Sunday, October 31, 2010

Syria Continues To Stonewall The IAEA

From The American Thinker:

October 31, 2010

Syria Continues to Stonewall the IAEA

By David Fontaine Mitchell

Israel attacked Syria's nuclear facility without going through the "proper channels" of the U.N. atomic energy agency...for good reason. The IAEA continues to be ineffective. Over three years after the bombing of a suspected nuclear facility at Al Kibar by the IAF, the rogue state continues to derail a full investigation by IAEA, the U.N. atomic energy agency.

On 6 September 2007, a previously undisclosed facility in Al Kibar, Syria, was destroyed by aerial firepower. The target, located roughly eighty miles from the Iraqi border, was widely rumored to have hosted a nuclear reactor that the Syrian government was clandestinely constructing with assistance from North Korea in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Press reports suggest that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) was behind the attack; however, neither the United States nor Israel has confirmed or denied exactly what occurred.

Photos revealing various stages of the facility's development were reportedly obtained by the Mossad sometime in 2006. One of the photos was of particular interest, as it revealed Chon Chibu (a member of North Korea's nuclear program) and Ibrahim Othman (director of the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission) standing together at the site.

Press reports have also suggested that the Mossad was gathering intelligence from a human source planted inside the facility during the summer of 2007. The source is claimed to have provided Israel with visual evidence, including video footage, of the suspected nuclear site. The footage obtained revealed a reactor strikingly similar to the one in Yongbyon, as well as several North Koreans working at the location.

North Korea has long assisted Syria with their ballistic missile program, but the complex at Al Kibar was the first indication of cooperation between the two nations on a nuclear program.

It is suspected that sometime after midnight on 6 September 2007, seven F-15s from the 69th Squadron of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) bombed the suspicious Al Kibar facility. The planes were able to penetrate the site's Russian-built Tor-M1 air defense system after taking off from Ramat David air base in Haifa. The attack has since become known as "Operation Orchard."

Following the attack, Syria issued a statement acknowledging that the IAF had indeed crossed the border; however, the report claimed, after the Israeli planes made an unsuccessful attack on an unpopulated area, the nation's air defenses "forced them to flee." Syrian foreign minister Walid Moallem reiterated this story four days later, proclaiming that live ammunition had been used by the IAF, but nothing had been damaged, and no one had been injured. It took almost a month before Syrian president Bashar al-Assad revealed to the public that the Israelis had in fact hit a facility, but he referred to it as an "unused military building." To this day, Syria has refused to acknowledge the site as a nuclear facility, referring to the allegations as "ridiculous."

Following the event, Israel immediately instituted a news blackout throughout the country, forbidding newspapers to write anything about the attack. When confronted about the raid, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert simply stated that members of the IDF were "demonstrating unusual courage" and that Israel "cannot always show the public our cards." The nation remained silent about the matter until early October 2007, when Israeli Army Radio revealed that the IAF had hit a military installation "deep inside Syria." Details of the attack were omitted from the report.

The United States government initially refused to comment on the situation; however, intelligence issued a handout video to the media in early 2008 identifying the nuclear facility and the reactor suspected to be inside. The video revealed photos of the reactor's construction, the location of the site, and how the facility was operating. Satellite images of the site were also released by DigitalGlobe and SPOT Image Corporation. Although the U.S. has been forthcoming in their knowledge of the construction and capabilities of Al Kibar, they have still not officially recognized Israel's involvement in the attack. To this day, the United States has not admitted to playing a role in the destruction of the suspected nuclear site.

The nations involved were so uncharacteristically quiet in the immediate aftermath of the event that the IAEA's director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, first became aware of the bombing through press reports. After hearing the news, ElBaradei chastised both the U.S. and Israel, claiming that the two nations "shoot first and ask questions later." However, an investigation was authorized by the IAEA, which began to probe Syria, requesting access to the supposed military installation hit at Al Kibar.

If the site was in fact home to a nuclear reactor, Syria would be in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which they signed in 1968. Countries who have signed the treaty are authorized to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful means but are restricted from developing nuclear weapons. Virtually every U.N. member state has signed the treaty, and 151 of the 192 member states are members of the IAEA. Syria signed an agreement with the IAEA in 1992 obligating the nation to report its nuclear activity and plans to the agency, which is supposed to monitor their compliance with the NPT. If enough evidence is produced to find a signatory nation in violation of the treaty, the agency reports its findings to the U.N. Security Council. Syria has registered one nuclear reactor for research purposes; however, the nation has reportedly made several unsuccessful attempts over the last decade to purchase greater capabilities from Argentina and Russia.

Syria initially blocked the IAEA from inspecting the site of the bombing, claiming that the building was a military installation and that a visit from the agency would be unnecessary. Many outlets began to further question the credibility of Syria's claims following their hesitation to let inspectors into the country. If Syria had nothing to hide, why not invite the IAEA in to prove their innocence? Syria's obstruction, coupled with conflicting statements by various diplomats and government officials, led many to believe Israel was correct in its assessment and that Syria had in fact been constructing an illegal reactor.

To further dampen the hopes of an adequate investigation, satellite imagery began to reveal Syrian officials clearing the site of the suspected facility. On 10 October 2007, Syria conducted a controlled demolition of the remaining materials at the site. Several people were witnessed clearing the site and paving over it with concrete. The photos also reveal the removal of several large containers from the site and the erection of a new building over the location of the previous facility. Several press outlets have interpreted the mass alteration of the site immediately following the attack as a "tacit admission of guilt."

Roughly eight months after the attack, Syrian officials began to indicate a willingness to have the site inspected. They solidified this position in a 31 May 2008 letter that agreed to have IAEA inspectors visit Al Kibar to take environmental samples. The IAEA visited Syrian authorities in Damascus on 22 June, investigated the site on 23 June, and returned to Damascus for further discussion on 24 June. The IAEA reported that they had "unrestricted access" to all of the buildings on the site; however, Damascus would not grant the inspectors "any documentation relevant to the destroyed building, or any of the other buildings, to support its statements." During the 24 June meeting, the IAEA was repeatedly met with resistance over its requests for further documentation relating to the site. When Syria refused to provide records to the agency, the IAEA wrote a follow-up letter on 3 July reiterating their request for greater information and another visit. When Syria refused, another letter was sent on 15 August. Syria again denied the request, leaving the IAEA to conduct their investigation using only the samples they had acquired from the site on 23 June.

Following the IAEA's limited examination, the agency released a report on 19 November 2008. The report revealed that construction of the Al Kibar facility began sometime between 26 April 2001 and 4 August 2001 and continued until August 2007. The agency stated that the facility's "containment structure appear[ed] to have been similar in dimension and layout to that required for a biological shield for nuclear reactors, and the overall size of the building was sufficient to house the equipment needed for a nuclear reactor of the type alleged."

Based on information gathered during the 23 June visit, the IAEA was able to confirm that the water-pumping infrastructure located at the site had a capacity adequate for the size of the alleged reactor and that there was "sufficient electrical capacity to operate the pumping system." The environmental samples taken from the site were analyzed by the IAEA's Network of Analytical Laboratories, which concluded that "a significant number of natural uranium particles" were present and that the analysis of the particles indicated "that the uranium [was] anthropogenic, i.e. that the material was produced as a result of chemical processing." Syria proclaims that these traces were the result of the bombs dropped by Israel; however, the IAEA has dismissed this possibility as "highly unlikely."

To date, the Syrian government has refused to further cooperate with the agency, a refusal which has largely gone overlooked due to the international focus on Iran's nuclear program. Following requests from the United States and the European Union last month to comply with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, Damascus defied both parties once again. The United States has suggested that the IAEA request a "special inspection" during next month's Board of Governors meeting, which would grant the agency authority to inspect Syria with little notice. Amano is reportedly unwilling to request a special inspection -- a tactic not used since 1993 in North Korea -- out of fear of further confrontation with the rogue state. However, even if a special inspection request was extended to Damascus, they could always reject it. The consequence of such action would result in a vote from the agency's board to refer the dilemma to the U.N. Security Council. The prolonged case, which isn't expected to be resolved any time in the near future, has embarrassed the IAEA and frustrated several Western states.

The Al Kibar dilemma highlights the problematic nature of working with international bureaucracies such as the IAEA in a multilateral, as opposed to unilateral, approach. The IAEA is responsible for maintaining the compliance of signatory nations to the NPT. However, the agency failed to detect Al Kibar or exercise any degree of authority throughout their investigation. Syria refused to grant the IAEA access to the suspected site until several months after the bombing. They also denied the agency any requested documentation or follow-up visits, thus prolonging the investigation and obstructing the gathering of evidence.

Given that Syria was extremely reluctant to grant the IAEA access to the facility after the attack, Israel was correct in not contacting the agency prior to acting, considering the enormous time lapse that would have occurred. The case of Al Kibar demonstrates the lack of authority that agencies such as the IAEA have over nations disinclined to cooperate with investigations. Israel concluded that it was in their national security interest to act first and answer questions later due to the direct threat posed to them by Syria's suspected nuclear facility in Al Kibar. Had Israel waded through the requested international processes, there is a good possibility that Syria would have proceeded with their reactor while denying the IAEA access to the site.

