Pakistan: American kidnapped by suspected Taliban in Lahore (UPD)

The Alamgiri Gate built in 1673, is the main e...

The Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort. Image via Wikipedia

Twelve heavily armed suspected Taliban militants barged into the residence of an American national and kidnapped him in the wee hours today after overpowering his guards in Pakistan”s Punjab provincial capital.

About a dozen armed men entered the house of Warren Weinstein in Block J of Model Town neighbourhood at 3:30 am and took him away after overpowering his four guards, police spokesman Niyab Haider Naqvi told PTI.

The kidnappers bundled Weinstein into a vehicle and took him to an unknown location, Naqvi said.

Other officials, who did not want to be identified, said they suspected the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan was behind the abduction.

US Embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez confirmed that an American citizen had been kidnapped but declined to identify him.

“He was working for a private company. We are working with Pakistani authorities on the issue,” Rodriguez said.

Security guards at the American”s residence were preparing for ”sehri”, the pre-dawn meal in the Islamic holy month of Ramzan, when the kidnappers struck.

via American kidnapped by suspected Taliban in Lahore –  .

UPD: The kidnapped man is an American Jewish.

US: Fla. imam seeks identity of informant used in Pakistani Taliban terror finance case

J. Edgar Hoover FBI building - headquarters

Edgar Hoover building - headquarters. Image via Wikipedia

The attorney for a Florida Muslim cleric accused of supporting terrorists wants to learn the identity of a key FBI informant in the case.

Evidence shows the informant recorded numerous conversations with the cleric, 76-year-old Hafiz Khan. Khan’s attorney says in court papers that learning the informant’s identity is critical in preparing his defense. The informant helped drive Khan to appointments and assisted him in dealing with government programs such as Medicare.

The FBI recordings form the backbone of the U.S. case against Khan and his two sons. They are each charged with four terrorism support-related crimes and have pleaded not guilty. The charges each carry potential 15-year sentences. Three others are still at large in Pakistan

Prosecutors say they funneled at least $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban terror group.

via Fla. imam seeks identity of informant used in Pakistani Taliban terror finance case – The Washington Post.

US: Four men charged for providing support to terrorist groups

The U.S. has charged four men for conspiring to provide support to terrorist groups, Manhattan’s U.S. Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday.

The charge highlighted “the growing nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism,” Manhattan’s U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told reporters.

The prosecutors said that the suspects sold weapons and drugs to terrorist groups overseas and planned to give the money to the Taliban.

The four men are Cetin Aksu, a Turkish Kurd, Bachar Wehbe, a Lebanese national, Siavosh Henareh, an Iranian Kurd and Taza Gul Alizai, an Afghan man.

via Four men charged in U.S. for providing support to terrorist groups.

Related:

US: Trucking funds end up in Taliban hands

US HH-60 over southern Afghanistan.

US HH-60 over Afghanistan. Image via Wikipedia

Cash from part of a $2.16 billion U.S. transportation contract in Afghanistan has ended up in the hands of Taliban insurgents, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The disclosure is another example of the persistent difficulty the U.S. military has in keeping its massive war funding from reaching the insurgents it is fighting in the unpopular, decade-old Afghan war.

The United States is spending more than $6 billion a month in the conflict.

Pentagon officials have repeatedly warned of the need to tighten controls on U.S. contracts and last year announced the creation of a task force to crack down on misuse of funds by contractors, some of whom pay Taliban protection money.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said the discovery of the siphoning of funds from the trucking contract was part of that previously announced effort. He said the U.S. military’s Central Command, which oversees the Afghan war, aimed to sign a new trucking contract in September.

“Central Command’s contracting command is working on a new Afghan trucking contract to ensure greater transparency into subcontractors,” Lapan told reporters.

AINA.org.

Afghanistan: Taliban hang 8-year-old after his father didn’t meet their demands

KABUL, Afghanistan- Afghan President Hamid Kar...

Image via Wikipedia

 An 8 year-old boy was hanged by militants in Afghanistan’s Helmand province after the boy’s father — a police officer in the southern city of Gereshk — refused to comply with militants’ demands to provide them with a police vehicle, officials said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the hanging, saying “this action is not permitted in any culture or any religions,” according to a statement Sunday, which provided details of the incident.

