Showing posts from March 8, 2015

Exclusive! 'ISI kept Osama as asset, knows where Mullah Omar is'

Vicky Nanjappa/   'Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence ran a special desk that was concerned solely with handling Osama as an intelligence asset.' 'Some dream that the Taliban's flag will fly again over Kabul.' 'Musharraf was aware of the plans to assassinate Benazir and did nothing' New York Times  reporter Carlotta Gall, author of the stunning new book  The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan , speaks to 's Vicky Nanjappa in an exclusive interview. C arlotta Gall  was punched in the face by Pakistani intelligence agents who broke into her hotel room and confiscated her phone and computer in 2006. She was probably digging up too much dirt about Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence hobnobbing with Osama bin Laden, who was shot dead May 2 three years ago during a raid by US Navy SEALs in Abbottabad in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. Having covering Afghanistan and Pakistan for  The New York Times  f

CIA director wants Islamic State to be branded 'psychopathic', not 'Islamic'

Reuters CIA Director  John Brennan  has warned against linking the words 'Islam' or 'Muslim' with the Islamic State (IS) group, calling them "psychopathic", as it would afford them the legitimacy they seek. Brennan said while speaking at the Center for Foreign Relation, that it is not justified to the followers of religion when religious monikers are attached to them, the Express Tribune reported. Even Obama has not identified the extremist organization with Islam and said that those who do are lying which has enabled the group to recruit more Muslims. In order to curb IS' online activities through which they reach their global audience, the CIA director announced to set up "Directorate of Digital Innovation" to conduct cyber operations against IS. Though it would take years to defeat IS which roughly has around 20,000 foreign fighters, it is also important to expose how murderous they are, said the director.  Source

US warns IS may soon launch cyber attacks on American companies, government

Image for representational purposes only.  The head of the US Senate Intelligence Committee has said that the Islamic State (IS) may soon launch cyber-attacks on US infrastructure, companies and government. According to  Fox News , Senator Richard Burr, R-N C said that it would be naïve to assume that IS is not capable of launching such attacks. Pointing at how the IS has used the internet to recruit militants, he said that everything revolves around this group via the technology. The chairman's assessment comes after the West African terrorist group Boko Haram pledged allegiance to IS. Source

A rare look inside Osama bin Laden's Afghan hideout

Rare photographs of Osama bin Laden's life in Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks have emerged during a terrorism trial in Manhattan. The photos offer a glimpse into the cavernous tunnels and camps he was building in the mountainous area of Afghanistan known as Tora Bora. They were taken by Palestinian journalist Abdel Barri Atwan, who was invited to the hideout in 1996 as part of Bin Laden's ploy to spread his message of hate to the world. All the images were released by the United States Attorney's Office during the trial of Khaled al-Fawwaz, a communications conduit for terrorists in the mid-1990s. The militant would sit in front of books when recording his terror messages to make it seem like he was intellectual. A rare image of bin Laden in his home setting were released as part of the trial of Al Qaeda lieutenant Khaled al-Fawwaz, a communications conduit for Al Qaeda in London in the mid-1990s. Another picture of Osama at his Tora Bora residence

7,000 detonators, 3,000 explosives seized from Maoist hideouts

Representational image.  Police on Saturday seized 7,000 detonators, 3,000  explosives  and 2,000 kg  ammonium nitrate  during raids conducted at  Maoist  hideouts in Rohtas district. Superintendent of Police Shivdeep Lande said that police had got a tip-off about the presence of around 60-65 Maoists in the forest area of Chunnhatta village under Nauhatta police station limits. When police asked them to surrender after encircling them, the extremists opened fire, the SP said. Police returned fire, forcing the Maoists to retreat deep in the forest, Lande said, adding, one Maoist operative was nabbed during the operation. On the basis of information provided by the arrested Maoist, police seized 7,000 detonators, 3,000 explosives, 2,000 kg ammonium nitrate, two tractors and some Maoist literatures from their hideouts in Chunnhatta village, the SP said. Source

Five Maoists killed in encounter, claim Jharkand Police

At least one suspected Maoist was killed in an encounter with the security forces in Jharkhand’s Gumla district on Friday. The police, however, claimed they have killed four-five rebels. “I was leading the team comprising district police, CoBRA and Jharkhand Jaguar. The encounter, which took place near Sargaon village, began at 7.30 am and lasted two hours. One body has been recovered. I think four-five Naxals must have died, but they ran away with the bodies,” said Gumla SDPO Mohd Arshi. Maoist sources said the man who was killed was part of a People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army team, reportedly en route to provide assistance to a larger group fighting a pitched battle against the security forces since February 20. Friday’s operation was part of an encounter that began on February 20 at Chainpur in Gumla, along the border with Chhattisgarh. Jharkhand’s most-wanted Maoist Deo Kumar Singh is reportedly injured. Police said they do not have any information on Singh alias Arvindji, CPI(Mao

'Maoist activities in Assam's Barak Valley'

