10 August 2004 - Key port in Basra closed by militants
Forces loyal to Muqtada al Sadr have forced Governor of Iraqi southern city of al Basra to close a key sea outlet used for import and export of civil goods, Iraqi port sources said on Tuesday. "The port of Abuflous of the Basra governorate has been closed and employees did not show up this morning ", a well placed source in the port told KUNA here today. Requesting anonymity, the source said "the closure followed repeated pressure by Sadr's office and some official quarters in the governorate". He failed to name the official quarters. The source added that export and import operations in the port were brought to a halt. Oil production in Iraq was reportedly continuing and not affected.
10 August 2004 - Southern Provinces Threaten to Secede from Iraq
Deputy Governor of Basra Salam Ouda al-Malki has said he is to announce the separation of some Iraqi southern governorates from the central government in Baghdad.
Informed sources told Aljazeera that al-Maliki said the breakaway province would include Basra, Misan and Dhi Qar governorates.
He also wants to shut Basra's port, and effectively stop oil exports.
Al-Maliki said the decision was taken because the Iraqi interim government is "responsible for the Najaf clashes".
He has not outlined the steps for the implementation of his proposal.
10 August 2004 - Abu Hafs Masry Brigade Claims Credit for Istanbul Bombings
A statement released this morning by the Abu Hafs Masry Brigade claimmed credit for this morning's Istanbul bombings.
A translation of the statement is shown below:
It is important to note that in recent weeks, the Brigade has claimed that several statements issued in their name were in fact posted by imposters. It is impossible to verify the authenticity of this claim.
10 August 2004 - Feds to do Passenger Screening on NYC Helicopter Tours
An article in today's New York Times is reporting that federal security officers will take over passenger screening on New York City helicopter tours. Officials in Pakistan recently discovered brochures, photographs, and other information on these tours in the possession of an Al Qaeda operative.
The Transportation Security Administration will take over the screening by the end of the week. Passengers will be subject to the same types of searches for weapons, explosives and suspicious items as are now in place at airports. The helicopter tour operators will also be required to provide the names of passengers to the federal government to run against federal "no fly'' lists of terrorist suspects and to provide names and data on their own employees for federal background checks. The operators will also have to name a security coordinator, to be available 24 hours a day to respond to federal inquiries.
10 August 2004 - Which Middle Eastern Ruler had a small role in the US TV series Star Trek Voyager?
Although this question may seem out of place for this website, this is actually a thread on one of the Arabic language message boards frequented by Al Qaeda sympathizers.
At least one jihadi appears to have taken a break from their global jihad and has been catching up on his Star Trek viewing.
If the material in the posting is to be believed, Jordan's King Abdullah had a small role in 1995 in episode 35 of Star Trek Voyager entitled "Investigations".
The post cites ArabTimes as a source. We have been unable to confirm this information beyond verifying that the article is in fact in the ArabTimes, but a quick check of news reports from 1995 indicate that then-Prince Abdullah was in fact in episiode 35 of Voyager.
10 August 2004 - Al Qaeda-linked group claims credits for this morning's Istanbul bombings
At approximately 0200 local time on 10 August 2004, bomb explosions struck two small hotels in Istanbul and a liquefied gas plant in the outskirts of the city. The Pars Hotel in the Laleli district, and the Star Holiday Hotel in the Sultanahmet district are both known for catering to tourists from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics. Reports indicate that the Pars Hotel received an anonymous call warning of a bomb located in a room approximately 10 minutes prior to the explosion. Two people were killed in the hotel bombings and 11others -- most of them tourists -- were wounded. In the third incident, two bombs exploded within a half-hour of each other at the gas plant, shortly after an anonymous warning. The plant is located in the western district of Esenyurt. The explosions caused damage but no casualties, and personnel at the plant quickly brought the resulting gas leak under control.
A group claiming ties to Al Qaeda has claimed credit for the attack.
10 August 2004 - US Embassy, USAID, and USIS Evacuated on Columbo, Sri Lanka
On 10 August 2004, officials evacuated the U.S. Embassy, USAID and U.S. Information Services buildings in Colombo after receiving a letter containing a suspicious substance. According to an embassy official, "the embassy is closed for an indefinite period due to security and administrative reasons, and that is all we can say at the moment." Reports indicate there has been no visible increase in physical security measures outside these facilities. No further information is currently available.
10 August 2004 - Security tight for Macabee Games in Maryland
Federal and state law enforcement agencies are working with Montgomery County police to protect more than 2,000 athletes and supporters attending this week's Maccabi Games.
The Olympic-style competition features Jewish athletes from around the world.
The Washington Post reports that county police are visible at various game sites across the county. The FBI is working behind the scenes. There are state troopers and SWAT team members at the headquarters in Rockville.
But some participants aren't impressed. The captain of a girls' volleyball team from Ariel, Israel, says she sees much tighter security at home every day - like tanks and armored vehicles.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington says the security arrangements will cost up to $125,000. A $25,000 community grant from the County Council will help pay the costs.
9 August 2004 - Zarqawi's Group Tawhid wa Jihad claims credit for today's suicide bombing
The Muslim extremist group Tawhid wa Jihad, led by Abu Mus'ab Al Zarqawi, claimed Monday's suicide bomb blast north-east of Baghdad.
"One of the heroes of the Martyrs' Brigade struck this morning a group of policemen in Baquba, including the city's deputy governor, killing and wounding some of them," read the statement, purportedly by the military branch of the group.
In recent weeks, Zarqawi's group has been hit by poseurs, issuing statements on behalf of the group without "authorization". This statement is not yet up on the groups website, so it cannot be authenticated.
Six Iraqis, including five policemen, were killed and 16 wounded, including a provincial government official, in the suicide car bombing on Monday near the restive city of Baquba, police said.
9 August 2004 - More Parroting of Jihadi Propaganda - Literally
Jihadi Bird in Action!
On a Monday morning after a very strange weekend in jihadland which brought a fake beheading video as well as a gruesome real beheading video, a moment of levity is appropriate.
As I checked the Arabic language jihadi boards, this morning, I came across the following video. We've seen one militant after another parrotting the party line, calling for global jihad against western interests.
But this video takes the parrotting to a new level. The lead character in this clip is a bird. Really.
Someone has taken the time to train this parrot to chant Quranic verses. You'll hear the bird screeching the battle cry of jihad "Allah Akbar".
One can't help but wonder if this jihadi bird is related to the birds causing the power outages at US airports? (Not really!)
Click on the image of the bird above, or here to view the jihadi bird.
9 August 2004 - Al Qaeda affiliate threatens to attack El Salvador
The Mohamed Atta Brigades, a subgroup of Al Qaeda named after the leader of the September 11 hijackers and which surfaced earlier this summer, has issued yet another threat - this time against El Salvador.
El Salvador's President Tony Saca said Wednesday that the country would be sending more troops to Iraq in the middle of August. The legislature approved sending 380 troops.
8 August 2004 - Video Released of Bulgarian Hostage Beheading
In what may be the most gruesome beheading video yet, a grainy and dark video clip showing the beheading that claims to be of Bulgarian hostage Ivaylo Kepov.
The video, released in three parts on the Arabic language website that claims to be affiliated with Zarqawi's Tawhid wa Jihad group, is of poor quality but clearly shows the head being sawed from the body.
A headless body, clad in the orange jumpsuit that has become a hallmark of the beheadings, believed to be that of Kepov was recovered from the Tigris River.
We are making the video available here to
7 August 2004 - Video Release Claims Beheading; Butn Video Titled Wannabe May Be Hoax
New video (which is available for download to HQ INTEL SUBSCRIBERS in the HQ INTEL FORUM) aired Saturday purportedly shows a San Francisco man beheaded moments after he urges the United States to end its occupation.
Unlike in previous videos of hostage killings, no militants were seen on the footage.
He was also clad in a t-shirt, not the orange jumpsuit that other hostages have been dressed in.
Zarqawy videos typically show the head completely removed from the body. This is missing from the video.
The opinion of analysts after reviewing this video is that it is unlikely to be authentic, and probably a hoax of some sort.
The image above shows the man in the video. The video end showing the man lying on a cot while someone beheads him. The pillow on which the man is laying has the word "NEPAL" on it. We are trying to determine the authenticity of the video. There are serious discrepencies regarding this video, and analysts at the Nprtheast Intelligence Network believe this video may be some sort of hoax or sick joke.
The man on the tape identified himself as what sounds like Benjamin Vanderford, from San Francisco. He sat on a chair in a dark room, his hands behind his back, trembling and rocking back and forth.
"We need to leave this country alone. We need to stop this occupation," he said, adding that he had been offered for exchange with prisoners in Iraq.
"We need to leave this country right now," he said. "Everyone's going to be killed this way."
The video then showed him "beheaded" with a large knife.
The video was titled "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Slaughters an American." Zarqawi is an al-Qaida linked militant whose group, Tawhid and Jihad, has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly attacks across Iraq, including the beheadings of U.S. businessman Nicholas Berg, South Korean translator Kim Sun-il and a Bulgarian man, Georgi Lazov. Their beheadings were also filmed and the video posted in the Internet.
Before he is killed, the man on the tape says he lives at 1510 Eddy Street in San Francisco. On his personal Web site, a Ben Vanderford lists that address as his home. The picture of Vanderford on the Web site closely resembles the man on the video.
The site says Vanderford is running for city supervisor of San Francisco. There is no record there of him traveling to Iraq and no record that he had been captured.
The video also showed images of disfigured and injured people in Iraq. A recording of the Quran, Islam's holy book, played in the background.
6 August 2004 - FBI and DHS issue alert for potential vehicle-borne attacks
This is a joint FBI and DHS Information Bulletin.
FBI and DHS intend to update this Information Bulletin should they receive additional relevant information, including information provided to them by the user community. Based on this notification, no change to the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) level is anticipated; the current HSAS national threat level is YELLOW-ELEVATED. The current threat level for the financial services sectors in New York City, Northern New Jersey and Washington, DC is ORANGE-HIGH.
FBI and DHS encourage recipients of this Information Bulletin to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to their local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) the FBI regional phone numbers can be found online at http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm and the Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC) or the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC), a sub-element of the HSOC in support of the private sector and critical infrastructures. The HSOC can be reached via telephone at 202-282-8101 or by email at HSCenter@dhs.gov. The NICC/HSOC can be reached via telephone at 202-282-9201 or via email at NICC@dhs.gov. Each report submitted should include the date, time, location, type of surveillance, number of people and type of equipment used for the activity, the name of the submitting company and a designated point of contact (POC).
ATTENTION: State Homeland Security Advisors, Facility Security Managers, Emergency Services Sector, Real Estate ISAC, Highway/Trucking ISAC, and Car, Truck and Limousine Rental Companies
As demonstrated by recent attacks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and elsewhere, terrorist operatives worldwide continue to rely on vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) as a method of attack. This tactic has been used here in the past, notably in the 1993 World Trade Center and 1995 Oklahoma City bombings. The World Trade Center and Oklahoma City attacks were carried out with rented vehicles, highlighting the need for awareness among the car, truck, and limousine rental community of the potential for vehicle-borne attacks in the United States.
