CURRENT NEWS and EVENTS JUNE 2009

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by EnlightenedMonk, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/pakistan/nwfp/seven-killed-in-drone-attack-in-lower-kurram-agency--il
     
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  3. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    The Afghan-Pakistan militant nexus

    [​IMG]


    Helmand, Chaghai
    Kabul's writ has never run strong in the remote southern plains of Helmand province. Further south, across the border in Pakistan, lies the equally remote Noshki-Chaghai region of Balochistan province.
    Since 9/11, this region has been in turmoil. In the Baramcha area on the Afghan side of the border, the Taleban have a major base. The chief commander is Mansoor Dadullah. From there they control militant activities as far afield as Nimroz and Farah provinces in the west, Oruzgan in the north and parts of Kandahar province in the east. They also link up with groups based in the Waziristan region of Pakistan.
    The Helmand Taleban, unlike comrades elsewhere in Afghanistan, have been able to capture territory and hold it, mostly in the southern parts of the province. They constantly threaten traffic on the highway that connects Kandahar with Herat.

    Kandahar has the symbolic importance of being the spiritual centre of the Taleban movement and also the place of its origin. The supreme Taleban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, made the city his headquarters when the Taleban came to power in 1996. Top al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama Bin Laden, preferred it to the country's political capital, Kabul.

    As such, the control of Kandahar province is a matter of great prestige. The first suicide attacks in Afghanistan took place in Kandahar in 2005-06, and were linked to al-Qaeda. Kandahar has seen some high-profile jailbreaks and assassination bids, including one on President Karzai.
    The Afghan government has prevented the Taleban from seizing control of any significant district centre or town. International forces have large bases in the airport area as well as at the former residence of Mullah Omar in the western suburbs of Kandahar city.
    But the Taleban have a strong presence in the countryside, especially in southern and eastern areas along the border with Pakistan. Afghan and Western officials have in the past said the Taleban have used Quetta, the capital of the Pakistan province of Balochistan, as a major hideout as well as other Pakistani towns along the Kandahar border.



