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Showing posts from July, 2005
London on alert for more bombers

Times:

THOUSANDS of police marksmen will be on London’s streets and rooftops again today after warnings that another team of suicide bombers is plotting a third attack on the capital. The new group is believed to be made up of British Muslims who were understood to be close to staging an attack on the Underground network last week. According to security sources the men are thought to be of Pakistani origin but born and brought up in this country. They have links with the Leeds-based terrorist cell that staged the July 7 attacks, in which 52 innocent people died. Even with the transport system so heavily guarded, police and intelligence sources believe that the bombers are intent on once more attacking London’s bus and Underground network. Another multiple suicide strike is also intended to demonstrate how the network can call on more recruits. The men are said to have access to explosives. US security sources said yesterday that this third group of would…
Egypt suspects bedouins bombers

Telegraph:

They live as nomads and have been shuttled from state to state as the boundaries of the Middle East have been redrawn. For centuries, Bedouins have distrusted authority and lived by tribal justice. Now, they face accusations of being a strand in the global network of terror.Egyptian police suspect that it was two Bedouin suicide bombers who drove cars packed with explosives into the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh last weekend. Nearly 70 people, including at least two Britons, were killed by three massive blasts.
Cardinal takes the measure of Chavez

AP via CNN:

An outspoken Catholic cardinal took his war of words with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to a new level in an interview published Sunday, calling him "a paranoid dictator" who needs "an exorcism."Rosalio Castillo, Venezuela's only cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, also accused Chavez of rounding up more than 100 political prisoners and torturing some captives."There is no democracy here (in Venezuela)," Castillo told Colombia's main newspaper, El Tiempo. "This is a despotic government."
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Earlier this month, Castillo warned that Chavez was gaining too much power and becoming a dictator. Chavez, in turn, called Castillo "a bandit" who "has the devil inside him."In Sunday's interview, Castillo said his comments on Chavez are not personal, and said they fall in line with the opinions of other church leaders in Venezuela.I think Chavez will take them personally.
Italy begins unraveling bomber suspect's connections in the Horn of Africa

Financial Times:

Italian authorities said at the weekend that they had discovered a network of contacts linking the country's small community of immigrants from the Horn of Africa to an Ethiopian-born Briton suspected of preparing a bomb attack in London. Osman Hussain, 27, who also goes by the name of Hamdi Adus Issac, was arrested in Rome on Friday and is facing possible extradition to the UK. He is suspected of involvement in a botched attack on Shepherd's Bush Underground station in west London on July 21. According to the Italian authorities, he arrived in Rome after leaving London's Waterloo station last Tuesday on a Eurostar train to Paris and then passing through Milan. He was captured at the apartment of his brother, Remzi Issac, who is also under arrest. Another brother, Fati Issac, was arrested on Sunday by police in the north Italian city of Brescia on suspicion of concealing or destro…
Cameras and catching terorist

Heather MacDonald:

Despite the privacy advocates’ claims, public spaces are public—fortunately.

Will the civil libertarians please shut up now?...
She, and London police, makes the case for cameras in public spaces.
7 more arrest in London bombing




Al Qaeda web sites disappearing

Sunday Times:

Over the past fortnight Israeli intelligence agents have noticed something distinctly odd happening on the internet. One by one, Al-Qaeda’s affiliated websites have vanished until only a handful remain, write Uzi Mahnaimi and Alex Pell. Someone has cut the line of communication between the spiritual leaders of international terrorism and their supporters. Since 9/11 the websites have been the main links to disseminate propaganda and information. The Israelis detect the hand of British intelligence, determined to torpedo the websites after the London attacks of July 7.
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One global jihad site terminated recently was an inflammatory Pakistani site, www.mojihedun.com, in which a section entitled How to Strike a European City gave full technical instructions. Tens of similar sites, some offering detailed information on how to build and use biological weapons, have also been shut down. However, Islamic sites believed to be “moderate”, remain.They…
Bogus charges of civilian casualties in Iraq apparently motivate a London attacker

CNN reports that the bomber suspect in custody in Italy says he and his co conspirators watched video:

"He used to show us specially those where women and children were being killed and exterminated by British and American soldiers, and also of widows, mothers and daughters that cry.This may be another example of how bogus claims against US and UK forces motivated the emotionally immature to murder. As this report points out, "Truth is the first civilian casualty" in this war.