The Eight German-Nationals Killed In The 4 October Predator Strike In North Waziristan Have Been Identified

From The Long War Journal:

8 Germans killed in Oct. 4 Predator strike in North Waziristan identified

By Bill RoggioNovember 1, 2010

Eight Germans who were killed in a US Predator airstrike on Oct. 4 near the Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold in the Mir Ali area in North Waziristan have been identified.

Pakistani officials and local tribesmen said the eight Germans "were holding a crucial meeting" at a compound in the town of Mosaki just outside of the town of Mir Ali,

The Express Tribune reported. The strike occurred near the Masjid Bilal. Early reports indicated the strike took place at the mosque.

The eight Germans were members of the Islamic Jihad Group (or Islamic Jihad Union), an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The Islamic Jihad Group is based out of the Mir Ali region and is closely allied with al Qaeda.

Among those killed were three senior members of the IJU: Brusely, also known as Fayyaz, who served as the operations chief for the Islamic Jihad Group; Gagreen Gill, also known as Siraj, who was in charge of finances; and Milton Smith, also known as Jamal, who was described as an "expert bomb maker."

The other Germans killed were Wash (Mustafa), Johnson (Wasal), Anderson (Waqas), Paterson (Shaheen), and Peterson Mckenzie (Usman). Both Wash and Johnson both Germans and Saudi passport holders.

The eight Germans were killed based on intelligence obtained from Rami Mackenzie, a German who was detained in the Pakistani district of Bannu, which borders North Waziristan. Mackenzie, who is said to be an expert at manufacturing suicide bombs, was wearing a burka when he was captured along with his family by Pakistani police.

The eight Germans are the latest Europeans killed in US strikes in North Waziristan since an al Qaeda plot that targeted several major European cities and was modeled after the terror assault on the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008.

On Sept. 8, eight other Germans and two Britons were reported killed Predator strike in the al Qaeda stronghold of Datta Khel. An Islamic Jihad Group commander known as Qureshi was reported killed in the attack. Qureshi specialized in training Germans to conduct attacks in their home country. Two of the Germans were identified as Abu Askar, and Imran Almani. The Briton, who was identified as Abdul Jabbar, who appointed the leader of the Islamic Army of Great Britain and was tasked with carrying out terror assaults in Britain, France, and Germany, using assault rifles and suicide vests.

German and Turkish Muslims make up a significant portion of the Islamic Jihad Group. Its fighters are often referred to as German Taliban, and they carry out attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year, the Islamic Jihad Group released video of 'German Taliban villages' in Waziristan. Its fighters were seen training at camps and conducting military operations.

Read more:

ISAF: Haqqani Network Suffered Heavy Losses In Assault On Paktika Outpost

From The Long War Journal:

ISAF: Haqqani Network suffered heavy losses in assault on Paktika outpost

By Bill RoggioOctober 31, 2010

The Haqqani Network suffered heavy losses in yesterday's massed assault on a US combat outpost in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika. The International Security Assistance Force estimated that 78 Haqqani Network fighters were killed and said two more were captured, while Afghan officials claimed that more than 80 fighters had been killed.

Haqqani Network forces launched the attack just after midnight on Oct. 30, attacking Combat Outpost Margah in Paktika's Bermal district from four sides while mortar and rocket teams fired on the troops.

The Haqqani Network was backed by fighters from al Qaeda as well as the Taliban, and several hundred fighters as well as a large support element are believed to have participated in the attack, a US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal.

The top US generals in the region attributed good intelligence and a well-sited observation post with aiding in the defeat of the Haqqani Network assault.

"We had multiple indicators an attack like this was going to happen in that area in an attempt to gain victory before the end of the fighting season, and our combined Afghan and coalition forces were ready for them," said Major General John Campbell, the commanding general of Regional Command-East.

"COP Margah has a squad-sized observation element on the high ground near the COP to provide early warning to the main base," Brigadier General Stephen Townsend, the operations chief for Regional Command East, said. "Not only did the Soldiers and Afghan Border Policemen warn of the attack, they also disrupted it for approximately 20 minutes allowing the main defense to decisively respond. Once their mission was complete, they repositioned to reinforce the main defense."

Since late August, the Haqqani Network has carried out six major assaults against US combat outposts in Khost, Paktika, and Paktia provinces. US and Afghan troops defeated all of the attacks, often inflicting heavy casualties on Haqqani Network forces. [For more information on the recent and previous assaults, see LWJ report, US troops repel Haqqani Network assault on eastern Afghan base.]

Top US military commanders, including General David Petraeus, have claimed that the Haqqani Network's leadership has been disrupted by the heavy regimen of special operations forces raids that have killed or captured scores of mid- and senior-level commanders and facilitators.

Some US military and intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal disagree, however, and said the latest attack is an indication that the Haqqani Network remains cohesive, despite the failure of the attack.

"Planning, organizing, and executing a complex attack involving hundreds of fighters, mortar teams, and support elements requires command and control, and the Haqqanis still have those capabilities," a military intelligence officer said. "As long as they are untouchable in Pakistan, they'll be able to carry out attacks such as the one at COP Margah. And they only need to succeed once; overrunning a US base would have a devastating impact."

Read more:

Slaughter At Baghdad Church: Ten Christians Killed During Al Queda Siege, 33 Rescued

From Gateway Pundit:

Slaughter at Baghdad Church- 10 Christians Killed During Al-Qaeda Seige- 33 Rescued

Posted by Jim Hoft on Sunday, October 31, 2010, 4:41 PM

A priest was among the hostages. As many as 100 people were taken hostage during mass by Al-Qaeda members wearing explosive vests.

Iraqi security forces and wellwishers surround an Iraqi youth after his release from a hostage situation at the Sayidat al-Najat church following a rescue operation by Iraqi and US forces in Baghdad’s Karrada neighbourhood. (AFP)

7 hostages were killed today after Al-Qaeda members took hostages in a Baghdad Church.

US and Iraqi forces rescued the remaining hostages. All of the Al-Qaeda members were killed.

The AFP reported:

Seven Christians were killed Sunday and at least 13 wounded in a rescue operation involving US and Iraqi forces to end a hostage drama at a church in the Iraqi capital, officials said.

All eight gunmen were also killed when US and Iraqi forces mounted a joint operation to rescue worshippers held hostage in the Sayidat al-Nejat church in the Karrada neighbourhood.

The gunmen had stormed the church during evening mass after killing two guards at the nearby headquarters of the Baghdad stock exchange.

“We released the hostages but unfortunately seven of them were killed and 20 of them wounded,” an interior ministry official told AFP.

A defence ministry official said 13 were hurt in the rescue operation and that the gunmen had been holding 40 hostages.

Hat Tip Gini

Please remember the Iraqi Christians in your thoughts and prayers.

NOTE: There are conflicting reports coming from Baghdad right now. Several reports also claim that dozens were killed.

Army General Reveals Shocking Truths About Fort Hood Massacre

From Vision to America and CBN News:

Army General Reveals Shocking Truth Behind Fort Hood Shooting Rampage

10-30-2010Categorized in: Government, Politics, Radical IslamRetired Army Lt. General Jerry Boykin speaks boldly on CBN. He says the leadership knew Major Nidal Hassan was a terrorist but couldn't do anything about it because of the politics coming from the top. The shooting was avoidable, but intervention would not have been politically expedient.

Listen as this Christian Lt. General spills the beans. He was forced to retire from the Army for speaking the truth too boldly.

Update On Pronouncements By Islamofascists

From Jihad Watch:

UK jihadist: Muslims "may say one thing to you in front of CNN," but behind your backs they support jihad

Anjem Choudary must be some kind of Islamophobe: "This is something, you know, the Muslims around the world, I don't think would differ with. They may say one thing to you in front of CNN. But I can assure you behind your backs, in every masjid and every community center, they are standing with their Muslim brothers and sisters saying, We hope the Americans and British are pushed out of our countries, and we can implement the Sharia."

Qur'an 3:28 warns believers not to take unbelievers as "friends or helpers" (َأَوْلِيَا -- a word that means more than casual friendship, but something like alliance), "unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them." This is a foundation of the idea that believers may legitimately deceive unbelievers when under pressure. The word used for "guard" in the Arabic is tuqātan (تُقَاةً), the verbal noun from taqiyyatan -- hence the increasingly familiar term taqiyya. Ibn Kathir says that the phrase Pickthall renders as "unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them" means that "believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers" may "show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, 'We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.' Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, 'The Tuqyah [taqiyya] is allowed until the Day of Resurrection." While many Muslim spokesmen today maintain that taqiyya is solely a Shi'ite doctrine, shunned by Sunnis, the great Islamic scholar Ignaz Goldziher points out that while it was formulated by Shi'ites, "it is accepted as legitimate by other Muslims as well, on the authority of Qur'an 3:28." The Sunnis of Al-Qaeda practice it today.

(Video thanks to Brian.)