    Zabul, Toba Kakar
    Afghanistan's Zabul province lies to the north of Kandahar, along the Toba Kakar mountain range that separates it from the Pakistani districts of Killa Saifullah and Killa Abdullah. The mountans are remote, and have been largely quiet except for a couple of occasions when Pakistani security forces scoured them for al-Qaeda suspects.
    Reports from Afghanistan say militants use the area in special circumstances. In early 2002, Taleban militants fleeing US forces in Paktia and Paktika provinces took a detour through South Waziristan to re-enter Afghanistan via Zabul. Occasionally, Taleban insurgents use the Toba Kakar passes when infiltration through South Waziristan is difficult due to intensified vigilance by Pakistani and Afghan border guards.
    Zabul provides access to the Afghan provinces of Ghazni, Oruzgan and Kandahar. There are few Afghan or foreign forces in the area, except on the highway that connects Qalat, the capital of Zabul, to Kandahar in the south-west, and Ghazni and Kabul in the north.
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    South Waziristan, Paktika
    South Waziristan, a tribal district in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), is the first significant sanctuary Islamic militants carved for themselves outside Afghanistan after 9/11. Militants driven by US troops from the Tora Bora region of Nangarhar province in late 2001, and later from the Shahikot mountains of Paktia in early 2002, poured into the main town, Wana, in their hundreds. They included Arabs, Central Asians, Chechens, Uighur Chinese, Afghans and Pakistanis. Some moved on to urban centres in Punjab and Sindh provinces. Others slipped back into Afghanistan or headed west to Quetta and onwards to Iran. But most stayed back and fought the Pakistani army during 2004-05.
    The eastern half of South Waziristan is inhabited by the Mehsud tribe and the main militant commander here is Baitullah Mehsud. The western half, along the border with Afghanistan, is Ahmedzai Wazir territory where the chief commander is Maulvi Nazir. The Mehsuds only live on the Pakistani side, while the Wazirs inhabit both sides of the border.
    These sanctuaries directly threaten Afghanistan's Paktika province, where the US-led forces have a base in the Barmal region and several outposts along the border to counter infiltration. Pakistani security forces also man scores of border checkposts in the region.
    However, infiltration has continued unabated and the number of hit-and-run attacks on foreign troops has been one of the highest in this region. Militants based in the region are known to have carried out strikes as far away as the Kandahar-Kabul highway.
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    North Waziristan, Paktia, Khost
    The North Waziristan region is dominated by the Wazir tribe that also inhabits the adjoining Afghan provinces of Paktika and Khost. North and South Waziristan form the most lethal zone from where militants have been successfully destabilising not only Paktika and Khost, but other Afghan provinces such as Paktia, Ghazni, Wardak and Logar. Groups based in Waziristan region are known to have carried out some recent attacks in the Afghan capital, Kabul, as well.
    Tribal identities are particularly strong in Paktika, Khost and Paktia. During the Taleban rule of 1997-2001, these provinces were ruled by their own tribal governors instead of the Kandahari Taleban who held power over the rest of the country. In the current phase of the fighting they coordinate with the militants in Kandahar and Helmand, but they have stuck with their own leadership that dates back to the war against the Soviets in 1980s.
    The veteran Afghan militant Jalaluddin Haqqani is based in North Waziristan. He has wielded considerable influence over the top commanders in South and North Waziristan. He is also reported to have maintained links with sections of the Pakistani security establishment and is known to have mediated peace deals between the Pakistani government and the Wazir and Mehsud commanders in the region. Mr Haqqani is now an old man, and his son Sirajuddin has taken over most of his work.
    There are many Arab and other foreign fighters in North and South Waziristan. This is due to Jalaluddin Haqqani's close links with the al-Qaeda leadership. He married an Arab woman in the 1980s.
    In view of the sensitivity of Waziristan region, US-led forces have set up a large base in Khost from where they conduct operations not only along the Waziristan region to the south but also in parts of the border region in Paktia and Nangarhar provinces to the north.
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    Kurram, Khyber, Nangarhar
    As the Pakistani military strategists who organised Afghan guerillas against the Soviets in the '80s discovered to their delight, Kurram is the best location along the entire Pakistan-Afghanistan border to put pressure on the Afghan capital, Kabul, which is just 90km away. But because the region is inhabited by a Shia tribe that opposes the Taleban for religious reasons, the Taleban have not been able to get a foothold here. Analysts say this is the main reason why the Taleban have taken so long to improve their strength in areas around Kabul, such as Logar and Wardak.
    Some militant groups in the Khyber tribal district have carried out attacks on foreign and Afghan troops in Nangarhar province. But the Pakistani government has kept a close watch on them. One reason may be to curb the ability of these groups to block the highway through Khyber which serves as the main conduit for supplies to international forces in Afghanistan that come via the Pakistani port of Karachi.
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    Mohmand, Bajaur, Kunar
    Analysts have long suspected Pakistan's Bajaur tribal region to be the hiding place of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other top al-Qaeda leaders. The Mohmand and Bajaur tribal districts are also believed to be the stronghold of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the main Afghan guerrilla leaders of the 1980s. Mr Hekmatyar fought the Taleban in 1990s, but after 9/11 started working with them. The actual extent of cooperation is not known. The groups in Mohmand and Bajaur are members of an umbrella organisation which is headed by South Waziristan's Baitullah Mehsud known as the Tehreek-e-Taleban (Pakistan Taleban).
    Militants based in Mohmand and Bajaur have been striking at installations and supply lines of international forces based in the Narai region of Afghanistan's Kunar province. In recent months, they are also reported to have crossed the Hindu Kush foothills to carry out attacks on foreign troops in the Sarobi, Tagab and Nejrab areas around Kabul.
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    Oruzgan, Ghazni, Wardak, Logar
    For a long time the Taleban were unable to maintain sustained pressure on the country's south-central highlands. But with safe sanctuaries in the border region - from the Baramcha area of Helmand province in the south, to some parts of Pakistani Balochistan, the Waziristan country and Bajaur-Mohmand territory to the east - the Taleban finally have the capacity to challenge the government in this region. The roads in Ghazni and Oruzgan are not as safe as they were a couple of years ago and officials are losing the will to maintain the government's authority.
    Training camps run by al-Qaeda and Taleban groups have multiplied in secure border regions over the last few years. Safe havens have also afforded the militants endless opportunities to find new recruits. The Waziristan region is also known to be a haven for young suicide bombers and trained in remote camps. The Taleban also appear to have had access to sophisticated military equipment and professionally drawn-up battle plans.
    The strategy appears to be the same as in 1980s - 'death by a thousand cuts'. Sporadic attacks on the security forces and the police have grown more frequent over the years, and have also crept closer to Kabul. At the same time, the Taleban have destroyed most of the education infrastructure in the countryside, a vital link between the central government and the isolated agrarian citizenry.
    Oruzgan has mostly come under pressure from groups in Kandahar and Helmand. These groups, as well as those based in the Waziristan-Paktika-Khost region, have also moved up the highway via Ghazni to infiltrate Wardak on the left and Logar on the right. Safe and quiet until less than two years ago, both these provinces are now said to be increasingly infiltrated by Taleban fighters. The same is true of militants putting pressure on Kabul from Sarobi and Tagab in the east, with their tentacles stretching back to Laghman, Kunar and Bajaur.Mullah Omar is probably in hiding in Kandahar or Helmand.
     
