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August 29, 2016 / 25 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda’

Report: Al Qaeda in Yemen Starts Using Surface-to-Air Missiles

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen have reportedly acquired sophisticated Russian-made surface-to-air missiles and have used them to shoot down a fighter jet this month.

In an exclusive report (March 26) The Independent claims Al Qaeda used an SA-7 surface-to-air missile to down a French-made Mirage fighter jet in Yemen. The missile was allegedly a “Strela” shoulder-mounted heat-seeking projectile with a kill range altitude of 15 to 1,500 meters.

According to the report, the incident took place two weeks ago (March 14), just outside th southern Yemeni port city of Aden.

The jet crashed into a mountainside; officials at the time told media the crash was due to a “technical malfunction” but sources told The Independent the jet was shot down by Al Qaeda using a surface-to-air missile (SAM).

The fighter jet was flying in the United Arab Emirates air force as part of a Saudi-led coalition air campaign against the Shi’ite Houthi rebels who are backed by Iran. Both pilots were killed in the crash. Locals told media the jet was flying low and attacking AQAP forces entrenched in a district west of Aden.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is deeply involved in this conflict, as is the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group, whose guerrilla fighters have been spotted among the Houthis.

If the report is true, this will mark the first time a SAM was used in the Yemen conflict – but not the first time Al Qaeda has ever used one.

In fact, Al Qaeda produced a detailed guide to help its operatives learn how to use a SAM to bring down commercial aircraft. One such guide was found in Mali as far back as three years ago, according to a 2013 report by The Associated Press.

The 26-page document, written in Arabic, was recovered by AP in a building that had been occupied by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghred (AQIM). This manual also was used for SA-7s, also called “man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS.

In that instance, the SA-7s in question were believed to have originated from the arsenal of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Not only were they found in Timbuktu, however. Atlantic Council analyst Peter Pham, a former adviser to U.S. military command in Africa and instructor to U.S. Special Forces told AP at the time he believed Al Qaeda had fighters who already knew how to use the SAMs effectively.

Moreover, the Libya-based Al Qaeda group was not the first to have MANPADS. It was also believed there were Al Qaeda groups in Iraq and Afghanistan who also had MANPADS, as well as a Somalian terror cell who boasted at the time about its SA-7 in a video message.

This Saturday, a second source told The Independent, “Al Qaeda has confiscated huge amounts of weapons from bases in Yemen.” The SA-7s in this case are believed to have been sold to Al Qaeda, or to Yemen by Bulgarian arms dealers who acquired them when the Soviet Union broke apart.

The source added, “Al Qaeda are smarter than Islamic State (ISIS); They speak with the tribal elders, they co-opt people, get them on their side. Islamic State uses fear and coercion. It’s flashy and seeks a lot of attention but Al Qaeda is laying low and playing the long game.”

The source claimed that fighters from both sides of the conflict in Yemen are selling arms to AQAP.

Hana Levi Julian

US Airstrikes Take out 150 Islamist Terrorists in Somalia

Monday, March 7th, 2016

On Sunday, U.S. warplanes killed about 150 newly-minted terrorists at a training facility in Somalia, near Mogadishu.

The airstrikes hit a Shabab outpost at what U.S. officials said they believed was a graduation ceremony, according to the New York Times. The targeted terrorists were “preparing an attack against American troops and their regional allies in East Africa,” which is believed to have been a “large-scale attack.”

The American warplanes dropped precision-guided bombs and missiles on the terrorists who “were outdoors in formation,” according to a U.S. official.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. was watching the site, called Raso Camp, for several weeks. He said it appeared that the training was ending and the operational phase of a suspected attack was about to start.

When a bomb tore through a Somali commercial jetliner in February, Shabab claimed responsibility. The group also claimed responsibility for the mass shooting at the Westgate Shopping Mall attack in September, 2013. More than 60 people were shot to death and over 175 people were wounded in that attack.

Shabab – which means “youth” in Arabic – pledged allegiance to al Qaeda in 2012. The two allied terrorist organizations appear to be in competition with ISIS for title of most horrific source of terror on Earth.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

The Final Thoughts of Osama Bin Laden: Declassified Documents Revealed

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Newly-declassified documents released Tuesday from the home and headquarters of Osama Bin Laden have revealed the innermost thoughts of the Al Qaeda mastermind in the final years of his life prior to his assassination in May 2011.

A total of thousands of pages in 113 documents were seized in the raid that killed Bin Laden at his compound in Pakistan.

