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6 September 2004 -- NEIN calls for creation of multinational hostage rescue task force


by Laura Mansfield

Readers of Tom Clancy are probably familiar with his book, Rainbow Six, which focuses on the work of an elite team of terror fighting commandos, who were formed to respond to terror attacks, especially those involving hostages. The team was formed in the sequel to his book Executive Orders, where the US Capitol building was destroyed by a terrorist acting on his own, and the US was hit by multiple attacks including one involving bioweapons.

As Clancy readers will tell you, quite often Clancy’s fictional writings draw striking parallels to reality.

We need look no further than the tragedy that occurred this week in the Russian republic of Ossetia, where over a thousand school children and their parents were held hostage by Islamic terrorists, and then hundreds were massacred.

Criticism has been heaped upon the Russians for their handling of the incident. But what country is in fact equipped to deal with a tragedy of this nature? I would dare to suggest that there are not many.

If there is one thing that I have learned from many years of studying Al Qaeda and their operations it is this: they tell us what they are going to do, and they do it.

No, they don’t make it quite that easy. They don’t tell us when or where, but they tell us what and how. They publish their plans for murder and mayhem for all to read.

This will not be the only incident of this nature; Al Qaeda has put too much emphasis on publishing the how-to’s. More assassinations and kidnapping operations are on the horizon, based on their internet announcements.

Many of the incidents could be prevented before they actually happen by extra vigilance. In this case, it appears that the terrorists were involved in the remodeling of the gym of the school this summer. They not only knew their way around the premises, but they appear to have prepositioned weapons and explosives, hiding them under the floorboards of the gym. (This technique has been used in the past. The President of Chechnya was assassinated earlier this year by an explosive device prepositioned when a stadium was constructed.) Those responsible for facilities and for construction need to be alert for this scenario.

But no amount of vigilance is going to stop all attacks. They will certainly continue; the genie is already out of the bottle. We must have a plan of response.

I am publicly calling for the establishment of a multinational team of special forces, not under control of the United Nations but under it’s own aegis, similar to other multinational military coalitions which have been formed over the years.

I would expect Israel, the United States, Great Britain, and Russia to head up this team, but other countries would certainly participate.

This force would be a rapid deployment force, divided into 5 or 6 different groups, each prepositioned at a different location globally to ensure that a team can reach the site of a hostage situation as quickly as possible. That means one positioned in Europe, the US, South America, eastern Russia, Australia, Southeast Asia, and probably North Africa.

Each of these teams would have the best available equipment, as well as expertise in psychology, negotiations, crowd control, explosives, weaponry, hostage rescue, and evaluating the situation. They would be able to go in, assess the situation, and devise a plan to minimize chaos and maximize the chances of getting the hostages out alive.

Although no one team could handle a situation with as many hostages as the school takeover this week, it would certainly be able to provide the leadership and expertise for law enforcement and military forces already on the scene. A multi-day scenario would also provide for more time for one or more of the other teams to arrive on the scene.

Such a force would certainly save lives.

It’s time for one to be created.

We know from experience terrorists want to bring their murder and mayhem to the US homeland again. We must be prepared. Please contact your Senators and Congressmen, and tell them you want one created. Now.

Is That What They are Really Saying?

by Douglas J. Hagmann, Director, Northeast Intelligence Network

2 September 2004--Over the last 24 hours, the Northeast Intelligence Network has received numerous e-mails concerning two reports being circulated on popular Islamic web sites: the alleged chemical attacks on US and coalition troops on a military base north of Baghdad, Iraq, and yet another alleged "warning" by a division of al Qaeda to vacate portions of the US and Europe in anticipation of an impending attack. Readers have been questioning our lack of coverage on these "reports" found on popular and much frequented Islamic web sites available to many journalists and intelligence analysts.

After careful analysis of both the original posting source and the manner in which the actual message translates from Arabic to English, we found both accounts to be highly "suspect" if not outright "suspicious" in nature. From an investigatory and analytical standpoint, there are several standards of evidence that must be present before we publish a report. These standards are constant in all of our published reports, and we methodically adhere to a strict and proven investigative process to insure accuracy and that the information meets the highest standards of proof. In these two instances, and especially these two instances,they do not.