  4. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    Cargo ship with 16 Indians on board hijacked off Somalia

    An Indian cargo vessel with 16 crew on board were hijacked off Somali coasts, TV reports said.

    The latest capturing comes a day after Somali pirates hijacked Greek cargo ship.

    The hijacking comes just months after some Indians were freed on ransom.

    Priracy off Aden has gone up to an unprecedented level during the last few years but despite wide international attention and patrolling, the menace have gone unabated.
     
  5. Payeng

    Payeng Daku Mongol Singh

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    As 26/11 trial opens, Kasab admits he is a Pakistani


    Times of India


    Video

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videoshow/4304375.cms
     
  6. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    If I may say, the implications of this are as great as being made up by the media. Because, Pakistan has already admitted to him being a Pakistani...

    What'll be really interesting is as the trial goes on, what other things will be exposed before the public...
     
  7. Payeng

    Payeng Daku Mongol Singh

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    Therefore sometimes the TV media is also called the Idiot box.
     
  8. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Kupwara Encounter had ended , 17 Milltants are killed.

    Kupwara encounter ended with 17 militants are gunned down. The news is from NDTV.Com, the link and the news are followed:

    NDTV.com: Kupwara encounter ends, 17 militants killed


    Kupwara encounter ends, 17 militants killed
    NDTV Correspondent
    Tuesday, March 24, 2009, (Srinagar)
    One of the longest and bloodiest encounters in recent times has ended in the remote forests of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir. Seventeen militants have been killed but also eight Army personnel including a Major have been killed.

    # 17 militants killed
    # 8 soldiers, including major killed
    # Army operation since Friday

    And as that goes on, Ganderbal is in mourning, hundreds of people have come out to mourn the death of the soldier Shabbir Ahmed Malik, a para-commando of the Army. He died in the encounter in Kupwara.

    PTI adds Earlier, Defence Minister A K Antony had directed the Army to deal with the situation with "utmost firmness".

    At a review meeting of the country's overall security situation, Antony emphasised that the recent incidents in the border state highlighted the nature of threat the country faced from terrorists.

    The four-hour long meeting, attended by Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, Army chief General Deepak Kapoor and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh also carried out a detailed analysis of the security apparatus in place in view of the coming Lok Sabha polls.

    The Defence Minister also noted with concern the death of eight Army men, including Major Mohit Sharma, during the ongoing operation inside Hafroda forest in Kupwara in which the Army was successful in eliminating 17 militants.

    In a separate meeting with Mehta and Coast Guard Director General Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, the Defence Minister also obtained feedback on the implementation of decisions relating to maritime security announced last month, which included setting up of the Joint Command and Control centres all along the coastline.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Obama to meet leaders of Russia, South Korea, India, China

    FOCUS Information Agency

    Obama to meet leaders of Russia, South Korea, India, China
    25 March 2009 | 22:27 | FOCUS News Agency
    Washington. US President Barack Obama will hold his first one-on-one talks with the leaders of Russia, China, India and South Korea during his visit to London next week, the White House said Wednesday AFP informs.
    Obama will hold crucial talks with China's President Hu Jintao, which are likely to focus on the economic crisis and global security issues on April 1, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
    He will also hold his eagerly awaited first meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the same day, after saying his administration wants to "reset" US relations with the Kremlin.
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Russia to deploy special Arctic force by 2020

    Member

    http://en.rian.ru/russia/20090327/120769411.html

    Russia to deploy special Arctic force by 2020 - Security Council
    16:36 | 27/ 03/ 2009

    MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will create by 2020 a group of forces to protect its political and economic interests in the Arctic, but does not plan to militarize the region, a spokesman for the Russian Security Council said on Friday.

