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.
Sheila Dabu Nonato
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images
A journalist in Washington, D.C. views al-Qaeda documents found at Osama bin Laden’s compound in the raid that killed the terrorist a year ago. According to the declassified documents, two Canadian journalists were to receive “special media material” on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Two Canadians were among a select group of international journalists singled out by al-Qaeda to receive “special media material” on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to declassified documents captured during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year.
Eric Margolis and Gwynne Dyer were to have been provided with a password and site address to download information provided by the terrorist group “at the right time,” according to the documents, released Thursday in a report by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the West Point military academy.
Messrs. Margolis and Dyer were among a dozen journalists named in one of the letters, including renowned British war correspondent Robert Fisk and American Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh. It also named journalists from Norway, Pakistan, Egypt and Jordan.
Journalists Gwynne Dyer, left, and Eric Margolis were to receive “special media material” from al-Qaeda on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to declassified documents.
Mr. Margolis said the documents need to be approached with caution “because there have been a lot of bogus reports, documents and videos that have come out of that area.”
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
(US Military Academy at West Point/ Associated Press ) – This handout document provided by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point shows page three , of four, of a handwritten document by Osama bin Laden. Letters from Osama bin Laden’s last hideaway, released by U.S. officials intent on discrediting his terror organization, portray a network weak, inept and under siege _ and its leader seemingly near wit’s end about the passing of his global jihad’s glory days.
By Associated Press, Published: May 4
Images after Osama bin Laden’s death: As the anniversary of the May 2, 2011, death of Osama bin Laden approaches, here are images showing the compound where he was killed as well as Americans’ reactions to the news.
“Even though we have the chance to attack the British, we should not waste our effort to do so but concentrate on defeating America, which will lead to defeating the others, God willing,” reads one letter, which scholars believe was written by bin Laden or a top deputy. “We want to cut this tree at the root. The problem is that our strength is limited, so our best way to cut the tree is to concentrate on sawing the trunk of the tree.”
FEAR OF DRONES: The CIA’s unmanned aircraft had al-Qaida looking toward the sky. In one letter, bin Laden suggested getting most of al-Qaida’s members out of Waziristan, the lawless frontier area along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border that has been beset by U.S. drone airstrikes.
“The brothers who can keep a low profile and take the necessary precautions should stay, but move to new houses on a cloudy day” when visibility for U.S. drones is reduced, bin Laden wrote.
He also encouraged al-Qaida’s leaders to stay far from their troops to reduce the likelihood of being killed.
ON THE U.S. MEDIA: Like any public figures, bin Laden and his advisers were mindful of the media. Adam Gadahn, one of bin Laden’s spokesmen, provided a summary of his view of U.S. TV cable news.
“From the professional point of view, they are all on one level except (Fox News) channel which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks neutrality too,” he wrote.
CNN seemed to be closely collaborating with the U.S. government, but its Arabic version was better, Gadahn wrote. Continue reading
Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff to meet U.S. Generals to discuss November NATO incident; Pakistani opposition leaders resistant to recommendations on U.S.-Pakistan relations; Rep. Dana Rohrabacher alleges that Pakistan has “radical Islam[ist]” government; Two major U.S. oil companies interested in TAPI pipeline; German embassy employee found dead in Islamabad; Unidentified assailants blow up gas pipeline in Peshawar; German-Afghan man on trial for being part of al Qaeda claims innocence; Indian Prime Minister meets with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani; Leaked letter describes weaknesses in Indian military; Delegation of Pakistani defense and security officials meet with French counterparts; Pakistan’s Supreme Court to hear Hussain Haqqani’s petition to record his statement via video link; Yemen urges Pakistan to release Osama bin Laden’s widow and children.
- The Pakistani military announced that Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will meet with CENTCOM Commander General James Mattis and U.S. Commander in Afghanistan General John Allen in Islamabad on Wednesday to discuss the November 26 incident in which NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. According to a senior Pakistani military official, the meeting will also “look at border security and coordination measures and how to improve them.”
