by Florian Flade
“The hero of Khorasan Zaid Saleh al-Hourani, known to everyone as Abu Musab al-Hourani”, the beginning of a short biography of a Jordanian Jihadist fighter killed in Afghanistan reads. The article about Al-Hourani was posted on Jihadist Internet forums recently and gives a rare insight into the situation of foreign fighters in Afghanistan these days.
“Abu Musab al-Hourani”, a resident of Amman, from a Jericho family, allegedly was a close aid to former Iraqi Al-Qaida leader Abu Musab az-Zarqawi and recruited about 30 other Jordanians to Jihad in Iraq. In Jordan al-Hourani was imprisoned for 5 years because of his terrorist activities.
In 2010 he traveled to Pakistan and joined the mujaheddin in the tribal areas. Pictures released with his biography are showing Abu Musab al-Hourani in the Pakistani tribal agency of Orakzai. “He took part in operations targeting the Pakistani military”, the biography reads. Al-Hourani was wounded during the fighting in Pakistan, both in battle with Pakistani troops (on his leg) and in CIA drone strikes (again his leg) but recovered from the injuries. Continue reading
By LWJ Staff June 1, 2012
|Michael D. McCright, a.k.a. Mikhial Jihad.|
Last week, Michael D. McCright, a.k.a. Mikhial Jihad, a previously convicted felon from the north Seattle suburb of Lynnwood, pled guilty to lesser charges in a case involving his attempt to force a government vehicle carrying two Marines off the road and cause a collision on an interstate highway in Seattle. The incident occurred on July 12, 2011 and resulted in McCright’s arrest in Seattle on Sept. 8. McCright is linked to another American jihadist who plotted a suicide attack against Marines.
According to the Seattle PI, the Marine staff sergeant in the car targeted by McCright told police that the suspect’s “eyes widened and he appeared to become angry” when he saw the uniformed men, and that shortly thereafter McCright deliberately swerved his car into the path of their vehicle, forcing it off the road, then stopped right in front of it.
Court documents filed following McCright’s arrest indicate he has links with at least one of two men accused of plotting a suicide attack on a south Seattle Marine processing and intake center. The deputy prosecutor in McCright’s case said that McCright’s cell phone was used three times to call Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, a Des Moines, Wa., resident who is being held along with Walli Mujahidh, of Los Angeles; the calls from McCright’s phone were made prior to the July 22, 2011 arrests of Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh. The FBI decided to continue to investigate McCright’s possible links to domestic terrorism. And according to KING5 news, “[a] federal criminal justice source said the FBI had McCright on their radar even before the July 12 road rage incident.”
Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, a.k.a. Joseph Anthony Davis, and Walli Mujahidh, a.k.a. Frederick Domingue Jr., are accused of conspiring to murder federal agents and officers and conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, for their roles in plotting a suicide attack on the Federal Way MEPS center in south Seattle. Initial charges were filed in late June 2011 shortly after their arrest in an FBI sting operation; further charges were added in July, including weapons violations and solicitation of a crime of violence. In August, the trial was postponed due to the complexity of the case and the quantity of evidence gathered by the FBI and police, The Associated Press reported. Both Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh pled not guilty at the time
In December, Mujahidh’s attorney said her client suffered from mental illness and “a fundamental misunderstanding of Islam,” and said he would plead guilty in the case, according to AP.
It is unclear how Mujahidh and Abdul-Latif had initially become acquainted, although Mujahidh had lived in Seattle before moving to California. Both men have criminal records; Mujahidh for domestic violence and theft, Abdul-Latif for theft, assault, and robbery, for which he served 31 months in prison, AP reported. Nor has it been explained just how McCright came to know Abdul-Latif.
All three men appear to be converts to Islam. According to AP, Abdul-Latif admired Osama bin Laden and had apparently posted videos on YouTube calling for jihad and extolling al Qaeda‘s leadership in Yemen and endorsing radical Islam. “We need to establish jihad with the tongue, with the heart and with the hand,” he said in a video posted in May 2011.
