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Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 19:25:46 -0500 (CDT)
From: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Aafia Siddiqui Arrested for Attempting to Kill United States Officers in Afghanistan
NEW YORK- Michael J. Garcia, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mark J. Mershon, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York, announced today the arrest of Aafia Siddiqui on charges related to her attempted murder and assault of United States officers and employees in Afghanistan. Siddiqui arrived in New York this evening and will be presented tomorrow before a United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. According to the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:
On Aug. 4, four days before the start of the Beijing Olympics, two ethnic Uighurs drove a stolen dump truck into a group of some 70 Chinese border police in the town of Kashi in Xinjiang, killing at least 16 of the officers. The attackers carried knives and home-made explosive devices and had also written manifestos in which they expressed their commitment to jihad in Xinjiang. The incident occurred just days after a group calling itself the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) claimed responsibility for a series of recent attacks and security incidents in China and warned of further attacks targeting the Olympics.
China and the Enduring Uighurs
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2008 23:23:47 -0400
From: "James M. Atkinson"
Subject: [TSCM-L]  Re: Interview of Dr. Joel Brenner, National Counterintelligence Executive
In the ultimate irony, one of the biggest users of CALEA wiretaps are foreign intelligence services operating inside the United States, or targeting people in the United States while the foreign spy themselves may remain outside of the US. It has made life a whole lot easier for them.
It has been a rough couple of weeks for the Egyptian al Qaeda contingent in Pakistan. On Aug. 12, Pakistani security sources confirmed that an Aug. 8 operation in Bajaur resulted in the death of al Qaeda leader Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, aka Sheikh Said al-Masri. Some posters on jihadist message boards have denied the reports, but al Qaeda itself has yet to release a statement on the issue. Al-Yazid was reportedly al Qaeda’s operational commander for Afghanistan, and some reports also claim he was responsible for planning attacks within Pakistan, such as the June 2 attack on the Danish Embassy.
If confirmed, al-Yazid’s death came just 11 days after the July 28 missile strike in South Waziristan that resulted in the death of al Qaeda’s lead chemical and biological weapons expert, Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri. The strike against al-Sayid also killed three other Egyptian al Qaeda commanders. In an ironic twist, the official al Qaeda eulogy for al-Sayid and his companions was given by al-Yazid...
The Jihadist Threat and Grassroots Defense
al Qaeda’s 9/11 Terror Tape Blocked
Hackers prevented Al Qaeda from releasing a videotape to mark the seventh anniversary of 9/11. Al Qaeda has traditionally issued a video or audiotape by either Osama bin Laden or Ayman al Zawahiri, the terror network’s two leaders, to mark their massive terrorist attack on the US.
As-Sahab, Al Qaeda’s media unit, had indicated earlier this week that it would post such a videotape on September 11. As-Sahab had banner images on the internet showing a silhouetted head with a question mark and the words, “Wait 11 September”.
The US-based intelligence group IntelCenter had speculated the video would be a message from Osama or Zawahiri with a recording of the last will and testament of Mohammed Atta, one of the leaders of the 9/11 attackers.
Sources close to US intelligence said, “Hackers knocked out Al Qaeda’s online means of communication, thus preventing them from posting anything to commemorate the anniversary.”
Western intelligence suspects two hackers who have targeted Islamicist sites before were responsible:
Summer has arrived, bringing with it rumors of attacks against the U.S. homeland. Currently, we are hearing unconfirmed word of plans in place for jihadists to be dispatched from Pakistan to conduct coordinated suicide attacks against soft targets in as many as 10 U.S. cities.
This year, the rumors seem to be emerging a little later and with a little less fanfare than last year, when we saw a number of highly publicized warnings, such as that from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and a National Intelligence Estimate saying al Qaeda was gaining strength. Last year also brought warnings from a former Israeli counterterrorism official that al Qaeda was planning a simultaneous attack against five to seven American cities, and of a dirty bomb attack against New York.
2008 Threat Season Heats Up
A lot has been written about last month’s conflict between Russia and Georgia, and the continuing tensions in the region...
One facet of the Russian operations in Georgia that has been somewhat overlooked is the intelligence aspect. Clearly, the speed with which the Russian military responded to the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia indicates that they were not caught off guard. They knew in advance what the Georgians were planning and had time to prepare their troops for a quick response to the Georgian offensive.