Without exposing or fully detailing our investigative and analytical process, we can state that we carefully consider the manner in which messages, written in Arabic, translate by machine and by an Arabic linguist. When a message translates in a "certain manner" from Arabic to English via machine, we see a "red flag," as most communications originally written in Arabic have certain unique characteristics based on the nuances inherant with the Arabic dialects when processed into English. The absence of these characteristics causes analysts to ask many questions, the first of which being: "Was this message originally written in Arabic?" If not, we attempt to determine in what language the message was originally written and ask why it was written in that language. We also look carefully at the history of the person or entity publishing the communication or message to determine their affiliation and historical track record for accuracy.

In the case of these two accounts, we found that neither passed the first round of qualifying tests. Based on a extensive analysis of both accounts, we are looking at the possibility that the particular Islamic sites featuring these communications were "intentionally seeded" with these reports - much like a criminal investigation where the critical piece of evidence is neatly packaged and left lying in an obvious location where it will certainly be found by police. Perhaps it can be best summarized by quoting French novelist Francoise Sagan:
"It seems to me that there are two kinds of trickery: the 'fronts' people assume before one another's eyes, and the "front" a writer puts on the face of reality."

Escalation in Terrorism

by Randy Taylor

2 September 2004--When planes go down killing passengers and flight crews, it brings terrorism dead center into the public eye. It brings a more graphic and enlarged violent picture to our minds because it is a painful reminder of events past that occurred right here in our country, a place we never imagined would be violated in such a manner. Many of us stared in horror and disbelief as we watched the tragic events unfold right before our eyes on that frightful day in 2001.

This is the reason that the Chechen rebels or affiliates of the same chose to hijack the Russian jetliners on August 24, 2004. Suddenly the world is aware that there is a steadily escalating conflict between the Russian government and the Chechen Rebels, although this conflict has been going on for many, many years. It was imperative that they raise the ante and perform acts that draw world attention, because as with any terrorist action, the act itself bears carnage and death but the larger and more valuable prize to the terrorists is the attention, anxiety and fear the act itself generates worldwide.Click here to continue reading

We Cannot Win the War Against Terror This Way

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director, Northeast Intelligence Network

I am going to be somewhat political here, but definitely not apologetic. I am going to be realistic, and by doing so, I will hopefully be able to shed some outside perspective on our war against terrorism to the average person like me reading this. I am able to do this as I have personally spoken with numerous agents of the US intelligence communities over the last 18 months. These are the men and women actually fighting the war on terror inside the US, those who know the dirty details of the depth and breadth of our trouble. I’ve had them in my office, at my dining room table, and I’ve met them in their offices. Further, I’ve seen thousands of terrorist communications, read hundreds of indictments, and had conferences with some of the most capable intelligence analysts in the public and private sector. Accordingly, I believe that I can speak with some authority and insight.

The current water-cooler buzz right now, depending on which cooler in which intelligence agency building you are standing next to, is the President’s answer to the question posed by NBC’s Matt Lauer about whether we could win the war on terror. President Bush responded: “I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.” Click here to continue reading

PC will get us killed! by Randy Taylor

Once again, the document below is living proof that Political Correctness will eventually get us killed and has absolutely no place during a war on terror. I submit the following, filed by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority July 28, 2004. These Arab Americans have an objection to their luggage, hand bags, etc. being searched. The disappointing part is that the court has to actually listen and give credence to this Civil Action and weigh it for merit.

My question, as an American, is “How exactly do we, as a country, protect ourselves when the very processes required to increase transportation safety is being maligned and questioned by the ones we are trying to protect, as well as the ones we are trying to protect ourselves against?” Click here to continue reading

27 August 2004 - UN Report claims Al Qaeda attacks cost less that $50K each

All major al-Qaida-linked attacks except Sept. 11 cost less than $50,000 each to carry out, according to a new U.N. report circulated Thursday that indicated just how little money the terror network needs to mount operations.

The report - the first by a new team monitoring the implementation of U.N. sanctions against al-Qaida and the Taliban - said only the sophisticated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon using hijacked aircraft "required significant funding of over six figures."

"Other al-Qaida terrorist operations have been far less expensive," said the report, directed to the U.N. Security Council.

For example, the report said the March attacks in the Spanish capital, Madrid, in which nearly 10 simultaneous bombs exploded on four commuter trains, cost $10,000 to carry out. The blasts killed 191 people, Spain's worst terror attack.

The November 2003 attacks in Istanbul, Turkey - four suicide truck bombings that killed 62 people - cost less than $40,000, the report found. And the twin truck bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998 are estimated to have cost less than a total $50,000. Those attacks killed 231 people, including 12 Americans.

