Tag Archives | Al-Qaeda

Is The U.S. Really About To Defeat Al Qaeda?

Leon Panetta

Leon Panetta

No doubt there will be naysayers who claim that Al Qaeda was a convenient fiction for the U.S. Government in the first place, but in any event it is certainly a change of tune to hear the U.S. Defense Secretary talk about victory over the bad guys. No doubt it means a change of strategy – but what? Mary Walsh reports for CBS News:

The United States is “within reach of strategically defeating al Qaeda,” Leon Panetta declared, as he traveled to Afghanistan for his first visit there as Secretary of Defense.

Speaking to reporters aboard a government flight to Kabul, Panetta said intelligence gathered during the raid at Osama bin Laden’s compound has lead the United States to target 10-20 key al Qaeda leaders.

“If we can go after them, I think we really can strategically defeat al Qaeda,” Panetta said.

The success of the May raid on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where bin Laden was killed, along with “operations that we conducted at the CIA,” has undermined the terror organization’s ability to conduct 9/11-type attacks, he added.

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U.S. Expands Its Drone War Into Somalia

MQ-9 ReaperMark Mazzetti writes in the New York Times:

The clandestine American military campaign to combat Al Qaeda’s franchise in Yemen is expanding to fight the Islamist militancy in Somalia, as new evidence indicates that insurgents in the two countries are forging closer ties and possibly plotting attacks against the United States, American officials say.

An American military drone aircraft attacked several Somalis in the militant group the Shabab late last month, the officials said, killing at least one of its midlevel operatives and wounding others.

The strike was carried out by the same Special Operations Command unit now battling militants in Yemen, and it represented an intensification of an American military campaign in a mostly lawless region where weak governments have allowed groups with links to Al Qaeda to flourish.

The Obama administration’s increased focus on Somalia comes as the White House has unveiled a new strategy to battle Al Qaeda in the post-Osama bin Laden era, and as some American military and intelligence officials view Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Somalia as a greater threat to the United States than the group of operatives in Pakistan who have been barraged with hundreds of drone strikes directed by the Central Intelligence Agency in recent years.

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Salvage Diver Plans To Recover Bin Laden’s Body From Sea

Osama_bin_Laden_portrait

Photo: Hamid Mir (CC)

After the disposal of Osama Bin Laden’s body at sea many were skeptical, including Bill Warren. While everyone else was talking up their conspiracy theories Warren decided there was only one way to know the  truth, go down there and get him. Via TIME:

Talk is cheap. That’s why Bill Warren won’t elaborate on his conspiracy theory regarding bin Laden’s death. Instead, he’s taking action. The Fallbrook, Calif. salvage diver is planning a mission to retrieve bin Laden’s body from the bottom of the Arabian Sea.

Having been in the business of salvage diving for more than 30 years, Warren is aware of the dangers and difficulties of rescue missions. The body, he says, “will look like a cigar at the bottom of the ocean.” It’s a mission that will require some heavy – and costly – technology. So is the proof worth the purchase?

To Warren, that’s affirmative.

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65 Al-Qaeda Members Escape From Yemen Prison

Photo: Jenn Vargas (CC)

Photo: Jenn Vargas (CC)

The last major breakout of Al-Qaeda members from a Yemen prison was in 2006, but this escape consisted of nearly three times as many prisoners. Yemen Times reports:

At least 65 prisoner’s escaped on Tuesday from Al-Mukalla Central Prison. Some of the escaped prisoners have been confirmed as Al-Qaeda members who had been transferred from another prison in Al-Mukalla to the central prison.

Civilians claim that heavy gunfire broke out around 8am between security forces and escapees. The situation in the city has now returned to normal, with only one armored vehicle guarding the entrance of Jol Al-Saifa’a where the central prison is located.

The General-Secretary of Mukala’s Local Council, Mohammad Bin Ziad, who has been following the incident, told the Yemen Times that the confirmed number of escapees is 65 so far. However, he also said more details will be released after investigations have been carried out and eyewitnesses questioned.

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Pakistani Journalist Found Dead After Criticizing Pakistan’s Chief Intelligence Agency

Saleem ShahzadVia The New York Times:

The Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad knew he was a marked man. Mr. Shahzad, who covered national security and terrorism, had received repeated threats from Pakistan’s powerful spy agency. Yet he courageously kept doing his job — until somebody silenced him. His body, his face horribly beaten, was buried on Wednesday.

Suspicion inevitably falls on Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s chief intelligence agency. For the sake of justice, and the shredded credibility of Pakistan’s government, his murderers must be found quickly and held accountable.

Mr. Shahzad disappeared from Islamabad on Sunday, two days after he published an article suggesting a militant attack on a naval base in Karachi was retaliation for the navy’s attempt to crack down on Al Qaeda militants in the armed forces. American analysts doubt an Al Qaeda cell infiltrated Pakistani security, but they have long worried about individual sympathizers.