    He said the council had recently posted on its website a document, "The fundamentals of Russian state policy in the Arctic up to 2020 and beyond," which outlines the country's strategy in the region, including the deployment of military, border and coastal guard units "to guarantee Russia's military security in diverse military and political circumstances."

    "However, it does not mean that we are planning to militarize the Arctic. We are focusing on the creation of an effective system of coastal security, the development of arctic border infrastructure, and the presence of military units of an adequate strength," the official said.

    According to some sources, the Arctic Group of Forces will be part of the Russian Federal Security Service, whose former chief and current secretary of the Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, is a strong proponent of an "aggressive" state policy in the Arctic.

    Another goal of the new strategy is to "optimize the system of the comprehensive monitoring of the situation in the Arctic," including border control at checkpoints in Russia's arctic regions, coastal waters and airspace, the spokesman said.

    The strategy envisions increased cooperation with neighboring countries in the fight against terrorism, drug-trafficking, illegal immigration and environmental protection.

    The document also prioritizes the delineation of the Arctic shelf "with respect to Russia's national interests."

    High Arctic territories, seen as key to huge untapped natural resources, have increasingly been at the center of mounting disputes between the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark in recent years as rising temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice.

    President Dmitry Medvedev said in September at a Russian Security Council session that the extent of the Russian continental shelf in the Arctic should be defined as soon as possible.

    Medvedev also said the Arctic shelf is a guarantee of Russia's energy security and that the Arctic should become the resource base for Russia this century, adding that "about 20% of Russia's GDP and 22% of Russian exports are produced" in the area.

    Russia has undertaken two Arctic expeditions - to the Mendeleyev underwater chain in 2005 and to the Lomonosov ridge in the summer of 2007 - to support its territorial claims in the region. Moscow pledged to submit documentary evidence to the UN on the external boundaries of Russia's territorial shelf by 2010.

    A Russian proposal on creating security structures in the Arctic region will be discussed at a ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council in April.

    The Arctic Council was established in 1996 to protect the unique nature of the Arctic region. The intergovernmental forum comprises Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

    The rush to grab Artic resources is on
     
  11. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    RUSSIA has a head start.

    27 Mar 2009 [DailyMail] The race to militarise the Arctic began in earnest yesterday as Russia announced that it will deploy a dedicated military force to protect its interests in the oil and gas-rich polar region.
    The operation to gain control of vast mineral resources under the ice cap is being put in the direct control of Moscow's intelligence services - the former KGB.

    Its Arctic strategy document said the creation of a group of forces there must 'ensure military security under various military-political circumstances'.
    Russia is vying with the U.S, Canada, Norway, and Denmark (Greenland), which also have territory touching Arctic waters, for the area's oil and gas reserves.

    It is building six new nuclear submarines, which will be armed with improved nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported yesterday. ....

    The dispute between the five countries has got increasingly heated as it became apparent that as global warming melted the polar icecaps, natural resources buried beneath the surface would be much easier to access.

    Under current international law the five countries are allowed a 200 mile economic zone north of their shores.

    But they have until May 2009 to submit new ownership claims over the Arctic to a United Nations commission.

    Moscow has already threatened to annexe land, a move which triggered an international scramble for the territory.

    Estimates suggest that the polar region contains 90 billion barrels of oil as well as massive gas reserves.

    In August 2007, Russian explorers 'claimed' the Arctic's energy riches by planting the country's flag 14,000ft beneath the North Pole.

    A mechanical arm dropped a rustproof titanium banner from a three-man mini-submarine. ...

    The move followed Moscow lodging a claim in 2001 to 463,000 square miles of the Arctic ocean – an area the size of western Europe - with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    It spent nearly £20billion in a bid to prove the Lomonosov Ridge, an underwater shelf that runs through the Arctic, is really an extension of its territory
     
  12. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    the race for the artic

    Mar 27, 2009 [PollGazette] In military as well as physical terms, the arctic regions of the world have long been frozen in time. Other than as an undersea playground for Cold War games of hide-and-seek among submarines and its hosting of remote radar watchtowers for early warning of nuclear attack, the Arctic was rendered strategically unimportant by virtue of its extreme inaccessibility. ...