Karzai said he has ordered local authorities to root out the militants and arrest them “as soon as possible.”

The boy was kidnapped Friday. It was unclear when he was killed.

Aina.org.

Talib al-Britani: British nationals caught supporting the Taliban

Taliban in Herat.

Taliban in Herat.Image via Wikipedia

Britain’s connection to jihad in South Asia was once again cast into the spotlight with the capture of two British nationals with alleged links to the Taliban in Herat. The man and woman remain unidentified, and the British Ministry of Defense and Foreign Office have both merely confirmed that they were British nationals. Stories have started to circulate in the press that they were plotting an attack back in the U.K. and it seems that they were dual Afghan-British nationals known to MI5, though other reports indicate they may be of Pakistani origin.  Whether they were planning an attack in the U.K. or not, the prospect of British nationals fighting British soldiers in Afghanistan is something that has long worried British officials. Either way, their presence shows the connection between the U.K. and fighting in Afghanistan continues to exist, a demonstration of how ingrained extreme ideas continue to be in the U.K.

In many ways, this discovery is not that surprising. NATO forces have captured other European nationals fighting for their enemies in Afghanistan before, and there have been reports of British signals intercepts planes over the country hearing men talking in distinct regional British accents. Recently a picture surfaced in an extremist video showing “Musa the British” – a dead Taliban fighter with roots in the U.K. Most dramatically, a couple of years ago a story circulated that British forces had discovered a Taliban corpse with an Aston Villa tattoo. (Aston Villa is a Birmingham football team, one of Britain’s cities with a large South Asian population.)

via Talib al-Britani « Raffaello Pantucci.

Read it all.

Afghanistan: Pakistan Taliban commander back on the air

Taliban in Herat.

Taliban in Herat. Image via Wikipedia

Back to the future… in this case a very realistic film:

The resurgence of Maulvi Faqir Mohammed — also one of the Pakistani Taliban’s top commanders — illustrates the resilience of militants fighting to topple the U.S.-allied Pakistani government and the growing problem of sanctuaries in eastern Afghanistan that allow fighters to elude the army’s grasp.

“We will return and enforce the golden system of Islam,” Mohammed said in a recent radio broadcast from his new base in Afghanistan. “All of those who have turned their backs on us — like we are gone for good — should seek forgiveness from Allah.”

Militants and their supporters in Pakistan have long used illegal FM radio stations to spread their message and incite violence against the government. The tactic is hard to counter because the equipment needed is cheap and easily transportable.

via Taliban commander back on the air in Pakistan – Boston.com.

Afghanistan: Video released shows Taliban beheading Christian convert

Front of the Quran

Image via Wikipedia

A video released in recent weeks, and made available to WORLD this week by two separate Afghan sources, shows four Afghan militants beheading a man believed to be a Christian in Herat Province.The militants, who claim to be Taliban, captured the victim, a man in his 40s named Abdul Latif (according to Obaid Christ, who provided translation of the video), earlier this year from his village outside Enjeel, a town south of Herat.

In the two-minute video, the men, wearing explosive belts (or suicide vests) and kaffiya head scarves to cover their faces, recite verses from the Quran while forcing Latif to the ground and pinning him with their feet. “You who are joined with pagans . . . your sentence [is] to be beheaded,” read one of the militants in Farsi from what looked like a paper decree. “Whoever changes his religion should be executed.” The passages refer to Sura 8:12 (“I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks . . .”) and the hadiths, or sayings of Mohammed.

As Latif fought his captors from the ground, one of the militants thrust a medium-sized blade into the side of his neck. With blood flowing onto the ground the militants shouted “Allahu Akhbar” or “God is great” over and over until Latif was fully beheaded and his head was placed on top of his chest.

via WORLD Magazine | Brutal beheading | Mindy Belz | Jun 22, 11.

Whoever considers that this is equivalent to a soldier, is either an idiot or a scoundrel. :mad:

Found at Markedmanner Blog.

Afghanistan: Karzai announces contacts with Taliban while more attacks take place

President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that Afghanistan and the United States are engaged in peace talks with the Taliban, even as suicide bombers stormed a police station near the presidential palace, killing at least two police officers.