The latest release came at the behest of Congress, which in May 2014 directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to review the material seized by the Navy SEALs and to release as much to the public as possible.

The first release, in May 2015, included nearly 80 documents, books, news media clippings and other materials.

In the most recent batch, Bin Laden left what appears to be a hand-written will that left most of his $29 million to be used “on jihad.” In the document he wrote, “I hope for my brothers, sisters and maternal aunts to obey my will and to spend all the money that I have left in Sudan on jihad, for the sake of Allah.” There was no explanation of where the money came from. He also said he had received $12 million from one of his brothers. The newest documents include one outlining the structure of a “chief of staff committee,” which it explains is “the group of officers and personnel qualified to work with a military commander.”

Another is apparently a “Course of Islamic Study for Soldiers and Members,” that includes a list of subjects and skills to be taught (No. 1: reading and writing), a lengthy reading list that is to be taught in three sections (mostly books about Islam), and a list of lectures to be given throughout the course (subjects range from history of jihad in the Horn of Africa to “a brief word on raising children”).

He was afraid of being tracked via the teeth of one of his wives. Bin Laden wrote a letter to her expressing concern that a small chip might have been implanted in a tooth or under her skin during a visit to the dentist.

“The size of the chip is about the length of a grain of wheat and the width of a fine piece of vermicelli,” he wrote, signing the letter with his nom de guerre Abu Abdallah. He wrote the Iranian dentist could have used an enlarged syringe to implant the tracking device.

In another letter apparently not written by Bin Laden, the author relates the story of a visit by a Qatari diplomat who came to speak with Al Qaeda members in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He brought with him some gifts, including GPS devices and a “huge” watch. Three days later he left, saying he was a diabetic and needed to return for medication. An Al Qaeda member identified as Abu Umamah immediately took the watch and “smashed it with a hammer” because they were afraid it might contain a tracking device, or something worse.

One document describes a major media campaign Bin Laden was planning with his aides to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on America at the World Trade Center and in Washington DC.

He also reflected on the problems of the U.S. military in Afghanistan. He wrote in a letter, “Here we are in the tenth year of the war and America and its allies are still chasing a mirage, lost at sea without a beach.”

Bin Laden observed that the U.S. had believed the war would be easily won, with the army accomplishing its objectives “in a few days or a few weeks.” But the U.S. was unprepared financially and the war lacked popular support, he wrote. “America appears to be hanging on by a thin thread.. We need to be patient a bit longer. With patience, there is victory!”

Hana Levi Julian

Truce Signed in Syria by Assad Regime, Rebel Forces – Excludes ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

As the gunshots and sounds of mortarfire grow closer to Israeli communities in the Golan Heights, the Syrian regime has signed a truce with representatives of the rebel forces.

The truce, however, excludes Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda and the Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organizations, according to a statement released Tuesday afternoon by the state-run SANA news agency, which raises the issue of how long it will actually last, and how relevant it really is.

“The Syrian Arab Republic accepts the cessation of fighting actions on the basis of continuing the military efforts for combating terrorism against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organizations according to the Russian-U.S. agreement,” said an official source at the Syrian Expatriates and Foreign Ministry.

The military picture in Syria is far from simple.

Both Russia and the U.S.-led coalition are still claiming to be bombing ISIS terror targets in Syria, but one can hardly separate those out from the general population, let alone from other combatants.

The Syrian regime forces include the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist guerrilla fighters and Russian military personnel on the ground and in the air.

The U.S.-led coalition forces in the air have been bombing targets on behalf of the more moderate Syrian opposition forces. But there have been overlaps and on more than one occasion the “moderate” rebels have united with radical Islamists when they deemed necessary to overcome an enemy target. In this way, weapons, ammunition and other foreign ordnance changes hands, and Da’esh (ISIS) and/or Al Qaeda-linked terrorists end up possessing American arms and military technology.

Moreover, Ankara — also a member of NATO along with the United States — has been bombing Kurdish sites in northern Syria, claiming the PYD and YPG groups are related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group. Turkey alleges the PKK perpetrated last week’s horrific suicide car bombing in the capital city, Ankara, together with a PYD-linked Syrian national.

Regardless of who is dropping the bombs, after five years of one of the most savage civil wars in the Middle East very little is left of the “Syrian Arab Republic” that the world — or President Bashar al-Assad himself — once knew. At present, even the outlying districts of Damascus have been bombed into rubble in many areas, as seen in the video below, filmed by RussiaWorks.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry source noted that the cease-fire is set to begin on Saturday Feb. 27. In order to ensure the success of the cease-fire, “the Syrian government affirms readiness to continue to coordinate with the Russian side for identifying the areas and the armed groups that are to be included in the cessation along the period it is in effect,” the source said.