The report said al-Qaida has changed over the last five years from an organization run by Osama bin Laden to a global network of groups that don't wait for orders but launch attacks against targets of their own choosing, using minimal resources and exploiting worldwide publicity "to create an international sense of crisis."

"There is no prospect of an early end to attacks from Al-Qaida associated terrorists," the monitoring team said. "They will continue to attack targets in both Muslim and non-Muslim states, choosing them according to the resources they have available and the opportunities that occur. While they will look for ways to attack high profile targets, soft targets will be equally vulnerable."

U.N. sanctions require all U.N. member states to impose a travel ban and arms embargo against a list of those linked to the Taliban or al-Qaida, currently 317 individuals and 112 groups, and to freeze any assets. Sanctions were first imposed on bin Laden's network in 1999.

The report said punitive measures to stop terror financing have had some effect and led to "millions of dollars of assets" being frozen.

"As a result of national and international action, al-Qaida's funding has decreased significantly. But so, too, has its need for money," the team said.

The number of people in training camps controlled by al-Qaida "is now far less, and al-Qaida no longer pays the $10 million to $20 million annually that it gave to its Taliban hosts" in Afghanistan before a U.S.-led force routed the government in late 2001, it said.

While some money for the al-Qaida attacks since 1998 may have come from "the center," the report said "much of it will have been collected locally, whether through crime or diverted from charitable donations."

But the monitoring team said al-Qaida will still need to raise and move money, and not enough was being done to identify those involved and to crack down on terror-related transactions - especially those through informal channels.

The report said not a single country reported stopping an arms shipment or banning entry to any of the Taliban and al-Qaida members on the U.N. list.

It called for increased efforts to stop al-Qaida from obtaining large weapons systems and to restrict its ability to build non-conventional bombs designed to cause mass casualties.

"There is evidence that al-Qaida remains interested in acquiring the means to construct bombs that would disperse chemical, biological or radiological pollutant, and the threat to use such a device was repeated, albeit obliquely, in a communique from the Abu Hafs Brigade, an al-Qaida offshoot, on July 1, 2004," the report said.

"Al-Qaida related groups have tried at least twice to buy the basic ingredients for a dirty bomb and a good deal of the necessary technical knowledge is available on the Internet," it said. "There is real need therefore to try to design effective measures against this threat."

Overall, the monitoring team said, U.N. sanctions have had "a limited impact," primarily because the Security Council has reacted to events "while al-Qaida has shown great flexibility and adaptability in staying ahead of them."

It cited al-Qaida's transformation from an office supporting Afghan fighters to its role initiating and sponsoring terrorism from an established base "to its current manifestation as a loose network of affiliated underground groups with certain goals in common."

"Al-Qaida wishes to promote the idea that Islam and the West are now at war, and that al-Qaida and its supporters are the true defenders of the faith," the monitoring group said. "This message ... appeals to a widespread sense of resentment and helplessness in the face of the West's political and economic hegemony that many believe is intrinsically and determinedly inimical to their interests."

"Al-Qaida's ability to strike the enemy and survive, despite the disparity in resources, taps into an ill articulated desire for revenge and gains both recruits and donations," it said.

19 August 2004 - Natural gas blast rocks Houston suburb

An explosion early Thursday at an underground gas storage facility near Houston has forced dozens of residents to evacuate from the area, say authorities who also closed nearby roads.

Houses within a one-mile radius around the Moss Bluff gas storage facility were ordered evacuated after natural gas exploded at about 4 a.m., authorities said.

"We've got dozens of evacuations," said Cathy Jones, a dispatcher for the Liberty County Sheriff's Department.

She said no injuries had been reported.

Highways near the facility along Farm-to-Market Road 563 at the Liberty-Chambers counties' border were shut down following the explosion. Residents beyond a one-mile radius of the plant were asked to stay in their homes.

Emergency crews remained on the scene three hours after the blast. A cause of the explosion has not been determined.

According to the Duke Energy Web site, the Moss Bluff facility has a storage capacity of 16 billion cubic feet of natural gas and is linked to 5 major pipelines stretching from New York to far South Texas.

19 August 2004 - Iraqi terrorists threaten to kill US-French Journalist

Iraqi militants who claim they captured a US journalist last week have threatened to kill him if US forces do not pull out of Najaf.

Al Jazeera television showed footage of a man with a moustache kneeling in front of five masked men holding rifles. No audio can be heard but the man was identified as Micah Garen, and said the group called itself the Martyrs Brigades.

Mr Garen, 37, is a journalist and archaeology specialist with US-French citizenship who was working for a New-York based production company and was making a documentary on the impact of the war.

19 August 2004 - Sadr changes his mind again

Fierce fighting erupted in the city of Najaf Thursday after a rebel Shi'ite cleric defied an Iraqi government threat to attack his stronghold in a holy shrine and rejected demands that he end his uprising.

New reports indicate that Sadr's supporters have boobytrapped the shrine with explosives and are threatening to blow up the building if they are attacked.

developing...

19 August 2004 - Armed Group Claims Kidnapping Iraqi Intelligence Officer

An armed group in Iraq calling itself the Brigades for the Defense of the Holy Shrines [Saraya al-Difa an al-Atabat al-Muqaddasah] has claimed that it has abducted a person whom it says is an officer in the Iraqi Intelligence Service and whose name is Usamah Abd-al-Jabbar. Al-Jazirah obtained a video, which shows the kidnapped person providing personal information about himself to the kidnappers. The armed group said that the kidnapping is in response to the fighting taking place in Al-Najaf. [Video shows a person standing between two armed and masked men]

The view may be downloaded here.

19 August 2004 - Sadr and supporters to drop weapons, leave Najaf shrine

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has accepted a peace plan drafted by the Iraqi National Conference, which would include laying down arms and withdrawing his militia from a holy shrine in the city of Najaf, a delegate told the conference Wednesday. There was no immediate confirmation from al-Sadr's office.

Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia has been battling U.S. and Iraqi forces in the holy city of Najaf for nearly two weeks. A previous effort to broker a truce collapsed over the weekend, and al-Sadr, whose forces fought a two-month insurgency in the spring, has made contradictory statements in the past.

On Tuesday, an 8-person delegation from the conference traveled to Najaf to present a peace proposal to al-Sadr. The proposal demanded the cleric's militia drop its arms, withdraw from the Imam Ali Shrine where it has taken refuge and transform itself into a political party in exchange for amnesty.

Al-Sadr declined to meet the peace delegation, and earlier Wednesday Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan said the government could raid the shrine within hours to push out the militants.

On Wednesday evening, however, Safiya al-Suhail, an independent Shiite delegate at the conference, said she had received a letter from al-Sadr's Baghdad office saying he was agreeing to the conditions.

"Muqtada al-Sadr has agreed on the conditions set by the National Conference," she said reading the letter to the conference.

"We call on the Iraqi government and the National Conference to participate in implementing what is proposed by Muqtada al-Sadr, otherwise everybody will bear the responsibility," the letter said.

19 August 2004 - Iraqi Interior Ministry Forms 4 Border Commands To Stop Entry of Infiltrators

The Interior Ministry in coordination with the Defense Ministry has formed four border commands all over Iraq to control the joint borders and prevent the entry of infiltrators into the Iraqi territory.

An official source at the ministry said that the first command located in Arbil includes the northern governorates, whereas the second command situated in Al-Anbar includes the western part of Iraq. As for the third command, which is located in Diyala, it includes the governorates of Wasit and Diyala, while the fourth located in Basra governorate includes the southern governorates.

The source pointed out that the Interior Ministry assigned 600 police officers of various ranks and specializations to Diyala Police Directorate to be deployed in the border police stations between Iraq and Iran to prevent the infiltrators and saboteurs from entering the Iraqi territory.

19 August 2004 - Suspicious activity reported involving ambulances

The following alert was released by Westchester County Department of Emergency Services based on information fron New Jersey authorities and should be practiced by all agencies.

Within the past week, the Office of Counter-Terrorism received three reports of suspicious activity concerning ambulances .

The most recent incident involved an individual who attended an open-house at an ambulance squad in Middlesex County . The man, who claimed he was from Pakistan and a physician,asked a series of questions to the squad members that related exclusively to the operation of the emergency vehicles, including the speed at which the vehicles responded to calls and the use of the lights and sirens. The individual appeared very nervous, did not ask about patient care, and left the premises when asked to complete a membership application.

The second incident occurred at a hospital in Essex County and involved an inquiry made by a male of Middle-Eastern appearance who was first observed standing near an ambulance at the emergency room doors while writing notes in a small notepad. When confronted by the vehicle's operator, a firefighter/EMT, the man asserted that he was employed as an ambulance mechanic. He then asked where a nearby fire department serviced its vehicles. The man provided an illegible New York driver's license when asked to produce identification before leaving the premises.

