by a large political and economic delegation. Immediately upon his arrival in Tripoli, Mottaki held talks with Mr. Moussa Koussa, Secretary of Foreign Liaison in Libya where they reviewed bilateral relations and the means of strengthening them as to serve common interests, Jana reported….”Iran and Libya’s position in the Middle East and North Africa, [as well as the] unity and cooperation of Islamic countries will be discussed during the visit,” said Mottaki. He added that the two oil-rich counties could work together on oil and gas projects.
The two parties discussed political cooperation between the General People’s Congress and the Iranian Parliament.  Cooperation in the field of railroads and other economic activities was also discussed.

more @ tripoli post

3. in Libya, Mottaki stresses need for restructuring UN security council

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki stressed the need for establishment of more logical and fair international bodies and the restructuring of the United Nations Security Council. He made the remark on Friday when conferring with his Libyan counterpart Musa Kusa in Libya….He further stressed the need for more collective measures to establish security and stability in the world and confront the interventionist and oppressive policies of big powers which have resulted in nothing but extremism, terrorism and insecurity.

Pointing to the oppressive policies of the big powers to safeguard and secure the illegitimate regime of Zionists in Palestine, Mottaki said the last three invasions of the Zionists to Lebanon and Gaza just discredited the usurper regime and its backers. Kusa described as great and excellent the ties between the two nations throughout history and said his country specially revered the supreme nation of Iran. He said Iran has supported and backed the Arab countries in the region and pointed out that the two countries enjoyed many shared stances. He criticized the double-standard policies and biased political policies against Iran and said these pressures were despite the fact that the Zionist regime was equipped with nuclear arms but was still backed by big powers.

more @ isria

4. Islamic Games axed over “Persian Gulf”

RIYADH: The Riyadh-based Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation yesterday called off the athletic games planned for Tehran in April because of Iran’s use of the term “Persian Gulf” on winners’ medals. The ISSF, headed by Saudi Olympic Federation president Prince Sultan bin Fahd, said after an emergency board meeting that Iran’s local organising committee “unilaterally took some decisions without asking the federation by writing some slogans on the medals and pamphlets of the games”.

…Swine flu worries and the dispute over Tehran’s insistence on using “Persian Gulf” for the waters between Iran and the Arabian peninsula had already caused the games to be postponed since an initial planned date of last October. The Arab countries of the oil-rich region insist on the term “Arabian Gulf” or simply the “Gulf”. It would have been the second time the games were held after a first tournament was held in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah in 2005.

The cancellation comes amid a rise in tensions between Riyadh and Tehran, as Saudi Arabia has been seeking to unite Arab countries and isolate its regional rival. Both have traded accusations of interfering in the conflict in Yemen between government forces and Shiite rebels. And an Iranian official confirmed yesterday that Tehran has suspended Muslim pilgrimages to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia until Saudi religious police end their “appalling behaviour” towards Iranian Shiite pilg

more @ kuwait times

5. Iran warns of artificial islands’ environmental impact on Persian Gulf
TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has criticized the construction of artificial islands in the Persian Gulf.

“The construction of artificial islands has environmental impacts on the Persian Gulf region,” Mottaki said in an address to the 19th International Conference on the Persian Gulf, which opened in Tehran on Monday.

Experts from Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt, Romania, France, Germany, China, India, Russia, and five other foreign countries are participating in the two-day event, which is being sponsored by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

Mottaki said the Persian Gulf is important because it is an international shipping route and because the region possesses vast energy resources.

Foreign forces trying to create insecurity in Persian Gulf

Mottaki also said that extra-regional powers are greedily eyeing the region and are attempting to create insecurity and to encourage regional countries to distrust each other in order to gain control of the region’s resources.

The Iranian foreign minister stated that the instability and problems in the region are caused by a number of factors, namely the presence and interference of foreign forces in the region, the massive arms sales, the support for extremist groups, and the efforts to sow discord between regional ethnic groups.
He pointed to the expansionist policies Israel is pursuing in the Persian Gulf region, saying, “The presence of the Zionist regime has been interconnected with insecurity and instability in the region, and U.S. officials are pursuing their foreign policy based on the (Zionist) regime’s security.”

He also attributed the extremism and terrorism in the Middle East to the discriminatory policies foreign countries are implementing in the region.

Regional cooperation necessary to solve Persian Gulf’s problems

The Iranian foreign minister insisted that the problems of the Persian Gulf region must be resolved through regional cooperation.

Iran has presented its proposal for a regional security treaty to regional nations, he said, adding that Tehran believes that there are two approaches for resolving the problems facing the region.

One approach was devised by extra-regional countries that seek to create discord between regional nations, and the other approach envisages regional cooperation, he observed.

Iran is also ready to cooperate with neighboring countries to create a secure environment for economic activities in the region, he added.

Yemen can solve its own problems

Mottaki said the interference of foreign countries in the Yemen conflict has only increased insecurity in the region.

Tehran believes that Sanaa is able to resolve the current crisis through negotiations without the interference of other countries, he added.

The conflict between the Yemeni government and Houthi fighters in northern Yemen began in 2004. It intensified in August 2009 when the Yemeni army launched Operation Scorched Earth in an attempt to crush Shia Houthi fighters in the northern province of Saada.

Regional meeting on dust pollution being organized

Mottaki also announced that a regional meeting will be held in the near future to discuss ways to tackle the region’s dust pollution problem.

He called Saudi Arabia the major source of regional dust pollution and said Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Jordan are other sources of dust pollution.

Tehran to host trilateral meeting on Afghanistan crisis

Mottaki said that Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan plan to hold another trilateral meeting on the crisis in Afghanistan in Tehran in the near future.

Tehran is devising some regional approaches to deal with the crisis in Afghanistan, he stated.

He also asked certain countries, which claim they are helping Afghanistan resolve its problems, to support Tehran’s approaches.

Major powers pursuing double-standard policy toward Iran

Elsewhere in his remarks, Mottaki criticized the major powers for adopting double-standard policies toward Iran’s nuclear program.

He cited the fact that nothing is done about Israel’s hundreds of nuclear warheads and the nuclear cooperation between the U.S. and the Zionist regime, while illegal restrictions on the use of nuclear energy are imposed on Iran, which is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

source: tehran times

internationalizing — the solution to every pesky problem

1. we have to “help” Yemen, no mention of all the other money flowing in there for years, which has done what exactly? oh that’s right, pour money and weapons into failed state and al qaeda pops out the other end it’s just like making a baby — fucked.

To spur Saleh to action, US officials have announced a doubling of the current military and security aid package. According to General David Petraeus, the head of US Central Command, who met Saleh last Friday in Sana’a, “We have, it’s well known, about $70 million in security assistance last year,” said Petraeus. “That will more than double this coming year.”  Washington also plans to provide $63 million in development aid, US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said on Monday. This is in stark contrast to the $8.4 million in the last year of George W Bush’s tenure, 2008, and still a marked increase from $40.3 million in 2009.

…United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday stressed the importance of a multinational approach to Yemen, during a press conference in Washington with Qatari Prime Minister Hamid bin Jassem al-Thani. “We’re going to listen and consult with those who have long experience in Yemen, such as Qatar … and work together to try and encourage the government to take steps that will lead to a more lasting period of peace and stability,” she said.  “It’s time for the international community to make it clear to Yemen that there are expectations and conditions on our continuing support for the government so that they can take actions which will have a better chance to provide peace and stability in the region,” she added, alluding to the government’s reputation for corruption and collusion with militant Islamists.

more @ asia times

2. Clinton (again): development aid central to US interests

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday the United States achieves “best results” when development, diplomacy and defense are approached as a whole, signaling a change of tactics in U.S. diplomacy….According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation, U.S. development aid to Yemen declined from 56.5 million U.S. dollars in 2000 to 25.5 million in 2008, during which period the terror network of al-Qaeda regrouped in the poverty-stricken country.

Prior to Clinton’s speech, a senior U.S. official who declined to be named said the administration has to focus on areas where development results are needed “as part of our broader security strategy.”    In places such as Yemen, the official said, the administration has to pursue security goals and development goals simultaneously, because “without development, you’re never going to have security.”

read more @ chinaview


3. Yemen rejects US role — just give us the stuff please and leave, we’ll take it from here thanks

DUBAI - YEMEN, hunting Al-Qaeda within its borders, believes its own security forces must fight militants on its territory and rejects any direct US intervention, the foreign minister said….Asked by CNN whether Yemen would accept direct US intervention, Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said: ‘No, I don’t think we will accept that. I think the US, as well, have learned from Afghanistan and Iraq and other places that direct intervention can be self-defeating. ‘We think this is the priority and the responsibility of our security forces and the army,’ Mr al-Qirbi told the US news channel….’What we need from the United States and other partners is to build our capability to provide us with the technical know-how, with the equipment, with the intelligence information and with the firepower,’ Qirbi said.

source: straits times

4. editor of banned South Yemen daily arrested

SANAA- Yemen police Wednesday arrested the owner and editor of the main southern newspaper, Al-Ayyam, following clashes between police and armed guards of the banned daily, a security official said. Hisham Bashraheel, 66, was taken into custody over clashes since Monday in which a policeman and a guard were killed and seven people were wounded, the official said from the southern city of Aden.

Police laid siege to the daily’s offices after the policeman was killed on Monday while attempting to disperse a gathering protesting the banning since May of the daily that is accused of sympathising with southern separatists. The siege was lifted after 30 protesters and 20 guards, holed up in the newspaper premises, surrendered to the authorities after negotiations, but Bashraheel himself was not arrested.

Among those who gave themselves up Tuesday was Bashraheel’s son and Ali Munassar, a member of the Yemen Socialist Party in Aden, according to the local source. Bashraheel is also wanted by prosecutors in Sanaa to stand trial for his alleged role in the murder of a man in front of the paper’s offices in 2008. Al-Ayyam, one of the largest dailies in the south, was one of eight closed at the time over allegations of inciting separatism in the region amid a wave of deadly unrest there.

source: inquirer

coming soon, maybe already here: the US radical

1. Anwar al-Awlaki: translator of jihad

The obvious, but it must be stated, is al-Qaeda’s aim to raise its profile abroad. Every bit as important is the necessity to raise its stature with followers and potential followers in the US. Central to this strategy is the rise of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen of Yemeni descent now based in that country. Awlaki’s life in the US is well documented. Notable are his close associations with September 11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour. Most recent is Awlaki’s relationship with Major Nidal Hasan, the alleged assassin at the US military base at Fort Hood, Texas, begun at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in northern Virginia and continued via e-mail from Yemen.

