Archive for the ‘The Fight Against Jihad’ Category

AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #42-10 dated 9 November 2010

US Involvement in Yemen Edging Toward ‘Clandestine War.’ President Obama is pledging stepped-up military and economic cooperation with Yemen in response to last week’s foiled terrorist operation aboard cargo planes that originated in the country.

An initial response to Mr. Obama’s promise to step up the fight against Yemen’s Islamist militants may have come Tuesday, when an oil pipeline running through a militant stronghold in Yemen was blown up.

The pipeline attack was a reminder that the two-track approach for fighting Islamist terrorists in their strongholds – covert military and intelligence operations and “hearts and minds” development programs to reach the public and deny terrorists their havens – faces a steep climb to success in Yemen.

Some regional analysts are already calling Yemen Obama’s “next Afghanistan,” a weak state where anti-Western extremists have been able to take root. But a comparison to Obama’s approach for the militant havens of Pakistan’s northwest may be more apt.

No one expects large numbers of US troops to be deployed in Yemen. Instead, the administration is quietly discussing ramping up covert operations by the Central Intelligence Agency – adding special-operations units and strikes by unmanned drones to what some analysts already call a “clandestine war.” At the same time, the president is talking publicly about increased assistance to Yemen to build up its institutions and reach a poor population.

But some Yemen specialists worry that Obama’s talk of ramping up development assistance will remain just that – talk – while what they call a “militarization” of US relations with Yemen continues unabated.

“If there only were a genuine two-track approach to Yemen: That would be a good thing, but unfortunately, whatever economic aid and attempts to persuade the Yemeni public there have been have been dwarfed by the money and attention going to military options,” says Gregory Johnsen, a Yemen expert and doctoral candidate at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies.

Obama laid out his two-track approach to Yemen, though without the details, in his brief White House statement Friday where he discussed the suspicious packages from Yemen.

“Going forward, we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Yemeni government to disrupt plotting by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and to destroy this Al Qaeda affiliate,” Obama said. “We’ll also continue our efforts to strengthen a more stable, secure, and prosperous Yemen so that terrorist groups do not have the time and space they need to plan attacks from within its borders.”

Obama has spoken at least twice by telephone with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh since the terror operation unraveled last Friday. Publicly, US officials paint a picture of a Yemeni government making promising strides against terrorist organizations like AQAP but lacking the means to defeat them and thus requiring US help.

“For consecutive years we [in the Obama administration] have significantly ramped up our attention to Yemen and our support from a bilateral standpoint, security standpoint, and development standpoint,” said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley on Tuesday. “Yemen is focused on the threat posed by Al Qaeda, and we will continue to work with Yemen, continue to build up its capabilities so that it can continue to take aggressive action.”

But behind the scenes, the administration is hearing the opinion of a growing number of military and intelligence officials that President Saleh may be losing his grip on the country. And concern is growing that he appears unable to handle an Al Qaeda affiliate apparently growing in sophistication and bent on striking the West.

The United States already has special forces in Yemen, in part to train Yemeni forces in counterterrorism functions and in part for intelligence purposes. The White House is considering expanding US operations in Yemen by a much broader use of unmanned drones or shifting command of Special Operations units to the CIA.

Such a shift would put the Yemen counterterrorism campaign more tightly under White House control. The advantage of such a move, officials say, would be to allow for operations more like those in Pakistan. There missile strikes by CIA-operated drones – against suspected terrorist targets, based on intelligence passed to the president – have proliferated in recent months.

But an increase in covert operations such as drone strikes also risks “mistakes,” some say. Exhibit A: the recent strike on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that killed three Pakistani soldiers – and worsened already-tense US-Pakistan relations.

Such “mistakes” have already occurred in Yemen, says Mr. Johnsen of Princeton, with the effect of strengthening AQAP and boosting its recruiting efforts.

“Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been around since 2006, but their argument that Yemen was under Western attack and that therefore it was a Muslim’s duty to strike back wasn’t really catching on,” he says.

But then, he says, “word spread” about a number of supposedly covert missile strikes – one in late 2009 that killed a number of women and children, and another in May of this year that killed a government official. “Al Qaeda has been able to say, ‘We’ve been telling you Yemen is under Western military attack,’ ” Johnsen says. “And it has been catching on.”

Saleh has shown in the past that he does not take kindly to unpopular US operations in his country, on several occasions responding by suspending security and counterterrorism training programs. But he may have no choice, some say, but to accept what Obama calls a strengthened US role in his country.

Any US role in Yemen will have to have some military component, Johnsen says. But, he adds, if it is not counterbalanced by more than lip service to the development and public-outreach side of the equation, “the US may be walking into a bit of a trap.” [LaFranchi/CSMonitor/3November2010]

TSA tells jihadis where body scanners are, and exempts them

Dhimmitude, ineptitude, criminal negligence, willful blindness. “TSA tells terrorists where body scanners are, and exempts them,” from Creeping Sharia, April 18 (thanks to Choi):

First, the TSA posted its entire Screening Management Standard Operating Procedure document online. The posting of that amateurishly redacted document was followed by the posting of a second document with the same redaction flaw – revealing more TSA baggage screening policies.

Terrorists, who no doubt have dissected the unredacted documents, have also been discussing ways to evade and beat airport scanners on jihadi forums:

“We have that system in place in Algiers…does anyone know if it’s capable of detecting [the flammable gas] butane?”

On another Jihadist site, a visitor questions security involving 3D scanners at British airports asking: “Can I refuse [to pass through] for religious reasons?”

Before long comes this answer: “…advise those who wish to avoid the Heathrow scanners to take the train to Paris… and then board a plane from there.”