There is no standard type of vehicle associated with VBIEDs. Terrorists appear to select vehicles based on an assessment of vehicles common to and available in a region, vehicles possessing routine access to the target area or the security posture of the intended target. Vehicles of any type or size can be utilized in vehicle bombings, although the size of the explosive charge may, to some degree, dictate the size of the vehicle required. In the 1993 World Trade Center attack, approximately 1,200 pounds of improvised explosives were placed in a rental van which had been reported stolen by one of the conspirators. Other large vehiclessuch as limousinesshould also receive consideration as potential VBIEDs, since limousines have larger storage capacity than regular passenger vehicles. In addition, limousines often convey an impression of authority or prestige, which may facilitate their access to specific locations in a building or facility denied to the general public.
Analysis of terrorist preparations for past attacks overseas and in the United States suggests that preoperational indicators may be present in the days or weeks prior to an attack. The following indicators may point to possible planning to use rental vehicles in a terrorist attack. Alone, each indicator can result from legitimate commercial activity or criminal activity not related to terrorism; however, multiple indicators can suggest a terrorist threat.
When reporting suspicious incidents, car, truck and limousine rental company employees should provide as much detailed information as possible on:
The U.S. Government remains concerned that al-Qaida or other terrorist organizations are planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States during the summer and fall 2004 time frame. Although the FBI and DHS possess no specific information indicating terrorists plan to use rental vehicles, rental company personnel are encouraged to remain alert for indicators of preoperational activity and immediately report any situation that appears to constitute a terrorist threat to the FBI and DHS offices listed on the first page.
For comments or questions related to the content or dissemination of this Information Bulletin, please contact the DHS/Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorates Requirements Division at DHS.IAIP@DHS.GOV.
5 August 2004 - An Open Target in the Color of Orange: Bank of America Miami
Since September 11th, 2001, leaders of our commercial financial institutions have demonstrated exceptional leadership in improving its security.
Car and truck bombs are one of the most difficult tasks we have in the war on terror "
--Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, press conference, August 1, 2004
In the post September 11th world, the safety and security of our citizens has never been more at risk. In the wake of attacks that have left over three-thousand people dead, the public and private sector have joined together and done much to increase the security in airports, mass transit systems and in federal and other office buildings, especially those determined to be vulnerable to attack or otherwise identified as iconic symbols of America. Included in the latter category are our financial institutions those on Wall Street and at other locations inside the United States. This was made abundantly clear by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists who constructed and used a truck bomb in an effort to destroy the World Trade Center Towers by using a truck bomb on February 26th, 1993. That bombing left six dead and thousands wounded, and caused tremendous physical damage to the parking area and nearby building structures.
Another prominent example of the use of an explosive-laden vehicle was occurred on April 19th, 1995 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where a Ryder truck, filled with explosives was parked in front of the federal building. The blast took the lives of 168 people, injured countless others and destroyed the building.
Based on the constant threat of additional attacks against US Companies and the more recent specific threats to our financial institutions as outlined by Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge on 1 August 2004, constant reassessment of the security of our office buildings where millions work everyday is vital to lessen our exposure to terrorist attacks.
In the text of the speech given by US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Tom Ridge on Sunday, August 1, 2004, it is clear that current intelligence once again has identified US based buildings specifically buildings of financial and economical significance are the targets of Islamic fundamentalist and associated terrorists. Although Ridge specifically named buildings in New York City, New Jersey and Washington, DC, it is clear that all buildings in the United States of economic and iconic significance are the current targets of surveillance.
Recent translations of al Qaeda publications such as the Voice of Jihad and Camp al Battar make specific reference to hard targets inside the United States. Many recent issues of the al Qaeda publication known as Camp al Battar provide operational instructions for the surveillance of primary targets within the United States, including federal buildings and financial centers inside the US for the purpose of their destruction and maximum human casualties of their occupants. For instance, Issue 7 of Camp al Battar released this year provides detailed operational instructions on performing surveillance, securing digital, photographic and videotape footage of the security present and probing security of such structures. In summary and relevant to this risk assessment, it is abundantly clear that al Qaeda and its franchised terror and support groups place a high value on all buildings of financial and iconic significance wherever they are located within the United States. The most enviable target is, of course, the least protected.
SPECIFIC WARNINGS & ADVISORIES
On 30 July 2004, the Department of Homeland Security, jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a seven-page Informational Bulletin outlining a renewed threat of terrorists using trucks as vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) against buildings in the United States. The full text of this Informational Bulletin can be found on the Internet at:
This bulletin states, in part, that VBIEDs can be used against symbolic icons and monuments or economic and infrastructure targets [emphasis added]. The Informational bulletin also states:
Extra vigilance is also warranted at transportation node connections with other modes at seaports and rail yards. Sector authorities and operators should also be sensitive to irregular activity or circumstances out of the norm for a particular situation especially in connection with large public gatherings or significant public or private facilities with high economic or symbolic value. Examples include unusual activity around highway tunnels, bridges, or non-transportation high value buildings or facilities without substantial protective defenses in place. [Emphasis added]
In the context of this report, it is important that this Informational Bulleting be reviewed in its entirety.
The Bank of America
The Bank of America is in a vulnerable position for a number of reasons, including but not limited to its symbolic value, its value as an economic center, its location in the flight path of the Miami International Airport and its transportation connection to a Metro Rail Station. Ultimately, its exposure as a target is significant from the sky (air traffic), the street (VBIEDs) and any threat carried by mass transit.
Perhaps most disconcerting, however, is the obvious lack of security and prevention against terrorist attacks against this significant economic structure. The exposure and vulnerability of this facility and its occupants has been explored at length by Florida attorney John B. Thompson, who has also made these vulnerabilities known to responsible parties on numerous occasions over the last several months. Written correspondence labeled as exhibits A & B accompany this report and provide insight into the virtually non-existent security of this important Florida skyscraper and landmark, as well as the attached parking facility and the surrounding transit-ways.
Most disturbing of all, in the wake of renewed terror threats against buildings matching the criteria of the Bank of America is the documented evidence of the lack of security to this structure. On Monday, 2 August 2004, attorney Thompson clearly verified the impotence of security by personally visiting the property and parking a vehicle in close proximity to key architectural structures at and near the building and the attached International Place Garage. The results of attorney Thompsons assessment are not only disturbing, they illustrate an immediate life-threatening exposure from a potential terrorist attack to anyone working at or near the Bank of America.
For example, the above digital image, taken at approximately 5:00 PM on Monday, 2 August 2004 clearly shows unfettered access to the International Garage.
Security and attendant presence to inspect vehicles entering this area was found and documented to be NON-EXISTENT. A second image taken from the opposite view further illustrates the lack of security present. Based on the findings on this occasion, it is clear that anyone can drive a single vehicle or multiple vehicles (possibly laden with explosives) into the International Garage and park these vehicles in strategic locations to cause maximum physical damage to the structure. The design of the garage and its proximity to the office building increases the risk to human casualties exponentially.
Also, attorney Thompson was free to park his vehicle near the Miami Parking Authority Garage office and secure multiple photographic images of this location, which was unoccupied.
Accordingly, this illustrates the vulnerability of this structure and the increased risk to all of the inhabitants of the Bank of America and parking structures.
On this occasion, attorney John Thompson was able to perform complete surveillance and reconissance of the structure and parking area without once being stopped or questioned by anyone in the vicinity.
Continued inspection of the facility found no human or obvious electronic security in place to protect the property and lives of those working and visiting this facility. These digital images clearly illustrate the freedom of movement and action enjoyed by attorney Thompson for a significant period on 2 August 2004. Those responsible for security of this and adjacent structures must consider what could have taken place during this window of opportunity should these activities been performed by anyone with malicious intent.
In summary, it is evident that despite the renewed and increased threat against buildings such as the Bank of America, which was also identified as a target in recent al Qaeda communications found in the possession of captured operatives, that insufficient security measures are in place to protect the inhabitants of the Bank of America and the International Place Garage.
It is important to note that attorney Thompson first notified the mayor of Miami and the parking authority in November 2003 of these inadequacies and security shortcomings. Despite his articulate advisories nine-months ago, and despite the warnings outlined by Department of Homeland Defense Secretary Tom Ridge on Sunday, 1 August 2004, there has apparently been no increase in security at the Bank of America or the International Place Garage. If these had been any security in place, it is certain that attorney Thompson would have been at least questioned, if not prevented access to those areas referenced above.
Based on the latest security assessment performed by attorney Thompson, combined with the findings of the Northeast Intelligence Network regarding economic and iconic targets outlined in the recent issues of al Qaedas al Battar training manuals, it would appear that the exposure of and threat to the bank of America in Miami is severe and in need of immediate attention. Failure to do so would be to ignore the stated warnings of the terrorists who intend to inflict as much disrutption, death and destruction wherever and whenever the opportunity is present.
In this case, it is evident that you could drive a truck through the security holes existing at the Bank of America and International Place literally.
Click here to download a comprehensive report and supporting documentation.
5 August 2004 - Federal agents arrest Chicago man in plan to blow up Chicago Courthouse
Federal agents have arrested a man on charges of plotting to use a fertilizer truck bomb to blow up a federal courthouse in downtown Chicago.
But federal authorities say the man never had the materials needed to build a bomb.
Prosecutors said Gale William Mettles, 66, was arrested with a pickup truck and 1,500 pounds of fertilizer that he allegedly thought was volatile ammonium nitrate.
5 August 2004 - How to recognize a terror cell
That's one this that law enforcement is certainly trying to do. And they have access to a detailed blueprint of how an Al Qaeda cell is organized in issue six of Al Battar, published by Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula.
That issue includes an in-depth article on how to organize a terror cell and how to delegate responsibilities within the cell.
Each project consists of a number of sub-cells, which operate independently and report to a single management team, or management cell.
Each individual subgroup within the project team should consist of no more than four individuals. The individuals should have the ability to fit in with the rest of the community, and should know the city well.
Proper documentation is stressed. Each team member must have the training and documentation necessary to allow him to assume a cover identity. Team managers are advised to obtain whatever documents are needed, whether they be authentic or forgeries. The team members are advised not to excel; nor are they to do substandard work within their cover occupation. Instead they are advised to be as close to average as possible so that they do not stand out from the group.
The team members are advised to select a home or apartment similar to their peers within their cover occupation. Likewise, they are advised to purchase a car that fits in well with the location of their home, and with their peers.
Al Battar emphasizes compartmentalization within the cells. It cites the number one mistake of most jihad groups is that every cell member knows the other members of the cell, as well as operational and logistical details. It stresses that secrecy must be maintained in order to ensure that the goal of the group is reached, and that individual members are not to know members of other subgroups, nor are they to know any more information that is critical for them to carry out their assigned roles.
The hierarchical organization of the project group is defined as follows:
A detailed description of each of these teams is included when the article continues here.
5 August 2004 - Maps of New York, satellite images of San Francisco and Rome posted to Arabic jihadi board
From time to time, analysts will locate postings on jihadi boards that are not specific but are rather unnerving.
A posting this week titled "New York - At Orange". The posting begins innocently enough, describing the raised terror alert in New York City.
It then proceeds to discuss the heightened levels of fear about potential attacks in the financial district.
A follow-up posting by a different member posted "I have searched for New York maps to support the militants in their missions".
