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Thread: About Al Qaeda

  1. #26
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    Jan 2005
    Al-Qaida suspect 'confesses' to killing Pearl

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged No 3 in al-Qaida, confessed to personally beheading the kidnapped US journalist Daniel Pearl, according to an updated transcript of his appearance before a military tribunal issued today.
    "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan," Mr Mohammed is quoted as saying in the transcript of a military hearing at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, released by the Pentagon.

    The main part of the transcript from the unclassified section of the tribunal was released yesterday. According to that, Mr Mohammed confessed to being the mastermind behind the September 11 2001 attacks in the US, as well as carrying out or planning dozens of other plots.

    The section of the transcript about Pearl's killing was held back to allow time for the journalist's family to be notified, the Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

    Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter based in Pakistan, was kidnapped in January 2002 by a radical Islamic group which claimed he was a CIA spy. Pictures of a handcuffed Pearl with a gun held against his head were released, and he was murdered soon afterwards.

    The alleged confession was one of many made by Mr Mohammed to one of the secret tribunals being held for 14 detainees at Guantánamo.

    According to the 26-page document, he told the tribunal panel of three military officers and a government-selected representative on Saturday that he admitted responsibility for the September 11 strikes in the US, as well as a string of other attacks, including the bombing of a nightclub in Bali and an attempt to bring two American planes down using shoe bombs.

    "I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z. I was the operational director for Sheikh Usama [Osama] bin Laden for the organising, planning, follow-up and execution of the 9/11 operation," he allegedly confessed through his personal representative.

    The transcript said he also confessed to being a member of the al-Qaida council and the "military operational commander for all foreign operations". These included surveying the possible assassination of former US presidents, including Jimmy Carter, and planning to bomb suspension bridges in New York. In total, he allegedly confessed to being responsible for 31 separate attacks or planned attacks, including ones on Heathrow airport, Canary Wharf and Big Ben in London.

    It is not clear why Mr Mohammed would have wished to confess to such a wide-ranging number of attacks. The alleged confession is likely, however, to stiffen the resolve of the Bush administration in pursuing its controversial policy of putting the biggest cases of suspected terrorism through the closed military hearings.

    The procedures have come under intense criticism from human rights groups on the grounds that the defendants are not entitled to normal rights of legal representation, and the hearings are closed to public scrutiny.

    A separate transcript of another top al-Qaida suspect, Abi Faraj al-Libi, also released yesterday, contained a statement from him in which he refused to cooperate with the proceedings.

    "I have been held by the United States for over two years without any indication of how the judicial system is going to deal with my situation. It is my opinion the detainee is in a lose-lose situation," the transcript said.

    Mr Mohammed refused to take the oath before addressing the military tribunal, as he said that to do so would be to recognise the system. But he said that did not imply he intended to lie.

    He expressed sorrow for those who died on September 11: "When I said I'm not happy that 3,000 been killed in America, I feel sorry even. I don't like to kill children."

    But he accused the US of double standards, saying the country made an exception of the rule when it killed people in Iraq. "You said we have to do it. We don't like Saddam. But this is the way to deal with Saddam." His conclusion: "Same language you use, I use."

    The September 11 commission concluded that Mr Mohammed was "highly educated and equally comfortable in a government office or a terrorist safehouse".

    Mr Mohammed was arrested in Rawalpindi in March 2003 and detained and interrogated by both the FBI and CIA in secret locations.

    He is understood to have gone through torture, including "waterboarding", when the suspect being interrogated is strapped to a board and placed underwater. According to the New York Times, the use of harsh techniques was approved in his case by the justice department and the CIA.

    Mr Mohammed and the 13 other suspects were moved to Guantánamo last September.

    What Mr Mohammed told the tribunal:

    · I was member of al-Qaida council
    · I was director for planning and execution of 9/11, fr om A to Z
    · I was commander for foreign ops
    · I was directly in charge ... of cell for biological weapons, and follow-up on dirty bomb ops on American soil
    · I was responsible for shoe bomber operation to down two US planes
    · I was responsible for Bali bombing
    · I was responsible for second wave attacks after 9/11: California; Chicago; Washington; Empire State, NY
    · I was responsible for operations to destroy American vessels in the Hormuz, Gibraltar, and Singapore
    · I was responsible for planning operation to destroy Panama canal
    · I was responsible for planning assassination of ex-US presidents, including Carter and Clinton
    · I was responsible for planning operation to destroy Heathrow, Canary Wharf and Big Ben
    · I shared responsibility for assassination attempt on John Paul II in Philippines
    · I was responsible for operation to assassinate President Musharraf

  2. #27
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    Exclamation 7 Spanish tourists die in Yemen carbomb attack

    Police rolled out in force in Algeria's bomb-shaken capital Thursday, establishing highway checkpoints after suicide attacks claimed by al-Qaida killed 24 people, highlighting the menacing spread of Islamic militancy across North Africa.

    The reinforced surveillance was reminiscent of the height of Algeria's Islamic insurgency in the 1990s. Some 222 people were injured in Wednesday's attacks, and authorities said the death toll from the car bombings of the prime minister's office and a police station could rise.

    Meanwhile, Western countries reduced embassy services and urged their citizens to avoid traveling on predictable routes in the oil- and gas-rich country.

    Wednesday's bombings lent credence to fears that al-Qaida's new wing in North Africa — built on the foundations of a decade-old Algerian insurgency group fighting the nation's secular government — is coalescing into a deadly, possibly region-wide, threat.

    Al-Qaida, its regional arms or affiliates have not carried out such a deadly attack in non-insurgency areas since the Nov. 9, 2005, hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan, that killed 60 people, said Ben Venzke, head of the IntelCenter, a U.S. government contractor that monitors al-Qaida messaging.

    The group that claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attacks, al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, has carried out a series of recent bombings jeopardizing Algeria's tentative peace. The country, a staunch U.S. ally in the war against terror, has been trying to turn the page on a 15-year insurgency that killed 200,000 people.

    Algeria's neighbors have shown signs of an increase in terror activity. Courts in Tunisia, to the east, in recent months convicted at least two dozen suspects on terrorism-related charges — many said to be linked to the Algeria-based network. In January, at least 14 people were killed in Tunisia in clashes between Islamist extremists and security forces.

    In Morocco, to the west, three suspected terrorists blew themselves up and a fourth was shot and killed in a police raid Tuesday in the country's largest city, Casablanca.

    Moroccan Interior Minister Chakib Benmoussa said Wednesday that investigators have not established links between the Casablanca violence and that in Algeria, but "we don't rule it out."

    Until recently, Algeria's peace efforts seemed successful: Military crackdowns and amnesty offers had turned militants into a ragtag assembly of fighters in rural hideouts.

    Late last year, the main Algerian militant group, the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, known by the French acronym GSPC, changed its name to al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa and began targeting foreigners — signs the dwindling ranks of Islamic fighters were regrouping.

    Wednesday's attacks were the deadliest to hit the Algiers region since 2002, when a bomb in a market in a suburb killed 38 people and injured 80. The targeting of the premier's office was among the most brazen in Algerian history.

    The date of Wednesday's attacks, April 11, was potentially symbolic: Attacks on the 11th day of the month are a hallmark of al-Qaida and its admirers.

    Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem, who was not in his office during the attack, called the bombings a "cowardly, criminal terrorist act." Parts of six floors of the building housing his office and those of the Interior Ministry were ripped away, and iron gates outside were bent by the blast.

    The government did not name suspects. Al-Jazeera television reported receiving a call from a spokesman for al-Qaida's North Africa wing saying three suicide bombers in vehicles packed with explosives carried out the attacks.

    Witnesses said they saw a red car drive toward the prime minister's office, that police opened fire to try to stop it, and that the car exploded.

    Fayza Kebdi, a lawyer who works opposite the government building in Algiers, said the explosion blew her husband across the room.

    "We thought the years of terrorism were over," she said. "We thought that everything was back to normal. But now, the fear is coming back."

    Civil defense officials reported at least 12 people and 135 injured in the government building. And 12 others were killed and 87 wounded in the attack on the police station, which is on the road to Algiers' airport.

