Archive for August, 2010

A Botched Hostage Rescue in the Philippines

A Botched Hostage Rescue in the Philippines is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Scott Stewart

On Aug. 23, Rolando Mendoza, a former senior police inspector with the Manila police department, boarded a tourist bus in downtown Manila and took control of the vehicle, holding the 25 occupants (tourists from Hong Kong and their Philippine guides) hostage. Mendoza, who was dressed in his police inspector’s uniform, was armed with an M16-type rifle and at least one handgun.

According to the police, Mendoza had been discharged from the department after being charged with extortion. Mendoza claimed the charges were fabricated and had fought a protracted administrative and legal battle in his effort to be reinstated. Apparently, Mendoza’s frustration over this process led to his plan to take the hostages. The fact that Mendoza entertained hope of regaining his police job by breaking the law and taking hostages speaks volumes about his mental state at the time of the incident.

After several hours of negotiation failed to convince Mendoza to surrender, communications broke down, Mendoza began to shoot hostages and police launched a clumsy and prolonged tactical operation to storm the bus. The operation lasted for more than an hour and left Mendoza and eight of the tourists dead at the end of a very public and protracted case of violence stemming from a workplace grievance.

Hostage-rescue operations are some of the most difficult and demanding tactical operations for police and military. To be successful, they require a great deal of training and planning and must be carefully executed. Because of this, hostage-rescue teams are among the most elite police and military units in the world. Since these teams are always training and learning, they pay close attention to operations like the one in Manila and study these operations carefully. They seek to adopt and incorporate tactics and techniques that work and learn from any mistakes that were made so they can avoid repeating them. Even in highly successful operations, there are always areas that can be improved upon and lessons that can be learned.

Indeed, in the Manila case, the events that unfolded provided a litany of lessons for hostage-rescue teams. The case will almost certainly be used in law enforcement and military classrooms across the globe for years as a textbook example of what not to do. Read the rest of this entry »

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EPA Denies Petition on Ammunition Ban

From: EPA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today denied a petition calling for a ban on the production and distribution of lead hunting ammunition. EPA sent a letter to the petitioners explaining the rejection – that letter can be found here:

Steve Owens, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, issued the following statement on the agency’s decision:

“EPA today denied a petition submitted by several outside groups for the agency to implement a ban on the production and distribution of lead hunting ammunition. EPA reached this decision because the agency does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – nor is the agency seeking such authority.


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Marine gives life trying to save Afghan policeman

Lance Cpl. Joshua S. Leventhal, a grenadier with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, completes Sgt. Joe L. Wrightsman’s battlefield cross by placing boots and identification tags on the monument during a memorial service at Patrol Base Jaker, Afghanistan, July 30. Wrightsman died supporting combat operations July 18.

PATROL BASE JAKER, Afghanistan — Cpl. Joe L. Wrightsman gave his life trying to save an Afghan policeman drowning in Afghanistan’s Helmand River July 18. And while the two would ultimately become victims of the powerful currents, Wrightsman’s actions weren’t in vain.

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Ban of all traditional forms of ammunition? Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976

Barack Obama has teamed up with liberal special interest groups to use the un-elected bureaucrats in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban all traditional forms of ammunition.

That’s right, Obama and his cronies are trying to ban ALL your ammo.

By using the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976, they want to ban all hunting, target and self-defense ammo that contains lead, no matter how little.

Make no mistake — this is gun control at its worst.

Since your actions have stopped their plans to pass ammo and gun bans so far in congress,  they’re using the old end-run.

Obama and his anti-gun cronies in the EPA know that by banning all but the most expensive ammo, they’ve effectively banned your guns in all but name.

And they’ve certainly destroyed the red-blooded American past time of just plain shooting.

To make matters worse, the anti-gunners are hoping to sneak this attack on our Second Amendment Rights through as a bureaucratic rule change.

They know that when they introduce gun control as legislation that gun owners like you and I have tremendous grassroots power.

The anti-gun lobby knows that is you keep the heat on congress most members of Congress will be afraid of angering gun owners so close to an election.