The post then proceeded to display the following images:
The first image shows the location of airports in the area. The second shows all major roads. The third shows annual precipitation for the state. Image four is a satellite view of the area. And image five shows the skyline of New York City.
Meanwhile, on a different forum, images of San Francisco and Rome were posted. The images, taken from space presumably by a satellite, were posted without additional comments.
5 August 2004 - Security Checkpoints Ordered Near Federal Reserve
As security tightens in Washington DC and New York City in the wake of the announcement of the terror threat to financial institutions, new security procedures are being put in place for the Federal Reserve.
Police will be deployed to inspect trucks at checkpoints around the main Federal Reserve building at Constitution Avenue NW in response to a terror alert for financial institutions in Washington, New York City and Newark, the Department of Homeland Security announced last night.
Checkpoints will be located on Constitution Avenue at 20th and 21st streets NW and on Virginia Avenue at C and 21st streets NW during daylight hours, said Thomas J. Lockwood, director of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of National Capital Region Coordination, although he said it was unclear when they would begin.
5 August 2004 - Two Albany NY Mosque Leaders Arrested in Missile/Terror Plot
Two leaders of a mosque in Albany, N.Y., were arrested on charges stemming from an alleged plot to help a man they thought was a terrorist purchase a shoulder-fired missile, federal authorities said Thursday.
The men have ties to a group called Ansar al-Islam, which has been linked to the al-Qaida terror network, according to two federal law enforcement authorities speaking on condition of anonymity.
The two arrests came as FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agents executed search warrants at the Masjid As-Salam mosque and two Albany-area residences, officials said. The men were identified as Yassin Aref, 34, the imam of the mosque, and 49-year-old Mohammed Hoosain, one of the mosque's founders.
According to law enforcement officials, the two are being charged with providing material support to terrorism by participating in a conspiracy to help an individual they believed was a terrorist purchase a shoulder-fired missile.
The individual was in fact working undercover for the government and no missile ever changed hands. Aref and Hoosain were allegedly involved in money-laundering aspects of the plot, the officials said.
4 August 2004 - Red Cross visits Saddam Hussein, his aides
A delegation representing the International committee of the Red Cross including one doctor visited Saddam Hussein on Friday but refused to give any details over his health conditions, at a time the chairman of the Iraqi criminal court Salem Chalabi announced that investigations stopped with the toppled Iraqi President waiting for appointing lawyers to defend him.
The spokesman for the committee in Baghdad, Nada Doumani, said that " a team from the committee including one doctor talked for a long time with Saddam Hussein on July 30." The Iraqi human rights minister Bakhtyar Amin Ali announced several days ago that Saddam suffers " a chronical prostate disease." Doumani added " we do not give details on the health condition of the detainees we visit, but we can confirm that the prison authorities follow up with him medically."
Doumani added that Saddam Hussein wrote a message to his family in the fourth visit of the committee. She added " He received in the past one message from his family whom we will give three other messages from him yesterday ( Tuesday). She explained that the matter takes some time because the messages should be military monitored," noting simultaneously that Saddam Hussein received four messages from his family which is in Jordan.
The ICRC visited on Saturday, some 11 of Saddam Hussein's aides and met with 100 of former officials under detention.
4 August 2004 - Turkish Daily Interviews Saddam's Daughter Raghad
She is Saddam Al-Husayn's eldest daughter. She is also said to be Saddam's favorite child. Some even go so far as to say that she is Saddam's heir apparent.
She is staying in a house owned by the state in Amman. She looks pretty for a mother who has a son aged 20. Raghad says, "I married at 15. Yet I gave birth to Ali when I was 15 years old. I have five children and I do not have a house of my own. In spite of all this, I am trying to look OK. This is keeping me busy."
"I must see my father," she says. "I love my father. I watched him being taken to the court. He did not look well. He is not in good health. We tried to obtain information from the Red Cross but we could not. They do not know anything. My mother is really unwell. She has many health problems. My sister is still with her. She is trying to get over the killing of my two brothers. You know their photographs. They died heroes. They fought to the last bullet. I am proud of them."
Her Father Killed Her Husband
The other sister, Rana, is also in Amman. Both sisters have been to Amman before. They left Iraq together with their husbands and sought the protection of King Hussein. Saddam called his favorite daughter Rana to say that if they would return he would apologize to everyone. Both husbands had their throats cut some 24 hours after they returned to Iraq. I thought of all this while talking with Raghad. She said: "Look, I cannot make any personal disclosures. I am a political person. I am Saddam's daughter. My mother is Saddam's wife. My children are Saddam's grandchildren. I have responsibilities. I bear his name. Now he is counting on me. He needs my help. I am the only one remaining after the death of my brothers. It was just normal that I should do as my husband did. ... We were told that he had written at least three letters to us yet we did not come by all of these letters [as published]. His lawyers are not allowed to meet with him." "I told them," she said, "that we need an American lawyer. Can you help me?"
Not a Jewish Lawyer
I said that the only way I could be of help is by holding a television or press interview. Yet Raghad insisted that an American lawyer will be more helpful than the current lawyers. After talking for a while, I gave him the names of a few lawyers she could try. In response to the first name I gave (a very famous one), she said, "Very good but is this person a Jew?" I said, "Yes, so what?" "Oh no, Defne. You must understand. My father would never permit this. Never. I am not judging people. Yet I cannot cope with the Jews. I am proud of being Saddam's daughter. We support him. Many people are just beginning to realize what a blessing he was for this country. I enjoy a lot of support here. For this reason nobody could tell me not to be political. People regard me as Saddam's heir apparent."
Will She Become Another Benazir Bhutto?
Saddam supporters in Jordan are referring to Raghad as the next Benazir Bhutto. It is true that they have one common point so far. Both are exiles. Raghad does not deny her political future. She obviously likes the idea.
I told her that I held an interview with Lynndie England, the star of the torture scandal at the Abu Ghraib Prison who dragged an Iraqi prisoner around on a dog leash.
"Look," she interrupted me. I do not have anything against many Americans. Yet these photographs ... Certain people knew it .. certain people at the top. We did not start this war. Tell your friends in America that they have to help me urgently see my father. Let them show my father to me. This is the only thing I want. I deserve this if he is to be given a fair trial. This is his fundamental human right. I was proud of the way he looked before the court. How he did not fear anything. And how he talked. He is a brave man."
4 August 2004 - Al-Najaf News: Al-Sadr Aide Al-Khaz'ali Killed After Disagreements with Al-Sadr
Al-Najaf News Network ["Exclusive" Report: "Holy Al-Najaf: Qays al-Khaz'ali Killed"]
Rumors have spread in Holy Al-Najaf that Qays al-Khaz'ali, the former media official in Muqtada al-Sadr's office, has been killed at the hands of armed elements affiliated with Muqtada al-Sadr.
The rumor reports that the reason behind his killing is that he had planned the assassination of Muqtada al-Sadr after sharp disagreements had taken place between them. The operation, however, failed, and his death came as a response to his failed operation.
It is worth mentioning that approximately three months have passed since Qays al-Khaz'ali disappeared or stopped appearing before the media.
4 August 2004 - Al-Sader supporters kidnap 18 policemen in al-Najaf; Explosions in Baghdad
Strong explosions were heard today morning in several areas in Baghdad most of them came from the strongly fortified Green Area. The complex which includes the headquarters of the Interim goverenment and the American embassy.
One witness said that following the explosions warning whistles were heard in the area which is the target of fighters who often fire mortars shelling and detonate bombs at the roadside near the green area.
This came with the escalation of security deterioration as the Iraqi gunmen killed 6 national guards men in one explosion in Baqouba to the north east of Baghdad and one colonel in the police in one explosion in the downtown of Baghdad, while the American forces announced the killing of 6 of its soldiers, four of them by gunmen bullets.
Among the killed Americans were two soldiers killed by one explosion in their patrol to the west of Baghdad yesterday evening while two Marines died because of their wounds they had with Iraqi gunmen in al-Anbar governorate on Monday, while other two were killed in attacks said to be of no connection to resistance attacks.
In Najaf city to the south of Baghdad, the supporters of the Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sader held 18 policemen as hostages in order to exchange them for the release of their friends in the detention centers. The governor of Najaf Adnan al-Zarafi threatened to seek the support of the American forces in order to put an end to the al-Mahdi army.
He said that the police and the national guards forces in Najaf are in a state of alert to deal with any emergency case and to tighten the siege of gunmen of al-Mahdi army who are positioned in the old city and Wadi al-Salam cemetery.
In the course of the series of operations which targeted the oil pipelines, the Iraqi oil pipeline which links between Karkouk and Jeihan Turkish port was yesterday exposed to an attack but the attack did not affect the exports which had been halted for weeks.
Concerning the hostages held in Iraq, the Jordanian authorities said that one of its citizens was kidnapped in Iraq and thereby the number of Jordanian hostages held in Iraq increased to seven.
Meantime, kidnappers of the Lebanese businessman Antoine Antoine who disappeared in Iraq on Saturday contacted one of his employees in Baghdad to notify about his kidnapping.
Former Lebanese minister Fawzi Hbeish said, following his meeting with the Lebanese foreign minister Jean Obeid, about the kidnapping issue that the kidnappers asked for a ransom but did not specify the amount.
In the same context the Turkish " Belenitor " company decided to withdraw its workers from Iraq after the killing of hostage Murad Yuji at the hand of a group of kidnappers.
4 August 2004 - Iraqi Group To Consider Any Arab, Islamic Troops Sent to Iraq 'Enemy Troops'
Al Manar Television in Beirut has broadcast a video from a group labelling Islamic troops in Iraq as enemy troops.
The group calling itself Salah al-Din Brigade has warned that it will consider any Arab or Islamic troops sent to Iraq as enemy troops and will deal with them as such.
A transcript of the video, translated into English from Arabic, is below. To
To watch the video, click here.
3 August 2004 - Is the structure the plane is aimed at in the Islamic Airlines post the new Olympics Stadium in Athens?
A number of astute visitors to our website sent in photographs or referenced the new Olympics Stadium in Athens (shown on the right), noting the similarities between the two structures.
When we compared the pictures, it immediately brought to mind a posting from one of the Islamic jihad Internet forums boards referring to an upcoming attack on the "Two Bows".
While there is not enough information available for us to definitively ascertain whether the new Olympics Stadium in Athens is actually a target, we felt that the similarities between the drawing and the photograph were too strong to ignore, and have notified the appropriate authorities both in the US and overseas.
For more details, please see the article directly below this one.
We are also exploring the possibility, as suggested by other readers, that the image may be of a nuclear facility, such as the one shown here at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in California.
3 August 2004 - "Islamic Airlines; Flight to No Destination"
This morning analysts have forwarded to law enforcement a posting from an Arabic language jihadi board containing the above image.
The heading of the post says "The Islamic Airlines". The posting urges "By Allah, do not underestimate us." The flight is described as "The Flight with No Destination".
The posting closes with the statement "There is no life but in the hereafter".
Analysts have found no clues in the post that indicates what the image is. It clearly shows an airliner headed towards some sort of targets.
3 August 2004 - Irish Citizen Killed in his Riyadh Office
An Irish citizen was killed in his office in eastern Riyadh, the Saudi capital, Al-Arabiya satellite television reported Tuesday.
