statism watch

Air India report: American-style security czar needed to end agency turf wars

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

From Wikipedia: During an interview with Bagri on 28 October 2000, RCMP agents describe Surjan Singh Gill as an agent for CSIS saying the reason that he resigned from the Babbar Khalsa was because his CSIS handlers told him to pull out… A Security Intelligence Review Committee cleared CSIS of any wrongdoing. However, that report remains secret to this day. The Canadian government continues to insist that there was no mole involved.

The police interview being referred to is here. (Refer to page 51). So if CSIS knew for months a bomb was being constructed and if they had an agent, a mole, in the organization – the same old pattern – then why did the bombing go forward? Was it really just jurisdictional infighting? On Jan 26, 2000, a former CSIS agent told the Globe that the reason that hours of taped evidence was destroyed was because it was feared the RCMP wouldn’t protect the identities of informants. Indeed. Obviously time and the machinations of intelligence agencies have obscured the facts here, but a few hours of research into the documents make it clear there’s a coverup. The Indian newspaper Tehelka contains a report that a Punjab human rights NGO called PHRO conducted an extensive international investigation into the bombing and concluded that “After the Khalistan movement gained in sympathy in the West, especially in Canada, after the 1984 Blue Star operation and the killing of Sikhs in Delhi, a plot was hatched to discredit the Sikh movement” and concluded on the forensic evidence that the suspect, Talwinder Parmar, was assassinated in police custody to prevent the exposure of Indian agents in the plot. (For more background on the case entire, see the CBC’s special page here.)

Who knows at this point. What we do know is that everybody walked but the guy who wired up the bomb, and now Canadian terror investigations are to be centralized under a new Federal office. It all seems a little too reminiscent of the MacDonald Commission:

Related: Canadians who trust our secret police should think again

Tonda MacCharles, Richard J. Brennan, The Toronto Star
June 17, 2010

OTTAWA–Families of the Air India bombing victims will receive compensation and an apology after a special inquiry report blamed a turf war between the RCMP and Canada’s spy agency for failing to prevent the disaster.

Dabbing away tears afterward, Toronto’s Shipra Rana, whose sister Shyla Aurora was on the ill-fated flight, said what bothered her most was that there were so many signs that a terrorist attack was going to happen and that so many people ignored them.

“The government knew exactly what was going to happen, they knew exactly what kind of bomb that was going to be put on the flight and they just ignored it … it wasn’t taken seriously,” Rana said after the damning report was released Thursday.

Former Supreme Court of Canada justice John Major led a four-year inquiry into the June 23, 1985 explosions that killed 329 crew and passengers, and two baggage handlers at Tokyo’s Narita airport.

In a scathing report that delves into the investigative and prosecutorial failures in the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history, Major blasts a culture of “complacency” that still threatens air travelers today.

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LSE Report: Pakistan ISI backs Taliban

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Funny, haven’t seen this in the Canadian media, at least not yet. But it merely confirms what we’ve known for some time, adding to a mounting pile of evidence that operations in Pakistan are not what they seem, not by a long shot. Read the report here.

Related: U.S. officials say Pakistani spy agency released Afghan Taliban insurgents | Arrested Terrorist Leader Exposes Extensive CIA Connections | CIA admits Blackwater presence in Pakistan | Taliban: Blackwater to blame for Pakistan attacks | How the US Funds the Taliban | Taliban Chief Blames Blackwater, ISI for Peshawar Blast | Ex-CIA agent confirms US ties with Jundullah | Iranian commanders assassinated, Iran fingers Western intelligence | Madsen: CIA collusion with “Al Qaeda” financiers and attack planners | Whistleblower Who Linked “Taliban” Leader To US Intelligence Is Assassinated | Pakistani president Asif Zardari admits creating terrorist groups | Western Governments Funding Taliban & Al-Qaeda To Kill U.S. Troops, Destabilize Countries | The Main Result of the “War on Terror”: The Destabilization of Pakistan | Report: CIA runs secret bases in Pakistan | Delta Force Officer: We Weren’t Allowed to Kill Osama Bin Laden | Key Benazir Bhutto assassination witness shot dead | CIA, Pakistani ISI have long, complicated relationship | US scales up covert destabilization efforts in Iran, continues funding ‘al-Qaeda’ | Report: U.S. Gave Green Light For Taliban Prison Attack | Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh: US Indirectly Funding Al-Qaeda Linked Sunni Groups in Move to Counter Iran | US Allowed Taliban, Al-Qaeda Airlift Evacuation