Of prime importance to al-Qaeda is Awlaki’s extensive understanding of US politics, culture and mores earned by a highly intelligent, highly educated, keenly articulate man.

…Metro Detroit is home to the two largest mosques in the US, built in a Muslim community of a density with no equal in that country. Al-Qaeda’s plan, if successful, seems designed to exacerbate already evident frictions between Muslims and the FBI in the Detroit Metro and more widely between the US Muslim community and the FBI.…It is unclear whether Awlaki survived a December 24 air strike on an al-Qaeda hideout in the mountains of Yemen’s Shabwah region. In any case, Yemen looks now to be too hot for him. Awlaki may be on the move to Somalia or Pakistan. All that is necessary to accomplish his role could be as little as a laptop, a video camera, Internet access and a prayer rug.

more here:

2. and as previously noted, they expect something like this in the “jewish homeland”

Other than Hizbullah, Israel is concerned that al-Qaida is trying to recruit Europeans and Americans who have been indoctrinated with radical Islamic ideology to carry out attacks inside the Jewish state, the newspaper added.

3. Jordan disputes bomber’s ID

THE Jordanian official said Balawi had been interrogated by intelligence officers ‘around a year ago because of suspicions about his activities, but the probe found nothing and he was freed.

‘Humam left Jordan and traveled to Pakistan to continue medical studies that he had begun in Turkey. From Pakistan, he contacted the Jordanian authorities by e-mail and provided security information of extreme value that allowed (us) to abort terrorist operations that would have threatened the security of Jordan.’ He added that contact had been maintained with Balawi ‘in the interest of the security of Jordan.’

Friends close to the family said Balawi was born in Kuwait to a Palestinian family, which moved to Jordan following the Iraqi invasion of the Gulf emirate in 1990. They said he married a Turkish woman in the town of Tonya, where he was studying medicine, and that the couple has two children. AFP spoke to a sister, Hanan, but she declined to answer any questions. — AFP

AMMAN - A SENIOR Jordanian official said on Tuesday there was no proof that Jordanian Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi was, as has been claimed, the suicide bomber who killed eight people at a CIA base in Afghanistan.

‘There is no proof that Humam was actually the author of the attack, especially given that Taleban websites claim that it was an Afghan,’ said the official who declined to be identified. He added that Balawi had provided Jordanian intelligence with valuable information, but did not say whether he was still alive….The Jordanian intelligence services, believing the bomber to be their double agent, took him to eastern Afghanistan with the mission of finding Al-Qaeda number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the websites and Western intelligence agents cited by US media said. But instead he blew himself up at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province near the Pakistani border, killing seven CIA agents and his Jordanian handler, a top intelligence officer and member of the royal family. — AFP

source: straits times

4. he was an al qaeda TRIPLE agent (yeah, yeah…)

A suicide bomber who killed eight people at a CIA base in Afghanistan was an al-Qaida triple agent who duped Western intelligence services for months before turning on his handlers, jihadist websites boasted on Tuesday…Western diplomats said that the revelation of Jordanian involvement in a U.S. intelligence operation in Afghanistan was a blow for the Amman government.

“Jordan is likely to be embarrassed by the fact that Captain Ali’s death has revealed its cooperation with the CIA, which is not going to go down well with a predominantly anti-American public opinion,” one Western diplomat told AFP.

read more @ naharnet

5. “successful” security op kills two relatives, wounds three others, in capture of big AQ honcho, now the embassies can reopen oh thank god

Mohammed al-Hanq had evaded arrest on Monday during a security force raid in Arhab, 40 kilometres north of Sanaa, in which two of his relatives were killed and three other people wounded. He was arrested on Wednesday, along with two others who were wounded in the attack, at a hospital in the province of Amran, north of Sanaa, a security official said.

The US embassy, followed by the British and the French missions, had closed over security concerns prompted by fears of an Al-Qaeda threat against foreign interests just days after a failed attack on a US airliner claimed by the Al-Qaeda franchise in Yemen.

The US mission cited ’successful’ security operations north of the capital as it reopened for business on Tuesday, saying that Yemeni security forces had addressed a ’specific area of concern’ the previous day - thought to be a reference to the crackdown on Hanq’s group.

read more @ straits times

6. Iran tells Iranians not to talk to strangers  — here are the tools used to drive the psychological operations against Iran and AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. of course they will spin this as hysteria and paranoia, but this is a good list. the Iranians do not imagine it, and if you think they do, you been listening to people on this list:

1. Soros Foundation — Open Society

2. Woodrow Wilson Center
3. Freedom House
4. National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
5. National Democratic Institute (NDI)

