Monday, July 30, 2007
July 27, 2007
Thus the jihad may be regarded as Islam’s instrument for carrying out its ultimate objective by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophethood of Muhammad (as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief of God.
The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have declared “some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ.”
Until that moment is reached the jihad, in one form or another will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dar al-harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dar al-Islam permanently under jihad obligation until the dar al-harb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community accepting certain disabilities- must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dar al-Islam or be bound as clients to the Muslim community.
The universality of Islam, in its all embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.-Majid Khadurri, Muslim scholar, in War and Peace in the Law of Islam, 1955
Acquiring nuclear weapons for the defense of Moslems is a religious duty. If I have indeed acquired these weapons, then I thank Allah for enabling me to do so.-Osama bin Laden, in an 1998 interview with Time magazine
We have the right to kill 4 million Americans, two million of them children.-Abu Gheith, Al-Qaeda spokesman
If a bomb was dropped on them that would annihilate 10 million and burn their lands…this is permissible.-Sheikh Nasir bin Hamid al-Fahd, prominent Saudi cleric close to Al-Qaeda
The real matter is the extinction of America. And, Allah willing, it will fall to the ground…keep in mind this prediction.-Mullah Omar, Taliban leader and ally of Osama bin Laden
Those who oppose the mullahs oppose Islam itself; eliminate the mullahs and Islam shall disappear in fifty years. It is only the mullahs who can bring the people into the streets and make them die for Islam—begging to have their blood shed for Islam.-Ayatollah Khomeini
Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.-Omar Ahmad, Co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future...But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.-Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR Spokesperson
We must reject democracy in favor of Islam, which is the unique perfect system worked out by Allah. . .Our march has just begun and Islam will end up conquering Europe and America. . . And let no one think that we are Utopian dreamers.-Sheikh Saeed Shaaban, quoted in L’Orient le jour, Beirut, 19 October 1983
The Koran pushes us in the exact opposite direction to the forces at work in the American political spectrum.-Imam Zaid Shakir, former Muslim chaplain and political science professor, Yale University
Islam is not Christianity...Islam is the religion of agitation, revolution, blood, liberation and martyrdom.-Sheikh Morteza Motahari, quoted in ‘Islamic Movements in the Last One Hundred Years,’ Tehran, 1979
You shall begin to live once you have killed yourself. The ‘you’ in you is none other than Satan in disguise. Kill him and you will be saved. Muslims are lucky because they can accomplish this self annihilation in accordance with divine rules. For Islam has an answer to every imagnable question. All an individual needs to do is to obey the rules without posing questions, without seeking variations.-Sheikh Ragheb Harb, ‘Islam is the Strongest Religion,’ 1983, p.22
A believer...who takes up a gun, a dagger, a kitchen knife or even a pebble with which to harm and kill the enemies of the Faith has his place assured in Heaven. An Islamic state is the sum total of such individual believers. An Islamic state is a state of war until the whole world sees and accepts the light of the True Faith.-Ayatollah Fazl-Allah Mahalati, ‘On the Path of Justice,’ Tehran, 1980, pp. 70-71
If we...allow our rulers to be chosen by the ordinary people from among ordinary politicans, we will not have to wait long before we see the end of Islam.-Ayatollah Komeini
People say, ‘Don’t lie!’ But the principle is different when we serve the will of Allah. He taught Man to lie so that we can save ourselves at moments of difficulty and confuse our enemies... People say, ‘Don’t kill!’ But the Almighty Himself taught us how to kill...So shall we not kill when it is necessary for the triumph of the Faith? ... Deceit, trickery, conspiracy, cheating, stealing and killing are nothing but means.-Muhammad Navab-Safavi, key figure in the fundamentalist movement, ‘Islamic Society and Government,’ Tehran, 1946; second edition, 1985.
‘We are not fighting to chase out the occupiers or save national unity and keep the borders defined by the infidels intact, we are fighting because it is a religious duty to do it, just as it is a religious duty to take sharia to the government and create an Islamic state.’ -spokesman for al-Qaeda, Baghdad, October 18, 2005
‘One must beware of the Jews, for they are treacherous and disloyal.’-Islamic Education for Ninth Grade p. 79
‘I learn from this lesson: I believe that the Jews are the enemies of the Prophets and the believers.’-Islamic Education, Part Two, for Fourth Grade p. 67
‘Remember: The final and inevitable result will be the victory of the Muslims over the Jews.’-Our Arabic Language for Fifth Grade p. 67
(The quotes above are from Palestinian school texts published under the symbol of their Ministry of Education, but authored in Jordon. All the books cited here were written during the most optimistic periods of the peace process, before the violence of September 2000 had begun.)
‘Shake the earth, raise the stones.You will not be saved, Oh Zionist, from the volcano of my country’s stones,You will not be saved, Oh Zionist, from the volcano of my country’s stones,You are the target of my eyes, I will even willingly fall as a shahid (martyr for Allah).You are the target of my eyes, I will even willingly fall as a shahid. Allah akbar, Oh the young ones.’-The words above are from a music video which had not been broadcast on Palestinian TV after being shown in a U.S. Senate hearing in 2003.
However, by October 2004, it had reappeared, and was played at least ten times between October 4 and October 17 of that year. The words are sung by a woman wearing an army uniform, with scenes of children dancing alternating with scenes of children participating in violent acts in combat zones. For the full article, go here.
Any land, any piece of land, over which flies the banner of ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger,’ and which at a certain point belonged to the Muslims – as far as we are concerned, plundering and occupying such land is forbidden, and it is the duty of all Muslims to do what they can to liberate this land, wherever it may be. True, many precious Muslim lands are under occupation today. They have been forgotten, and Andalusia is one example. Nevertheless, it is the duty of the Muslims to liberate them....-Sheikh Muhammad Ali, Palestinian Clerics Association Deputy Director, on August 19, 2005. Link here.
The 21st century will be the century of Islam. -Ayatollah Janati, cleric in Iranian government, quoted many times.
‘The rayah is like the grass; Mow it as much as you will, still it springs up anew. Once you’d broken Bosnia’s horns, you mowed down what would not be pruned, leaving only the riffraff behind so there’d be someone left to serve us and grieve before the cross.’
—Muslim proverb from the time of the Ottoman Empire; ‘rayah’ means ‘herd,’ and was a term used to describe the Christians.
What Infidels Have Said:
Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize, every expanded prospect.- James Madison in an April 1, 1774 letter to William Bradford
[Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God....
In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the perpetual energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth.
Adopting from the sublime conception of Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it the audacious falsehood that he was himself his prophet and apostle.
Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain by degrading the condition of the female sex and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared and undistinguishing and exterminating war, as part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind.
The essence of his doctrine was violence and lust: to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature... between these two religions, thus contrasted their characters, a war of 1200 years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant... while the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will toward men.-John Q. Adams
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.
The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.
The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities - but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.
No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.-Sir Winston Churchill, from The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899), commenting on what he witnessed as a correspondent in the Sudan.
In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all.-Theodore Roosevelt, from a letter he wrote to the president of the American Defense Society on January 3, 1919, three days before Roosevelt died
‘Islam is a religion of peace’. This is what our politically correct politicians keep telling us. But what is politically correct is not necessarily correct. The truth is that Islam is not a religion of peace. It is a religion of hate, of terror and of war.-Ali Sina (more from Ali Sina here)
The reason I am against Islam is not because it is a religion but because it is a political ideology of imperialism and domination in the guise of religion.Because Islam does not follow the Golden Rule, it attracts violent people.-Ali Sina
At some point our collective heads will come up out of the sand, probably by the force of an explosion; and we’ll stand, mouths agape like so many fish out of water, trying to comprehend a situation we’ve done our best to ignore.-Anonymous, 2005
Check out what other Muslim apostates have said here.
Scroll down or check the right sidebar to learn what you can do to counter the whitewash of Islam.
posted by The Truth Teller at 8/17/2005 08:15:00 AM
What You Can Do
1. Print business cards which contain a web link or two. Leave those cards in public places, such as bus stops, restaurants, malls, grocery stores, etc. (Scroll down or check the right sidebar for ‘Sample Business Card.’)
2. Contact your public library system. Donate books which tell the unvarnished truth about Islam. Donations are tax deductible!