The network gave no other details, and Saudi officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
Westerners have been the targets of shootings, suicide bombings and kidnappings in the kingdom in recent months in attacks that are seen as an attempt to undermine the economy, which depends heavily on expatriate labor.
No statement claiming credit has been released as of this time.
3 August 2004 - Iraqi Police Chief Killed in Baghdad
Iraqi security forces have reported that the Iraqi police chief in the capital Baghdad has been killed. Reports indicate that Col. Mu'ayyad Bashar Alshmari was killed when an explosive blast targeted his motorcade. Two of his companions were injured in the attack.
3 August 2004 - Iraqi Government blames Zarqawi for Church Bombings in Baghdad
Iraq's government today blamed al Qaeda ally Abu Mussab Al Zarqawi for a series of church bombings that killed at least 11 people, saying the aim was to spark religious strife and drive Christians out of the country.
Muslim leaders condemned the car bombings that were timed for Sunday evening services in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul. The attacks were the first on churches of the minority Christian community since the start of a 15-month insurgency.
"There is no shadow of a doubt that this bears the blueprint of Zarqawi," said national security adviser Mowaffaq Al Rubaie.
"Zarqawi and his extremists are basically trying to drive a wedge between Muslims and Christians in Iraq. It's clear they want to drive Christians out of the country," he told Reuters.
The Jordanian-born militant has claimed responsibility for many major car bombings in Iraq since Saddam Hussein was ousted last year and also the killing of several foreign hostages among dozens seized in recent months.
An Islamist website showed photographs on Monday of what it said was the killing of a Turkish hostage by a group linked to Zarqawi. But a Somali held by militants also linked to Zarqawi is to be freed after his Kuwaiti employer agreed to halt operations in the country, Al Jazeera television said.
Rubaie said Iraq's national security council would hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the blasts that hit at least five churches in the country, including four in Baghdad.
Iraqi police defused two more bombs outside other churches, one in Baghdad and the other in Mosul.
The car bomb attacks near the Baghdad churches killed 10 people and wounded more than 40, the U.S. military said, adding the blasts occurred within a 30 minute period. At least one person was killed and 15 wounded by a bomb at a church in Mosul.
Christians make up three percent of the Iraqi population and have generally had good ties with the Muslim community, although several recent attacks have targeted alcohol sellers throughout Iraq, most of whom are Christians.
There are 800,000 Christians in Iraq, mostly in Baghdad.
Insurgents have mainly tried to provoke conflict between Sunni Muslims and members of the Shi'ite Muslim majority, who were oppressed by Saddam.
Adnan al-Asadi, a senior member of the Shi'ite Dawa Islamic party, said Muslims shared the pain of the Christian community.
"We reject these criminal acts which want to create religious and sectarian strife in Iraq," he said.
The U.S. military says a computer disk captured earlier this year contained a letter from Zarqawi calling for attacks on Iraqi Shi'ites to try to spark sectarian conflict in Iraq.
In March, coordinated suicide bombings during a Shi'ite religious ceremony killed more than 170 in Baghdad and Kerbala.
Washington has put a $25 million price on Zarqawi's head.
Human Rights Minister Bakhtiar Amin said the interim government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was trying its best to combat the insurgents and uproot their networks.
"This shows there are no borders to the barbarity of the crimes of these terrorists," he said in response to the attacks.
The Vatican has condemned the church blasts. Parish priest Bashar Muntihorda, speaking outside a Chaldean church in Baghdad that was hit, said Christians were devastated.
"The damage that was done is so high to the courage of the people, to their feelings, to their hopes that a bright future is coming," Muntihorda said, as volunteers swept up debris, including a broken stained glass window of Jesus.
Adding to Iraq's burden was the wave of hostage taking.
It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the images showing the apparent execution of the Turkish hostage or to identify the captive.
In a separate hostage stand-off, an aide to a tribal sheikh trying to secure the release of seven foreign truck drivers said negotiations had not resumed with their Kuwaiti employer.
He said the kidnappers had accused the Kuwaiti firm of not responding positively enough to their demands. The aide added that Sheikh Hisham Al Dulaymi would still mediate the talks to save the three Indians, three Kenyans and an Egyptian, even though the kidnappers had asked him to withdraw.
3 August 2004 - Another Statement from Abu Hafs Masry Brigage (Maybe)
The folks at the Abu Hafs Masry Brigade have issued another statement threatening Italy.
Or at least someone claiming to represent Abu Hafs Masry Brigade has issued a statement. With all of the recent complaints from the group about someone else releasing statements in their name, we frankly aren't sure if this is from the Abu Hafs Masry Brigade or from a pretender.
What is very interesting is that all the statements say pretty much the same thing, even the statements that they claim they did NOT issue.
The text of the statement is translated below from the original Arabic.
2 August 2004 - NEIN on the airwaves
This is shaping up to be a busy week for the Northeast Intelligence Network on the radio.
Doug Hagmann was on the Pat Campbell Show on WFLA Orlando this morning, and on Pam Steggner's Preparedness Now.
This evening, Laura Mansfield will be on the evening news on KGO San Francisco at 6 pm PT.
Also, Laura is guest host Monday through Thursday of this week at 10 PM PT on The Roth Show, filling in for Laurie Roth who is on vacation.
Laura's guests will include:
You find a local affiliate or listen on the web at The Roth Show
1 August 2004 - Issue 15 of Al Battar discusses RPG Launchers, how to use codes in messages
Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula, the Saudi Arabian affiliated link of the global terror cartel, has released issue 15 of Camp Al Battar, their online training manual which comes out every two weeks.
The content of this particular issue, 26 pages in length appears to be much less detailed than previous issues. The issue begins with several articles designed to boost morale of the militants in the area, and also includes two pages of "news briefs". It also brings back the physical fitness section that was in previous issues, providing militants with a 2 week regime on how to ensure physical readiness for jihad.
The weapons training section of issue 15 focuses once again on the proper use of Rocket Propelled Grenade Launchers.
There is also a relatively brief article outlining how to use simple codes to secure messages. The final article in the issue is a basic tutorial on how to start fires.
1 August 2004 - Jihadis release new execution video showing murder of Turkish driver held hostage in Iraq
Earlier this evening, a video showing the execution of the Turkish driver held hostage in Iraq was released on the internet.
Unlike many of the other execution videos, this murder was by gunshot wound to the head, rather than by beheading.
The video can be viewed here or by clicking on the image above.
1 August 2004 - Secretary Ridge Announces Threat Level Code Orange for Financial Sector in New York City, Northern New Jersey and Washington, D.C.
The complete text of Secretary Ridge's comments is shown below
Good afternoon. President Bush has told you, and I have told you, when we have specific credible information, we will share it.
This afternoon, we do have new and unusually specific information about where al Qaida would like to attack. As a result, today, the United States Government is raising the threat level to Code Orange for the financial services sector in New York City, Northern New Jersey and Washington, D.C.
Since September 11th, 2001, leaders of our commercial financial institutions have demonstrated exceptional leadership in improving its security. However, in light of new intelligence information, we have made the decision to raise the threat level for this sector, in these communities, to bring protective resources to their highest capacity. This will allow us to increase protection in and around those buildings that require it and also raise awareness for employees, residents, customers and visitors. We know from experience that increased physical protection and added vigilance from citizens can thwart a terrorist attack. And that is our goal.
This is the first time we have chosen to use the Homeland Security Advisory System in such a targeted way. Compared to previous threat reporting, these intelligence reports have provided a level of detail that is very specific. The quality of this intelligence, based on multiple reporting streams in multiple locations, is rarely seen and is alarming in both the amount and specificity of the information.
While we are providing you with this immediate information, we will continue to update you as the situation unfolds. As of now, this is what we know: reports indicate that al Qaida is targeting several specific buildings, including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in D.C.; Prudential Financial in Northern New Jersey; and Citigroup buildings and the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Let me assure you, actions to further strengthen security around these buildings are already underway. Additionally, were concerned about targets beyond these and are working to get more information.
Senior leadership across the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the White House, the FBI, CIA and other federal agencies, have been in constant contact with the governors, mayors and homeland security advisors of the affected locations I just named.
We have talked with the executive leadership of the companies that own these businesses and operate these buildings the people who know these facilities best.
We have told them that, at this time, there is no information that indicates a specific time for these attacks beyond the period leading up to our national elections.
Of course, just because we know where but not precisely when that does not mean that we cannot take pre-emptive action. Just the opposite: when collection activities provide specific information, we tailor security measures to the particular vulnerabilities of potential targets.
Understandably, security measures at each facility will not be uniform in nature, given the scope and scale of building architecture, access to and from roads and other variables. Certainly, we will not broadcast our intentions to the enemy.
But you may expect to see special buffer zones to secure the perimeters of buildings from unauthorized cars and trucks; restrictions to affected underground parking; security personnel using identification badges and digital photos to keep track of people entering and exiting buildings; increased law enforcement presence, and robust screening of vehicles, packages and deliveries.
These and other security measures, both seen and unseen, create added layers of protection to an already vigorous security effort across the country. So let me be clear: While we have raised the threat level for the financial services sector, the rest of the nation remains at an elevated or Code Yellow risk of terrorist attack.
Rest assured, the most talented security professionals are working hard to protect all regions of the country and all sectors of our economy.
Over the course of the last year, and since the horrific day of 9-11, more permanent protections are in place than ever before. You have seen them. They have become part of our daily life: additional airport security, including screenings, air marshals, hardened cockpit doors. You have seen more visible law enforcement officers on trains, subways, and other transportation systems. You have seen increased inspections at our nations ports and border crossings.
This summer, given the volume of symbolic events and large gatherings, we have ramped up protective measures more than ever before. Let me paint a picture: thousands of radiological pagers have been given to law enforcement around the country, and more are on their way.
At work are more HAZMAT technicians, undercover agents, and emergency response teams, and more K-9 units capable of detecting explosives and weapons of mass destruction. Advanced air monitoring technologies that can check for biological pathogens, are operating in key locations.
Along with smart security professionals, these technologies helped bring the Democratic National Convention to a safe conclusion. State-of-the-art equipment like this is now being installed to protect the Republican National Convention in New York later this month. This equipment and added personnel will bolster security measures already being put in place right at Madison Square Garden and throughout the transportation systems in New York.
These added security measures mean that from curb to the cockpit, at our ports of entry and borders in between; in our public places and cyber space; on air, land, and sea. We are safer today than we have ever been.
We bring you this information today, and, again, will continue to update you if new specific information becomes available. Because with information comes action.
There is much we can each do to remain vigilant, to be on watch, to be aware of unusual patterns or vehicles, and to report suspicious activities. And so this afternoon, I ask our citizens for their watchful eyes as we continue to monitor this situation.
I realize that this is sobering news, not just about the intent of our enemies, but of their specific plans and methods.
This kind of information is the result of the Presidents leadership in the war against terror. The reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan. Such operations and partnerships give us insight into the enemy so we can better target our defensive measures here and away from home
Terrorists should know, in this country, this kind of information, while startling, is not stifling.
It will not weaken the American spirit or dampen our resolve. Our resolve is indivisible and unyielding a weapon infinitely stronger than the plots and plans of those who wish to do us harm.
Al Qaida wants to intimidate us and prevent us from enjoying our lives and exercising our freedoms. And yet, liberty has no greater protector than the collective will of the American people. So, together let us take inspiration from this strength, and use it to our utmost to keep our great nation safe and free.