It is important to remember that the Russian operation in Georgia did not happen in a vacuum or without warning. It was a foreseeable outcome of the resurgence of Russian power that began in 1999 when Vladimir Putin came to power, and an outward demonstration of Russia’s increasing assertiveness. One important element of Russia’s ascendancy under Putin has been a resurgence of the Russian intelligence agencies. The excellent intelligence Russia had regarding Georgian intentions in South Ossetia is proof that the Russian intelligence agencies are indeed back in force. But Putin’s rise to power clearly demonstrates that while these intelligence elements may have been weakened, they were never totally gone.
The Second Cold War and Corporate Security
Over the past several months we have written quite a bit about the Russian resurgence. This discussion predates Russia’s military action in Georgia. Indeed, we have discussed the revival of Russian power since at least 2005, the implications of the FSB’s return since April and the potential return of the Cold War since March.
After the Aug. 7 confrontation between Georgia and Russia and the Sept. 10 deployment of Russian strategic bombers in Venezuela, there is little doubt that Russia is reasserting itself and that we are entering a period of heightened geopolitical tension between Russia and the United States. This period of tension is, as forecast, beginning to resemble the Cold War — though as we have noted in previous analyses, the new version will be distinctly different.
It is very important to remember that while the hallmark of the Cold War was espionage, the efforts of the intelligence agencies engaged in the Cold War were far broader. Intelligence agencies like the CIA and KGB also took part in vast propaganda campaigns, sponsored coups and widely used proxies to cause problems for their opponent. Sometimes the proxies were used directly against the opponent, as with Soviet support for the North Koreans and North Vietnamese against the United States, or U.S. support of Islamist rebels in Afghanistan. In other cases, the proxies were used indirectly to cause problems for the opposing country and its allies in a broader attempt to expand or defend one side’s geographic and ideological sphere of influence. Because of this, we saw the KGB supporting Marxist insurgents from Mexico to Manila and the United States supporting anti-communist militants in places such as Nicaragua and Angola.
This history means it is highly likely that as the present period of U.S.-Russian tensions progresses, the conflict will manifest itself not only through increased espionage activity, but also in the increased use of militant proxies.
Militant Possibilities on the New-Old Front
Over the last year or so, a lot of debate has arisen over the physical strength of al Qaeda. Some experts and government officials believe that the al Qaeda organization is now stronger than at any time since the 9/11 attacks, while others believe the core organization has lost much of its leadership and operational capability over the past seven years. The wide disparity between these two assessments may appear somewhat confusing, but a significant amount of the difference between the two can be found in the fundamental way in which al Qaeda is defined as an entity.
Many analysts supportive of the view that al Qaeda has strengthened tend to lump the entire jihadist world into one monolithic, hierarchical organization. Others, like Stratfor, who claim al Qaeda’s abilities have been degraded over the years, define the group as a small vanguard organization and only one piece of the larger jihadist pie. From Stratfor’s point of view, al Qaeda has evolved into three different — and distinct — entities.
Al Qaeda and the Tale of Two Battlespaces
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — A senior Pakistani official says the government is fighting a war that will continue until the country is free of terrorism.
Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said in remarks broadcast Friday that previous Pakistani military campaigns against Islamic militants were halted too soon.
He said the current government will take operations to their "logical conclusion" and that "this war will continue until we make Pakistan terrorism-free."
MADRID, Spain - Western intelligence agencies have long suspected that elements of Pakistan's spy service have aided the Taliban in Afghanistan, but a Spanish government report leaked to the media appears to be the first published assessment that spells out such cooperation.
The August 2005 report says Pakistan's shadowy Inter-Services Intelligence agency helped the Taliban procure roadside bombs and may even have provided training and intelligence to the Taliban in camps set up on Pakistan
DUBAI, Oct 4 (Reuters) - American al Qaeda militant Adam Gadahn described Pakistan's new leaders as U.S. puppets in a war against Islamic militants, in an Internet video posted on Saturday.
"The Pakistan Army ... and the professional spreaders of lies at their service are trying to make us believe that the state of Pakistan has turned a new leaf (after U.S-allied former President Pervez Musharraf left power)," Gadahn said in the video posted on Islamist websites. "These are not the leaders Pakistan wants and deserves. They are the leaders America wants and preserves in order to reach its policy objectives, hinder the jihad against the Crusaders in Afghanistan ... and ensure that nuclear-capable Pakistan remains docile, contained and sharia-free," Gadahn said.