3. Contact your alma mater to see if you can place books in the institution’s library. If you are a member of an alumni association, you might already have an ‘in’ to place materials.
4. Contact private schools in your area to see about the feasability of placing materials.
5. Review the social studies textbooks used in your school district. If you find errors about Islam in those books, contact the curriculum specialist in your school district, and, using reference materials which tell the truth, specify the errors.
6. Check with your school district to see if textbook changes are in the works. If so, as a resident of that district, you have the right to review the textbooks. Contact the curriculum specialist if you find the books are whitewashing Islam.
7. If you are affiliated with a church, be on the alert for whitewash of Islam. Speak up if your spiritual leader is uneducated as to the truth about Islam.
8. Contact your political representatives and disabuse them of the politically-correct whitewash of Islam. Keep contacting your political representatives.
Above all, don’t keep quiet about what you’ve learned!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
According to Professor Desmond Ball of the Australian National University, Chinese personnel have been operating two intelligence signal stations in Cuba since early 1999, after an agreement reached in February 1998.
One is a large complex at Bejucal, just south of Havana, which is equipped with 10 satellite communications antennas and is mainly concerned with intercepting telephone communications in the US.
A “cyber warfare” unit is also based at Bejucal, which monitors data traffic, Professor Ball said in a paper delivered to a conference on China’s military role, held in New Delhi last month.
The second station is located north-east of Santiago de Cuba, and is reportedly dedicated to intercepting satellite-based US military communications. “China is actively and extensively engaged in the whole realm of signals intelligence, electronic warfare and cyber warfare activities,” Professor Ball said, adding that it maintains “by far the most extensive signals intelligence capabilities of all the countries in Asia.”
The only other foreign-based intercept stations are thought to be in Burma, although the Chinese military also maintains a fleet of specialised ships and aircraft for mobile interception operations. Equipment comes from Russia and Israel, as well as domestic laboratories.
Although its technical expertise is still poor, China has been conducting cyber warfare exercises since 1997; computer viruses have been used to disrupt military communications and public broadcasts, with theoretical targets including Japan, India, South Korea and Taiwan.
An information warfare unit has been operating since 2000. The military interest is matched by individual hackers in China, whose feats have included crashing the White House website.
Chinese cyber attacks are easily countered by anti-virus and network security programs available in the West.
“China is condemned to inferiority in information warfare capabilities for probably several decades,” Professor Ball said.
Alan note: Chinese intelligence capabilities have improved considerably since 2003 and they - as well as the Russians -are providing intelligence information to Islamic Iran on a daily basis.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Sixty-one days after the United States won its first war with Iraq in February 1991, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Merrill McPeak scrawled a note that would change the course of the next three wars fought by the U.S. military. "We need to lay down a requirement for an all-weather precision-guided munition," McPeak wrote on May 1, 1991. That brief order began the quest for a new kind of bomb and helped launch the age of precision warfare.
McPeak's new bomb-an updated version of some of the oldest bombs in the military's stockpile-now rides on the wings or in the belly of nearly every bomber or fighter flown by the Air Force and Navy. What's new is the 5-foot steel strap-on tail kit containing a central computer and tail fins bolted to each bomb. The kit adds brains and steering to "dumb" 1,000- and 2,000-pound bombs, which otherwise rely on gravity and luck to hit their targets. The kits save the Defense Department hundreds of millions of dollars by updating an outdated arsenal of aging munitions.
When bomb and guidance kit are married, they become a Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), one of the world's most accurate and cost-effective weapons. When a 2,000-pound JDAM hits, its 14-inch-wide steel warhead explodes into an 8,500-degree fireball of white-hot metal that moves faster than sound and leaves a crater at least 20 feet deep and often more than 50 feet wide.
JDAM kits can be attached to small bombs when the military seeks to limit damage, and for use against underground or reinforced targets, the kits can be strapped onto "bunker buster" bombs with thicker, harder shells. Because their location constantly is updated by satellite, JDAMs can be launched through clouds and thick smoke from up to 45,000 feet above and 15 miles away from their targets.
More than two-thirds of the 30,000 bombs dropped on Iraq in March were laser- or satellite-guided. Of the guided weapons, nearly a third were JDAMs. They had an accuracy rate of over 90 percent and were used against some of the war's most sensitive targets.
In surprise strikes that began the war, JDAMs dropped from F-117 fighters destroyed palaces, houses and underground bunkers in a southern Baghdad complex, known as Dora Farms, where Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was thought to be meeting with senior military advisers. And on April 7, near the war's end, an Air Force stealth bomber unleashed JDAM bunker busters on houses in the upscale Baghdad enclave of Mansour, where intelligence reports suggested Hussein was holed up with his sons. Those strikes leveled three buildings, left a 30-foot-deep crater, uprooted orange trees and broke windows and doors on houses more than 300 yards away, but probably missed Hussein.
A Bomb Problem
After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, McPeak skipped the ticker-tape parades, believing victory was a poor teacher. Instead, the former fighter pilot appointed only nine months earlier by President Clinton, pored over after-action reports from the Gulf. He was looking for flaws in the seemingly invincible armor of air power. It didn't take long to find a big one.
The Air Force had a bomb problem. About 90 percent of the bombs dropped during the war were 1,000- and 2,000-pound unguided munitions, which, on average, fell only within 200 feet of their intended targets. Dozens had to be dropped to take out a single target-an improvement from thousands during World War II, but not one that made air commanders much more confident. Commanders avoided using unguided bombs in urban areas for fear of hitting civilian targets.
But McPeak knew bombing precision was attainable. He was a forward air controller over Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh Trail in the spring of 1969, where he called in some of the first strikes using laser-guided bombs. The munitions consisted of a laser sensor attached to the tip of a dumb bomb. Pilots, or the weapons officers seated behind them, guided the bombs from aircraft by aiming handheld lasers at the targets. "The accuracy was amazing," McPeak says. "I'd call for them to cut off a street, they'd drop a bomb and leave a big crater right there." Twenty-two years later, those bombs were equally effective during the Persian Gulf War, accounting for only 7 percent of ordnance dropped, but delivering 75 percent of all damage wrought by the air war.
But laser-guided bombs must "see" their targets to hit them. During the Gulf War, one in three laser-guided bomb attacks was canceled because the lasers couldn't point out targets through storm clouds, sandstorms, and smoke and haze from oil fires. Military planners expected Operation Desert Storm's opening air war would last only 15 days, but bad weather caused so many bombing runs to be scrapped that the campaign lasted 43 days. Even in good weather, the use of laser-guided weapons was limited by their cost. At $100,000 each, they were too expensive for the Air Force to stockpile.
In addition, only a handful of Navy and Air Force fighters, and no Air Force bombers, could drop them. In 1991, McPeak was frustrated that more than 20 years after they starred in Vietnam, guided bombs hadn't come down in price or become more versatile. He sought a cheap guided bomb that could be dropped under any conditions from any aircraft. And so, on May 1, 1991, he sent his memo. "The idea was: Don't drop any more unguided munitions, period," McPeak recalls.
The Technology Debate
Air Force Maj. Gen. Joseph Ralston would oversee the quest for the new bomb. In the spring of 1991, Ralston was the Air Force's director of tactical programs, managing the development and purchase of many Air Force weapons. Ralston believed the best guidance system for bombs was the global positioning system (GPS), a constellation of satellites orbiting 12,660 miles above the Earth. Launched between the mid-1980s and early 1990s, the satellites created an Information Age version of the North Star for military, and later civilian, users. GPS receivers determine their exact longitude, latitude and altitude by picking up signals from up to four satellites every second.
Before Operation Desert Storm, the military purchased 10,000 commercial GPS receivers. The handheld, high-tech compasses won high marks for tracking tank and troop movements. They even allowed the Army to quickly deliver meals to troops on the front lines. Ralston envisioned another use for GPS receivers: steering bombs. "I had no doubt it would work," he recalls.
But there were plenty of doubters with more stars on their shoulders than Ralston's.
They were wary of a bomb that would use a commercial GPS receiver that anyone could buy for $200 at Radio Shack. They wanted a military-unique guidance system that relied on built-in radar. Ralston believed a bomb built with military-specified parts would be too expensive and take too long to build.
Air-to-air missiles that used such radar cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each. "I was the one preaching, 'You have to keep it cheap,'" he says. Ralston called the Air Force's munitions laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and ordered up a prototype of a satellite-guided bomb.