Analysts are attempting to correlate seismic readings with other related information for the date of 15 July 2004. Seismic charts for review here.
30 July 2004 - Ansar al Sunnah Videos Released
A 20-part video was released earlier today by Ansar al Sunnah. We will be providing more information on this video series later today.
30 July 2004 - Acting Pakistani Prime Minister Survives Assassination Attempt
Earlier today, Pakistan's Acting Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz survived an assassination attempt while campaigning in the central Punjab province.
According to Geo television, two people were killed, including the candidate's driver.
According to a Reuters report, "As he (Aziz) came out of a public meeting, there was a blast. Many people have been wounded. Some also died. But with the grace of God he is safe and sound."
Aziz, currently the Minister of Finance, was campaigning for an election to be held on August 18.
30 July 2004 - Pakistani Police Warned of Possible Attacks
Today police officials warned officers to be wary of possible suicide bombings against mosques in Karachi during Friday morning prayers. According to reports, officials were alerted to possible threats from the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group, against Shiite targets in the city. Authorities have increased police deployments in the city. It is unknown if this warning is connected to the assassination attempt on the acting Prime Minister earlier today.
30 July 2004 - Homicide Bombers Strike in Uzbechistan; blasts near US, Israeli Embassy, and Uzbech General Prosecutor's office
Homicide bombers detonated explosives outside the U.S. and Israeli embassies, as well as a local prosecutor's office, in Tashkent at 1700 local time on 30 July 2004. At least two local security guards were killed outside the Israeli Embassy, according to Israeli officials. The Israeli Embassy's compound entrance is located on Abdulla Lachuti Street (formerly Zavodskaya Street), which is located near the Oibek subway station in southeastern Tashkent. All other embassy personnel are accounted for at this time and remain inside the embassy compound. Additional security forces have been deployed to the area. No damage was reported to the buildings inside the compound wall.
Meanwhile, U.S. Department of State officials have confirmed that an explosion occurred in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy, located on Chilanzar Street in southwestern Tashkent and approximately 14 city blocks northwest of the Israeli Embassy. U.S. officials report that all embassy personnel are accounted for. Uzbekistan security forces have surrounded the facility and closed all roads in the area. No buildings inside the compound wall were damaged. The Canadian Embassy is also located in the vicinity. The prosecutor's office where the third blast occurred is located approximately 18 city blocks northeast of the Israeli Embassy.
Initial speculation indicates that the blasts may be related to the start of trials for 15 suspected militants belonging to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the Hizbi Tahrir groups, both of which are believed to have ties to al-Qaeda. The suspects are believed to be responsible for a wave of attacks earlier in 2004. This is an emerging event. No further details are available at this time.
30 July 2004 - Jihadis React to Pipeline Explosion in Belgium
"Allah Akbar! A huge explosion shakes Belgium and a state of emergency is declared." That was the reaction posted on the Arabic language Reform forum, known to be frequented by Al Qaeda sympathizers, this morning.
The cause of the explosion on the pipeline, which injured over 100 people and killed at least 15, is still under investigation, but is believed to have been caused by a pipe leaking.
Two factory buildings near the site of the blast were flattened by the resulting shockwave. The majority of casualties located thus far appear to be in a nearby shopping center. The E429 motorway remains closed at this time.
The explosion comes two days after a statement threatening Europe was issued by Abu Hafs Masry Brigade. (Last night Abu Hafs Masry disavowed the statement; it is unknown which statements are authentic and which ones, if any, are fake.)
Earlier this month, Western Holland and parts of Belgium were placed on higher alert. (See article here.) At the time, Dutch Interior Minister Johan Remkes confirmed that the threat level had been lifted on July 9.
30 July 2004 - Would the REAL terrorists please stand up and identify themselves?
For the second time in recent days, it appears that SOMEONE is making statements on behalf of terrorist groups - and then the group is disavowing the threat.
As we reported on July 20, Abu Mus'ab Al Zarqawy has been having a bad time with this for several weeks. (See article here.)
Now, it seems that Abu Hafs Masri Brigade is having the same problem.
In a statement released last night, Abu Hafs Masri Brigade claims the statements issued in their name threatening various countries are not really true.
However, they did decide to take advantage of the opportunity to issue a NEW statement, threatening pretty much the same things as the OTHER statements, which they disavow knowledge of.
Analysts at the Northeast Intelligence Network have a wonderful suggestion for the terrorists: why not just give up terrorism, and quit the threats and attacks. Then you won't have to worry about these other groups misquoting you. We'll all know the statements are false.
29 July 2004 - Top Al Qaeda Operative Captured
A top al-Qaeda operative, one of the world's most wanted men with a reward of up to $25 million on his head, is in custody in Pakistan for his suspected role in the 1998 bombings of two United States embassies in East Africa.
Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani and 13 others were arrested after a 14-hour gun battle with security forces at the weekend in the city of Gujarat, about 175 kilometres south-east of Islamabad, Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat said.
"It is a big achievement for our security forces," he said.
The United States had offered the same bounty for the capture of the Tanzanian national as that offered for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and 19 others on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list.
Ghailani is probably the most senior al-Qaeda operative caught in Pakistan since the arrest in March 2003 of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.
"He is wanted for the death of Americans," said an official in Washington.
Ghailani was indicted in New York in 1998 for the synchronised blasts that blew up the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people.
Two South Africans were among those captured with Ghailani, according to reports out of Pakistan.
Several weeks ago, an article by Annie Jacobsen of Womens Wall Street received a good deal of attention. The article chronicled a frightening experience she had on Northwest Airlines flight 327 from Detroit to LAX on June 29. In the article, she described the unusual behavior of a group of middle eastern men on the flight, including actions that caused some on the plane to fear that a terror attack was in progress.
Ms. Jacobsen was told by authorities that the men were verified to be members of a band en route to play a gig at a Southern California casino. Clinton Taylor checked with the Sycuan Resorts and Casino in Al Cajon, CA, near San Diego. The Casino verified that the artist Nour Mehanna and his backup band in fact performed at the casino on July 1. (www.sycuancasino.com)
The group was apparently booked by a promoter called Anthem Artists (http://www.anthemartists.com/AA_show_archives.html). Taylor confirmed with James Cullen of Anthem Artists that Nour Mehana's large band did arrive at LAX on Northwest Flight 327. The band was apparently questioned by law enforcement for several hours, then allowed to go.
According to a report by Scott Weinburger on MSNBC, the group of musicians had expired visas. Although this certainly does not conclusively indicate the men were involved in terrorism in any way, Michelle Malkin aptly points out that until September 11, 2001, the Visa Overstayers Club also included "student" Hani Hanjour and businessmen and tourist Nawaf al-Hazmi and Satam al-Suqami, who were involved in the September 11 attacks.
But who is Nour Mehana anyway?
Nour Mehana, from Syria, is a well known singer in the Arab world.
It is interesting to note that Nour Mehanas previous occupation was a reciter of the Holy Quran. Although I've been unable to verify Mehanna's religion, it would be highly unusual for a non-Muslim to choose a reciter of Qur'an as a profession.
One of Mehanas recent songs, Um Shaheed which translates to the Martyrs Mother, only serves to increase the level of concern regarding the actions on the plane.
It talks about the death of a Palestinian boy. The mother is advised not to mourn but to rejoice, since the son has died for the freedom of Palestine. It ends with the chants of the jihadis: "Allahu Akbar.
What were Nour Mehanna and his backup band doing on the plane? Was it a dry run for a terror attack, as has been suggested? Was it a case of a group testing the system? Were they just playing a prank on the other passengers? Or did they not have a clue about the concern they were raising? I doubt if anyone will ever know the answer to that question other than Mehana and his band.
Certainly to me their behavior on the flight that day sounded suspicious. It has been widely reported that flight attendants and air marshals claim that they often witness cases of "pulsing" or "testing" the system. What if the cases where people appear to be testing the system are doing something more: desensitizing the flight crews and air marshals. What if they get used to seeing this type of behavior so frequently that it stops sending on alarms for them? Would they recognize the "real thing" quickly enough to stop it?
Something to think about.
29 July 2004 - FBI issues terror warning to California, New Mexico
Police in California and New Mexico have been warned by the FBI of information regarding possible terrorist activity in their states. According to the Associated Press, the warning was not specific with regard to target or a means of attack.
According to AP, the FBI decided to disseminate the threat information, with a warning that it was considered unsubstantiated and uncorroborated.
29 July 2004 - Jihadi group threatens attacks on Islamic countries that send troops to Iraq
A statement released on an Arabic language message board frequented by Al Qaeda sympathizers threatens to attack Islamic countries if they send troops to Iraq, as suggested today by Saudi Arabia.
"We will not remain silent if troops are sent to Iraq by any Arab or Muslim country, especially by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and others," said the statement by the group calling itself the Islamic Tawhid Group. Zarqawi's group is called "Al Tawhid wa Jihad", or Monotheism and Jihad.
"We will strike with an iron fist all the traitors of Arab governments who cooperate with the Zionists," it added.
The message was directed at the Saudi government and Pakistan "who are seeking to send Muslim forces to Iraq to please their masters, the Jews and Christians."
"If you are sent to Iraq do not respond and don't throw yourselves to death because our swords will be in the face of whoever cooperates with the Jews and Christians."
It also condemned Libyan leader Moammar Ghaddafi for "kneeling before America" by revealing his nuclear program.
The statement comes on the heels of a re-released statement by an Islamic spiritual leader authorizing the killing of Muslims in the course of jihad.
It is not known if this statement is authentic or not; several times in the past few weeks, groups have falsely issued statements in the name of Zarqawy and his group.
A quick check of the "official" website of Zarqawi's group, Al Tawhid wa Jihad, does not show any indications of this pronouncement.
29 July 2004 - Jihadi posts claim Zarqawy captured, Saddam dead; unlikely to be true
Over the past 24 hours, there have been a number of postings on the Arabic language jihadi forums about the two most high profile characters in Iraq: Abu Mus'ab al Zarqawi and Saddam Hussein.
A statement was released yesterday in a UK newspaper by one of Saddam Hussein's attorney's claiming Saddam was suffering from a stroke from a blood clot on his brain. Shortly afterwards, postings appeared detailing the death of the former Iraqi leader in a Baghdad hospital. The US military denies the rumors. It appears that Saddam Hussein's status has not changed; he is still alive and in custody.
This morning reports came out of the Sophia News Agency claiming that Abu Mus'ab Al Zarqawy had been captured, and that DNA tests were underway to confirm his identity.
Again, the US military denies the rumor. It should be noted that rumors are regularly floated concerning the death or capture of Zarqawy. It was reported earlier this month that he had managed to slip out of Samara. Various reports put him near the Syrian border or the Iranian border.
29 July 2004 - Romania, Turkey Airports on Higher Alert
Heightened security measures are in place for flights from Bucharest to Istanbul due to information provided by Turkish authorities on potential threats, officials of the Romanian Ministry of Transportation stated on 29 July 2004. Officials stated that they have implemented "exceptional security measures" for such flights since 27 July but declined to provide any details about the steps they have taken. Romanian authorities also did not discuss the nature of the threats.