6. International Republican Institute (IRI)
7. Institute for Democracy in East Europe (EEDI)
8. Democracy Center in East Europe (CDEE)
9. Ford Foundation
10. Rockefeller Brothers Foundation
11. Hoover Institute at Stanford University
12. Hivos Foundation, Netherlands
13. Menas, U.K.
14. United Nations Association (USA)
15. Carnegie Foundation
16. Wilton Park, U.K.
17. Search for Common Ground (SFCG)
18. Population Council
19. Washington Institute for Near East Policy
20. Aspen Institute
21. American Enterprise Institute
22. New America Foundation
23. Smith Richardson Foundation
24. German Marshall Fund (US, Germany and Belgium)
25. International Center on Nonviolent Conflict
26. Abdolrahman Boroumand Foundation
27. Yale University
28. Meridian Center
29. Foundation for Democracy in Iran
30. International Republican Institute [again --- see 6]
31. National Democratic Institute [again --- see 5]
32. American Initiative Institute (?)
33. Institute of Democracy in Eastern Europe
34. American Aid Center (?)
35. International Trade Center
36. American Center for International Labor Solidarity
37. International Center for Democracy Transfer
38. Community of Democracies (?)
39. Albert Einstein Institute
40. Global Movement for Democracy
41. The Democratic Youth Network
42. Democracy Information and Communication Technology Group
43. International Movement of Parliamentarians for Democracy
44. ???
45. RIGA Institute
46. The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School
47. Council on Foreign Relations
48. Foreign Policy Committee, Germany
49. Middle East Media Research Institute (described as an Israeli institute)
50. Centre for Democracy Studies, U.K.
51. Meridian Institute [again --- see 28]
52. Yale University and all its affiliates [again --- see 27]
53. National Defense University, U.S.
54. Iran Human Rights Documentation Center
55. American Center FLENA (active in Central Asia)
56. Committee on the Present Danger
57. Brookings Institution
58. Saban Center, Brookings Institution
59. Human Rights Watch

passing the buck

1. where did Yemen get all the weapons? from Russia and China, according to Stockholm think tank, so if you’re gonna get mad at someone for this mess, blame Russia and China ‘kay?

NEW YORK - Russia has stolen a march over the United States in the multimillion-dollar arms market in cash-strapped Yemen, whose weapons purchases are being funded mostly by neighboring Saudi Arabia. The Yemeni armed forces, currently undergoing an ambitious modernization program worth an estimated $4 billion US, are equipped with weapons largely from Russia, China, Ukraine, eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics….According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), one of the world’s best-known think-tanks researching arms control and disarmament, Russia accounted for nearly 59% of all major weapons deliveries to Yemen from 2004 to 2008, followed by Ukraine at 25%, Italy at 10%, Australia’s 5%, and the United States at less than 1%….A resource-starved Middle Eastern nation, Yemen has negligible quantities of oil and is categorized as one of the world’s poorest countries. The US State Department has described Yemen as “desperately poor” but a “vital counter-terrorism partner”.

read more @ asia times

negligible quantities of oil? but location location location. - ed.

Saudi Arabia, engaged in a subtle, undeclared battle for regional influence with Iran, remains by far the largest defense spender in the Middle East, accounting for around $36 billion in spending in 2008. Forecast estimates that the Saudis will spend just under $39 billion in 2009 and exceed the $45 billion threshold by 2013. Due to internal security concerns and external challenges in the form of Iran, Saudi spending is unlikely to dip despite the fall in the price of oil, remaining fixed at about 33 percent of total annual state expenditures in the near term.

2. US and UK military spending in Yemen

US has increased military aid package to Yemen from less than $11m in 2006 to more than $70m in 2009

From just 11 million dollars to 70 million. A better then 6x increase? In 2009- US spent tens of millions of dollars boosting Yemen’s coastguard and border security and providing helicopters with night-vision cameras. The US has also provided intelligence gathered over Yemen by unmanned drones.

The US has not been alone, the UK has been there with them in all of 2009. The UK has also invested heavily in aid to Yemen. It has quadrupled its development assistance since 2007, allocating £105m between 2009 and 2011, though no figures on funds for military training were available

Both the US and UK have trained Yemen’s counter-terrorism unit

And the US has bombed and killed scores of civilians in Yemen Including a cruise missile attack on December 18th/09 ordered directly by the White House.

read more @ penny for your thoughts

3. CIA has been in Yemen since 2008: evidently we do the “training”

A new report released shows that the US and the CIA have opened a covert operation in Yemen against al-Qaeda to assist the nation’s military operations, according to AFP. In 2008, the CIA sent field operatives, who have experience in counterterrorism, to the region. The report further cites that the most secretive US special operations commandoes have begun training Yemeni security forces.

read more @ digital journal

guns don’t kill people, people kill people…

4. speaking of weapons, Thai detention of alleged arms traffickers extended — this one’s been in teh crockpot for a while…

The Bangkok Criminal Court on Wednesday extended by 12 days the detention of five alleged weapons traffickers, the crew on a transport plane detained at Don Mueang airport, as police continue to investigate their sanctions-busting flight from North Korea. The suspects claim they believed the cargo was oil drilling equipment bound for Ukraine, according to their lawyer Somsak Saithong.

But a flight plan obtained by researchers showed the plane was bound for Iran, while US intelligence chief Dennis Blair said last month that it was headed for an unspecified Middle East destination.

read more @ bangkok post
5. more crazy people with weapons: 6 police killed in North Caucasus

MOSCOW, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) — Six police were killed and about 10 others were injured in an explosion in Russia’s restive North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, Russian new agencies reported on Wednesday. A suicide bomber detonated his car laden with explosives outside the traffic police headquarters in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, local police source said….Dagestan and the other mainly Muslim regions of Russia’s North Caucasus have been plagued by instability and violence recently. Skirmishes between troops and militants, and attacks on police and other officials have been reported daily.

more @ chinaview

6. 1 killed, 4 wounded on israeli airstrike on Gaza — who are these “witnesses”?????

