Archive for the ‘Al-Jazeera’ Category

Pakistan: Militants Kidnapping, Killing Outsiders In Tribal Areas

November 15, 2008

A Canadian journalist abducted this week in Pakistan’s northern tribal region was working on a documentary film for the Al-Jazeera network, media reported Friday.

A handout picture obtained in 2006 shows the logo of Al-Jazeera ...

Beverly Giesbrecht, 52, also known as Khadija Abdul Qahaar, was seized at gunpoint on Tuesday while traveling in the Bannu district of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province, which borders Afghanistan.

AFP

The daily Globe and Mail, citing Pakistan’s high commission in Ottawa, said the former magazine publisher who runs a website offering Islamic news was on a freelance assignment for the Arab language network when she was taken.

Her visa application was supported by two letters from Al Jazeera, verifying she would be doing freelance work, said the newspaper.

“The letters say … she will be reporting on the new government and the wider political situation, including the war on terrorism” for a documentary, high commission spokesman Mammona Malik told the newspaper.

**************************

A gunman ambushed a Japanese reporter and an Afghan colleague Friday, wounding both men and their Pakistani driver in the latest attack on foreigners in Pakistan‘s volatile northwest region in three days.

Security appears to be crumbling in Peshawar, a city of 2 million where an Iranian diplomat was kidnapped Thursday and an American aid worker was killed Wednesday.

By RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press Writer

Motoki Yotsukura, Asahi Shimbun‘s bureau chief, was in a car with Sami Yousufzai, an Afghan who has worked for Western publications including Newsweek, when the assailant opened fire, police said.

Injured Japanese journalist Motoki Yotsukura arrives at a local ...

“Three armed men intercepted our car, and one of them aimed his pistol at me,” said the Afghan, Sami Yousufzai, from a hospital. “He opened fire when I put up resistance. I got a bullet in my hand.”

Yotsukura was wounded in the leg, police said. The injuries to Yousufzai and the driver also were not life threatening.

Asahi Shimbun reported that Yotsukura, 39, had left earlier Friday from Islamabad on a reporting trip to interview people close to the Taliban.

Officers were investigating whether the attack was an attempted assassination or an attempted kidnapping.

Peshawar and the nearby lawless tribal area have seen a rise in attacks on foreigners. A Chinese, an Afghan and a Pole are currently being held after being seized in the region, which is also home to criminal gangs who kidnap for ransom, drug runners and smugglers.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081114/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_108

A Centcom Chief Who Spoke His Mind

March 13, 2008

By David Ignatius
The Washington Post
Thursday, March 13, 2008; Page A17

The first thing that many of Adm. William Fallon’s colleagues note about him is that he’s a Navy officer. By that, they mean he has the stubborn self-confidence, some would say arrogance, that is part of command at sea.
.
He knows how to wear his dress whites and receive a snappy salute — and he likes telling people off when he thinks they’re wrong.

Those headstrong qualities were part of why Fallon was chosen to run Central Command, arguably the most important senior post in the U.S. military today.
Adm. William Fallon in Mosul, Iraq, last fall.

Adm. William Fallon in Mosul, Iraq, last fall.
(By Brian Murphy — Associated Press)
.
And they explain why Fallon finally crashed and burned Tuesday, tendering his resignation after his blunt comments to an Esquire magazine writer had gotten him into one too many conflicts with the White House and the military brass.
.
Stories about Fallon’s resignation focused mostly on his rejection of administration saber-rattling on Iran. “I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for,” he told al-Jazeera last fall when war fever was high. But there’s less of a gap between Fallon and the administration on Iran than those comments suggested.
.
Top administration officials have made clear for months that they know there isn’t a good U.S. military option against Iran.Fallon’s problems were less dramatic — but they go to the heart of what America should want from its senior military leaders.
.
After what many viewed as the overly deferential style of the two previous chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the White House decided to go for something different in a senior commander — a guy with a mouth that could peel the paint off the walls.

I have traveled with Fallon several times since he became Centcom commander and have talked at length with him, so perhaps I can offer a glimpse into the flap over his premature retirement.
.
Fallon’s early friction was with Gen. David Petraeus, whom President Bush had trusted with the implementation of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq. Their turf war was ironic because Petraeus had supported Fallon for the job. But the new Centcom chief bristled at his nominal subordinate’s close relationship with the White House, and it made for an awkward chain of command.

The tension was evident in May when I traveled to Baghdad with Fallon. He brought me into all his meetings with Iraqi officials, despite objections from some Green Zone politicos. Those fractious discussions reinforced Fallon’s worry that the vaunted troop surge, while clearly improving Iraqi security, wasn’t creating the space for national political reconciliation.

In a May 15 piece from Baghdad, I quoted an upbeat Petraeus: “How long does reconciliation take? That’s the long pole in the tent.” I asked Fallon if he had an assessment of his own, and he said, specifically rebutting Petraeus: “We’re chipping away at the problem. But we don’t have the time to chip away. Reconciliation isn’t likely in the time we have available, but some form of accommodation is a must.”

By last fall, it was clear….

Read the rest:
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/12/AR2008031203395.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Pakistan: Talibanization and Nukes

February 2, 2008

By Arnaud de Borchgrave
The Washington Times
February 1, 2008

One wing of the Taliban movement wants to give its top priority to demoralizing and evicting the U.S. and its NATO allies from Afghanistan.

The other, led by Baitullah Mehsud, who is said to have ordered Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, wants to focus on the Talibanization of Pakistan. Mullah Mohammad Omar, the one-eyed Taliban leader whose movement was deposed and who has been in hiding since the U.S.-led invasion a month after September 11, 2001, resurfaced — long enough to fire Mehsud.

Mehsud, a Pakistani Talib warlord, let be known that while he remained loyal to Mullah Omar, he also remained “the Amir of Tehrik-Taliban Pakistan” and it wasn’t much longer before both sides denied his expulsion.

He certainly echoed Mullah Omar when he spoke with an Al Jazeera television reporter….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20080201/
COMMENTARY/941131447/1012/commentary

Al-Qaida angry at Jazeera on Laden tape

October 26, 2007

By MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press Writer

CAIRO, Egypt – Al-Qaida sympathizers have unleashed a torrent of anger against Al-Jazeera television, accusing it of misrepresenting Osama bin Laden‘s latest audiotape by airing excerpts in which he criticizes mistakes by insurgents in Iraq.

Users of a leading Islamic militant Web forum posted thousands of insults against the pan-Arab station for focusing on excerpts in which bin Laden criticizes insurgents, including his followers.
Photo

Analysts said the reaction highlighted militants’ surprise at bin Laden’s words, and their dismay at the deep divisions among al-Qaida and other Iraqi militants that he appeared to be trying to heal.

“It’s not about Al-Jazeera….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com
/s/ap/20071026/
ap_on_re_mi_ea/
bin_laden_
tape;_
ylt=A
v_0b
CCS
bG5wLCXAvtLmI2s0NUE