While CNN and many others in the media would like to charactize the suspects statements as proving Iraq motivated the attack, the reality is that leftist lies reported as fact were responsible. The UK needs to find the source of the propaganda video watched by these thugs and prosecute them for promoting terrorism. The fact of the matter is that the jehadis need the false pictures for motivation in order to keep their…
New Iraq base set up to block infiltration route from Syria

LA Times:

American troops have established thefirst long-term military base along a major smuggling route near the Syrian border in a new effort to block potential suicide bombers from reaching targets in Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities.

A force of 1,800 U.S. troops, responding to continuing concerns that foreign fighters are crossing the Syrian border into Iraq, recently began an operation that includes setting up the base, three miles from the crossroads town of Rawah.

By establishing for the first time a base north of the Euphrates River along the strategic route that connects the Syrian border to roads leading north toward Mosul and southeast to Baghdad, military strategists hope to prevent foreign fighters, who they say are aligned with Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab Zarqawi, from reaching their targets.

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The American forces began arriving July 16 in the region, where they occasionally have carried out incursions in…
Taking the war to Europe

Mark Steyn:

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Madrid and London -- along with other events such as the murder of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh -- are, in essence, the opening shots of a European civil war. You can laugh at that if you wish, but the Islamists' most oft-stated goal is not infidel withdrawal from Iraq but the re-establishment of a Muslim caliphate living under sharia that extends to Europe, and there's a lot to be said for taking these chaps at their word and then seeing whether their behavior is consistent with that. Furthermore, there's a lot more of the world that lives under sharia than there was, say, 30 years ago: Pakistan adopted it in 1977, Iran in 1979, Sudan in 1984. Fifty years ago, Nigeria lived under English common law; now, half of it's in the grip of Islamic law. So, as a political project, radical Islam has made some headway, and continues to do so almost every day of the week: Since the beginning of the year, for example, some 10 percent of s…
Al Qaeda refocuses from Iraq to creating more enemies in Europe and Middle East

Jack Kelly:

Debkafile, the private Israeli intelligence service, which is always entertaining but often in error, reports that al-Qaida is shifting more than 1,000 of its operatives from Iraq for terror offensives in Europe and elsewhere in the Middle East.

"The countries targeted were named as Britain, Italy, France, Denmark, Russia -- with the U.K. and Italy at the top of the list; and in the Middle East, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel," Debka said on its Web site. The (successful) 7/7 and (fizzled) 7/21 attacks in London and especially the July 22 attack at the Sharm el-Sheik resort in Egypt suggest that this time Debka may be on to something. Six Pakistani men are being sought in connection with the Sharm el-Sheik, bombing, and the car bombs used in the attack appear to have passed through Egyptian customs. If true, is the shift of forces from Iraq a product of confidence, of …
The breeding ground of terrorist vermin

Donald Sensing:

I cited yesterday a piece in Arab News by Arab writer Dr. Mohammed T. Al-Rasheed calling for striking at the breeding grounds of terrorist "vermin." In the days since the bombings at Sharm el-Sheik many Egyptians are starting to ask just what exactly the breeding ground is and concluding that it just may be Islam itself. Reports the AP's Nadia Abou El-magd, "Egyptians debating if their culture encourages terror." ("Culture" however is being defined in almost exclusively religious terms.) Stunned by terror attacks at a Red Sea resort, Egyptians are having a remarkably frank debate about whether mosques and schools -- and the government itself -- should be blamed for promoting Islamic extremism. Even pro-government media say authorities have created a climate where young people are turning into radicals and suicide bombers.In a country more used to hearing general condemnations of terrorism, cri…
California regulating cow emissions

AP via Houston Chronicle:

How much gas does a cow pass?

It's a serious question for California's dairy farmers, because it could cost them big money to comply with new state air quality regulations coming down the pike.And it's no laughing matter for Frank Mitloehner, whose work is quantifying bovine emissions. He doesn't appreciate that his research at the University of California has been laughed off by some people."We're not talking about flatulence," Mitloehner says.There are more than 3 million cows in California, the vast majority living in the Central Valley, which has some of the most polluted air in the country. How much to blame the cows and how much to blame the cars is no small concern.Mitloehner's research has suggested cows are responsible for far fewer of the smog-contributing compounds known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, than thought, perhaps as little as half the amount.That puts Mitloehner i…
Headline of the day:

Bottom falls out of thong market


Intelligence suggest another attack planned for London trains

Sunday Times:

A THIRD Islamist terror cell is planning multiple suicide bomb attacks against Tube trains and other “soft” targets in central London, security sources have revealed. Intelligence about a cell with access to explosives and plans to unleash a “third wave” of attacks was the trigger for last Thursday’s unprecedented security exercise. The operation saw 6,000 police, many armed, patrolling across London. Senior police officers say that there was “specific” intelligence from several sources that an attack was planned for that day. The disclosure contradicts official statements by Scotland Yard that Thursday’s security exercise — the biggest since the second world war — was simply a precaution aimed at reassuring the public.

