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Dan's Winds of War: 2004-01-08

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Welcome! Our goal is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from the global War on Terror that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. In addition, we also have our in-depth Iraq Report. Today's briefings are brought to you by Dan Darling of Regnum Crucis. TOP TOPICS * Saudi Arabia, friend or foe? This is an issue that I've dealt with in the past here on Winds of Change, but right now I'm taking to task a recent article in Foreign Affairs that, as noted by the Belmont Club, seeks to Kremlinize the issue of Saudi Arabia into traditional Cold War divisions of moderate/hardliner, much the same way that has unfortunately been done in many media outlets on the issue of Iran in regards to the civilian government and the unelected clergy. Michael Scott Doran, the author of the article, is wrong in many interesting ways. * For those of you just joining us, I have an analysis of recent events that have been largely ignored by Western media outlets in Dagestan, Thailand, Nigeria, and Iraq. * Recent investigations by European law enforcement have identified London as al-Qaeda command and control center in Europe. I would note that blogosphere was talking about these Milan transcripts several weeks ago thanks to the efforts of Alphabet City. Other Topics Today Include: Iraq Briefing; Iran Reports, USA Homeland Security Briefing; Osama's new video; the UK a terrorist haven; arrested Americans in the Philippines tied to MILF; Ahmed Hussein Abu al-Khir possibly captured; radical Islam in Bangladesh; 150 Saudis petition against education reform; Taiwan targeted by al-Qaeda; Nigerian Taliban; bin Laden's legacy; Taliban bombing in Kandahar; and suing the television.
IRAN REPORTS * Contractors and construction consultants who violated building regulations in Bam will be charged, according to Management and Planning Head Mohammed Sattarifar. Given the death toll from the quake, that seems quite reasonable to me ... * Iran has refused a US offer to send a relief mission to assist in the distribution of supplies to the victims of the Bam quake. * Thousands of Muslim worshippers in Tehran are shouting "Death to France!" and denouncing Chirac as a Zionist for his proposal to ban "conspicuous" religious insignia from state schools after a sermon by Ayatollah Janati, a powerful member of the Iranian government who has previously called for Iran to renounce the Non-Proliferation Treaty. USA HOMELAND SECURITY BRIEFING * The US decision to cancel numerous flights over the holiday season has been due in part to intelligence that al-Qaeda was planning multiple suicide hijackings using international flights. The plan, according to an informant, called a for a terror blitz against US targets, possibly launched by an al-Qaeda exodus from the Hadhramouth region of Yemen (the ancestral home of bin Laden) into Saudi Arabia and from there to disperse across the Middle East and East Africa. * The specific dates for al-Qaeda attacks have passed, and as such the terror alert may soon be lowered, though I myself would wait until after Eid al-Ahda before breathing a sigh of relief because al-Qaeda generally prefers to act at a period in which they feel that operational security will be within reasonable parameters. * The US is trying to determine whether or not two American brothers detained in the Philippines were providing support to Islamic terrorists, presumably in the United States. The Weekly Standard has more. * Las Vegas, interestingly enough, seems to be no stranger to terrorism investigations, as noted by the Review-Journal. THE WIDER WAR * As most readers already know, Osama bin Laden (or someone who sounds like him) released an audiotaped statement recently to al-Jazeera. I would recommend my analysis, that of the Belmont Club. * Also of note is this article in The National Review which discusses not only the latest bin Laden audiotape but also this MEMRI translation of the first audio message to date from al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab Zarqawi. * The Hindustan Times is reporting that if you want to be a terrorist, the UK appears to be the safest place to be. * Ansar al-Islam founder Mullah Krekar was rearrested in Norway for complicity in organizing suicide bombings in Iraq. However, a Norwegian court has ordered his release on lack of evidence. * The Indian SAIR has an interesting look at the spread of radical Islamism in Bangladesh. * The Philippines is claiming that the two American al-Qaeda arrested there were providing funds to factions within the Moro Islamic Liberation Front aligned with the terrorist network. * According to MEMRI's news ticker via various conservative news outlets, Islamist sources in London (who have credibility on par with the former Iraqi Information Minister), al-Zawahiri's deputy Ahmad Hussein Abu al-Khir, who is either al-Khadr (a Canadian Egyptian whose son recently returned home) or al-Khayr (who is said to be in Iran) has been arrested. * The top members of the Senate Finance Committee are questioning the effectiveness of OFAC in the bid to freeze terrorist financing. * 150 Saudi figures have signed a petition warning against altering the Kingdom's education system. * The US navy has seized yet another al-Qaeda drug ship in the Persian Gulf, this one carrying $11,000,000 in hashish. * A top Taiwanese intelligence official is claiming that the nation has been targeted by members of al-Qaeda as yet another symbol of the network's global reach. * AllAfrica has an interesting look at the "Nigerian Taliban" who were recently causing so much trouble in Yobe state. Nigeria is also reportedly seeking the group's backers, an indication of just how seriously they're taking this. * A Chechen "rebel archive" has been seized from Alleroi and is said to detail who financed which terrorist attacks as well as listing Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov's bodyguards. * Rohan Gunaratna, the author of Inside Al-Qaeda, is calling the international affiliates of the terrorist network bin Laden's greatest achievement as well as warning to expect al-Qaeda attacks every 3 months. * A Taliban bike bombing in Kandahar has killed at least 13, mostly children, in their latest attack inside their former spiritual home. Though Mullah Sabir says he's sorry. * We try to end on a lighter note if possible. It seems that Timothy Dumouchel has decided to sue Charter Communications for addicting him to TV as well as making his wife fat and his kids lazy. Talk about a lack of personal responsibility ...

3 TrackBacks

Tracked: January 8, 2004 6:52 PM
Broader Perspective from Stryker Brigade News
Excerpt: If you're interested in broader news regarding the war on terror, I highly recommend reading "Iraq Briefing" and "Winds of War" - both regular features from the Winds of Change team....
Tracked: January 8, 2004 9:08 PM
Excerpt: I'm headed toward the Beltway but, thankfully, not actually crossing into it, for an appointment. Maybe I'll start charging DC for not using the Wilson...
Tracked: January 9, 2004 3:05 AM
Out Of The Loop from Insults Unpunished
Excerpt: I've been out of the blogging loop for the past couple of days and thought I would provide a roundup of what I've seen since returning. This is also in keeping with my New Year's Blogging Resolution to do more...


Can I sue Charter for their outright refusal to rollout DVR?

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