On 27 July, a report emerged in a Turkish media source stating that airports in the country are at the second-highest level of alert due to intelligence about a possible al-Qaeda threat. Turkish aviation officials, however, denied that they are implementing additional security measures other than those already in place.
28 July 2004 - New Statement by Abu Hafs Masri Brigade Threatens to Level European Cities
"We will level Europe's cities and will start with you O Berlusconi." That's what a new statement released today by the Abu Hafs Masri Brigade threatens.
The statement, released this morning on a number of Arabic language forums, is addressed to the Governments of Europe.
The operational capabilities of Abu Hafs Masri Brigade are unknown. The organization is well known for taking credit for various events, including the Madrid train bombings and the blackouts in the U.S.
28 July 2004 - Rereleased Audio Tape by Zarqawi Spiritual Advisor says killing Muslims permissible
A tape reposted on an Islamic Web site today offers justification for killing Muslims. The tape was originally posted in late May, shortly after the beheading of Nicholas Berg, and was re-released this weekend.
The voice on the tape says the killings are O-K if a Muslim's presence protects infidels and threatens revenge on Shiites.
The tape was purportedly made by the spiritual advisor to two terrorist groups, including the al-Qaida linked group headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
28 July 2004 - 'Al-Zarqawi follower' arrested in Kirkuk
According to Al Jazeera, a follower of the US's most wanted man in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been arrested in the northern oil city of Kirkuk.
The suspect was arrested on Monday night along with a suspected local kidnapping ring, Colonel Lloyd Miles of the 25th Infantry Division said at the US military base at Kirkuk's airport.
Miles provided no further details about the detainee, but said troops arrested eight Iraqis suspected of involvement in a recent wave of tit-for-tat kidnappings between Kurds and Arabs.
28 July 2004 - Images of Beheaded Bulgarian on Internet; Group Claims Video Release Imminent
Tuesday evening, messages appeared on several Arabic language forums as well as on the website that claims to be the "official" voice of Zarqawi's group Al Tawhid and Jihad, showing an image of the head of a Bulgarian hostage in Iraq.
The website claimed that a video of the beheading will be released shortly. Because of the gruesome nature of the still image, we have chosen not to display it on the website. HQ-Intel Alert subscribers, please check the members forum for more information.
28 July 2004 - Holy Land Foundation and its Leaders Indicted for Providing Material Support to Hamas Terrorist Organization
Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Executive Assistant Director John Pistole, Homeland Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Michael J. Garcia, and IRS Commissioner Mark Everson announced today that the Holy Land Foundation and seven of its leaders were indicted on Monday by a federal grand jury in Dallas, Texas on charges of providing material support to HAMAS, a designated foreign terrorist organization.
The indictment, which was unsealed earlier today, alleges the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), of Dallas, Texas, was an organization created by, among others, defendants Shukri Abu-Baker, Mohammed El-Mezain, and Ghassan Elashi to provide financial and material support to the HAMAS movement. It is also alleged that, since 1995, HLF and its members have illegally sent $12.4 million to support HAMAS and its goal of creating an Islamic Palestinian state by eliminating the State of Israel through violent jihad. In addition to the charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, the 42-count indictment also charges the defendants with engaging in prohibited financial transactions with a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, money laundering, conspiracy and filing false tax returns. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $12.4 million in HAMAS assets.
To those who exploit good hearts to secretly fund violence and murder, this prosecution sends a clear message: There is no distinction between those who carry out terrorist attacks and those who knowingly finance terrorist attacks, said Attorney General John Ashcroft. The United States will ensure that both terrorists and their financiers meet the same, certain justice.
As the U.S. Government began to scrutinize individuals and entities in the United States who were raising funds for terrorist groups in the mid-1990s, the indictment alleges that the Holy Land Foundation intentionally cloaked their financial support for HAMAS behind the mantle of charitable exercise. The indictment alleges that the Foundation and the defendants provided financial support to the families of HAMAS martyrs, detainees, and activists knowing and intending that such assistance would support HAMAS terrorist infrastructure. In screening potential aid recipients and in providing funds, the defendants allegedly distinguished between needy Palestinian families generally, and those Palestinian families who had a relative martyred or jailed as a result of terror activities. In some cases, the defendants allegedly targeted financial aid specifically for families related to well-known HAMAS terrorists who had been killed or jailed by the Israelis. In this manner, the defendants effectively rewarded past, and encouraged future, suicide bombings and terrorist activities on behalf of HAMAS. Since 1995, when it first became illegal to provide financial support to HAMAS, the Holy Land has allegedly provided over $12,400,000 in funding to HAMAS through various HAMAS affiliated committees and organizations located in Palestinian-controlled areas and elsewhere.
The defendants are charged with violating the prohibition against providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. The material support statute, as it is commonly referred to, was enacted in 1996 as part of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, and has become one of our most effective weapons in the governments war on terrorist financing. The defendants are also charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IIEPA), which prohibits transactions that the Executive Branch has determined to be inimical to the national security of the United States, including transactions with HAMAS; as well as with money laundering and tax evasion.
HLF is alleged to have been so concerned about investigators uncovering the groups intentions that the defendants followed a manual entitled The Foundations Policies and Procedures. The HLF followed security procedures outlined in the manual to include, as referenced in the indictment: hiring a security company to search the HLF for listening devices; ordering defendant Haitham Maghawri to take training on advanced methods in the detection of wiretaps; shredding documents after board meetings; and maintaining incriminating documents in off-site locations.
Besides the organization itself, the other defendants charged are: Shukri Abu Baker, the Secretary and Chief Executive Officer; Mohammed El-Mezain, the Director of Endowments; Ghassan Elashi, the Chairman of the Board; Haitham Maghawri, the Executive Director; Akram Mishal, the projects and grants director; Mufid Abdulqater, one of the HLFs top fundraisers; and Abdulraham Odeh, the HLFs New Jersey representative. Shurkri Abu Baker, Mohammed El-Mezain, Ghassan Elashi, Mufid Abdulqater and Abdulraham Odeh were arrested this morning. Haitham Maghawri and Akram Mishal are not in the United States and are considered to be fugitives from justice.
Todays charges are the result of a three-year investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, involving agents from federal, state, and local agencies including: the FBI, IRS, BICE, Department of State, Secret Service, U.S. Army CID, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the police departments of Dallas, Plano, Garland, and Richardson, Texas. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorneys Office in Dallas, Texas, along with the Counterterrorism Section of the United States Department of Justice.
The details contained in the indictment are accusations and the defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
27 July 2004 - Jihadis and the American Political Process
As the Democratic National Convention continues in Boston this week, the Arabic language jihadi boards are once again beginning to talk about John Kerry, who is expected to accept the partys nomination later this week at the convention. The above graphic is one of many which appear on the Arabic language forums regarding the American political process.
Baizid Al Awil, postig on the Arena forum, states that Kerry is the more prominent of the two candidates, and is likely to lead the US during the next period of time. He states that Kerry bears to us, the Saudis, a special hatred, and claims that Saudi Arabia will be a target of attack if Kerry wins the election. He closes his post by stating Oh Saudis, Oh your hell will come from John Kerry.
Another poster on the Arena forums states the following: Kerry and Bush are two faces of the same
Another posting on the same forum claims And Allah knows that only the weak fear John Kerry. The weak in their religion continue to weaken and follow the dirty John Kerry and his brother George Bush
And yet another poster starts off The Jewish John Kerry, candidate for the American Presidency, attacks Saudi Arabia. The posting emphasizes Kerrys Jewish roots, citing his grandfathers name change from Cohen in 1902. It also cites a recent visit by Kerrys brother to Israel, and speculates that Kerry will be a pro-Zionist President.
Meanwhile, both the Reform forum and the Qal3ah forum have been focusing on John Kerrys Jewish ancestry as well, and of the affiliation both Bush and Kerry have with regards to their membership in the Skull and Bones at Yale.
George Bush is receiving almost universal condemnation on the Arabic language forums as well.
If the posts on the forums are any indication of the position of Al Qaeda, it appears that both candidates are equally distasteful to the terrorist organization.
Al Qaeda has made clear its intent to attempt to disrupt the US elections. Much speculation has been made regarding which candidate Al Qaeda would prefer to give the advantage to.
But it should be considered that Al Qaeda may not have a preference among the candidates; instead, the primary goal of the organization is to attack and damage the United States and its economy. Perhaps their goal is not to prevent one candidate from winning the election. Instead, their aim is very likely to simply disrupt the American electoral process, a process which has never before been disrupted on a national basis.
27 July 2004 - Bomb Hoax Forces Australia Jet's Return
A written bomb threat forced a United Airlines jet to return to Sydney International Airport on Tuesday after it took off for Los Angeles, but police declared the threat a hoax after interviewing all 246 passengers.
The incident was also reported as a "hijacking" on the Arabic language "Qal3ah" forum, frequently used by Al Qaeda sympathizers:
The hoax occurred days after a purported al-Qaida affiliate in Europe, the Tawhid Islamic Group, warned it would turn Australia into ``pools of blood'' if the government did not withdraw its troops from Iraq. Australia has nearly 900 military personnel in the region.
Transport Minister John Anderson told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio the "object" discovered was a note carrying a bomb threat. He said the threat was being investigated.
Australian media reported the note was written on an air sickness bag.
United Airlines said in a statement that Flight 840 turned around 90 minutes into the flight. The Boeing 747 taxied to a remote spot at the airport after landing.
"As a precaution, the captain immediately returned to Sydney, landing without incident at 5:50 p.m," it said.
Flights in and out of Sydney were briefly halted or diverted while the threat was investigated, Anderson said.
The flight was rescheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Wednesday.
27 July 2004 - Kuwait: Authorities Reportedly Seize Documents on Plan to Kill Iraqi Premier
According to a report on Al Jazeera, a Kuwaiti security source claims that documents have been seized detailing a scheme to assassinate interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi during his forthcoming visit to Kuwait.
The same source said that the operation was scheduled to take place on 2 August, the anniversary of the Iraqi Army's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
He added that the scheme also includes plans to attack coalition forces' convoys on the road between Iraq and Kuwait.
27 July 2004 - Jordanian company withdraws from Iraq
Jordanian company working for the U.S. military decided Tuesday to withdraw from Iraq, complying with demands of kidnappers threatening to kill two employees, even as a senior Egyptian diplomat returned to work a day after being released by militants.
Earlier, relatives of the hostages threatened to behead the company owner if he did not withdraw.
27 July 2004 - Relatives of hostages threaten to behead company owner if hostages killed
In yet another bizarre twist in the hostage crisis in Iraq, the Associate Press is reporting that relatives of two Jordanian drivers abducted in Iraq have threatened to behead the owner of the company the hostages work for and to kill all the firm's employees if the director fails to immediately comply with the kidnappers' demands to cease operations in Iraq.
The hostages, Fayez Saad al-Udwan and Ahmed Salama Hassan, work as drivers for Daoud and Partners, a private sector Jordanian company. They were kidnapped Monday in Iraq by a group calling itself the Mujahedeen Corps. According to a statement by the captors, the hostages would be killed within 72 hours unless their employer withdrew from Iraq and stopped cooperating with U.S forces.
Daoud and Partners provides construction and catering services to the U.S. military in Iraq.