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Details of a “third wave” terror plot to carry out multiple suicide attacks were disclosed to senior police commanders at an emergency Special Branch conference held at Scotland Yard last Wedne…
A Saudi connection to London bombers?

Sunday Telegraph:

Scotland Yard is investigating evidence that the two waves of terrorist attacks on London this month may have been masterminded from Saudi Arabia.The Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist squad has learnt that Hussain Osman, 27, one of the suspects for the second failed attacks, called a number in Saudi Arabia hours before his arrest in Rome on Friday. He was believed to be making only the most vital calls because he feared his mobile phone was being tracked by investigators.
In an unconfirmed development, the Saudi Arabian authorities are understood to be investigating the possibility that the attacks were planned by extremists there.Senior officials at Scotland Yard believe there are no links in Britain between the two cells responsible for the July 7 bombings which killed 56 people and the failed suicide attacks two weeks later. But one senior source said that the anti-terrorist squad is investigating links between the two cells an…
The Big 12 Sportman of the Year is a USMC Sgt.

Bill Little:

(University of Texas) Longhorns senior fullback Ahmard Hall has been named a 2005 Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year....

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Hall is a dedicated husband and father, an unselfish and caring teammate, a proud military veteran, hard-working student and community volunteer. He set a tremendous example when, after finishing a standout high school career, he elected to join the Marines. He served four years, including tours in Kosovo and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and yet never relinquished his dream of playing college football."For me, this is all a dream come true," Hall said. "Everything that's already happened to me throughout the season and the past year would have been enough, but to be named the Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year, I couldn't be happier. It puts me at a loss for words. I just wanted to come back and finish out my career. I thought I had a chance to make the team and contribute, …
The case of the foul mouthed Macaw

AFP:

A foul-mouthed parrot previously owned by a lorry driver has been banished from public areas in a British animal sanctuary after repeatedly embarrassing his keepers, they said.

Barney, a five-year-old Macaw, is now kept indoors at Warwickshire Animal Sanctuary in Nuneaton, central England, when outsiders visit after abusing dignitaries with swearword-littered insults. "He's told a lady mayoress to f..(expletive) off and he told a lady vicar: 'And you can f... off as well'," sanctuary worker Stacey Clark said. Nor did the forces of law and order escape, she added. "Two policemen came to have a look at the centre. He told them: 'And you can f... off you two wankers'."
Which reminds me of the story of a similar parrot purchased by a school teacher who decided to teach the bird a lesson. Her threat was to put the bird in the freezer whenever it used foul language. Ultimately the bird found itself standing nex…
The failure of al Qaeda's latest strategy

In late February the US intercepted a message from bin Laden to Zarqawi telling him it was time to start attacking outside of Iraq. It is reasonable to suggest that the bombings in London and Egypt were a result of that message. At the time, many analyst thought it was an order to attack in the US. Apparently that is beyond the capability of al Qaeda at this time, so they attacked in areas where they have substantial followers.

The attcks have clearly backfired. They have no resulted in taking pressure off of al Qaeda's forces in Iraq, and have instead reduced political pressure on US and UK forces in Iraq. Yahoo's News site no longer list Iraq under its "Full Coverage" menu.

The attacks have also resulted in the loss of al Qaeda assets in the UK and Egypt, while at the same time increasing political and police pressure on al Qaeda supporters. It has also resulted in greater legal and political pressure on al Qaeda sup…
Egypt's top cleric denounces terrorism


Taking controversy spreads to Justice Breyer's tract

AP via Washington Times:

Libertarians upset about a Supreme Court ruling on land taking have proposed seizing a justice's vacation home and turning it into a park, echoing efforts aimed at another justice who lives in the state.
Organizers are trying to collect enough signatures to go before the town next spring to ask to use Justice Stephen G. Breyer's 167-acre Plainfield property for a "Constitution Park" with stone monuments to commemorate the U.S. and New Hampshire constitutions.
"In the spirit of the ruling, we're recreating the same use of eminent domain," said John Babiarz, the Libertarian Party's state chairman.
The plot mirrors the party's ongoing effort to get the town of Weare, about 45 miles to the southeast, to seize Justice David H. Souter's home. Justice Souter's property is also the focus of a proposal by a California man who suggested the town turn the…
Egyptians rooting out root causes of terrorism

Washington Times:

Stunned by terror attacks in a Red Sea resort, Egyptians are in a remarkably frank debate about whether mainstream mosques and schools -- and the government itself -- should be blamed for promoting Islamic extremism.
Even some in the pro-government press say authorities have created a climate in which young people are turning into radicals and suicide bombers.
"There is no use denying. ... We incited the crime of Sharm el Sheik," ran a bold red headline of a lead editorial by Al-Musawwar's editor in chief, Abdel-Qader Shohaib.
The bombers "didn't just conjure up in our midst suddenly, they are a product of a society that produces extremist fossilized minds that are easy to be controlled," Mr. Shohaib wrote in Wednesday's editions.
In a country more used to hearing general condemnations of terrorism, critics on Wednesday were angry -- and specific -- hammering at instances when th…
Theft by corruption and socialsim in South America

NY Times:

As he campaigned for the presidency in 2002, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva boldly pledged to clean up the sordid politics of Brazil. His, he vowed, would be an ethical, honest and moral government the likes of which Brazil had never seen.

That pledge helped him win the votes of more than 50 million Brazilians and a sweeping mandate. But now, in a gloomy echo of what has happened time and again across Latin America, Mr. da Silva's government is mired in the biggest, most audacious corruption scandal in his country's history. A congressional inquiry has heard testimony that the governing Workers' Party paid dozens of deputies from other parties a $12,500 monthly stipend for their support. This month, a party functionary was detained at an airport with $100,000 - stashed in his underwear - which he claimed to have earned selling vegetables. Mr. da Silva's chief aide has been forced to resign, as have the president, se…
The Nuevo Laredo quagmire

Susana Hayward, Knight Ridder Newspapers:

Warring Mexican gangs fought a pitched battle with bazookas and grenades late Thursday in a middle-class neighborhood of this border city, terrorizing citizens who say they live in a "Baghdad-like" war zone.

The battle was so fierce that the U.S. ambassador in Mexico City announced Friday that he was closing the consulate here until at least Aug. 8. The announcement called the battle "an alarming incident" that involved "unusually advanced weaponry." U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza said U.S. officials will use the week to assess security.For more than 30 minutes Thursday, the sharp report of automatic-weapons fire, punctuated by thumping explosions, could be heard throughout this city. After the fighting had ended, the street where the confrontation had taken place bore all the signs of combat. The house at the fighting's center was riddled with holes the size of melons. Part of it had collap…
Desperate Dems try to discredit Bolten, again

NY Times:

Charging that John R. Bolton was "not truthful" in answering questions about his record, 36 senators urged President Bush on Friday not to make a recess appointment of Mr. Bolton as United Nations ambassador after the Senate's failure to confirm him for that job.

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In a letter to Mr. Bush, the senators cited the disclosure on Thursday that Mr. Bolton had been interviewed by the State Department's inspector general in an investigation of intelligence failures related to Iraq, even though he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in March that he had not been involved in any such inquiry.Mr. Bolton "did not recall this interview" when he assured the committee that he had not been questioned by any investigators, according to a letter sent Friday from the State Department to Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the ranking Democrat on the foreign relations panel.
Big whoop. Clearly, the questions were not very…
Follow the phone to the terrorist

Telegraph:

Hussain Osman, the suspected Shepherd's Bush bomber, left London a few days ago and travelled through Europe before reaching Rome, Italian police sources said. Investigators were put on his trail after Scotland Yard provided the mobile phone number of a relative, Italian state television reported.
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By following traces left by the phone, police were able to track Osman, who is believed to have left a partner and two children in south London.He was, according to police sources quoted by Italian news agencies, met by his brother, the owner of an internet cafe near Rome's Termini railway station, who was taken in for questioning last night. Giuseppe Pisanu, Italy's interior minister, said in a brief statement: "The arrest made a short while ago in Rome of the Somali Osman Hussain, a naturalised British citizen, the suspected fourth attacker on July 21 in London, is really deserving of praise."
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Osman immediately gave himse…
Kyota's competitive disadvantage works ti benefit US, Oz, India, China, Japan and South Korea

The Australian:

FOR its mostly European supporters, the Kyoto greenhouse treaty's time surely had come.