Posted by Robert on October 30, 2010 6:46 AM
And, this, also from Jihad Watch:
Islamic supremacist Reza Aslan calls on U.S. to negotiate with jihad terrorists of Hamas

Mask starting to slip

Islamic supremacist pseudo-moderate Reza Aslan is a clown, and the only proper response to clowns is laughter, but if any of the multitudes of useful idiots and dupes in Washington heed his advice, it could be lethal: he is also a Board member of a group that is widely regarded as an apologetic vehicle for the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is now calling upon the U.S. to negotiate with the jihad terrorists of Hamas.

In "Obama's Middle East policy Is a Failure," which is part of a dialogue entitled "The Middle East Peace Process: Opposing Views" at the Huffington Post, October 29, Aslan says this:

All is not necessarily lost. The president still has an opportunity, particularly after the midterm elections, to reinvigorate the Middle East peace process. It means breaking from the Bush-era policy of pitting Hamas and Fatah against each other and instead using intermediaries to bring Hamas into the negotiations.

It is important to recall why Hamas is on the terror list in the first place: consider the "Glory Record" that used to be on its website. You can still see it here, via the Wayback Machine. Just in case that is not accessible, here are some excerpts in which Hamas considered attacks on Israeli civilians something that gave it "glory":

Hamas operations -The Glory Record

[...] 3. Boureen Operation: The militant Hamdan Hussein Al:najar, a member of Hamas, killed the Israeli settler Ya'coub Berey using a big rock as his weapon. The militant was shot down as a martyr after he had ambushed an Israeli patrol using the dead settler's weapon.

[...] 6. Bus No. 405 Operation: Militant Ahmed Hussein Shukry, a member of Hamas, was able to lead an Israeli soldier to a secluded place in Tel Aviv where the militant hit the soldier with a chisel and killed him on 8 September 1989. The following day, the militant got on bus No. 405 and stabbed the driver to take over the bus; however, the passengers were able to stop the militant.

[...] 12. Keryat Youval Operation: The militant Mohammed Mustafa Abu Jalala stabbed four Israelis and injured another at a bus station in Keryat Youval in Jerusalem before he was arrested by the Israeli forces.

13. Askalan Road Operation: While driving a taxi, the militant Jameel Ismail Al:baz, a member of Hamas, ran over a group of Israelis waiting on this road on 19 July 1991. He was able to kill corporal Nadaf Der'ey and injure another soldier. Then the militant was able to escape but he was later arrested by the Israeli forces.

[...] 15. Shailou Operation: A military group belonging to Al Qassam Brigades attacked an Israeli bus carrying some settlers on their way to Tel Aviv to participate in demonstrations organized by the extremist party Likud against the peace process. The bus was completely destroyed; two Israelis were killed and five more were injured.

[...] 17. Eid Al-maskhara Operation: The militant Ra'ed Al:reefy attacked an Israeli crowd in Jaffa on 17 March 1992. He was able to kill 2 and injure 21 Israelis who gathered to celebrate Eid Al:maskhara, also known as Al:boureem.

18. Beit Lahya Operation: On the third anniversary of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin's arrest, a group belonging to Al Qassam Brigades attacked an Israeli settler at Beit Lahya and shot him down then withdrew safely.

[...] 21. Carlo Factory Operation: Four militants belonging to Al Qassam Brigades broke into a citrus packing factory (Carlo) near Nahal Oaz at 2:30 p.m. on 25 June 1992. Three militants stabbed two Israelis while the other was guarding. The Hamas members wrote some slogans and considered this operation as a gift for Yitzhak Rabin on the occasion of winning the Israeli elections.

[...] 26. Al Haram Al-Ibrahimy Operation: Two militants belonging to Al Qassam Brigades attacked an Israeli group near Al Haram (the Shrine) in Hebron. One of the militants attacked the group while the other was on guard. The Israeli forces admitted that only one Israeli was killed and another was injured although the Israeli authorities were shocked by this audacious and well-planned operation. Thereafter they arrested many members of Hamas.

[...] 49. Martyr Hatem Al:muzein Operation: Despite the intensive existence of the Israeli forces, the Curfew and the military siege, a member of Al Qassam Brigades stabbed a 38-year-old Israeli settler, Sha'ya Doytch, from Kfar Yam, a settlement of Ghosh Qateif at 7:00 a.m., while he was working at his greenhouse west of Jan Oar. He was taken to Sarouka Hospital in Beir Sheiba'a, but he died one hour later.

[...] 56. The Revenge Operation: As soon as the Israeli forces announced the execution of the six heroes, Al Qassam Brigade militants put explosives in a 15-storey shopping centre in Tel Aviv on 16 May 1993. The building was completely destroyed and several Israelis were killed and others injured. The Israeli forces admitted that one Israeli had been killed and 40 were injured as a result of a gas bottle explosion in order to cover up the operation.

[...] 61. The Two Martyrs, Hatem Al-muhtaseb and Ya'coub Mutaw'e Operation: It was a violent clap for Rabin when a commando group belonging to Al Qassam Brigades hijacked a bus on HI-25 west of Jerusalem at 7:30 a.m. on 1 July 1993 during the rush hour. The group was able to penetrate the security siege and reached the target bus from 100 metres from the Israeli police headquarters. However, the passengers were able to leave the bus because something wrong happened and so the group engaged in battle with the Israeli forces. Meanwhile, the militants Maher Abu Srour and Mohammed Al-hindy hijacked another car driven by an Israeli lady after the militant Othman Saleh had been injured. They bombed the car and all three were killed in addition to another Israeli soldier and lady that were on the bus. The militant Othman Saleh was taken captive although he was unconscious and kept saying "Allahu Akbar" while the Israeli forces were investigating him. A manifest was found on him with the following demands:

A. The bus must be driven to the Lebanese borders.

B. Al:sheikh Ahmed Yassin must be safely released immediately.

C. Fifty captives belonging to Hamas, 50 belonging to the other Palestinian formations such as Fateh, Al:jehad Al:Islamy and the Democratic Front, etc., must be released.

D. Al-sheikh Abdelkareem Obeid must also be released.

[...] 67. Downtown Hebron Operation: During these serious conditions in which the disgraceful peace treaty was signed, the militants belonging to the Martyr Abdallah Azzam group ambushed an Israeli bus at the Hebron-Keryat Arba'a junction on Sunday, 12 September 1993. The militants shot the soldiers down and took their papers and weapons, including an M-16 rifle and a Klashenkoff after which they withdrew safely.

[...] 69. Askalan Operation: Al Qassam militants were quite active in the 1948-occupied territories when the militant Ala'a Al-kahlout stabbed an Israeli bus driver while travelling from Askalan to Asdoud on Sunday, 12 September 1993. The militant detonated all the explosives he had on the bus causing injuries to several Israelis. One of the passengers was able to shoot the militant down who was later martyred. The Israeli forces admitted that the bus driver was killed and three Israeli passengers were injured.

[...] 77. Beit Kahel Operation: In revenge for the bloodshed caused by the Israeli aggression and attacks on the Palestinian towns, villages and camps, Al Qassam Brigade militants ambushed Rabbi Haim Drucman's car, a prominent chief of the racial Zionist movement, Gosh Amunim and an ex-member of Parliament. They fired at his car near the Beit Kahel junction at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, 7 November 1993. The driver was killed but the Rabbi, who is responsible for the settlement process, was seriously injured.

78. Hebron Operation: As part of the war waged by Al Qassam Brigades against the Israeli settlers, a group belonging to the battalion attacked a vehicle belonging to an Israeli settler near Hebron on Monday, 6 December 1993. Two settlers were killed and three were injured.

79. Hamas Operation: Two militants belonging to Al Qassam Brigades used a car to drive over an Israeli vehicle near Beitonia, southwest of Ramallah, at the industrial zone on Wednesday, 22 December 1993. They killed two and injured three other Israelis from Doulb, who were also in the car.

[...] 82. Al-khdeireh Operation: During the Israeli memorial day celebrations of the Israelis killed in the Arab-Israeli wars and one week after the revenge operation, the militant Ammar Amarneh, a member of Al Qassam Brigades, blew up an Israeli bus belonging to Eaged working on line 8 at Al:khdeireh, northwest of Tulkarm, on 31 April 1994. Five Israelis were killed and more than 32 were seriously injured.

[...] 85. Dezenkov Street Operation: In an immediate reaction to the previous operation, the militant Saleh Abdelraheem Sawy bombed an Israeli bus at Dezenkof Street in downtown Tel Aviv on 19 October 1994. The explosion was rather violent, leaving 22 Israelis dead, 47 injured and seriously damaging many shops. Israelis were confused and shocked by this operation, causing Yitzhak Rabin to shorten his visit to London.

Reza Aslan merits the contempt of all free people.

Posted by Robert on October 30, 2010 6:26 AM
And, this, also from Jihad Watch:
Raymond Ibrahim on offensive jihad, the ultimate problem between Islam and the non-Muslim world

In "Offensive Jihad: The One Incontrovertible Problem with Islam" in Pajamas Media (via, October 28, our friend Raymond Ibrahim discusses an Islamic doctrine that Islamic spokesmen in the West hardly ever seem to get around to mentioning:

[...] Worse, offensive jihad is part and parcel of Islam; it is no less codified than, say, Islam's Five Pillars, which no Muslim rejects. The Encyclopaedia of Islam's entry for "jihad" states that the "spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general ... Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam ... Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad can be eliminated." Scholar Majid Khadurri (1909-2007), after defining jihad as warfare, writes that jihad "is regarded by all jurists, with almost no exception, as a collective obligation of the whole Muslim community."