The federal complaint in the case describes the detailed preparations Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh made for the suicide attack plot over a period of months leading up to their arrests. Abul-Latif, who had spent some time in the Navy in the mid-1990s, was designated as the “emir” or leader of the cell. The men originally intended to cause a devastating attack at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army base near Tacoma, but changed their focus to the MEPS center in south Seattle, which was located next to a daycare center. They conducted reconnaissance of the site, and sought to purchase fragmentation grenades, machine guns, bulletproof vests, and ammunition for the attack, in which they planned to kill as many soldiers as possible.
By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer / May 7, 2012
Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark was speaking via Skype with his wife Susan Oreliana-Clark on May 1 when he was “suddenly knocked forward,” according to statement released by his wife on Sunday.
“There was no sign that CPT Clark was in any discomfort, nor did he indicate any alarm,” her statement noted.
Yet she did notice a disturbing detail after her husband collapsed forward out of the view of the computer’s video camera: “The closet behind him had a bullet hole in it.”
Oreliana-Clark promptly called family members and tried to reach military officials as the Skype chat feed continued and her husband did not respond to her voice.
“The Skype link continued for approximately two hours as CPT Clark’s family and friends stateside and in theater worked feverishly to send help.”
After two hours, military officials and Mrs. Clark say, two military personnel arrived in Clark’s room in Afghanistan “and appeared to check his pulse,” according to the Clark family statement.
His wife, who had been working “feverishly” to reach military officials, was “provided no details about his condition” by the troops who arrived on the scene.
Inland-born jihadist Adam Gadahn – raised on a Winchester goat farm – has resurfaced in letters released this week that were tied to the attack against al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
Gadahn, 33, has been in Afghanistan and Pakistan for more than a decade, officials believe, acting as a propagandist for the terrorist group. He was the first American since World War II to be charged with treason when a California court indicted him in 2005.
Now called Azzam the American and Azzam Al-Amriki, Gadahn wrote a 21-page letter in January 2011 suggesting strategies for spreading al-Qaida’s message for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The letter was released with others Thursday as part of a purge of previously classified material by Combatting Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The letters were collected from bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan compound, where he was killed by U.S. Special Forces during an attempt to capture the terrorist leader on May 1, 2011.
In the letter, Gadahn offers suggestions on how to communicate with western media, including the idea of offering a handful of journalists a chance to interview high-ranking al-Qaida members, including bin Laden, for the attack anniversary. Gadahn also chastises Western media for not challenging U.S. officials and condemning the jihadist movement.
“They are all on one level except (Fox News) channel which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks neutrality too,” Gadahn wrote, according to a translation of the original letter.
But Gadahn is also critical of some terrorist factions in the missive, openly condemning terror sects that bomb mosques while Muslims are praying.
“It has been exploited to distort the picture of the pious and loyal Mujahidin,” he wrote. “Now many regular people are looking at the Mujahidin as a group that does not hesitate to take people’s money by falsehood, detonating mosques, spilling the blood of scores of people in the way to kill one or two who were labeled as enemies.” Continue reading
On 6 January 2012, the Committee approved the addition of the four entries specified below to the Committee’s List (the 1988 Sanctions List) of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 1988 (2011):
March 1, 2012: As foreign troops reduce their numbers in Afghanistan over the next two years, American Special Operations Forces (commandos and Special Forces) will increase their activity because these troops will advise Afghan soldiers, and be available to carry especially tricky missions. The U.S. Army Special Forces will be particularly effective because they know the languages and cultures in Afghanistan.
The effort to train the new Afghan soldiers and police required that thousands of troops and civilians (usually former military) be brought in. These have been of limited effectiveness because of language and cultural barriers. Normally, the U.S. Army Special Forces handles training of foreign armies, and they are expert at it. Special Forces troops have the advantage of knowing the language and culture of the foreign troops they train. One lesson that was quickly learned was that, while you can teach these foreign recruits through an interpreter, it helps a lot if you get up to speed on the local culture. The Special Forces provided some of their people to help train the American trainers on that point, but over the past seven years, a body of information and “lessons learned” has been collected, and used to help train the trainers. One of the more important lesson learned was that, even if you don’t speak the language, spend as much time as possible with your trainees. That means eating with them, and living very close to their barracks. Be available at all hours, and keep a good translator handy at all times.