In November last year, a diplomatic coup delivered Russia into the climate-change treaty's arms. A month later, greenhouse representatives of 194 nations were gathered in Buenos Aires to lay the ground for an even more ambitious "son of Kyoto". But Jim Connaughton had other ideas. The director of environmental policy in George W.Bush's White House quietly floated the idea of an Asia-Pacific regional climate alliance that would sideline the Europeans' Kyoto dream. The balding and bespectacled Connaughton knew that Russia's ratification would bring the protocol into force, leaving Australia and the US -- who both refused to sign the agreement -- out in the cold.
The first stage of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012 and the Europeans were keen to draw …
Police now have 4 of the 7-21 bombers

Times:

EVERY suspected member of the July 21 suicide bombing team was under arrest last night after an extraordinary day of police operations stretching from a West London housing estate to the backstreets of Rome. While police are jubilant following a series of successful armed raids across London they believe that the masterminds behind the London terror campaign are still at large.The suspected July 21 suicide bombing team will be questioned today in the hope that they will disclose the identity of the bomb builders and planners behind last week’s failed attacks. It is also hoped that they know details of the deadly attacks on London’s transport system on July 7 that killed 52 innocent people. Scotland Yard now believes that it has the four known failed suicide bombers in custody and has also arrested the mystery “fifth man”, alleged to be Whabi Mohammad, 22, the brother of Ramzi Mohammad, held in connection with the failed bomb at Oval station.…
Pakistan makes it harder for al Qaeda to train foreigners

BBC:

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says all foreign students at madrassas, or religious schools, some 1,400 pupils, must leave the country."Any [foreigners] in the madrassas - even dual nationality holders - will leave Pakistan," Gen Musharraf said. This is the latest in a series of measures the president has announced in a renewed clampdown on extremism. Madrassas have been in the spotlight after one of the London bombers was reported to have studied at one.
Gen Musharraf told foreign journalists in Islamabad: "They must leave. We will not issue visas to such people. "We will not allow madrassas to be misused for extremism, hatred being projected in our society."
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Pakistani forces have detained hundreds of clerics and suspected militants since President Musharraf announced a new crackdown on 15 July.
Gaza to get high tech fence

AP via Washington Post:

Israel is increasing security at its border with the Gaza Strip in anticipation of next month's withdrawal, the army said Thursday, disclosing details of a high-tech complex to ring the coastal strip with what it hopes will be the world's most impenetrable barrier. The barrier system will surround Gaza with fences, electronic sensors, watchtowers mounted with remote-control machine guns, and hundreds of video and night vision cameras, the military said.The real test of the barrier will be at the edges. Where the Gaza Israeli border meets the Mediterrean the barrier will extend partially into the sea requiring infiltration by boats. Where the border bumpb up againt Egypt in the Sinai, it is not clear how Israel will keep the infiltraitors from coming around the edge unless they have a deal with Egypt, they may have to extend the fence along that border also.

People forget that the Maginot line was effective enough that the Ge…
The catch and release immigration program

Rich Lowry:

There are two types of people who are intimately familiar with the practice of “catch and release” — fishermen and border-control agents. Fishermen at least get some satisfaction from it. For border-control agents, it is a symptom of this nation’s contempt for its own immigration laws.

When Mexicans are caught crossing into the U.S., they are returned across the border. When illegals from countries Other Than Mexico (OTMs) are caught, it’s more complicated. They often come from Latin American countries that have various obstacles to repatriation, and we don’t have the space to hold them. So they are released into the U.S. after they promise to show up at a deportation hearing. That promise and $80 might get you the services of an illegal day laborer. Congress is beginning a scorching battle over immigration policy, pitting anti-enforcement business and ethnic lobbies backing the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill against grassroots suppo…
A cowardly fickled enemy

Victor Davis Hanson:

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The father of Mohammed Atta is emblematic of this crazy war, and we can learn various lessons from his sad saga. First, for all their braggadocio, the Islamists are cowardly, fickle, and attuned to the current political pulse. When the West is angry and liable to expel Middle Eastern zealots from its shores, strike dictators and terrorists abroad, and seems unfathomable in its intentions, the Islamists retreat. Thus a shaky al-Amir once assured us after 9/11 that his son was not capable of such mass murder.