    Of the wounded, 57 were kept in hospitals Wednesday night, while the rest were treated and released, the Interior Ministry said.

  3. #28
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    A third suspected suicide bomber has blown himself up following a police chase in a Casablanca slum.

    Two other suspects died earlier after police surrounded their house. One was shot dead. The other detonated the belt he was wearing.

    Police say bombers have started wearing their belts at all times so they won't be caught alive.

    Last month, security forces claim to have foiled a plot to blow up foreign ships and hotels in Casablanca.

    More than 40 suspects were arrested, mainly in the city's poor slums, after the man thought to be their leader blew himself up in a cafe.

    Morroco has been on alert since 2003 when 13 suicide bombers killed themselves and 32 other people in central Casablanca to punish the country for supporting Washington in its "war on terror".

    Officials say they belonged to a home-grown terrorist network with links to al Qaeda.

  4. #29
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    CASABLANCA, Morocco (AP) – Police surrounded a building in Morocco’s largest city where four terrorism suspects were holed up Tuesday, forcing three of the men to flee and blow themselves up with explosives. The fourth was shot by police as he was apparently preparing to detonate his bomb.

    A police officer was killed in the operation and a young child was injured, officials said.

    The explosions in Casablanca, weeks after the bombing of an Internet cafe in the city, promised to further rattle the North African kingdom whose first high–profile brush with Islamic terrorism came in five suicide bombings in the city in May 2003.

    Moroccan authorities responded to those attacks, which left 45 people dead, with the arrest of thousands of alleged Islamic militants – some accused of working with al–Qaida to plot strikes in Morocco and abroad. At least two of those killed Tuesday were suspected of links to those attacks.

    The suspects were all allegedly connected to the March 11 bombing of the Internet cafe – an attack that killed the bomber, Abdelfettah Raydi, and four others.

    Tuesday’s violence started when police, acting on a tip, surrounded a four–story apartment building in the working–class Hay Farah neighborhood of Casablanca where the suspected terrorists were holed up, officials said.

    One of the suspects fled to the roof, where he blew himself up, said a police official on the scene who refused to give his name, saying he was not authorized to do so. Morocco’s official MAP news agency identified that bomber as Mohamed Rachidi.

    A second man appeared to be on the verge of detonating explosives, fumbling with his clothes, when a police sniper shot him, officials said. The suspect, who later died of his wounds, was identified by police as Mohamed Mentala. He was carrying nearly nine pounds of explosives, said an Interior Ministry official who also asked not to be named, citing ministry policy.

    Mentala and Rachidi had both been sought by police for alleged involvement in the 2003 suicide bombings, the Interior Ministry official said.

    The third suspect fled, then blew himself up hours later as police were searching for him, according to another officer at the scene, who also refused to give his name. He was identified as Ayyoub Raydi, the brother of the Internet cafe bomber, the Interior Ministry official said.

    The police officer was killed and another seriously injured when Ayyoub Raydi detonated his explosives, the official said. A 7–year–old boy was hospitalized with minor injuries.

    In the evening, the fourth suspect detonated his explosives in the middle of a boulevard, said a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. The official MAP news agency said the blast injured five people. It gave no details.

    Investigations into the March 11 cafe bombing led police to a wider suspected plot to attack the port in Casablanca, as well as police stations and tourist sites in Morocco. The group had amassed dozens of homemade explosives at a Casablanca apartment.

    In last month’s blast, Abdelfettah Raydi detonated his charge when the cybercafe’s owner caught him surfing jihadist Web sites. He was killed and four others were injured.

    Police have so far arrested 31 suspects in the terrorism probe. Abdelfettah Raydi and many other suspects were among some 2,000 arrested after the 2003 bombings, but were later released from prison under a royal pardon.

    Moroccan authorities have said they do not believe Abdelfettah Raydi’s group had links to international terrorist networks.

  5. #30
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    ALGIERS (Reuters) - Bombs killed 30 people in Algeria's capital on Wednesday, attacks claimed by al Qaeda that raised fears the north African oil exporter was slipping back into the intense political violence of the 1990s.

    One of the blasts, said by witnesses to be a suicide bomb, ripped part of the facade off the prime minister's headquarters in the centre of Algiers. A second bomb hit Bab Ezzouar on its eastern outs***ts, the official APS news agency said.

    The Al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the Algiers bombing in an Internet statement and said 45 people had been killed.

    The claim could not immediately be verified but the group, formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), has taken responsibility for a number of deadly attacks on security forces and foreigners in Algeria since January.

    Newspaper editor Mounir Boudjema said the prime minister's office was hit because it was Algeria's "World Trade Center" -- a prestige target such as the New York buildings hit in 2001.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned what he called the deplorable "terrorist" bombings in Algeria.

    Hospital sources put the toll from the two bombings at 30. APS put the toll at 24 dead with 222 wounded.

    Leila Aissaoui, 25, stood crying near the government palace.

    "I thought explosions in Algiers were over," she said. "I made a big mistake and I can't accept this."

    Algeria descended into violence in 1992 after the then military-backed authorities scrapped a parliamentary election which an Islamist political party was set to win. Up to 200,000 people were killed in the ensuing bloodshed.

    That violence subsided in recent years following amnesties for insurgents, but rumbles on in mountains east of Algiers.

    Residents said Wednesday was the first time since the 1990s that a powerful bomb had hit the centre of the Mediterranean city, where police had stepped up security following a rise in attacks by insurgents in the countryside.


    The blast at the prime minister's headquarters gouged a hole in the multi-story office block, shattering windows and showering rubble on to cars for blocks around.

    Algerians said it was the country's first suicide bombing.

    Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem, who has been campaigning for May 17 parliamentary elections, told state television the blasts were acts by terrorists.

    "They want a media effect and this could have an impact on the economy," he said. "They want to take Algeria back to years of sadness, but the people want peace and security."

    Crowds of men and women ran screaming and shouting from the scene in the minutes after the downtown blast, with residents saying they feared attackers were planning a second bomb there.

    Medics carried the bloodied and burned victims in their arms and on stretchers from the government palace.

    This is a disaster," said lawyer Tahar bin Taleb, 41. "This is international terrorism. It signals great danger ahead for southern Europe and north Africa."

    One Algerian analyst, Anis Rahmani, said the blasts appeared to be a reply to stepped-up attacks by the army on Islamist insurgents in the Bejaia region in mountains east of Algiers.

    Boudjema, who edits the daily Liberte, said: "Since they joined al Qaeda the rebels are clearly opting for symbolic and noisy targets such as the government palace, which is in a way our World Trade Center."

    French President Jacques Chirac, whose country ruled Algeria before independence in 1962, said the blasts were "terrible." Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations, described the blasts as barbaric.

  6. #31
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    Casablanca police arrest 5th cell member

    Moroccan police arrested the fifth member of a cell cornered by police in a Casablanca suburb earlier this week, a government official and a local resident said on Thursday.

    Both denied earlier reports that a bomb had exploded in Fida, a working class neighborhood of Casablanca.

    Three suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up on Tuesday following a raid in which a fourth suspect was shot dead, according to police sources.

    "There was no explosion. The police seem to have arrested the last of the terrorists whose house they raided on Tuesday," a local resident said by telephone. "It was about one kilometer from their safe house."

    Interior Minister Chakib Benmoussa said late on Wednesday he suspected three to four of them might still be on the run.

  7. #32
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    Two bombers attack U.S. targets in Morocco

    Two suicide bombers killed themselves in an attack on U.S. diplomatic offices in Morocco's commercial hub Casablanca on Saturday, the scene of three suicide blasts four days ago, witnesses said.

    "Only the two bombers were killed," a police source said of the mid-morning attack on the U.S. cultural center and the nearby U.S. consulate in an upscale district of the port city.

    Police later arrested three men, winning cheers from hundreds of onlookers angered by the blasts as officers pushed the three into a police car to be taken away for questioning.

    Witnesses said the first blast happened about six meters (yards) from the cultural center and the second went off about 60 meters away from the consulate.

    Police cordoned off the area and were hunting for a third man seen running from the scene who was suspected to also be rigged with explosives on the suicide mission, witnesses said.