Press TV
June 13, 2010

A new report claims there are direct links between Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

A new report has suggested that Pakistan’s intelligence agency is supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan, providing them with funds and training.

The report released Sunday by the London School of Economics (LSE) says that support for the Taliban is the “official policy” of Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and the body provides funds and sanctuary for the militant group on a larger scale than previously thought.

LSE, which is deemed a leading British institution, also suggests that support for the Taliban “is approved at the highest level of Pakistan’s civilian government.”

“Pakistan appears to be playing a double-game of astonishing magnitude,” said the report’s author, Matt Waldman, after allegedly speaking to several militants in Afghanistan as well as Western and Afghan security officials.

Almost all of the Taliban militants interviewed in the report believed that the ISI was represented on the Quetta Shura, the Taliban’s supreme leadership council based in Pakistan.

“Interviews strongly suggest that the ISI has representatives on the (Quetta) Shura, either as participants or observers, and the agency is thus involved at the highest level of the movement,” the report said.

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Crown begins closing arguments in Toronto 18 trial

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Related: Accused in Toronto bomb plot not aware: lawyer | Toronto 18 suspect Asad Ansari testifies in defence | Fahim Ahmad enters surprise guilty plea in latest Toronto 18 terror trial | Toronto 18 star witness grilled (again), accused of egging on gullible youngsters | Toronto 18 trial hears of ‘jihadi flavour’ paintball | ‘Toronto 18′ man planned widespread terror attacks, jury hears | Bomb plotter blames police in Toronto 18 case | ‘Toronto 18′ accused involved in bomb plot through RCMP agent, defence says | Toronto 18 member pleads no contest in preparation for entrapment defence | The Toronto 18 Publication Ban: Silence affects the core of justice | Toronto 18 ‘mastermind’ gets life sentence | Walkom: Mole crucial to terror trial | Toronto 18 ringleader says he’s sorry | ‘Toronto 18′ suspect wanted to profit from bombings: witness | ‘Toronto 18′leader pleads guilty | Crown appeals Toronto bomb plotter’s sentence | The making of a homegrown terrorist | Links to ‘Al-Qaeda’, Pakistani training camps linger after ‘Toronto 18′ member imprisoned | ‘Toronto 18′ member handed 14-year sentence | 2-year term sought in Toronto ‘terror plot’ | Toronto 18 ‘terror’ accused signs confession, media retreads tales of planned chaos | Toronto 18 member pleads in bomb plot | RCMP mole in Toronto 18 case says he felt ‘bad’ in terror sting | Toronto 18 Terror case: RCMP agent Shaikh was instigator who broke law: defence | American Intelligence Contractors Leak Canadian Toronto 18 ‘Terror Training’ Video to Web | Third Mole Surfacing in Toronto Terror Trial? | RCMP informant says accused in militant plot was naive | Paid CSIS Informant Says Public Not Upset Enough about Toronto ‘Terror’ Plot | Latest Toronto 18 ‘Terror’ Wiretaps Confirm Youths Goaded by Reservist, Paid Police Informant | Toronto ‘Terrorists’ Agree on Decapitation Plot, Fail to Open Tuna Tin | Many Question if Toronto “Terrorists” Were Led by Informants as Case Weakens | Crown presents evidence in Toronto terror suspect trial | Terror case begins to emit ripe aroma | Canada’s anti-terror law unconstitutional, defence says | Toronto’s Terrorism Case: For the Families, Fear and Bewilderment | CSIS informant admits cocaine, marijuana use during investigation | Terror trial proceedings troubling | Alleged Toronto terror plot included two police agents | Toronto Terrorist Ringleader Has Military Connections | Canadian ‘Terror Plot’ Begins To Unravel | Police arrest terrorist suspects in Toronto

CBC News
June 9, 2010

Closing arguments from the Crown were heard in a Brampton, Ont., courtroom on Wednesday for the last two men accused of plotting attacks on Parliament and other Canadian sites.