GAZA, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) — A Palestinian militant was killed and four wounded during an Israeli airstrike in southeastern Gaza Strip late Tuesday, witnesses and medical sources said. An Israeli drone fired a rocket on a group of militants that was monitoring the security fence separating between Israel and Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, killing one and wounding four, the witnesses said.

The fighters were apparently planning to fire a missile into the Israeli lands, added the witnesses.

The dead and the wounded were transferred to Nasser hospital in Khan Younis where officials identified the dead as Jihad al-Sumiri, a member of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), an armed faction close to Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

read more @ chinaview

war on terror in expansion mode

1. Yemen a GLOBAL threat, according to Hillary Clinton — western powers hang around Yemen for a few years, western powers set up patsy terrorist, western powers close a few embassies, THEN western powers claim that Yemen threatens global instability

WASHINGTON - US SECRETARY of State Hillary Clinton on Monday said unrest in Yemen threatens global instability, after western powers closed their embassy in Sanaa and Washington overhauled its terror watch and ‘no-fly’ blacklists. ‘The instability in Yemen is a threat to regional stability and even global stability,’ Mrs Clinton told reporters following talks with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani. ‘And certainly, we know that this is a difficult set of challenges, but they have to be addressed,’ Mrs Clinton said as the US government grappled with the implications of the attempted jetliner bombing linked to an Al-Qaeda group in Yemen.

read more @ straits times

2. now the CIA agents were killed by the Jordanian “double agent” — that sounds better huh?

WASHINGTON - THE suicide attacker who killed eight people in an attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan was a Jordanian who had been recruited by Jordanian intelligence as a double agent, US media said on Monday….There had been earlier reports that the suicide attacker was an informant who might not have been rigorously screened before being brought onto Forward Operating Base Chapman, a base in eastern Afghanistan that the CIA used for its campaign against militants on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border. — AFP

read more @ straits times

3. Israelis expect higher risk of attack by Hizbullah over next few weeks, also expecting some radical Europeans or Americans to carry out attacks in the “jewish homeland”

The Israeli defense ministry believes that the risk of an attack on an Israeli aircraft will rise slightly over the next few weeks, ahead of the second assassination anniversary of Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyeh, The Jerusalem Post reported….The Israeli security agency, Shin Bet , is considering beefing up its teams of security guards stationed at Ben-Gurion Airport and on Israeli commercial flights, The Jerusalem Post said….Increasing security at Israel’s main airport, as well as on El Al Israel Airways flights, is currently under consideration by Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, The Post said.

Other than Hizbullah, Israel is concerned that al-Qaida is trying to recruit Europeans and Americans who have been indoctrinated with radical Islamic ideology to carry out attacks inside the Jewish state, the newspaper added.

read more @ naharnet

4. major terrorist attack thwarted in North Caucasus

Police in Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria have prevented a major terrorist attack after discovering a powerful bomb planted near a busy road, a police source said on Tuesday. A 40-liter barrel stuffed with explosives was found some two meters (six feet) from the Baksan-Azau highway. It was taken to a safe place and detonated. “The blast was equal to 50 kg of TNT, and might have resulted in many deaths,” the source said. Russia’s mainly Muslim North Caucasus republics, especially Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, have seen an upsurge of militant violence this year, with frequent attacks on police and officials.

MOSCOW, January 5 (RIA Novosti)


updated below…
Another family on board the underpants bomber plane says that a man videotaped the entire flight. The FBI is looking for him intensely. Did he get away? How could he possible walk off with his videotape of the entire flight. Another human error?

They were sitting about 20 rows behind Abdulmutallab, in a center aisle with her husband and daughter a row ahead of her and their two new adopted children, a six-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy. Her daughter said that ahead of them was a man who videotaped the entire flight, including the attempted detonation. “He sat up and videotaped the entire thing, very calmly,” said Patricia. “We do know that the FBI is looking for him intensely. Since then, we’ve heard nothing about it.”

They were returning home with their newly adopted children from Ethiopia.

“As the seriousness progressed, and we knew that this could possibly be it, my husband and daughter put their hand through their seats and we all held hands in a circle and sang ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and we prayed, and we just made it as much of a game as we could and make them completely innocent as to what was happening.”

…Once the flight attendants told everyone that the suspect was under control, and the fire was contained, Patricia said that most of the people handled the rest of the flight “fabulous.”"We all sat in our seats. We stayed calm, other than (hearing) crying. Shortly thereafter, the captain said they were making an emergency landing.

“They got us off faster than anything you’ve ever seen, and then they shuffled us off to a room where we spent quite a few hours. They were doing their very best. We were frustrated, because there was never water distributed. There was one bathroom for 300 people, and it was very hard because there were kids crying. Nobody knew what was going on. We were not allowed to call anybody.”