    Global warming may be changing all that. If it turns out to be true that Arctic ice sheets are in permanent retreat ... the result will be to expose potentially rich fields of oil, natural gas, and minerals in the Arctic.

    Just as the “race for Africa” in the 19th Century showcases the world’s great powers jostling for position, the 21st Century “race for the Arctic” will inevitably include a military dimension. Already, both Russia and Canada are openly asserting military claims to the region and restructuring their forces accordingly. As the world’s premiere naval power and close ally of Canada, the United States is also inevitably a player.

    The race will also be technological. Resource exploitation in even a reduced-ice Arctic will require robust platforms capable of withstanding crushing physical forces, huge variations in temperature, and extreme winds. The delicacy of Arctic ecosystems will require man-made facilities to be extremely low-impact as well, with pollutants shipped out or at least rendered completely neutral. And life-support requirements for Arctic crews are so comprehensive as to rival those of spacecraft. Rival military claims may wind up taking a back seat to purely practical considerations — those who can establish usable outposts will naturally have first dibs.

    Nonetheless, the potential geopolitical impact of the “race for the Arctic” could be substantial. Having already experienced a post-Soviet renaissance in its influence due to its control of Europe’s natural gas supplies, Russia would surely be eager to seek prospects of a more global energy hegemony by dominating the Arctic, if necessary by military means first while technology was allowed to play catch up. And Canada’s unusually aggressive stance indicates that it too sees the value of establishing a military claim early, perhaps by leveraging its relationship with the United States as a “force multiplier”.

    And both Russia and Canada are surely cognizant of China’s strategy in the Spratly Islands, using military outposts to extend sovereignty claims over a disputed area potentially rich with natural resources. When the claimed reach of these outposts run up against each other, the potential for the same kinds of conflicts that flared along colonial frontiers in Africa is not insignificant — and modern weaponry and communications would make any confrontations much more potentially deadly and geopolitically consequential. ...
     
  13. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    We won't interfere in Kashmir imbroglio: US

    We won't interfere in Kashmir imbroglio: US

    President Barack Obama's much respected National Security Adviser, Retd James L Jones made clear that while the President's new comprehensive strategy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan includes encouraging a rapprochement between India and Pakistan, it will absolutely not include any efforts to bring about a resolution of the Kashmir imbroglio.

    Asked by a Pakistani journalist to expand on President Obama's remarks on a regional approach and how with what's going on with India and Pakistan if the US in encouraging talks between India and Pakistan, also hopes to encourage discussions on the Kashmir issue "to turn the heat down in the region so that Pakistan can focus totally on the war on terror," Jones said, "We don't intend to get involved in that issue."

    "But, we do intend to help both countries have a -- build more trust and confidence so that Pakistan can address the issues that it confronts on the western side of the nation."

    However, Jones, appearing at the Foreign Press Centre, reiterated emphatically, "But no, Kashmir is a separate issue. But we think that the times are so serious that we need to build the trust and confidence in the region, so that nations can do what they need to do in order to defeat the threat that I discussed a few minutes ago."

    In his opening remarks, Jones declared that "the cornerstone of this strategy is that it's a regional approach. And for the first time, we will treat Afghanistan and Pakistan as two countries, but as -- with one challenge in one region."

    He acknowledged that "our strategy focuses more intensely on Pakistan than in the past, and this is normal, because it's a newer problem, and this calls for more significant increases in US and international support, both economic and military, linked to performance against terror."

    Jones said that 'we will pursue intensive regional diplomacy involving all key players in South Asia and engage countries in a new trilateral framework as -- at the highest levels of the countries, being Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States. Together in this trilateral format, we will work to enhance intelligence sharing, military cooperation along the border, and address common issues such as trade, energy, and economic development."

    He said, "As America does more, we will ask others to join us in doing their part. Together with the United Nations, the Administration will forge a new contact group for Afghanistan and Pakistan that brings together all who should have a stake in the security of the region -- our NATO allies and other partners, the Central Asian states, Gulf nations, Iran, Russia, India and China."

    "All have a stake in the promise of lasting peace and security and development in the region," he added.