    Police were checking reports a suspected fourth bomber was at large but there was no immediate confirmation.

    Mohammed Bouhassine, a witness to the consulate blast, said of the bomber: "His body was blown into four pieces. His head and hands fell into the courtyard of a bank building."

    Flesh fragments from the body of the bomber who attacked the cultural center were embedded in a nearby tree, witnesses said.

    A senior police source said the bombers clearly intended to attack the U.S. buildings, indicating they were the first targeted suicide bombings of a recent series in the city.

    On Tuesday three suicide bombers killed themselves in a poor neighborhood of Casablanca after police raided a safe house and shot dead a fourth bomber, setting off their explosives so as not to be taken alive by police who were on their tail.

    "There is no doubt they aimed at the U.S. targets. They made that statement with their own bodies," the source said of Saturday's explosions. He said the two could not get closer to the two buildings because of security fortifications.

    The government said the bombers were linked to a ring dismantled last month, which included suicide bombers who planned to blow up foreign ships docking at Casablanca's port and hotels in Morocco's main tourist cities.

    The Rabat government insists that bombers were "home-grown" militants with no links to international terror networks.

    However, analyst Miloud Belkadi said the targets of Saturday's bombings set them apart from those of Tuesday which were clearly detonated as a tactic to deny pursuing police.

    "The bombing today underscores links with al Qaeda strategy focusing on U.S. targets. They are different from the suicide bombers killing themselves in slums," he said.

    The killings of the suicide bombers followed bombings in neighboring Algeria this week where 33 people were killed in attacks claimed by an Islamist armed group known as the al Qaeda Organisation on the Islamic Maghreb.

  8. #33
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    Bombers seek "second Iraq" in Algeria: Islamist

    The founder of the group that claimed responsibility for last week's deadly Algiers bombings called on militants to put down their weapons under a government amnesty and stop trying to turn Algeria into a "second Iraq".

    Hassan Hattab made the comments in a letter to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika published on Monday by Echorouk daily after three bombs exploded in Algiers on Wednesday killing 33 people.

    He described the group that claimed responsibility for the bombings, which changed its name in January from the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) to al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, as "a small group that wants to transform Algeria into a second Iraq".

    "I call on the militants to give up the fight and join national reconciliation," said Hattab, also known as Abu Hamza.

    "We urge the President to reopen the national reconciliation file and extend its deadline. I can thump those seeking to take Algeria to its painful past," he added without elaborating.

    Hattab remains an influential figure among Islamist fighters even though the group he helped found is now headed by another man, Abdelmalek Droudkel, also known as Abu Musab Abdul Wadud.

    The explosions raised fears that the north African oil- and gas-exporting country might return to the intense political violence of the 1990s when tens of thousands of Islamist guerrillas fought the army to try to set up Islamic rule.
    Bouteflika offered an amnesty for Islamist rebels last year as part of a peace and reconciliation policy aimed at ending almost 15 years of political violence in Algeria.

    More than 2,000 rebels were freed from jail and dozens of fighters surrendered under the amnesty, which lasted from late February to late August 2006.

    Droudkel has rejected the amnesty offer and it is not known whether Hattab himself has officially accepted amnesty.

    But speculation Hattab had won some sort of accommodation with the government arose last year when he gave an interview in Algeria to the Asharq al-Awsat daily supporting the amnesty.

    Algeria plunged into conflict when militants unleashed a holy war or jihad after the army cancelled elections in 1992, which the radical Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was set to win.

    Authorities then feared an Iranian style revolution and up to 200,000 people were killed during the Islamic uprising.

    The GSPC was formed in 1998 when Hattab broke away from the Armed Islamic Group in protest at its massacres of civilians. He said the GSPC would focus its attacks on police and soldiers.


    The founders of the FIS, Abassi Madani and Ali Belhadj, also condemned the attacks. "Al Qaeda made a big mistake in using violence in a country in desperate need of a political solution," Madani, who lives in Qatar, was quoted as telling daily El Khabar, adding: "We can't stay silent."

    Belhadj said: "They were inadmissible acts that targeted innocent people."

    The FIS remains banned and a state of emergency imposed in 1992 remains in place.

    Overseas-based FIS leaders Rabah Kebir and Anwar Haddam also condemned the attacks. From Germany where he lives, Kebir said in a statement: "The acts were criminal and unjustified because they targeted the Algerian people and its institutions."

    Washington-based Haddam said: "You can't serve our people by killing innocent Algerians."

  9. #34
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    Taraneh Hemami: Most Wanted

    Walking up the stairs to the Intersection for the Arts gallery, potential spectators might be somewhat bewildered at the sight that greets them; coating the steps is a sheet of white felt, covered with ostensibly Persian names, in dispassionate block letters. Among the more obscure appellations, one can pick out “Saddam” and “Osama” almost instantly, as the eye’s natural tendency is to wander to what’s recognizable and fill it out with familiar meaning. In some ways, you can say that’s the very crux of Taraneh Hemami’s collection of installation work, "Most Wanted".

    It’s safe to note that rarely is contemporary Persian American art, so steeped in the contradictions inherent in our current epoch, fueled by meandering rages or creative chaos. Amid the hybrid realities of war and peace, insider and outsider, presence and anonymity, artists like Hemami slither gracefully across landscapes and concepts bruised by violence and nearly unnavigable cultural rifts. All the same, rarely is Hemami’s work exhortative or unduly preachy. She works in a framework as detailed as Persian miniatures, but spectators can sense a deadly calm settling over even the most hairsplitting commentary.

    Hemami’s work emerged from a poster she found on an official U.S. government website shortly after 9/11: a low-resolution image of the most wanted international terrorists. Strangely, no names were associated with the blurry faces, which gets to the very absurdity of the poster’s encouragement of fear-laden vigilantism on the part of “unmarked” Americans. While individual characteristics are impossible to discern in each of the faces, the collective shared features -- dark skin, facial hair, head scarves (over a third of the people presented are females) -- manifest in an unspoken incrimination of ANY of the individuals who could possibly fit the picture. This sort of lazy, distorted representation of Arabs and Persians -- sanctioned with a prima facie credibility -- is an apt pictorial trope for what has gradually become the very fabrication of what Hemami considers America’s “new enemy.”

    But spectators would be doing the art a grave injustice if they were to view it as a simple indictment of racial profiling, as Hemami intentionally confounds context and perception with the other elements of the show. For instance, the same names on the steps leading up to the gallery are scrawled in dirt across several gallery walls in Arabic script, which can be read from right to left in alphabetical order. As obviously foreign signifiers, they can be seen as pretty, exotic, and abstruse, decorative rather than intrinsically meaningful. Those who read Arabic might understand the names as elements of a quasi-memorial; artists and cultural critics might understand the graffiti’d screeds as a symbolic act of resistance, an act that is both anonymous and that names.

    Or, if you’re a staunch adherent of homeland security, the writing could very well be a terrorist manifesto. The point is that all of these options are viable, depending on who’s looking at them. The names and the Arabic script are simultaneously recognizable and unrecognizable, known and unknowable, and persistently shrouded in the veil of perception, which pays no heed to simple facts.

    Other examples of Hemami’s keen eye to perception include a hand-beaded curtain, which features expanded, heavily pixilated versions of the faces in the most wanted poster. The curtain itself is a schlocky curio -- the kind of harmless commodity one might find at a flea market. It’s an excellent example of how digitized packets of information are imbued with permeable meaning. It’s also, in a much larger way, suggestive of the indeterminacy of information available over the Internet, a nebulous realm in which data is constantly mutating, depending on what it’s fed into, and in which even our most passionately held beliefs fail the test of ultimate scrutiny.

    Hemami’s large-scale replicas of Iranian soldiers’ tombs accordingly frame her characters in opposing contexts. On the outside face of each structure (all of which are organized into a crescent-shaped assortment) is a luminous, fuzzy image of a face from the most wanted poster -- a Rorschach blot of amorphous light and color that is scarcely identifiable. But when you walk across, to the inside of the semi-circle, the digitized faces are covered in ornate Persian flower motifs. While the outside seems to denote imprisonment and exile, the inside is permeated with a hushed reverence, as if it stands as a testament to enshrined saints.