The brazen attack in the heart of Kabul’s government district provided a sharp counterpoint to Karzai’s announcement that the U.S. and Afghan government are in talks with the Taliban, the first official confirmation of such discussions. The violence also underscored the difficulty facing any possible negotiated settlement to the decade-long war.

Men dressed in Afghan army uniforms stormed the police station near the presidential palace and opened fire on officers as they tried to enter the building, said Mohammed Honayon, an eyewitness.

What I really don’t understand is why this war was even began to get this result. The people is going to be abandoned in the hands of warlords or Taliban, allowing brutality and suffering to continue. What has really changed? Not even women’s situation and treatment:

Afghanistan was rated the worst because of high mortality rates, limited access to doctors and a “near total lack of economic rights” in addition to the continuing war there, NATO airstrikes and dangerous cultural practices.

PS: Other countries in the survey are Congo (1000 rapes a day), Pakistan (child marriages and honot killings) or India (human trafficking skyrocketing to 90% in the world).

UN delinks Al-Qaeda and the Taliban

UN Security Council Chamber in New York.

Image via Wikipedia

The separate resolutions would symbolically delink al-Qaida and the Taliban and recognize their different agendas. While Al-Qaida is focused on worldwide jihad against the West and establishment of a religious state in the Muslim world, Taliban militants have focused on their own country and have shown little interest in attacking targets abroad.

Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig, who chairs the Security Council committee that currently monitors sanctions against the two groups, told reporters in Kabul earlier this month that separating the sanctions regimes would futher highlight “the significance of the political efforts that are ongoing in Afghanistan.”

Of course, none of us knew this. We have been waiting for the UN to reveal such a huge discovery… :roll:

More comment at BCF.

UN Report: More than 3/4 of people killed in Afghanistan are caused by the Taliban

Taliban in Herat.

Image via Wikipedia

The Taliban are not happy about it:

U.N. representatives consider that women and children are being killed and wounded at home more than ever before, due to the intensification of Taliban attacks on the Afghan territory.

About 55 percent more children were killed in the first half of this year by the Taliban, compared to the last year. Thus, 3,268 people were killed from January 1, 2010, and 1,997 were injured and maimed. 2,477 of these people were killed or wounded by anti-governmental forces such as the Taliban, while 386 can be blamed on the pro-governmental forces, including the  International Security Assistance Force and Afghan Security Forces.

More here.

Afghanistan: Taliban killer had clean background

The Afghan policeman who killed six American troops had been on the force for three years and had no criminal background, Afghanistan’s interior ministry has said.

The gunman, who also died in the shooting on Monday, opened fire as the group was on its way to a weapons range in Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the officer had enlisted as a sleeper agent in order to have an opportunity to kill foreigners.

The bloodshed – which appeared to be the deadliest attack of its kind in at least two years – underscored one of the risks in the programme to train enough recruits to turn over the lead for security to Afghan forces by 2014.

via Express.co.uk – Home of the Daily and Sunday Express | World News :: Afghan killer had clean background.

Having so much anxiety to leave is not good. The danger of course, is to do everything wrong and, although some things have already being done in a very wrong way (Sharia Law being a source of law according to the Constitution), things can even get worse…

Moreover, this is not the first time that happens (1, 2).

Afghanistan: Taliban is a London cab driver

We were asked to wait for the district chief in the house of a burly, bearded man who spoke passable English with a hint of a London accent. For most of the time he lived in east London, he said, but he came to Afghanistan for three months of the year to fight. He was a mullah and had the rank of a mid-level Taliban commander.

I work as a minicab driver there,” he said. “I make good money, you know. But these people are my friends and my family and it’s my duty to come to fight the jihad with them.

There are many people like me in London,” he added. “We collect money for the jihad all year and come and fight if we can.”

via The Taliban troop with an east London cab driver in its ranks | World news | The Guardian.

Solution? If we discover you’re jihading with your colleagues, better buy a one-way ticket, because you’re not going to enter this country again. Yes it’s difficult to prove that, but I’m sure there are patterns to discover the “covered” life these guys are having… You know, who would have allowed someone living in the US going to Germany to fight for the Nazis three months a year and then coming back to send them some money for their fight? :shock:

Afghanistan: Another senior Taliban Killed in Uruzgan

Another one down.