- Pakistani opposition leaders were resistant to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security’s (PCNS) recommendations on U.S.-Pakistan relations during Tuesday’s proceedings of the joint session of Parliament. Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan pointed to a clause that called for bringing to justice those responsible for the November cross-border attack, and said that since the U.S. has refused to even admit that it was at fault in this instance, there would be no use in passing such recommendations. Chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman warned that if the government passed any resolution unilaterally, the JUI-F would not let it be implemented. Rehman added that making the reopening of NATO supply routes conditional on a U.S. apology was the “easy way out,” because the U.S. “would do whatever it takes to serve its purpose.” Senator Rabbani attempted to alleviate the opposition’s concerns by reminding them that the government would not have closed the NATO supply routes and had the Shamsi airbase vacated “if it wanted to satisfy the [U.S.]”
- According to a senior advisor to the Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy in the U.S., two “major [U.S.] oil companies are interested” in the Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India (TAPI) pipeline. The proposed pipeline is expected to transport natural gas from Turkmenistan’s gas fields through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then finally to India. The governments of the four countries are planning to finalize the TAPI pipeline deal by July 31, 2012.
- Three U.S. Congressmen, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Rep. Louie Gohmert and Rep. Steve King, sought “self-determination” for the “oppressed” people of Balochistan at a news conference held at the National Press Club on Tuesday. Rohrabacher alleged that Pakistan has a “radical Islam[ist]” government that has been “providing weapons and resources to radical Muslim elements” who use them against the U.S. He added that Pakistan is not a friend of the U.S., but is “really our enemy.”
- The Express Tribune reported on Wednesday that police recovered the bodies of a German embassy employee and one other unidentified person from Rawal Dam in Islamabad. The employee, Fayaz Ali, had been reported missing by his family on March 22. According to investigators, the dead bodies were four to five days old, but investigators have still not determined if the two men were murdered.
- Unidentified assailants blew up a gas pipeline on the Ring Road in Peshawar on Wednesday morning. No casualties were reported from the explosion.
- A German-Afghan man on trial in a German state court for providing funds to al Qaeda claimed on Tuesday that the funds were not intended for terrorism. Ahmad Wali Siddiqui had previously told the court that he lived in an apartment in Pakistan near the Afghan border that was provided by al Qaeda, but he was not an al Qaeda member. On Tuesday, Siddiqui testified that he transferred money from Hamburg to an al Qaeda contact in Pakistan in 2010, but he said that he never saw the money again and that it was intended for his own expenses.
- A policeman was killed and another was injured when unknown gunmen opened fire on the home of a Shariat Court judge in the Mumtazabad area of Multan on Wednesday.
- Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh briefly met with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during the nuclear summit in Seoul on Tuesday. According to the Indian Foreign Secretary, Singh and Gilani had a “very good meeting,” and Singh said he “plans to visit Pakistan” and “wants to make some concrete developments in the India-Pakistan relationship.” Speaking to an Indian news agency after the meeting, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar emphasized that both countries recognized “the need to go beyond the stage of dealing with the ‘trust deficit’ and move towards a ‘result-oriented dialogue.’” Khar said that it was fortunate that both Pakistani and Indian leaders were “committed to taking the bilateral relationship forward through dialogue,” but she added that “the people of both countries need to have the confidence that this dialogue will help Pakistan and India resolve their issues.” Continue reading
This paper is the first in a series of policy papers on emerging themes in extremism and terrorism by Demos. These papers focus on under-researched dimensions of extremism, and do not present an exhaustive answer, but suggest new avenues of study. Future papers include the role of women and gender in extremist movements, and methods to de-glamorise al-Qaeda.
This paper examines the role of conspiracy theories in extremist groups. Numerous studies have considered a variety of factors thatencourage extremism: ideology, grievance, poverty, religion, and social networks. The role of conspiracy theories, defined as accounts of events as the deliberate yet concealed product of a powerful few,regardless of the evidence, has been ignored. This study is the first attempt, as far as we are aware, to research this subject and should be viewed as such.
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.