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — The Taliban are furious about the latest apparent U.S. missile strike in Pakistan, indicating a senior militant may be among two dozen people killed, officials and residents said Sunday.
The attack Friday on the North Waziristan tribal region was believed to have killed several Arab fighters but government officials have been notably quiet.
However, two Pakistani intelligence officials said insurgents were moving aggressively in the area while using harsh language against local residents, including calling them "salable commodities" — an accusation of spying.
The intelligence officials, who said their information came from informants and field agents, interpreted the Taliban's anger as a sign that a senior militant may have been among at least 24 people killed. But that has not been confirmed, said the officials, who sought anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to media.
A senior Taliban or al Qaeda leader may have been killed in the Oct. 2 airstrike in North Waziristan, according to unconfirmed reports from Pakistan. But without confirmation from either the Taliban or the US, reports from Pakistani officials should be viewed as suspect.
The US carried out two separate strikes in North Waziristan on Oct. 2. Both strikes hit tribal areas in North Waziristan run by the Haqqani family. The strike in Mohammed Khel is reported to have killed 23, including 16 or more "Arab" al Qaeda members.
But this year's reports of the death of senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders from Pakistani sources have almost always been false.
Since January 2008, nine senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, including Ayman al Zawahiri and Baitullah Mehsud, have been reported to have been killed inside Pakistan. Of those reported killed, only three have been confirmed killed. All three al Qaeda leaders were killed in US cross-border strikes, not in Pakistani offensive operations. The other six leaders who were reported killed by Pakistani sources have appeared in the media or on al Qaeda propaganda tapes.
Warning: IEDs Coming to Your Community
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2008 08:40:56 -0400
Subject: IED preparedness
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One day after 9/11, U.S. President George W. Bush declared a global “war on terror.” Al Qaeda had first reared its head years before in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1998 U.S. Embassy attacks in East Africa and the 2000 USS Cole bombing, but it was not until the World Trade Center towers came crashing down that the global international security community became almost completely consumed with battling global jihadism.
As we discussed last week, a great deal of debate continues within the international security community over the strength of the al Qaeda organization now as compared to seven years ago, with much of the U.S. intelligence community under the impression that al Qaeda is now stronger than it was before Sept. 11, 2001. Stratfor, on the other hand, has long maintained that the al Qaeda core — the tight group of individuals under the leadership of bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri that masterminded the 9/11 attacks — has seen its leadership and operational capability significantly decline over the past seven years.
A strategic threat to the U.S. homeland on the scale of 9/11 requires things like a transnational financial network to wire funds, highly trained operatives disciplined in operational security, undetected preoperational surveillance of targets, and safe-haven territory that is not constantly being bombarded with airstrikes, among other essentials. While al Qaeda prime is busy dodging missiles and making videos, al Qaeda franchises are by and large struggling to stay relevant in their theaters of operation (e.g., Iraq) or are shifting over to a more active area of operation (e.g., Afghanistan).
This is not to say, however, that terrorism is dead. The jihadist movement has decentralized into smaller, largely uncoordinated organizations capable of carrying out attacks in such notably lawless hotspots as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq and Algeria. In addition, the threat of al Qaeda grassroots cells in the West with the limited capability of pulling off small-scale attacks remains, though advances by Western security agencies since 9/11 have largely hampered such groups’ efforts.
A Look Back at Cold War Terrorism
Scattered jihadist insurgencies will continue to erode stability in areas of the Middle East and South Asia for some time to come. But a larger terrorism threat is looming on the horizon, one that poses a more lethal threat to Western interests across the globe: the revival of state-sponsored terrorism.
This new phase of terrorism is developing in the context of growing state-to-state conflict between Russia and the West, for which Russian intelligence has long been preparing. Since the Russo-Georgian war in August, there have been a number of indications that Russia is looking to revive some of its Cold War contacts in places such as Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Syria, Lebanon and the Horn of Africa, among others.
Recent Russian activity in these areas invokes memories of the Cold War, when
the Soviets backed numerous left-wing militant groups in third-party countries, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, Germany’s Red Army Faction, Italy’s Red Brigades, the Japanese Red Army, the Sandinista National Liberation Front, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola and dozens of others. With Soviet assistance, training camps for militant groups were set up in such places as Libya, Iraq, Syria, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and elsewhere. Through a Soviet ideology that emphasized the socialist perspective of class struggle, these groups were given the funds, training, weaponry and ideological ammunition to wreak havoc across the globe.