So they’re simply bypassing the democratic, legislative process all together by counting on bureaucrats in the EPA to do their anti-gun dirty work.

Think this doesn’t apply to you? Think again.

The goal of this rule change is simple: drive the price of ammo through the roof for all but law enforcement and the military.

Virtually all hunting, target and self-defense ammo has some lead components.

They’re trying to disarm us one bullet at a time.

Petition here:

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GPS Grip Pod 02 Forearm Bipod Grip

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20 wounded: Bombing in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta

Rescue workers help a man who was injured after a fragmentation grenade exploded next to an open air bar in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, early Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010.

At least 20 people were wounded, four of them seriously, when unidentified individuals tossed a bomb into a bar in Puerto Vallarta, a resort city on Mexico’s Pacific coast, police said Thursday.

The attack occurred around midnight Wednesday at the Pink Cheladas bar, where about 150 young people were partying, Puerto Vallarta police department spokesmen told Efe.

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Eyewitness: the Survivor of a massacre of 72 people – on a ranch 85 miles south of Brownsville

The survivor of a massacre on a ranch 85 miles south of Brownsville trudged into a navy checkpoint — a bullet wound in his neck — with a tale almost too gruesome even for a country locked in the throes of a vicious and bloody drug war.

The 72 illegal immigrants killed in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, were on a bus bound for the United States when, between Saturday and Sunday, were intercepted by a convoy of Zetas. According to the testimony of the only survivor of what it is until now, the worst massacre in the wave of violence by organized crime in Mexico, several SUV’s blocked the path of the bus carrying the victims and forced them out at gun point. They warned them that they were Los Zetas.

One by one the 58 men and 14 women, including minors, were placed against the wall in a cellar of the ranch. Then they were forced to keep their heads down and were shot with bursts of high-powered weapons. After the barraged of gunfire directed at the victims subsided, the murderers then shot each individual person on the head at point blank, the coup de grace.

Among those that were executed, there was Luis Freddy, originally from Ecuador, who pretended to be dead. The final shot aimed at his head entered at one end of his neck and exited through the jaw. He waited there, spread out, until the perpetrators left and he managed to escape. “I only remember hearing the laments and the pleas of some of the people who were there. Then I heard shots, and when everything was over I stood up to get help,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Mexico: what was the point of slaughtering 72 migrants?

Borderland Beat Reporter Valentina Isabella

As reported by the Mexican press, 72 migrants (from Central and South America) were found dead in a ranch in Tamaulipas, courtesy of Los Zetas (El Universal and Proceso). In addition to the massacre in Tamaulipas, Los Zetas have also been implicated in the kidnapping and murder of Mayor Edelmiro Cavasos Leal (Noticieros Televisa).

What could Los Zetas possibly gain from both tragedies?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Mexico: the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel

El jefe de jefes Marcos Arturo Beltran Leyva

The Beltrán-Leyva Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de los Beltrán Leyva) is a Mexican drug cartel and organized crime synidicate founded by the five Beltrán Leyva brothers: Marcos Arturo, Mario Alberto, Carlos, Alfredo and Héctor.

The cartel is responsible for cocaine transportation and wholesaling, marijuana production and wholesaling, and heroin production and wholesaling, controls numerous drug trafficking corridors, and engages in human smuggling, money laundering, extortion, kidnapping, murder and gun-running.

The Beltrán Leyva brothers, who were formerly aligned with the Sinaloa Cartel, have been allies of Los Zetas for some time.

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Car Bombs in Tamaulipas, Mexico -near site of the massacre of 72 U.S-bound migrants

Mexican policemen and a soldier stand guard next to remains of a parked vehicle outside a studio of top broadcaster Televisa in Ciudad Victoria, the Mexican state of Tamaulipas August 27, 2010. A car bomb exploded outside the TV studio early on Friday, but there were no injuries, Mexican media and witnesses said.

Two bombs went off early Friday in the capital of the violence-wracked northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, where 72 U.S.-bound migrants were slaughtered by gunmen earlier this week.