As it turns out, Eglin engineer Louis Cerrato had been working on and off for six years to find a cheap way to make dumb bombs smart. In the mid-1980s, Cerrato had become intrigued with a concept that had been around for a decade, known as inertial guidance. Inertially guided munitions contain a central computer processor loaded with target coordinates. The processor uses data from onboard navigation hardware, such as gyroscopes and accelerometers, to direct tiny motors that maneuver tail fins to steer the munitions. The engineer pondered how to build large quantities of inertially guided weapons on the cheap.
Cerrato knew laser seekers were strapped onto dumb bombs, so he decided to create a strap-on inertial guidance system. The guidance kits could be attached to hundreds of thousands of dumb bombs the military had been stockpiling since the 1950s. But his idea languished. The Pentagon wanted to build new and bigger weapons, not retrofit old bombs. What's more, bombs guided by the inertial navigation system tended to drift off target. The research dollars dried up. "It was an orphan. Nobody wanted it," says Cerrato, who saved his notes anyhow.
Ralston's order sent Cerrato back into action. Finally, he would get to build the kits he had envisioned years before. But there would be a key difference: a commercial GPS receiver. By updating the bomb's location every second, the receiver would correct the tendency to drift. Cerato was so certain the concept would work, "I didn't even think a test was necessary," he recalls. But Ralston believed a live demonstration was the only way to convince the skeptics.
In the winter of 1992, an F-16 roared over a bombing range at Eglin carrying a 1,000-pound warhead packed with concrete instead of explosives and a GPS guidance system. Its target: a wooden outhouse built just for the occasion. Ralston wanted a dramatic target that could be videotaped to make his point. The location of the outhouse had been programmed into the test bomb. Ten thousand, 15,000, 20,000 feet, the fighter climbed into position. The pilot hit the pickle, a button on top of the fighter's steering joystick. The bomb fell away, plunging at 1,200 feet per second. The bomb updated its position via satellite second by second. A minute after the bomb fell free, the outhouse broke into splinters and disappeared in the dust of a 10-foot-deep crater. The debate was settled. The new bomb would be guided from space.
In 1993, not long after the bomb debate ended in splinters and dust, McPeak gathered a dozen Air Force procurement officials in his small conference room in the Pentagon's outermost ring. The general wanted to talk cost. He looked down the conference table toward the newly appointed leader of the GPS bomb program, Terry Little. An outspoken and sometimes arrogant civilian manager, Little had spent the last 15 years at Eglin turning around troubled classified weapons programs.
"What's the estimate?" McPeak asked.
"$65,000 apiece," Little replied, looking down at a sheet of figures provided by Defense contractors.
"And what's your goal?" McPeak asked, clearly unhappy with the figure. Little paused for a moment. Then, guessing he might be able to cut the price by a third, he blurted, "$40,000."
"By God, if it's one cent over, I don't want it," McPeak thundered, pounding his fist on the wooden table.
McPeak wasn't bluffing. The Cold War was over; the Reagan-era defense buildup was history. Between 1990 and 1997, the Defense budget would be slashed by a third. Not long after McPeak and the procurement managers met, then-Vice President Al Gore hammered an ashtray to bits on TV's David Letterman show to illustrate the Clinton administration's disdain for costly government specifications.
Congress was preparing to pass the 1994 Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act, designed to speed and ease government purchasing of everything from fax machines to weapons.
Little saw his opening. In the classified procurement world, he often stretched buying rules. Contractors and auditors paid less attention to secret programs, and the need to deliver them fast overrode concerns about the rules. Little viewed McPeak's low-price mandate as license to push the boundaries again. This time, the one-time union organizer-who cultivated a maverick image by puffing Lucky Strikes and nipping from a bottle of gin in his desk drawer-would need all the operating room he could get.
He had just promised to build a brand new bomb for $40,000 apiece when the cheapest guided bombs to date ran six figures each. Little convinced the Pentagon to waive more than 80 buying rules for the bomb kit contract.
The most important change exempted companies from having to reveal how much they spent designing and building the bomb kits. Normally, Defense requires weapons manufacturers to keep and share meticulous records on the cost of every component of a weapons system. The Pentagon uses cost figures to determine the price it's willing to pay, usually the total manufacturing cost plus a 10 percent to 15 percent profit. Little didn't care what companies spent building bomb kits; his only concern was getting them at the price he'd promised McPeak.
So Little proposed a deal to seven companies that said they could build the bomb kits for $65,000 each. If the companies would agree to build as many bombs as the military wanted for no more than $40,000 apiece with a 20-year warranty, they would not have to reveal their costs, could choose their own suppliers, and the winner would be the sole JDAM supplier in perpetuity.
Contractors leapt at the deal. "We were willing to take a risk up front to get a long-term commitment to a price," says Kim Michael, the bomb kit program manager for Boeing, which now owns contract winner McDonnell Douglas.
By early 1994, Lockheed Martin and McDonnell Douglas had beaten five other companies to become finalists. The Air Force and Navy planned to buy 84,000 kits. The two companies had 18 months to come up with the best, most cost-effective design. Such competitions usually are tightly controlled. A cadre of contracting officers obsessed with fairness oversees them. Companies get little feedback from the government until the contract is awarded.
But Little believed this approach was too rigid and that the lack of communication led to flawed designs and overpriced products.
Little used another waiver to assign JDAM program officials who had spent their entire careers being tight-mouthed around companies to become contractors' confidants.
They were to work side by side with the firms at their plants and at Eglin. They were to show contractors their design weaknesses and likely places to cut costs. They would win or lose together. A few months into the competition, Little set up two teams-each with a dozen engineers, contract specialists and program analysts. He assigned a team to each contractor with orders to do everything possible to help its company win the deal.
"Terry Little told me, 'Your [performance] rating is going to be based on what the McDonnell Douglas program manager thinks of you,' " says retired Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph Schearer, who headed the Eglin team working with the St. Louis-based contractor. Schearer knew the only way he'd win McDonnell Douglas' respect was by helping the company bring home the contract.
Schearer was concerned he'd drawn the weaker partner in McDonnell Douglas, and his fears were confirmed during his first meeting with the firm late that summer. Long a top but pricey player in the aerospace market, McDonnell Douglas had devised a "Cadillac" design. Shearer figured the elaborate strap-on device would cost nearly $10,000 more than the one being crafted by a Lockheed Martin team behind a closed door in the same building at Eglin. He told his new colleagues they'd lose the work if they didn't redesign the bomb and lower its $28,000 price tag by contract award time in the fall of 1995. That gave them a year.
McDonnell Douglas had little choice but to listen to Schearer. Like most weapons builders, the defense giant had drastically reduced its workforce-from 121,400 to 65,800 employees-as the Pentagon's budget fell between 1988 and 1994. In 1994, the company had lost its biggest missile program, the $1.5 billion Tomahawk cruise missile, to Hughes, mainly due to cost. McDonnell Douglas, which specialized in building planes, had few missile programs left.
Without the JDAM, the company would lose its foothold in the munitions business. So the cost cutting began. The team consolidated 11 wires to four, combined multiple circuit boards and replaced an expensive GPS receiver housing with a low-cost casing that protected the entire kit from electromagnetic interference.
McDonnell Douglas cut deals with suppliers to lower the cost of key parts-for example, agreeing to let the manufacturer of a GPS circuit decide which antenna to use in return for a better price. The cost cutting was relentless. "We've got to balance risk with cost," a McDonnell Douglas manager once warned Schearer. But Schearer fired back, "Keep taking out cost. I'll tell you when to stop."
The cutting ended in August 1995. Costs had been trimmed to $6,500 for the inertial navigation system, $3,000 for electric motors and fins, $2,000 for the central computer, and $1,800 for the GPS receiver.
Schearer believed McDonnell Douglas' proposal would be competitive with Lockheed Martin's. He was right. In September 1995, the Air Force announced McDonnell Douglas had won the contract with a price of $14,000 per kit-about half the $28,000 price projected just a year earlier.
Now it was time to prove the bomb could work.