    The possibility of spiritual salvation flings open another trapdoor, leading to several interpretations. In the midst of anonymity and indictment, there is the possibility of exaltation and liberation—but this is undermined by the conflicting meta-narrative of relentless jihadists and Islam’s catastrophic potential, which even the most informed and progressive spectator can’t help but think of.

    The great thing about "Most Wanted" is that it needn’t strive to be educative. In fact, the power of the exhibition lies in the very lack of placards and art criticism, which would otherwise define the presented work and pinion it into some overarching, acutely stated context. But since the purpose of the exhibition is to make the spectator recognize, question, and challenge her own perceptions, there are no high-falutin’ instructions on HOW to look at the work. The gallery space, accordingly, is suffused with an impalpable sparseness, an almost antiseptic quality suggestive of the absence of meaning or value judgments. Such neutrality can be contrasted with the soiled, besmirched stairway of Persian names, an overtly sardonic signifier of the symbolic desecration of an entire group of people.

    Like life, there are no signposts leading spectators around the gallery or explaining to them what everything means. Hemami seems to be saying that any meaning we imbue the work with will understandably stem from the stereotypes and misrepresentations that are so deeply entrenched in our society. Hemami is no apathetic chronicler, but she is certainly aware that every interpretation we apply to her images will be somehow biased or distorted, and some of the fictions we will create around the images will have more sinister ramifications than others.

    After all, in an era in which an image is tantamount to an actual person, and a person is representative of an entire nation or abstract ideal, the notion of viewing politicized images neutrally is obsolete. But this is not an exhibition that is so clinical that it reduces the medley of names and blurry faces to nobodies. Rather, Hemami’s work is beautifully elegiac; if we remember history’s lessons, we can also begin to see that the “most wanted” encompass both the vilified and the innocent, the seen and unseen, those who are marginalized and at the same time made painfully aware of their otherness. They’re all of us.

  10. #35
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    عصبانيت القاعده عراق: مذاكرات ايران و آمريكا "شيطاني" است

    گروه القاعده عراق با انتشار بيانيه اي از مذاكرات اخير بين ايران و آمريكا انتقاد و آن را "مذاكرات شيطاني" خواند.

    به گزارش رويترز، گروه "حكومت اسلامي عراق" وابسته به شبكه تروريستي القاعده در اين بيانيه مدعي شد كه ايران خواهان دست كشيدن از برنامه هسته اي خود است تا به اين وسيله رضايت آمريكا براي تسلط بر عراق كه داراي يك دولت شيعي است را جلب كند.

    در بيانيه اين گروه كه بر روي شبكه اينترنت ارسال شده، آمده است: شيطان بزرگ (آمريكا) و متحدانش بعد از پايان پروژه جنگ هاي صليبي در كنار يكديگر مي نشينند و عليه سني هاي مسلمان توطئه مي كنند.

    به ادعاي گروه القاعده عراق، چانه زني ايران و آمريكا بر سر اين مساله است كه ايران از برنامه هسته اي خود دست كشيده و در ازاي آن واشنگتن نفوذ ايران در عراق را به رسميت بشناسد و در اين بين كشتن مردم سني مشروعيت پيدا كند!

    گفتني است گروه موسوم به "حكومت اسلامي عراق" كه تحت رهبري اعراب تندروي سني قرار دارد به عنوان شاخه القاعده در عراق شناخته مي شود.

    ايران و آمريكا روز دوشنبه اولين دور از مذاكرات خود درباره مسائل امنيتي عراق را در بغداد برگزار كردند.

  11. #36
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    ادعاي عجيب القاعده: انفجارهاي سامرا كار ايران بود

    گروه موسوم به "دولت اسلامي عراق" كه توسط سازمان القاعده شاخه عراق بنيان گذاشته شده در بيانيه اي مدعي شد كه انفجارهاي سامرا در توافقي ميان كابينه نوري المالكي نخست وزير عراق و دولت ايران درميان سكونت خائناني از اهل تسنن كه شب و روز در حال ديدار با مالكي و حكيم هستند، صورت گرفت.

    در همين حال ارتش آمريكا نيز اعلام كرد كه از روز چهارشنبه تاكنون 650 نظامي از ميان نيروهاي امنيتي عراق و مشاوران آمريكايي در نزديكي مرقد دو امام عسگري در شهر سامرا مستقر شده اند.

    همچنين "عبدالله الجبوري" معاون استاندار صلاح الدين عراق نيز سرويس هاي اطلاعاتي امنيتي ايراني را به دخالت در انفجارهاي سامرا متهم كرد و گفت:" نيروهاي امنيتي محلي، دلايلي را به دست آورده اند كه نشان مي دهد افراد مسلح وابسته به سازمان القاعده در سامرا با سرويس هاي اطلاعاتي و امنيتي ايران در ارتباط بوده اند. "

    وي اضافه كرد:" پيش از اين نيز اسناد، سلاح ها و مبالغ پول ايراني نيز در ميان اموال نيروهاي القاعده كشف كرده بوديم ، ارتباطات و تماس ها و ديدارهايي ميان سران القاعده و افسران ايراني در داخل و خارج از عراق صورت مي گيرد.

  12. #37
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    U.S. Army Begins Offensive Against Al-Qaeda in Iraq

    The U.S. military, bolstered by troop reinforcements in Iraq, began an air and ground offensive today against al-Qaeda insurgents northeast of Baghdad.

    The operation, codenamed ``Arrowhead Ripper,'' began with nighttime air strikes in Baquba and continued as ground forces, backed by helicopters, killed about 22 insurgents in and around the city. About 10,000 soldiers are taking part in the offensive, the military said by e-mail.

    ``The end state is to destroy al-Qaeda influences in this province and eliminate their threat against the people,'' Brigadier General Mick Bednarek said in the statement.

    Five additional U.S. brigades, or about 30,000 soldiers, have deployed to Iraq since the start of the year in an attempt to crack down on sectarian violence and attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces, taking the total number of U.S. military personnel in the country to about 150,000. The reinforcements have allowed the military to expand anti-terrorist operations around the capital.

    About 1,200 soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division pushed into Baghdad's southeastern Arab Jabour district at the weekend in an operation codenamed ``Marne Torch'' to stop terrorists moving bomb-making equipment into the capital, the military said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

    Fighter jets dropped four ``precision-guided bombs'' on June 16 to support the operation, named after a U.S.-British offensive in North Africa in World War II.

    Supply Lines

    U.S. troops in Baghdad are also increasing operations northwest of the city to cut terrorists' supply lines from Ramadi, the capital of al-Anbar province, Associated Press said.

    ``Now that the entirety of the five combat brigades as part of the `surge' are here, we can implement the counterinsurgency strategy as it was designed,'' said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver by e-mail from Baghdad. ``We have forces in the belts around Baghdad and Baghdad proper in order to find the insurgents, terrorists and extremists and capture or kill them.''

    The operation in Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, is in its ``opening stages'' and involves the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, according to the statement.

    Al-Qaeda militants have conducted public executions in Baquba's main square and sought to enforce Islamic law, AP reported. A new U.S. operations center in Diyala province will try to coordinate police and army operations, help Iraqi ministries provide services and ``build the trust and confidence of the people in the provincial government,'' Bednarek said.

    Neighboring Iran

    In southeastern Maysan province, coalition forces yesterday targeted a terrorist cell bringing armor-piercing bombs and fighters across the border from Iran, the military said in an e- mailed statement.

    At least 20 insurgents were killed when troops called in air support during fighting in the cities of Amarah and Majjar al-Kabir, according to the statement.

    The number of U.S. military deaths has risen every month since intensified security operations in and around Baghdad began in February. More than 500 U.S. service members have died in Iraq this year, bringing the total since the 2003 invasion to 3,517, including 2,888 who were killed in action. More than 25,000 have been wounded, 11,667 of them so seriously that they couldn't return to duty, according to the Department of Defense Web site.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the Security Council last week that the U.S. security surge is failing and that the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad has become too dangerous for UN workers.