    Also taking a hefty swipe at the foreign policy of the erstwhile Bush Administration, Jones said, "I trust that you have already -- in the 60 days since this Administration took its post -- that you've noticed a change in tone and a change in the conduct of American foreign policy."

    "We're working very hard to bring a new level of dialogue and a new level of discussion and consultation with all of our allies and friends around the world," he said.

    Jones asserted that "the United States is interested in listening. It's interest in, obviously, leading, but in partnering with countries around the world to confront common challenges. Afghanistan and Pakistan and the region certainly is one such challenge," he said.

    http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/mar/28/we-wont-interfere-in-kashmir-imbroglio-us.htm
     
  14. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Mumbai terror architect crafts infiltration surge

    Praveen Swami

    Satellite phones used at Lashkar headquarters found in J&K


    [​IMG]
    Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Muzammil alias Yusuf, in a computer-generated photofit.

    SRINAGAR: Ever since the massacre in Mumbai in November 2008, intelligence services across the world have searched, without success, for one of its architects: a Lashkar-e-Taiba commander known only by the twin aliases Muzammil and Yusuf.

    Now, highly-placed police and intelligence sources have told The Hindu, the man who had hands-on responsibility for the tactical training of the terrorists as well as pre-assault reconnaissance, has resurfaced in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. And he has been commanding a surge in infiltration that has sparked off some of the most intense fighting seen along the Line of Control in years.

    Muzammil, the sources said, had crafted a new infiltration strategy — involving pushing unusually large groups across dangerous but thinly-defended snow-covered high-altitude passes — at meetings held in the first week of March with representatives of the Hizb ul-Mujahideen, al-Badr, the Harkat ul-Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

    Since then, there have been at least three major infiltration attempts in Gurez, Kupwara and Handwara — one of which resulted in the death of 18 terrorists and eight members of the Indian Army’s crack 1 Paracommando Regiment.

    A veteran of the Lashkar’s jihad in Jammu and Kashmir, Muzammil was given hands-on charge of the organisation’s pan-India operations around 2001. He specialised in using the Lashkar’s Jammu and Kashmir-based fidayeen assets to execute operations outside the State, starting with the September 2002 attack on the Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

    Last year, Western media reported Muzammil’s arrest in a Pakistan Army raid on the Lashkar’s Shawai Nullah base northwest of Muzaffarabad. His name did not, however, figure among several Lashkar suspects Pakistani authorities later admitted to have arrested.

    Electronic evidence harvested by India’s communications intelligence services has underlined fears that the Lashkar’s military infrastructure has again been unleashed. Last month, Research and Analysis Wing analysts determined that at least half a dozen Thuraya satellite phone sets that had been active northwest of Muzaffarabad — which is the general area of the Lashkar’s Shawai Nullah base — were being used by Lashkar field units operating deep inside Jammu and Kashmir.

    One satellite phone often used by Muzammil, with the number +88 (216) 55526551, has been used by a Lashkar unit operating near the Amarnath cave-shrine in southern Kashmir. Muzammil is suspected to have used a phone with all but the last digit in common, +88 (216) 55526550, which was among four Thuraya sets to which the Mumbai fidayeen relayed messages from the high seas. Both phones, experts say, were possibly purchased at the same time, as part of a set meant for use by high-ranking Lashkar operatives.

    A phone known to have been used by Muzammil’s office assistant, identified in the interrogation of arrested terror suspects as ‘Talha’, has also become active in southern Kashmir.

    Lashkar units in Jammu and Kashmir have also resumed communication with a hub across the LoC. Thus, weeks of silence that began days after the Mumbai attacks has ended. The Lashkar’s state-of-the art communications facility is located at Kel, not far from the headquarters of Pakistan’s 32 Infantry Brigade.

    The strategy of winter-time infiltration of the LoC, employing jihadists specially trained and equipped for the mission, is believed to have been crafted by none other than Muzammil alias Yusuf, based on a careful examination of India’s defences along the crucial frontline.
     
  15. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    New Age Islam battles fundamentalists in cyberspace

    Back in the summer of 1999, Sultan Shahin found himself being hectored by an earnest young man outside London’s Finsbury Park mosque.

    “You Indian Muslims are cowards,” Shahin was told “but soon you will have just two choices: either to become a true Muslim like us, or to perish.”