Maoist activities are being carried out in south Assam's Barak Valley, as claimed by four Maoists who were arrested in south Assam's Cachar district.   Maoists activities include running of training camps and convincing the local people to join them, Cachar Additional Superintendent of Police Shankar Brata Rai Medhi said today.  Three Maoists were picked up yesterday and one of them Suman Orang, 20, was arrested while the two others were interrogated, he said.  Suman was arrested on the lead provided by three other Maoists - Naren Orang, Arjun Orang and Borsing Teron - nabbed earlier on February 28 last, the ASP said.  Upon the ending of their custody, the three along with Suman have been forwarded to four days police custody by a local court today.  The four told police that there was a Maoist training camp for indoctrination in the deep jungle area of Borail in the Valley.  The border area of Cachar, near Sonachhera-Rupachhera of Barail foothills was the main base of the Maoi

Spain hosts first march of far-right movement PEGIDA

The far-right movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, also known as PEGIDA, held its first march in Catalonia, Spain, on Wednesday. The protest was organized by the Spanish branch of the German far-right movement established in 2014. PEGIDA Spain selected Catalonia, the region which is home to about 450,000 of the 1.8 million Muslims living in Spain, to host its march.  Many security forces were deployed in the L'Hospitalet region in Catalonia, where the protest was held with the permit of the Catalonia autonomous region's interior ministry. About 100 PEGIDA supporters marched for one hour on the 11th anniversary of March 11, 2004 terror attacks that targeted four trains in Spain and left 192 dead. The Mayor of L'Hospitalet region Nuria Marin said in a Facebook post that she was against the PEGIDA march, saying L'Hospitalet is a welcoming and pluralistic region. Anti-racism organizations called SOS Racismo and UCFIR staged an anti-racism and a

'Sinister' far-right website RedWatch calls for information on anti-Pegida marchers

Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah is among those pictured on "neo-Nazi" site, which has been reported to Northumbria Police Police are monitoring a “disturbing” “neo-Nazi” website called RedWatch after images of anti-Pegida protestors were posted alongside a request for information. Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah  is among the people pictured after she spoke at a rally against an anti-Islam demonstration in the city. The site - run by a far-right group not directly connected to Pegida - brands protestors “degenerates”, claims they were involved in violence and calls on people to provide personal data. It is believed RedWatch has links to the paramilitary group ‘Combat 18’ and many featured on the site fear their names and addresses could be shared with dangerous individuals. Chi confirmed she was reporting the matter to police, adding: “The reference to illegal activities appears defamatory as well as an incitement and to call me degenerate and say I was making death threats – which is abso

Obama Meets Parents of IS Hostage Who Died

FILE - Kayla Mueller is shown in his undated handout photo obtained courtesy of the Mueller family and the office of U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona. President Barack Obama met Friday with the parents of Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker who was taken hostage and died in the custody of Islamic State militants. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama expressed his condolences for Mueller's death while on a visit to her home state of Arizona. "He appreciated the chance to hear from the Muellers more about Kayla's compassion and dedication to assisting those in need around the world," Schultz said. Islamic State militants claimed Mueller was killed during a Jordanian airstrike in February. U.S. officials have questioned the circumstances of her death. The 26-year-old woman had been held by the Islamists for 18 months. Since 2014, the Islamic State group has beheaded a number of individuals from countries around the world, including three Americans: journali

Nigeria: Boko Haram Cleared From Adamawa State

FILE - Nigeria says it has driven Boko Haram insurgents out of Adamawa state. Here, a suspected insurgent waits at a Chadian soldiers' field base in Gambaru, Nigeria, February 26, 2015. The Nigerian military says troops have freed the last area held by Boko Haram militants in northeastern Adamawa state. The military says on its Twitter feed that troops on Thursday cleared insurgents out of Madagali, an area near the Nigerian-Cameroon border. There was no independent verification of the report. In an interview Wednesday with VOA, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan predicted Boko Haram would lose its last territories in Adamawa and Yobe states by the middle of next week. A multinational offensive has pushed the Islamic extremist group out of the numerous towns it had occupied in northeastern Nigeria. Forces from Chad, Niger and Cameroon have taken prominent roles in the fighting. This week, Jonathan and other government sources acknowledged that non-African military personnel also

CIA Chief Says Airstrikes Have 'Softened' IS Forces

 March 13, 2015 5:24 PM VOA News Video footage by VOA Kurdish reporter Dilshad Anwar. The head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency said Friday that the Islamic State militants are well-armed and well-financed, but not invincible. John Brennan told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that the militants are disciplined and battled-hardened and will not be stopped overnight. But he said the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes have "softened" many of the IS forces and there are serious signs that its "engine is suffering." "The great image of ISIL [Islamic State] in terms of its being able to prevail and be successful inside of Iraq and Syria is being pierced, because we see that they are having setbacks," Brennan said. "We see there is some dissension the ranks. We see that a lot of the requirements that are attendant to having control of territory and having the responsibility to run it administratively is not really the strong suit of some of th