Lastly, OCT received information concerning an unusual attempt by three men of Middle-Eastern appearance to join a volunteer ambulance squad. The men expressed to squad members an "abnormal interest" in operating the emergency vehicles, and further insisted that the process by which they obtain the appropriate credentials and certifications to join the squad be expedited at their personal expense.

Due to the recent threat elevation to ORANGE (HIGH) for the financial sector and intelligence relating to the threat of Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs), any suspicious activity relating to emergency vehicles is of particular concern and should be reported to law enforcement immediately. As demonstrated by recent attacks in Iraq , Saudi Arabia , Turkey , and elsewhere, terrorist operatives worldwide continue to rely on 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 .

19 August 2004 - Arkansas center to train officers in cyberterrorism

The Arkansas Department of Highways and Transportation was itself a victim of a form of cyberterrorism earlier this summer when "Terrorist 007" appropriated their anonymous FTP server to use in distributing audio and video files to other Al Qaeda sympathizers. 007 has since moved on, and is now "borrowing" webspace from a company in Oklahoma.

But the State of Arkansas, already recognized as being one of the top cybersavvy state governments, is going to use their knowledge to help fight cyberterrorism throughout the US.

On a visit to his home state, Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson announced a $34 million grant program that will be shared among 14 groups nationwide to counter terrorism. The former congressman from Arkansas announced Sunday that the National Center for Rural Law Enforcement in Little Rock was among the 14 groups that will share in the $33.6 million competitive training grant program.

The center grant is the first among the 14 in the program to be announced; the remaining will be named in the next several days.

The center is part of the University of Arkansas ' Criminal Justice Institute, and was awarded $2.8 million of the total grant to train rural law enforcement officers to recognize cyberterrorism, preserve the physical evidence as they would any crime scene, and notify the appropriate federal agency.

The money will be used over the next two years to train 1,500 public safety officers nationwide. Jim Clark, director of the Criminal Justice Institute, said his agency hoped to begin the actual training in about three months.

Hutchinson said the national center in Arkansas was a logical choice because the state reflects rural America . He said cyberterrorism presents a threat to the country's security and the operation of utilities, government infrastructure, and commerce.

18 August 2004 - Iraqi Police Infiltrated by Al-Sadr Supporters

A policeman in the morning for the Iraqi authorities and a rebel against those same authorities in the afternoon: the contradiction does not bother Imad, 24, a young fighter in the Mahdi's Army, Muqtada al-Sadr's militia, [whom we] met yesterday in Baghdad. "One has to survive," he said, "and in any case the Americans done nothing for the people since they came to Iraq." Imad, in jeans, his hair slicked back and his beard finely trimmed, was assigned to protect a bank.

His superiors do not know anything about his underground activities. When his duty is over, he returns his gun to the Police Academy. Are there Islamists infiltrated into the new security forces? "There are a lot of them," he said, taking a puff on his cigarette. At home, he has an RPG rocket launcher, which some militiamen gave him. His targets? The US soldiers who regularly go into Sadr City on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Imad regularly receives phone calls from his friends, besieged in Al-Najaf. "Al-Sadr must not give up. He must fight to his last cartridge. Our men are not afraid. They have good morale, they tell us they do not need any help." And as a warning, "If anything bad ever happens to him, the explosion of anger of the Shiites will be terrible." His mentor must especially not grab the line thrown by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who is inviting him to take a place in the political arena. "It is a government of traitors; we must not make any contact with those people." According to him, "Al-Sadr is the only one who is defending Iraq, and who wants the Iraqis' welfare. That is why I joined him." Imad denies the brutalities committed by the militiamen against shopkeepers or the policemen: "Those are looters who later claim to be following Muqtada." With no military training, he says he "learns a lot" from his US enemies, and he admits that weapons reach Al-Najaf through the desert. "He is a somewhat schizophrenic young misfit who has no confidence in the future," his aunt sighs.

17 August 2004 - Current Status of Kidnapped Foreigners in Iraq

CURRENTLY HELD HOSTAGE

Mustafa Koksal and Durmus Kumdereli, Turkish truck drivers. Kidnapped Aug. 14 outside Mosul after delivering water to U.S. base in Baghdad.

