Archive for the ‘Osama bin Laden’ Category

China calls Tibet youth group `worse than bin Laden’

November 26, 2008

A rundown two-story building in this Himalayan hill station might hardly seem to be the command center of a subversive group jangling the nerves of neighboring China. Monkeys clamber over the rooftop, and any stranger may walk through its front door.

Yet China calls the Tibetan Youth Congress “a terror group worse than (Osama) bin Laden’s” and accuses it of stockpiling guns, bombs and grenades in Tibet for use by separatist fighters.

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

China alleges that the 30,000-member group has allied itself with al Qaida and with a homegrown Muslim separatist organization in China, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

The president of the congress, Tsewang Rigzin, a former banker who lived in Minneapolis, scoffs at China’s charges, saying his group seeks independence for Tibet but adheres to non-violent principles put forth by the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader whose headquarters are here.

“These are all baseless and fallacious allegations that the Chinese are making,” Rigzin said over a meal of curry at a local restaurant, suggesting that the charges were scare tactics aimed at the Chinese citizenry.

If nothing else, the wildly different views of the Tibetan Youth Congress underscore the chasm between Beijing and Dharamsala over Tibet.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20081
126/wl_mcclatchy/3110248_1

Advertisements

Friday News Before Elections Has Often Influenced Vote

October 31, 2008

Four years ago, Osama bin Laden released a tape the Friday before Election Day.
.
Sen. John Kerry is convinced it stalled his last-minute surge.

Four years before that, the big story on the Friday before the election was that George. W. Bush had been arrested for DUI in Maine as a young man. His supporters are convinced that cost him the popular vote.

Back in 1992, special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh indicted Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger for his involvement in Iran-contra the Friday before the election.
.
President George H.W. Bush and his team thought it cost them the election.

In each of these cases, the impact of the these last-minute surprises was more debatable than that.
But there’s no question they made some difference.

Can it happen again?

Unlikely, because of early voting. What we’re learning this week is that more than 10 percent of voters have already voted. A third will probably have voted by Election Day.

That, combined with the small number of voters who still appear undecided, and the saturation of the airwaves with campaign messages in the final weekend, mean that even a freakier Friday this time around probably won’t matter much.

–George Stephanopoulos

Qaeda wants Republicans, Bush “humiliated”: al Qaeda Video Asserts

October 31, 2008

DUBAI (Reuters) – An al Qaeda leader has called for President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be “humiliated,” without endorsing a party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to an Internet video posting.

“O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him,” Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.

Libi, a top al Qaeda commander believed to be living in Afghanistan or Pakistan, called for God’s wrath to be brought against Bush equating him with past tyrants in history.

The remarks were the first from a leading al Qaeda figure referring, albeit indirectly, to the U.S. elections. Muslim clerics often end sermons by calling on God to guide and support Muslims and help defeat their enemies.

Terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group said in a report on Wednesday that militants on al Qaeda-linked websites have for months been debating the significance of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama or Republican John McCain.

Some posters have also argued over the merits of trying to attack the United States before the election or waiting until later, the report said.

But SITE said it did not expect al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden or deputy Ayman al-Zawahri to openly favor a candidate.

“To support a particular candidate would debase al-Qaeda’s long-standing argument that the United States government is a corrupt institution no matter who is at the helm,” SITE director Rita Katz said in the group’s November newsletter.

In 2004 bin Laden issued his first video in more than a year just days before the U.S. elections. It derided Bush and warned of possible new September 11-style attacks.

Bin Laden made little mention of Bush’s Democratic challenger, John Kerry, telling Americans: “Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands and each state which does not harm our security will remain safe.”

Kerry has attributed his loss in part to the video’s high-profile reminder of the terrorism issue.

In 2006, after Democrats captured Congress, Zawahri issued an audio message saying all Americans remained al Qaeda’s enemies regardless of party, SITE said.

SITE said militant postings on al Qaeda-linked websites typically discuss Obama in terms of his race, or his religion and foreign policy. Some forecast a racial crisis dividing the United States if he wins. Others say his planned phased withdrawal from Iraq would be a boon to al Qaeda’s affiliate and give it a base for Middle East expansion.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain has been portrayed as likely to allow “the continuation of Republican control and aggressive policies toward the Islamic world.”

(Additional reporting by Randall Mikkelsen in Washington; editing by Chris Wilson)

Al-Qaida No. 2 al-Zawahri says US options in Iraq all bad

April 18, 2008

By PAKINAM AMER and KATARINA KRATOVAC, Associated Press Writers

CAIRO, Egypt – Al-Qaida‘s No. 2 said in an audiotape released Friday that the United States will lose whether it stays in Iraq or withdraws, and he sneered that President Bush just wants to pass the problem on to his successor.
.
The message from Ayman al-Zawahri released early Friday on a militant Web site appeared to be one of the most quickly prepared tapes produced by al-Qaida — referring to Congressional testimony only last week by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, in which he recommended a halt to further U.S. troop withdrawals until after July.

Al-Qaida's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, is seen in this ...
Al-Qaida’s deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, is seen in this image made from videotape posted on Internet in 2005.(AP Photo/AP Television News/ho)

Bush said last week he would give Petraeus all the time needed to reassess U.S. troop strength in Iraq after the current drawdown of U.S. troops ends in July.

“The truth is that if Bush keeps all his forces in Iraq until doomsday and until they enter hell, they will only see crisis and defeat by the will of God,” said al-Zawahri, the deputy of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080418/ap_on_re_mi_ea/al_qaida_al_
zawahri;_ylt=Akm
ByqcuFyG3u0U9eCwQ88qs0NUE

Al-Qaida’s No. 2 defends deadly attacks

April 3, 2008

By  PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press Writer 

CAIRO, Egypt – Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri, rejecting criticism of attacks by the terror network’s followers that have killed thousands, maintained that it does not kill innocent people.

Al-Qaida's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, is seen in this ...
Al-Qaida’s deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, is seen in this image made from videotape posted on Internet on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2005. Al-Zawahri, rejecting criticism of attacks by the terror network’s followers that have killed thousands, maintained Wednesday that it does not kill innocent people.(AP Photo/AP Television News/ho, FILE)

His comment came during a 90-minute audio response Wedneday that was billed as the first installment of answers to the more than 900 questions submitted on extremist Internet sites by al-Qaida supporters, critics and journalists in December.

“We haven’t killed the innocents, not in Baghdad, nor in Morocco, nor in Algeria, nor anywhere else,” al-Zawahri said, according to a 46-page English transcript that accompanied the audio message posted on Web sites linked to al-Qaida.

The answer was in response to the question: “Excuse me, Mr. Zawahri, but who is it who is killing with Your Excellency’s blessing the innocents in Baghdad, Morocco and Algeria?”

Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington in 2001, while its affiliates in Iraq, Afghanistan and Algeria regularly set off bombs in crowded urban areas that have taken thousands of lives.

“If there is any innocent who was killed in the mujahedeen’s operations, then it was either an unintentional error or out of necessity,” al-Zawahri said.

He went on to accuse al-Qaida’s opponents of being the ones who kill innocent people. He also charged that “the enemy intentionally takes up positions in the midst of the Muslims for them to be human shields for him.”

A banner bearing the logo of al-Qaida’s media arm, al-Sahab, appeared earlier in the day on Web sites linked to the network to announce that al-Zawahri’s first round of answers.

Al-Zawahri, the chief deputy to Osama bin Laden, said in the audio that he had chosen approximately 100 questions to answer.

Al-Sahab announced in December that al-Zawahri would take questions from the public posted on Islamic militant Web sites and would respond “as soon as possible.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080403/ap_on_re_mi_
ea/ask_al_qaida;_ylt=ApGvGW
PcBuc3LQvCzNYoHB2s0NUE

Muhammad Reports from Pakistan April 3, 2008

April 2, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

I hope you and your team will be alright. Situation in Pakistan as usual is still fluid. It seems that some officials have handed over tribal areas to Osama bin Laden and other terrorists.