Back then, the United States lacked a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy for dealing with these state-sponsored terrorist groups. Though terrorism was rampant at that time, it was still difficult to prove the Soviet hand in many of the terrorist groups active then. (Many used a variety of pseudonyms to confuse Western intelligence agencies.) Inside the United States, the FBI handled KGB-sponsored militant activity as a purely law enforcement problem. Overseas, the CIA would work with liaison intelligence services to combat insurgent and terrorist groups and to undermine Soviet proxy regimes, attempting covert operations such as coups in Latin America.
Overall, the focus was still on state-to-state conflict, not on developing a counterterrorism strategy for specific groups. Once Soviet funding finally dried up with the fall of the U.S.S.R., the vast majority of these left-wing militant groups crumbled, and terrorism remained low on the priority list for U.S. national security — that is, until 9/11.
Learning to Cope with Nonstate Actors
When the terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001, the first logical step was to take out al Qaeda’s state sponsors. Going to war in Afghanistan to deprive al Qaeda of its primary state sponsor — the Taliban regime — was a relatively easy political decision for the United States. From there, however, things got complicated. While justifying a war in Iraq was difficult for the United States, Washington succeeded in compelling surrounding Arab regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Libya to give their full cooperation in stamping out al Qaeda. Pakistan’s security apparatus had deep relations with the very jihadists the United States was fighting, but carrying the war to a nuclear-armed Pakistan was a less attractive option than entering into a tenuous security alliance with Islamabad in hopes of eroding the jihadists’ support base.
As the jihadists’ list of state sponsors got shorter, the threat they posed became more diffuse. Though overall the jihadist threat had become less lethal, it had also become more difficult to stamp out in places like London, where grassroots cells had taken root. As a result, counterterrorism agencies are still grappling with the idea of waging a battle of ideas against jihadism and devoting more military resources to stability operations to deprive these groups of their support networks.
While more work has to be done to further degrade the threat of jihadism, counterterrorism agencies need to anticipate a revival of state-sponsored terrorism. State sponsorship is capable of transforming a small, largely ineffective group into a serious threat. With state sponsorship, a militant group that previously was capable of only popping off trash can bombs in Manila can access difficult-to-obtain materials (such as blasting caps and explosives) via the state sponsor’s diplomatic pouch. State sponsors can then train these groups to develop superior tradecraft in improvised explosive device construction for larger, deadlier attacks.
Militant groups with state backing also benefit from training in target surveillance and operational security — essential skills for avoiding scrutiny from hostile intelligence agencies. For militants always on the run, state sponsorship can provide a group with havens for planning and training purposes. Finally, state sponsors can prove essential in giving logistical support to militants who need funding and travel documents to move around with greater ease.
But having a state sponsor can also place limits on militants. A state sponsor is more likely to keep tabs on the activities of its militant proxies, keeping such things as weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) out of militant hands for fear of attacks on the sponsor’s own soil. With a state sponsor, a militant group will have less autonomy and thus less inclination to acquire nonconventional weapons. By contrast, more autonomous nonstate actors like al Qaeda are more likely to work to acquire WMDs — though their chance of success remains low.
The Russian Agenda
Russia is not the great power it was during the Cold War, but Moscow plans to reassert Russian prowess vis-a-vis the West, particularly as the U.S. military is still bogged down in fighting the jihadist war.
The Russia of today is not constrained by the need to wage an ideological war in the name of communism. Instead, potential Russian covert activity in regions such as Latin America, the Middle East and Africa would be focused more on generating chaos, thereby creating enough headaches for the West to keep the United States preoccupied while Russia works on consolidating its influence along the former Soviet periphery. To this end, disaffected Palestinian groups, beaten-down Kurdish militants in Turkey, Bolivarian Leftist movements across Latin America and separatist movements in Africa are all fair game for the Russians.
