US Military Operating Under Secret Orders

Well the news itself is no surprise, but what the fact that the mass media is reporting it is. As usual, journalistic ethics are out the door. The media loves to report anything classified, top secret etc… As long as they can get it out to the people who should know… Bullshit.

Operations are on going, as in the recent Syrian raid, which is mentioned in the article, and the publication of news like this only puts our troops in danger. It also escalates tensions between countries because now things are public knowledge, instead of being handled by the respective powers and counter parts in the countries involved.

I guess that is why the UK is looking to censor media outlets from reporting on items that compromise national security. Maybe we should consider doing the same thing, and make it a criminal act… And when items involve national security and put soldiers lives in danger, I think the anonymous sources excuse used by the media must be abolished. If there is no national security issue or potential to put soldiers lives in danger, then fine, let them use all the anonymous sources they want.

The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials.

These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President George W. Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.

In 2006, for example, a Navy Seal team raided a suspected militants’ compound in the Bajaur region of Pakistan, according to a former top official of the Central Intelligence Agency. Officials watched the entire mission — captured by the video camera of a remotely piloted Predator aircraft — in real time in the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center at the agency’s headquarters in Virginia 7,000 miles away.

Some of the military missions have been conducted in close coordination with the CIA, according to senior American officials, who said that in others, like the Special Operations raid in Syria on Oct. 26 of this year, the military commandos acted in support of CIA-directed operations.

But as many as a dozen additional operations have been canceled in the past four years, often to the dismay of military commanders, senior military officials said. They said senior administration officials had decided in these cases that the missions were too risky, were too diplomatically explosive or relied on insufficient evidence.

More than a half-dozen officials, including current and former military and intelligence officials as well as senior Bush administration policy makers, described details of the 2004 military order on the condition of anonymity because of its politically delicate nature. Spokesmen for the White House, the Defense Department and the military declined to comment.

Apart from the 2006 raid into Pakistan, the American officials refused to describe in detail what they said had been nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks, except to say they had been carried out in Syria, Pakistan and other countries. They made clear that there had been no raids into Iran using that authority, but they suggested that American forces had carried out reconnaissance missions in Iran using other classified directives.

According to a senior administration official, the new authority was spelled out in a classified document called “Al Qaeda Network Exord,” or execute order, that streamlined the approval process for the military to act outside officially declared war zones. Where in the past the Pentagon needed to get approval for missions on a case-by-case basis, which could take days when there were only hours to act, the new order specified a way for Pentagon planners to get the green light for a mission far more quickly, the official said.

It also allowed senior officials to think through how the United States would respond if a mission went badly. “If that helicopter goes down in Syria en route to a target,” the official said, “the American response would not have to be worked out on the fly.”

The 2004 order was a step marking the evolution of how the American government sought to kill or capture Qaeda terrorists around the world. It was issued after the Bush administration had already granted America’s intelligence agencies sweeping power to secretly detain and interrogate terrorism suspects in overseas prisons and to conduct warrantless eavesdropping on telephone and electronic communications.

Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush issued a classified order authorizing the CIA to kill or capture Qaeda militants around the globe. By 2003, American intelligence agencies and the military had developed a much deeper understanding of Al Qaeda’s extensive global network, and Rumsfeld pressed hard to unleash the military’s vast firepower against militants outside the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 2004 order identifies 15 to 20 countries, including Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and several other Gulf states, where Qaeda militants were believed to be operating or to have sought sanctuary, a senior administration official said.

Even with the order, each specific mission requires high-level government approval. Targets in Somalia, for instance, need at least the approval of the defense secretary, the administration official said, while targets in a handful of countries, including Pakistan and Syria, require presidential approval.

The Pentagon has exercised its authority frequently, dispatching commandos to countries including Pakistan and Somalia. Details of a few of these strikes have previously been reported.

For example, shortly after Ethiopian troops crossed into Somalia in late 2006 to dislodge an Islamist regime in Mogadishu, the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command quietly sent operatives and AC-130 gunships to an airstrip near the Ethiopian town of Dire Dawa. From there, members of a classified unit called Task Force 88 crossed repeatedly into Somalia to hunt senior members of a Qaeda cell believed to be responsible for the 1998 American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

At the time, American officials said Special Operations troops were operating under a classified directive authorizing the military to kill or capture Qaeda operatives if failure to act quickly would mean the United States had lost a “fleeting opportunity” to neutralize the enemy.

Occasionally, the officials said, Special Operations troops would land in Somalia to assess the strikes’ results. On Jan. 7, 2007, an AC-130 struck an isolated fishing village near the Kenyan border, and within hours, American commandos and Ethiopian troops were examining the rubble to determine whether any Qaeda operatives had been killed.

But even with the new authority, proposed Pentagon missions were sometimes scrubbed because of bad intelligence or bureaucratic entanglements, senior administration officials said.

The details of one of those aborted operations, in early 2005, were reported by The New York Times last June. In that case, an operation to send a team of Navy Seals and Army Rangers into Pakistan to capture Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, was aborted at the last minute.

Zawahri was believed by intelligence officials to be attending a meeting in Bajaur, in Pakistan’s tribal areas, and the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command hastily put together a plan to capture him. There were strong disagreements inside the Pentagon and the CIA about the quality of the intelligence, however, and some in the military expressed concern that the mission was unnecessarily risky.

Porter Goss, the CIA director at the time, urged the military to carry out the mission, and some in the CIA even wanted to execute it without informing Ryan Crocker, then the American ambassador to Pakistan. Rumsfeld ultimately refused to authorize the mission.

Former military and intelligence officials said that Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, who recently completed his tour as head of the Joint Special Operations Command, had pressed for years to win approval for commando missions into Pakistan. But the missions were frequently rejected because officials in Washington determined that the risks to American troops and the alliance with Pakistan were too great.

Captain John Kirby, a spokesman for General McChrystal, who is now director of the military’s Joint Staff, declined to comment.

The recent raid into Syria was not the first time that Special Operations forces had operated in that country, according to a senior military official and an outside adviser to the Pentagon.

Since the Iraq war began, the official and the outside adviser said, Special Operations forces have several times made cross-border raids aimed at militants and infrastructure aiding the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq.

The raid in late October, however, was much more noticeable than the previous raids, military officials said, which helps explain why it drew a sharp protest from the Syrian government.

Negotiations to hammer out the 2004 order took place over nearly a year and involved wrangling between the Pentagon and the CIA and the State Department about the military’s proper role around the world, several administration officials said.

American officials said there had been debate over whether to include Iran in the 2004 order, but ultimately Iran was set aside, possibly to be dealt with under a separate authorization.

Senior officials of the State Department and the CIA voiced fears that military commandos would encroach on their turf, conducting operations that historically the CIA had carried out, and running missions without an ambassador’s knowledge or approval.

Rumsfeld had pushed in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks to expand the mission of Special Operations troops to include intelligence gathering and counterterrorism operations in countries where American commandos had not operated before.

Bush administration officials have shown a determination to operate under an expansive definition of self-defense that provided a legal rationale for strikes on militant targets in sovereign nations without those countries’ consent.

Several officials said the negotiations over the 2004 order resulted in closer coordination among the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA, and set a very high standard for the quality of intelligence necessary to gain approval for an attack.

The 2004 order also provided a foundation for the orders that Bush approved in July allowing the military to conduct raids into the Pakistani tribal areas, including the Sept. 3 operation by Special Operations forces that killed about 20 militants, American officials said.

Administration officials said that Bush’s approval had paved the way for Defense Secretary Robert Gates to sign an order — separate from the 2004 order — that specifically directed the military to plan a series of operations, in cooperation with the CIA, on the Qaeda network and other militant groups linked to it in Pakistan.

Unlike the 2004 order, in which Special Operations commanders nominated targets for approval by senior government officials, the order in July was more of a top-down approach, directing the military to work with the CIA to find targets in the tribal areas, administration officials said. They said each target still needed to be approved by the group of Bush’s top national security and foreign policy advisers, called the Principals Committee.

SniperGate

Joe Biden made claims that he was shot at while in Iraq, inside the green zone, then changed his story when questioned about it to say that he was near where a shot landed… Now this is the same man that told Hillary to tell the truth about her “near death experience” while in harms way…

His newest story is that he was in a helicopter in Afghanistan and it was forced down by Al Qaeda, I guess he is trying to show how he too has put his life in danger for America… Turns out it was bad weather that forced his helicopter down…

This is Biden’s sad attempt at trying to show his patriotism because he too, like John McCain, has been in harms way while serving his country…

Why has the media pretty much let this go, they hammered Hillary on it, shouldn’t Joe Biden be held up to the same standards, if not higher now that he is the Vice Presidential candidate?

Come on Joe, let’s start telling the truth. Now that is Change You Can Believe In!!!

When Hillary Clinton told a tall tale about “landing under sniper fire” in Bosnia, she was accused of “inflating her war experience” by rival Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign. 

But the campaign has been silent about Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, telling his own questionable story about being “shot at” in Iraq. 

“Let’s start telling the truth,” Biden said during a presidential primary debate sponsored by YouTube last year. “Number one, you take all the troops out – you better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I have been seven times and shot at. You better make sure you have protection for them, or let them die.” 

But when questioned about the episode afterward by the Hill newspaper, Biden backpedaled from his claim of being “shot at” and instead allowed: “I was near where a shot landed.” 

The senior senator from Delaware went on to say that some sort of projectile “landed” outside a building in the Green Zone where he and another senator had spent the night during a visit in December 2005. The lawmakers were shaving in the morning when they felt the building shake, Biden said. 

“No one got up and ran from the room-it wasn’t that kind of thing,” he told the Hill. “It’s not like I had someone holding a gun to my head.” 

The rest of the press ignored the flap at the time because Biden was viewed as having little chance of ending up on the Democratic presidential ticket. But even after Biden was selected to be Obama’s running mate last month, his claim to have been “shot at” drew no scrutiny from the same reporters who had savaged Clinton for making a similar claim that turned out to be false. 

FOX News has been asking the Obama campaign for details of the alleged shooting in Iraq ever since Biden was tapped to be vice president. Biden campaign spokesman David Wade promised an answer last week, but failed to provide one. 

Meanwhile, the gaffe-prone Biden has again raised eyebrows with another story about his exploits in war zones – this time in Afghanistan. Biden said he will grill Republican rival Sarah Palin in Thursday’s vice presidential debate about “the superhighway of terror between Pakistan and Afghanistan where my helicopter was forced down.” 

“If you want to know where Al Qaeda lives, you want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me,” Biden bragged to the National Guard Association. “Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.” 

But it turns out that inclement weather, not terrorists, prompted the chopper to land in an open field during Biden’s visit to Afghanistan in February. Fighter jets kept watch overhead while a convoy of security vehicles was dispatched to retrieve Biden and fellow Senators Chuck Hagel and John Kerry. 

“We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs, but we didn’t have to,” joked Kerry, a Democrat, to the AP. “Other than getting a little cold, it was fine.” 

Biden never explicitly claimed his chopper had been forced down by terrorists. Nonetheless, 

John McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said Obama-Biden officials have been less than forthcoming about Biden’s dramatic war stories. 

“They never explained Biden’s helicopter story from last week – which is very similar to the story about getting ‘shot at’ in Baghdad,” Rogers said. 

Afghan Lawmakers Proclaim “Death to the enemies of Islam”

The battle over Danish cartoons still brewing. While this in itself is not news, what is is a single little line that most liberals will overlook…

200 lawmakers shouted “Death to the enemies of Islam” outside the country’s parliament Tuesday

That is right, 200 Lawmakers Chanting “Death to the enemies of Islam”. Most condem those critical of Islam because they say Islam does not preach violence and that it is only a small minority of radicals that promote violence in the name of Islam… However this simple statement says shows it is the leaders that are prompting violence in the name of Islam.

JALALABAD, Afghanistan  —  Thousands of Afghan students chanted slogans and burned Danish and Dutch flags Sunday in the latest in a series of protests over perceived insults against Islam.

The protesters in the eastern city of Jalalabad denounced an upcoming Dutch film that reportedly criticizes Islam’s holy book, the Koran. They also condemned Danish newspapers’ recent republications of a cartoon that depicted the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban.

The several thousand demonstrators shouted slogans against Denmark and the Netherlands. They also chanted “Death to America” and “Long live Al Qaeda.”

“We don’t want Dutch and Danish forces in Afghanistan. If our government does not kick them out, we will continue our demonstrations until they leave Afghanistan,” said one protester, university student Qari Ibrahim. “If these forces do not leave, we are prepared to carry out suicide attacks against them.”

Denmark has 780 troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. The Netherlands has 1,650.

Similar protests have broken out in at least half a dozen other Afghan cities including the capital, Kabul, where 200 lawmakers shouted “Death to the enemies of Islam” outside the country’s parliament Tuesday.

Last month Denmark’s leading newspapers reprinted a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad after Danish police said they had uncovered a plot to kill the artist, whose drawing was one of 12 that triggered deadly riots across the Muslim world in 2006.

The reprinting triggered another wave of demonstrations in Islamic countries.

The protesters were also angry over right-wing Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders’ upcoming short film, which reportedly portrays the Koran as fascist.

Afghanistan is a Muslim nation where criticizing the Prophet Muhammad or the Koran are crimes that are punishable by death. Islam generally opposes any physical depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Apologizes For Including The US & Israel On Torture List

In a reversal of a non-official list of countries considered to be countries that use Torture, Canada’s Foreign Minister Bernier has apologized and ordered a re-evaluation and re-issue of the list to remove the US and Israel.

Well I am suprised by this turn of events, considering the obvious distaste for America expressed by the typical Canadian politicians… I do welcome the fact they they realized they made a mistake and acknowledge that “forced nudity, isolation, sleep deprivation and the blindfolding of prisoners ” are not actual forms of torture…

I wonder when the rest of the mainstream liberal media will put this on the front page like they did when the US and Israel were included…

The Canadian foreign minister has apologised for including the US and Israel on a list of states where prisoners are at risk of torture.

Maxime Bernier said the list, which formed part of a manual on torture awareness given to diplomats, “wrongly includes some of our closest allies”.

Mr Bernier insisted the manual was not a policy document and did not convey the official views of his government.

The listing was criticised by the US and Israel, who demanded it be changed.

“We find it to be offensive for us to be on the same list with countries like Iran and China. Quite frankly it’s absurd,” said the US ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins.

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, Michael Mendel, said the Israeli Supreme Court was “on record as expressly prohibiting any type of torture”.

“If Israel is included in the list in question, the ambassador of Israel would expect its removal,” he added.

‘Reviewed and rewritten’

In a statement on Saturday, Mr Bernier said he regretted the embarrassment caused by the public disclosure of the list and promised it would be changed to reflect the Canadian government’s official position.

“It contains a list that wrongly includes some of our closest allies. I have directed that the manual be reviewed and rewritten,” he said.

“The manual is neither a policy document nor a statement of policy. As such, it does not convey the government’s views or positions.”

The manual lists US interrogation techniques such as forced nudity, isolation, sleep deprivation and the blindfolding of prisoners under its “definition of torture”.

It also refers to the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, where a Canadian man, Omar Khadr, is being held. Critics say it ridicules Ottawa’s claims that he is not being mistreated.

Member of US military in cell block of Guantanamo Bay prison camp

The manual refers to Guantanamo Bay where a Canadian is being held

Other countries on the watch list include Afghanistan, China, Iran, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

The document was mistakenly provided to the human rights group, Amnesty International, as part of a court case it is bringing against the Canadian government over the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan.

The torture awareness course was introduced after Ottawa was strongly criticised for its handling of the case of a Canadian who was deported from the US to Syria in 2002.

Syrian-born Maher Arar, who was accused of being an al-Qaeda member, has said he was tortured during the 10 months he was detained in a prison in Damascus. An inquiry exonerated him of any links to terrorist groups in 2006.

Canadian Defense Minister Calls Out Iran

Canadian Defense Minister, Peter MacKay has layed blame for the increase in terrorists getting weapons in Afghanistan on the Iranians… Finally someone else see Iran for what they really are, I just hope Canadians read this and learn from it, as most Canadians seem to be of the thought process that Iran’s government is really a bunch of nice chaps fighting the evil empire…

Iran behind flood of weapons to Taliban, MacKay charges

Comment by Jerry Gordondefense-minister-peter-mackay.jpgIt’s Boxing Week up in Canada. Canadian PM Harper sent his Defense Minister Peter MacKay to Afghanistan. MacKay is visiting Canadian forces there for Christmas and Boxing Day. MacKay was interviewed by CanWest and took the opportunity to tell it like it is. Iran’s supplying weapons to the resurgent Taliban courtesy of our trading partner, the Chinese. It’s the old proxy fighter switcheroo that the Iranians are famous for that they pulled off in Lebanon with Hezbollah and in Iraq with Al Qods Force backing Shia militias and supplying IEDs that kill our troops.. This time it’s aid to the Sunni brothers in the umma, the Taliban to kill NATO and Canadian forces in Afghanistan.

As MacKay puts it:

“We’re very concerned that weapons are coming in from Iran.

“We’re very concerned that these weapons are going to the insurgents and are keeping this issue alive. We’ve certainly made our views to the Iranian government about this known.”

This CanWest report notes that:

Improvised explosive devices, responsible for the majority of the deaths of the 73 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, were particularly a concern, he said.

“It’s so difficult to cut these supply lines when you have people from other countries giving out weapons that are being used against Canadian Forces and troops from other countries.”

Outside help makes it tough to cut supply lines, minister says

Allison Lampert, The Montreal Gazette,

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Canada has challenged the Iranian government over concerns that weapons and bomb-making equipment are slipping across the border to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said yesterday.

“We’re very concerned that weapons are coming in from Iran,” Mr. MacKay told reporters, while visiting Canadian troops with Gen. Rick Hillier in Kandahar province.

“We’re very concerned that these weapons are going to the insurgents and are keeping this issue alive. We’ve certainly made our views to the Iranian government about this known.”

Improvised explosive devices, responsible for the majority of the deaths of the 73 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, were particularly a concern, he said.

“It’s so difficult to cut these supply lines when you have people from other countries giving out weapons that are being used against Canadian Forces and troops from other countries.”

Mr. MacKay was echoing U.S. concerns that Iran is fuelling the war in Afghanistan by supplying weapons — particularly parts for roadside bombs — to insurgents. In April, the U.S. accused Iran of supplying contacts and weapons to the Taliban.

In September, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said Washington questioned Beijing over Chinese weapons shipments to Iran — including a 10-tonne weapons cache found in Herat — turning up in the hands of Afghan insurgents. But in a June interview, ISAF commander Gen. Dan McNeill said that while Iranian mortars and other weapons have been discovered in Afghanistan, there is no proof Tehran is directly supplying the Taliban.

Insurgents’ use of IEDs and other tactics has led to a record number of Canadian deaths in Afghanistan this year. Despite the bloodshed, Canada’s soldiers are eager to continue the Afghan mission, said Gen. Hillier, chief of the defence staff of the Canadian Forces. (Continue Reading this Article)

Clinton Against Iraq War From Outset – Hillary’s Run For President That Is…

On the campaign trail for Hillary, Bill is now saying that he never supported the Iraq War… His press people are spining the statement to reflect his long term views. What a POS, his wife already has been caught up in  a firestorm for her support, at least she has the balls to say she did support it, but changed her mind. Bill is lying and saying he never did support it, but when called out on past support of the war, now it is his long term view…

By the way, the longer term view his press agents are spewing is crap. His long term view that weapons inspectors should have been given more time is moronic, considering they had the eight years of Clinton’s Presidency and the additional 2 years under Bush, a Decade to determine the truth.

Considering Hillary is using Bill’s time in the White House and his policies, or lack there of, as part of her experience platform, I would say she has about as much experience as Bill does with being faithful….

Bill Clinton Says He Opposed Iraq War From the Outset

Former president Bill Clinton said on Tuesday that he “opposed Iraq from the beginning,” apparently glossing over the more nuanced views of the war he has expressed over time. Clinton made the remarks while campaigning for his wife in Iowa – a largely anti-war state for Democrats — as he expressed bitterness over getting a tax cut with money that could have been spent on the military.

“Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning, I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers,” Clinton said. He said he “should not have gotten” the tax cuts he received as a wealthy earner.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton voted to authorize the war in Iraq, and has never apologized for her vote, even as the Democratic nominating process has reached fever pitch and she has been drawn into a three-way tie with more ardent Iraq war foes, Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards.

Both the former president and his wife have grown increasingly critical of the war’s management in recent years. Both have also pointed to their remarks, made before the invasion, in which they said they would like to see weapons inspectors finish their work in Iraq before launching an attack – a distinction that has allowed both Clintons to claim consistency on Iraq.

Sen. Clinton has, at times, even cited the experience her husband had dealing with the Iraqi regime in the 1990s as one reason she gave Pres. Bush the benefit of the doubt when she voted for the war in 2002.

Jay Carson, a spokesman for the Clintons, pointed to those comments about weapons inspections as evidence that the former president was not trying to rewrite history. “As he said from the beginning and many times since, president Clinton disagreed with taking the country to war in Iraq without allowing the weapons inspectors to finish their jobs,” Carson said.

But past remarks made by the former president do leave open a question about how fervently Clinton opposed the war in real time and before it grew widely unpopular. In immediate hindsight, Clinton did not sound like a fierce critic. “I supported the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” Clinton said on May 18, 2003, during a commencement speech at Tougaloo College in Mississippi.

–Anne E. Kornblut

Al Qaeda Is the EU’s Biggest Threat

Finally someone in the EU is realizing the threat they face from Al Qaeda as well as the Islamification that has been occuring throughout all of Europe. The only problem is they still see the current war on terror as the cause of Islamification. What they, like most Americans, do not realize is the threat was there but hidden, plotting and waiting. What the war on terror has done is force the enemy to show their face. Anyone who thinks that the current threat would not exist if we were not fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is a fool. The enemy has been at war with us for quite a while now. It is only recently that we are able to see the  magnitude of the threat.

The Islamic terrorist group Al Qaeda continues to be the most serious terrorism threat to Europe, the bloc’s new anti-terrorism chief told EU lawmakers.

“An attack perpetrated by local or international networks remains likely,” Gilles de Kerchove, appointed in September to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts among EU member states, told the European Parliament.

 

He called on EU states to be more active in combating radicalism and emphasized the importance of Internet surveillance.

 

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan had “a considerable impact on radicalization of extremists in Europe,” added de Kerchove.

 

Terrorists close to home

 

A sticker with Osama bin Laden's pictureBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  Authorities are worried about the international nature of the al Qaeda movement

European converts to radical Islam have had a hand in several recent terrorism plots on European soil, including a foiled attack in Germany in September.

 

Germany authorities now know of up to 50 Islamic militants linked to the three men suspected of planning the attack, the head of Germany’s federal police, Jörg Ziercke, said in an interview in the Tuesday edition of the Cologne daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.

 

Two German citizens and one Turkish national have been arrested in connection with the plot. They allegedly trained in terrorism camps in Pakistan before founding the domestic cell of an al Qaeda affiliate in Germany.

 

“We believe there are still members of this network in Pakistani training camps,” Ziercke said. “Whoever comes back to Germany so radicalized is for us extremely dangerous.”

 

The next generation of terror

 

Britain’s intelligence chief Jonathan Evans also spoke out against domestic radicalism Monday, saying that the number of individuals in Britain with suspected terrorist links has risen to at least 2,000 this year, compared with 1,600 last year.

 

“As I speak, terrorists are methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in this country,” he said in a speech to the Society of Editors Conference in Manchester. “They are radicalizing, indoctrinating and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism.”

 

Call for jihad in the Maghreb

 

Al Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahri Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  Ayman Zawahri called for Jihad in the Maghreb via an audio message

Some EU member states see growing Islamic extremism in North Africa as a particular threat, especially those countries that have large immigrant populations from the Maghreb.

 

An existing Islamic Maghreb terror group aligned itself with al Qaeda earlier this year, winning the support of terror boss bin Laden.

 

Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al Zawahiri called over the weekend for a holy war against the leaders of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco due to their support for the US-led war on terror.

 

“The fact that [the Maghreb] has embraced al Qaeda’s international terrorism, and [its] geographical proximity to Europe brings terrorism closer to the borders of Europe,” said EU anti-terror chief de Kerchove.

DW staff (kjb)