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Posts Tagged Islam
From: The Guardian
Britain is prepared to take the risk of sending a “sizeable amount” of troops to Mali and neighbouring West African countries as David Cameron offers strong support to France in its operation to drive Islamist militants from its former colony.
“Is Boko Haram More Dangerous Than Ever? is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By Scott Stewart
Vice President of Analysis
On Nov. 25, Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group from northern Nigeria, attacked a church in Jaji, Kaduna state, using two suicide bombers during the church’s weekly religious service. The first bomb detonated in a vehicle driven into the church, and the second detonated approximately 10 minutes later, when a crowd of first responders gathered at the scene. About 30 people were killed in the attacks; the second blast caused the majority of the deaths. The incident was particularly symbolic because Jaji is the home of Nigeria’s Armed Forces Command and Staff College, and many of the churchgoers were senior military officers.
In the wake of the Jaji attacks, media reports quoted human rights groups saying that Boko Haram has killed more people in 2012 than ever before. The group has killed roughly 770 people this year, leading many to conclude that Boko Haram has become more dangerous.
However, it is important to look beyond the sheer number of fatalities when drawing such conclusions about a group like Boko Haram. Indeed, a less cursory look at the group reveals that while 2012 has been a particularly deadly year, the Nigerian government has curtailed the group’s capabilities. In terms of operational planning, the group has been limited to simple attacks against soft targets in or near its core territory. In other words, Boko Haram remains deadly, but it is actually less capable than it used to be, relegating the group to a limited, regional threat unless this dynamic is somehow altered. Read the rest of this entry »
Dismantling the Triangle Terror Group
Inside the four-year investigation of a North Carolina man’s terrorism conspiracy. Details
From: The Washington Times
Despite the statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel’s red line on Iran’s illicit nuclear program could be reached by next spring, Iranian officials are adamant that war is close.
In analyzing Mr. Netanyahu’s recent speech to the United Nations General Assembly, an Iranian nuclear policy strategist boasted to state media outlet irannuc.ir that Mr. Netanyahu’s red line is based on the current enrichment process to the 20 percent level at the Fordow nuclear facility. A recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report shows Iran has 90 kilograms of 20 percent enrichment, needing just 130 kilograms of such material for a nuclear bomb, which the Israelis conclude will happen by next spring.
From the FBI:
By the time he moved to Alaska in 2006, Paul Rockwood, Jr. was an ardent follower of the American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who he met at a Virginia mosque in late 2001.
A military veteran himself, Rockwood believed it was his religious duty to kill those who desecrated Islam. In 2009, he began sharing his deadly plans with an individual he thought held similar views. But that person was actually an undercover operative employed by our Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Anchorage.
From: Fox News (Exclusive)
Watch “Special Report Investigates: Benghazi — New Revelations” on Fox News at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, 3 p.m. on Sunday and 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”
Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.
At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.
“Salafism and Arab Democratization is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By Kamran Bokhari
Vice President of Middle Eastern & South Asian Affairs
The outbreak of the Arab Spring in 2011 brought significant attention to groups — known as Islamists – seeking to establish Islamic states in countries once ruled by secular autocrats. The bulk of this attention went to already established political groups such as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which caused consternation in the West when its Freedom and Justice Party won control of both Egypt’s parliament and its presidency.
Much less attention was paid to the Brotherhood’s principal Islamist competitors, members of the ultraconservative Salafist movement, despite their second-place finish in Egypt’s parliamentary elections. This changed in late September when certain Salafists played a key role in the unrest in reaction to an anti-Islamic video posted on the Internet.
Since then, Salafism has become the subject of much public discourse — though as is often the case with unfamiliar subjects, questions are vastly more numerous than answers. This is compounded by the rapidity of its rise from a relatively minor, apolitical movement to an influential Islamist phenomenon. Read the rest of this entry »
From: Raw Story
DUBAI — An Islamist group on Tuesday said it will carry out new cyber attacks on US banking targets, according to SITE Intelligence Group, following similar attacks last week in response to an anti-Islam film.
In a statement a group of hackers calling themselves the “Cyber Fighters of Izz al-Din al-Qassam” said they planned to attack the website of Wells Fargo bank on Tuesday, that of US Bank on Wednesday and the PNC Bank on Thursday, SITE said.
Last week the websites of US banks Chase (a JPMorgan Chase affiliate) and Bank of America suffered a suspected cyber attack following threats against them by the same group.
“From Gadhafi to Benghazi is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By George Friedman
Last week, four American diplomats were killed when armed men attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The attackers’ apparent motivation was that someone, apparently American but with an uncertain identity, posted a video on YouTube several months ago that deliberately defamed the Prophet Mohammed. The attack in Benghazi was portrayed as retribution for the defamation, with the attackers holding all Americans equally guilty for the video, though it was likely a pretext for deeper grievances. The riots spread to other countries, including Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, although no American casualties were reported in the other riots. The unrest appears to have subsided over the weekend.