In October 1996, a 6-foot wooden pole rose from an Eglin test range awaiting obliteration. An Air Force F-16 flew overhead and released a 1,000-pound mix of high explosives and Information Age technology-a test Joint Direct Attack Munition. A few miles away in the test range command and control center, Oscar Soler, the new JDAM program manager, stared at a bank of color television screens waiting for video cameras on the range to pick up the blurry image of the bomb heading toward its target.
Ten seconds. Twenty seconds. Forty seconds. Soler grew impatient. "What happened? Where is it?" he asked frantically, cursing at the screen. The 10 airmen monitoring test measurement equipment didn't have to respond. Soler knew the answer: The bomb had gone off target and landed out of camera range. The wooden pole stood in the Florida Panhandle soil unscathed.
The failed test-caused by a faulty wire, not a design problem-was just the latest in a string of JDAM setbacks. Soler seemed to find a new problem at every turn in the 10 months since he had taken over from Little. The fins in the bomb's tail kit were too flimsy.
Software controlling the bomb's autopilot system wasn't working. The Pentagon scrutinized the program because its low cost had been such a shock. "I had to go to Washington every month to explain the problems," Soler recalls. A key challenge was convincing JDAM engineers and contract managers that changes or fixes had to be made even if they might drive up the price.
The tail kit problem was a case in point. McDonnell Douglas and Air Force program officials, including Soler, spent about a year trying to stabilize the tail fins. Adding springs didn't work, nor did driving more bolts into the tail. Nothing did. "Finally, it dawned on me that we were so obsessed with acquisition reform that we would not look at design changes that would cost more money," says Soler. Eventually, the laws of physics won out and the fins were redesigned, adding a few hundred dollars to the cost of each kit. "When you try to fix something on the cheap it doesn't work," Soler says.
By 1998, the Air Force had a final design and Boeing, which merged with McDonnell Douglas the previous August, began building the first 476 kits, which would undergo rigorous testing. The test results went to the Pentagon, which weighed them in deciding when the weapon was ready for full production.
The JDAM faced final exams at five training and test ranges from Guam to Barksdale, La. Almost immediately, the testers found problems. They worried about the maturity of the commercial software used to program the bombs. They fretted about the cheap fiberglass containers used to ship and store the kits. In a December 2000 final report, they deemed JDAM "operationally effective, but not suitable."
Meanwhile, in early 1999, the United States and NATO had gone to war in the Balkans against Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic. Increasingly, the air war over the former Yugoslavia was encompassing urban areas. War planners feared collateral damage-the unintended killing of civilians who live or might simply be present near allies' targets. Laser-guided munitions weren't a good option because they couldn't negotiate the daily rain, snow, fog and sleet of springtime in the Balkans. The planners asked for better bombs.
Ralston, by 1999 a four-star general serving as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, remembered the bomb he'd fought for 10 years earlier, the one guided from satellites. There's little doubt that as No. 2 military officer at the Defense Department, he had a large say in which weapons would fall on the Serbs that spring. But military leaders of the B-2 bomber wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., made the final call. The JDAM had done well in testing when dropped from the bat-winged stealth bombers, so the several hundred bombs at the base would be put to use.
Boeing ramped up deliveries from its JDAM plant to Whiteman, a few hours northwest. At the base, JDAM kits were strapped onto 2,000-pound bombs and loaded 16 at a time onto B-2s flying their first combat missions-30 hours to Kosovo and back. The JDAMs saw action almost immediately. Military planners wanted to take out a petroleum plant the Serbs used for refueling. But the oil tanks were located across the road from a centuries-old church.
JDAMs destroyed the fuel tanks without cracking a window in the house of worship. Bad weather had prevented the allies from hitting the Zezeljev Bridge stretching over the Danube River in Yugoslavia's second largest city, Novi Sad. JDAMs easily knocked the heavy concrete bridge into the water. The 652 JDAMs dropped during the 78-day air war with Serbia were 98 percent accurate.
The testers' concerns were rendered moot. Shortly after the war, the Defense Department placed an order for 84,000 kits. The era of smart bombs had dawned.
A year and half later, in November 2001 in Afghanistan, a Northern Alliance militia leader radioed allied forces that hundreds of Taliban soldiers were gathering on a ridge about a mile from the city of Kunduz, one of the last strongholds of the government that had harbored al Qaeda. In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the United States was backing the Northern Alliance in a campaign to root out al Qaeda and its supporters.
The militia leader requested that the Taliban troops be bombed within 24 hours to enable his forces to advance. Help arrived in 19 minutes. A U.S. Special Forces operator nearby fixed a laser designator on the Taliban troops. He translated their location into GPS coordinates and relayed the request to U.S. combatant commanders headquartered in Saudi Arabia. Headquarters staff contacted B-52 pilots in the area.
The pilots programmed the location of the Taliban force into 12 JDAMs in their aircraft. Within minutes the sky rained iron. The Taliban soon gave up Kunduz.
In Afghanistan, JDAMs showed their mettle on short notice, delivering immediate blows to advancing troops. About 6,650 JDAMs have been dropped on Afghanistan since October 2001, and operations continue there. In early 2002, JDAMs had become so popular that the Defense Department nearly tripled its order, to almost 240,000 kits. Boeing suddenly had to churn out 3,000 kits a month from a factory already too small to build half that number.
Not long after the Northern Alliance seized Kunduz in early 2002, Boeing introduced lean manufacturing - a process to shorten and streamline production - at its newly enlarged JDAM plant. There, in a barbed wire-ringed complex in St. Charles, Mo., about 20 miles west of downtown St. Louis, first McDonnell Douglas, then Boeing, had built cruise missiles for almost two decades.
Building No. 505, where JDAMs are assembled, doesn't stand out, even with its new two-story addition. It's about two hundred yards long and 100 yards across. From the road, it resembles an oversized storage shed. But inside, workers assemble the brains of one of the world's most precise bombs in 78 minutes.
Parts from 22 JDAM suppliers arrive continuously throughout the week. Boeing exercises tight control of its supply chain, through which 887,000 parts moved last year. The company sends its own trucks to transport parts so it can determine when and how often they are picked up and delivered. There are no stockrooms or rows of pallets inside the factory. Boeing saves space and money by storing no more than six days' worth of components. As trucks unload, forklifts carry their cargo directly to one of 20 lines of silver metal rollers that extend 20 feet from loading dock to assembly line.
Most parts never touch the factory floor.
The only steady noise inside is the drone of the ventilation system, occasionally interrupted by the high-pitched warning beep of forklifts backing up and the crash of boxes onto the metal conveyors. Nothing's cut or welded here. All the shipping containers are reusable-having to trash them would waste space and cost money.
At the end of the metal rollers, a munitions mechanic wearing a special white lab coat to protect circuit boards from static electricity places a GPS circuit card inside a steel 12-inch control unit. He grabs a black automatic screwdriver hanging overhead. Twenty-seven turns later, half-inch silver screws connect the card to the control unit. In six minutes, the mechanic creates a bomb's sense of direction. Forty-two munitions mechanics on two shifts working five days a week can build 3,000 JDAM kits each month.
Hiss. Thwap. Hiss. Thwap. An automatic machine whips thick translucent green plastic straps around a dark green fiberglass box. The boxes carry JDAM kits out the door and around the world. Stacked two high and three across, 54 containers holding 108 kits can fill one 18-wheeler. Most days, the factory fills a trailer and a half.
In May, a truck pulled out, bound for an Army arsenal; Boeing wouldn't say where. Upon arrival, the kits it carried likely were stored in temperature-controlled bunkers alongside the bombs they would one day steer. The Defense Department generally gives Boeing a week's notice of a shipment's destination, but that can change en route.
One destination is known: At least a half dozen 18-wheelers full of JDAMs wound up on the aircraft carrier USS Constellation heading for the Persian Gulf.
In mid-March, bomb builders clad in red turtlenecks and camouflage pants hustled about the fluorescent-lit bunker inside the Constellation. The young sailors had been working 18 hours, seven days a week, for more than a month assembling bombs, including JDAMs, for war with Iraq. The "Bomb Build-Up Chart" on a whiteboard detailed which tails and fins were to go on which bombs and how many were to be built each day.
"I can build two or 2,000 bombs," said Gunner Joe Thompson, a former enlisted man turned naval officer who managed the Constellation's 108 ordnance handlers.
Bombs come in pieces-munitions in wooden crates and tail kits encased in fiberglass. It takes two ordnance men about 30 minutes to bolt silver tail kits to the dull gray bombs sporting two yellow rings around their noses. After a quick electronics test, the bombs are stored.