    For Shahin, the experience was transformative. “It became clear to me that the Islam that I believe in was under serious threat,” he says, “and that I would have to do something if the religion I loved was not to be demeaned by the evil that was being spoken in its name.”

    Last year, Shahin set up a website that has taken on the religious right head-on. Though run on a shoestring budget and without the help of full-time staff, New Age Islam ( http://www.newageislam.com/) is visited by hundreds of readers every day. Its electronic newsletter has over 29,000 subscribers.

    New Age Islam provides its audience to a wide range of original theological and political writing that does not figure in the mainstream media. In recent weeks, New Age Islam has seen debates on Niyaz Fatehpuri, a twentieth-century literary figure with unconventional ideas on the concept of divine revelation, as well as the neo-conservative televangelist Zakir Naik.

    In addition, New Age Islam provides access to global debates on Islam and society, by monitoring content on websites like Germany’s Qantara. Its archives are also packed with primary resources: debates between the Islamist scholars Israr Ahmad and Javed Ahmed Ghamidi; Maulana Arshad-ul-Qadri’s critique of the Tablighi Jamaat proselytising order; and Masarat Husain Zuberi’s work on the influence of Aristotle on Islamic theology.

    Shahin sees New Age Islam as part of a global effort by believers to reclaim Islam from the religious right, and address the questions and conflicts which confront believers in the twenty-first century. “Islam,” he argues, “is a spiritual experience; a system of beliefs through which believers seek to live a meaningful life. For the Islamists, though, religion is primarily a tool through which they seek power. In practice, they worship power, not Allah.”

    In a recent essay, Shahin argued that the Islam of the neo-fundamentalists was in fact a “a completely new religion” theologically founded “on a wilful misinterpretation of the Islamic concept of jihad.”

    Electronic journals like New Age Islam reach out to a small, but influential, section of India’s Muslims: an emerging class of Muslim professionals and entrepreneurs who are finding that the traditionalist practices of the parents offer few solutions to the struggles of life. Islamists have been adroit at capitalising on their anxieties. Many of India’s jihadists — among them, the leadership of the Indian Mujahideen — came from urban middle class backgrounds and had received a privileged elite education.
    West and East

    Shahin says he hopes New Age Islam will give this new class a progressive voice. “When the media or the government wants to understand what Muslims think about something,” he says “they’ll always turn to some cleric or the other, not Wipro’s Aziz Premji or Himalaya Heath Care’s Meraj Manal or the eminent physicist Israr Ahmed. We need a wider Muslim engagement with public life.”

    Shahin’s own understanding of Islam was forged in both India and the West—much like the young audience New Age Islam addresses.

    The son of a small-town Bihar cleric, Shahin received his early education at his home. “My father,” he recalls, “was politically and socially conservative. But there was always room in his vision for debate. For example, he closely followed the literary journal Nigaar, where most contributors had views very different to his own.”

    Shahin’s career began in 1972, when he started working with the Jamaat-e-Islami journal Radiance. Later, he edited a New Delhi-based community magazine. “The main thing I learned”, Shahin says wryly, “is that the secularism of some of our eminent politicians was just skin-deep.”

    In the 1980s, Shahin moved to the United Kingdom. What he saw over the next decade appalled him. “The London-based Islamist preacher Omar Bakri,” he recalls, “was attracting audiences of the size only visiting Indian film stars had until then drawn. Young students were, quite openly, being recruited by jihadist groups. Like Levis jeans, McDonalds burgers and other fashions, the Islamists’ ideas also flowed East.”

    New Age Islam’s rapid growth shows that Shahin’s efforts to challenge the tide, despite its modest resources, is making an impact. If abuse that often fills the website’s message-boards is an indication, Islamists are genuinely alarmed by the website’s success: Shahin is regularly threatened with eternal damnation in the afterlife to physical violence in the here and now.

    “In the last couple of years,” Shahin says, “a growing number of voices have joined the fight against the abuse of Islam, ranging from the Deoband clerics to a number of intellectuals and artists. I see New Age Islam as a small part of this collective effort. There is a long struggle ahead.”

    http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/24/stories/2009032450460900.htm
     
  16. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    WORLD current events NEWS updates

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  17. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Singh Paaji will have all the posts regarding girls :)
     
  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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  20. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Where? Yusuf give source also thanks.
     
  21. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Delhi. Its breaking news. full story awaited. will post the link when it comes
     

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