Even that chronic complainer Osama bin Laden makes it clear that offensive jihad is the root problem: "Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue... Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually? Yes. There are only three choices in Islam... Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die."

Clearly, then, it is in the Muslim world's interest to keep the West ignorant of the fact that, irrespective of all Muslim grievances -- real or feigned -- nothing less than Islamic law itself mandates a state of constant hostility. Indeed, if the implications of offensive jihad were fully embraced, humanity might be compelled to view the Muslim world as a perpetual, existentialist threat, in need of preemptive containment. That said, and considering the willful ignorance of the West's political elite -- who are guided less by objective facts and more by their "feel-good" ideals -- Muslim talk of offensive jihad, no matter how loud or ubiquitous, will likely continue to fall on deaf ears.

Read it all.
From Raymond Ibrahim:

Offensive Jihad

The One Incontrovertible Problem with Islam

by Raymond Ibrahim

Pajamas Media

October 28, 2010

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A recent MEMRI report titled "Arab Columnists: Stop Talking About Offensive Jihad," alludes to the ultimate problem between Islam and the non-Muslim world: offensive jihad, or jihad al-talab — the Islamic imperative to subjugate the world. The report opens by saying "One dominant theme during Ramadan in the Arab world is the discussion, in the media and in religious circles, of the commandment of jihad and the obligation therein to wage war against the infidels." It then focuses on two recent op-eds, written by Arab-Muslims, that discuss the need to suppress Muslim talk of offensive jihad.

One writer, Khaled Al-Ghanami, states that the "wiser" supporters of offensive jihad believe that Muslims "must sit and wait until the era of our strength returns." In the meantime, according to these Muslims, "there is nothing shameful about taqiyya [deception] until the time is ripe." Al-Ghanami bemoans the fact that such Muslims operate naively "on the assumption that the world doesn't read, doesn't monitor… and is not paying attention to the calls for killing, tyranny, and aggression that we are spreading."

Similarly, Abdallah Al-Naggar writes: "Today, the Muslims' circumstances are different [i.e., they are weak], and talk of this aspect [of jihad] requires a smart approach, one that stresses the aspect of self defense, instead of aggression and onslaught," since discussing offensive jihad "arouses the enmity of people"; thus, "there is a need for wisdom [i.e., kitman] in our impassioned discussions of war and battles."

These writers are insightful enough to understand that Islam's imperative for Muslims to wage offensive jihad is the one insurmountable obstacle for peace between Muslims and non-Muslims. Best not to keep reminding the infidel world, then.

Consider: most of the things Islam gets criticized for — lack of democracy, male-female relations, draconian punishments, etc. —are intra-civilizational to Islam; that is, they affect Muslims alone. As such, it is for Muslims to decide on their utility; for it is the responsibility of every civilization to reform itself from the inside, not through outside "help" or coercion, the former mistrusted, the latter resented. Modern democracy in the West developed only after the people of the West wanted it bad enough to fight for it themselves, and only after centuries of bloody — but internal — conflicts. Feminism was not forcefully imported from some alien civilization but homegrown in the West. Pragmatically speaking, then, so long as sharia's mandates affect Muslims alone, non-Muslims have no legitimate grievances.

And this is the dividing line: what one civilization maintains as "right" and "normal" for itself is acceptable. However, when one civilization tries to apply, through force, those same principles onto other civilizations — whether the West trying to import liberalism to Islam, or Islam trying to spread sharia-style fascism to the West — that is objectively wrong. After all, the age-old argument that "we must supplant your ways, with our better ways, for your own good," works both ways, and in fact has been an oft cited justification for offensive jihad since the 7th century. Or would the reader be surprised to learn that jihadists (i.e., terrorists) regularly posit their war as an expression of altruism to "liberate" Westerners from their self-imposed "delusions"? Even Al Qaeda partially justifies its jihad against America for being "a nation that exploits women like consumer products"; for not rejecting the "immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling, and usury." In short, if the "white man's burden" is to "civilize" Muslims, the "Muslim man's burden" has long been to "civilize" Western man, namely, by enforcing sharia law. To justify the one is to make allowance for the other.

Yet while civilizations continue to quarrel over the philosophical position of man, one fact remains: all humans — secular or religious, Muslim or non-Muslim, from antiquity to today — agree that being forced to uphold a particular lifestyle against their will is wrong, bringing us right back to our topic: the purpose of offensive jihad is to do just that — forcefully impose a particular way of life on non-Muslims, culminating with dhimmitude for those who, after being conquered, refuse to convert.

Worse, offensive jihad is part and parcel of Islam; it is no less codified than, say, Islam's Five Pillars, which no Muslim rejects. The Encyclopaedia of Islam's entry for "jihad" states that the "spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general … Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam … Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad can be eliminated." Scholar Majid Khadurri (1909-2007), after defining jihad as warfare, writes that jihad "is regarded by all jurists, with almost no exception, as a collective obligation of the whole Muslim community."

Even that chronic complainer Osama bin Laden makes it clear that offensive jihad is the root problem: "Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue… Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually? Yes. There are only three choices in Islam... Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die."

Clearly, then, it is in the Muslim world's interest to keep the West ignorant of the fact that, irrespective of all Muslim grievances — real or feigned — nothing less than Islamic law itself mandates a state of constant hostility. Indeed, if the implications of offensive jihad were fully embraced, humanity might be compelled to view the Muslim world as a perpetual, existentialist threat, in need of preemptive containment. That said, and considering the willful ignorance of the West's political elite — who are guided less by objective facts and more by their "feel-good" ideals — Muslim talk of offensive jihad, no matter how loud or ubiquitous, will likely continue to fall on deaf ears.

Raymond Ibrahim is associate director of the Middle East Forum, author of The Al Qaeda Reader, and guest lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College.

Posted by Robert on October 30, 2010 6:08 AM

Authorities: New York Suspect Left Radical Web Roadmap

From Jihad Watch:

"My brothers of the revolution of Islam, I am with you as long as you keep struggling. Trust me, there are many brothers and sisters in America that are ready to speak up. They just need a push."

Here is yet another example of how the Muslims who are supposed to have twisted and hijacked the peaceful teachings of Islam self-consciously use Islamic terms and language to explain and justify their actions -- and only such terms and language. In other words, the ones who are supposed to have gotten Islam all wrong are simultaneously those who are most explicitly devout. The learned analysts have never bothered to offer any explanation for this, or even to acknowledge the fact. More on this story. "Authorities: NY suspect left radical Web roadmap," from the Associated Press, October 29 (thanks to all who sent this in):

[...] In Shehadeh's case, the NYPD investigators discovered that he had created a radical roadmap with websites that posted speeches by al-Qaida leaders including Abu Yahya Al-Libi and Ayman al-Zawahiri, authorities said.

A criminal complaint says he also put up a photo of himself wearing a keffiyeh headdress, another snapshot of a man holding a sign reading "Jihad is Our Way," videos of Osama bin Laden and a recording titled "Benefits of Jihad in Our Times." One of his sites had "a montage of still images of jihadist fighters under the heading, 'What is the least we can do?'" the complaint said.

In one militant missive, investigators say he wrote: "My brothers of the revolution of Islam, I am with you as long as you keep struggling. Trust me, there are many brothers and sisters in America that are ready to speak up. They just need a push."

The investigators followed Shehadeh's Internet footprints to business records showing his site emanated from two Staten Island addresses. In June 2008, members of the joint FBI-NYPD terror task force went to one of addresses to interview him. The complaint said Shehadeh told them he had tried to travel to Pakistan to "study Islamic law."

Four months later, Shehadeh showed up at a Times Square military recruiting station and tried to sign up, authorities said. An unidentified friend he had worshipped with later told investigators Shehadeh had hoped the Army would deploy him to Iraq, where he could desert and join insurgent forces....

Posted by Robert on October 30, 2010 7:40 AM

Article In Commentary Calls American Victims Of Al Queda And The Taliban "Shaheeds"

From Jihad Watch:

Max Boot in Commentary: American victims of Al-Qaeda and Taliban are "shaheeds"

Max Boot's words here in the reliably dhimmi and consistently wrongheaded Commentary illustrate the problem with the enterprises in Iraq and Afghanistan in general: the analysts who pushed for American military action in both had no idea of the nature of Islam, and particularly of the central role of Sharia as a political system within it. They assumed, with titanic ethnocentrism, that the people in Iraq and Afghanistan both desired "freedom" and conceptualized it in exactly the same was as most Americans do.

They further assumed that Islam is a Religion of Peace that could fit easily into the Western-style framework of a Constitutional republic with no established religion. And that assumption led them to the additional assumption that terms current in Judaism and Christianity meant exactly the same thing when used also in Islam.

The conceptual and policy errors that follow these wrong assumptions are endless. Books could be and should be filled with them.

"A Counter View to Fouad Ajami's Skepticism Regarding Afghanistan," by Max Boot in Commentary, October 27 (thanks to Andy McCarthy):

I believe there is just as much nobility to the war in Afghanistan as to the one in Iraq.