On the eve of war, bombs were stacked three-high, 10 rows deep in the ship's arsenal awaiting the elevator trip up 10 stories to the flight deck. On a clear night during the third week of March, the wind whips hard across the Constellation's flight deck. It takes two or three ordnance men to pull two JDAMs in a small cart toward the fighter planes parked diagonally at the flight deck's edge.
They attach two bombs under each wing of the F-14 Tomcats and F-18 Hornets. Five minutes later, pilots climb in and roll the planes to the ship's steam-powered catapult, where they're latched on. A safety officer taps a white light on the deck.
Yanked by the catapult, the planes jerk upright and accelerate from zero to 150 miles an hour in two seconds, barreling down the deck and off the carrier. Each one hovers precariously just off the ship's bow, weighed down by 4,000 pounds of bombs.
Then flames shooting out the tail from the afterburners grow longer and whiter. Each fighter begins to climb and disappears into the stars over the Persian Gulf to deliver its JDAMs to Iraq.
George Cahlink email@example.com Government Executive
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
In doing so, Irhabi007 was a central figure in enabling al-Qaeda to reconstitute itself after the fall of the Taliban and its eviction from Afghanistan . Al-Qaeda (“the base”) and its followers moved to cyberspace, the ultimate ungoverned territory, where jihadists have set up virtual schools for ideological and military training and active propaganda arms.
Irhabi007 pioneered many of the techniques required to make all this happen. He was a tireless “webmaster” for several extremist websites, especially those issuing the statements of the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq . Intelligence agencies watched powerlessly as Irhabi007 hacked into computers, for instance appropriating that of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department to distribute large video files, and taught his fellow cyber-jihadists how to protect their anonymity online.
Despite his celebrity, this was not good enough for Irhabi007. “Dude,” he complained to a fellow cyber-jihadist (who called himself “Abuthaabit”) during one encrypted web chat, “my heart is in Iraq .”
Abuthaabit: How are you going to have enough to go there?Irhabi007: I suppose someone gotta be here!
Abuthaabit: This media work, I am telling you, is very important. Very, very, very, very.Irhabi007: I know, I know.
Abuthaabit: Because a lot of the funds brothers are getting is because they are seeing stuff like this coming out. Imagine how many people have gone [to Iraq ] after seeing the situation because of the videos. Imagine how many of them could have been shaheed [martyrs] as well.
Irhabi007’s desire for real action may have led to his downfall. He was not only involved in a dispersed network of jihadi propaganda, but also, it seems, in a decentralised web of terrorist plots. In October 2005 police in Bosnia arrested a cyber-jihadist who called himself “Maximus”, a Swedish teenager of Bosnian extraction called Mirsad Bektasevic. He and three others were later sentenced to jail terms of up to 15 years for plotting attacks that were to take place either in Bosnia or in other European countries.
Among the material recovered from Mr Bektasevic’s flat, police found 19kg of explosives, weapons, a video with instructions for making a suicide vest and a video recording of masked men proclaiming their membership of “al-Qaeda in northern Europe ”. On his computer they found evidence of contacts with other jihadists across Europe . Among them was Irhabi007.
Two days later, British police raided a flat in a terraced house in west London next to one of the rougher pubs in Shepherd’s Bush. After an altercation, they arrested Younis Tsouli (pictured above). The elusive Irhabi007 turned out to be the 22-year-old son of a Moroccan tourism board official and a student of information technology. Two other men, also students, were arrested at the same time, although Mr Tsouli had never met them except on the internet.
The trial of Mr Tsouli and his co-defendants—Waseem Mughal, a British-born graduate in biochemistry (aka Abuthaabit), and Tariq al-Daour, a law student born in the United Arab Emirates—came to an end this month when they belatedly pleaded to charges of incitement to murder and conspiracy to murder. The court also heard that Mr al-Daour ran a £1.8m credit-card fraud and used the funds to buy equipment for jihadi groups. Mr Tsouli and Mr Mughal used stolen credit-card numbers to set up jihadi websites. Mr Tsouli was sent to jail for ten years; the others received shorter sentences.
There have been several arrests in Denmark , where a 17-year-old man of Palestinian origin was convicted last February for his involvement in Mr Bektasevic’s plot. Three others were found guilty, but the jury’s verdict was overturned. Irhabi007 has also been reported to be linked to plots in America , where two men living in Atlanta , Georgia , have been charged with planning attacks against civilian and military targets in and around Washington , DC , including the Capitol, the World Bank, the George Washington Masonic Memorial and a fuel depot. According to the indictment, the two men—Syed Ahmed, 21, and Ehsanul Sadequee, 19—sent Irhabi007 photographs of the proposed targets, and also travelled to Canada to meet fellow plotters and discuss attacks.
Many of the details are still subject to court restrictions. But these interlinked investigations underline the words of Peter Clarke, the head of the counter-terrorism branch of London ‘s Metropolitan Police, who said in April that his officers were contending with “networks within networks, connections within connections and links between individuals that cross local, national and international boundaries”.
In light of this month’s failed attempts to set off car bombs in London and at Glasgow airport, allegedly by a group of foreign doctors and other medical staff, one exchange of messages found on Irhabi007’s computer, in a folder marked “jihad”, makes intriguing reading. “We are 45 doctors and we are determined to undertake jihad for Allah’s sake and to take the battle inside damaged America , Allah willing,” ran part of it.
The message purported to set out a plot to attack a naval base, apparently Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida, with the aim of achieving the “complete destruction” of the USS John F. Kennedy, an aircraft carrier, and 12 escort vessels, as well as blowing up “clubs for naked women” around the base. “The anticipated number of pig casualties is 200-300,” said the author, unidentified except for the boast that he had been discharged from the Jordanian army. He claimed to have the support of a pilot who would provide air cover for the operation, but he lacked one essential piece of information that he asked Irhabi007 to provide: a guide for making car bombs.
The FBI said it had investigated the plot at the time and found it to be “not credible”.
Nevertheless, the capability of the internet to promote terrorism is worrying intelligence agencies. According to America ‘s National Intelligence Estimate in April 2006, “The radicalisation process is occurring more quickly, more widely and more anonymously in the internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.”
Past technological innovations, such as telephones or fax machines, have quickly been exploited by terrorists. But the information revolution is particularly useful to them. To begin with, encrypted communications, whether in the form of e-mail messages or, better still, voice-over-internet audio, make it much harder for investigators to monitor their activity. Messages can be hidden, for instance, within innocuous-looking pictures.
More important, the internet gives jihadists an ideal vehicle for propaganda, providing access to large audiences free of government censorship or media filters, while carefully preserving their anonymity. Its ability to connect disparate jihadi groups creates a sense of a global Islamic movement fighting to defend the global ummah, or community, from a common enemy. It provides a low-risk means of taking part in jihad for sympathisers across the world.
The ease and cheapness of processing words, pictures, sound and video has brought the era not only of the citizen-journalist but also the terrorist-journalist. Al-Qaeda now sends out regular “news bulletins” with a masked man in a studio recounting events from the many fronts of jihad, whether in Iraq , Afghanistan , Chechnya or Palestine .
Jihadi ticker-tape feeds provide running updates on the number of Americans killed (about ten times more than the Pentagon’s death toll).
Battlefield footage of American Humvees being blown up to shouts of “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great) appear on the internet within minutes of the attacks taking place. The most popular scenes are often compiled into films with musical soundtracks of male choirs performing songs such as “Caravans of Martyrs”. Jihadists have even released a computer video game, “Night of Bush Capturing”, in which participants play at shooting American soldiers and President George Bush. Inevitably, experts say, jihadists have also started to create “residents” in the virtual world of Second Life.
As well as war fantasies, there is sometimes also a dose of sexual wish-fulfilment. A video recording by a Kuwaiti ideologue, Hamid al-Ali, declares that a martyr in the cause of jihad goes to paradise to enjoy delicious food, drink and a wife who will “astonish your mind” and much else besides; her vagina, apparently, “never complains about how much sex she had”, and she reverts back to being a virgin.
The internet is awash with communiqués from insurgent groups extolling their own success or denouncing rivals.
Even the most hunted figures, such as Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second-most-senior figure in al-Qaeda, regularly put out video statements commenting on political developments within just a few days.