While the world has seen better economic days, the Russians still have ample petrodollars to support terrorist campaigns in parts of the world where Moscow has a strategic interest in undermining the West. Terrorism, relatively speaking, is cheap. For example, the FBI estimates that the 9/11 attacks only cost al Qaeda between $175,000 and $250,000 for flight training, travel and other expenses for the hijackers. The Russians, who have long been deep in the global arms trade, could even potentially turn a profit via arms sales to rebel groups in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
The extent to which Russia would re-engage in such terrorist campaigns depends on a number of factors, including the potential risk versus opportunity in supporting certain groups, the resources of the Russian SVR, the amount Russia is willing to invest in terrorism campaigns and the geographical areas where the Russians are more likely to find cooperative allies. For example, Russia has complex relations with Israel and Turkey to worry about, and it is now more or less lacking a Libya equivalent to export a terrorist agenda in the Middle East. Latin America, in contrast, offers a much lower risk opportunity for the Russians to sow instability in the U.S. backyard.
The potential revival of Russian state-sponsored terrorism is most likely still early in its development. But one should not forget that after the Cold War, many experts proclaimed a “New World Order” in which terrorism had become a thing of the past — and U.S. intelligence capabilities atrophied as a result. About a decade later, the 9/11 attacks caught the United States off guard and brought into being a new era of Islamist terrorism that is only now declining. With state-sponsored terrorism back on the horizon, the time has come to recognize the changing face of terrorism beyond the post-9/11 world.
Tell Stratfor What You Think
This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to www.stratfor.com
As previously noted, the FN Five-Seven pistol and FN P90 personal defense weapon are very popular with the various cartel enforcer groups operating in Mexico. The Five-Seven and the P90 shoot a 5.7 mm-by-28 mm round that has been shown to be effective in penetrating body armor as well as vehicle doors and windows. Because of this ability to punch through body armor, cartel enforcers call the weapons “matapolicias,” Spanish for “cop killers.” Of course, AK-47 and M-16-style assault rifles are also effective at penetrating body armor and vehicles, as are large-caliber hunting rifles such as the 30.06 and the .308. But the advantage of the Five-Seven and the P90 is that they provide this penetration capability in a much smaller — and thus far more concealable — package.
Worrying Signs from Border Raids
Sources Say Domestic Terrorist Arrested in Mobile Alabama
Mobile police sources say they’ve arrested a man believed to be a domestic terrorist. The investigation began January 5, when a local synagogue was spray painted with Nazi markings. Mobile Police are not making an official comment yet, but sources within the department say they got a very dangerous man off the streets, just in time.
Police sources tell us they when investigators arrested their man, they found bombs inside his home, and during questioning, he refused to talk.
Sources say his motives extended way beyond spray-painting Nazi markings.
In what is being described as an “unprecedented global alert,” the International Criminal Police Organization today issued its largest-ever most wanted list for 85 terrorist suspects, who are sought by Saudi Arabia for allegedly plotting attacks against the country and for suspected links to al Qaeda.
“Never before has INTERPOL been asked to alert the world about so many dangerous fugitives at one time,” said Secretary General Ronald K. Noble in a statement. “We know that we are approaching the 16th anniversary of the first World Trade Center bombing on Feb. 26, 2009 and therefore must be especially vigilant of fugitive al Qaeda terrorists.”
Many terrorism experts are concerned that al Qaeda will strike again shortly, said former FBI Agent Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant. He speculated that the record alert – which was requested by Saudi Arabia – is a possible effort by the country to look like a team player on the terrorist-fighting front, after long being criticized for its lax security and funding of extremist groups.
On March 31, Baitullah Mehsud, commander of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), called The Associated Press and Reuters to claim responsibility for the March 29 attack against a Pakistani police academy in Manawan, which is near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore and the Indian border. The attack had been previously claimed by a little-known group, Fedayeen al-Islam (FI), which also took responsibility for the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in September 2008. Mehsud has also released an Urdu-language audio message claiming responsibility for the Manawan attack as well as a failed March 23 attack on the headquarters of the Police Special Branch in Islamabad. Mehsud, who authorities claim was behind the March 3 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, also warned that there would be additional attacks all across the country in retaliation for U.S. drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Area. He even threatened to launch attacks in Washington, D.C.
State and local law enforcement officials will get access to classified Defense Department information relating to terrorism, the Obama administration announced Monday.
The Homeland Security Department will facilitate the ability of certain state and local officials at intelligence fusion centers to access the Defense Department's Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, which is used to send classified data. The access will be given to select fusfusion centers to access the Defense Dept..