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Afghan police working with British special forces have uncovered a drugs stash of 237 tonnes of hashish.
Afghan and British officials say they believe it to be the world's biggest seizure of drugs in terms of weight.
The drugs were found hidden in trenches in Kandahar province on Monday. The haul was so large that British jets bombed it to destroy the hashish.
Fusion Centers are collaborative law enforcement and intelligence organizations that were established all over the country after 9/11 to share intelligence and counterterrorism information. But in the absence of a widespread domestic terrorist threat, they have not consistently demonstrated their value, according to a recent study.
INTELLIGENCE: IF YOU ARE NOT AHEAD OF THE THREAT…. YOU ARE ONLY REACTING TO IT
CBRNE TERRORISM NEWSLETTER
In a June 10 press conference, Rehman Malik, the internal affairs advisor to Pakistan’s prime minister, reported that a suicide bombing plot had been thwarted when Pakistani authorities arrested nine individuals and seized four apparent vehicle-borne improvised explosives devices (VBIEDs) containing a total of over 1,100 kilograms of explosives.Incident Foreshadows Future Attacks in Pakistan
US To Allow Good Terrorists into the US
...provided that there is no reason to believe that the
relevant terrorist activities of the alien or the recipients were
targeted against noncombatant persons, and further provided that the
alien satisfies the relevant agency authority that the alien:
Friday June 13 turned out to be an unlucky day for the guards at Sarposa prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan. At approximately 9:20 p.m. local time, some 30 Taliban insurgents launched a complex and highly coordinated attack on the facility. The operation freed all 1,100 inmates incarcerated there, including a reported 350 to 400 Taliban militants.
The Destruction of Sarposa
Intelligence in Recent Public Literature
Counterterrorism Strategies: Successes and Failures of Six Nations, Yonah Alexander (ed.)
Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons, Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark. Reviewed with:
The Nuclear Jihadist: The True Story of the Man Who Sold the World’s Most Dangerous Secrets and How We Could Have Stopped Him, Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins
America and the Islamic Bomb: The Deadly Compromise, David Armstrong and Joseph Trento
Insurgents, Terrorists and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat, Richard H. Schultz Jr. & Andrea J. Dew
CSI-Center for the Study of Intelligence
Diplomatic relations between Colombia and Nicaragua are once again in the news, with the two countries trading broadsides over the Nicaraguan government’s recent decision to grant asylum to three female members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Managua was not only a place of refuge, but also a base for operations. The automobile repair shop run by the ETA members made headlines on May 23, 1993, when a powerful explosion ripped through an arms and document cache stored in a sophisticated vault hidden under the shop. The explosion, which resulted in the deaths of two men, emphasized how unwise it is to store mortar rounds with their fuses installed (especially if those rounds get knocked over). It also provided an unprecedented glimpse into the activities of the international Marxist networks that called Managua home in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Nicaragua: The Inherent Dangers of Being a Militant Mecca
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
31 CFR Chapter V
Alphabetical Listing of Blocked Persons, Specially Designated
Nationals, Specially Designated Terrorists, Specially Designated Global
Terrorists, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and Specially Designated
Narcotics Traffickers; Amendment of Final Rule
US Foreign Enemies List
Late on the night of June 22, a residence in Phoenix was approached by a heavily armed tactical team preparing to serve a warrant...
...But the raid took a strange turn when one element of the team began directing suppressive fire on the residence windows while the second element entered — a tactic not normally employed by the PPD. This breach of departmental protocol did not stem from a mistake on the part of the team’s commander. It occurred because the eight men on the assault team were not from the PPD at all. These men were not cops serving a legal search or arrest warrant signed by a judge; they were cartel hit men serving a death warrant signed by a Mexican drug lord.
...cartels cannot afford to have the local population, a group they use as camouflage, turn against them....As seen with al Qaeda in Iraq, losing the support of the local population is deadly for a militant group attempting to hide within that population...
...The vast majority of police officers and federal agents in the United States simply are not prepared or equipped to deal with a highly trained fire team using insurgent tactics. That is a task suited more for the U.S. military forces currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mexican Cartels and the Fallout From Phoenix
The morning of July 7, 2008, began normally enough at the Indian Embassy in Kabul. Afghan citizens began to queue up on the dusty street outside the fortified compound in hopes of obtaining a visa, while shopkeepers nearby offered refreshments, visa photos and other administrative services to the aspiring visa applicants. One by one, the Indian employees of the embassy began to arrive at work and pass through security checks at the gate.