In short, the hand-held video camera has become as important a tool of insurgency as the AK-47 or the RPG rocket-launcher. As Mr Zawahiri himself once put it in an intercepted letter to Zarqawi, “More than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media.” Or as one jihadi magazine found on Irhabi007’s computer explained: “Film everything; this is good advice for all mujahideen [holy warriors]. Brothers, don’t disdain photography. You should be aware that every frame you take is as good as a missile fired at the Crusader enemy and his puppets.” Just before his arrest, Irhabi007 had set up a website that, he hoped, would rival YouTube, to share jihadi videos. He called it Youbombit.com.
Of jihad and camels
The internet’s decentralised structure, with its origins in military networks designed to survive nuclear strikes, now gives jihadi networks tremendous resilience. Jihadi websites constantly come and go, sometimes taken down by service providers only to reappear elsewhere, sometimes shifted deliberately to stay ahead of investigators. As one expert put it: “It’s like the old game of Space Invaders. When you clear one screen of potential attackers, another simply appears to take its place.”
The number of extremist websites is increasing exponentially, from a handful in 2000 to several thousand today. Some are overtly militant, while others give jihad second place to promoting a puritanical brand of piety known as “salafism”, that is modelled on the earliest followers of the Prophet Muhammad and regards later developments as degenerate. Most are in Arabic, but some have started to translate their material into English, French and other languages to reach a wider audience.
The most headline-grabbing material on the internet is the military manuals—whether as books, films or PowerPoint slides—giving instruction on a myriad of subjects, not least weapons, assassination techniques, the manufacture of poisons and how to make explosives. But intelligence agencies say there is nothing like having hands-on experience in a place like Iraq , or at least a training camp. In the latest attempted attacks in London and Glasgow , for example, the attackers clearly botched the manufacture of their car bombs even though many of the alleged plotters were well educated.
Still, internet-based compilations such as the vast and constantly updated “Encyclopedia of Preparation”, as well as militant e-magazines such as the Tip of the Camel’s Hump (used to mean “the pinnacle”) found on Irhabi007’s computer, make it easier for self-starting groups around the world to try their hand at terrorism. The Dutch counter-terrorism office, which publishes many of its studies on extremism, concludes that the existence of virtual training camps “has the effect of lowering the threshold against the commission of attacks”.
Many jihadi websites put their most inflammatory information and discussions in password-protected areas. Here participants can be gradually groomed, invited to take part in more confidential discussions, drawn into one-on-one chats, indoctrinated and at last recruited to the cause.
But the very anonymity that the internet affords jihadists can also work against them; it lets police and intelligence agencies enter the jihadists’ world without being identified. Many postings to web forums are filled with (rightly) paranoid postings about who is watching. A lengthy posting on a Syrian jihadi site in 2005, entitled “Advice to Brothers Seeking Jihad in Iraq ”, said raw recruits offering only “enthusiasm or impetuousness or love of martyrdom” were no longer wanted.
Instead, the mujahideen needed money and experienced fighters, but they should not assume that the smuggling routes through Syria were safe. It advocated communicating in secret through trusted sources in mosques rather than on the internet, noting that “this forum, like the others, is under...surveillance; any information is obviously not secret, so any individuals you meet and correspond with on the forums cannot be trusted at all.”
Contributors to jihadi web sites are regularly told not to divulge secrets. When news of Irhabi007’s arrest emerged last year, some of the postings stressed the need for greater caution online. One of these, signed by “Badr17”, gave the warning “Trust in Allah, but tie your camel.”
Open university of jihad
One of the most prolific al-Qaeda strategists is Abu Musab al-Suri. He is now in American custody, but his 1,600-page opus, “The Global Islamic Call to Resistance”, survives. It advocates the creation in the West of self-starting, independent terrorist cells, not directly affiliated to existing groups, to stage spectacular attacks.
For many who study the jihadi websites, however, the bigger danger is indoctrination.
The Dutch domestic intelligence service, the AIVD, regards the internet as the “turbocharger” of jihadi radicalisation. Stephen Ulph, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, an American research institute that monitors terrorism, says the internet provides an open university for jihadists. At least 60% of the material on jihadi websites deals not with current events or with war videos, but instead concerns ideological and cultural questions.
Jihadists, Mr Ulph says, are fighting less a war against the West than “a civil war for the minds of Muslim youth”. In this process of radicalisation, “the mujahideen attract the uncommitted armchair sympathiser, detach him from his social and intellectual environment, undermine his self-image as an observant Muslim, introduce what they claim is ‘real Islam’, re-script history in terms of a perennial conflict, centralise jihad as his Islamic identity, train him not only militarily but also socially and psychologically.”
A key text is the ever-expanding e-book, “Questions and Uncertainties Concerning the Mujahideen and their Operations”, which seeks to arm jihadists with responses to questions and doubts about their actions, ranging from the admissibility of killing Muslims, the use of weapons of mass destruction and the acceptability of shaving one’s beard for the sake of jihad. “It is important we do not get distracted by focusing on organisations rather than against ideology,” argues Mr Ulph.
The point is underlined in a study by the Combating Terrorism Centre at America ‘s military academy at West Point , which has tried to “map” the most important ideological influences by searching citations in jihadi online documents. Top of the list is Ibn Taymiyya, a scholar who lived at the time of the medieval Mongol invasions. He strove to return Islam to the pure faith of Muhammad’s followers, advocated jihad to repel foreign invaders and taught that Mongol leaders who converted to Islam were not really Muslims because they did not implement sharia. These ideas strike a chord with today’s jihadists, who see Americans as the new Mongols.
Osama bin Laden does not make the top ten most-cited figures, even among modern authors. Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, the theorist jailed in Jordan (and who directly inspired Zarqawi), is regarded as a higher authority. And Mr Zawahiri, the ubiquitous internet propagandist who is often described as the real brains behind al-Qaeda, does not even figure in the jihadists’ intellectual universe.
Western intelligence agencies trawl the internet to look for evidence of terrorist plots, but lack the resources or desire to challenge the wider ideology. In a global network, outside the control of any single government, attempts to close down extremist sites are little more than short-lived harassment. What is needed is a systematic campaign of counter-propaganda, not least in support of friendly Muslim governments and moderate Muslims, to try to reclaim the ground ceded to the jihadists.
“Intelligence agencies are dealing with the problem once people have manifested themselves as existing terrorists,” says Professor Bruce Hoffman, an expert on terrorism at Georgetown University . “We have to find a way to stanch the flow. The internet creates a constant reservoir of radicalised people which terrorist groups and networks can draw upon.”
So Irhabi007 may be off the internet, but others like him remain. Among the most prolific is a figure who roams the web by the name of, yes, Irhabi11.
“Philippine military on Monday warned it could launch an “all-out war” against Islamic militants if they did not surrender those behind an ambush last week in which 14 marines were killed, and 10 later beheaded”
[AP] EGYPT - 2 Palestinians wounded in riots at Egyptian airport near Gaza
“About 100 Palestinians smashed doors and windows inside an airport building in this Egypt-Gaza Strip border town early Tuesday after being trapped there for more than a month since the border’s closure”
[Reuters] ALGERIA - Algerian army foils al Qaeda attack
“About 50 members of the al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb attacked two police stations in Yaourene village in Tizi Ouzou province”
“Before the attack, the group planted five bombs on a road leading to the stations targeting any reinforcements by government forces. Two of them exploded without causing casualties”
[Jerusalem Post] ISRAEL - Fake bomb left on Jerusalem - Ma’ale Adumim Road
“The object, which was composed of a bottle attached to a battery, had the word “Hamas” written on it in Arabic and the word “TNT” in English along with a swastika”
[PAKTRIBUNE] AFGHANISTAN - Taliban behead civilians
“The above incident(s) were located, qualified, and added to the incident map by www.GlobalSecurityAnalysis.com asan approved partner of GlobalIncidentMap.com”
[AP] UKRAINE - Hundreds Evacuated After Train Crash Releases Toxic Cloud in Ukraine
See also http://english.pravda.ru/news/hotspots/17-07-2007/95008-train_ukraine-0
[Jurnalo] PAKISTAN - Pakistani police detain 39 suspects in failed attack on Musharraf “Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies have detained 39 people suspected of involvement in a failed attempt on the life of President Pervez Musharraf earlier this month”
Saturday, July 14, 2007
"This book provides the missing piece in the puzzle of al-Qa’ida’s transformation from an isolated fighting force into a lethal global threat: the Bosnian war of 1992 to 1995. John R. Schindler reveals the unexamined role that radical Islam played in that terrible conflict--and the ill-considered contributions of American policy to al-Qa’ida’s growth.