The cultural awareness picked up in Iraq has not always proved useful in Afghanistan. For example, in Iraq a knowledge of the history of the Iraqi army, and respect for that, proved very useful. The Iraqis were particularly proud of how they held off the Iranians during the 1980s, and making positive references to that paid off. No mention of the two wars they had with the Americans. They already knew all about that, and don’t want to hear any more. The Afghans, on the other hand, have no sense of their army having been defeated by the United States, since everyone looks on the defeat of the Taliban as a group effort by the Afghan people and Americans to chase out some religious fanatics. But at the same time, Afghans have no particular pride in any “Afghan Army.” The only military organizations Afghans admire are tribal or warlord militias that won some battles in the past (often against another Afghan tribe). Continue reading
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzaisaid Saturday that he personally held peace talks recently with the insurgent faction Hizb-i-Islami, appearing to assert his own role in a U.S.-led bid for negotiations to end the country’s decade-long war.
AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq
Karzai made the announcement hours before he met with American special representative Marc Grossman to discuss progress and plans for bringing the Taliban insurgency into formal talks for the first time.
“Recently, we met with a delegation from Hizb-i-Islami … and had negotiations,” Karzai told a meeting of the Afghan parliament. “We are hopeful that these negotiations for peace continue and we will have good results,” he added.
Karzai’s statement was a reminder that any negotiations to end Afghanistan’s war will be more complex than just talking to the Taliban’s Pakistan-based leadership, headed by Mullah Mohammed Omar. The two other main insurgent factions in the country have their own leaders and agendas.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today condemned the viral video that appears to show four Marines urinating on three corpses in Afghanistan, saying “those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent.”
Panetta ordered the Marine Corps and Marine Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. and NATO Commander in Afghanistan, to investigate the video.
Marine Corps officials said they had not yet verified the origin or authenticity of the video that started circulating early Wednesday upon release on You Tube and TMZ. Investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service have started to investigate the case.
“I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Panetta said. “This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards or values our armed forces are sworn to uphold.”
January 6, 2012
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Afghan authorities have announced the arrest of two British citizens who were found carrying 30 unregistered weapons without proper documentation. The two Britons, who have been identified as Julian Steele and James Davis, were stopped by Afghan police on Tuesday, January 3, at a checkpoint in the eastern suburbs of Afghan capital Kabul. The city’s police chief, Ayub Salangi, told the BBC that the two were arrested along with their Afghan interpreter and a local driver, after authorities discovered two metal boxes containing 30 AK-47s hidden under a blanket in their car. Moreover, most of the weapons had their serial numbers erased, and Steele and Davis were unable to produce registration documentation for the guns when asked to do so. When pressured, they told Afghan police that they worked for GardaWorld, an international security-consulting firm based in Montreal, Canada, with offices in the United States, Britain and the United Arab Emirates. Continue reading
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
KABUL, Afghanistan (December 19, 2011) — Representatives from the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters and NATO gave an operational update today before a gathering of local and international media members.
German Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, ISAF spokesperson, commended Afghanistan National Security Forces members for successfully providing security, protection and stability to Kabul and the country.
“This success comes on the heels of last month’s Loya Jirga,” said Jacobson. “That event concluded without incident, providing tangible proof that security with ANSF in the lead is not only possible but increasingly becoming reality.”
ANSF members also took the lead in the successful rescue of 11 Afghan National Police members, working under the direction of the Afghan National Army. Approximately 25 opposition fighters were arrested during the rescue operation.
Jacobson said security is a contributing factor in the choices made by insurgents.
“In the past week, we have seen approximately 250 insurgents in Badghis make the decision to stop fighting and seek to reintegrate back into their communities,” the ISAF spokesperson said. “Entry into the reintegration program is not surrender – it is the opportunity for fighters to leave the battlefield with honor and dignity. Continue reading