At around 8:30 a.m, as two embassy vehicles were in the process of entering the compound, the stillness of the morning was shattered when a suicide operative rammed his Toyota Corolla into the second of the two embassy vehicles and then activated the powerful improvised explosive device (IED) concealed in his car. The powerful blast destroyed the two embassy vehicles and blew the gates off the embassy’s outer perimeter. The blast killed at least 58 people and injured more than 140. Among those killed in the attack were two high-level diplomats: Indian Defense Attache Brig. Gen. Ravi Dutt Mehta and the embassy’s Political and Information Counselor, Vadapalli Venkateswara Rao.
Deadly Precedents in Kabul
An Afghan government official said Monday's suicide car bombing outside the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan has "the hallmarks of the Pakistani intelligence."Afghan official: Pakistan spies behind Kabul attack
Pakistan's chief spy Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad "was in the US when the attacks occurred." He arrived in the US on the 4th of September, a full week before the attacks. He had meetings at the State Department "after" the attacks on the WTC. But he also had "a regular visit of consultations" with his US counterparts at the CIA and the Pentagon during the week prior to September 11.
Connecting the Dots: The Role of Pakistan's Military Intelligence (ISI) in the September 11 Attacks
The ISI lost its importance during the regime of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was very critical of its role during the 1970 general elections, which triggered off the events leading to the partition of Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh.
The ISI regained its lost glory after Gen. Zia ul-Haq seized power in July 1977. Under his reign, the ISI was expanded by making it responsible for the collection of intelligence about the Sindh based Communist party and monitoring the Shia organization after the Iranian revolution of 1979, as well as monitoring various political parties such as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)
The Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s saw the enhancement of the covert action capabilities of the ISI by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
A special Afghan Section was created under the command of colonel Mohammed Yousaf to oversee the coordination of the war. A number of officers from the ISI's Covert Action Division received training in the US and many covert action experts of the CIA were attached to the ISI to guide it in its operations against the Soviet troops by using the Afghan Mujahideen, specifically the fighters loyal to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The United States of America provided technical assistance and financial support to Islamic fundamentalists of Pakistan and Arab volunteers through ISI.
Bin Laden moves to Peshawar, a Pakistani town bordering Afghanistan, and is running a front organization for the mujaheddin known as MAK, which funnels money, arms and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war. (New Yorker, 1/24/00) "MAK was nurtured by Pakistan's state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA's primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow's occupation." (MSNBC, 8/24/98) He becomes closely tied to the warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and greatly strengthens Hekmatyar's opium smuggling operations. (Le Monde, 9/14/01) Hekmatyar had ties with bin Laden, the CIA and drug running, and has also been called "an ISI stooge and creation" by the Wall Street Journal. (Atlantic, 5/96)(Asia Times, 11/15/01)
The ISI starts a special cell of agents who use profits from heroin production for covert actions "at the insistence of the CIA." "This cell promotes the cultivation of opium and the extraction of heroin in Pakistani territory as well as in the Afghan territory under mujaheddin control for being smuggled into the Soviet controlled areas, in order to turn the Soviet troops into heroin addicts. After the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, the ISI's heroin cell started using its network of refineries and smugglers for smuggling heroin to the Western countries and using the money as a supplement to its legitimate economy. (Financial Times, Asian edition, 8/10/01) The ISI grows so powerful on this money, that Time magazine later states, "Even by the shadowy standards of spy agencies, the ISI is notorious. It is commonly branded 'a state within the state,' or Pakistan's 'invisible government.'" (Time, 5/6/02)
The US decides to escalate the war in Afghanistan. The CIA, British MI6 and the ISI agree to launch guerrilla attacks from Afghanistan into then Soviet-controlled Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, attacking military installations, factories and storage depots within Soviet territory until the end of the war. The CIA also begins supporting the ISI in recruiting radical Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan and fight with the Afghan mujaheddin. The CIA gives subversive literature and Korans to the ISI, who carry them into the Soviet Union. Eventually, around 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries will fight with the Afghan mujaheddin. Tens of thousands more will study in the hundreds of new radical Islamic schools funded by the ISI and CIA in Pakistan. (Washington Post, 7/19/92, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 9/23/01, The Hindu, 9/27/01, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Ahmed Rashid, 3/01) In the late 1980's, Pakistan's President Benazir Bhutto, feeling the mujaheddin network has grown too strong, tells President George Bush Sr., "You are creating a Frankenstein." But the warning goes unheeded. (Newsweek, 10/1/01)
The Bank of England shuts down the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), the largest Muslim bank in the world. This bank based in Pakistan financed numerous Muslim terrorist organizations and laundered money generated by illicit drug trafficking and other illegal activities, including arms trafficking. Bin Laden and many other terrorists had accounts there. American and British governments knew about all this yet kept the bank open for years. The ISI had major connections to the bank. But, as later State Department reports indicate, Pakistan remains a major drug trafficking and money laundering center despite the bank's closing. (Detroit News, 9/30/01) The Washington Post claims, "The CIA used BCCI to funnel millions of dollars to the fighters battling the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan." A French intelligence report in 2001 will state, "The financial network of bin Laden, as well as his network of investments, is similar to the network put in place in the 1980s by BCCI for its fraudulent operations, often with the same people (former directors and cadres of the bank and its affiliates, arms merchants oil merchants, Saudi investors)." A senior US investigator will say US agencies were looking into these ties because "they just make so much sense, and so few people from BCCI ever went to jail." (Washington Post, 2/17/02)