His book explores a truth long hidden from view: that, like Afghanistan in the 1980s, Bosnia in the 1990s became a training ground for the mujahidin. Unholy Terror at last exposes the shocking story of how bin Laden successfully exploited the Bosnian conflict for his own ends--and of how the U. S. Government gave substantial support to his unholy warriors, leading to blowback of epic proportions."
Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa'ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad (Hardcover) by John R. Schindler (Author)
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Al-Qa’ida: in the 80s they were in Afghanistan, supported by America and fighting the Russians. In the new century they have metastasized throughout the world’s geopolitical body. Where were they in the 90s?
Unholy Terror provides the answer, with all its terrifying implications for our world today. This book provides the missing piece in the puzzle of al-Qa’ida’s transformation from an isolated fighting force into a lethal global threat: the Bosnian war of 1992 to 1995. John R. Schindler reveals the unexamined role that radical Islam played in that terrible conflict--and the ill-considered contributions of American policy to al-Qa’ida’s growth.
His book explores a truth long hidden from view: that, like Afghanistan in the 1980s, Bosnia in the 1990s became a training ground for the mujahidin.
Unholy Terror at last exposes the shocking story of how bin Laden successfully exploited the Bosnian conflict for his own ends--and of how the U. S. Government gave substantial support to his unholy warriors, leading to blowback of epic proportions.From the Inside Flap
The Bosnian conflict of 1992 to 1995 has been largely misrepresented in the West . . . until now. In Unholy Terror, John R. Schindler—professor of strategy at the Naval War College and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer—reappraises the war in Bosnia, illuminating its pivotal role in the development of radical Islamic terrorism.
The long hidden truth is that Bosnia played the same role for al-Qa’ida in the 1990s that Afghanistan did in the 1980s, providing a battleground where mujahidin could learn to wage holy war. Schindler exposes how Osama bin Laden exploited the Bosnian conflict for his own ends and the disturbing level of support the U.S. government gave to the Bosnian mujahidin—just as had been done with the Afghan mujahidin.
Repeating the mistakes of Afghanistan contributed to blowback of epic proportions: Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (the mastermind of 9/11) and two of the 9/11 hijacker pilots were veterans of the Bosnian jihad. Unholy Terror is a compelling and meticulously researched step toward finally learning the lessons of Bosnia, which can only help in the continuing battle against Muslim extremists and their global jihad.
From the Back Cover
Al-Qa’ida. In the 1980s they were in Afghanistan, supported by the United States as they fought the Soviets; by the new millennium they were responsible for the deadliest attack on American soil in the history of the republic. Where were they in between, and how did they transform themselves from scrappy Afghan rebels to worldwide threat? This enlightening new book, Unholy Terror, provides the frightening answer: the Bosnian war of 1992 to 1995 was the core of Osama bin Laden’s growing global jihad.
It is frightening not so much because of the tragedies of that war, but because those tragedies occurred under the nose of the U.S. government—at times with U.S. complicity. John R. Schlinder served for nearly a decade with the National Security Agency—work which took him to many countries in support of U.S. and allied forces operating in the Balkans—and was NSA’s top Balkans expert.
He is uniquely qualified to demonstrate • how the Bosnian conflict has been misrepresented by the mainstream media, covering up the large role played by radical Islam and al-Qa’ida;
• how Osama bin Laden used Bosnia as a base for terrorist operations worldwide—including attacks on the United States from the Millennium Plot to 9/11; • how veterans of the Bosnian jihad have murdered thousands of Americans and conducted terrorist attacks around the world;
• how the Clinton administration, in collaboration with Iran, secretly supplied Bosnia’s mujahidin, including al-Qa’ida, with millions of dollars of weapons and supplies;
• how America’s Bosnian allies have been in covert alliances with radical anti-American regimes in several countries;
• why Bosnia and its secret jihad matter to America and our War on Terrorism today.
About the Author
John R. Schindler is a professor of strategy at the Naval War College and a former National Security Agency intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer. He speaks several languages and has published widely on issues of espionage, terrorism, and military history, including the periodicals War in History, the Journal of Strategic Studies, Orbis, Jane’s Intelligence Review, and the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.
His first book, Isonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War (2001), was a featured selection of the History Book Club. Professor Schlinder lives in Newport, Rhode Island.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Evidence That UN Special Envoy for Kosovo Marti Ahtisaari Received Albanian Mafia Bribes for Kosovo Independence
Defense & Foreign Affairs Analysis.
By Valentine Spyroglou, GIS Station Chief, South-East Europe.
On July 8, 2007 the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army, Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës or UÇK) war veterans issued an announcement warning the international community and especially the United Nations (UN) not to interfere the process of recognizing Kosovo’s independence.
The KLA announcement specifically said that the Albanian leaders of Kosovo should not accept more suspensions (delays) or new negotiations because these would lead to new hostilities. If their demands were not accepted, then the KLA veterans warned that they would have to take action as KLA soldiers and honor the oath of their national heroes.
The announcement came while the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo, former Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari, was publicly accused of having connections with the Albanian mafia in Kosovo.
The Finnish News Agency, STT, published on June 26 and June 27, 2007, two articles stating that the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo was “bought” by the Albanian mafia in order to support independence for Kosovo. The STT articles reported that the information was initially published by the Banja Luka (Republica Srpska, Bosnia & Herzegovina) Daily Fokus on June 21, 2007, entitled “Albanian Mafia Bought Ahtisaari”.
According to the Banja Luka report, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had requested that the German Federal Intelligence Service, BND, inform him in detail on what was happening in Kosovo, and he finally received a detailed report on Special Envoy Ahtisaari’s activities in Kosovo.
Based on the Banja Luka article, the UN Secretary General was informed that Albanian separatists in Kosovo had paid for Ahtisaari’s plan which proposed independence for the Serbian province. The BND secret service team, headed by Brigadier Luke Neiman, who was directly appointed by the German Government to designate part of the German Secret Service apparatus to the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNOSEK: United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Kosovo), discovered the connection between the Albanian mafia and Marti Ahtisaari. Brig. Neiman had recordings of discussions between Ahtisaari and Albanians; how they transferred money; the banks accounts plus codes in Switzerland and Cyprus.
One of the BDN recordings revealed the transportation of two-million euros from the Swiss Bank based in the city of Visalia, account number 239700-93457-00097, owned by Exhet Boria, which was masked by an offshore account with a code XS52-KOLER to Ahtisaari’s bank account in the Bank of Cyprus, account number 3459346699004533, code VOLANND.
What was also reported was the visit of two men to UNOSEK, in the presence of Ahtisaari on February 12, 2007, at 06:23 hrs (local time) in one black Mercedes four-wheel drive SUV, with license plate PR-443-22CD, which was confirmed to belong to the Albanian Government in Priština.
The two visitors carried two silver briefcases which were handed to Ahtisaari. A source inside the UNOSEK facilities confirmed that the briefcases contained cash and were delivered to the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo. Twelve days later, at 17:44 hrs (local), the same car, with the license plates removed, visited UNOSEK but this time it was Exhet Boria himself and two bodyguards that entered the building, carrying again two silver briefcases.
Exhet Boria is a Kosovo Albanian figure involved in organized crime and heroin trade in Europe and he is the “right hand” of Behgjet Pacolli, the Albanian billionaire mafia boss, living in Switzerland.
The BND agents realized that the four briefcases had diplomatic luggage labels, and noted that they finally arrived in Finland without being checked — because of the diplomatic tagging — and were delivered at Ahtisaari’s house. The briefcase cash totaled 40-million euros. The German agents also confirmed that Ahtisaari had many telephone conversations with Behgjet Pacolli.
Furthermore, on February 28, 2007, at 23:47 hrs (local), the BND agents noted the arrival of a NATO KFOR (Kosovo Force) four-wheel drive vehicle carrying two women who were followed by Boria’s bodyguard. The women stayed in Ahtisaari’s quarters until 05:17 hrs next day, and left with the same car.
