United States Navy

Islamic State Loots Archaeological Sites for Cash

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Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 13 Issue: 4
February 20, 2015 11:15 AM Age: 2 days By: John C. K. Daly

Stolen funeral busts from Palmyra, one of Syria’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (Source: Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums)

By late 2013, more than 90 percent of Syria’s cultural sites lay in regions affected by fighting and civil unrest, leaving them open to plunder. In addition, regions of Iraq now under the control of the Islamic State militant group and its allies include roughly 4,500 of Iraq’s 12,000 known archaeological sites. [1] UNESCO recently reported that the “armed extremists in Iraq” are targeting “cultural heritage, cultural and religious minorities, as well as the documents and written evidence of one of the oldest civilizations in human history” (al-Akhbar [Beirut], February 4). In addition to destroying the cultural heritage of Iraq and Syria, there is also evidence that such activities are providing an important revenue stream for the Islamic State. U.S. officials have estimated that up to $100 million worth of antiquities from Syria and Iraq are being sold off each year, a significant portion of which is likely to pass through the hands of the Islamic State (Wall Street Journal, February 10). Similarly, on February 13, a UK Conservative member of parliament, Tim Loughton, told the House of Commons that antique buyers in the West could be unwittingly “feeding insurgencies,” citing Iraqi intelligence claims that the Islamic State “had collected as much as $36 million from the sale of artifacts” (Daily Telegraph, February 13).


In late 2012, the Islamic State dramatically increased its financial income when it secured Syria’s eastern oilfields. However, due to the fall in oil prices and U.S.-led airstrikes on oil facilities in its territories, the antiquities trade has become an increasingly important source of Islamic State funds. In one recent media report, an Iraqi intelligence official was quoted as saying: “They [the Islamic State] had taken $36 million from al-Nabuk alone (an area in the Qalamoun Mountains west of Damascus). Read the rest of this entry »


Al Qaeda banking on SIMI to recruit educated Indian youth

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New Delhi, Nov 16, 2014, (IANS):

An Al Qaida recruit dreams about Osama bin Lad...
An Al Qaida recruit dreams about Osama bin Laden Original caption: :A handwritten letter describing a recruit’s dream about Osama bin Laden, found in a Qaeda house in Kabul. It says the Prophet Muhammad appeared in the dream, and ‘‘he walked and saw Sheik Osama and the martyrs,’’ and said, ‘‘‘Those are from me, and I am of them.’’’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Al Qaeda, which has announced plans to target India, is keen on recruiting youth trained in computers or aeronautics for its terror designs and is taking the help of banned terror outfit SIMI for this, officials with access to intelligence inputs have revealed.

Sources said intelligence inputs shared by central agencies with the police in some major cities including Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai talked of Al Qaeda not only planning to recruit disgruntled youth but had a target to pick up those familiar with use of computers or having knowledge about aeroplanes.


They said that Al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sep 11, 2001, attack on New York’s World Trade Center but has no reported presence in India till now, is using Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives in Pakistan to establish contacts with the sleeper cells of SIMI to recruit educated Muslim youth. Read the rest of this entry »

Ethical debates intensify as Guantanamo Bay detention center turns 10

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FILE – In this Jan. 11, 2002 file photo, released by the U.S. Department of Defense, detainees wearing orange jump suits sit in a holding area as military police patrol during in-processing at the temporary detention facility Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.


In this Sept. 19, 2006 file photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, a detainee stands at a fence holding Islamic prayer beads in Camp Delta detention facility at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.


Enlarge Photo

In this Dec. 6, 2006 file photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, a shackled detainee is transported away from his annual Administrative Review Board hearing with U.S. officials, in Camp Delta detention center at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.


In this Sept. 19, 2006 file photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, military personnel stand inside the brand new Camp 6 maximum security detention facility at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.

By John Lantigua

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Updated: 9:16 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012 Posted: 8:58 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012

The first images from the Guantanamo Bay detention center are now 10 years old.

The men in orange jumpsuits, hands manacled, ankles chained, blindfolded, shuffle into outdoor cages.

Given the anger Americans felt after the 9/11 attacks, the average citizen was not much concerned with the prison conditions or the legal niceties.

Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. Navy won’t tolerate ‘disruption’ through Strait of Hormuz

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By Barbara Starr and Phil Gast, CNN
December 29, 2011 — Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
U.S. warning to Iran on Strait of Hormuz

  • NEW: China, Japan depend heavily on oil from region, expert says
  • The Navy says it won’t tolerate “any disruption”
  • Iran is holding a military exercise in the area
  • The strait is short and narrow but strategically important

(CNN) — The U.S. Navy said Iran’s threat to block the strategically and economically important Strait of Hormuz is unacceptable.

“The free flow of goods and services through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to regional and global prosperity,” Navy 5th Fleet in Bahrain spokeswoman Cmdr. Amy Derrick Frost told reporters on Wednesday.

“Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated.”

The 34-mile-wide shipping channel leads in and out of the Persian Gulf between Iran and Oman. It is strategically important because tankers carrying oil travel through it.

U.S. warns Iran on Strait of Hormuz

Iran’s military might in Iraq

Iran military posturing

Iran’s vice president has warned that the country could block the strait if sanctions are imposed on its exports of crude oil. France, Britain and Germany have proposed sanctions to punish Iran’s lack of cooperation on its nuclear program.

Physically closing the strait would require means that likely are not available to Iran, said Professor Jean-Paul Rodrigue of Hofstra University.

“At best, Iran can posture and potentially disrupt traffic for a short duration,” said Rodrigue, who specializes in global trade and maritime transportation issues.

The 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain, and Frost noted that the Navy “maintains a robust presence in the region to deter or counter destabilizing activities.”

“We conduct maritime security operations under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters for all commercial shipping to operate freely while transiting the region,” she said.

Admiral calls for counterterror approach to piracy

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ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 25:  Members of the United...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

By LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 9:43 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 9:43 a.m.

A senior U.S. Navy commander is calling for a broader, counterterrorism approach to piracy off the coast of Somalia, saying likely links to al-Shabab insurgents should not be underestimated. Read the rest of this entry »

Analysis: More gunships may not be the answer.

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By Tristan McConnell – GlobalPost

Published: April 14, 2009 06:48 ET
Updated: April 28, 2009 20:05 ET

NAIROBI — After the dramatic rescue of American captain Richard Phillips from the clutches of Somali pirates, U.S. President Barack Obama announced his determination to end piracy: “We remain resolved to halt the rise of piracy in this region,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »