U.S. now sees Iran as pursuing nuclear bomb – Los Angeles Times

Funny how Obama now sees that Iran is a threat and is persuing nuclear weapons… I wonder what would have happened had he been privy to this level of intel when the decision to take out Saddam was made… I bet he would have sang a different tune, but then again he was just a state senator in IL and did not have access to intel this level of intel when he spoke out against going into Iraq.

Reporting from Washington — Little more than a year after U.S. spy agencies concluded that Iran had halted work on a nuclear weapon, the Obama administration has made it clear that it believes there is no question that Tehran is seeking the bomb.

In his news conference this week, President Obama went so far as to describe Iran’s “development of a nuclear weapon” before correcting himself to refer to its “pursuit” of weapons capability.

Obama’s nominee to serve as CIA director, Leon E. Panetta, left little doubt about his view last week when he testified on Capitol Hill. “From all the information I’ve seen,” Panetta said, “I think there is no question that they are seeking that capability.” 

The language reflects the extent to which senior U.S. officials now discount a National Intelligence Estimate issued in November 2007 that was instrumental in derailing U.S. and European efforts to pressure Iran to shut down its nuclear program.

As the administration moves toward talks with Iran, Obama appears to be sending a signal that the United States will not be drawn into a debate over Iran’s intent.

“When you’re talking about negotiations in Iran, it is dangerous to appear weak or naive,” said Joseph Cirincione, a nuclear weapons expert and president of the Ploughshares Fund, an anti-proliferation organization based in Washington. 

Cirincione said the unequivocal language also worked to Obama’s political advantage. “It guards against criticism from the right that the administration is underestimating Iran,” he said.

Iran has long maintained that it aims to generate electricity, not build bombs, with nuclear power. But Western intelligence officials and nuclear experts increasingly view those claims as implausible.

U.S. officials said that although no new evidence had surfaced to undercut the findings of the 2007 estimate, there was growing consensus that it provided a misleading picture and that the country was poised to reach crucial bomb-making milestones this year.

Obama’s top intelligence official, Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, is expected to address mounting concerns over Iran’s nuclear program in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee today.

When it was issued, the NIE stunned the international community. It declared that U.S. spy agencies judged “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.”

U.S. intelligence officials later said the conclusion was based on evidence that Iran had stopped secret efforts to design a nuclear warhead around the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Often overlooked in the NIE, officials said, was that Iran had not stopped its work on other crucial fronts, including missile design and uranium enrichment. Many experts contend that these are more difficult than building a bomb.

Iran’s advances on enrichment have become a growing source of alarm. Since 2004, the country has gone from operating a few dozen centrifuges — cylindrical machines used to enrich uranium — to nearly 6,000, weapons experts agree.

By November, Iran had produced an estimated 1,400 pounds of low-enriched uranium, not nearly enough to fuel a nuclear energy reactor, but perilously close to the quantity needed to make a bomb.

A report issued last month by the Institute for Science and International Security concluded that “Iran is moving steadily toward a breakout capability and is expected to reach that milestone during the first half of 2009.” That means it would have enough low-enriched uranium to be able to quickly convert it to weapons-grade material.

Tehran’s progress has come despite CIA efforts to sabotage shipments of centrifuge components on their way into Iran and entice the country’s nuclear scientists to leave.

Iran still faces considerable hurdles. The country touted its launch of a 60-pound satellite into orbit this month. Experts said Iran’s rockets would need to be able to carry more than 2,000 pounds to deliver a first-generation nuclear bomb.

And there are indications that the U.S. and Iran are interested in holding serious diplomatic discussions for the first time in three decades. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said this week that his nation was “ready to hold talks based on mutual respect,” and Obama indicated that his administration would look for opportunities “in the coming months.”

Hassan Qashqavi, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, on Wednesday warned the U.S. not to wait for Iranian presidential elections this year, because ultimate authority rests with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He also said Iran would be patient.

“Since a new administration came to power in the U.S., we do not want to burn the opportunity of President Obama and give him time to change the reality on the ground,” Qashqavi said.

But experts said Iran was now close enough to nuclear weapons capability that it may be less susceptible to international pressure.

“They’ve made more progress in the last five years than in the previous 10,” Cirincione said.

via U.S. now sees Iran as pursuing nuclear bomb – Los Angeles Times.

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Hamas Breaks Cease Fire With Roadside Bomb Attack – Israel Resumes Bombing Tunnels

Hopefully Israel will finish the job this time. It is time to take Hamas out, until Hamas is gone there is no chance for peace. 

An Israel Defense Forces spokesman said the air strike came in response to a remote-control bomb attack at the Gaza Strip security fence Tuesday, which killed an Israel Defense Forces tracker and wounded three other soldiers, one seriously.

The border blast was the Palestinians’ first deadly attack since the cease-fire ended Operation Cast Lead, and came the day before the arrival of George Mitchell, the U.S. envoy to the Middle East. 

Earlier on Tuesday, IAF aircraft fired a missile at a militant on a motorbike in the Khan Yunis area of Gaza. The Shin Bet security service, which helped coordinate the missile strike, said the militant, Hussein Abu-Shamaya, was involved in the bomb attack. The bomb was planted by a Hamas breakaway group identified with the Al-Qaida-affiliated Global Jihad, the Shin Bet said. 

In addition, a Palestinian man, apparently a farmer, was killed in exchanges of fire between IDF troops and Palestinians in Gaza after the bomb was detonated, according to Palestinian reports. The incident took place while IDF tanks and soldiers, assisted by helicopters, were patrolling Gaza after the attack. 

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned of a “further response” to the attack. 

“What the IDF did today was not a response but a preliminary action,” he said at a meeting of ministry directors general. “A further response to this serious incident will be forthcoming.” 

The security cabinet is to meet Wednesday to discuss security projects, but the situation in Gaza might also be discussed. 

Olmert, noting that he had termed the cease-fire “fragile,” also said: “We don’t even call it a cease-fire but a holding of fire in the face of Hamas infractions, so that we can retain the IDF’s freedom of action.” 

Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to strike Hamas targets in response to the death of the tracker. 

“We do not intend to gloss over incidents like these,” Barak said. “We will not let Hamas and its outgrowths continue their hostile acts of terror. Anyone who hits us will have to absorb a serious blow in the future, too.” 

Sources in the Prime Minister’s Bureau said Tuesday Israel was not negotiating with Hamas over a cease-fire or second lull. “The Egyptians are speaking to Hamas to attain things that are important for them, but we are not obligated to anything. We have not signed understandings or an agreement with Hamas,” a source in Olmert’s bureau said. 

Israel and Egypt are apparently formulating an understanding on the passage of merchandise from Israel to the Gaza Strip, and at the same time some increased freedom of movement in the opening of the Rafah crossing from the Strip to Egypt. 

The Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings on the Gaza border were closed after the attack. Approximately 185 trucks carrying aid and equipment were to have crossed into Gaza yesterday. 

The bomb near the Gaza border detonated around 8 A.M., as an IDF patrol was passing near the Kissufim crossing, north of Kibbutz Kissufim. The tracker was killed and an officer was seriously hurt. One of his legs was amputated and the other one is severely damaged. Two other soldiers were classified as lightly hurt and will be released in a few days. Soroka Medical Center said they had extensive shrapnel wounds. 

The name of the tracker, a Bedouin, was not released, at the request of his family

A preliminary investigation revealed that the soldiers were patrolling an area that had not been patrolled for several weeks due to the fighting in the Strip. The regional brigade commander was apparently not apprised of the patrol, which was approved by the battalion commander. IDF sources said the Palestinians who planted the bomb did so Monday night, under cover of heavy fog. 

The closure of the Gaza crossings is only the first stage of Israel’s response to the attack, Amos Gilad, who heads the Defense Ministry’s political bureau, said yesterday. “The equation in the Strip has changed,” he said during a lecture at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. 

Yuval Azoulay, Avi Issacharoff and Barak Ravid contributed to this report. 

via Gaza rocket hits Negev; IAF strikes Hamas tunnels after soldier killed – Haaretz – Israel News .

Dix Six – Last Five Defendents GUILTY AS CHARGED

The remaining Dix Six terrorists have been convicted of planning to kill US Soldiers at Fort Dix, NJ. To bad they could not get the attempted murdre charge to stick… but I guess that is a technicality and at least they are convicted of planning to kill soldiers and they will stay in jail…

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) – Five Muslim immigrants were convicted Monday of plotting to massacre U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix in a case that tested the FBI’s post-Sept. 11 strategy of infiltrating and breaking up terrorist conspiracies in their earliest stages.The men could get life in prison when they are sentenced in April. 

The five, who lived in and around Philadelphia for years, were found guilty of conspiring to kill U.S. military personnel. But they were acquitted of attempted murder, after prosecutors acknowledged the men were probably months away from an attack and did not necessarily have a specific plan. Four defendants were also convicted of weapons charges.

The federal jury deliberated for 38 hours over six days.

The government said after the arrests in 2007 that case underscored the dangers of terrorist plots hatched on U.S. soil. Although investigators said the conspirators were inspired by Osama bin Laden, they were not accused of any ties to foreign terror groups.

Defense lawyers argued that the alleged plot was all talk—that the men weren’t seriously planning anything and that they were manipulated and goaded by two paid FBI informants.

Faten Shnewer, the mother of defendant Mohamad Shnewer, said the informants should be the ones in jail. “Not my son and his friends. It’s not right, it’s not justice,” she said after the verdict. The government “sent somebody to push him to say something; that’s it.”

Convicted were: Shnewer, a Jordanian-born cab driver; Turkish-born convenience store clerk Serdar Tatar; and brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka, ethnic Albanians from the former Yugoslavia, who had a roofing business. A sixth man arrested and charged only with gun offenses pleaded guilty earlier.

“These criminals had the capacity and had done preparations to do serious and grievous harm to members of our military,” Ralph Marra, the acting U.S. attorney for New Jersey, said after the verdict.

But some Muslim leaders in New Jersey disputed that.

“I don’t think they actually mean to do anything,” said Mohamed Younes, president of the American Muslim Union. “I think they were acting stupid, like they thought the whole thing was a joke.”

Jim Sues, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said: “Many people in the Muslim community will see this as a case of entrapment. From what I saw, there was a significant role played by the government informant.”

The yearlong investigation began after a clerk at a Circuit City store told the FBI that some customers had asked him to transfer onto DVD some video footage of them firing assault weapons and screaming about jihad.

The FBI asked two informants—both foreign-born men who entered the U.S. illegally and had criminal records—to befriend the suspects. Both informants were paid and were offered help obtaining legal resident status.

During the eight-week trial, the government relied heavily on information gathered by the informants, who secretly recorded hundreds of conversations.

Prosecutors said the men bought several assault rifles supplied by the FBI and that they trekked to Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains to practice their shooting. The government also presented dozens of jihadist speeches and videos that the men supposedly used as inspiration.

According to prosecutors, the group chose the Army post because one of the defendants was familiar with it. His father’s pizza shop delivered to the New Jersey base, which is 25 miles from Philadelphia and used primarily to train reservists for duty in Iraq.

The group’s objective was to kill “as many American soldiers as possible,” prosecutors said.

But the men’s lawyers attacked the credibility of the informants and accused them of instigating the plot.

After the verdict, Schnewer’s attorney, Rocco Cipparone, said there would not have been a conspiracy without the involvement of the informants. “I believe they shaped the evidence,” he said.

Prosecutor William Fitzpatrick defended the government’s handling of the case, telling the jury: “The FBI investigates crime on the front end. They don’t want to have to do it on the back end.”

Members of the jury would not speak to reporters after the verdict and instead released a statement that said, in part, “This has been one of the most difficult things that we have ever had to do.”

None of the defendants testified.

The government said after the men’s arrest that an attack was imminent, though prosecutors backed off that assertion at the trial.

The government has had a mixed record on terrorism prosecutions since Sept. 11. It won guilty pleas from Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui; Richard Reid, who tried to blow up a trans-Atlantic jetliner with a shoe bomb; and the Lackawanna Six, a terrorist cell outside Buffalo, N.Y. And it convicted Jose Padilla of plotting terrorist attacks.

But a case against four men in Michigan fell apart after a federal prosecutor was accused of withholding evidence. And a case in Miami against seven men accused of plotting to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower has produced one acquittal and two mistrials. 

 

BLACKFIVE: 5 Years after Saddam’s capture (video from Iraq)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Holy Land Foundation Members Guilty Of Providing Over $12 Million To Hamas

Finally some good news on the fight against terror. The Holy Land Foundation and five of its workers have been found guilty of funneling at least $12 million to Hamas. Now our government needs to look into CAIR’s connections to the Holy Land Foundation and start working a case there.

Just in from DMN. Counting down until CAIR Islamophobia cries begin. In 3, 2, 1…

A jury on Monday determined that the Holy Land Foundation and five men who worked with the Muslim charity were guilty of three dozen counts related to the illegal funneling of at least $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

The unanimous verdicts are a complete victory for the government, which streamlined its case and worked hard to carefully educate jurors on the complex, massive evidence presented in the trial.

The prosecution victory is also a major one for the lame duck administration of President George Bush, whose efforts at fighting terrorism financing in court have been troubled, even though the flow of funds seems to be effectively shut down.

It was the second trial where the government attempted to convict the men and the now defunct Richardson-based Holy Land Foundation itself. It took the jury eight days of deliberations to reach its decisions — less than half the time it took jurors to deadlock end up with an almost complete mistrial last year on the first go-around.

“My dad is not a criminal!” sobbed one courtroom observer after the verdicts were read. “He’s a human!”

Before he read the verdict, the judge had ordered all observers to remain civil and respect the proceedings.

By 3 p.m. Monday, jurors had been sent back to the jury room to determine if Holy Land assets should be forfeited to the government because of several convictions on money laundering charges related to the case.

Bin Laden – Bringing Change To America

Jawa reports that an ex Al Qaeda operative has warned of an imminent attack on the US.  Funny how Bin Laden believes in Change too…

The Age Osama bin Laden is planning an attack against the United States that will “outdo by far” September 11, an Arab newspaper in London has reported.And according to a former senior Yemeni al-Qaeda operative, the terrorist organisation has entered a “positive phase”, reinforcing specific training camps around the world that will lead the next “wave of action” against the West.

The warning, on the front page of an Arabic newspaper published in London, Al-Quds Al-Arabi — and widely reported in the major Italian papers — quotes a person described as being “very close to al-Qaeda” in Yemen.

The paper is edited by Abdel al-Bari Atwan, who is said to be the last journalist to interview Osama bin Laden in 1996. According to the report, bin Laden is himself closely following preparations for an attack against the US and aims to “change the face of world politics and economics”. The operative is quoted as saying that “this will be shown by the fact that we now control a major part of the south of Somalia”.

The ex-operative says he remains in contact with current chiefs of the organisation in Yemen and that only six months ago bin Laden had sent a message to all jihad cells in the Arab world which asked them not to interact with their governments or local political parties and to deny any request for mediation or formal talks.

The source also said that during the next few days the terrorist organisation may send a sign of its violent intentions.

 

A few things in the statement that make sense 1) the importance of Somalia and ergo, Yemen (money, fighters, weapons) 2) the end of negotiations between the Yemeni government and the terrorists (“the period of calmness”) came as a result of an order from bin Laden, not because of agitation from returnees from Iraq, 3) the continuing importance of the original trusted network of Yemenis to the Al-Qaeda eadership..

A “senior” leader would refer to one with connections dating back to the Afghan days. My first guess would be Abu al-Fida, he’s just a very chatty guy, loves to give interviews and was most definitely top echelon. There’s photos of him sitting with UBL. Al-Fida was a prime negotiator between the regime and al-Qaeda and described the truce period that started in 2003 as centrally ordered by bin Laden.

Al-Fida was also the one who reported the line of sucession in al-Qaeda would pass to bin Laden’s son, so he has previously made officially sanctioned statements on behalf of the terror leadership. For prior reporting on al-Fida, click here.

Obama Supported Raila Odinga Whose Failed Kenya Presidential Bid Resulted In Ethnic Cleansing By Islamic Extremists

This has to be one of Obama’s most disturbing “associations“. Remember the theme of Odinga’s campaign was “Agent of Change” and Barack’s theme is “Change You Can Believe In”.

Well I am sure the people that have been massacred in Kenya by the Muslim extremists cannot believe in the change they received… Now that is Change You Can Believe In!

Odinga Made A Deal with Kenyan Muslims to Institute Islamic Law; Obama Campaigned for Him

[Update: As a reader pointed out, Sharia is an assault on women.]

The video below tells a shocking story of Barack Obama’s involvement, while a US Senator, in the Presidential campaign of Raila Odinga.

Now that Obama has acknowledged having had Kenyan citizenship, it’s time to take another serious look at his recent campaign activities on behalf of Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga, a Muslim sympathizer and leader of the socialist Orange Democratic Movement.

We review the Obama-Odinga campaign collaboration with this central question in mind: As a former Kenyan citizen, does Obama’s open involvement in Kenyan presidential politics raise troubling questions about his loyalties?Apparently Obama traveled to Kenya on official business as a US Senator; the trip was funded by US taxpayers. Odinga’s policy positions were against stated US interests.

Odinga, running on the slogan “Agent of Change,” lost the race for President of Kenya in December 2007 and thereafter led a campaign of widespread ethnic warfare in protest of his loss.

In August 2007, Odinga had signed an agreement with Islamic extremists toinstitute Islamic Law should he be elected President of Kenya, and he vowed to end cooperation with the United States in the war against terror. WHY did OBAMA actively campaign for him?

Watch the video.  It’s 8 minutes long.  The first 6 minutes give an excellent overview of Odinga’s bid for President and his socialist background.  Obama’s role in Odinga’s candidacy begins at approximately 6:20.  It is truly stunningand something that every American voter MUST SEE:

The TD Blog initiated a review of the Constitutional problems related to Barack Obama’s dual citizenship.  His activities in Kenya illustrate how dual citizenship can create divided loyalties and thus disqualify a candidate for Commander-in-Chief of the United States. [Incidentally, this is also a clear-cut violation of the Logan Act — see our article in the Reference List at the end.]

This central question is now being litigated by Philip J. Berg.  Whether or not Berg’s case prevails on the procedural issues of standing and jurisdiction — the issue of dual citizenship must eventually be reviewed by the federal courts.In the event that Obama gets elected, I predict that this legal problem will ultimately end his presidency. What a shame that he’s been so secretive and deceptive about his past. By the way, in case you are unfamiliar with our work, led by in-house researcher and scholar “Judah Benjamin,” we maintain that Obama’s Indonesian citizenship could still be active.

This has resulted in the genocide of over 1,000 Kenyans. Over 300,000 were displaced due to the violence

 

Photo credit Telegraph.co.uk
Barack Obama Raila Odinga
Barack Obama campaigning with Raila Odinga in Kenya

Barack Obama’s relationship with Kenyan Raila Odinga has made it into America’s mainstream press.

In this Washington Times piece you’ll find:

An American report of the blood on the hands of Raila Odinga, who Obama campaigned for in Kenya.

An American report of the agreement Odinga signed with the Muslim Leadership Forum which would have forever changed the lives of Christians in the country as well as the lives of the non-religious.

An American report of the time Obama spent with Odinga.

An American report of the close personal ties between Barack Obama’s father and Raila Odinga’s father. Read the entire article at the The Washington Times.

Follows some snippets:

Mr. Odinga had the backing of Kenya’s Muslim community heading into the election. For months he denied any ties to Muslim leaders, but fell silent when Sheik Abdullahi Abdi, chairman of the National Muslim Leaders Forum, appeared on Kenya television displaying a memorandum of understanding signed on Aug. 29, 2007, by Mr. Odinga and the Muslim leader. Mr. Odinga then denied his denials.

The details of the MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] were shocking. In return for Muslim backing, Mr. Odinga promised to impose a number of measures favored by Muslims if he were elected president. Among these were recognition of “Islam as the only true religion,” Islamic leaders would have an “oversight role to monitor activities of ALL other religions [emphasis in original],” installation of Shariah courts in every jurisdiction, a ban on Christian preaching, replacement of the police commissioner who “allowed himself to be used by heathens and Zionists,” adoption of a women’s dress code, and bans on alcohol and pork.

Thank you to Goat at the Barnyard.