Starting as Afghani exiles in Pakistan religious schools, the Taliban begin their conquest of Afghanistan. (MSNBC, 10/2/01) "The Taliban are widely alleged to be the creation of Pakistan's military intelligence [the ISI]. Experts say that explains the Taliban's swift military successes." (CNN, 10/5/96) Less often reported is that the CIA worked with the ISI to create the Taliban. A long-time regional expert with extensive CIA ties says: "I warned them that we were creating a monster." He adds that even years later, "The Taliban are not just recruits from 'madrassas' (Muslim theological schools) but are on the payroll of the ISI." (Times of India, 3/7/01) The same claim is made on CNN in February 2002. (CNN, 2/27/02) The Wall Street Journal will state in November 2001: "Despite their clean chins and pressed uniforms, the ISI men are as deeply fundamentalist as any bearded fanatic; the ISI created the Taliban as their own instrument and still supports it." (Asia Times, 11/15/01)
The Taliban conquer Kabul, establishing control over much of Afghanistan. A surge in military success of the Taliban at this time is later attributed to an increase in direct military assistance from Pakistan's ISI. (New York Times, 12/8/01) The oil company Unocal is hopeful that the Taliban will stabilize Afghanistan, and allow its pipeline plans to go forward. In fact, "preliminary agreement [on the pipeline] was reached between the [Taliban and Unocal] long before the fall of Kabul." (Telegraph, 10/11/96)
The Northern Alliance capital of Afghanistan, Mazar-i-Sharif, is conquered by the Taliban. Military support of Pakistan's ISI plays a large role; there is even an intercept of an ISI officer stating, "My boys and I are riding into Mazar-i-Sharif." (New York Times, 12/8/01) This victory gives the Taliban control of 90% of Afghanistan, including the entire pipeline route. CentGas, the consortium behind the gas pipeline that would run through Afghanistan, is now "ready to proceed. Its main partners are the American oil firm Unocal and Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia, plus Hyundai of South Korea, two Japanese companies, a Pakistani conglomerate and the Turkmen government." (Telegraph, 8/13/98)
US government informant Randy Glass records a conversation between some illegal arms dealers and ISI agents, held at a restaurant within view of the WTC. An ISI agent points to the WTC and says, "Those towers are coming down." Glass passes these warnings on, but he claims "The complaints were ordered sanitized by the highest levels of government." (WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02, Palm Beach Post, 10/17/02)
The CIA readies an operation to capture or kill bin Laden, secretly training and equipping approximately 60 commandos from the ISI. Pakistan supposedly agrees to this plan in return for the lifting of economic sanctions and more economic aid. The plan is ready to go by October, but it is aborted because on October 12, General Musharraf takes control of Pakistan in a coup. Musharraf refuses to continue the operation despite the promise of substantial rewards. (Washington Post, 10/3/01)
Pakistani ISI Director General Ahmad orders an aide to wire transfer about $100,000 to hijacker Atta. (Dawn, 10/8/01, Wall Street Journal, 10/10/01) The individual who makes the wire transfer at Ahmad's direction is Saeed Sheikh, later convicted for kidnapping and murdering reporter Daniel Pearl in February 2002. ABC News later reports, "federal authorities have told ABC News they've now tracked more than $100,000 from banks in Pakistan to two banks in Florida to accounts held by suspected hijack ringleader Mohamed Atta." (ABC News, 9/30/01)
Telegraph reporter Christina Lamb is arrested and expelled from Pakistan by the ISI. She had been investigating the connections between the ISI and the Taliban. Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl's investigation into the ISI will later result in his death. (Telegraph, 11/11/01)
The new Afghan Interior Minister Younis Qanooni claims that the ISI helped bin Laden escape from Afghanistan: "Undoubtedly they (ISI) knew what was going on." (BBC, 12/30/01)
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped in Pakistan. (Guardian, 1/25/02, BBC, 7/5/02) He is later murdered. "At the time of his abduction, Pearl was investigating links between Pakistani extremists and Richard C. Reid, the British man accused of trying to blow up an American airliner with explosives hidden in his sneakers. As part of that probe, Pearl may have strayed into areas involving Pakistan's secret intelligence organizations." (Washington Post, 2/23/02)
Time reports that the second highest Taliban official in US custody, Mullah Haji Abdul Samat Khaksar, has been waiting for months for the CIA to talk to him. Even two weeks after Time informed US officials that Khaksar wanted to talk, no one has properly interviewed him. He says he has useful information, and may be able to help locate former Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Time notes that "he claims to have information about al-Qaeda links to the ISI." (Time, 2/25/02) "The little that Khaksar has divulged — to an American general and his intelligence aide - is tantalizing." "He says that the ISI agents are still mixed up with the Taliban and al-Qaeda," and that all three have formed a new group to get the US out of Afghanistan. (Time, 2/19/02)
The ISI pressures an important Pakistani newspaper, The News, to fire four journalists. The editor also flees the country in response. These journalists had reported on connections between Saeed Sheikh, arrested for the murder of Daniel Pearl, and recent attacks on the Indian parliament in Delhi and Kashmir. This information comes from an article titled, "There's Much More To Daniel Pearl's Murder Than Meets the Eye," and that certainly seems to be the case. (Washington Post, 3/10/02)
Afghanistan's relationship with Pakistan is becoming increasingly strained, with the country threatening Tuesday to boycott a series of upcoming meetings about economic cooperation and coordinated assistance across the border and the cabinet issuing a statement that faulted Pakistan for being the "biggest exporter of terrorism and extremism to the world."
