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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.