January 5, 2012
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Authorities in the northwestern African country of Mauritania have allegedly busted an Israeli spy network linked to the 2010 assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. One of Mauridania’s leading daily newspapers, Al-Huriyeh, says that the spy ring, which allegedly consisted “businessmen and activists [from] several Arab nationalities”, was uncovered following the arrest of one of its members, identified as Fares al-Banna. A Jordanian citizen of Palestinian extraction, al-Banna was arrested for larceny, which eventually lead to a warrant issued for searching his premises. Continue reading
By Nick Lockwood Dec 23 2011, 8:30 AM ET
The USSR developed two tools that changed the world: airplane hijackings and state-sponsorship of terror
Pilot Juergen Schumann sits in the open door of Lufthansa airplane Landshut at the airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Oct. 15, 1977, prior to being killed by members of the Red Army Faction who had hijacked the flight / AP
This post is part of a 12-part series exploring how the U.S.-Russia relationship has shaped the world since the December 1991 end of the Soviet Union. Read the full series here.
In the 1960s and 70s, the Soviet Union sponsored waves of political violence against the West. The Red Brigades in Italy and the German Red Army Faction both terrorized Europe through bank robberies, kidnapping, and acts of sabotage. The Soviets wanted to use these left-wing terror groups to destabilize Italy and Germany to break up NATO. State-sponsored terrorism was a deeply Soviet phenomenon, but its practice did not stop when the Soviet Union ended. While state sponsorship continues, terrorism has mutated into something even harder for us to understand and respond to. But some of the roots of today’s terrorism go back to the Soviet Union.
Russia is the birthplace of modern terrorism. The Russian nihilists of the 19th century combined political powerlessness with a propensity for gruesome violence, but their attacks were aimed at the Tsarist state and ruling classes. Later, the Soviet Union and its allies actively supported terrorism as a means to politically inconvenience and undermine its opponents. The East German Stasi and the KGB provided funds, equipment, and “networking” opportunities to the myriad of leftist German terrorist cells in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The Red Army Faction and the 2nd June Movement in Germany, as well as the Red Brigades in Italy, shared Marxist philosophies, a hatred of America, solidarity with the Palestinians, and opposition to the generation, some of its members still in power, that had supported the Nazis and fascists. They were good foundations for a Cold War fifth column. It was not just Europe, either: Soviet equipment, funding, training and guidance flowed across the globe, either directly from the KGB or through the agencies of key allies, like the Rumanian Securitate, the Cuban General Intelligence Directorate. Continue reading
By Nicholas Edmondson | December 20, 2011 4:09 PM GMT
A Student has been arrested at Birmingham airport under suspicion of carrying a terrorist document
President Zardari receives medical treatment in Dubai; Pakistan continues to block NATO supply routes; Obama administration defends aid to Pakistan; Pakistan-based militant group claims responsibility for Tuesday Kabul attack; Malik thanks Taliban and security forces for role in Ashura peace; Pakistan’s “militant violence” in decline; Washington Post reports on security situation in Kashmir; Peace militias clash with militants in Khyber agency, killing three.
- On Tuesday evening, President Asif Ali Zardari was flown to an American hospital in Dubai “following symptoms related to his pre-existing heart condition,” according to the Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s media office. Zardari’s “routine” medical trip to Dubai has fueled speculation over his possible resignation, while Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has declared that elements within Pakistan are attempting to overstate the cause of trip to “create unrest in the country.” Foreign Policy previously reported that the U.S. government had received notice of Zardari’s “minor heart attack” and potential resignation on Monday, according to an unnamed former U.S. official; however, Zardari’s top aides maintain that the Pakistani President will not step down.
- Pakistan upheld its Afghanistan-Pakistan border blockade to NATO supply trucks and oil tankers for a twelfth day on Wednesday, as the U.S. military made efforts to reroute its supplies through “alternative countries.” U.S. officials maintained, however, that the blockade, a response by Pakistan to the November 26 NATO raid which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, would have “no appreciable impact” on the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the U.S. expressed hope that Pakistan would return its troops to posts along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border after the Pakistan Army temporarily recalled all of its troops from border posts on Tuesday. Pakistan has disputed the magnitude of the recall, claiming that troops were only removed to receive training on how to improve Pakistan-NATO “coordination.”
- In response to recent opposition raised by U.S. politicians over the country’s continued military and civilian aid to Pakistan, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Tuesday that the Obama administration was of the mindset that U.S. aid to Pakistan would “provide dividends for the American people” by strengthening Pakistan’s “democratic institutions” and “economy.”
- The Pakistan-based anti-Shia militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi, a splinter group of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), claimed responsibility for three terrorist attacks on Tuesday in Kabul, Kandahar, and Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan that killed at least 60 Shia Muslims on Ashura. The Taliban immediately condemned the attack, which was the first of its kind by the al Qaeda-linked LeJ al Almi in Afghanistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai responded to the attack by demanding “justice” from Pakistan, after Afghan security officials learned that one of the suicide bombers may have been from Kurram agency and had connections to the terrorist group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP). Afghan officials are currently investigating the attacks and have not ruled out Afghan Taliban or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) involvement.
- On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Rehman Malik voiced appreciation to Pakistani security forces and the Taliban for their roles in “maintaining peace” during Shia Ashura processions. Later, Malik reportedly welcomed Cameron Munter, the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, to his residence in Islamabad to discuss “subjects of mutual interest.”
- The Associated Press reports that Pakistan’s “militant violence” has declined over the past year, pointing to “a combination of military operations against the Pakistani Taliban…U.S. drone attacks…and better law enforcement in Pakistan’s main cities,” as well as a rumored peace agreement between the Pakistani military and Pakistani Taliban, as possible explanations for the decline. Nonetheless, AP reports that Pakistanis remain fearful of “terrorist” and “insurgent” attacks, which have claimed the lives of over 1,700 Pakistanis already this year.
- The Washington Post reports on a reduction of insurgent violence in India-administered Kashmir but notes that despite the decline, Indian troops continue to occupy Kashmir out of fear of a resurgence of “Islamist insurgen[ts] backed by neighboring Pakistan.”
- Militants clashed with a local peace militia in Landi Kotal, Khyber agency on Wednesday, resulting in the death of three militants. Continue reading
From Times Online
May 10, 2009
A Chechen clan leader who has seen two brothers shot in the past year claims the republic’s president wanted them dead
The clan’s militia has been disbanded
Mark Franchetti, Moscow
THE muscular young Chechen looked pale and tired as he opened a steel reinforced door to his flat on the outskirts of Moscow.
After the murders of two of his brothers in the past year, Isa Yamadayev, 34, believes he is next on a death-list drawn up by powerful enemies of his family.
Ever mindful of the danger, Yamadayev remains largely indoors with the blinds down, a gun close by and several armed bodyguards next door. Continue reading