I actually agree with Max Boot about that: there is just as much nobility to the war in Afghanistan as to the one in Iraq -- i.e., none. They are futile wars with no purpose, no goal, no end in sight.

We are, after all, fighting to make good on our post-9/11 promises to drive the Taliban out of power and establish a representative government in Afghanistan that will not sponsor terrorism or abuse its own people. The Taliban are as cruel as they come and sparing the people of Afghanistan from their misrule is a noble cause. So too is honoring the memory of America's 9/11 shaheeds (martyrs) -- the victims of al-Qaeda and their Taliban facilitators.

These words ring especially hollow in light of Karzai's repeated threats to side with and overtures to the Taliban. Is there a dime's worth of difference between them?

But above all, the Americans murdered by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are not shaheeds. Islamic martyrdom is not the same thing as Christian martyrdom, or even the modern Western secular concept of martyrdom as dying for any cause. Islamic martyrdom is primarily the act of a Muslim who kills and is killed for Allah, as per Qur'an 9:111. Thus while Islamic martyrdom need not always contain the element of murdering infidels that that verse contains, the word is primarily used today in the Islamic world of suicide bombers and others who kill infidels. And no sect or school of Islam would ever call any non-Muslim a martyr.

Thus Boot, in his ignorance and wishful thinking, is essentially equating America's war dead with mass murderers. It is astoundingly myopic and offensive, but par for the course for the increasingly ridiculous Commentary.

Posted by Robert on October 30, 2010 8:14 AM

Medical Student Arrested In Yemen In Chicago Synagogue Jihadist Bombing Plot

From Jihad Watch:

Medical student, daughter of a petroleum engineer, arrested in Yemen in Chicago synagogue jihad plot

A medical student. See? Poverty causes terrorism! "Bomb was designed to explode on cargo plane - UK PM," from the BBC, October 30 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

Prime Minister David Cameron says the device in a package sent from Yemen and found on a US-bound cargo plane was designed to go off on the aircraft.

But Mr Cameron said investigators could not yet be certain about when the device, intercepted at East Midlands Airport, was supposed to explode.

A second device containing explosives was found on a cargo plane in Dubai. The US suspects al-Qaeda involvement.

In Yemen, police have arrested a woman suspected of posting the packages.

She was detained in the capital, Sanaa, after being traced through a telephone number she had left with a cargo company, officials said.

The unnamed young woman, described as a medical student and the daughter of a petroleum engineer, was arrested on the outskirts of the city, a security official told AFP news agency. Her mother was also detained but was not a prime suspect, the arrested woman's lawyer said.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh said the US and the United Arab Emirates had provided Yemen with information that helped identify the woman and pledged that his country would continue fighting al-Qaeda "in co-operation with its partners".

"But we do not want anyone to interfere in Yemeni affairs by hunting down al-Qaeda," he added, as heavily armed troops patrolled Sanaa....

Posted by Robert on October 30, 2010 10:56 PM
And, raleted, also from Jihad Watch:
Bomb sent from Yemen to synagogues in Chicago powerful enough to bring down plane

Feel the love. "US-bound bomb could have brought down plane," from AP, October 30:

A bomb found on a U.S.-bound cargo plane was powerful enough to bring down an aircraft, British authorities said today, as forces in Yemen searched for suspected al Qaeda militants behind a plot to bomb Jewish targets in Chicago.

"I can confirm the device was viable and could have exploded. The target may have been an aircraft and had it detonated the aircraft could have been brought down," British Home Secretary Theresa May said.

Two parcels sent from Yemen and containing explosives were intercepted in Dubai and Britain on Friday, triggering broad travel disruptions and a massive international investigation.

Officials said the parcel bombs had the hallmarks of al Qaeda, and in particular al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and appeared to include the same explosives used in a failed attempt to blow up a U.S. jetliner on Christmas Day last year....

Posted by Robert on October 30, 2010 9:56 AM

Mail Bomb Investigators Push On With Yemen Manhunt

From The Patriot Update and FOX News:

Mail Bomb Investigators Push on With Yemen Manhunt

Published October 31, 2010

Associated Press


Oct. 30: An unidentified Yemeni woman walks past UPS office in San'a, Yemen.

Oct. 30: An unidentified Yemeni woman walks past UPS office in San'a, Yemen.

SAN'A, Yemen -- Their first suspect in custody, Yemeni police continued to search for the terrorists believed responsible for mailing a pair of powerful bombs to attack the United States. U.S. and Yemeni officials were increasingly seeing Al Qaeda's hand in the failed plot.

Yemeni police arrested a young woman who was a computer engineering student on suspicion of mailing the bombs, which were powerful enough to take down airplanes, officials said Sunday. They also detained her mother.

Investigators were hunting the impoverished Mideast country for more conspirators. U.S. officials included in that group the same bombmaker suspected of designing the explosive for a failed bombing on a Detroit-bound airliner last Christmas.

Authorities were also looking at two language institutions the plotters may have been associated with.

The explosives, addressed to Chicago-area synagogues, were pulled off airplanes in England and the United Arab Emirates early Friday morning, touching off a tense search for other devices. More details emerged Saturday about the plot that exploited security gaps in the worldwide shipping system.

U.S. Faces Tough Obstacles in Fight Against Al Qaeda in Yemen Is NASA Covering Up the 100-Year Starship? British Prime Minister David Cameron said he believes the explosive device found in central England was intended to detonate on the plane, while British Home Secretary Theresa May said the bomb was powerful enough to take down the aircraft. A U.S. official said the second device found in Dubai was thought to be similarly potent.

But it still wasn't clear whether the bombs, which officials said were wired to cell phones, timers and power supplies, could have been detonated remotely while the planes were in the air, or when the packages were halfway around the world in the U.S. Still, the fact that they made it onto airplanes showed that nearly a decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, terrorists continue to probe and find security vulnerabilities.

Qatar Airways released a statement Sunday saying the bomb discovered in Dubai was flown out of Yemen on one of its flights by way of Doha, the Qatari capital. It did not specify whether it was a passenger flight or a cargo-only aircraft.

Asked to clarify whether the bomb had made it onto a passenger flight, a spokesman for the airline said he was checking. Qatar Airways operates one weekly cargo flight from Yemen, on Mondays, and daily passenger flights that could also carry courier packages.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told reporters that the United States and United Arab Emirates had provided intelligence that helped identify the woman suspected of mailing the packages.

The 22-year-old Hanan al-Samawi is a student at the University of San'a, said Yemeni rights activist Abdel-Rahman Barman. Her 45-year-old mother was arrested with her, said Barman, of The National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms.

According to her university colleagues, Barman said, al-Samawi is not known to be involved in any political activity or to have ties to any Islamic groups.

Barman said she had not been allowed access to a lawyer.

Yemeni officials pointed to additional suspects believed to have used forged documents and ID cards. One member of Yemen's anti-terrorism unit said the other suspects had been tied to Al Qaeda.

Yemeni and U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation unfolding on three continents.

Al Qaeda's Yemen branch, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, took credit for the failed bomb last Christmas that used PETN, an industrial explosive that was also in the mail bombs found Friday.

The suspected bombmaker behind the Christmas Day attack, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, is also the prime suspect in the mail bomb plot, several U.S. officials said. Al-Asiri also helped make another PETN device for a failed suicide attempt against a Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism chief last year. The official survived, but the attacker died in the blast.

The U.S. was already on the lookout for a mail bomb plot after learning terrorists in Yemen were interested in "exploring an operation involving cargo planes," a U.S. counterterrorism official said.

U.S. authorities then acted quickly after receiving a tip "that suspicious packages may be en route to the U.S" -- specifically Chicago -- the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Un-Lawful Combatant, Murderer, Former "Child Soldier" Detainee At Guantanamo Sentenced To Eight Years

From the AP:

Gitmo former 'child soldier' sentenced to 8 years

By BEN FOX, Associated Press Ben Fox, Associated Press – 30 mins ago

guantanamo bay naval base, cuba – a former teenage al-qaida fighter was sentenced sunday to eight more years in custody under the terms of a plea agreement unsealed after a military sentencing jury said he should serve 40 years for war crimes.

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — A former teenage al-Qaida fighter was sentenced Sunday to eight more years in custody under the terms of a plea agreement unsealed after a military sentencing jury said he should serve 40 years for war crimes.

Omar Khadr looked straight ahead as a military judge imposed the eight-year sentence, ending a legal odyssey that began when the Canadian son of a major al-Qaida figure was captured — at age 15 — with severe wounds in Afghanistan in 2002 after a four-hour firefight.

Khadr pleaded guilty Oct. 25 to five war crimes including murder for throwing a grenade that mortally wounded an American special forces medic, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer. Military prosecutors said it was no routine battlefield killing because the Canadian was not a legitimate soldier, but an al-Qaida fighter.

Speer's widow, Tabitha, pumped her fist and cheered "yes!" when the jury announced its 40-year sentence. Then she burst into tears.

Under terms of the plea deal, the U.S. agreed to send the now 24-year-old Khadr — the last Western prisoner at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba — back to his homeland after one more year in custody. He has been held at Guantanamo for eight years.