  13. #38
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    7 Spanish tourists die in Yemen carbomb attack

    Seven Spanish tourists died on Monday, and six more Spaniards were injured, due to carbomb attack in Yemen, Spain's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    The attack took place at about 6:00 p.m. local time (1500 GMT) in Marib, some 190 km from Sanaa, Yemen's capital. The victims were part of a group of 14 Spaniards who were touring the area.

    The tourists were part of a convoy of 20 all-terrain vehicles, which was around 100 meters from the landmark 3,000-year-old Mahram Belques Temple, building during the rule of the legendary Queen of Sheba.

    The injured were transferred to a hospital in Mareb. No one hasyet taken responsibility for the attack.

    A Yemen Interior Ministry official told reporters that, "preliminary information indicates that Al Qaida is behind this cowardly attack".

    He said that the attack had also killed two Yemenis who worked as chauffeurs and tour guides, and injured two other Yemenis.

    The Al Qaida group in Yemen had recently issued a statement, demanding the release of fighters from Yemeni jails and threatening to carry out attacks if demands are not met.

  14. #39
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    A suicide bomber ploughed his car into a group of Spanish tourists on Monday outside a temple in Yemen, killing 10 people. The attack comes less than two weeks after the US Embassy in Yemen warned Americans to avoid the area.

    Seven Spanish tourists and three Yemenis, including the suicide bomber, were killed in the attack. It happened at the three-thousand-year-old Queen of Sheba temple in the central province of Marib.

    Several others were wounded.

    People nearby witnessed the car drive into the group of tourists on a road outside the temple site.

    Police say they received information last month about a possible attack, but did not elaborate.

    In April, the Spanish government advised travellers there was a risk of terrorists action and some tribes kidnap of foreigners to win favor with the government.

    There were no immediate claims of responsibility, but authorities link the suicide bomber to al-Qaida.

    The area, which is home to four powerful tribes with more than 70 branches, has been known to be a hotbed of support for al-Qaida.

    About 100 foreigners have been kidnapped in this area since the 1990s.

  15. #40
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    Yemen said seven Spanish tourists and two Yemenis were killed in a suspected al Qaeda suicide car bomb attack on their convoy in the province of Marib on Monday.

    Six Spanish tourists were wounded in the attack and were taken to hospitals in Sanaa and Marib, about 95 miles east of the capital, the official Saba news agency quoted an Interior Ministry source as saying.

    "Preliminary information indicates that al Qaeda is behind this cowardly terrorist attack," the source said.

    The bomber targeted the tourists after their vehicles left a temple in Marib at about 5:30 p.m. (10:30 EDT), the source said.

    Two of their Yemeni drivers and tourist guides were killed and two were wounded.

    "The security bodies will spare no effort to track down the terrorist elements behind this criminal act and present them to justice for a deterring punishment," the source said.

    Security sources told Reuters earlier the attack followed an al Qaeda statement last week demanding the release of some of its members jailed in Yemen and warned of unspecified actions.

    Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said the tourists were accompanied by Yemeni security personnel when the suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into their convoy as they left the Queen of Sheba Temple.

    "The convoy they were traveling in was made up of four vehicles with Yemeni security ahead of and behind them," he told reporters.
    A suicide car drove into the two central vehicles causing the death of seven tourists and injuring another six, one of them seriously."


    Residents said body parts were strewn around the charred and damaged vehicles used by the Spaniards. One resident said the blast was very strong and had been heard miles away.

    Security measures around foreign interests and tourist sites were intensified after the attack, one security source said. Another said the bomber might be one of 13 convicted al Qaeda members who escaped from prison in 2006.

    Yemen is the ancestral home of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. It joined the U.S.-led war on terrorism launched after the September 11 attacks on the United States and has been battling Islamic militants for years.

    The security sources said al Qaeda also demanded that Sanaa reconsider its cooperation with Washington.

    In March a French student and a Yemeni man were killed and another Frenchman was wounded when Shi'ite rebels attacked an Islamic college in a volatile area in northern Yemen. The rebels are not linked to al Qaeda.

    Yemen foiled two suicide attacks on oil and gas installations in 2006, days after al Qaeda urged Muslims to target Western interests, especially oil installations.

    Al Qaeda's wing in Yemen claimed responsibility for the foiled attacks and vowed more strikes.

    In 2002 militants bombed the French oil supertanker Limburg off Yemen's coast. In 2000, a suicide attack on the U.S. warship Cole killed 17 U.S. sailors.
    Yemen, on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, has been widely seen in the West as a haven for Muslim militants, including al Qaeda supporters.

    Scores of tourists and foreigners working in Yemen have been kidnapped over the last decade by tribesmen demanding better schools, roads and services, or the release of jailed relatives.

    Most hostages were released unharmed, but in 2000 a Norwegian diplomat was killed in crossfire and in 1998 four Westerners were killed during a botched army attempt to free them from Islamic militants who had seized 16 tourists.

  16. #41
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    قتل جهانگردان اسپانیایی در انفجار یمن

    تاکنون کسی مسئولیت این حمله در معبد کهن در یمن را بر عهده نگرفته است
    یک بمبگذار انتحاری در یمن اتومبیلی پر از مواد منفجره را به یک کاروان جهانگردان کوبیده و باعث مرگ حداقل 9 نفر شده است.
    مقامات یمنی می گویند دست کم هفت گردشگر اسپانیایی و دو یمنی در این انفجار در معبد "ملکه شبا" در استان مارب کشته شده اند.

    در حدود هفت نفر دیگر در این حمله که وزارت خارجه اسپانیا آن را به شدت محکوم کرد زخمی شده اند.

    یمن در سال های اخیر با نا آرامی فزاینده که دولت این کشور اغلب به عاملان القاعده نسبت می دهد روبرو بوده است.

    خبرگزاری دولتی یمن به نقل از یک مقام وزارت کشور نوشت که حمله ظاهرا توسط القاعده انجام شده است.

    این مقام به خبرگزاری صبا گفت: "اطلاعات اولیه حاکی از دخالت سازمان القاعده در این حمله بزدلانه است."

    شاهدان عینی گفتند خورویی را دیده اند که پیش از انفجار به دروازه معبد بلقیس داخل شده و سپس راننده اش آن را به جمع خودروهای جهانگردان کوبیده است.

    ظاهرا کشته شدگان اسپانیایی از یک گروه چهارده نفره از جهانگردان اسپانیایی بوده اند که از این معبد در 170 کیلومتری شرق صنعا، پایتخت، بازدید می کردند.

    شاهدان گفتند که انفجار در حدود ساعت شش بعد از ظهر دوشنبه زمانی که سیر و سیاحت بازدید کنندگان در این معبد سه هزار ساله رو به اتمام بود روی داد.

    نیروهای امنیتی یمن در سال های اخیر با کمک نیروهای ويژه آمریکایی در جیبوتی، در شاخ آفریقا، سرگرم نبرد با پیکارجویان اسلامگرا بوده اند.

    القاعده از دولت یمن خواسته است شبه نظامیان زندانی در این کشور را آزاد کند.

  17. #42
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    Iraq al-Qaida group threatens Iran

    CAIRO, Egypt - The leader of an al-Qaida umbrella group in Iraq threatened to wage war against Iran unless it stops supporting Shiites in Iraq within two months, according to an audiotape released Sunday.

    Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who leads the group Islamic State in Iraq, said his Sunni fighters have been preparing for four years to wage a battle against Shiite-dominated Iran.

    "We are giving the Persians, and especially the rulers of Iran, a two month period to end all kinds of support for the Iraqi Shiite government and to stop direct and indirect intervention ... otherwise a severe war is waiting for you," he said in the 50-minute audiotape. The tape, which could not be independently verified, was posted on a Web site commonly used by insurgent groups.

    Iraq's Shiite-led government is backed by the U.S. but closely allied to Iran. The United States accuses Iran of arming and financing Shiite militias in Iraq — charges Tehran denies.

    In the recording, al-Baghdadi also gave Sunnis and Arab countries doing business in Iran or with Iranians a two-month deadline to cease their ties.

    "We advise and warn every Sunni businessman inside Iran or in Arab countries especially in the Gulf not to take partnership with any Shiite Iranian businessman — this is part of the two-month period," he said.