The office of the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo responded to STT that “this is a silly story that comes from the press of Serbia (Bosnia & Herzegovina). We have nothing to add”, said Remi Derlo, Ahtisaari’s spokesman based in Vienna. According to STT, the accusations where not commented on by the UN or by Ahtisaari himself.
However, the President of the National Assembly of Serbia, Oliver Dulić, has made a formal inquiry into the allegations in order to confirm Ahtisaari’s involvement with Albanian organized crime.
Meanwhile, on the date on which the accusations on Ahtisaari were published, June 21, 2007, the UN Security Council session discarded the US-UK proposal to suspend negotiations for 120 days and then apply the Ahtisaari plan for giving independence to Kosovo. Also, that same day the EU warned the Albanians in Kosovo not to take unilateral decisions/action because these would be characterized “irresponsible behavior”.
The GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs station in south-eastern Europe has conducted research in the Balkans and from secure sources it was revealed that the BND report does indeed exist, and that the information contained is not “Serbian fiction” but a reality.
The research also revealed additional secure and confirmed information. Specifically, it was confirmed that the former KLA leader, Hakim Thaci (also known as “the snake” of KLA), had made a plan of “100 days” for Kosovo’s independence.
It is foreseen that elections would be held in Kosovo, in November 2007; the Kosovo Parliament will have 120 seats from which 100 seats will be taken by Albanians, 10 seats by the Serbs, and 10 seats will be occupied by the remaining minorities in Kosovo. The election winner would be Hakim Thaci, winning 75 seats.
The remaining 25 seats would be taken by Albanian parties in Kosovo. They consider that the Serbs would not vote, hence the 10 Serbian seats would be taken again by representatives of Hakim Thaci.
The first session of the Kosovo Parliament would, under the plan, then decide and announce Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence (UDI). According to highly-reliable sources, Thaci and his friends had taken their decisions unilaterally and despite the UN Security Council decision, regardless of what this could mean for the security of the region.
Meanwhile, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs sources confirmed that the BND report also contained extensive additional information on the involvement in corrupt activities of other international community personalities involved in Kosovo.
As a result, it was understood that, under the pressure of the emerging information/facts, the UN was now considering promoting the partition of Kosovo, rather than adopting the Ahtisaari plan for granting complete independence to Kosovo.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Here is the text of the overarching public safety and travel announcement of April 10, 2007
This Public Announcement updates information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against Americans and interests overseas. This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated October 11, 2006 and expires on October 9, 2007.
The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas.
Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics to include assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings.
Ongoing events in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East have resulted in demonstrations and associated violence in several countries. Americans are reminded that demonstrations and rioting can occur with little or no warning.
In August 2006, British authorities arrested a significant number of extremists engaged in a plot to destroy multiple passenger aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States.
The September 2006 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Syria and the March 2006 bombing near the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan illustrate the continuing desire of extremists to strike American targets.
Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests. The bomb attacks targeting buses carrying foreign workers in March 2007 and December 2006 in Algeria, a series of bombings in Thailand in May and September 2006 that targeted commercial and tourist destinations in the far south, and the bombings in the the Egyptian resort town of Dahab in April 2006 all illustrate how terrorists exploit vulnerabilities associated with soft targets. Additional examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas and locales where Americans gather in large numbers, including during holidays.
Financial or economic targets of value may also be considered as possible venues; the vehicle-based suicide attack on an oil facility near Mukalla and Marib in Yemen in September 2006 and the failed attack on the Abqaiq oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia in late February 2006 are such examples.
In the wake of the August 2006 plot against aircraft in London, numerous terrorist attacks on trains in India in 2006, the July 2005 London Underground bombings, and the March 2004 train attacks in Madrid, Americans are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems. In addition, extremists may also select aviation and maritime services as possible targets.
U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. For additional information, please refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” found at
U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Americans abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov .
In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
The inner circle of Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad began to show the serious signs of real or imagined pressures in June 2007. The predominant concern of the inner circle around the President is Bashar's own growing fear that he will end up like the late Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein.
Bashar al-Assad is convinced that, with Damascus increasingly ensnared in Iran's web of confrontation with the West, it is only a question of time before the US, Israel, or any one of the European allies whose forces are with UNIFIL in Lebanon and whose economies depends on Persian Gulf oil will decide to put an end to the thinly-veiled hostile actions of Damascus.
The key officials involved in these disputes are: Bashar al-Assad; his brother Maher al-Assad; brother-in-law Gen. Assef Shawqat (Director of Military Intelligence); sister Bushra (Mrs Shawqat); and Bashar's cousin Rami Makhlouf.
These are not idle fears. Damascus is presently involved in sponsoring terrorism at the heart of West, in the destabilization of Lebanon, in supporting a myriad of Palestinian terrorist groups and jihadist movements — both Sunni and Shi’ite (HizbAllah) — in Lebanon, and in facilitating the escalation of the anti-US escalation in Iraq and the a web of jihadist groups (again both Sunni and Shi’ite) in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States.
Moreover, Syria markedly increased the flow of weapons, of both Syrian and Iranian origin, to a myriad groups and organizations in Lebanon (mainly Palestinian jihadist groups and the HizbAllah).
Faced with the specter of escalation — mainly US and Israeli retaliation — the inner-circle in Damascus is increasingly concerned by the possible loss of perks and power. At the same time, Bashar and his inner-circle are cognizant that fleeing Damascus would only embolden and encourage their enemies.
Hence, there have developed bitter disputes on how to confront the challenges and whether to offer compromises to the West.
Under the surface, there is a major dispute between Bashar and Rami Makhlouf. For years, Makhlouf has been responsible for smuggling, concealing and investing the personal funds of Bashar al-Assad. His importance grew as other members of the inner-circle were slapped with sanctions and their bank accounts frozen.
However, in recent weeks, Bashar was becoming apprehensive about the loyalty of Makhlouf and ordered the gradual dissolution of their business partnership, the removal of funds from joint accounts and selling of stocks. Most of the funds were invested in a series of special accounts, some in London, in the name of Bashar's wife and her family.
Rami Makhlouf now argues that Bashar removed funds in excess of his share in their joint accounts and investments. Both had bitter quarrels in which Makhlouf threatened Bashar.
The second conflict is strategic-political and its reverberations are affecting the entire political scene in Damascus. This conflict is the deterioration of a long-standing dispute between Bashar, on the one hand, and Maher al-Assad and Assaf Shawqat on the other.
Bushra is wavering, frequently changing sides, and thus adding to the instability at the top. The roots of the conflict lie in the dispute over what should be Damascus' reaction to the implications of both Maher and Assaf being involved in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri on February 14, 2005, (and subsequently several other Lebanese politicians). Although Bashar was also implicated, the international tribunal expressed an interest only in Maher and Assaf.
Needless to say, the two named suspects do not want to be extradited, but Bashar is adamant on remaining in power even if it means placating the West (by, among other ways, floating rumors about willingness to negotiate peace with Israel). Bushra is wavering between loyalty to her brother and her husband.
The position of Maher and Assaf is that there is no way the West would make a deal with Bashar al-Assad, given Syria's sponsorship of terrorism and insurgency throughout the region.
Besides, they argue, the US is on the verge of defeat in, and withdrawal from, Iraq while Iran is the winning power on the ascent. They note, quite correctly, that Damascus is closely allied with Tehran and would thus benefit from Tehran's victory.
Moreover, the Arab world — led by the pro-US Riyadh and Cairo — wants a Sunni administration in Damascus, and is pushing former Syrian Vice-President Abdul Halim Khaddam and the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood), so that Bashar had no hope there, either.
Hence, only the major contribution of the ascent of Iran — that is, actively expediting and contributing to Iranian victory — would increase Tehran's regional posture and commitment to Damascus.
Presently, Maher and Assaf both convinced Bashar that theirs' is the only way out of the current crisis, as well as markedly increased the Syrian sponsorship of, and involvement in, terrorism and insurgency throughout the region, thus making it virtually impossible for Bashar to extricate himself even if he wanted to.
The United Nations Security Council on May 30, 2007, authorized the formation of an international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. The International Court came into force on June 10, 2007, although Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in early June 2007 that Damascus would not co-operate with the tribunal.