A successful Afghan National Security Force and Special Operations Task Group operation against insurgents in Central Uruzgan was conducted on Saturday, 6 November resulting in one district-level Taliban leader being killed.

Mullah Mohammadullah and another insurgent were killed when they fired at the combined force while fleeing the Shahid-e Hasas area, near Deh Rawud.  The event occurred during a combined disruption operation against an improvised explosive device and weapons distribution ring.

Mullah Mohammadullah operated at the district level and was known to have resourced, planned and coordinated operations against the International Security Assistance Force and the Afghan National Security Force in the region, as well as being a known distributor of weapons and money for the insurgents.

via Media Release – Department of Defence.

Afghanistan: Abducted Canadian journalist dead

A woman journalist from Canada, who was abducted by militants in November 2008, has died following prolonged illness in the custody of the Taliban somewhere in northwest Pakistan or Afghanistan, sources said on Tuesday.

Khadija Abdul Qahar, 55, who was known as Beverly Giesbrecht before she converted to Islam, was abducted along with her translator Salman Khan and cook-cum-driver Zar Muhammad while travelling to Miranshah in the restive North Waziristan tribal region.

The three were abducted in the Bannu region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on November 11, 2008. Salman Khan and Zar Muhammad were released after eight months of captivity due to efforts made by the head of a religious party.

Khan disclosed after his release that Qahar was suffering from hepatitis and was mentally prepared for death.

She was not very optimistic about her release, he had then said.

via Abducted Canadian journalist dead: sources.

The Jawa Report adds:

Geisbrecht once published a website called “Jihad Unspun” under the name “Khadija Abdul Qahaar“. The website was pro-Taliban. I don’t mean this in the sense that many on the Left are pro-Taliban — they support any opponents of the US — I mean this in the literal sense: she and the website supported the Taliban.

(Found).

Afghanistan: Taliban use 2-year-old girl as bomb trigger

Taliban flag

TWISTED Taliban killers used a TWO-YEAR-OLD girl as the trigger for a bomb which killed her and five Afghan police, The Sun can reveal.

The terrorists stood the frightened toddler on the device and ordered her not to move.

Worried Afghan National Police raced to help the screaming child and when they picked her up to comfort her the bomb detonated. As well as claiming six lives the blast also injured a bystander.

Officer Rafiulah Qandahar – who is being trained by British troops and civilian cops at the Helmand Police Training Centre in Lashkar Gah – watched the chilling event unfold six months ago.

Rafiulah, 27, said: “She was just a little girl. It happened in Kandahar and was very sad. Bad people did this. They are enemies of humanity, enemies of Islam and enemies of the Koran.”

via Soldiers scupper bid to blow up British troops | The Sun |Features.

Related:

AL-QAEDA operatives in Iraq tried to unleash deadly terror in the skies by deploying a pair of dogs on a US-bound plane, it has emerged.

The plot failed because the bombs were so badly stitched inside the dogs that they died, according to a report in the respected French daily newspaper Le Figaro.

“This case illustrates the determination of al Qaeda militants, who are trying to circumvent terrorism controls by any means,” French criminologist Christophe Naudin, an aviation security expert, told the newspaper.

More about this here.

Terror: Spy agencies have infiltrated Al-Qaeda

Wow, well done!! About time too… :(

Months after he was released from Guantanamo Bay, Abdul Rahman was back in the company of terrorist leaders along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. But he was a double agent, providing Taliban and al-Qaida secrets to Pakistani intelligence, which then shared the tips with Western counterparts.

The ruse cost him his life, according to a former Pakistani military intelligence official, Mahmood Shah. The Taliban began to suspect him, and after multiple interrogations executed him.

The case of Rahman, which Shah recounted to The Associated Press, falls in line with a key aspect of the fight against terror — Western intelligence agencies, with help from Islamic allies, are placing moles and informants inside al-Qaida and the Taliban. The program seems to be bearing fruit, even as many infiltrators like Rahman are discovered and killed.

It was a tip from an al-Qaida militant-turned-informant that led international authorities to find explosives hidden in printer cartridges from Yemen to the United States a week ago, Yemeni security officials say. Officials say the explosives could have caused a blast as deadly as the 1988 Lockerbie bombing in Scotland that killed 270 people.