The Toronto-born Khadr could have received up to life in prison if convicted at trial of even one of the charges against him.

The Khadr case has been one of the most scrutinized at the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals, with critics saying that a battlefield death should not be treated as a homicide and that Khadr — whose father was a confidante of Osama bin Laden — was a "child soldier" pushed into militancy by his family.

Prosecutors said he deserved no special protection and argued that his actions were war crimes because al-Qaida fighters are not legitimate soldiers who follow the internationally accepted principles of war. Khadr admitted planting 10 roadside bombs in Afghanistan and spying on U.S. convoys to study the best ways to attack them.

The jury began its deliberations after nearly a week of testimony that included a wrenching hour of testimony from Speer's widow about the loss of her husband and a 10-minute statement from Khadr, who apologized to the soldier's family in his most extensive public statements since his capture.

The jury also heard from a forensic psychiatrist testifying for the prosecution who said Khadr was a dangerous and angry radical.

Another witness, Navy Capt. Patrick McCarthy, the former top military legal adviser at the detention center, described Khadr as a "respectful" prisoner who could be rehabilitated.

"Fifteen-year-olds in my opinion should not be held to the same standards of accountability as adults," McCarthy said.

Before announcing the verdict, the jurors had asked that a tape of McCarthy's testimony be played again for them. The seven-member jury of military officers all declined to speak to reporters after the hearing.

And, this, related, from Winds of Jihad:

Why does Obama Release Omar Khadr, an Islamic Psycho Killer?

by sheikyermami on October 30, 2010

Ezra Levant, excoriates Obama for giving a sweetheart plea deal to confessed Gitmo Killer

Omar Khadr admits to being a murderer, a terrorist, a spy and an al-Qaida member in a U.S. war crimes court, also confessing he was motivated to kill Americans and Jews.

TORONTO SUN Reportedly, Khadr has struck a plea bargain with the Obama administration for an eight-year prison term — one year in U.S. jails; the rest in Canada. But anyone who knows Canada’s liberal parole laws knows he’ll get out immediately. Our “statutory release” policy requires offenders serve the final third of their sentence “in the community.” But Khadr won’t stay in even that long. (Barenaked)

Coddled Khadr

He’s an admitted murderer but he’s treated with kid gloves here

by Ezra Levant

It’s all true. Omar Khadr admits to being a murderer, a terrorist, a spy and an al-Qaida member.

(In fact, his whole parasitic family are confessed Islamic terrorists and proud of it)

Monday, he confessed this to a U.S. war crimes court, also confessing he was motivated to kill Americans and Jews.

Khadr murdered U.S. army medic Christopher Speer. Speer’s widow, Tabitha, sat in court Monday weeping, comforted by her sister.

Her name almost never appears in the love letters to Khadr published in Canada as “news reports.”

Khadr tried to kill Sgt. Layne Morris, too. He was blinded in one eye. Morris was also in court. I bet you haven’t heard his name before. I bet you won’t read it again.

Because Tabitha Speer and Layne Morris interfere with the mainstream media’s project of turning Khadr into a Muslim saint.

The twin headquarters of Khadr’s fanclub are the Canadian Bar Association and the CBC. According to its website, the CBC has produced 1,700 stories about Khadr. The Dalai Lama only gets 1,550 and Nelson Mandela, 1,070. Unlike Khadr, they’re not useful in undermining the legitimacy of the war on terror, including the Canadian Forces and CSIS.

And lobbying for Khadr has been the Canadian Bar Association’s highest political priority. The CBA remained only secret admirers of Khadr for the first four years of his incarceration, because that’s when the prime minister and justice minister were Liberals.

The CBA could only gaze at the picture of Khadr in their locker, doodling his name in their diaries. What a relief when the Conservatives took office, and their love for Khadr could be sung from the mountaintops, in over 100 public statements.

Khadr will return the favour to the profession. The Jew-hating murderer has filed a $10-million lawsuit against the Canadian government. That’s a lot of fees for a lot of lawyers.

There are too many Khadr fans to list. But Judy Rebick’s blog entry from this summer is outstanding. Change the name “Omar Khadr” to “Justin Bieber,” and it could have been ripped from an issue of Teen Beat. “My heart aches for Omar Khadr,” wrote Rebick, comparing him to Mandela, and lauding his “courage and dignity.”

A CBC commentator and former NDP candidate, Rebick once led Canada’s state-funded women’s lobby. How a Jewish feminist could have a crush on an anti-Semitic, misogynist murderer is baffling. When hostages sympathize with their captors, psychologists call it Stockholm Syndrome. What’s Rebick’s excuse?

Reportedly, Khadr has struck a plea bargain with the Obama administration for an eight-year prison term — one year in U.S. jails; the rest in Canada. But anyone who knows Canada’s liberal parole laws knows he’ll get out immediately. Our “statutory release” policy requires offenders serve the final third of their sentence “in the community.” But Khadr won’t stay in even that long.

Canada gives criminals credit for time in custody before trial. The eight years he has been in Guantanamo Bay means he’ll be out by next Christmas.

He’ll be busy: Hitting the campus lecture circuit; strategizing against CSIS with his lawyers; maybe driving slowly by Jewish synagogues and schools.

He’ll become a CBC pundit. Maybe a star candidate for the NDP.

It’s certain he’ll be the first murderer nominated for the Order of Canada. It’s less certain that nomination will be denied.

— Read Levant’s blog at

Afghanistan: The Taliban Are Holding Secret Talks With Karzai

From the AP:

.Taliban hold secret talks with Afghan president

By KATHY GANNON, Associated Press Kathy Gannon, Associated Press – Sun Oct 31, 1:54 pm ET

KABUL, Afghanistan – Three Taliban figures met secretly with Afghanistan's president two weeks ago in an effort by the Afghan government to weaken the U.S.-led coalition's most vicious enemy, a powerful al-Qaida linked network that straddles the border region with Pakistan.

A former Afghan official said the meeting in Kabul included an ex-Taliban governor, Maulvi Abdul Kabir. He comes from the same Zadran tribe as the leaders of the Haqqani network, an autonomous wing of the Taliban responsible for many attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces, the former official said over the weekend.

U.S. and Afghan officials hope that if Kabir agrees to quit the insurgency, it could split the Zadran tribe and undercut the pool of recruits from which the Haqqanis currently draw fighters. But it was unclear whether any progress toward that end was made during the talks.

Weakening the Haqqanis' grip over the Zadran tribe could help shift the power balance in eastern provinces where the network poses a major threat. The Haqqani network, led by ailing Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin, is believed to be sheltering top al-Qaida leaders across the border in Pakistan.

Kabir served as governor of Nangarhar province and deputy prime minister during the Taliban rule, which ended with the U.S.-led invasion of 2001. He is believed to run the Taliban council in the Pakistani city of Peshawar but is not considered a powerhouse in the Taliban.

The two other Taliban who took part in the talks were Mullah Sadre Azam and Anwar-ul-Haq Mujahed.

Mujahed is credited with helping Osama bin Laden escape the U.S. assault on Tora Bora in 2001, the former official said. He has been in Pakistani custody since June last year when he was picked up in a raid in Peshawar, where one of several Afghan Taliban shuras, or councils, is located.

The men were brought by helicopter from Peshawar and spent two nights in a luxury Kabul hotel before returning to Pakistan.

The U.S. earlier this month acknowledged facilitating some Taliban trips to Kabul but provided no specifics. The Pakistani military has not commented on such reports

The former Afghan official, who asked not to be named because of his relationship with both the government and the Taliban, described Kabir and his associates as "midlevel" contacts because they have little, if any influence over more powerful Taliban factions.

A Western official confirmed a meeting had taken place but said he did not know who attended and whether progress was made. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not supposed to talk to media about the issue.

Karzai has formed a 70-member council to try to reconcile with the Taliban and find a political solution to the insurgency. The Taliban's top leadership has denied that any of their representatives have been involved in talks. They claim their leaders will not discuss peace with the government unless foreign troops first leave Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, last week said news reports of extensive discussions between Afghan government officials and senior Taliban commanders were off base. He told reporters in Washington last week that there have been no such talks or discussions, let alone negotiations.

However, Holbrooke did say that individuals who have fought alongside the Taliban — apparently not Taliban leaders themselves — have been reaching out. Holbrooke mentioned no names but said those who are making such contacts are "provincial leaders, individual commanders."

In a related development, Arsala Rahmani, an ex-Taliban who is now on Karzai's newly established peace commission, told the AP that the Afghan government has asked Pakistan to repatriate 31 suspected Taliban in its custody. The most senior Taliban in Pakistan custody, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's No. 2, was picked up in a joint raid with the CIA earlier this year. Pakistani authorities have quashed repeated rumors of his release saying he is still in custody.


Kathy Gannon is The Associated Press special regional correspondent for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Yemeni Bomb Plot Narrowly Missed Success

From the AP:

By ADAM GOLDMAN and ADAM SCHRECK, Associated Press Adam Goldman And Adam Schreck, Associated Press – 41 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The mail bomb plot stretching from Yemen to Chicago may have been aimed at blowing up planes in flight and was only narrowly averted, officials said Sunday, acknowledging that one device almost slipped through Britain and another seized in Dubai was unwittingly flown on two passenger jets.

