Iranian diplomats review Islamic Awakening in Arab states – Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdullahian, chaired the diplomats annual meeting and referred to impacts of Islamic Awakening on Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain as well as people’s uprisings in the region (on Iranian foreign policy). Abdullahian said that the Islamic Awakening raised the expectations of people from Iran as a harbinger of the Islamic movement over the past decades. Iran’s role in regional development cooperation, maintaining security and stability of the region and vindicating the legitimate rights of people is clear to all. He said that role of media in demonstrating recent developments is of prime importance, adding that Iran seeks to broaden cooperation with regional countries in a bid to persuade them to meet their people’s demands.
FM stresses Syrian efforts for release of Iranian abductees – Ali Akbar Salehi and his Syrian counterpart stressed the Syrian government’s efforts to obtain the release of the Iranian abductees. Salehi expressed his concern over the fate of the Iranian abductees in Syria.
Iranian Red Crescent Society (RC) plans to open a third polyclinic in Kenya as part of Tehran’s medical and social aid program for improving the health care system of the African nation – According to a statement issued by the RC, Iran’s third polyclinic in Kenya will be opened in Mombasa in the near future. Iran has already set up two polyclinics in the capital city of Nairobi. The clinic will have different sections, including maternity and delivery wards, a drugstore and laboratory. Iran is an observing member of the African Union and has shown an active presence in previous AU summit meetings.
Defense Minister: NATO’s plan to deploy a missile shield in Turkey demonstrates the US and European states’ military and political weakness – Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said, “The NATO missile shield is a show of power on the surface but, in fact, shows the enemy’s weak position and helplessness […] On the other hand, if Europeans see themselves in need of such a missile shield against Iran, why don’t they take any action in this regard, and it is just the U.S. that talks about this plan and advertises it.” Earlier IRGC Aerospace Commander, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, warned that Tehran will target the NATO missile shield in Turkey should it come under attack. “We have prepared ourselves, if any threat is staged against Iran, we will target NATO’s missile shield in Turkey and will then attack other targets.”
Banner headline in the ultra-conservative daily Kayhan: Maneuvers near the Strait of Hormuz Scare the West –
Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy: Western chopper shooed away from naval drill zone – Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi said, “A chopper which belonged to the trans-regional countries tried to approach the region of the Velayat 90 war games, but it left the area when it received a serious warning after it ignored two other warning signals of our units.” Admiral Moussavi declined to provide any further details about the alleged incident. Continue reading
Ahmadinejad visits Armenia – On Friday, December 23, President Ahmadinejad travelled to Armenia along with a top-level delegation and met with his Armenian counterpart. The two emphasized the right of each country to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and the importance of resolving Iran’s nuclear issues through diplomacy. They further discussed the need to expand trade between the two countries and increase cooperation in the economic, energy, communication, industry and investment spheres.
Conference of Iranian diplomats on “Islamic Awakening” – On December 25, the general conference of Iranian delegations overseas convened. This year’s conference focused on the Islamic Awakening (the Iranian term for Arab Spring). Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the official opening ceremony of the ten-day conference to convene in the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Tehran would be attended by the President.
Security committee to free Iranian in Syria established – Ambassador to Syria, Mohammad Ra’uf Sheybani, has said that a security committee has been set up to free the five Iranian hostages. He said that two objectives seem behind the kidnapping: to exert pressure on the Iranian government to change its stance towards the Syrian developments and to generate a negative impact on Iranian economic investments in Syria. Deputy Foreign Minister for Middle East and Africa Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said that according to the latest news the seven Iranian electrical engineers and technicians abducted in the western Syrian city of Homs are in good health. Amir-Abdollahian said, “What the abductors did was actually designed to help the enemies of the Syrian people.”
Iran asks China to stop filtering Iranian radio that broadcasts in China – Senior Iranian officials contacted Chinese government cultural officials and requested that they act to remove cease blocking the radio frequency of Voice of Iran broadcasts in China. The Iranians submitted a report detailing radio activity in order to persuade the Chinese government to allow the radio to operate.
Iran renews offer to IAEA to visit Iranian facilities – Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh said Iran’s permanent envoy to the IAEA said that Iran had renewed its invitation for an IAEA team to travel to Tehran to discuss issues related its nuclear program and that preliminary arrangements for the visit would be made in the first week of January. “Any time after that, after the composition of the team is finalized, they are welcome to come. Therefore I assume that perhaps in January this visit will be made.”
Written by: SATP
December 27, 2011
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), famously known as Pakistani Taliban, is the deadliest among all indigenous militant outfits. The inceptions leading to the formation of TTP went back to the days of NATO operations in Afghanistan after 9/11. After the American intervention in Afghanistan, a section of radicals started a movement inside Pakistan to support the Taliban. They remained just sympathiser till Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) incident happened in July 2007.
In December 2007 the existence of the TTP was officially announced under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud. 13 groups united under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud to form the TTP in an undisclosed place in South Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The sole objective of the Shura meeting was to unite the small militant fractions under the leadership of TTP against NATO forces in Afghanistan and to wage a defensive jihad against Pakistani forces.
- Enforce Shari’ah, unite against NATO forces in Afghanistan and perform “defensive jihad” against the Pakistan Army.
- React strongly if military operations are not stopped in Swat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and North Waziristan Agency of FATA.
- Demand the abolishment of all military checkpoints in the FATA area.