The boycott warning follows accusations by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), has been masterminding terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, reports CBS News.
The cabinet implicated Pakistan's spy agency in a string of recent attacks, including the Kandahar jailbreak, the beheading of Afghans in the Bajaur and Waziristan provinces of Pakistan, a recent suicide blast in Uruzghan province and the deadly bombing at the Indian embassy in Kabul.
Karzai's ministers warned that unless Pakistan's leaders verifiably [rein in] the spy agency, upcoming talks scheduled between the two countries on assistance along the border region and economic cooperation will be postponed.
The study, "Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan," found that some active and former officials in Pakistan's intelligence service and the Frontier Corps – a Pakistani paramilitary force deployed along the Afghan border – provided direct assistance to Taliban militants and helped secure medical care for wounded fighters.
War crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic arrested in Serbia
Radovan Karadzic, one of the world’s most wanted men, was arrested yesterday 13 years after he was first indicted by the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal.
The 63-year-old war crimes suspect faces genocide charges for his role in the massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in Europe’s worst atrocity since the Second World War, and for organising the siege of Sarajevo which claimed 12,000 lives.
Democrats Urge Suspension Of New Terror Threat Alert System
Responding to warnings in a government audit, congressional Democrats are calling on the Homeland Security Department to suspend a new threat alert system until the program is retooled to meet state and local needs.
The new system, which is to be the main way the department communicates regular threat information to local and private sector officials, has had a troubled history. The department scrapped a $91 million system, dubbed the Homeland Security Information Network or HSIN, after reports found that the program lacked critical security and structural functions that made it unworkable.
It’s been placed on life support until it can be replaced by “HSIN Next Gen,” which is due to be completed next September with an estimated price tag of $62 million.
Chief Homeland Security Medical Officer Stresses Threat of Anthrax Terror Attack
Al Qaeda continues to plot terror attacks that would include biological agents, and the terror group has focused specifically on the use of anthrax as a weapon, the chief medical officer at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told a congressional panel during a field hearing in Rhode Island Tuesday.
"Given the challenges we face in assessing current terrorist capabilities and identifying plots, it is unlikely that we will receive actionable or specific warning of an imminent biological attack. Furthermore, many of these deadly biological agents, including anthrax, are readily available in nature, relatively easy to procure, culture, and weaponize,"
Runge, who reminded congressmen he would step down from his post in early August, said many legitimate research programs around the globe use anthrax, making it difficult for the United States to gain intelligence on where terror threats using the biological agent may emerge.
Al Qaeda was known to have at least one biological weapons facility for the production of anthrax itself in Afghanistan, but US armed forces eventually destroyed it, according to sources. In 2002, Al Qaeda announced it intended to kill up to 10 million Americans using weapons of mass destruction, such as biological agents.
Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, chief medical officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, told a congressional subcommittee on July 22 that the risk of a large-scale biological attack on the nation is significant and that the U.S. government knows its terrorist enemies have sought to use biological agents as instruments of warfare. Runge also said that the United States believes that capability is within the terrorists’ reach.
Runge gave his testimony before a subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology that was holding a field hearing in Providence, R.I., to discuss the topic of “Emerging Biological Threats and Public Health Preparedness.”
During his testimony, Runge specifically pointed to al Qaeda as the most significant threat and testified that the United States had determined that the terrorist organization is seeking to develop and use a biological weapon to cause mass casualties in an attack.
Busting the Anthrax Myth
US anthrax scientist commits suicide as FBI closes in Fri Aug 1, 2008 03:32 AM EDT