Benghazi and the Fall of Gadhafi
In beginning to make sense of these attacks, one must observe that they took place in Benghazi, the city that had been most opposed to Moammar Gadhafi. Indeed, Gadhafi had promised to slaughter his opponents in Benghazi, and it was that threat that triggered the NATO intervention in Libya. Many conspiracy theories have been devised to explain the intervention, but, like Haiti and Kosovo before it, none of the theories holds up. The intervention occurred because it was believed that Gadhafi would carry out his threats in Benghazi and because it was assumed that he would quickly capitulate in the face of NATO air power, opening the door to democracy. Read the rest of this entry »
From: Micheal Yon
12 August 2012
It will be difficult to keep even a small Special Forces footprint in Afghanistan with these increasingly effective insider attacks. And we do not hear a word of apology from Karzai. This whole affair is sad. Time to bring home our main battle force:
Three United States Marines have been shot dead by an Afghan worker on a military base in southern Afghanistan, in a deadly 24 hours for Nato-led forces during which six American soldiers were killed in rogue attacks.
The shooting took place on Friday night in the Garmsir district of Helmand province, where three US special forces soldiers were killed by an Afghan policeman and comrades earlier in the day.
“Let me clearly say that those two incidents clearly do not reflect the overall situation here in Afghanistan,” the chief Nato force spokesman, Brigadier-General Gunter Katz, told reporters.
The three Marines were shot by a base employee who turned a gun on them, in the third rogue attack in four days. Foreign military sources said the man had not been wearing a uniform and it was unclear how he got hold of the weapon.
The gunman had been detained and a joint Afghan-Nato investigation team was reviewing security and looking into the reason for the attack.
In the earlier attack, an Afghan police commander and several of his men killed three US Marines in darkness early on Friday after inviting them to a Ramadan breakfast to discuss security.
The three men were all Marine Corps special operations forces and appeared to have been killed in a planned attack by rogue Afghan forces. Nato calls such incidents green on blue attacks.
The Nato force says there have been 26 such attacks on foreign troops since January in which 34 people have been killed. Last year, there were 21 attacks in which 35 people were killed.
But a coalition spokesman said the killings by the Afghan worker would not be included in that tally as it did not involve a member of the Afghan security forces.
Green on blue shootings, in which Afghan police or soldiers turn their guns on their Western colleagues, have seriously eroded trust between the allies as Nato combat soldiers prepare to hand over to Afghan forces by 2014, after which most foreign forces will leave the country.
Since 2010, Central Asia has become increasingly volatile, a trend many have attributed to a rise in militant Islamism. Militancy has indeed risen since 2010, but the notion that militant Islamists primarily are responsible for Central Asia’s volatility is shortsighted because it ignores other political and economic dynamics at play in the region.
But if these dynamics, not jihadist designs, inspired much of the region’s recent militant activity, the impending U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 could put Central Asia at greater risk for militant Islamism in the future. Combined with upcoming leadership changes in several Central Asian states, the withdrawal could complicate an already complex militant landscape in the region. Read the rest of this entry »
Twitter was asked by the government to stop a discussion about a contest over Muhammad caricatures, something it refused to do. As a result, access to the site has been blocked, according to the Express Tribune. The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority passed down the directive to Internet service providers in the country, and said it couldn’t say how long the site would be blocked.
By Scott Stewart
Mohammed Merah, the suspect in a string of violent attacks culminating with the March 19 shooting deaths of three children and a rabbi at the Ozar Hatorah School in Toulouse, France, committed suicide by cop March 22 after a prolonged standoff at his Toulouse apartment. Authorities believed Merah also to have shot and killed a paratrooper March 11 in Toulouse and two other paratroopers March 15 in Montauban.
While Merah’s death ended his attacks, it also began the inevitable inquiry process as French officials consider how the attacks could have been prevented. The commissions or committees appointed to investigate such attacks normally take months to complete their inquiries, so the findings of the panel looking into the Merah case will not be released in time to have any impact on the French presidential election set to begin April 22. However, such findings are routinely used for political purposes and as ammunition for bureaucratic infighting. Read the rest of this entry »
From: Defense Media Network
From: Danger Room
Protests — some better called riots — have spread into their sixth day. Most shockingly, an Interior Ministry employee killed two U.S. servicemembers working in the ministry’s Kabul headquarters, reportedly by shooting them in the head on Saturday with a silencer-equipped pistol. Pentagon press secretary George Little called the killings “murder.”
More proof that Islam really is no different than any other religion. Muslims are just like Baptists, Buddhists and Lutherans, who will also slit throats and shoot you in the head if someone from your country burns their holy book.