“The Syrian government stresses the importance of border curbing, halting support provided by some countries to the armed groups, and preventing these organizations from boosting their capabilities or changing their positions so as to avoid anything that may undermine this agreement,” the source warned.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that he and U.S. President Barack Obama had agreed on a joint statement announcing their plans to stop military operations in Syria. The U.S. State Department announced the agreement, which it said includes “plans to stop the military operations in Syria, [but] which exclude the Islamic State (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations.”

Hana Levi Julian

In First Public Visit to US Mosque, Obama’s Choice Hosted Global Jihadist Leaders

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Barack Obama is in the final stretch of his time as President of the United States. It was announced on Sunday that Obama will make his first public appearance at a U.S. mosque to show solidarity with Muslims, whom many blame for all those terrorist attacks they commit.

The White House announced that Obama would be visiting the Islamic Society of Baltimore, which is located in Woodlawn, Maryland, just west of Baltimore. The ISB started in 1969 as a prayer group at Johns Hopkins University, which is located in Baltimore, according to the mosque’s website. A little more than a decade later, the community purchased an eight acre plot of land where the mosque is now located, as well as a school and a multi-purpose hall.

The vision of the ISB is “to be the anchor of a growing Muslim community with diverse backgrounds, democratically governed, relating to one another with inclusiveness and tolerance, and interacting with neighbors in an Islamic exemplary manner.”

Background information about the ISB uncovered a singularly alarming fact: two of the greatest supporters and promoters of a global Islamic caliphate spoke at ISB at least once, according to a “former regular.” This person commented that because it is located near Washington, D.C., “often celebrity guest speakers show up out of the blue. Like Dr. Israr Ahmed, Anwar al-Awlaki and many others.”

So who are those two celebrity guest speakers mentioned by the commenter on Salatomatic, which describes itself as “the most comprehensive guide to mosques and Islamic schools?

None other than two of the most influential jihadists this planet has ever seen.

ANWAR AL-AWLAKI

Most Americans will recognize the name Anwar al-Awlaki, the recruiter for al Qaeda who was responsible for so much terrorism that he was the first American the U.S. has ever put on the  CIA’s “kill or capture list.”

Al-Awlaki preached to several of the 9/11 bombers; was in contact with the Fort Hood military psychiatrist, Nidal Malik Hasan, just before the shootings; and was believed to be involved in the planning of the attempted bombing by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the “underwear bomber,” as well as having numerous other terrorist credentials.

At various times al-Awlaki was believed to be working with Hamas. He also stated online, just after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, that Israeli intelligence agents may have been responsible for the attacks.

Al-Awlaki “is a magnetic character,” said Philip Mudd, a veteran of the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center who spent nearly five years as a top F.B.I. intelligence adviser. “He’s a powerful orator in a revolutionary movement,” Mudd said in 2010.

This charismatic jihadist was also the one who, in 2010, put a fatwa on the life of a Seattle, Washington cartoonist who dared to launch “Everybody Draw Muhammed Day.” That reporter, Molly Norris, was forced to change her name, move and go into hiding.

Numerous terrorists said their inspiration came from al-Awlaki, and many incidents of terrorism were traced to al-Awlaki whose charisma and ability to use the internet to influence followers around the world was unequaled. This terrorist was killed in a U.S. drone attack in late Sept., 2011.

ISRAR AHMED

The second “celebrity guest speaker” mentioned by the ISB commenter was Israr Ahmed. Who was Ahmed? A Pakistani with ties to two of the major Pakistani Islamic jihadist groups, Tanzeem-e-Islami and Jamaat-e-Islami.

Israr Ahmed believed in the use of revolution to bring about the caliphate, and withdrew from Jamaat-e-Islami when it chose to engage in “electoral activities,” which was fundamentally contrary to his own revolutionary views.

Tanzeem-e-Islami seeks to establish a global caliphate, is anti-modernity and wants Sharia to control all spheres of life.

According to a report in Asia Times, Ahmed spoke in 1995 at an Islamic Society of North America convention in Columbus, Ohio. At that convention, Ahmed said:

The process of the revival of Islam in different parts of the world is real. A final showdown between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world, which has been captured by the Jews, would soon take place. The Gulf War was just a rehearsal for the coming conflict.