But when we seem complacent, they brag of more killing to come. Imagine an American father giving interviews from his apartment in New York, after his son had just blown up a shrine in Mecca, with impunity promising to subsidize further such terrorist attacks. If our government allowed him to rant and rave like that in such advocacy of mass murder, then we would be no better than he.The other lesson is that the war the Arab autocracies …
Liberal McCarthism

Roger Pilon:

'ARE you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Federalist Society?" There the question was, all but literally, on Page One of Monday's Washington Post. Early reports that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts belonged to the Federalist Society were denied by both Roberts and the White House, but it seems that a liberal New York group critical of the society, the Institute for Democracy Studies, has dug up a 1997-1998 Federalist Society Lawyers' Division Leadership Directory that lists Roberts as a member of the steering committee of the society's Washington chapter. Roberts, at the time a lawyer in private practice, continues to profess no recollection of being a member, the White House says. Two issues loom here. The first is credibility. "The questions about Roberts' involvement with the society," the Post says, "may come down to the meaning of the word 'membership.' " Shades of "it depend…
A one sided celebration of diversity

Wesley Pruden:

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The one-sided celebration of diversity is beginning to grate as well. Julie Burchill, a columnist for the Times of London, notes that "English toddlers are being forced to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid when they are still trying to get their heads about the Easter bunny." There's a sordid creepiness in the way the diversity of even the dead -- that Muslims are killed along with everybody else -- is celebrated by those who can't get their own heads around the fact that the Islamic haters hate us simply for taking up space in a world that would otherwise be all theirs, with nobody to complain about the ranting, raping and beheading that is the worship ritual of the radicals.
The real phenomenon of the age of terror is how the "infidels" -- the Christians, the Jews and the unbelievers -- have kept their cool and their ideals intact in the wake of a rich provocation to retaliate. Few of us in the West …
China building nukes

Bill Gertz:

China is building up its nuclear forces as part of a secret strategy targeting the United States, according to a former Chinese diplomat.
China's strategy calls for "proactive defense," and senior Chinese Communist Party leaders think that building nuclear arms is the key to countering U.S. power in Asia and other parts of the world, said Chen Yonglin, a diplomat who defected to Australia two months ago.
A recent comment by a Chinese general shows that Beijing's leaders are prepared to launch "a pre-emptive attack on the country considered a huge threat to China," Mr. Chen said.
Chinese Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu told reporters two weeks ago that China is prepared to use nuclear weapons against "hundreds" of U.S. cities if a conflict breaks out over Taiwan.
The former diplomat, who until recently was posted to the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, said the number of Chinese nuclear warheads is a closely gua…
Norks deny nuke net with Paks

NY Times:

In negotiations with North Korea this week, the Bush administration has for the first time presented the country with specific evidence behind American allegations that North Korea secretly obtained uranium enrichment technology from a founder of Pakistan's nuclear program, two senior administration officials said. The decision to share the intelligence with North Korean negotiators, the officials said, was part of an effort to convince North Korea that any discussions about disarmament must cover not only the nuclear weapons program it has boasted about, but a second one that it now denies exists.Putting on the table the evidence that North Korea obtained technology from the network built by Abdul Qadeer Khan is significant because it is an effort to break an impasse over the scope of North Korea's nuclear program.American officials were reluctant to describe the North Korean response, but one official said that when presented w…
How could they tell?

This from an AP NY Times story on the extension of daylight savings time:

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Farmers said the change would adversely affect livestock.
I guess everyday is not the same for livestock.
Report on Post-Confict Capabilities is flawed

This report seems to operate under the assumption that "post war" problems in Iraq are the result of poor planning, and that future conflicts will face similar problems.

I think both premises are flawed. The problems in Iraq are a direct result of an enemy that chose not to contest the battlefield, but to contest governance. Afghanistan, to date has not experienced problems in governance to the same extent.