You know, that’s funny, because the other witness — the couple coming back from safari who saw the sharp-dressed man in Amsterdam who got the Nigerian on the plane without a passport? — they were upset about what happened after the plane landed. (also here in case the link goes defunct)

What also didn’t make the news is that we were held on the plane for 20 minutes AFTER IT LANDED!. A bomb could have gone off then. This wasn’t too smart of security to not let us off the plane immediately.

Well, maybe they weren’t too worried about a bomb going off. That would explain it.

I mean, surely this is just another small detail in the whole scheme of things, that a man can videotape the entire flight including the explosion and we don’t know about it. He disappears into the woodwork just like the sharp-dressed man in Amsterdam.

Penny has the rundown on how much “aid” we’ve been pouring into Yemen, along with the UK.

And as I pointed out yesterday, the CIA has been in Yemen since 2008.

Yemen is a desperately poor country.

So we are to believe that our military and intelligence assets have been crawling all over this desperately poor country for three fucking years, and now all of a sudden, surprising us no end, practically inconceivable, an al Qaeda terrorist bursts out of the birthday cake with a firecracker in his underpants. And those things aren’t connected.

Well anyway, now they’re talking about retaliatory strikes. It’s all hush hush you understand. Sensitive information.

And they’re just working on connecting it back to Iran.

Judging from the way they’ve gotten this much past the American people, in clown pants, that shouldn’t be too difficult. But I really hope to be wrong.

UPDATE: Ok now Alex Jones is on this stuff, which is alarming to be honest. Because he’s a tool.

Looks like the FBI is going unner da bus. Also the Nigerian CIA agent who didn’t forward the information received from the banker. Human error, incompetence…this will be the mantra. These mistakes cost us big before 911, and now we see the same kind of mistakes again. The law enforcement and intelligence agencies behaving badly, not cooperating with each other, etc. So you know what happens next, right? Another 911. And this will be the reason why. Human error, incompetence. al Qaeda. Regrettable.

Well we already know the intelligence agencies behave badly and don’t cooperate with each other, because a giant hunk of them are totally corrupt!

And did that get fixed after 911? No, of course not. Did the real perpetrators of 911 meet justice? NO. Things don’t get blamed on the corrupt people in high places. They do get blamed on incompetent people, however.

There *must* be incompetence, otherwise how can all these mistakes be allowed to happen? They need cracks for things to fall through. Then they can point to “human error” and all we humans will shake our heads sadly and say, yes, of course, human error. Nobody’s perfect. We understand. Human error is so much easier to accept than corruption and treason.

next stop on the AQ Express: Lebanon

Naharnet News reports al Qaeda in Lebanon, plotting with Fatah and a wanted Palestinian fighter, according to a “well-informed source.” The al Qaeda militants, from Pakistan, supposedly enter Lebanon from Turkey, Greece and Syria, and they hide out in Lebanese apartments before infiltrating Palestinian refugee camps, where they train other militants, also in the camps, to attack UN peacekeepers. Mm hmm.

So, if some UN peacekeepers in Lebanon (UNIFIL) get attacked, that will justify bombing Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, because they harbor al Qaeda terrorists. Right?

Al-Qaida militants are plotting terrorist attacks against state institutions and foreign missions in coordination with Fatah al-Islam and wanted Palestinian fighter Abdel Rahman Awad, a well-informed security source told An Nahar daily. The source said that Lebanese security agencies have also received information about the infiltration of al-Qaida militants into the country from Pakistan via Turkey, Greece and the Lebanese-Syrian border. The militants are seeking refuge in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, the source told An Nahar. The militants are residing in apartments in the north and Mount Lebanon pending their infiltration into the refugee camps, according to the security source. Al-Qaida members are also training other militants in the refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh to carry out attacks against U.N. peacekeepers stationed in southern Lebanon, the source said. He added that two weeks ago Jund al-Sham received financial assistance from a top al-Qaida official for the purpose of activating sleeper cells in the camp.

This may explain some of the events going on in Israel, like calling all their ambassadors back for an important meeting in Jerusalem — to get their stories straight? –, flying fighter jets low over Southern Lebanon and reports of increasing military activity around Shebaa Farms on the Syrian border, and harrassing Mordechai Vanunu.

The opportunity ripens. Al Qaeda has resurged to attack The West through the vicious underpants bomber, a scrawny waif who offered no resistance as he flubbed his chance to murder a couple hundred Americans, singeing his balls instead. Idiot. But no matter. The organization must be as deadly as ever seeing how they manage to evade capture for years on end, blithely waltzing into every dangerous area crawling with US or Israeli military and intelligence assets, apparently unafraid to hold news conferences and flash the Texas Longhorn sign in broad daylight.

You see the diabolical genius of these people, right? They seem to either brazenly follow our intelligence and military assets around, or they pop up whack-a-mole fashion in some other hot spot, forcing us to hunt ‘em down.

Who are you? - Inigo Montoya

The war on terror is continuing in Yemen as the battle escalates and United States involvement grows by the day. A new report released on Monday shows that the CIA has been involved in Yemen since 2008.

Digital Journal has been reporting for about a month of the increase in violence and civilian deaths in Yemen, United President Barack Obama’s devotion to the region by supplying the country with intelligence, weaponry and tens of million dollars in aid and prominent officials declaring that Yemen will be “tomorrow’s war.” A new report released shows that the US and the CIA have opened a covert operation in Yemen against al-Qaeda to assist the nation’s military operations, according to AFP. In 2008, the CIA sent field operatives, who have experience in counterterrorism, to the region. The report further cites that the most secretive US special operations commandoes have begun training Yemeni security forces.