The TSA website features a map and lists of locations to help terrorists determine which airports to avoid when planning to smuggle explosives aboard commercial airplanes. There’s also a video on CNN showing just how easy it is to beat TSA’s screenings.

Astounding, but true. And there is much more. Read it all.

New Jersey jihadist arrested in Yemen worked at nuclear power plants

His mother says he is a “good Muslim.” She said it. “NJ Terror Suspect Worked at Nuclear Power Plants,” by Vince Lattanzio for NBC Philadelphia, March 11 (thanks to Benedict):

The South Jersey man who Yemini officials are calling a terrorist with links to al-Qaeda previously worked at three local nuclear power plants.Sharif Mobley, 26, is being held in a jail in Yemen after he allegedly killed a police guard and seriously injured another during a shootout at a hospital on Monday.

The Buena, N.J. native has also been accused of taking part in several acts of terrorism, Yemini officials say. He also purportedly has ties to the same branch of al-Qaeda who are suspected of attempting to blow up a U.S. airliner on its way to Detroit on Christmas.

As details of Mobley’s arrest trickle back to the U.S., more people who knew him are coming forward.

Former high school classmate Roman Castro says Mobley was always fiercely religious and tried to convert high school friends to Islam.

Castro says he ran into Mobley during an Army tour in Iraq around four years ago. The two had a short exchange, with Mobley telling him to “Get the hell away from me, you Muslim killer,” according to Castro.

A former neighbor said Mobley moved to Yemen two years ago to study Islam.

Mobley, who was born in the U.S., also worked as a laborer at three Salem County nuclear power plants, power company officials say.

Working for several contractors, Mobley carried supplies and did maintenance work at the plants on Artificial Island in Lower Alloways Creek from 2002 to 2008, PSE&G spokesperson Joe Delmar said.

Mobley also worked at other plants in the area, Delmar said.

Speaking to NBC Philadelphia Wednesday, Mobley’s mother denied claims her son was a terrorist. She called Sharif a “good Muslim” and said he’s “absolutely not a terrorist.”…

Stop the Islamisation of Europe now a political party

The free people of Europe begin to strike back against their corrupt, compromised governing elites. An excerpt from the SIOE statement:

Denmark is at war. The government tells us that we are in war against terror which actually is only a tactic. We cannot be in war against an tactic, we have to be in war against those who use the tactic. That is what SIOE intends to do.Quote: Lieutenant Colonel Allen West:-

“Winston Churchill did not lead a war against blitzkrieg, he led a war against the Nazis.”

SIOE recognises that islam has declared war on the West and therefore we take the necessary precautions to protect our own population. No other Danish politicians have done that previously. Therefore, SIOE will respond to the declaration of war onthe West. Every time islam is discussed, all parties in the Danish parliament pull the wool over the eyes of the voters. If we really are in war with islam why do we make all these special arrangements for islam?

We have had civil war-like situations both in Copenhagen and in the biggest towns in Denmark and no politicians have dared to act upon it. SIOE has the answer: Every immigrant who has committed any kind of criminality is to be sent home.

Denmark is in a financial crisis and we have to take care of our own citizens first of all. Therefore all immigrants who are not self-supporting will be sent home.

All government subsidised integration initiatives must be stopped and sensible economic policies must be carried out.

Bureaucracy must be cut to a minimum and free initiative must be encouraged instead of being stopped.

The business and manufacturing sectors in Denmark must have far better conditions. We cannot live just by serving one another.

We would never have been caught in this present unhappy situation if the population had been asked whether or not Denmark should be an immigrant country where islam demands special treatment from its host, the Danish population. Therefore SIOE’s wish is to implement more democracy. There shall be referendums held about many more things concerning the population.

Many more of those in authority should be elected, not just politicians, as they are in America.

In brief, SIOE is a party where the population is of greater concern than the people from outside.

There is much more. Read it all.

One of the questions that continues to surround the Fort Hood shooting rampage is why the U.S. Army didn’t recognize the potential risk of leaving Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan in his position before it was too late.

CBN News put that question to retired Army three-star Gen. Jerry Boykin, who said the answer is simple.

“Nobody wanted to deal with the fact that this guy was a terrorist,” Boykin said. “His behavior and his rhetoric were both indications that he was subscribing to a Jihadist ideology and nobody wanted to deal with that issue. He was a terrorist. That was a terrorist act.”

Boykin said the Fort Hood massacre was the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“The mere fact that this guy was counseling and dealing with our soldiers who have been through the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is atrocious,” he added. “It was a leadership failure and it’s the fact that the leadership did not want to deal with his Islamic theology; the fact that he was a Muslim is why no one would deal with this guy.”

Gen. Boykin spoke from personal experience after spending 36 years in the military.

He was one of the original members of the Army’s elite Delta Force and commanded the unit during the Battle of Mogadishu, which was depicted in the movie “Blackhawk Down.”

He is also a Christian who spoke openly in uniform about his faith and his Christian world view.

The secular media’s coverage of his speeches stirred up a controversy that brought an end to his career.  But the double-standard is not lost on Boykin.

“I think everybody in America realizes that the persecution of Christians is acceptable in our society today by both the leadership and the media, but no one wants to offend a Muslim,” said Boykin. ” The fact of the matter is that this guy was an extremist.”

“He was a terrorist and somebody needs to stand up and not only deal with these kind of issues in our society as well as our military,” he added. “But they need to deal with the fact that we are infiltrated from within by people who want to destroy the Constitution of our nation and replace it with Sharia Law and we can’t appease these people. We must deal with the issue and it starts with calling it what it is. . .Terrorism.”

Gen. Boykin doesn’t pull any punches.

He said the Army needs to start dealing with the problem before another tragedy happens.

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