I want to bring in your kind notice that terrorists have started recruitments in Bajaur Agency where according to my information Osama bin Laden with his other colleagues have been hiding.

An important meeting of the top brass was held in Islamabad where they discussed operation in tribal areas. Some of the officials have been opposing operation in the areas as they feared after the operation they will be exposed to the world.

According to a report, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kyani held meeting with President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday after briefing the ruling alliance and federal cabinet on national security.

Earlier, the COAS along with Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Maj. Gen. Shujaa and DG Military Intelligence (MI) Maj. Gen. Nadeem Ejaz briefed the ruling alliance leaders and the cabinet on national security at Prime Minister House.Gen. Kyani also informed Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani about the ongoing operation in tribal areas. Co-chairman Pakistan People’s Party Asif Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader Mian Nawaz Sharif, Asfandyar Wali of Awami National Party (ANP) and JUI’s Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Advisor of Interior Rahman Malik, PML-N Chief Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan envoy in Washington Mehmood Ali Durrani and the minister for Frontir Regions Najmuddin Khan were also present in the meeting.

Dear Sir, nowadays I am very disturbed as terrorists have been threatening me. I have also been facing some financial problems.

Please pray for me and my family and keep in mind you and your bride are in our thoughts and prayers.

A lot of thanks, as always,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

High-level al-Qaida figure is captured

March 14, 2008
By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Authorities have captured a high-level al-Qaida figure who helped Osama bin Laden escape from Afghanistan in 2001, the Pentagon announced Friday.
Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to say when or where Mohammad Rahim was captured — or by whom — announcing only that he was handed over by the CIA to the Pentagon earlier this week and is being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But in a memo obtained by The Associated Press, CIA Director Michael Hayden told agency employees that Rahim was detained last summer, and he suggested Rahim was not captured by American authorities.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080314/ap_on_go_ca_st_
pe/pentagon_al_qaida;_ylt=AjrtDglUWQ5vQsRWMOiZQ4.s0NUE

 

Muhammad Reports from Pakistan, March 13, 2008

March 12, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

I am sorry for delay in establishing contact with you during last few days. Actually I was in Bajaur Agency, my home town, where terrorists and security forces have pounded each other positions.

The security forces used heavy weapons against terrorists. Mortor shells hit several houses in parts of the agency killing dozens of people. The whole areas remained closed. No one was allowed to enter the areas.

I also remained trapped in the cross firing. The bang bangs of canons have created great fear among the people. During the firing I run for a mile for saving myself.

Small children were also ranning with me. They were screaming.

The exact death toll is not availabale, but people say that dozens of people were killed. I think now the security forces have been showing seriousness, but there are still some officials, who have been supporting these terrorists. I want to bring in you kind notice that now the terrorists have been losing support of the tribesmen.

Situation in other parts of Pakistan is also critical. According to a report, suicide bombers have struck Lahore for the third time since January this year. The eight-story building of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been blown up, with many fatal casualties.

Pakistani lawyers offer funeral prayers in absentia for the ... 
Pakistani lawyers offer funeral prayers in absentia for the victims of suicide bomb blasts in Lahore, a day after the attacks. Mourners offered funeral prayers Wednesday for 27 people killed in two suicide blasts in Pakistan, as violence in the northwest of the country left another dozen people dead, officials said.(AFP/Arif Ali)
.
Another strike in Model Town by suicide-bombers riding a vehicle has killed four. One can say that the FIA bombing is a part of the series of attacks aimed at the security agencies of the country. The earlier two attacks were on policemen near the General Post Office and the Naval War College located in the city’s heart.

The second attack in Model Town is not clear in its intent. The place blown up by the bombers was near the house of an army officer and not too far from the houses owned by the PPP leader Mr Asif Ali Zardari. The message concealed in the second attack could be political, a link in the chain of events leading us to the assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto in December last year.