Al Udwan's brother, Omar, said: "We told the firm's executive director, Rami al-Ouweiss, that if he does not comply with the kidnappers' demands today, his company and the lives of his employees will not be spared."
"We will chop off the head of the firm's director if he doesn't heed to our demands to completely cease his operation in Iraq," Hassan's father, Salama, said.
Both men spoke to reporters at a gathering of male relatives from the two families outside the Amman offices of Daoud and Partners to demand the closure of the company's Iraq operations.
26 July 2004 - Interior Ministry official assassinated in Iraq
A senior Iraqi police officer at the interior ministry, Colonel Mussab al-Awadi, was shot dead by unknown assailants, Iraqi police said Monday. Colonel Mussab al-Awadi was shot in the early afternoon by gunmen who opened fire in the al-Baya area in western Baghdad said the police. The death of Awadi, who was a coordinator of security arrangements with tribal elders, was the latest in a string of killings of senior civil servants numbering nine up till now since Iraq's caretaker government was appointed on June 1. Meanwhile Falluja clerics and tribal chiefs called today for the formation of a committee to seek out any armed foreign fighters in Falluja who might be carrying out acts of terror against government security forces. Informed sources at the Defense Ministry have affirmed that armed foreign fighters have taken refuge in Falluja from which they launch attacks at the Iraqi people and security forces. In Basra, a spokesman for the Basra police said today that two female employees of a British company involved in work at the Basra airport were killed by four unknown gunmen. Two other employees were injured in the drive-by shooting.
26 July 2004 - UPDATE: The Re-released Encoded Osama bin Laden Footage
Last week, the Northeast Intelligence Network posted an image on the front page of our site showing a frame capture copied from the footage of a re-released, 31 minute video of Osama bin Laden. The video footage was originally released in October of 2003, although it was re-released last week in a much different format and with English subtitles. During an analysis of this video, analysts found an alpha-numeric sequence on a very limited number of individual frames located to the right of bin Ladens image.
Upon finding this anomaly, we notified federal law enforcement authorities and posted a single frame capture on our site for public view. Ultimately, we removed the image at the request of federal law enforcement until further analysis could be conducted. Subsequent to the removal of the frame capture, we received numerous e-mail inquiries from the public and the various members of the media inquiring about the disposition of the image. Based on the intense interest regarding this issue and the apparent controversy surrounding the encoding, we felt that a follow-up and update to our initial report is warranted. As initially stated, the footage and the individual frame offsets were forwarded to federal authorities, and pursuant to their legitimate and informal request, the frame capture was removed from the front page of our site. We are pleased that the encoding was found and promptly placed into the hands of federal authorities. Further updates will be provided as available.
26 July 2004 - Abu Hafs Masry Brigade issues threat against Italy too!
A statement issued late yesterday by the Abu Hafs Al Masry Brigade, which claims to be affiliated with Al Qaeda, reitereated a warning to Italy to withdraw its forces from Iraq or the group threatens to shake the earth in Italy. The image above shows the actual statement.
The statement is the second such threat in two weeks against the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. It was posted on an Internet site known for carrying Islamic extremist content.
The statement reads as follows:
There was no way to verify the authenticity of the statement.
A July 16 statement by the same group, threatened to burn Italy if Berlusconi, a staunch supporter of President George Bush, was not removed from office. The premier has remained steadfast, though many Italians have called for a troops withdrawal.
On Saturday, another group, The Tawhid Islamic Group, warned Australia and Italy to withdraw their forces from Iraq.
25 July 2004 - Jihadis show device they claim US uses to target militants
The three images above appeared late yesterday on an Arabic language forum frequented by Al Qaeda sympathizers.
The individual who made the posting claims that the square electronic devices were found on an individual in Fallujah. The militants claim that this device is being used to allow coalition weaponry to identify and target "safe houses".
We have been unable to confirm the purpose or the origin of the device in the photograph.
25 July 2004 - From the Arabic Forums: "Where are the news of the disasters?"
The following posting was located today, dated July 25, 2004, on the Arabic language Qal3ah forum, a message board frequented by Al Qaeda sympathizers:
25 July 2004 - Dutch chemical barge explodes on canal
A Dutch-registered chemical tanker barge has exploded on a canal in Germany, killing one, believed to be the ship's captain, and injuring six, including his wife and two children, police say.
The blast early on Sunday came after the barge had discharged its load of naphtha in Essen in northwestern Germany, and had moored for the night in the Rhein-Herne canal, a spokesman for Essen police said.
The strength of the blast blew out windows in nearby buildings. It was not known what caused the explosion, he said.
German television showed the barge's tanks reduced to twisted metal but the vessel remained afloat.
This follows a few weeks after another chemical-laden ship incident on July 1 in Hamburg.
25 July 2004 - New Virus Claiming to be Bin Laden Suicide Images Spreading Through Internet
A virus purporting to show images of Osama Bin Laden's suicide has been unleashed onto the internet, security experts are warning.
The virus was attached to a message posted on thousands of Usenet newsgroups, security firm Sophos said.
The message is designed to entice recipients to open a file that unleashes malicious software code.
The founder of al-Qaeda is blamed for a string of attacks, including those of 11 September 2001.
The message claims that Bin Laden's hanged body was found by journalists with TV news channel CNN, and point to a website where a file of images can be downloaded.
But the file contains a Trojan horse program which can secretly install code to enable attackers to gain remote control of a computer, Sophos said.
25 July 2004 - Al Qaeda Threatens Italy Again, Australia
A group claiming to be the European branch of the al-Qaida terror network has threatened to launch attacks against Australia and Italy, unless the countries withdraw troops from Iraq.
A statement posted on the Internet says the Tawhid Islamic Group will attack both countries and their interests abroad, if its demands are not met.
The group urged the two nations to follow the example of the Philippines and Spain, which pulled troops out of Iraq to meet terrorist demands.
The authenticity of the group and the statement could not be verified.
Earlier this week the same group issued similar threats to Poland and Bulgaria. All four countries have said they take the treats seriously, but will not give into terrorism.
24 July 2004 - Sadr Gives First Sermon in 2 Months; Denounces Beheadings
Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr gave his first public sermon in nearly two months, saying he he will not allow any attack on neighbours Syria or Iran from Iraqi territory. Al-Sadr was speaking during Friday prayers at the Kufa mosque, reported Aljazeera's correspondent Atwar Bahjat. He also said that the captors of a South Korean hostage were not justified in beheading him. The South Korean civilian was killed in June after Seoul refused his cators' demands to withdraw its troops from Iraq. "If you knew politics and religion, you would not have cut off his head," said al-Sadr. "There is no religion or religious law that punishes by beheading. True, they are your enemies and occupiers, but this does not justify cutting off their heads," al-Sadr said in Kufa, next to the southern Iraqi city of Najaf.
24 July 2004 - Iraqi Intelligence Sources Cited Saying Al-Zarqawi, Terror Groups On the Run
Reprinted courtesy Al-Mustaqbal - Beirut - in Arabic 21 Jul 04 [unattributed report from Amman an Baghdad: "Sources Confirm Al-Zarqawi Preparing To Flee Iraq; Jordan Receives Al-Zarqawi's Followers From US Forces"]
In the past week Jordan received from the US forces in Iraq Mu'ammar Ahmad Yusuf al-Jaghbir, alias Abu-Ahmad, one of the followers of Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, the leader of the Jama'at al-Tawhid wa al-Jihad. He had been accused in the case of the assassination of US diplomat Laurence Foley and sentenced to death by hanging by a Jordanian Security Court. It should be recalled that Al-Jaghbir, who was a member of a 12-group cell operating in Jordan and run by Al-Zarqawi, is the third member of the followers of Al-Zarqawi that Jordan declared it received from the US forces since the occupation of Iraq. Earlier, Jordan received Ahmad al-Riyati, who was accused in the case of Ansar al-Islam, and Ali Mustafa Yusuf Mustafa Siyam, whom Jordan announced it received the day before yesterday. Siyam had earlier been sentenced to death by hanging by the Jordanian security court for his complicity in the case of the Jabal Amman blast, which targeted Jordanian intelligence officer Colonel Ali Burjaq and his family, and which caused the death of two Iraqi and Egyptian nationals when the explosive charge planted under the officer's car went off on 28 February 2002.
Al-Jagbir played a key role in the assassination of US diplomat Laurence Foley, who was killed in front of his home in Amman on 28 October 2002. He managed to leave Jordan for Iraq to join Al-Zarqawi after he supervised the implementation of the assassination of the US diplomat.
Iraqi intelligence sources have disclosed that Jordanian national Al-Zarqawi is now facing bitter options, now that his groups have scattered throughout Iraq, with some having fled Iraq to neighboring countries and others returned to their original countries. These sources, which preferred not to be identified, said that Al-Zarqawi is now in an unenviable position and is faced with bitter options. He can either face his fate and end his life in a confrontation with the security agencies pursuing him or opt to flee Iraq to save his life. These sources think that, given the precedent of his fleeing Afghanistan and his nature of preferring to act close to borders, he is more likely to opt to flee Iraq. According to these sources, the latest reports affirmed that he arrived in Hadithah to serve as a springboard for leaving Iraq.
These sources said that the latest operations by the Iraqi intelligence agencies have led to several fruitful results. Indications from the field demonstrated that terrorist operations and their perpetrators have begun to lose ground in a rapid dramatic decline. These operations have transformed these armed groups from a force capable of imposing their presence into remnants unable to stay in one place, are constantly on the move, fleeing aimlessly from one place to another.
These sources said that the best indication that the Iraqi security forces have now taken the initiative and are on the offensive is that "they have succeeded in forcing the masterminds of terror, specifically Al-Zarqawi, to move from one place to another, rendering him unable to stay in the same place for more than 72 hours. This is in sharp contrast with earlier times when Al-Zarqawi succeeded in setting up terror bases in a number of Iraqi areas where his rules and orders were obeyed. They pointed out that the fall of some of Al-Zarqawi's aides in the hands of Iraqi security agencies and their interrogations have provided a treasure trove of information on the movements of terrorist networks, weapons, and hideouts, tightening the noose round them. They said that the security measures taken are aimed at cornering these groups in small areas to rob them of maneuverability as a prelude to their arrest or liquidation.
These sources pointed out that the terror groups are now wracked by acute divisions threatening their fragile alliance. They attributed the divisions to a number of factors, primarily the objection of many of them to the bloody scenarios adopted by the Al-Zarqawi group, which includes members from abroad. Some of them believe that car-bombs and the huge human losses they cause are unjustifiable and do not serve any reasonable goal. They believe that such attacks cannot be defended because they give adverse results, increasing the anger of the ordinary Iraqi citizens, as such attacks target the Iraqi citizen's life and security. The anger of the ordinary Iraqis at these bloody terrorist acts led to a decline in popular support for the armed groups and, indeed, to a turnaround, prompting Iraqi citizens to cooperate with the security authorities. The cooperation between Iraqis and the security forces gained momentum after the transfer of power to Iraqis late in June.
According to these sources, the cooperation between Iraqi citizens and the Iraqi security authorities not only did it contribute to developing Iraqi security performance in the face of acts of terrorism, it also caused the terrorist groups to lose the human environment that used to help them. Iraqis now cooperate with security authorities in uncovering these groups and their movements. The sources said that the band of terrorists have begun to gradually fall into the hands of justice. This is one of the fruits of cooperation between Iraqi citizens and the security authorities in watching for and notifying authorities of any suspicious movements or persons.
