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 Jonathan Dienst
Videos made by Abu Yahya al-Libi were used to recruit the terrorists who planned to be suicide bombers on city subways in the 2009 Zazi bomb plot.
Al-Libi moved up to the No. 2 position in al-Qaida after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden last May.
During this year’s subway bomb trial, admitted terrorist Najibullah Zazi testified that he and his fellow plotters attended a terror trainingcamp in Pakistan where Al-Libi’s videos were played to inspire them to carry out an attack. And Vinas testified at the same trial that he personally met with al-Libi before returning to the U.S. to scout possible targets.
According to the trial transcript, prosecutors asked Vinas about his travels to Lwara, Pakistan.
“Whose command were you under at that point?” prosecutors asked.
Vinas responded, “Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi.”
Al-Libi played a role in making videos calling for attacks on U.S. targets, both overseas and domestic. Continue reading
U.S. to deny $800 million in aid to Pakistan; Prime Minister Gilani says there is “trust deficit” between Pakistan and U.S.; ISAF in talks with Pakistan about reopening NATO supply routes; India adopts tougher stance on Siachen; Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri gives speech on Qur’an burning in Afghanistan; Gilani denies Pakistani authorities knew of bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan; Commission investigating Bannu jailbreak implicates government officials,police and jail staff; Pakistan successfully tests short range ballistic missile; Red Cross suspends most of its work in Pakistan.
- On Wednesday, a U.S. House of Representatives panel moved to cut the foreign aid budget by about 9 percent, denying the $800 million that the Obama administration “requested for training and equipping Pakistan’s military in counterinsurgency tactics.”
- Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told CNN that there is a “trust deficit” between Pakistan and the U.S., which is why Pakistan is attempting to negotiate “new terms of engagement and cooperation” with the U.S. In response to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks that Pakistan needs to do more to combat terrorism, Gilani said that Pakistan and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate were “already working” with the CIA and the U.S., and he questioned what more the U.S. wants.
- International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Deputy Commander and British Army Lt. Gen. Adrian Bradshaw stated that the ISAF is in talks with Pakistan about reopening the NATO supply routes. The deputy commander said that even though ISAF was managing without the routes, it would be “extremely helpful” for ISAF and also financially beneficial for Pakistan if they were reopened.
- British Home Secretary Theresa May and Prime Minister Gilani said on Thursday that Pakistan and the UK had a strong relationship and were working together to counter extremism and terrorism. Gilani said that the two countries were also cooperating on how to eliminate the threat of improvised explosive devices.
- During his third visit to the Siachen Glacier on May 3 to review the search and rescue operation at the avalanche site, Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani told reporters that India had adopted a tougher stance on Siachen than in 1989. According to Kayani, India was now talking about redefining border lines and re-determining positions on the glacier.
- Continue reading
by Florian Flade
Ever since Al-Qaida´s leader Dr.Ayman az-Zawahiri has claimed responsibility for holding an American citizen hostage in December 2011, experts and intelligence officials have been debating wether or not Al-Qaida´s claim was in fact true. Is the American director for “J.E. Austin Associates” in Pakistan, Warren Weinstein, who has kidnapped in Lahore (Pakistan) in August 2011 really held by Al-Qaida?
“I would like to talk to President Obama and ask him and beg him to accept and respond to the demands of the Mujahidin”, Weinstein says in the video sitting at a table with food and books on it, “My life is in your hands Mr President. If you don´t accept the demands, then I die. It is important that you accept the demands.”
Pakistani sources have claimed Weinstein, who hails from Rockville (Maryland) was abducted from his home in Lahore by armed gunmen belonging to terrorist group “Lashkar e-Jhangvi”. The American was then allegedly transferred to the tribal region of North Waziristan and probably handed over to the Tehrik e-Taliban (TTP), a group known to cooperate with Al-Qaida.
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
Abu Zarr al-Burmi has been around for a while now even though there has not been an official introduction to the audience – the spiritual leader of the Waziristan-bases terrorist group “Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan” (IMU).
The middle-aged cleric wearing glasses and spotting shoulder-long hair, is featured in several IMU video and audio tapes including the last two video releases in Urdu and Burmese language a short while ago.
In Pakistan the voice of Abu Zarr al-Burmi is a known one to those familiar with a Urdu-language recording featuring a debate by the Jihadi cleric and a Pakistani military official. The IMU mufti declares himself to be part of the Tehrik e-Taliban (TTP) and a representative of the Uzbek and Tajik Muhajiroun (foreign militants) stationed in the tribal areas of Waziristan.
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 31, February 6, 2012
Interior Minister Rehman Malik says eight suicide bombers are likely in Islamabad; Security is enhanced in Islamabad and Rawalpindi after terror threats; Kidnapped American aid worker is “alive and in good health;” Seven foreigners kidnapped in Pakistan in past six months; Haqqani Network publishes guidelines for militants; Six Frontier Corps soldiers killed by Baloch rebels; Troops kill 20 militants in Kurram Agency; Head of Landi Kotal chapter of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) shot dead; Pakistan offers harsh response to NATO report; Pakistan denies obstructing UN Conference on Disarmament; Thousands of supply trucks crowding Karachi port due to closed NATO supply routes; Pakistan’s Foreign Office says U.S. sanctions do not cover Pak-Iran gas pipeline; Pakistan ranked 151 of 179 countries in 2011 World Press Freedom Index; Lawyers observe a strike over killing of three Shia lawyers; Pakistani prime minister’s former media coordinator sentenced to three years in prison for fraud; Parliamentary Committee on National Security summons Mansoor Ijaz on February 10.
- Over the last four days, four threats have “been received from the Tehrik-e-Taliban [Pakistan (TTP)]– two for Rawalpindi and Islamabad and two for the rest of the country.” On Thursday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik revealed intelligence reports that “eight suicide bombers have entered the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.” According to The News, a “high-level meeting” was held in the Ministry of Interior to address the terrorist threats. Chaired by Malik, the meeting “reviewed law and order and security situation of the federal capital.” The leadership decided to enhance the security of all officials and sensitive federal buildings, as well as to develop a “fresh plan of deployment” for the Ranger units.
- According to McClatchy Newspapers, Warren Weinstein, the 70-year-old American aid contractor who was kidnapped in Pakistan on August 13, is “alive and in good health.” Weinstein is being held in North Waziristan by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Pakistani al Qaeda affiliate. In an interview last week, a ranking Pakistani militant said that Weinstein “is being provided all available medical treatment, including regular checkups by a doctor and the medicines prescribed for him before he was plucked.” According to a security analyst in Islamabad with Pakistani militant contacts, “Weinstein’s captors had no plans to harm him,” but will “use him as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the Pakistani authorities.”
- In the past six months, seven foreigners have been kidnapped in Pakistan, “highlighting the security threat in the country and hampering aid efforts.” According to The Associated Press, “Islamist militants, separatist rebels or regular criminals are suspected in the abductions, with motives ranging from ransom, publicity or concessions from the U.S. or Pakistani governments such as prisoner releases or a halt to army operations.” Aine Fay, chairman of the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum representing 42 international aid groups operating in Pakistan, expressed her concern for those that have been kidnapped, as well as the “ability of the NGOs to carry out the work.” Continue reading