    Al-Baghdadi said his group was responsible for two suicide truck bomb attacks in May in Iraq's northern Kurdish region. He said the attacks in Irbil and Makhmur showed the "Islamic jihad," or holy war, was progressing in the Kurdish areas.

    At least 14 people were killed when a suicide truck bomb struck a government building in Irbil, Kurdistan's capital, on May 9. Four days later in Makhmur, another suicide truck bomb tore through the offices of a Kurdish political party, killing 50 people.

    In the recording, the Islamic State of Iraq leader did not mention Saturday's deadly truck bomb in Armili, a Shiite town north of Baghdad, which killed more than 100 people. The attack was among the deadliest this year in Iraq and reinforced suspicions that al-Qaida extremists were moving north to less protected regions beyond the U.S. security crackdown in Baghdad.

    Al-Baghdadi criticized Kurdish leaders for their alliance with Shiites in Iraq's government and accused them encouraging unsavory morals.

    "The leaders of apostasy ... have impeded the march of Islam in Muslim Kurdistan and helped communism and secularism to spread. ... They insulted the religious scholars ... encouraged vices and women without veils," he said.

  18. #43
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    ابوعمر البغدادی، رهبر یک گروه مرتبط با القاعده در عراق، با انتشار یک پیام صوتی، جمهوری اسلامی ایران را تهدید کرد که اگرتا دو ماه، حمایت خود را از دولت شیعه عراق قطع نکند، علیه ایران وارد جنگ خواهد شد.
    البغدادی که خود را رهبر "دولت اسلامی عراق" می* نامد، فاش کرد که جنگجویان القاعده از چهار سال پیش خود را برای جنگ با ایران آماده می *کنند.

    اعتبار این نوار صوتی تا کنون از سوی منابع مستقل تایید نشده است، اما اگر آنچه در این نوار گفته شده، واقعا مربوط به رهبر گروه وابسته به القاعده در عراق باشد، آن را باید تحولی مهم در نوع برخورد القاعده با کشورهای خاورمیانه دانست.

    القاعده، شبکه *ای از نیروهای افراطی در سراسر جهان اسلام است که در جریان حمله به برج* های دوقلوی سازمان تجارت جهانی در نیویورک در سال ۲۰۰۱ شهرت جهانی کسب کرد.

    نوع تشکیلات، سازماندهی، منابع مالی و تسلیحاتی و ارتباط زیر مجموعه های شبکه القاعده تا کنون همچنان اسرارآمیز مانده است، اما این گروه مسئولیت بسیاری از حملات تروریستی در سرتاسر جهان را به عهده گرفته است.

    از سال ۲۰۰۳ میلادی که ارتش آمریکا دولت صدام حسین را سرنگون کرده، عراق به محل تمرکز نیروهای القاعده تبدیل شده است.

    هدف القاعده در عراق، بیرون راندن نظامیان آمریکایی از عراق و ساقط کردن دولت تحت رهبری نوری المالکی، نخست وزیر شیعه آن کشور است تا بتواند حکومتی مشابه حکومت ساقط شده طالبان در افغانستان، در عراق تاسیس کند.

    گروه القاعده از زمان شروع فعالیت های گسترده خود تا کنون – به جز مورد بمب *گذاری در حرم امام رضا در مشهد که برخی منابع آن را به القاعده نسبت داده اند – در داخل ایران عملیات تروریستی انجام نداده است.

    با وجود تضاد عقیدتی شدید القاعده با جمهوری اسلامی، به نظر می *رسد که اختلافات عمیق دو طرف با آمریکا سبب شده است که القاعده از انجام عملیات در داخل خاک ایران خودداری کند.

    با این حال، رابطه ایران و القاعده همواره محل بحث محافل امنیتی و رسانه*ای جهان بوده است. مقام*های امنیتی کشورهای غربی و بخصوص آمریکا، بارها ایران را به پناه دادن به نیروهای القاعده متهم کرده *اند، اتهامی که در سال *های اخیر کمتر مورد تاکید قرار گرفته است.

    پس از جنگ آمریکا علیه طالبان در افغانستان، مقام* های آمریکایی مدعی شدند که بسیاری از سران القاعده به ایران فرار کرده و توسط جمهوری اسلامی مورد حمایت قرار گرفته *اند.

    ایران و القاعده
    رابطه ایران و القاعده همواره محل بحث محافل امنیتی و رسانه*ای جهان بوده است. مقام*های امنیتی کشورهای غربی و بخصوص آمریکا، بارها ایران را به پناه دادن به نیروهای القاعده متهم کرده *اند، اتهامی که در سال *های اخیر کمتر مورد تاکید قرار گرفته است

    مقام*های ایرانی هرگونه پناه دادن به افراد القاعده را به شدت رد کردند، اما فرار آنها به ایران و دستگیری شماری از مهره های مهم آنها را مورد تایید قرار دادند.

    استرداد سران دستگیر شده القاعده در ایران که گفته می *شد سعد بن لادن، فرزند اسامه بن لادن رهبر القاعده نیز در بین آنها است، برای مدتی به صورت مساله *ای مناقشه *انگیز بین ایران و آمریکا در آمد، اما به تدریج فراموش شد.

    ظاهرا مقام های آمریکایی به این نتیجه رسیدند که برخی سران القاعده در ایران تحت کنترل هستند و اجازه انجام عملیات علیه آمریکا و متحدانش را ندارند، از همین رو، از پیگیری استرداد آنها به کشورهایشان منصرف شدند.

    به هر حال آنچه تاکنون بین ایران و القاعده جریان داشته، نوعی ترک مخاصمه اعلام نشده بین دو طرف بوده، ولی اینک یکی از رهبران وابسته به القاعده در عراق، به تهدید علنی ایران برخاسته است.

    اگر تهدید ابوعمر البغدادی علیه ایران واقعی باشد، مشخص نیست که این تهدید تا چه اندازه مورد حمایت سایر شاخه* های القاعده بخصوص رهبری آن از جمله ایمن الظواهری معاون اسامه بن لادن باشد.

    پیش از این، محافل امنیتی آمریکا گزارش *هایی را در باره مخالفت ایمن ظواهری با عملیات ضد شیعی شاخه القاعده در عراق در زمان حیات ابومصعب الزرقاوی منتشر کرده بودند.

    هر چند که تعیین میزان صحت این نوع گزارش* ها ممکن نیست، اما به نظر می *رسد که افرادی مانند ظواهری به خلاف همتایان خود در عراق، علاقه چندانی به برافروختن جنگ فرقه*ای در جهان اسلام ندارند و ترجیح می* دهند که عمده نیروی خود را صرف مبارزه با آمریکا و متحدان آن در سراسر جهان کنند.

    شاخه القاعده در عراق اما شیعیان را به طور خاص، یکی از اهداف اصلی خود معرفی کرده و بویژه احزاب شیعه در عراق را متحد آمریکا و هدفی مشروع برای قتل عام می *داند.

    تهدید ایران از سوی القاعده
    آنچه تاکنون بین ایران و القاعده جریان داشته، نوعی ترک مخاصمه اعلام نشده بین دو طرف بوده، ولی اینک یکی از رهبران وابسته به القاعده در عراق، به تهدید علنی ایران برخاسته است

    با این حال، اینکه چرا رهبر گروه وابسته به القاعده در عراق در شرایط کنونی به تهدید ایران پرداخته است، به راحتی قابل فهم نیست.

    شاید ابوعمر البغدادی بر این تصور است که ارتش آمریکا به دلیل فشارهای کنگره بر دولت جرج بوش به زودی از عراق عقب می *نشیند و در آن صورت، ایران به عنوان مهمترین حامی دولت شیعه مالکی مانع تسلط القاعده بر عراق خواهد شد.

    شاید هم مساله بسیار پیچیده *تر از این باشد و به بازی*های پشت پرده امنیتی اعراب، غرب و ایران ارتباط پیدا کند، بازی *هایی که به دلیل ماهیت پنهان و اسرارآمیز آن، از صورت ظاهر و علنی نمی توان به واقعیتش دست یافت.

    با این حال، مساله اصلی این است که شاخه القاعده در عراق تا چه اندازه می*تواند تهدید خود علیه ایران را عملی کند؟

    به نظر می *رسد القاعده عراق در انجام عملیات انتحاری علیه اهداف غیر نظامی، بی *رحمی خاصی دارد، اما سازمان *های اطلاعاتی ایران نیز در کشف و خنثی سازی عملیات پنهان نظامی بی *تجربه نیستند.

    با این حال، رویارویی علنی ایران و القاعده، بازی خاورمیانه را بیش از پیش پیچیده و بغرنج می *کند.

  19. #44
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    The terrorists of the very late-20th century were quite different from their predecessors among, say, the Irgun, the Zionist group led by Menachim Begin in the 1940s, or its mirror image, the Palestine Liberation Organization, led by Yasir Arafat from the 1960s until his death in 2004. Both of these groups targeted civilians in the hope of removing them and their armed representatives from territory they claimed as their ancestral homeland. Even so, neither would have considered, let alone undertaken, the annihilation of an entire city by means of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. The new terrorist movements of the very late-20th century did consider such a project. That is the big difference between, say, the Irish Republican Army and al Qaeda—the latter, for example, killed almost as many innocent civilians in one day, September 11, 2001, as the IRA had in thirty years of trying.

    Philip Bobbitt, the most important contemporary analyst of terrorism, illustrates the difference with a hypothetical scenario comparing the IRA, the PLO, and al Qaeda. “Fearing popular revulsion, international disapproval, local repression, and threats to their own cohesion, and facing active dissuasion by those states that monopolized WMD even when they were willing to arm terrorists with other weapons, [the IRA and the PLO] turned away from such acquisitions If someone had said to either Gerry Adams or Yasir Arafat, ‘I can get you a ten-kiloton nuclear weapon,’ one can imagine the reaction. A cautious gasp, a quick turning away—reflecting the apprehension that one has met an agent provocateur. But suppose such an offer were made to bin Laden? He would say, ‘What will it cost?’ ”

    The difference of scale between the old and the new terrorism is often explained by the ideological cohesion of the latter—the order-of-magnitude increase in the carnage caused by terrorist groups is an index of their religious intensity, many analysts say. They typically go on to say that this intensity magnifies an anti-Western, post-liberal attitude toward the evidence of modernity. The special contribution of al Qaeda, in these terms, has been its graft of a renewed Islamic doctrine, on the one hand, and a variety of political grievances already forged by Muslims’ resistance to western imperialism—by Afghans, Iranians, Lebanese, and Palestinians—on the other.

    Western observers often complain that Muslims never experienced a Reformation akin to the European upheaval that produced a separation of church and state, and so allowed the emergence of political movements that required no religious support or justification. What these observers forget is that neither Luther nor Calvin, the Reformation’s founding fathers, favored such a separation: the statutory distance between the sacred and the secular took three centuries to establish, and its measurement still changes as the result of political debate and judicial review. The intellectual renewal of Islam in the late-20th century through the restatement and revision of original texts—particularly but not only the Koran—has, in fact, amounted to a reformation, but, like the Christian precursor, it reinstates the refusal of a separation between holy writ and statutory law. Its inventors have insisted that the rules and prohibitions we can derive from the Koran (and of course from its acknowledged antecedents in the Old and New Testament) are sufficient to the demands of modern governance.

    Now we may ridicule this position as an anti-modern deviation from the secular example of the West. We may want, accordingly, to prescribe more economic development as the treatment needed to wake these backward fundamentalists from their benighted dream of a global Caliphate ruled from Mecca. But look more closely. There is nothing notably anti-modern about either the religious fervor that would reintegrate the sacred and the secular—transcendent truth and mundane reality—or the political opposition to the liberal distinction between state and society. Indeed all the successful revolutionary movements of the 20th century, which occasionally used terrorism as an adjunct to their guerilla wars, tried to dismantle this liberal distinction, on the grounds that it no longer made a difference. These movements, from fascism to communism, were uniformly anti-capitalist and anti-liberal, but they were also committed to the most strenuous versions of industrialized modernity. So we can say that the intellectual renewal of Islam carried out by the spiritual leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s (among them, Sayyid Qutb) and appropriated by al Qaeda in the 1990s does urge the erasure of the liberal distinction between state and society; but we should not conclude—as do Paul Berman from the Left and Norman Podhoretz from the Right—that this urge is the symptom of a nihilist sensibility which requires the obliteration of western civilization.

    If we do reach that conclusion, we will continue to mistake a post-liberal doctrine for an anti-modern ideology, and we will, as a result, continue to ignore the specific political grievances al Qaeda files on behalf of Muslims everywhere. We will continue, accordingly, to say that “they [the terrorists] hate us not because of what we do, but for the way we live,” or that they are the moral equivalent of the Nazis. President Bush put it this way nine days after the towers fell: “They’re the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism, and totalitarianism.” Thus we will understand that there can be no political discussion or compromise with such brutes—we will realize that we must wage a borderless, endless “war on terror,” with all that implies for the militarization of US foreign policy as such.

  20. #45
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Bush and the liberal intellectuals who gathered under the banner of a “war on terror” were emphatic in claiming that the enemy has no political agenda except a “cult of death and irrationality” which somehow entails the end of the world as we know it. Here is Bush on October 6, 2005: “In fact, we’re not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed [sic] and addressed. We’re facing a radical ideology with unalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world. No act of ours invited the rage of the killers—and no concession, bribe or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder.” Here is Berman at an even more delirious, and incomprehensible, pitch of prophetic dread, in Terror and Liberalism (2003): “The successes of the Islamist revolution were going to take place on the plane of the dead, or nowhere. Lived experience pronounced that sentence on the Islamist revolution—the lived experience of Europe, where each of the totalitarian movements [fascism and communism] proposed a total renovation of life, and each was driven to create the total renovation in death.”

    But in fact, al Qaeda, like every other terrorist movement before it, has a legible political agenda that flows directly from its specific grievances against the West—especially against the US, the exemplar of western, liberal, imperialist capitalism. To be sure, this agenda is often animated by the religious vernacular that shapes public discourse in Muslim countries; but in essence it is a set of political goals which has little room for the imagery of Armageddon. Osama bin Laden insisted in 2003, for example, that the American way of life was neither his.personal concern nor the object of Islamic jihad: “their leader, who is a fool whom all obey, was claiming that we were jealous of their way of life, while the truth—which the Pharaoh of our generation conceals—is that we strike at them because of the way they oppress us in the Muslim world, especially in Palestine and Iraq.” Before and after the US invasion of Iraq, moreover, he consistently listed three examples of such “oppression”: the American military presence in the Arabian Peninsula; the US-sponsored economic sanctions imposed by the UN on Iraq after the first Gulf War (which, according to a UNICEF report, killed 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five between 1991 and 1998 ) ; and the unwavering American support for Israel during its ill-fated invasion of Lebanon and during its ongoing settlement of Palestinian territory.

    Now we may say that each of these three strategic positions was, or is, an important element in the national security of the United States, and with it the global order over which it presides. But in doing so, we must understand that none is a permanent or even long-standing fixture of US foreign policy—for all date from the very late 20th century (the consummation and militarization of the US-Israel relation, for example, dates from Reagan’s second term). We must also understand that each was, and is, a matter of choice by policy-makers; alternatives to all three positions were, and are, presumably available, especially in view of the Soviet Union’s defeat in Afghanistan and its subsequent dissolution, both of which reduced Russian power in the Middle East. Finally, we must understand that the adoption of alternatives to these strategic positions does not entail any disruption in the American way of life.

    So, regardless of what we think about, say, Israel’s treatment of Palestinian claims—whether we think it is just or unjust—we can acknowledge that what we do (and support) in the Muslim precincts of the Middle East is far more significant than the way we live in North America. By the same token, we can acknowledge that what we do in that world elsewhere is subject to reconsideration and revision. Once we have made these acknowledgments, we can see that our approach to al Qaeda and related threats need not take the form of a borderless, endless “war on terror.” We can see that this approach might well take the form of diplomacy, perhaps even changes in US strategic positions. At least we can conclude that the militarization of American foreign policy is not the inevitable result of the terrorist threat to peaceful economic development on a global scale.