Senior U.S. officials met to develop a U.S. response to the al-Qaida faction linked to the powerful explosives addressed to synagogues in Chicago.

Investigators were still piecing together the potency and construction of two bombs they believed were designed by the top explosives expert working for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based militant faction thought to be behind the plot. Yemeni authorities hunted suspects linked to the group, but released a female computer engineering student arrested Saturday, saying someone else had posed as her in signing the shipping documents.

But authorities admitted how close the terrorists came to getting their bombs through, and a senior U.S. official said investigators were still trying to figure out if other devices remained at large.

"We're trying to get a better handle on what else may be out there," deputy national security adviser John Brennan told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "We're trying to understand better what we may be facing." He told CNN's "State of the Union" that "it would be very imprudent ... to presume that there are no others (packages) out there."

Brennan said authorities are "looking at the potential that they would have been detonated en route to those synagogues aboard the aircraft as well as at the destinations. But at this point we, I think, would agree with the British that it looks as though they were designed to be detonated in flight." He made those remarks on CBS' "Face the Nation."

British Prime Minister David Cameron had raised the possibility the bombs were aimed at blowing up the planes carrying them, but Brennan and other officials had previously concentrated more on the threat to the American synagogues.

One of the explosive devices found inside a shipped printer cartridge in Dubai had flown on two airlines before it was seized, first on a Qatar Airways Airbus A320 jet to Doha and then on an as-yet-undisclosed flight from Doha to Dubai. The number of passengers on the flights were unknown, but the first flight had a 144-seat capacity and the second would have moved on one of a variety of planes with seating capacities ranging from 144 to 335.

Such a plot aimed at blowing up jets in flight is not new for al-Qaida. A mid-1990s scheme hatched by now-imprisoned terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed aimed to bring down a dozen jets simultaneously, but the plan was shelved in favor of the "flying bomb" approach used during the 9/11 attacks.

After masterminding the attempt last December to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner with explosives hidden in a passenger's underwear, the Yemen terror affiliate appears to have nearly pulled off its own audacious plot capitalizing on weak points in the world's aviation security and cargo systems.

The U.S. has tried in the past to kill or capture the group's leaders, but the American response to the thwarted attacks was still being developed Sunday. Brennan headed a meeting of national security and intelligence officials at the White House to determine the U.S. response in concert with a Yemeni government that has been reluctant to give free rein to the American military in taking on the militants.

About 50 elite U.S. military experts are in Yemen training its counterterrorism forces and Washington is giving $150 million in military assistance to Yemen this year for helicopters, planes and other equipment.

A Yemeni official said Sunday his government is aiming for a "surgical" response with the help of the U.S. against the cell that carried out the plot. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.

As the two countries decide a course of action, new details have emerged about the events leading up to the near-disaster. U.S. officials said a call from Saudi intelligence with information about packages containing explosives led to a frantic search in Dubai and England.

"It was a race against the clock to find those packages, to neutralize them," Brennan told CNN.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said German Federal Police were tipped off to the suspicious package on the cargo plane Friday. The package was flown from Yemen to Cologne-Bonn airport, where UPS has its hub. From there it was transferred to a plane bound for Britain's East Midlands airport in central England.

De Maiziere said that by the time German officials received the information, the package was already en route to Britain. The Germans then alerted their British colleagues, who had also been contacted by the Saudis.

The cargo plane landed in the dead of night at East Midlands Airport on what seemed like a routine trans-Atlantic run. The plan was to stop at the relatively small airport that that handles both passengers and cargo, then continue to Philadelphia and Chicago.

There was almost no movement at the airport when the flight landed shortly after 3 a.m., and British officials removed cargo from the plane for an extensive search. As a standard precaution, a cordon was put in place outside the cargo area of the airport, even though there was very little traffic in before dawn.

But the search came up empty. Even a computer printer cartridge later found to contain plastic explosives was cleared, and the cordon was removed at around 10 a.m., restoring traffic flow.

The incident seemed almost over — but then officials in Dubai told their British counterparts that a suspicious computer printer cartridge had been found to contain the lethal explosive PETN, or pentaerythritol tetranitrate.

The Dubai officials told British police precisely how to pinpoint the explosive, which was carefully placed to pass through an X-ray machine undetected.

The cordon went back up, the search teams went back in and this time they found the deadly explosive, judged capable of blowing up a plane in flight.

What happened in Dubai was even more troubling. The bomb had traveled on two commercial passenger planes, a Qatar Airways spokesman said.

The package with the second bomb arrived in Qatar Airways' hub in Doha, Qatar, on one of the carrier's flights from the Yemeni capital San'a. It was then shipped on a separate Qatar Airways plane to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where it was discovered by authorities late Thursday or early Friday.

British Home Secretary Theresa May said the plotters would not have been able to control where the bombs detonated because cargo planes often change their routes at the last minute. She said it was unclear if the bomb found at East Midlands Airport would have exploded over Britain or the United States.

She said the device was capable of downing an aircraft if detonated while the plane was in flight.

Forensic analysis indicates the same bombmaker had a hand in the devices used in the failed bombing on a Detroit-bound airliner last Christmas and the attack on Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism chief last year. All three bombs contained PETN. The latest bombs have been described as sophisticated and professional.

U.S. intelligence officials believe the suspected bombmaker is a 28-year-old Saudi named Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who is believed to be in Yemen. His own brother, Abdullah, died in the attack against the Saudi counterterrorism chief.

U.S. intelligence is also looking at U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been linked to the Christmas attack and has inspired other terrorists with his violent message. He's also believed to be hiding in Yemen.

The Yemeni official said that while more than one source has indicated that al-Awlaki blessed this operation, the cleric is not believed to be involved in the operational planning.


Schreck reported from Dubai. Matt Apuzzo and Kimberly Dozier in Washington, Melissa Eddy in Berlin and Gregory Katz in London also contributed to this report.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saudi Arabia Saves Chicago Synagogue From Al-Queda Bomb Plot

from Informed Comment:

Saudi Arabia Saves Chicago Synagogue from al-Qaeda Bomb Plot

Posted on October 30, 2010 by Juan


ShareCNN reports that Saudi intelligence was the source of the information on the tracking numbers of two bomb packets sent by UPS and Fedex from Yemen by a single individual. The United States has thanked Saudi Arabia for the crucial intelligence tip. The packages were tracked down in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and at East Midlands Airport in the United Kingdom. One was intended for a synagogue in Chicago and the other for a Jewish community center. One of the bombs appears to have had a timer, while the other seems to have been intended to be set off by a cell phone call. It is being assumed that the individual who sent the bombs is a member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Both bombs were packed with PETN, the signature explosive for AQAP.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is thought to be behind the attempted ‘crotch bombing’ by a Nigerian extremist recruited in Yemen, last Dec. 25 over Detroit. Among its ideologues is Anwar al-Awlaki, an American of Yemeni heritage born in New Mexico and brought up in the United States, who because of his opposition to the Iraq War emigrated to Yemen, from which he issues inflammatory videos attacking the United States. There are estimated to be only a few hundred al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen, and they have in recent months been chased from their former hideout of Ma’arib to Shabwah by the Yemeni army.

The CNN reports raise a number of questions.

1. Why target Chicago Jews?

2. How did the Saudis foil the plot?

3. Why turn to Unabomber tactics?

On January 13, 2010, the USG Open Source Center carried a report saying that Saudi citizens Sa’id al-Shahri and Muhammad al-Ufi, who had been at Guantanamo Bay but were released, were sent to Saudi Arabia where they underwent ‘re-education’ at a program run by the ministry of the interior. They then showed up in Yemen. Last year (2009), they put out a video in which they vowed to destroy “Jews, crusaders and puppet regimes.”

Likewise, AQAP ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki issued a proclamation in March, 2010, which was posted in English on radical bulletin boards and then disseminated by the USG Open Source Center:

‘ “Following 9/11, the American people gave George W. Bush unanimous backing to fight against the mujahedeen and gave him the blank check to spend as much as needed to fulfill that objective….

“On the eve of 9/11 it was Afghanistan alone today it is Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the list is growing. How many more body bags are American families willing to receive? How much more can the US treasury handle? 9/11, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq and then operations such as that of our brother Umar Farouk which could have not cost more than a few thousand dollars end up draining the US Treasury billions of dollars in order to give Americans a false sense of security. For how long can the US survive this war of attrition?

“What benefit is it to the American people to suffer for the sake of supporting Israel? And what benefit is it to the American people to suffer for sake the al Saud family and the Gulf monarchs?’

For al-Qaeda, the term ‘Jews’ typically refers to Israelis. Despite what some analysts have alleged, enmity with Israel, especially over its occupation of the holy city of Jerusalem, has been an integral part of al-Qaeda all along and was among their motivations for hitting New York, with its large Jewish community and strong connections to Israel. It is not impossible that the prominence in the Obama administration of Chicago Jewish Americans such as former White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel and adviser David Axelrod drew al-Qaeda’s attention to that community. If so, AQAP is weak on logic, since Obama’s Jewish American advisers have been fighting for a Palestinian state and pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

If it is true that one of the bombs was designed to be set off by a cell phone call, that datum may point to the existence of an AQAP agent or cell in Chicago, which was intended to detonate it. Of course, a phone call could be made from anywhere. But a Chicago agent would help make sense of why a Chicago synagogue was chosen.