Just because two leaders of several different radical Islamist jihadist groups spoke at the ISB does not mean that the mosque promotes the ideologies of those two men.

But it is worth finding out how carefully this mosque was vetted.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Obama Seeks to Reassure Frightened US With Recycled Pablum

Monday, December 7th, 2015

In a rare speech to the nation from the Oval Office, on Sunday evening, Dec. 6, U.S. President Barack Obama sought to use the solemn setting to calm a frightened nation, one that no longer trusts his ability to respond to the barbaric terrorism of a now unified-in-hatred-and-modi-operandi global radical Islam.

It is hard to imagine a single person who was nervous about the security of this country before Obama’s Sunday night speech who felt reassured by the President’s pablum.

There was virtually nothing in the President’s speech Sunday night that wasn’t already trotted out during his recent three other speeches during which the President sought to convince the American people that his is the right approach to dealing with terrorism.

On Nov. 16, just three days after the Paris massacre, the President spoke about the threat of global terrorism from the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey. In that speech, the President was adamant that his was the right strategy. He refused to consider the possibility that he may have misjudged ISIS and may have pursued the wrong strategy thus far with the growing barbaric and now global threat to civilization, ISIS.

In Antalya, Obama referred to the Paris massacre as a “setback,” and described ISIS as a “handful of people” with “not wildly sophisticated weapons.”

On Nov. 24, President Obama and French President François Hollande held a joint press conference at the White House. That day Hollande uttered a litany of limited steps the coalition forces intended to employ in order to “destroy Isis.”

These measures, Hollande said, and Obama concurred, would not include sending in ground troops. Instead, the renewed commitment to fighting ISIS would consist of  “intensifying strikes, with more specific targets.” They will “focus on cutting off Daesh resources, taking out their command and training centers, reducing the flow of foreign fighters, targeting the hearts of the cities where Daesh is,” and helping to ensure the local forces on the ground are able to complete the tasks of destroying ISIS.

That litany was closely tracked in President Obama’s speech on Sunday night, when he described what his plans include for fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

And Obama spoke to the nation again, on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving, in what appeared to be a hastily-arranged statement to allay the fears of holiday travelers in the face of recent terrorist threats and attacks. Obama entered the briefing room through a side door, accompanied by his national security advisers: FBI Director James B. Comey, Director of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.

Obama spoke to the American people following a briefing in the situation room from those advisers. His major point was that “there is currently no specific intelligence indicating there is any plot on the homeland, going into this holiday season.”

Well, here we are, still in the throes of that holiday shopping season. Despite the assurances, the homeland has indeed endured a major terrorist attack, one perpetrated by at least two Americans, one of whom pledged her loyalty to ISIS, and both of whom used bombs apparently built according to instructions found in the online Al Qaeda magazine, Inspire.

The female half of the San Bernardino terrorist couple who slaughtered 14 people and wounded nearly another two dozen came into the United States on a special “fiancé” K-1 visa, and had reportedly supplied a false address on her papers — a home address that was apparently never checked when her eligibility for that visa was being assessed. That doesn’t do much to reassure the American people that the Homeland Security and national security networks are doing their job well enough to rely on their assurances that there are no indications that “there is any plot on the homeland, going into this holiday season.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Non-Essential Staff Told to Leave US Embassy in Mali

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

The U.S. State Department has authorized the voluntary departure from Mali of all “eligible family members and non-emergency” personnel at the Embassy in Bamako. U.S. citizens have also been warned not to travel to Mali, the eighth-largest country in Africa.

The advisory comes following an Al Qaeda attack on a hotel in the capital Nov. 20 that killed 20 people, including an Israeli educator and one American.

Shmuel Benalal, 58, of Tzur Hadassah, was CEO of “Telos,” a consulting firm specializing in educational and social international development. He was staying in Mali as part of his work when he was killed. Another Israeli who was in the hotel at the time of the attack was rescued, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

Some 170 guests from the U.S., Israel, France, Turkey, and China, along with the staff, were held by 12 gunmen at the Radisson Blu hotel during the attack.

Approximately 40 French special operations police officers, along with U.S. special forces and United Nations “quick reaction” forces joined together to fight the 12 terrorists who had shot their way into the hotel.

The security situation in Mali “remains fluid,” the State Department said in its statement, and the potential for more attacks throughout the African nation remains.

The U.S. Embassy in Mali said it will provide only emergency consular services to U.S. citizens for the forseeable future.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/non-essential-staff-told-to-leave-us-embassy-in-mali/2015/12/02/

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