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of opposition Pakistan People's ...
Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of opposition Pakistan People’s Party addresses a news conference in Karachi March 3, 2008.REUTERS/Athar


A stupid interview given by Osama bin Laden’s son Umar in Egypt has the boy saying that his father was a “good friend” of Mr Nawaz Sharif, thus unwittingly queering the political pitch in Pakistan.

The war is between Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies on the one hand and the state of Pakistan on the other. Under the new army chief Pakistan has been able to counteract the inroads made in many parts of Pakistan by the soldiers of the terrorist organisation. But unfortunately the army is increasingly worried about the lack of sufficient support from the public at large so that it can face up to the terrorists.

An injured Pakistani man and others run after the bomb explosion ...
An injured Pakistani man and others run after the bomb explosion in front of a badly damaged building of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Lahore. Mourners offered funeral prayers Wednesday for 27 people killed in two suicide blasts in Pakistan, which have piled pressure on the incoming government to tackle Islamic militancy.(AFP/Aameed Qureshi)
.
Political activism in Pakistan is focused on the restoration of the judiciary and the ouster of President Pervez Musharraf. What the politicians and the media are ignoring at great risk is the country’s response to the takeover of its territories and the virtual free run of the country that the suicide bombers have today.

To give just one example: a case unfolding in a court in Rawalpindi, where the boys who had formed the suicide squad to kill Ms Bhutto are under trial, has been totally ignored despite confessions on the part of the bombers.

Public reaction to the destruction of the FIA building yesterday came in the shape of a protest march by citizens — most of them flag-bearing members of the PPP — who raised slogans against the government of President Musharraf without uttering a word against the terrorists.

The misplaced assumption is that it is the state only which has the responsibility to protect the citizens and must be blamed for falling down on its job.

This draws our attention to the task of the democratically elected politicians to evolve a strategy against terrorism. So far their very rudimentary thoughts on the problem are encapsulated in three words: “talk to them.”

This of course is not enough. The people will expect the coalition government to take substantial steps to prevent the suicide-bombers from attacking at will.

Dear Sir, the people of tribal areas recognise your role in war against terrorism. Now the liberation of tribal areas from terrorists is imminent. We will never forget your kindness and love. Again thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

Ethnic dispute tears al Qaeda, Hayden says

March 12, 2008

By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
March 12, 2008

Internal divisions between Saudi and Egyptian leaders of al Qaeda are producing “fissures” within the terrorist group and a possible battle over who will succeed Osama bin Laden, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said yesterday.

General Michael Hayden
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Mr. Hayden, an Air Force general, also said that al Qaeda regrouped in the past two years inside tribal areas of Pakistan and linked up with Pashtun regional extremists in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.
Bin Laden is now an “iconic” figure hiding in the remote border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Mr. Hayden said in a wide-ranging interview with editors and reporters of The Washington Times.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080312/NATION/169481933/1001

Hearts and Minds on the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border

February 18, 2008

By Ashley Bommer
The Washington Post 
Monday, February 18, 2008; Page A17

The United States has counterterrorism operations in places all over the world — but not in Pakistan, the center of world terrorism. Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made an offer: “We remain ready, willing and able to assist the Pakistanis and to partner with them, to provide additional training, to conduct joint operations, should they desire to do so.” Within hours, fearing a backlash on Pakistani soil, President Pervez Musharraf rejected the American offer.

But there is another counterterrorism strategy option for Pakistan: Empower millions of oppressed people who live there to be native allies against the insurgents, through the establishment of a Global Tribal Fund.

We cannot win the war on terrorism when we are losing the border to insurgents. The heart of the Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgency is in Balochistan, the Northwest Frontier Province and the tribal belt along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, known as the Durand Line. Top al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists — Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, Muhammad Omar, Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar — are believed to be operating from there….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/17/AR20080
21701735.html