Press TV notes that the Pentagon will be spending over $70 million over the next 18 months to train and equip the country’s military, while Yemen’s national security chief earlier declared that the US has been providing Yemen with assistance to stop al-Qaeda. Earlier this month, Houthi fighters accused the United States of conducting the military air raids that killed dozens of civilians but the government denied it and the Yemeni forces said they were the ones who attacked the northern region. Yemen is expected to receive a lot more attention since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian man who attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet that flew from Amsterdam to Detroit, confessed that he trained in an al-Qaeda base in Yemen, reports The Australian. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s office in Yemen has been working with local authorities to track any recent travel by Abdulmutallab in the country. The next question is: Will Yemen turn out to be Afghanistan during the 1970s and 1980s with Operation Cyclone that effectively created the Taliban?

Aha, so the CIA went there and “discovered” al Qaeda. And also in October 2008, our CIA chief visited Lebanon:

CIA Director Michael Hayden sparks controversy by holding covert meetings with top Lebanese officials in a secret visit to the country. Michael Hayden arrived in Beirut on Thursday in a visit that gained little but controversial media attention. Hayden arrived in the Lebanese capital for talks with top Lebanese officials on security cooperation against regional and international terror, reported As-Safir daily, a local media outlet. “Over the past few years prominent security officials, including the heads of Interpol and FBI, have visited the country on propaganda trips meant to enhance cooperation in security matters,” claims, a local website. “Hayden’s trip, however, does not fall under the security and intelligence category,” it continues. “According to informed sources Hayden’s trip to the region is aimed at gathering the most possible amount of intelligence in the least possible amount of time, as most foreign intelligence services have an established presence in the county,” the website adds. “Lebanon’s geographic position between Syria and Israel is an important factor as the US seeks to defend the security of Israel at any cost.”

Of course, we can always rely on our best friends the Israelis to be in Lebanon, too, infiltrating and planting information via well-informed sources. But the Lebanese know all about Israel’s games. It’s the Americans who don’t seem to understand a fooking thing, who still believe that the wily Nigerian could sneak in and out of Nigeria in one day, get on a plane — past an Israeli airport security firm — in Amsterdam without a passport, and get past security with Yemen-procured PETN taped to his body, while on watch lists and known to be radicalized, unless people in authority wanted him to.

who *is* that sharp dressed man?

So, who is the sharp-dressed man who arranged for Mutallab to get on the plane in Amsterdam?

A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.
Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday.

Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.
Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning.

Let’s see the earlier comment: commenter, Pug, says he was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 and saw suspected terrorist Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab board the plane in Amsterdam.
It’s unknown whether this story is true — you’re welcome to decide for yourself. But if Pug’s story checks out, then it’s certainly understandable he had trouble sleeping last night after returning home from the ordeal.

“I was on this flight today and am thankful to be alive. My wife and I were returning from an African safari and had this connecting flight through Amsterdam. I sat in row 27, which was 7 rows behind the terrorist. I got to see the whole thing take place and it was very scary. Thanks to a few quick acting people I am still alive today.

For those of you talking about airline security in this thread, I was next to the terrorist when he checked in at the Amsterdam airport early on Christmas. My wife and I were playing cards directly in front of the check in counter. This is what I saw (and I relayed this to the FBI when we were held in customs):
An Indian man in a nicely dressed suit around age 50 approached the check in counter with the terrorist and said “This man needs to get on this flight and he has no passport.” The two of them were an odd pair as the terrorist is a short, black man that looked like he was very poor and looks around age 17(Although I think he is 23 he doesn’t look it). It did not cross my mind that they were terrorists, only that the two looked weird together. The ticket taker said “you can’t board without a passport”. The Indian man then replied, “He is from Sudan, we do this all the time”. I can only take from this to mean that it is difficult to get passports from Sudan and this was some sort of sympathy ploy. The ticket taker then said “You will have to talk to my manager”, and sent the two down a hallway. I never saw the Indian man again as he wasn’t on the flight. It was also weird that the terrorist never said a word in this exchange. Anyway, somehow, the terrorist still made it onto the plane. I am not sure if it was a bribe or just sympathy from the security manager.
FBI also arrested a different Indian man while we were held in customs after a bomb sniffing dog detected a bomb in his carry on bag and he was searched after we landed. This was later confirmed while we were in customs when an FBI agent said to us “You are being moved to another area because this area is not safe. Read between the lines. Some of you saw what just happened.”(The arrest of the other Indian man). I am not sure why this hasn’t made it into any news story, but I stood about 15-20 feet away from the other Indian man when he was cuffed and arrested after his search.
What also didn’t make the news is that we were held on the plane for 20 minutes AFTER IT LANDED!. A bomb could have gone off then. This wasn’t too smart of security to not let us off the plane immediately.
You can see what time I am writing this as I am having a hard time sleeping tonight. Just thought some of you would like to know what I saw, Merry Christmas.”