Micah Garen, freelance Western journalist, and Amir Doushi, Iraqi translator. Seized by gunmen Aug. 13 at market in Nasiriyah.

Faridoun Jihani, Iranian consul to Karbala. In video made public Aug. 7, kidnappers accused Iran of meddling in Iraq's affairs.

Vlada Abu Ghadi, Lebanese director of Lara construction company. Abducted July 31 in Baghdad.

Ali Ahmed Moussa, Somali truck driver. In video aired July 29, insurgents threaten to kill him if his Kuwaiti employer doesn't leave Iraq.

Raad Adnan, Iraqi general director of government-owned Al-Mansour Contracting Co. Kidnapped July 24.

Ibrahim Khamis, Salm Faiz Khamis and Jalal Awadh of Kenya; Antaryami, Tilak Raj and Sukdev Singh of India; Mohammed Ali Sanad of Egypt. Truck drivers abducted July 21. Militants threatened to behead them if Kuwaiti employer keeps doing business in Iraq and their countries do not withdraw citizens.

Rifat Mohammed Rifat of Canada. Prison worker. Abducted April 8.

Aban Elias, 41, Iraqi-American. Held since May 3 by group calling itself the Islamic Rage Brigade.

HOSTAGES KILLED

Murat Yuce, of Turkey. Shot and killed in video made public Aug. 2. Worked for Bilintur, Turkish company providing laundry service for Jordanian firm in Iraq.

Raja Azad, 49, engineer, and Sajad Naeem, 29, driver, both Pakistani, working for Kuwaiti-based firm. Slain July 28. Group calling itself Islamic Army in Iraq said they were killed because Pakistan considering sending troops to Iraq.

Georgi Lazov, 30, and Ivaylo Kepov, 32, Bulgarian truck drivers. Last heard from June 29. Abducted by militants loyal to Jordanian terror suspect Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Lazov's headless body found July 14 in Tigris River. Kepov's decapitated body found in the Tigris July 22.

U.S. Army Spc. Keith M. Maupin, 20, of Batavia, Ohio. Disappeared April 9 after an attack on a fuel convoy. Arab television reported June 29 that he was killed. U.S. military could not confirm that man shown being shot in videotape was Maupin.

Kim Sun-il, 33, South Korea translator. Beheaded June 22 by al-Qaida-linked group.

Hussein Ali Alyan, 26, Lebanese construction worker. Found shot to death June 12.

Fabrizio Quattrocchi, 35, Italian security guard. Killed April 14 after being kidnapped April 12. Previously unknown group, the Green Battalion, claimed responsibility.

Nicholas Berg, 26, American businessman. Beheaded by al-Qaida-linked group after being kidnapped in April.

ESCAPED HOSTAGES

Thomas Hamill, 44, American truck driver. Escaped May 2 after being wounded in April 9 ambush on fuel convoy.

Radoslaw Kadri, Polish businessman. Escaped by kicking car window and jumping out near U.S. troops after abduction June 1.

HOSTAGES FREED OR RESCUED

Taha al-Jundi and Khaldoun Othman, Lebanese truck drivers. Kidnapped early August. Freed Aug. 16.

James Brandon, British freelance journalist. Kidnapped Aug. 12 from hotel in Basra. Freed Aug. 13.

Jamal Sadeq al-Salaymeh, Jordanian businessman. Abducted Aug. 9 in Baghdad by kidnappers who demanded $250,000. Freed Aug. 12.

Antoine Antoun, Lebanese businessman. Abducted in Baghdad July 31. Freed Aug. 10.

Kassem Murqbawi and Nasser Othman, Lebanese truck drivers. Kidnapped early August. Freed Aug. 9.

Fayez Saad al-Udwan and Mohammad Ahmed al-Manaya'a, Jordanian truck drivers. Kidnapped July 26. Freed Aug. 9.

Ahmad Sunokrot, a Jordanian businessman, and Ahmad Abu-Jaafar, Mohammad Khleifat and Khaled Ibrahim Sasoud, Jordanian truck drivers. Kidnapped in late July. Freed Aug. 3 by tribal sheik from Fallujah and his armed men who overpowered kidnappers.

Abdulrahran Demir and Sait Unurlu, Turkish truck drivers. Released Aug. 4 after Turkish trucking union agreed to halt deliveries to U.S. forces.

Vladimir Damaa, Lebanese director of a construction company in Baghdad. Freed Aug. 1, a day after being abducted.

Mehmet Dayar, Turkish driver. Abducted July 17. Freed after promising not to return to Iraq.