How Obama fulfilled Osama's dreams

A year after Osama bin Laden's death, Al Qaeda is determined to stay alive, feels Hamid Mir, the last journalist to interview bin Laden. Osama bin Laden always wanted to become a martyr like his old friend, Shafiq-al Madni. I first heard about Shafiq from Osama in 1997. I was the first Pakistani journalist to meet Osama in March 1997 and I was the last journalist to interview him, seven weeks after 9/11. I started writing his biography in 1998 and asked him about the people who had impressed him a lot and created a big impact on his life. Osama said he was lucky to have brave friends like Shafiq-al Madni who loved martyrdom. Shafiq, who hailed from Madina, was a very good soccer player, but joined the jihad against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan along with Osama. He remained on the frontline during the battle for Jalalabad in 1989. Shafiq wanted a unique and different kind of martyrdom. Once he told Osama: 'Oh my Sheikh Osama, please pray that when I become a ma


Saturday, March 14, 2015   - Islamabad—Afghan Taliban talks with the government in Kabul are likely to take place though certain issues are yet to be finalized.   Taliban are considering launching talks with Kabul but debate is going on the issue of presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan, they are realizing that Afghanistan needs peace, sources privy to their fresh meeting informed.  Spokesman of Afghan Taliban Zabihullah Mujahid in a message said that no doubt that Afghans want peace, but this is possible after the foreign forces stop aggression and allow sovereignty to Afghans.  The good omen in the history of Afghanistan after Taliban were ousted from Kabul in wake of 9/11 is that their political and military councils are not rejecting the prospect of talks with the Afghan government.  The negotiation committee members from the Afghan government are also in process of consultation for the talks, the sources said.  The Afghan Taliban also three times rebuffed the reports of their

China held rounds of talks with Taleban, says Afghanistan leader

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - China has held rounds of talks with the Taleban and asked the Islamist militants to hold direct talks with the Afghan government, the head of Afghanistan's power sharing government said on Friday. The Chinese have held "one, two or three" rounds of talks with the Taleban in the past few months, Abdullah Abdullah said at a conference organised by an Indian media group. "They asked the Taleban to have talks directly with the Afghan government, that's a good message," Abdullah said, adding that he did not know what the outcome would be of China's efforts. China's foreign minister last month said during a visit to Islamabad that Beijing was willing to help mediate talks to end the Afghan war, but Chinese officials have not provided many details. China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said this week that reports its diplomats in Islamabad met last month with Taleban representatives "do not accord with reality". Abd

Iraqi, allied forces try to win back Tikrit

TIKRIT, Iraq (CNN) -   While Iraqi government and allied forces were on the defensive Friday in Ramadi, they remained on the offensive in Tirkit -- trying to win over not only the strategic city, but the hearts and minds of its nearby residents. Iraqi forces steadily bombarded the last part of Tikrit still controlled by ISIS, with fighting described by one wounded man as intense. Still, even as it fends off this assault, the militant group continues with its barbaric tactics. "Yesterday, bodies floated down the (Tigris) River from the hospital," said Saber Kraidi, an eight-year Iraqi military veteran. "They were people from Tikrit executed by ISIS." The Iraqi military is joined by some Sunni fighters and a predominantly Shiite militia, working together to retake the city best known to most Westerners as the hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein. They are working on not just winning the battle, but securing the peace. Members of the Badr organization, a powerful

Satirists, Led by Muslims, Find Much to Mock in ISIS

London:   Viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube, the blooper reel shows a knife-wielding executioner fumbling through his prepared text, in one instance mispronouncing "circumstances" as "circumcision." After multiple takes, including a tentative escape by the captive, clad, of course, in an orange jumpsuit, the militants finally kill their victim and congratulate themselves, only to realize they have not recorded anything. So they decide to do the video again, this time beheading their sound man. The parody is one in an expanding universe of sometimes funny, sometimes tasteless and almost always provocative sendups of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, that have proliferated across the Internet in recent months. At the risk of offending sensibilities by searching for humor in the horrific, many also aim to cut the extremists down to size. If the Islamic State has uniquely promoted itself as a terrorist group of the digital age, propagandizing, it

China Summons Myanmar Ambassador After Bomb Kills 4 Chinese

Shanghai:   China has summoned the Myanmar ambassador for a meeting in Beijing after a bomb from a Myanmar aircraft fell in Chinese territory and killed four Chinese people, China's foreign ministry said today. Myanmar government forces have been battling rebels in northeastern Myanmar, on the border with China, since last month and China has urged Myanmar to "lower the temperature". The bomb from the Myanmar aircraft fell on Friday in a sugarcane field near the city of Lincang, in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan. Nine people were wounded, state media reported. The incident came just days after a stray shell from Myanmar flattened a house in Chinese territory, prompting condemnation from Beijing. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin urged the Myanmar ambassador, Thit Linn Ohn, to investigate the aircraft bombing and to take steps to ensure the safety of the border area. Tens of thousands of people, many of them ethnic Chinese, have fled the fighting in My