Intelligence agencies such as MI6 and the CIA have hired more agents from diverse backgrounds since the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and others that followed. Many say the tactics have worked: Several plots, also including the 2006 trans-Atlantic airline plot, were thwarted because intelligence agents were able to use tips to track the would-be terrorists.

In recent years, U.S., European and Pakistani intelligence officials have said al-Qaida has been weakened by CIA drone strikes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and by governments planting agents within terror cells. Top leaders have been taken out of the picture or trust has been eroded enough that militants have begun to turn on one another.

In an unprecedented public speech last week, MI6 chief John Sawers revealed for the first time that the British spy agency had managed to “get inside” terror organizations. He would not elaborate.

Layers of al-Qaida’s security have been slowly worn down and it’s much easier today to infiltrate these groups,” says Noman Benotman, a former jihadist with links to al-Qaida in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan, and now is a security and terrorism analyst in London.

via Associated Press.

Related: The live among us @ A Tangled Web.

Afghanistan: Fifth Haqqani Network Leader Confirmed Killed During Paktiya Operation

The International Security Assistance Force confirmed another Haqqani Network senior leader, Hibati, was killed during an overnight operation in Paktiya province Saturday.

Former ISAF releases confirmed Zubair and Qari Amil, both Haqqani Network facilitators responsible for the movement of weapons and improvised explosive device materials, along with Shabudin and Ibrahim, both Haqqani Network senior leaders in the area, were also killed during the operation. Hibati was Zubair’s deputy, who was the targeted individual in the operation.

Intelligence tips led the security force to a remote compound in Dzadran district. As the security force approached the area, they encountered several armed insurgents in established fighting positions. The security force could not assess all the engagement areas, but rocket-propelled grenades were among the weapons used by the insurgents.

Intelligence reports later confirmed the death of the five Haqqani leaders as well as several additional Haqqani fighters. It is assessed the security force had broken up a Haqqani leadership meeting.

via UPDATE: Fifth Haqqani Network Leader Confirmed Killed During Paktiya Operation | ISAF – International Security Assistance Force.

Background:
Report: Haqqani, the Taliban who made porn videos, raping poor, defenseless girls.
Pakistan: another Taliban killed.

Pakistan: Taliban blow up another school in Mohmand Agency

Taliban showing the world (again) how they really like culture:

A government primary school in Sagi area of Tehsil Safi in Mohmand Agency was blown up early Wednesday morning.

Another girls primary school was destroyed by miscreants on Tuesday. The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack.

Just last week, a government school for boys in in Koza Bandai was attacked with explosives.

Schools have been a major target for militants in the tribal region with 61 schools having been destroyed in the agency in the last two years.

Security forces have been carrying out an operation against militants in Mohmand Agency. At least 17 militants were killed in the latest clash with security forces in the region on Tuesday.

via Militants blow up another school in Mohmand Agency – The Express Tribune.

Related: Pak-based Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) splits to form deadly Punjabi Taliban in Afghanistan.

But negotiating with the Taliban is good. They are going to respect education once the ISAF is gone from Afghanistan. This is just due to the “occupation”… :roll:

Pakistan: Taliban publicly flog men for ‘taking drugs’ against their diktat

Taliban fighters publicly flogged 65 men after they were convicted by a militant “court” for selling and using drugs in the restive Orakzai tribal region, barely days after a senior official had claimed that 90 per cent of the area had been cleared of rebels.

Members of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan detained 65 tribesmen on the “charge” of selling and using hashish and heroin.

The men were brought before a “ Shariah court” in Mamozai area of Orakzai Agency and they reportedly admitted they had violated a Taliban-imposed ban on using and selling drugs.

After they were “sentenced” by the militant court, the men were taken to a ground on Sunday and each of them was given 10 lashes by Taliban fighters as a large crowd watched.

Hafiz Saeed, the Taliban spokesman in Orakzai Agency, told reporters on phone that the tribesmen had confessed to the “Shariah court” that they had been using drugs despite warnings by the militants.

He said the men were publicly punished so that no one would dare violate the Taliban’s warnings in the tribal region.

via ::News4u:: » Taliban publicly flog men for ‘taking drugs’ against their diktat.