Steven Chand, 29, and Asad Ansari, 25, are both charged with knowingly participating in a terrorist group that media and authorities have dubbed the Toronto 18.

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Ont. police track suspicious fertilizer purchase

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

The police are also denying’ this has anything to go with the G20 Funny, almost the exact same thing happened before the Olympics. The retraction, the revelation that the man with the missing fingers, limp and eyepatch (Keyser Söze?) is in fact a farmer will get nowhere near the media play that this announcement has. That’s just one way you’re manipulated through the media. The QMI News Agency/Sun Media/Quebecor company publicizing this report, incidentally, has recently submitted an application to start a news network that’s been described as ‘Fox News North’, to be headed by Harper’s former communications advisor. So watch out for more propaganda from that source, they’ve certainly started with a bang.

(About that OKC Federal building bombing that they keep bringing up recently- it’s been exposed as an incidence of state terror Timothy McVeigh was spotted, on video, at an army base specializing in explosives and demolitions when he was supposed to have been out visiting evil gun shows and hobnobbing with evil state militias in ’93. More on that here. History is littered with instances of what’s known as false flag terrorism, and the spectrum extends from opportunistic psychological operations to the most extreme events where a state stages some kind of attack to blame it on their enemies – he hit me first! the old schoolyard ploy- to go to war. Canada is not above this, look up the Macdonald commission report, and that’s just one example. Anyways, let’s just hope nothing of the sort is planned for the G20.)

Update (2010/06/09): What do you know – the mystery purchaser of the fertilizer turned out to be a farmer. ‘Anticlimactic’, indeed.

Related: Explosive chemicals not stolen prior to Olympics after all: RCMP | RCMP hasn’t closed book on missing potential explosive as Olympics loom | GPS game blamed for Ottawa bomb scare | ‘Bombs’ in Ottawa this weekend are just for training | Art student released on bail after bomb hoax

CBC News
June 8, 2010

Searching for man who bought 1,625 kg of ammonium nitrate in Lincoln, Ont.

Police in southern Ontario are reported to be searching for a man who bought what they consider to be a suspiciously large amount of fertilizer – enough, they say, to make a bomb.

The RCMP have confirmed to CBC News that a man purchased 65, 25-kilogram bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizer on May 26 at Vineland Growers’ Co-Operative Ltd., in Lincoln, Ont., near St. Catharines in the Niagara Region.

According to a report by the QMI news agency, alerts have been sent to police forces across Ontario asking them to keep an eye out for the man. The RCMP say they are assisting with the investigation.

The 1,625 kg of ammonium nitrate is enough to make an explosive of the kind used by U.S. bomber Timothy McVeigh, QMI quoted the alert as saying.

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Canada can’t deny suspected terrorists of rights on basis of UN blacklist, lawsuit claims

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Related: Abdelrazik’s bank assets frozen | Abdelrazik accuses CSIS, MPs of harassment and interrogation | Mysterious people tailing recently repatriated no-fly-list refugee | UN rushes Abdelrazik terror allegations onto website in wake of exoneration | Ottawa will allow Abdelrazik to return to Canada | Ottawa defies court, refuses emergency travel documents to citizen trapped in Sudan | Canadian Courts don’t buy word of government | Court orders Ottawa to let Abdelrazik return to Canada | Committee calls on Cannon to let Abdelrazik appear in Ottawa | Canadians secretly interrogated Abdelrazik, papers show | Parade of excuses continues as Ottawa denies citizen’s repatriation | Supporters defy law, buy plane ticket for Montrealer stuck in Sudan | Ottawa balks at travel permit for man trapped in Sudan | CSIS faces review in Khadr case | Family of Canadian stranded by no-fly list to make public appeal