Neither bombing caused any casualties.

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Slavery in Mexico – stories from the inside

The horrifying massacre of 72 Central and South American immigrants by the hands of Zetas shocked the world. Preliminary investigations, based on testimony by the sole survivor of this attack, report the immigrants were first given the option of paying their ransoms in cash or as cartel slaves. Having no cash and refusing to join Zeta forces, the 58 men and 14 women, were blindfolded and bound before being executed on spot.

We know what happened to them, but what about the others? What happens to those who are unable to pay, but still desperately wish to survive?

Below you will read the story of Marisolina, a young immigrant from El Salvador who’s only dream, like many before her, was the American dream. An immigrant who, with no means to pay ransom, was forced into the dark world of Zeta slavery.

Marisolina didn’t have relatives in the United States, much less in El Salvador, who would or even could pay the Zetas, who kidnapped her, the $3000 dollars they demanded to release her.”You’re going have to come up with another way to pay us, Guerita”, they repeatedly threatened her in the first few days of her captivity.

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14 Men Executed in Acapulco

Acapulco- Attacks on suspected members of the Cartel del Pacifico Sur headed by Héctor Beltrán Leyva left 14 men dead in execution style slayings in four different locations around the tourist destination of Acapulco, Guerrero during the morning hours of Friday, August 27.

The murders may have been a reprisal for the executions and public display of 4 mutilated bodies of men belonging to Edgar “la Barbie” Valdez Villarreal’s organization in Cuernavaca, Morelos.

According to the state of Guerrero’s Public Security Secretariat, the victims were beaten and tortured before being executed by gunfire from the usual weapons used by organized criminal gangs: .233 (AR-15), 7.62 x 39mm (AK-47) and 9mm calibers.

Three of the victims were identified as municipal policemen and one victim was a state government employee. As of late Friday evening the identities of the other victims had not been released.

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Official investigating Mexican Massacre Murdered

The body of an official investigating the massacre of 72 Central and South American migrants killed in a ranch in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas was found today dumped beside a nearby road alongside another unidentified victim, according to local media.

El Universal said the body of Roberto Jaime Suarez was found on a highway. He disappeared two days ago in the town of San Fernando, along with a transit police officer. A second body was found and is thought to be the officer.

The wife of Roberto Suarez told the BBC he had been missing since Wednesday, the day after the migrants were found dead at a ranch in Tamaulipas state. Suarez was involved in the initial investigation of the massacre, which authorities have blamed on the Zetas drug cartel. The federal Attorney General’s Office has since taken the lead in the case.

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Failed attack: Taliban dressed in US uniforms attack Nato bases

Foreign and Afghan troops have repelled pre-dawn attacks on two bases in east Afghanistan from Taliban insurgents wearing US military uniforms.

Major Patrick Sheba, from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul said at least fifteen insurgents were killed at one base and six at another.

The attacks targeted the US military’s Forward Operating Base Chapman and Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost province near the eastern border with Pakistan, where coalition forces have been stepping up operations against a resurgent Taliban.

“War is Deception”, said Muhammad, Prophet of Islam

The art of taqiyya: religiously mandated lies, omission and deception to advance Islam.

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National Guard troops prepare to deploy along Arizona border

On Monday, the initial deployment of National Guard troops will begin arriving along the porous Arizona border separating the United States and northern Mexico. With border violence on the rise, area residents await troop arrival with measured optimism.

National Guard troops will begin arriving along the Arizona side of the border in small groups and without fanfare. It is anticipated that over five hundred troops will be deployed to the region by the end of September.

Their effectiveness however, is hard to predict as the troops, although armed, will only operate as observers, lacking authority to make arrests themselves.
Still, the extra boots on the ground are expected to create an additional deterrent for would be smugglers and others who may attempt to cross the border illegally. Some experts however, believe the drug cartels will simply move their operations elsewhere, such as southern Texas, which is already experiencing an increase in drug related violent crimes.

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