"On June 13 of this year, we learned of a communique from Bin Laden saying he wanted to assassinate Mr Bush and other G8 heads of state during their summit in Italy. It was a well-known piece of in formation," said President Mubarak.
--Guardian UK (9/27/2001).
The evidence that Al Qaeda bought 25 Barrett 50 caliber sniper rifles came to light during the trial of terrorists charged with the American embassy bombings in Africa. (Osama bin Laden was also indicted but has yet to stand trial.) A government witness, Essam al Ridi, testified that he had shipped 25 Barrett 50 caliber sniper rifles to Al Qaeda. The testimony is ambiguous as to the exact date of the transaction, but it appears to have been in either 1988 or 1989.95 (Al Ridi, an Egyptian who became a naturalized U.S. citizen,96 also learned to fly and taught flying in Arlington, Texas, at the now defunct Ed Boardman Aviation School.97) These guns still represent a live threat: firearms in general have a very long useful life, and 50 caliber sniper rifles used in the 1991 Gulf War are still being traded among enthusiasts and fired.98 There is no reason to believe that Al Qaeda's Barrett sniper rifles are not in service, and, wherever they are, they are a threat to Americans, civilians and military personnel alike
--Violence Policy Center (Voting From the Rooftops 10/7/2001).
CIVILIANS fleeing Afghanistan yesterday reported mass burials of bombing victims in and around the eastern city of Jalalabad, supporting claims by the Taliban of major casualties and extensive damage to property.
--Alex Spillius in Islamabad and Imtiaz Ali Khan in Peshawar (Telegraph 10/13/2001).
Increasing pressure on Saddam is a long-held Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz aim. In January 1998 - joined by Richard Armitage (now Deputy Secretary of State), John Bolton and Paula Dobriansky (now Under Secretaries of State), Peter Rodman (now Assistant Secretary of Defense), Elliott Abrams and Zalmay Khalilzad (now senior National Security Council officials), Robert Zoellick (now US Trade Representative), and Richard Perle (now a senior Bush adviser) - they wrote an open letter to then president Bill Clinton, stating:
"We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. We urge you to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the US and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power...
--Marc Erikson (Asia Times 10/13/2001).
Obviously, the war against Afghanistan was planned for quite some time. We know for a fact that it had been war-gamed by the Pentagon going back to 1997. Right around September 11, two US Aircraft carrier task forces conveniently arrived in the Persian Gulf right at the same time on "rotation." Obviously, preplanned. Just before September 11, the UK had put together what was billed at the "largest armada since the Falklands War" and had it steaming towards Oman, where now 23,000 UK troops are on maneuvers. This had been planned for at least 3 years. Also, the US "Bright Star" operation is currently going on in Egypt. 23,000 US troops plus an additional 17,000 from NATO and its associates. This had been planned at least two years ago. Finally, NATO just landed 12,000 troops into Turkey. This had been planned for at least two years. It is obvious that we are seeing an operational War Plan being executed here that had been in the works for at least the past four years. September 11 is either a pretext or a trigger or both.
--Francis A. Boyle (via email 10/12/2001).
I think the evidence is overwhelming. The Bush administration plans
to use the WTC attack as an opportunity to use the US military as
pipeline police, with the current goal of splitting the government of
Pakistan and the Taliban from the Islamic militants led by Bin Laden.
If they can accomplish this, the way might be cleared for the
Afghanistan pipeline project, and the basis for further penetration
into the oil rich former Soviet republics established.
--Jonathan Flanders (IndyMedia 10/6/2001).
Ankara is concerned that if Saddam Hussein's regime collapses, under US military pressure, a Kurdish state may emerge in northern Iraq and threaten Turkey. Ankara has denied the right of self-determination to its Kurdish population, which rebels have been fighting for for 15 years.
--Nadire Mater (Asia Times 10/13/2001).
The Israeli deputy defense minister Dalia Rabin Vilozov has revealed that Iraq is one of the next American targets after Afghanistan, noting that the US will inform Israel, in advance, about the attacks on Iraq.
--Iraq-Israel (ArabicNews.com 10/12/2001).
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Months before the Sept. 11 attacks, the United Nations and the European Union directed their members to freeze the assets of five lieutenants of Osama bin Laden, including his brother-in-law and financial handler. The U.S. government didn't do it until Friday.
Members of Congress want to know why Treasury officials charged with disrupting the finances of terrorists didn't follow the lead of some of the closest U.S. allies back in January.
It's for all these reason, I say emphatically that we can not accept
anything from this administration; not their policies nor their bullsh*t
stories. What they are doing is very, very dangerous, and the time to
back against them, openly, is right now, before they can consolidate their
power and their agenda. Once they have done that, our job becomes much
--Stan Goff, author of Hideous Dreams (via email).
Palestinian police briefly detained three foreign reporters covering a rally in the Gaza Strip in support of Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect behind the Sept. 11 suicide attacks on the United States.
--Reuters (Houston Chronicle 10/12/2001).
SRINAGAR, OCT. 12. A bandh was observed in Srinagar [Kashmir] and other parts of the Valley today in protest against the U.S. attacks in Afghanistan. Police used teargas shells to disperse the protesters.
The call of the Hurriyat Conference, which supports Pakistan's desision to back the U.S., to the people to observe restraint went unheeded.
--By Shujaat Bukhari (The Hindu 10/12/2001).
NEW DELHI, OCT. 12. The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid today staged a sit- in demonstration at the Masjid complex and activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and other Left parties held an anti-U.S. demonstration near the American Centre here.
--The Hinu (10/12/2001).
The Algerian dailies issued on Thursday said that 24 persons including 8 policemen, were wounded on Tuesday in clashes that took place in al-Qabayel district.
--Algeria (ArabicNews.com 10/12/2001).
Thousands of anti-U.S. protesters in the Pakistani city of Karachi stoned police, torched cars and set ablaze a KFC restaurant licensed by the American fast-food chain. But the threat of wider protests after the first Friday prayers since the start of the air campaign did not materialize.
--AP (NYTimes 10/12/2001).
Demonstrators protesting US attacks on Afghanistan attacked the Pakistani consulate in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan, near the border with Afghanistan, on Friday.
--AFP (Hindustan Times 10/12/2001).
Turnout at demonstrations in the Middle East was lower than expected and there was little violence in the region after the first Friday prayers since the U.S. strikes began.
The secretary of the expatriates ministry in Yemen Ibrahim Abdul Rasheed has stressed that five Yemenis were killed in the US and Canada in acts of revenge against the Muslims following the attacks of September 11 against the US.
--Yemen-USA (ArabicNews.com 10/12/2001).
At the border crossing into Pakistan that is closest to Kandahar, refugees reported the strikes were escalating. Ekhtiar Mohammed, a brickworker who arrived in the border town of Chaman yesterday, said he had seen at least 10 people killed and 30 injured in Kandahar over the past four days.
Another arriving refugee said some bombs in recent days had been hitting populated areas.
“It's not true that the Americans have only been bombing military targets. Many of the bombs are dropping on residential neighbourhoods,” said Naseebullah Khan, who works at a factory near Kandahar’s airport, a repeated US target.
--AP (Star Online 10/12/2001).
Journalists who attempt to venture into Afghanistan do so at their own risk, as the Sunday Express reporter, Yvonne Ridley experienced recently. As a result, other than the official US and UK government standpoint, there are only journalists on the Pakistani-Afghanistan border or with the Northern Alliance in the north-east of the country to provide an independent view of the conflict - hardly providing a view from the front-line though. Those journalists with the Northern Alliance might provide us with the first live and close-up pictures of airstrikes if the Taliban’s front-line positions are bombed or the Northern Alliance’s push into Kabul - if it ever happens - however, the media strategy of Resuming Freedom is so in favour of the US and the UK, that a more comprehensive picture of the war as it is being fought will never be available. The full scale of the war, including the special forces operations deep inside Afghanistan, might not be provided for a very long time after the last bomb is dropped.
--Michael Fishpool (Intel Briefing 10/10/2001).
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House on Friday quickly approved anti-terrorist legislation pushed by the Senate and White House to increase the government's power to spy on, detain and punish suspected terrorists....
The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the legislation. ``Most Americans do not recognize that Congress has just passed a bill that would give the government expanded power to invade our privacy, imprison people without due process and punish dissent,'' said Laura Murphy, director of the the group's Washington office....
With the Senate gone for the weekend and no final resolution possible, Democrats argued that the House should wait until Monday before passing the 175-page bill so that members could read it....
With the government daily looking at new terrorist threats, however, Republicans argued there was no time to wait.
--(@NYT Online 10/12/2001).
The primary role in shaping a future government out of the squabbling factions of the Afghan resistance has been handed to a veteran mediator and United Nations trouble-shooter, Lakhdar Brahimi, diplomats here say.
From his exile home in Rome, Zahir Shah has already stirred up concern in Peshawar by proposing that a 120-man council be formed to help call a Loya Jirga or traditional grand assembly to elect a new leader.
--AFP (Times of India 10/13/2001).
The United Nations and Secretary General Kofi Annan were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today, an honor that Mr. Annan said he found humbling and encouraging but one that also "challenges us to do more and to do better, not to rest on our laurels."
Tony Blair encountered the first setback to his three-week whirlwind diplomatic mission when he was obliged to call off on Thursday a planned visit to Saudi Arabia in the wake of the bombing of Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Mr Blair himself conceded that the West was in danger of losing the propaganda battle for Arab and Muslim support. Speaking on board a British Airways jet as his whistle-stop diplomatic tour took him from the Gulf state of Oman to Egypt, Mr Blair said the only solution was for the Allies to put the case for their military campaign on Afghanistan more actively.
--Donald Macintyre (Independent 10/12/2001).
I see no evidence that bombing a country is good for women. And I see no evidence that a covert operation--such as further aid and arms for the Northern Alliance rebel factions--will be good for women either. Instead, I find plenty of evidence that the opposite is true.
--Nancy Welch (Socialist Worker 10/12/2001).
The most serious objections are, first, that by triggering large-scale refugee movements and interrupting food supplies, the war is turning an existing humanitarian crisis into a disaster, which will cause the deaths of many more than were slaughtered in the World Trade Centre, for no remotely proportional gain. Second, whatever success is achieved in killing or capturing Bin Laden and his supporters or forcing the Afghan theocrats from power, there is no reason to believe that that will stamp out anti-western terrorism, even by the al-Qaida networks, which operate across the world without assistance from their Taliban friends. In other words, it won't work. Finally, and most dangerously, the entire "crusade" in defence of civilisation, as Bush the younger so sensitively described his campaign, shows every sign of creating a political backlash throughout the Muslim world and spawning even more terrorist attacks, rather than curbing them.
--Seumas Milne (Guardian 10/11/2001).
''Certain information, while not specific as to target, gives the government the reason to believe that there may be additional terrorist attacks within the United States and against U.S. interests overseas over the next several days,'' the FBI said in its warning.
Some more facts. The WFP says that just to supply sufficient food for 400,000 people in northern Afghanistan would require about 1,800 Hercules cargo flights a month – a rate far in excess of even the military missions now being flown. And, again, there are now 7.5 million people needing aid.
--Dominic Nutt (Independent 10/11/2001).
Eighty-nine percent of the Palestinians surveyed by a West Bank university say they don't believe the United States is justified in attacking targets in Afghanistan as part of its anti-terrorism campaign....
Regarding the September 11th terror attacks against the United States, 64 percent of those surveyed say those attacks went against Islamic law.
The Canadian man was shot dead and his wife seriously wounded as they shopped (in Fahaheel) south of Kuwait City. An unidentified man got out of a car and opened fire. Several witnesses said they heard the gunman shout "God is Great" (Allahu Akbar).
But the attacks have continued. On Saturday, in Al Khobar, an American was killed and a Briton wounded in a bombing at a shopping centre. And yesterday, in Riyadh, two Germans narrowly escaped when a petrol bomb was thrown at their car by a man wearing Arab dress.
--Steve Boggan (Independent 10/12/2001).
"We would have liked to see an internationally-led (anti-terrorism) campaign," said Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, when asked about the US-led strikes.
--Arabic News (10/11/2001).
It's not a civil war, but it may be the beginning of a major Palestinian opposition movement against Arafat, including not only Hamas and Jihad Islami, but even many ordinary people who are not Islamists. Osama Bin Laden, in his videotaped appearance on Sunday, captured the hearts of the Palestinians in the way he expressed sympathy and solidarity with them. What happened in Gaza, and also in Nablus today where there was a peaceful march condemning the American raids on Afghanistan — this is an expression of anti-American feeling. The protests are occurring not simply because Bin Laden expressed those sentiments supporting the Palestinians, but also because the campaign against him is being waged by the United States of America, which is a big supporter of Israel. So these expressions of sympathy and solidarity with the Afghan people and Osama Bin Laden are another way of expressing anti-American feeling because of America's support for Israel.
--Jamil Hamad, Time.com (10/9/2001).
Today, the senior law enforcement official said that Mr. Ashcroft had set up "a structured prosecution team" to handle cases involving the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The decision is, in effect, a rebuff of Mary Jo White, the United States attorney in New York who operated during the Clinton administration as the country's pre-eminent prosecutor of terror cases and one of the government's most prominent leaders on antiterrorist efforts.
The Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have ordered agents across the country to curtail their investigation of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks so they can pursue leads that might prevent a second, possibly imminent, round of attacks, senior law enforcement officials said.
Following a conference call with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and Fox agreed they would not broadcast transmissions from bin Laden's al-Qaida group without first screening and possibly editing them.