Doug Ward, Vancouver Sun
June 7, 2010

VANCOUVER – B.C. civil rights activists are arguing in a Federal Court lawsuit launched Monday that the Canadian government should not be able to deny a citizen of his legal rights, place him on a no-fly list and freeze his assets just because his name is on a United Nations anti-terrorism list.

The court challenge argues that Canada’s use of the UN Security Council blacklist of people alleged to have ties to al-Qaida or the Taliban is unconstitutional because it strips listed individuals of their charter rights.

“The UN list is really Orwellian because people are placed on the list for reasons they are not entirely aware of,” said B.C. Civil Liberties Association counsel Carmen Cheung. “It’s at odds with the basic principles of fairness and due process, which are enshrined in the charter.”

Abousfian Abdelrazik, the only Canadian on the UN list, is also part of the lawsuit, along with the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and the BCCLA.

The UN Security Council list of individuals alleged to have ties to terrorism is called the “1267 list.”

Abdelrazik has been cleared of any terrorist connection by Canadian security officials but a Canadian government request to have him removed from the list has been denied by the UN’s 1267 Committee.

Cheung said it is assumed that the U.S. government is determined to keep Abdelrazik on the list. Abdelrazik, a Muslim who came to Canada in 1990 as a refugee, was not allowed to return to Canada following a trip to Africa, where he went to visit his sick mother.

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How Somalia’s civil war became new front in battle against al-Qaida

Monday, June 7th, 2010

We’ve been recently treated to a couple of highly questionable ‘terrorist’ stories with a Somali connection in the past month – first, of course, the Times Square bombing with its fizzled ‘bomb’ – the back of a hatchback containing fireworks, nails, and a couple BBQ cylinders – and just yesterday, two kids out of Jersey got it in their head to fly out to Somalia and try to find an al-Shabab recruiter. Now, what do you think happens next?

Related: Two men arrested at JFK, were attempting to find terror group to join | Obama secretly deploys US special forces to 75 countries across world | US drone ’shot down over Somalia’ | US Africom ‘has no hidden agenda’

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, The Guardian
June 7, 2010

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad reports from Mogadishu where presence of US drones reveals western anxiety over country’s conflict

On a side street off Mogadishu’s Wadnaha Road frontline a young officer is explaining the unwritten rules of the city’s intractable civil war as his men exchange fire with an unseen enemy.

The fighters shooting at him are from the Hizb al-Islam, he explains. He knows this because they fight longer than al-Shabab, the other main Islamist group besieging Somalia‘s tiny government-held enclave, but also because they told him. “We have friends there. They tell us before they leave their base that they are going to attack. When they want to fire mortars they tell us so we can take cover.”

If the conflict that has turned Mogadishu into a virtual no-go zone for 19 years occasionally resembles a grim farce, there is nothing farcical about the scene around us.

Nearby lies an array of flip flops in different shapes and sizes and always in singles: blues, reds, purples, tiny plastic ones with flower designs and large leather ones attesting to previous skirmishes, advances and retreats. A jungle of trees and shrubs has taken over the deserted street so that the soldiers have to push the branches with their elbows and guns to make a path. Houses and shops are shattered, empty and riddled with bullet holes.

Somalia is the world’s invisible conflict, and perhaps its least comprehensible. Since January last year, when Ethiopia pulled out of the country, the Islamist government of Sharif Ahmed has been locked in an attritional struggle with al-Shabab, a more radical offshoot of the Islamic Courts movement, the alliance of tribal sharia courts which once controlled most of southern Somalia. The government is also under attack from Hizb al-Islam, many of whom fought alongside Ahmed against the Ethiopia.