- Demand the release of Lal Masjid Imam Abdul Aziz. Continue reading
SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 25, December 26, 2011
Karachi: Annus Horribilis
On December 12, 2011, the Gadap Town Police in Karachi, the Provincial capital of Sindh, rescued 53 children chained in an underground dungeon at a seminary, the Jamia Masjid Zakaria Kandhelwi Madrassa Arabia, situated in the Afghan Basti in the Sohrab Goth area of Karachi. These children had been chained for 30 days. Unearthing tales of torture, the Police revealed that the chained captives received indoctrination from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) instructors, preparing them to join the outfit’s ‘jihad’ (holy war) on the Afghan front. One of the rescued students stated, “We are being made mujahedeen (holy warriors) here. We are being made Taliban here. They say you should get training… we will send you to fight.” An unnamed Police official told the Press, “The rescued students included kids as young as seven years old and 21 teenagers,” and further revealed that the chained students were beaten and barely fed.
This gory incident is only the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 1,935 seminaries in Sindh, of which 1,800 are in Karachi alone. Crucially, most of the seminaries in Karachi are run by religious political parties that preach sectarianism and extremist Islamism, destabilizing both internal order in the country and regional security.
Karachi, a city of migrants, is, today, a fragmented city. Karachi’s violent landscape has long been scarred by ethnic and sectarian conflicts, in addition to conflicts, and is plagued by extortion and politically motivated crimes as well. The Mohajirs (migrants from India, who came to Karachi during Partition) are supported by the militant Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), while Pashtuns constitute the political elite of the Awami National Party (ANP). A multiplicity of armed radical formations – prominently including, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Sunni Tehreek (ST), and TTP dominate life in Sindh’s capital city. Continue reading
Women hold pictures of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei outside the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, marking the day in 1979 when protesters stormed the embassy and took 52 Americans hostage for over a year.
December 25, 2011
The Arab Spring; nuclear activity; mysterious killings at home and alleged assassination attempts abroad; house arrests; fears of impending air strikes; the storming of an embassy — these are events that made 2011 the year of the threat in Iran.
And as made clear by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in November, Iran doesn’t take such threats lying down. “We reply to threats with threats, he said. “Anyone who thinks of carrying out any act of aggression against the Islamic Republic of Iran should prepare themselves for strong slaps and steel fists from the powerful nation of Iran.”
Some observers, such as Patrick Clawson, director of research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, would go so far as to say there is already a covert war under way between Iran and the West.
Dec 25, 2011 – 3:03 PM ET
A car burns at the scene of a bomb explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, just outside Nigeria’s capital Abuja, December 25, 2011. Five bombs exploded on Christmas Day at churches in Nigeria, one killing at least 27 people, raising fears that Islamist militant group Boko Haram – which claimed responsibility – is trying to ignite sectarian civil war.
By Tim Cocks
LAGOS — Christmas Day bomb attacks against churches in Nigeria by Islamist militant group Boko Haram targeted the country’s religious and ethnic faultlines in an apparently escalating campaign to fracture the nation’s stability.
The shadowy group from Nigeria’s Muslim north, blamed for dozens of bombings and shootings in recent years, said it was responsible for a string of blasts, three of them in churches, including one that killed at least 27 people at a packed Christmas service on the outskirts of the capital Abuja. Continue reading
Japan’s response to the nuclear crisis that followed the March 11 tsunami was confused and riddled with problems, including an erroneous assumption an emergency cooling system was working and a delay in disclosing dangerous radiation leaks, a report revealed Monday.
The disturbing picture of harried and bumbling workers and government officials scrambling to respond to the problems at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was depicted in the report detailing a government investigation.
The 507-page interim report, compiled by interviewing more than 400 people, including utility workers and government officials, found authorities had grossly underestimated tsunami risks, assuming the highest wave would be 6 meters (20 feet). The tsunami hit at more than double those levels.
The report criticized the use of the term “soteigai,” meaning “outside our imagination,” which it said implied authorities were shirking responsibility for what had happened. It said by labeling the events as beyond what could have been expected, officials had invited public distrust. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: Mumbai Police‘s elite Crime Branch’s probe into the role of Fahim Ansari and Sabbauddin Ahmed in the conspiracy behind 26/11 finds no mention in the exhaustive charge sheet filed by NIA regarding the role of Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Headleyin the Mumbai attack.
The 60-page charge sheet, filed by National Investigation Agency(NIA) on Saturday before a special court in New Delhi, details reconnaissance activities carried out by 50-year-old Headley of the targets attacked by Lashker-e-Taiba(LeT) terrorists on November 26, 2008 that left 166 people dead.
Mumbai Crime Branch had accused Ansari and Sabbauddin of providing details of the targets attacked by the LeT during 60 hour gun battle and had to face embarrassment twice when the trial court and the Bombay High Court acquitted the two saying there was no evidence against the two.
Former Commissioner of Mumbai Police Hasan Gafoor and the then in-charge of the Crime Branch, Rakesh Maria, who is at present head of Anti Terror Squad, had repeatedly claimed that Ansari and Ahmed had carried out reconnaissance of various targets attacked by Lashkar terrorists on November 26, 2008.
In its revision petition, the Crime Branch had again claimed that Ansari and Ahmed had played a role in providing details to to the Pakistan-based terror outfit about the targets attacked by terrorists on November 26.
“We are presently there, evacuating the dead and the injured but unfortunately we don’t have enough ambulances.
Damage after the explosion at St Theresa Catholic church at Madala
“Most of our ambulances have gone to operate on the major highways of the country.”
A police officer was killed when gunmen opened fire on officers guarding the area around the Jos bombing, a government spokesman said.
Two other locally made explosives were found in a nearby building and disarmed, he added.
A car peppered with shrapnel after the attack at Madala
There were two blasts in the north eastern city of Damaturu, one of them a suicide car bombing.