24 July 2004 - Discovery of Decapitated Body in Iraq
Police discovered a decapitated body in an orange jumpsuit and a head in a bag on the banks of the Tigris River, authorities said Thursday, prompting fears that a second Bulgarian hostage has been killed.
The deepening hostage crises across Iraq led Kenya, facing an ultimatum by militants to behead three of its citizens in captivity, to tell its people Thursday to leave Iraq. The kidnappings have further complicated Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's efforts to persuade reluctant nations to join the U.S.-led coalition and send troops here.
Allawi asked Egypt, which also has a citizen threatened with decapitation in Iraq, "to talk to some Arab and Islamic leaders to send forces to protect" a U.N. mission in the country, he told reporters in Cairo. But an official in the Egyptian president's office said Egypt would send troops only if other Arabs do so first. On Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said: "Egypt will not send forces in any case."
24 July 2004 - US Forces Arrest 20 Syrians Following Clashes in Central Baghdad
Al-Arabiyah Television (Dubai), in Arabic, 1008 GMT, 22 Jul 04
At 1010 GMT, on 22 July, Al-Arabiyah carries an interview with its Baghdad correspondent Ahmad al-Salih for an update on the above story. He says:" The latest on this issue is the announcement by the Iraqi police and National Guard that they have arrested more than 20 Syrian nationals. This is probably the most important event with regard to these developments that started at dawn today and continued up until now. We must indicate that a large number of Syrians and Arab nationals live in this area, specifically in a complex in the Yafa Street, which is one of the complexes the former Iraqi regime gave to Arab nationals. These complexes, situated in several spots in Baghdad, are very well known.
21 July 2004 - Eiffel Tower Evacuated After Caller Threatened 9/11 Attack; Call Determined to Be Hoax
French authorities rushed thousands of tourists out of the Eiffel Tower after receiving a warning that a plane was about to crash into the famous Paris landmark, police and the tower's management said.
Around 4,000 people were evacuated from the 324-metre (1,070-foot) structure, which was closed for two hours before police ascertained that the threat was a hoax and it was re-opened.
The company managing the tower, SNTE, said in a statement it had received "an anonymous message" which triggered the alert.
It refused to elaborate on the threat, but a police source said a caller had spoken of a plane about to hit the Eiffel Tower in an attack reminiscent of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York's World Trade Centre.
A careful verification showed the threat was a hoax, but only after authorities emptied the nearly full tower as a precautionary measure -- a procedure that took 40 minutes to complete.
The last time the structure was evacuated was nearly exactly a year ago, on July 22, 2003, when a small fire broke out at the top, in a zone reserved for broadcast transmission equipment.
French officials are particularly sensitive to threats to the Eiffel Tower and other symbolic landmarks.
In 1994, a group of four Algerian Islamic extremists hijacked an Air France flight heading to Paris. French commandos stormed the aircraft during a refuelling stop in Marseille after authorities learnt that the men planned to crash it into the Eiffel Tower.
21 July 2004 - Iraqis Reportedly Discover Nuclear Warheads
Iraqi security reportedly discovered three missiles carrying nuclear heads concealed in a concrete trench northwest of Baghdad, official sources said Wednesday.
The official daily al-Sabah quoted the sources as saying the missiles were discovered in trenches near the city of Tikrit, the hometown of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
"The three missiles were discovered by chance when the Iraqi security forces captured former Baath party official Khoder al-Douri who revealed during interrogation the location of the missiles saying they carried nuclear heads," the sources said.
They pointed out that the missiles were actually discovered in the trenches lying under six meters of concrete and designed in a way to unable sophisticated sensors from discovering nuclear radiation.
The sources said al-Douri, who is related to former Vice Chairman of the Iraq Revolution Council and Saddam's right-hand man Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, was captured after Iraqi police intercepted an e-mail message in which he set a meeting with another former Baath official.
The report could not be authenticated by the interior ministry or the national security department, but the paper noted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zibari made a surprise request recently to Mohammed el-Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to resume inspections for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
21 July 2004 - Saudi Security Forces Kill 2 Militants in Gunbattle
Saudi Arabian security forces engaged in a gunbattle with suspected Islamist militants in Riyadh's King Fahd District. Interior Ministry officials report that the clash occurred when militants fired on security forces that were investigating a suspected militant hideout. Two militants were killed and three others were wounded in the battle. Officials also claim to have arrested the family of Saleh al-Oufi, whom they suspect of being the leader of al-Qaeda's operations in Saudi Arabia. Three policemen were wounded in the firefight.
21 July 2004 - Saudi Authorities Find Head of Paul Johnson
Just one day after Wayne Johnson, brother of beheaded engineer Paul Johnson, was arrested Tuesday for protesting outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington, Saudi authorities located the decapitated head of Paul Johnson.
Paul Johnson was killed just over a month ago in Riyadh. Saudi authorities reportedly discovered the head during a police raid of an apartment in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Al Arabiya television reported that Johnson's head was found in a freezer in the apartment. The rest of Johnson's body has not yet been located.
21 July 2004 - State Department Updates Iraq Travel Advisory
Earlier today, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Warning for Iraq that reads as follows: "This Travel Warning updates information on the continuing dangerous security situation in Iraq following the transfer of governing authority to the Interim Iraqi Government on June 28, 2004. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was established on the same day. The security threat to all American citizens in Iraq remains extremely high, with a high risk of attacks on civilians. International organizations have reduced their staff in Iraq as a result of attacks, bombings and threats to civil aviation. This supersedes the Travel Warning of June 25, 2004
The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq, which remains very dangerous. Remnants of the former Baath regime, transnational terrorists, and criminal elements remain active. Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue. Targets include hotels, restaurants, police stations, checkpoints, foreign diplomatic missions, and international organizations and other locations with expatriate personnel. These attacks have resulted in deaths and injuries of American citizens, including those doing humanitarian work. There is credible information that terrorists have targeted civil aviation. In addition, there have been planned and random killings, as well as extortions and kidnappings. Military operations continue. There are daily attacks against Multinational Forces - Iraq (MNF- I) throughout the country.
All vehicular travel in Iraq is extremely dangerous. There have been numerous attacks on civilian vehicles, as well as military convoys. Attacks occur throughout the day, but travel at night is exceptionally dangerous. Travel in or through Ramadi and Fallujah, travel between al-Hillah and Baghdad, and travel between the International Zone and Baghdad International Airport is particularly dangerous. Occasionally, U.S. Government personnel are prohibited from traveling to select areas depending on prevailing security conditions. There continues to be heavy use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and/or mines on roads, particularly in plastic bags, soda cans, and dead animals. Grenades and explosives have been thrown into vehicles from overpasses, particularly in crowded areas. Travel should be undertaken only when absolutely necessary and with the appropriate security.
The U.S. Embassy is located in the International Zone. The Embassy can provide only limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq. At present travel to and from the International Zone is extremely limited. The U.S. Embassy does not provide visa services. American citizens who choose to visit or reside in Iraq despite this Travel Warning are urged to pay close attention to their personal security, avoid crowds, especially rallies or demonstrations and to inform the U.S. Embassy of their presence in Iraq. ..."
20 July 2004 - Iraqi Interior Minister Announces Arrest of Libyans, Afghans, and Iranians Involved in Terrorist Acts
Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib told Al-Sharq al-Awsat by telephone yesterday that the Iraqi security services are capable of carrying out the required tasks. He expected stability to be restored within eight months. He disclosed that terrorists from different nationalities were arrested. These included Libyans, Afghans, and Iranians. He disclosed that many persons involved in terrorist operations have recently been arrested. The latest arrest, he said, was made two days ago. He added: "We discovered that there is large coordination and cooperation between the organized crime gangs and the terrorist groups. One of the arrested was Iraqi and seven others were Arabs. Investigation with them has been going on since last night." He said there are about 60 detainees, including Iranians, Afghans, and Libyans.
20 July 2004 - New Clouds (Sahab) Enterprises Video Restates Speech of Bin Laden
A newly released video tape by Clouds Enterprises, the video production group of Al Qaeda, features still images of Osama Bin Laden with English subtitles, as an audio tape plays in the background in Arabic. The original audio was aired in 2003.
20 July 2004 - Was NYC Blast Caused by Bomb in Backpack?
Police believe that a blast in a Times Square Subway Station on Monday night was caused by a pipebomb in a backpack.
Originally it was believed that the explosion was caused by fireworks.
The explosion at 8 p.m. Monday slightly injured a retired police officer and disrupted subway service. Scores of heavily armed police trained in anti-terrorism tactics and hundreds of other officers sealed off parts of the surrounding streets around 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue. Investigators said later, however, that they did not suspect any terrorism link.
Police at first said they believed fireworks caused the blast. But investigators said they later discovered pieces of plastic pipe, traces of black powder and ball bearings at the scene.
The retired officer said he had spotted the blue and white backpack, burning on a mezzanine staircase, and was going to call for backup when it exploded.
16 July 2004 - Zarqawi Reiterates Threats to Iraq's Allawi
16 July 2004 - Why Arkansas?
15 July 2004 - Hashemite descendent wants to rule Iraq
14 July 2004 - Arkansas Just The Tip of the Iceberg
13 July 2004 - Homeland Security Confirms Election Delay Talks
13 July 2004 - Chechen leader survives assassination attempt
12 July 2004 - Unknown Iraqi Women's Group Threatens Saddam's Lawyers--VIDEO
12 July 2004 - Filipino hostage in Iraq still alive
12 July 2004 - Korean Shipping Firms on Terror Alert
12 July 2004EXCLUSIVE: Attempted Missile Strike on Iraqi Interim Presidents Compound
12 July 2004 - Athens hit with power outages
12 July 2004 - Press Release: Arkansas Government Site hijacked
12 July 2004 - Iraqi Government to Insurgents: Surrender or face very sharp sword
12 July 2004 - Zarqawi's Resume
12 July 2004 - Iraqi Insurency Leader Al Sadr Stabbed in Dispute With Members of His Office
12 July 2004 - Arkansas Highway Department website serving jihadi downloads
11 July 2004 - Large explosion and fire today at Minnesota Oil Refinery
11 July 2004 - Is Wall Street Al Qaeda's Next Target?
10 July 2004 - Al-Qaida-linked group claims deadly blast
9 July 2004 - Zarqawi's group al Tawhid wa Jihad threaten to kill two Bulgarians
9 July 2004 - Egyptian cabinet resigns; new cabinet to be sworn in this week
9 July 2004 - Zarqawi's group claims 2 US helicopters downed
9 July 2004 - Saudi Arabia: Armed gunmen raid aluminum plant looking for Americans
8 July 2004 - Gunmen threaten to behead Saddam's Attorneys
8 July 2004 - Two killed in gunbattle with Marine Cpl Hassoun's family in Lebanon
8 July 2004 - Marine reported beheaded last week, now safe in US hands
8 July 2004 - Tom Ridge Warns of Planned Terror Attacks
7 July 2004 - Translation and video threatning Zarqawi
7 July 2004 - Philippines halts Iraq deployment after kidnapping
7 July 2004 - Al Battar Issue 13 released despite security raid