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Accused in Toronto bomb plot not aware: lawyer

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Of course, this doesn’t matter any longer and when it comes to terrorism charges, the law no longer really gives a damn about your intent. Basically, you could be a terrorist and not even realize it if your actions in some way are facilitating a terrorist activity. Don’t believe this journal, go and read section 83.19(2) of the Criminal Code.It states: A terrorist activity is facilitated whether or not (a) the facilitator knows that a particular terrorist activity is facilitated; (b) any particular terrorist activity was foreseen or planned at the time it was facilitated; or (c) any terrorist activity was actually carried out. Of course, the hordes of neocons and their camp followers – the ones that have been propagandized and spiritually militarized since 9/11 – don’t see a problem with this.

Update (2010/06/08): It’s interesting to note that the lawyer for Momin Khawaja used the exact opposite argument, which resulted in the question of an existing motive clause requiring the government to prove a crime was committed for political, ideological, or religious reasons being provisionally struck down in a lower court in 2008 due to his position that this was a discriminatory test when applied to individuals seeking to join overseas conflicts. The Ontario Court of appeal is presently considering whether to reinstate the clause, which was not identified in the article but which appears to correspond to section 83.01, definitions. If you can figure out where this leaves the question of motive, by all means do leave a comment below.

Related: Toronto 18 suspect Asad Ansari testifies in defence | Fahim Ahmad enters surprise guilty plea in latest Toronto 18 terror trial | Toronto 18 star witness grilled (again), accused of egging on gullible youngsters | Toronto 18 trial hears of ‘jihadi flavour’ paintball | ‘Toronto 18′ man planned widespread terror attacks, jury hears | Bomb plotter blames police in Toronto 18 case | ‘Toronto 18′ accused involved in bomb plot through RCMP agent, defence says | Toronto 18 member pleads no contest in preparation for entrapment defence | The Toronto 18 Publication Ban: Silence affects the core of justice | Toronto 18 ‘mastermind’ gets life sentence | Walkom: Mole crucial to terror trial | Toronto 18 ringleader says he’s sorry | ‘Toronto 18′ suspect wanted to profit from bombings: witness | ‘Toronto 18′leader pleads guilty | Crown appeals Toronto bomb plotter’s sentence | The making of a homegrown terrorist | Links to ‘Al-Qaeda’, Pakistani training camps linger after ‘Toronto 18′ member imprisoned | ‘Toronto 18′ member handed 14-year sentence | 2-year term sought in Toronto ‘terror plot’ | Toronto 18 ‘terror’ accused signs confession, media retreads tales of planned chaos | Toronto 18 member pleads in bomb plot | RCMP mole in Toronto 18 case says he felt ‘bad’ in terror sting | Toronto 18 Terror case: RCMP agent Shaikh was instigator who broke law: defence | American Intelligence Contractors Leak Canadian Toronto 18 ‘Terror Training’ Video to Web | Third Mole Surfacing in Toronto Terror Trial? | RCMP informant says accused in militant plot was naive | Paid CSIS Informant Says Public Not Upset Enough about Toronto ‘Terror’ Plot | Latest Toronto 18 ‘Terror’ Wiretaps Confirm Youths Goaded by Reservist, Paid Police Informant | Toronto ‘Terrorists’ Agree on Decapitation Plot, Fail to Open Tuna Tin | Many Question if Toronto “Terrorists” Were Led by Informants as Case Weakens | Crown presents evidence in Toronto terror suspect trial | Terror case begins to emit ripe aroma | Canada’s anti-terror law unconstitutional, defence says | Toronto’s Terrorism Case: For the Families, Fear and Bewilderment | CSIS informant admits cocaine, marijuana use during investigation | Terror trial proceedings troubling | Alleged Toronto terror plot included two police agents | Toronto Terrorist Ringleader Has Military Connections | Canadian ‘Terror Plot’ Begins To Unravel | Police arrest terrorist suspects in Toronto

CBC News
June 7, 2010

The lawyer for a man charged with participating in an alleged militant plot to carry out attacks in Toronto and Ottawa, says his client did not know the group’s objectives.