This is not to say that no mistakes were made during the end phase of the war. There should have been a plan to seize key buidings and infrastructure that would have not only taken control of the government, but also have prevented looting. In that regard, marshall law should have been imposed immediately to prevent the ali babas from looting in general. This looting contributed to an atmosphere suggesting that no one was in charge. Clearly there were no Iraqis forces that could have effectively stopped the looting contrary to su…
UK turned down US request to pick up bomb suspect last month

CNN:

A month before the London bombings, British authorities denied a request by their counterparts in the United States to apprehend a man now believed to have ties to the July 7 bombers, according to sources familiar with the investigation.Haroon Rashid Aswat, 30, of Indian heritage, is currently in custody in Zambia, U.S. and Zambian officials told CNN. U.S. authorities wanted to capture Aswat, who was then in South Africa, and question him about a 1999 plot to establish a "jihad training camp" in Bly, Oregon.According to the sources, U.S. officials had Aswat under surveillance in South Africa weeks before the July 7 attacks that killed 52 commuters and the four bombers.U.S. authorities had asked Britain if they could take Aswat into custody but they refused because he was a UK citizen, the sources said. Later British authorities said they suspected Aswat lent support to the July 7 bombers. (Full story)
Al Qaeda supporter sentenced to 75 years in NY

BBC:

A Yemeni cleric who claimed to have ties with Osama Bin Laden has been sentenced to 75 years in prison in New York.Sheikh Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad was convicted on charges of conspiring to support the al-Qaeda network and Palestinian militant group Hamas. At a meeting with two FBI informants in Germany, he was recorded promising to funnel more than $2m (£1.1m) to Hamas. He was arrested by German police in January 2003 and extradited to the US.
Syria generated 3.4 billion for Saddam

USINFO.STATE.GOV:

The Syrian government and the Commercial Bank of Syria had key roles in subverting U.N. sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s regime and facilitated the export of prohibited military items to the former Iraqi regime, according to witnesses testifying before the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia July 27. While acknowledging that the Iraqi government found partners in dozens of countries that were willing to help it circumvent the U.N. sanctions and subvert the Oil-for-Food Program, Subcommittee Co-chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said, “[I]t was in the Syrian regime that Saddam found perhaps his most favored and profitable collaborator.”Iraq and Syria established a bilateral trade protocol in June 2000 enabling Iraq to obtain goods, services and cash outside of the Oil-for-Food Program set up by the U.N. Security Council, according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs El…
Brit bomb suspected nabbed in Zambia

LA Times:

Zambian authorities have detained a man sought in connection with this month's deadly London bombings and for his alleged role in setting up a terrorist training camp in Oregon, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Haroon Rashid Aswat, 30, a British citizen of Indian descent, piqued the interest of investigators when they discovered that about 20 calls had been placed from his cellphone to some of the four men who set off bombs on London's transit system July 7, killing 52 people and themselves.


Pak aid to Taliban

LA Times:

Telephone and power lines haven't reached the villages clinging to the craggy mountainsides of Kunar province. Digital phones and computer chips are even further beyond the shepherds' imaginations.

So when sophisticated bombs detonated by long-range cordless phones began blowing up under U.S. and Afghan military vehicles on mountain tracks, investigators knew they had to search elsewhere for the masterminds.

Afghan officials immediately focused on nearby Pakistan and its military, whose Inter-Services Intelligence agency helped create the Taliban in the early 1990s and provided training and equipment to help the Muslim extremists win control over most of the country.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf joined the Bush administration's war on terrorism and publicly turned against the Taliban immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks. But Afghan officials allege that Taliban and allied fighters who fled to Pakistan after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghani…
The mainstream media's war against the war

Michael Fumento:

Editorial page associate editor Mark Yost at the Knight-Ridder newspaper theSt. Paul Pioneer Press committed a major boo-boo. He penned a provocative column on media coverage of the Iraq war, observing that from what his contacts there told him – with apologies to Johnny Mercer – the mainstream media are accentuating the negative and ignoring the positive.Yost couldn’t have imagined he was bathing in blood and throwing himself into the shark pen. His media colleagues were merciless. “With your column, you have spat on the copy of the brave men and women who are doing their best in terrible conditions,” reporter Chuck Laszewski at the same newspaper charged in an open letter. “You have insulted them and demeaned them,” he wrote. “I am embarrassed to call you my colleague.”Knight-Ridder D.C. Bureau Chief Clark Hoytdevoted a column to a Yost roast, taking time out only to slam U.S. progress in Iraq. To read it is to know exact…
Cracks in Dem party disicipline

Donald Lambro:

Sen. Hillary Clinton couldn't have picked a better time this week to call for a cease-fire in the Democratic Party's ideological war with itself.
While she was delivering her plea for a truce at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council's annual summer convention in Columbus, Ohio, the AFL-CIO, one of her party's richest and most powerful forces, was coming apart at the seams as two of its biggest unions defected, possibly joined by two or three more. Some have called for a more bipartisan relationship with Republicans and the Bush White House.
At the same time, Democrats in Congress were becoming increasingly divided over a long list of policy issues, from the anti-terrorist Patriot Act to the energy bill, from Supreme Court nominee John Roberts Jr. to the war in Iraq. It doesn't make the nightly news, but anywhere from 25 percent to 70 percent of the House Democratic caucus have voted for major GOP bills ove…
8,300 hours of untranslated dots at FBI

NY Times:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's backlog of untranslated terrorism intelligence doubled last year, and the time it takes the bureau to hire translators has grown longer, officials said Wednesday. None of the backlogged material came in what the bureau considered its highest-priority investigations, Glenn A. Fine, the inspector general at the Justice Department, told the Senate Judiciary Committee, in releasing the findings of a new report by his office. Still, Mr. Fine said the F.B.I. "has no assurance" that some 8,300 hours of untranslated material does not include information that could be critical to terrorism investigations.
Congress approves CAFTA

NY Times:

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The vote, 217 to 215, came almost a month after the Senate approved the trade pact and gave Mr. Bush a crucial victory that had seemed in doubt a few days ago. As recently as Tuesday, fewer than half of Republican lawmakers had publicly endorsed the pact and almost all Democrats were planning to vote against it.
Sweeney's Dem contributions caused break away

Robert Novak:

he bolt in Chicago Monday from the AFL-CIO by the Teamsters and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) reflects a long-building reaction to John Sweeney's plans a decade ago when he muscled his way into the labor federation presidency. He wanted to restore union power through politics. His project was a total failure, and the AFL-CIO is in ruins 50 years after its creation.

The scenario of the breakup was accurately laid out to me by Teamsters sources nearly a year ago. Sweeney would be offered a deal he could not accept. To keep the two big unions in the federation, Sweeney would have had to agree to a six-month tenure as president and a sharp reduction in the share of union dues to the AFL-CIO. The $10 million a year each saved by the Teamsters and the SEIU means money that has gone into Democratic coffers will be used for organizing.That's why Democratic strategists wring their hands, fearful that the financ…
Brits bag 9 more in train terror case

NY Times:

British police arrested nine men in raids in south London today in connection with the aborted bomb attacks on the capital on July 21. The arrests, in Tooting in south London, came a day after the seizure in Birmingham of Yassin Hassan Omar, 24, a Somali man suspected of being one of the four men who took part in the attacks. The arrest of Mr. Omar, who was being questioned by police today in central London, was the most important breakthrough so-far in the investigation into the London terror bombing campaign. Three other men were arrested Wednesday in a second house in Birmingham, about 120 miles, north of London, and were held there. Later Wednesday, houses were raided in Finchley and Enfield in north London, and police raided a house near Stockwell tube station in south London where they arrested three women under anti-terrorism laws.
Rogue CIA leakers continue to spin WaPo

Captain's Quarters:

Walter Pincus extends his conflict of interest in covering Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame in today's Washington Post, continuing his role as a purveyor of misinformation. He and Jim VandeHei write that Patrick Fitzgerald has widened his investigation, but still hasn't come up with much....

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Pincus tries to add more to the issue of Plame's role in sending her husband to Niger. Now the CIA supposedly claims that Plame did that three years earlier, but that she had nothing to do with the 2002 trip:Using background conversations with at least three journalists and other means, Bush officials attacked Wilson's credibility. They said that his 2002 trip to Niger was a boondoggle arranged by his wife, but CIA officials say that is incorrect. One reason for the confusion about Plame's role is that she had arranged a trip for him to Niger three years earlier on an unrelated matter, CIA officials told The Washington…
London police find 16 more bombs

Independent:

The terrorist cell that killed 52 people in London may have been planning to throw nail bombs into a nightclub or a football crowd. A cache of 16 bombs and bomb components was left by the 7 July suicide attackers in a car in Luton, raising the possibility that yet another terror unit may be at large. The discovery provides another link with the men behind the 21 July attacks on London, one of whom used a similar device. Yesterday, police arrested one of the four suspected failed suicide bombers.
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The 16 bomb parts found in Luton, including one nail device and a number of other packets of explosives, were discovered by police in a rented Nissan Micra at the main railway station five days after the 7 July attack. The types of bombs are far more alarming than police had previously disclosed. They include a Molotov cocktail-style bottle bomb, packed with explosive and studded with nails. Security agencies warned afte…