And another piece of information:

In Nigeria, a prominent banker said Saturday that he was meeting with security officials there because he feared his son was the suspect. Alhaji Umaru Mutallab told The Associated Press said his son was a one-time university student in London who had left Britain to travel abroad. He said his son hadn’t lived in London “for some time” but he wasn’t sure exactly where he went to.
“I believe he might have been to Yemen, but we are investigating to determine that,” the elder Mutallab said. He said he would provide more details later Saturday as he learned more from authorities.
One law enforcement official said the man claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaida to detonate the plane over U.S. soil, but other law enforcement officials cautioned that such claims could not be verified immediately, and said the man may have been acting independently — inspired but not specifically trained or ordered by terror groups.

Mmhmm. Let the drawing of conclusions commence!

UPDATE: Great commentary and rundown over at CLG. This is classic:

Got it? Write a book critical of the CIA — you cannot fly. Carry explosives (allegedly from Yemen) on board when the US is trolling for an excuse to invade and occupy Yemen for its oil — yes you can!

a new war based on old lies

So it looks like the US has just gotten involved in yet another war, this time in Yemen. I wondered about this just last week.

US special forces have been sent to Yemen to train its army amid fears the unstable Arab state is becoming a strategically important base for al-Qaeda.

American officials told The Daily Telegraph the country is becoming a “reserve” base for the terrorist network, which considers it a safe haven.The deployment comes as Yemen’s neighbours said they had arrested “dozens” of al-Qaeda fighters moving in and out of the country. Oman, a moderate Arab state on Yemen’s border, is to increase the number of naval patrols around the Arabian peninsula to try to intercept suspected terrorists on the move between bases in Yemen and South Asia.

Fearful that Yemen is in danger of becoming a failed state, America has now sent a small number of special forces teams to improve training of Yemen’s army in reaction to the threat.

…Ahmed Said Alkathiry, an Omani foreign ministry official, said: “We have intercepted increasing numbers of people who come from places like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia that are moving their operations up through Yemen.”…Yemen is the ancestral home of Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the local arm of the network, has provided many of the group’s leaders. One of al-Qaeda’s worst attacks on America, the bombing of the USS Cole, took place in Aden in 2000, killing 17 American sailors.

al Qaeda? The database slash organization created by the CIA slash ISI with help from Tim Osman slash Osama bin Laden who died in December 2001? That al Qaeda? The very same.

And Saudi Arabia? Does anyone remember on September 12, 2001 how the American newspapers all had full page ads, not just one but multiple pages per paper, in papers across the country, with condolences from Saudi Arabia? The pages had a lot of white space and some nice little stylized palm tree motif across the bottom. Anybody else remember this, because I’ll never forget it. Our friends in Saudi Arabia felt so badly about what happened. They really wanted to be sure we all knew, so they took out these ads hoping that everyone here would get the message that we’re good friends with Saudi Arabia.

According to the U.S. State Department 2007 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, “Saudi donors and unregulated charities have been a major source of financing to extremist and terrorist groups over the past 25 years.” The September 11, 2001 attacks fueled criticisms within the United States of alleged Saudi involvement in terrorism or of Saudi laxity in acting against terrorist groups. The final report released by the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission) indicates that the Commission “found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded [Al Qaeda].” The report also states, however, that Saudi Arabia “was a place where Al Qaeda raised money directly from individuals and through charities” and indicates that “charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship” may have diverted funding to Al Qaeda. U.S. officials remain concerned that Saudis continue to fund Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

So to recap the situation thus far, Saudi Arabia, which spent $40.5B on arms in 2009 (compared to Israel’s $13B “allowance”), the largest defense budget in the Middle East, and which has long been suspected of funding the CIA-created al-Qaeda, now needs our help to fight al-Qaeda in Yemen.

I don’t know. Maybe I misunderstand, but that seems a little fucked up to me. But these articles from these respectable papers make it all seem so totally normal, so that you can read the lies and you know they’re lies but nobody calls them lies they just roll them over again and again. It’s too bad about all the civilians who have to die as a result. Back to the Telegraph:

US intelligence reports have said “dozens” of senior al-Qaeda members are established in Yemen. Telephone intercepts and other surveillance detected close ties with groups based in South Asia. Officials claimed that Saleh al-Somali, a Somali-born terrorist killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan last week, had orchestrated movement between the two war zones….

But officials in Yemen claim Iran, not al-Qaeda, poses the main threat to the country’s security.

Ali Mohamed al-Anisi, the chairman of Yemen’s national security agency, has blamed the Iran for fermenting the Shia rebellion. He said: “There are indeed signs, proof of Iranian interference.”

Allegations that Iran supports the rebels that attacked Saudi Arabia remain unproven. But Western diplomats claim it is probable that Iran is providing money or materiel to the group, as it has to Hizbollah in Lebanon.

Oh, so here we go. Of course this had to tie back to Iran and Hizbollah and Lebanon, just like the Kazakhs stopped in Thailand with weapons that Western intelligence sources say were “most probably destined” for Hizbollah and Lebanon, possibly even Hamas and Gaza.

Somehow, like a shamanic shape-shifter, the narrative will transform into a story about Israel, and Israel’s arch-enemies, and Israel’s security, and the existential threats that Israel faces, and the evil terrorists and Hizbullah and Hamas and Iran and Syria and Lebanon. And we will already be involved by then, because we’re involved now, by helpfully helping out our buddies in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.