In closing arguments in Ontario Superior Court in Brampton, Ont., Monday, defence lawyer John Norris said evidence presented in the case does not support beyond a reasonable doubt the charge that Asad Ansari knowingly participated in a terrorist group.

Norris said that although Ansari attended a gathering in Washago, Ont., in December 2005, along with other members of the group, he was not an active participant and was not aware of any plans to bomb high-profile targets in Toronto and Ottawa.

The defence argued that the Crown was unable to prove that Ansari was present as fellow camp attendees heard what has been dubbed the “fall of Rome” speech, referring to western society as the Roman Empire, the lawyer said.

Nothing Ansari did “crossed the line into criminality,” Norris said. [Ed. Note: Doesn't matter, throw the book at him, we need to keep the populace in a state of fear or we won't be able to keep taxing them to buy weapons.]

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Two men arrested at JFK, were attempting to find terror group to join

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Here we go again – another pair of angry young men radicalized under the patronage of the secret police and ready to jet off to some mythic shining world of jihad to fight epic battles of good and evil (in their view). It’s already a matter of public record that this fits the pattern of previous state-run terror cells with manipulable misfits inducted in the ways of terror paintball and wild boasts of violence. Almonte and Alessa were certainly big talkers and the police had been crawling all over them for four years. The question here is, was it the police informant that was encouraging their youthful, fevered dreams as in the cases of the Oz 5, 4 New Yorkers in May 2009, the Fort Dix plotters, and our own Toronto 18 – to name a few? It has come out that he hosted hand-to-hand combat training sessions at his home in New Jersey. But he may not have even had to do the heavy lifting to drive these two towards militancy, as they were apparently fans of Adam Gadahn and Anwar al-Awlaki. Pages could be written here about Gadahn and Awlaki, but suffice it to say that Gadahn (grandson of an ADL director, he beat up muslims in his youth yet experienced a dramatic conversion to Islam a couple of years back only to be trumpeted as the ‘American Al-Qaeda’ in the media) and Awlaki (who, despite his connections to the 9-11 hijackers experienced an amazing freedom of movement in the US and London, including having a warrant for his arrest rescinded upon being caught at JFK in 2002 and passed over for extradition when Yemen offered him up in 2006) are suspect in their own right. This is already shaping up to be a cookie-cutter case of manufactured terror for the domestic press. How long, do you figure, before the Pentagon cranks up its presence in Somalia? Stay tuned…

Related: Homegrown terrorist threat to be part of new US National Security Strategy | Jordanian teen to plead guilty in Dallas bomb case | Alt-Media Predictions Borne Out: FBI Agent Discovered at Center of Alleged Hutaree Conspiracy | Times Square Bomber Linked With CIA-Controlled Terror Group | Toronto 18 star witness grilled (again), accused of egging on gullible youngsters | Alleged second NYC subway bomb plotter Ahmedzay to plead guilty | Mumbai Terrorist Headley Was US Agent | Undercover policeman reveals how he infiltrated UK’s anti-racism activists | Arrested Terrorist Leader Exposes Extensive CIA Connections | Toronto 18 conspirator Shareef Abdelhaleem ‘not entrapped’, despite evident entrapment: judge | 5 Muslims jailed for Australian terror plot | Crotch Bomber Mutallab’s Visa Approved by State Department | Authorities Quietly Reverse Underwear Bomber Official Story | Walkom: Mole crucial to terror trial | Mumbai suspect is US double agent, India claims | Sears Tower ‘bomb plot’ ringleader sentenced to 13 years | Despite provocation taint, absence of plan, five men convicted of ‘terror plot’ in Australia’s longest trial | Links to ‘Al-Qaeda’, Pakistani training camps linger after ‘Toronto 18′ member imprisoned | Australian Army Base Terrorism Case ‘Exaggerated’ | Evasive Australian police quizzed whether covert operative was planted among terror suspects | ‘Imminent’ terror strike foiled in Australia | How MI5 blackmails British Muslims | New York “Terror Plot” Another Government Provocateured Set-Up | All 11 men arrested during anti-terror raids released without charge | Toronto 18 Terror case: RCMP agent Shaikh was instigator who broke law: defence | Five muslims face life for Fort Dix ‘terror plot’ orchestrated by FBI | Third Mole Surfacing in Toronto Terror Trial? | Australian ‘Terror Plot’ Case Bears Remarkable Similarities to ‘Toronto 18′ | FBI Informant in British terror trial given immunity, proceedings raise question of what MI5 knew about 2005 London bombings | Terror accused refuses to discuss links to Pakistan secret service, family threatened | British ‘Terror Suspects’ Were in Contact With MI5