Whatever the case, the attack humiliated the ISI and the armed services.

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MI6 Hacks Online Al-Qaeda Magazine Swapping Bomb Recipes For Cupcake Recipes

Photo: Joy (CC)

Photo: Joy (CC)

This is quite a sweet hack. The Telegraph reports:

The cyber-warfare operation was launched by MI6 and GCHQ in an attempt to disrupt efforts by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular to recruit “lone-wolf” terrorists with a new English-language magazine, the Daily Telegraph understands.

When followers tried to download the 67-page colour magazine, instead of instructions about how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” by “The AQ Chef” they were greeted with garbled computer code.

The code, which had been inserted into the original magazine by the British intelligence hackers, was actually a web page of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America” published by the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.

Written by Dulcy Israel and produced by Main Street Cupcakes in Hudson, Ohio, it said “the little cupcake is big again” adding: “Self-contained and satisfying, it summons memories of childhood even as it’s updated for today’s sweet-toothed hipsters.”

It included a recipe for the Mojito Cupcake – “made of white rum cake and draped in vanilla buttercream”- and the Rocky Road Cupcake – “warning: sugar rush ahead!”

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Former Egyptian Special Forces Officer Named New Al Qaeda Leader

Flag of Al-Qaeda in Iraq

Flag of Al-Qaeda in Iraq

Hindustan Times reports:

A fierce succession battle appears to be gripping the senior ranks of al Qaeda in the wake of the death of leader Osama bin Laden, pitting regional affiliates against the central “hardcore” of the organisation. Reports from Pakistan have named an Egyptian former special forces officer, ,as the acting leader of al Qaeda.

Adel, who is in his late 40s, is a veteran militant who was close to bin Laden in the 1990s. He was detained in Iran after fleeing Afghanistan following the ouster of the Taliban in 2001. According to Noman Benotman, a former Libyan militant now living in London, al-Adel, also known as Muhamad Ibrahim Makkawi, was released from Iranian detention and returned to Pakistan last year.

The report in the News newspaper of Pakistan identified al-Adel as having been chosen as “interim leader” after a meeting at “an undisclosed location”.

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Was Osama Bin Laden A US Prisoner Before Being Killed?

The Times Of India reports:

Al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden was a prisoner in US custody for “sometime” before he was killed by the American military, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said.

“I have exact information that bin Laden was held by the American military for sometime… until the day they killed him he was a prisoner held by them,” the hardline president said in a live interview on Iranian state television.

“Please pay attention. This is important. He was held by them for sometime. They made him sick and while he was sick they killed him,” Ahmadinejad added.

He accused US President Barack Obama for announcing the al-Qaida leader’s death for “political gain.”

“What the US president has done is for domestic political gain. In other words, they killed him for Mr Obama’s election and now they are seeking to replace him with someone else,” Ahmadinejad said without elaborating.

Bin Laden was shot dead on May 2 in a US commando raid on a heavily fortified compound near Islamabad, Pakistan.

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Al-Qaeda Confirms Death Of Osama Bin Laden

File-Osama_bin_Laden_portraitThe jihadis vow to take revenge, of course, posting messages on extremist websites saying that Al-Qaeda will remain “a curse chasing the Americans and their agents.” Peter Walker reports for the Guardian:

Al-Qaida has confirmed the death of its leader, Osama bin Laden, and vowed vengeance, pledging in a statement posted on militant websites that his blood “will not be wasted”.

In what is apparently the first official reaction from the militant Islamist group since Bin Laden was gunned down by US special forces troops who raided his hideout in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, the group called on the people of Pakistan, “where Sheik Osama was killed”, to rise up against their leaders.

The group would soon release an audio message from Bin Laden recorded a week before his death, said the statement, dated 3 May and signed by “the general leadership of al-Qaida”. There was no independent confirmation that the message was authentic but it was posted on websites through which al-Qaida habitually issues statements.

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Michael Moore: ‘Bin Laden Wasn’t Killed, He Was Executed’

Michael Moore. Photo: nicolas genin (CC)

Michael Moore. Photo: nicolas genin (CC)

Michael Moore gives his take on the Osama affair exclusively to TheWrap:

Osama bin Laden wasn’t killed by a Navy SEAL team, he was straight up executed, Michael Moore told TheWrap on Wednesday,

The “Fahrenheit 9/11” director has been setting Twitter aflame Wednesday afternoon urging the Obama administration to come clean about the circumstances surrounding the terrorist leader’s death — particularly in light of the White House’s shifting account of last weekend’s firefight in Abbottabad.

The Oscar-winning director has been tweeting about his belief that Bin Laden should have received a trial, and his theory that Pakistan was keeping the Al Qaeda head under house arrest. TheWrap grilled Moore about his controversial views.

Is Obama lying about how Bin Laden died?

Common sense tells you he was executed. That was the plan all along. Just tell us that and quit treating us like children.

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