    To boil this conclusion down to its essentials, let us ask an impertinent question. What if it had informed the US response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? What if the story told soon after 9/11 had portrayed these men as rationally using the principal weapon of the weak in seeking to redress specific political grievances and to change recent American foreign policy? Clearly, war would not have been the only actionable answer, the only conceivable consequence. Changes in the relevant strategic positions would not necessarily have been the appropriate response, either. But we would have known that the American way of life was not at stake in responding to the attacks of 9/11, that maintaining the distinction between law and strategy was necessary, and that bargaining with the enemy was therefore possible. The consequence of this narrative, this knowledge, would be a very different world than the one we now inhabit; at any rate we can be sure that it would not be on a permanent war footing, and that the Middle East would not still be the site of desperate armed struggle.

    But it is notoriously difficult to prove a negative—that is why historians are not supposed to ask “what if” questions. Fortunately, there is another way to prove that, if our purpose is to explain, address, and contain the new terrorism, war is not the answer. It takes us to Iraq in the fourth year of the American-led invasion, when the so-called surge placed 30,000 additional troops in Baghdad. On the face of it the “surge” of 2007 was a military solution to a military problem, the lack of security. And on the face of it, the “surge” worked by reducing violence and improving security. In these terms, war was the answer to the rise of terrorist movements of resistance in Iraq, particularly Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. But in fact, the so-called surge did not work as a military solution. It worked instead as a counter-terrorist strategy that acknowledged the primacy, and the legitimacy, of specific political grievances (most of which pertained to perceived inequities of proportionate power within postwar Iraq), and that accorded Iran significant influence over Shi’ite militias in Baghdad.

    In sum, a war of position worked where a war of maneuver had failed. Or rather, war as such was not the answer in stabilizing Iraq, or, in a larger sense, when fighting terrorism. The militarization of US foreign policy is not, then, the inevitable result of containing the new terrorism.

  21. #46
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    بیت*الله محسود، رهبر طالبان در پاکستان، روز شنبه مسئولیت حمله به مرکز مهاجران در ایالت نیویورک آمریکا را که ۱۳ کشته به جای گذاشت، پذیرفته است.

    روز جمعه فردی ۴۲ ساله و مسلح «با ظاهر آسیایی*ها» به «انجمن مدنی آمریکا» در شهر بینگامتون در ایالت نیویورک حمله کرد و پس از کشتن عده*ای از حاضران در این مرکز، به گفته مقامات این شهر، جان خود را نیز گرفت.

    «گروگان*گيری در ايالت نيويورک سیزده کشته برجای گذاشت» در پی این واقعه بیت*الله محسود در گفت*وگویی تلفنی از مکانی نامعلوم با رویترز گفت: «من مسئولیت [این واقعه را] می*پذیرم. من در واکنش به حملات ایالات متحده به مردانم دستور دادم.»

    اشاره این رهبر طالبان به حملات موشکی آمریکا با هواپیماهای بدون سرنشین به خاک پاکستان و به *ویژه منطقه وزیرستان است که از سال گذشته تاکنون بیش از ۳۰ بار اتفاق افتاده و جان ۳۵۰ شبه*نظامی طالبان از جمله چند عضو میانه القاعده و عده*ای غیرنظامی را نیز گرفته است.

    مقامات آمریکا هنوز واکنشی به این ادعای رهبر طالبان نشان نداده*اند و یک تحلیل*گر امنیتی پاکستان هم در گفت*وگو با خبرگزاری رویترز ادعای او را «سوء*استفاده تبلیغاتی» دانسته است.

    گروگان*گیری دست*کم ۴۰ نفر و تیراندازی در مرکز مهاجرت آمریکا در بینگامتون ساعت ده و نیم صبح روز جمعه آغاز شد.

    هنوز هویت فرد مسئول این حمله مشخص نیست، اما موریس هینچی، نماینده منطقه*ای که شهر بینگامتون را نیز شامل می*شود، به روزنامه نیویورک تایمز گفته است که بر اساس شواهد و قرائن فرد مسلح مهاجری ویتنامی بوده است.

    بیت*الله محسود که از طایفه «محسود» متعلق به منطقه وزیرستان جنوبی در پاکستان است روز دوشنبه گذشته نیز مسئولیت حمله تروریستی به یک مرکز آموزشی پلیس پاکستان در نزدیکی شهر لاهور را بر عهده گرفت.

    دولت پاکستان نیز محسود را مسئول ترور بی*نظیر بوتو، نخست وزیر سابق این کشور، در دسامبر سال ۲۰۰۷ معرفی کرده است.

    بیت*الله محسود که به گفته خبرگزاری بی*بی*سی فرماندهی حدود ۲۰ هزار شبه*نظامی را بر عهده دارد و دولت آمریکا برای زنده یا مرده*اش پنج میلیون دلار جایزه تعیین کرده است معتقد است که «تنها جهاد می*تواند برای جهان صلح و آرامش بیاورد.»

  22. #47
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Al Qaeda's North African wing said on Wednesday it had carried out its threat to kill a British hostage it was holding in the Sahara.

    Britain said it had reason to believe the hostage, Edwin Dyer, had been killed and Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned the killing as "a barbaric act of terrorism" and said the killers would be hunted down.

    An official source in Algeria told Reuters: "The Briton, according to our information, has been killed by AQIM (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) in Mali."

    The group had said it would kill the Briton if the British government did not release Abu Qatada, a Jordanian Islamist it is holding in prison.

    Dyer was killed on May 31 after a second deadline for the group's demands expired, it said in a statement on a website used by al Qaeda-linked groups.

    "The British captive was killed so that he, and with him the British state, may taste a tiny portion of what innocent Muslims taste every day at the hands of the Crusader and Jewish coalition to the east and to the west," the statement said.

    The announcement of the killing came as U.S. President Barack Obama headed to the Middle East hoping to start mending U.S. ties with the Islamic world in a speech that will tackle issues including extremist violence.

    "Al Qaeda's top messages are first, that a day before his expected speech to the Muslim world Obama must understand that al Qaeda is a force in the region that cannot be ignored," Hamid Ghomrassa, an expert in security issues who writes for Algeria's El Khabar newspaper, told Reuters.

    "And second, that al Qaeda's threats should be taken seriously, and from now on the West should understand that paying ransoms to get back hostages is the only way to deal with (AQIM leader) Abdelmalek Droukdel," he said.

    It was the first time AQIM has killed a hostage.

    "This marks a big change. It will change a lot of things as this is the first time someone has actually been killed," said Jeremy Keenan, author of 'The Dark Sahara -- America's War On Terror In Africa'.

    The British Foreign Office said Dyer was kidnapped on the border between Niger and Mali in late January, but declined to give any more details about him.


    Dyer was one of a group of European tourists kidnapped after attending a festival of Tuareg culture.

    Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has claimed responsibility for kidnapping two Canadian diplomats and four European tourists in the past five months. The two diplomats and two of the tourists were freed in Mali in April, leaving Dyer and a Swiss citizen in captivity.
    Last month, Algerian media said AQIM was demanding 10 million euros ($14 million) for Dyer and the Swiss national.

    Salima Tlemcani, an expert in security issues who writes for Algeria's El Watan newspaper, said Dyer had been killed because no ransom had been paid.

    "It is all about money. The Canadians, the Austrians were released because AQIM got the money it asked for," she said.

    Brown said in a statement: "We have strong reason to believe that a British citizen, Edwin Dyer, has been murdered by an Al Qaeda cell in Mali. I utterly condemn this appalling and barbaric act of terrorism."

    Brown said the killing reinforced Britain's commitment to confront terrorism.

    "They will be hunted down and they will be brought to justice," he told parliament. There will be no hiding place."

    The Swiss Foreign Ministry called the killing an "extreme violation of human dignity" and said it was working with President Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali to free the Swiss hostage.

    Abu Qatada, named by a Spanish judge as the right-hand man in Europe of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, has been held in Britain since 2005. He denies belonging to the group.

    Britain has described him as a "significant international terrorist" but said it does not have enough evidence to put him on trial.

    Britain's highest court ruled in February he could be deported to Jordan despite fears he may be tortured there.

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