Bruce Shipkowski, Matt Apuzzo, The Associated Press
June 6, 2010

Officials stop two New Jersey men bound for Somalia at New York’s JFK Airport

They were recorded talking jihad against their fellow Americans. But they hadn’t talked the jihadists into accepting them.

When the two New Jersey men tried to fly out of New York’s Kennedy Airport in hopes of getting terror training in Somalia, investigators who had been following them for years were waiting for each of them at the gate, officials said Sunday.

Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24, were arrested Saturday before they could board separate flights to Egypt and then continue on to Somalia, federal officials in New Jersey and the New York Police Department said.

They are the latest of several U.S. Muslims accused of joining or trying to join terrorist groups, radicalized with help from fellow Americans preaching violent jihad over the Internet.

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Karzai’s Afghan peace conference ends with agreement on Taliban amnesty

Friday, June 4th, 2010

It’s the end of the weekly news cycle. Do you know where your government stands on this? We’ll be in this quagmire for another twenty years, albeit in a somewhat attenuated role.

Related: NATO to begin handing control to Afghans | Taliban support strong in Kandahar: poll | UN in secret peace talks with Taliban | Afghanistan conference agrees on exit timetable, Taliban bailout | General McChrystal indicates talks with Taliban to be discussed | US pours millions into anti-Taliban militias in Afghanistan | Taliban: Blackwater to blame for Pakistan attacks | UK ‘backs Taliban reintegration’ | How the US Funds the Taliban | Ex-diplomat says Afghanistan in ‘civil war,’ calls for US withdrawal | Ethnic hostility is a big, maybe the biggest, part of the Afghan war | Pakistani Army working with ‘Good Taliban’ | French troops were killed after Italy hushed up ‘bribes’ to Taleban | Britain and US prepared to open talks with the Taliban | Pakistani president Asif Zardari admits creating terrorist groups | Western Governments Funding Taliban & Al-Qaeda To Kill U.S. Troops, Destabilize Countries | Whistleblower Who Linked “Taliban” Leader To US Intelligence Is Assassinated | US arms sent to Afghan forces ‘in Taliban hands’ | Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM says | Delta Force Officer: We Weren’t Allowed to Kill Osama Bin Laden | Report: U.S. Gave Green Light For Taliban Prison Attack | The Lies that Led to War | US Allowed Taliban, Al-Qaeda Airlift Evacuation

Sayed Salahuddin and Hamid Shalizi, Reuters
June 4, 2010

KABUL — Afghan tribal elders and religious leaders agreed on Friday to make peace with the Taliban, handing President Hamid Karzai a mandate to open negotiations with the insurgents who are fighting foreign forces and his government.

Mr. Karzai had called the “peace jirga” to win national support for his plan to offer an amnesty, cash and job incentives to Taliban foot soldiers while arranging asylum for top figures in a second country and getting their names struck off a U.N. and U.S. blacklist.

“Now the path is clear, the path that has been shown and chosen by you, we will go on that step-by-step and this path will Inshallah, take us to our destination,” he told the delegates gathered in a tent under heavy security.