That the Saudis had tracking numbers for the packets that were sent would only be plausible if they had infiltrated the AQAP cell behind the plot. If so, they just lost their asset inside the organization, since only a few members would have had access to the tracking number and they will now all fall under suspicion.

[Update: A canny reader wrote:

‘I think there are other ways to get those tracking numbers; for example, if you have agents in UPS-Saudi Arabia, and/or collaboration with US intelligence. A package to a synagogue from Saudi Arabia, I will guess that this is something that does not happen every day. Couple that with a sender on a watch list, and you have your tracking numbers. No inside agent necessary, though the sender is now compromised (but this in turn confirms to intelligence that their suspicions were correct).’

As for the Unabomber technique of mailing bombs, it is a sign of a small cell lacking the resources for a more robust operation, and of a group lacking the kind of passion and organizing ability that would allow them to pull off a suicide bombing. Mailed bombs are not an al-Qaeda modus operandi precisely because they have a low chance of actually hitting their target, given the security procedures in place now. I conclude that this operation was not very serious, and it may even have just been a probe of how feasible the technique is.

Muslim-haters in the US will focus on AQAP as being a ‘Muslim’ organization, but will ignore the fact that Saudi Muslims foiled the plot and Yemeni Muslims have been involved in active combat with al-Qaeda.

Aljazeera English reports on the Yemeni government’s crackdown on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The report alleges that both the Yemeni government and the US have used excessive force in attaking AQAP, resulting in civilian deaths that function as a recruitment tool for al-Qaeda.

U.S. Troops Repel Haqqani Network Assault On Eastern Afghan Base

From The Long War Journal:

US troops repel Haqqani Network assault on eastern Afghan base

By Bill RoggioOctober 30, 2010

Map of Afghanistan's provinces. Click map to view larger image.

US troops beat back the latest attempt by the Haqqani Network and the Taliban to overrun a combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan. The US troops killed more than 30 Haqqani Network fighters who carried out a coordinated, massed assault in Paktika province.

The attack began at 1:30 a.m. this morning, when the Pakistan-based Haqqani Network massed a large number of fighters outside Combat Outpost Margah, an International Security Assistance Force public affairs official told The Long War Journal. The fighters "attacked from all directions with rocket-propelled grenades, small arms and mortar fire," ISAF stated in a press release.

US troops returned fire and called in air and helicopter support against the enemy fighters. Aircraft launched three guided bombs at "an insurgent firing position" and attacked "a large number of insurgents near the outpost," ISAF stated.

ISAF estimated that more than 30 of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network fighters were killed in the strike. Five US soldiers were wounded in the clash, "however all continued fighting."

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Al Jazeera that the fighters inflicted "high casualties" on Afghan and ISAF forces after overrunning six Afghan police outposts. He claimed that only eight Haqqani Network fighters had been killed during the assault. But the Taliban exaggerate Afghan and Coalition casualties on a daily basis, often claiming that scores of troops are killed and dozens of "tanks" are destroyed.

The Taliban and its sub-group, the Haqqani Network, are seeking to overrun ISAF and Afghan outposts in an effort to gain a propaganda victory. The massed attacks are carried out by anywhere from 50 to 200 fighters, and are filmed by propaganda teams. Al Qaeda and other terror groups often participate in the attacks as well.

The attacks tend to begin early in the morning. Enemy forces usually commence the attack with mortar and rocket strikes, while waves of fighters move toward the outer perimeter and attempt to breach the wire. The enemy fighters seek to get as close to the base as possible to negate the ISAF air advantage; once inside the security perimeter ISAF air crews would have to risk firing on their own personnel.

Repeated Taliban assaults against remote US combat outposts in Kunar and Nuristan provinces, and the near-overrunning of outposts in Kamdesh and Wanat, contributed to the decision by ISAF to withdraw from several combat outposts in the area within the past year. The Taliban and al Qaeda quickly moved into the abandoned regions and established safe havens in the area, then proceeded to launch attacks on neighboring districts.

Background on recent attacks on US outposts in eastern Afghanistan

The Haqqani Network launched five massed assaults on US outposts between late August and September. Each of the attacks failed, and the Haqqani Network incurred heavy casualties. The bases are strung along the Haqqani Network's rat lines into North Waziristan in Pakistan, where the terror group's leadership is based.

On Aug. 28, Haqqani Network fighters launched coordinated attacks against Forward Operating Bases Salerno and Chapman in Khost province. US and Afghan troops routed the Haqqani Network fighters, killing more than 35, including a commander, during and after the attacks. Several of the fighters were wearing US Army uniforms, and 13 were armed with suicide vests. During raids in the aftermath of the attacks, US forces killed and captured several commanders and fighters.

On Sept. 2, the Haqqani Network attempted to storm Combat Outpost Margah in the Bermel district of Paktika province. US troops repelled the attack with mortar and small-arms fire, then called in helicopter gunships to finish off the attackers; 20 were reported killed.

On Sept. 21, US troops killed 27 Haqqani Network fighters as they mustered to assault Combat Outpost Spera.

And in the last attack, on Sept. 24, Haqqani Network suicide bombers attempted to breach the outer perimeter of Forward Operating Base Gardez in Paktia province. Five suicide bombers were killed by US forces.

The Taliban and the Haqqani Network have also launched attacks at several major installations across the country this year. In May, a small team attempted to breach security at Kandahar Airfield after launching a rocket attack on the base; another small team conducted a suicide assault at the main gate at Bagram Airbase in Parwan province. In June, the Taliban launched an assault against Jalalabad Airfield in Nangarhar province. The Taliban carried out a suicide assault against the Afghan National Civil Order Police headquarters in Kandahar City in July; three US soldiers were killed in the attack, which included a suicide car bomber and a follow-on assault team. And in early August, the Taliban again conducted a complex attack at Kandahar Airfield. All of the attacks were successfully repelled by Coalition and Afghan forces.

For more information on the Haqqani Network, its links to al Qaeda, and ISAF operations targeting its leadership, see LWJ report, US troops defeat Haqqani Network assault on base in Khost.

Read more:

U.S. Marines Launch Operation Against Taliban Stronghold Near The Pakistan Border

From The Long War Journal:

US Marines launch operation against Taliban stronghold near the Pakistani border

By Bill RoggioOctober 30, 2010

Map of Afghanistan's provinces. Click map to view larger image.

US Marines and Afghan security forces launched an operation today against the Taliban stronghold of Baramcha in southern Helmand province.

Baramcha, a border town in the southern district of Dishu, is a known haven for the Taliban and al Qaeda in southern Helmand, and has been a major transit point for enemy forces moving into Afghanistan from Pakistan's Baluchistan province. Baramcha is across the border from the Gerdi Jangal refugee camp, where one of the Taliban's four regional military shuras are based.

"The area is a Taliban command and control area that consists of narcotics trafficking, weapons and ammunition storage, improvised explosive device factories, and foreign fighter training areas," an International Security Assistance Force press release stated. "Afghan and coalition forces are working together to remove the enemies’ transhipment center for fighters, weapons, and IED-making material."

The Taliban in southern Helmand province receive the bulk of their support from the Movement of the Taliban in Baluchistan, a shadowy organization in Pakistan of which little is publicly known. The group supports operations against Afghan and Coalition forces, and operates without any restraint from the Pakistani military or government.

The operation in Baramcha is ISAF's latest an attempt to deny safe haven to the Taliban in Helmand province. The districts of Dishu in the south, Bahgran in the north, and Washir in central Helmand are considered the Taliban's remaining major strongholds in Helmand, while the districts of Sangin and Kajaki, as well as the Marjah area in Nad Ali, are contested.

In neighboring Kandahar province, ISAF launched major operations over the past several months in the Taliban stronghold districts of Arghandab, Panjwai, and Zhari. Prior to these operations, the Taliban had been in full control of these districts for the past several years.

ISAF believes that the operations, combined with its targeted campaign against mid- and top-level Taliban leaders, have put the Taliban in the south in disarray.

Read more:

The Queensbury Rules In The War On Terror?

All well and good, but the classic retort to such nonsense is:  what if it's your child, wife, ect.?

From The American Thinker;

October 30, 2010

Queensbury rules in the war on terror?

David Paulin

John Sawers, head of Britain's legendary MI6, appears to be ready to trade the welfare of terror attack victims for purity when it comes to methods. In the first speech ever given by a head of the secret agency, as reported in the WSJ:

"Torture is illegal and abhorrent under any circumstances, and we have nothing whatsoever to do with it," said Sir John -- adding that this policy could limit the agency's ability to prevent a terrorist attack. "Some may question this, but we are clear that it's the right thing to do." (emphasis added)

There was no mention on what constitutes "torture." Loud music? Sensory deprivation? Electric shocks? Ripping out a person's fingernails?

Here's a video clip of the comments from The Guardian.

Posted at 10:25 AM