He urged the Taliban, who have virtually fought tens of thousands of U.S.-led NATO forces and the Afghan army to a bloody stalemate, to stop fighting.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the decisions of the three-day jirga, saying it was a significant step toward reaching out to all Afghans to promote peace and stability.

“The United Nations supports these national efforts to end conflict in Afghanistan, and remains fully committed to working with the Afghan authorities as they strive for a peaceful life,” he said in a statement.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the Obama administration believed the jirga had accomplished its objectives.

“It has provided a national consensus to pursue a political strategy to reduce the danger posed by the insurgency and we will continue to support Afghanistan as it goes forward,” Mr. Crowley said in Washington, without commenting further.

Washington, however, has been wary of overtures to senior Taliban leaders, including supreme leader Mullah Omar and others on the U.S. blacklist, until there is more momentum on the battlefield.

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CIA drone killings trouble UN rights expert

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

He should be troubled.. the US recently gave the green light to fire at will, no names required, on the political strength of the impact of the bogus Times Square ‘bombing’ incident. No targeting required. Readers may be interested to know that the dear leader Obama has also approved extrajudicial assasinations, something that no President to date could even have dreamed of going public with. But, you know, torture, assassinations, police state surveillance: it’s the new freedom. WWII vets are rolling in their graves.

Related: CIA Drones No Longer Need a Name to Kill | Pakistan air strike ‘kills 71 civilians’ | WikiLeaks releases video of alleged U.S. helicopter attack on Reuters reporters | 1 in 3 Killed by U.S. Drone Attacks In Pakistan Are Civilians | Afghan ministers voice anger as civilians killed in Nato air strike | Five civilians killed in Nato rocket attack in Afghanistan | Suspected US drone ‘kills 12′ in Pakistan | U.S. prods Pakistan to expand offensive | Pakistan anti-Taliban offensive in South Waziristan ‘over’ | U.S. Military Joins CIA’s Drone War in Pakistan | US Air Force confirms new ‘Beast of Kandahar’ drone | German army chief resigns over Afghanistan air strike | Clinton confronted by Pakistanis over attacks by aerial drones | UN: Drone attacks may violate international law | US drone ’shot down over Somalia’ | Refugee flood reveals human cost of South Waziristan’s invisible war | ‘Taliban’ resist Pakistan onslaught | Pakistani troops assault ‘Taliban’ stronghold | Militants attack Pakistani cities | Pakistan launches air strikes before offensive | NATO pledges probe of deadly Afghan air strike; civilians killed | Pakistan remains silent as U.S. air attack kills 80 | Afghan Airstrike Video Goes Down the Memory Hole | Homing chips are CIA’s latest weapon against ‘al-Qaida’ targets hiding in Pakistan’s tribal belt | CIA: Our Drones are Killing Terrorists. Promise | US air strikes kill dozens of Afghan civilians | NATO denies air strike killed Afghan civilians | Don’t-ask-don’t-tell Policy: Pakistan and U.S. Have Tacit Deal On Airstrikes | Death toll climbs after U.S. air strike in Pakistan

CBC News
June 3, 2010

Targeted killings, where lethal force is intentionally used against perceived enemies of states, sometimes using drones, blur the line of international law when carried out on foreign soil, a UN independent human rights expert says.

Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, said in a report that while targeted killings can be legal, they are often carried out in secret, which makes it difficult for those responsible to be held accountable when international law is broken.

“There are indeed circumstances in which targeted killings may be legal,” Alston said in the report to the UN Human Rights Council. “They are permitted in armed conflict situations when used against combatants or fighters, or civilians who directly engage in combat-like activities.”

Alston’s report comes on the heels of the unconfirmed killing of Al-Qaeda’s No. 3 official, Sheikh Sa’id al-Yazid, by a U.S. Predator drone on Monday. This was the latest strike in a slew of widely reported drone missile missions that have yet to be officially acknowledged by the U.S. government.

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