Mohammed Mamdouh Helmi Qutb, Egyptian diplomat. Abducted July 23. Militants said they seized him because Egypt said it would send security experts to Iraq. Freed July 26.

Iraqi driver Omar Khaled Selman, kidnapped with two Pakistanis. Released July 28 after militants announced the Pakistanis were killed.

Angelo dela Cruz, Filipino truck driver. Kidnapped July 4. Freed July 22 after Philippines withdrew 51 peacekeepers from Iraq.

Also freed: 13 Turks, five Japanese, three Czechs, three Italians, two Lebanese, two Russians, an Egyptian, a Pakistani, a Frenchman, a Chinese citizen, a Pole, a Syrian-Canadian, and an Arab Christian from East Jerusalem.

STILL MISSING IN IRAQ

William Bradley and Timothy Bell. American contract truckers last seen April 9 after convoy attack.

RETURNED FROM IRAQ

Marine Clp. Wassef Ali Hassoun. Failed to report for duty in Iraq June 20. Videotaped images showed him apparently kidnapped. Emerged unharmed in Lebanon, July 8. Brought back to the United States. Denies having deserted.

17 August 2004 - 30 of Saddam's officers lead battle in Najaf, claims jihadi website

According to a report on an Arabic language jihadi website, the jihadis supporting Moqtada Sadr in Najef, are being led by 30 officers of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Republical Guards and the Fedayee Saddam.

We are attempting to verify this report through other sources as well.

17 August 2004 - South Korea braces for Al Qaeda attacks

South Korea's key intelligence agency has warned that an Al Qaeda-linked militant group may launch terror attacks on South Koreans staying in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.

The National Intelligence Service said it has obtained information that the Ansar al-Islam militant group is preparing terror attacks on South Korean civilians in northern Iraq, including Irbil, Sulaimaniyah and part of Kirkuk.

South Korea is currently deploying 3,600 troops to Irbil and its surrounding areas. Those areas are controlled by Kurdish tribes.

According to government data, about 50 South Korean civilians are believed to be staying in Iraq but it is unknown how many of them are in the Kurdish regions.

The Ansar al-Islam group is said to have connection with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian al-Qaida-linked militant who is believed to have masterminded the killing of South Korean hostage Kim Sun-il in June.

Kim's kidnappers beheaded him after the Seoul government had rejected their demand to cancel its plan to send troops to Irbil.

Earlier this month, a senior South Korean government intelligence official told parliament that a separate Islamic insurgent group, named the Lions of God, has formed a special unit for attacks on South Koreans in Iraq.

17 August 2004 - Website Says Al-Qa'ida Leaders To 'Soon' Pronounce War on US, Europe (Again)

Reprinted from Karachi Islam in Urdu

According to a report on an Arabic language jihadi site, Al Qaeda has announced that Osama Bin Ladin and Ayman al-Zawahiri will soon make a public appearance so as to pronounce a fierce battle against the United States and Europe as well as the expiration of a deadline to pull out forces from Iraq. His appearance will belie all US claims regarding his arrest or death.

The statement released by an Al Qaeda affiliate group, posted on the Islamic website says their leader Osama Bin Ladin, or his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, will soon make an announcement on the expiration of a deadline given to Europe to be followed by massive attacks on the United States, Europe, and other allied countries. The statement said "all Al Qaeda cells are fully prepared and as soon as Sheikh Osama gives an order, they will attack targeted places and personalities. Through these attacks, they will tell their enemies that they are not only capable of defending themselves, but also eliminating them."

The statement adds that all Muslims have been told that Sheikh Usama or al-Zawahiri will soon appear on some satellite TV channels and announce the expiry of a deadline and a war on the Untied States and European countries. It also said the people will soon see the Al Qaeda chief with their own eyes.

17 August 2004 - "I Heard the Terrifying Click of the Trigger in my First Mock Execution"
by James Brandon

[Daily Telegraph journalist James Brandon's account of his kidnapping]

I was blindfolded by a sheet soaked in my own blood and could see nothing. "Who are you? What are you?" the Arabic voices snarled in broken English. "Are you CIA? Are you an Israeli spy?" The voices, many of them, seemed to boom from all around the room.

All I could feel was the cold steel of the muzzle of one of my abductors' pistols being pressed to my temple. Then came a chilling silence . . . broken only, seconds later, by the terrifying metallic click of the trigger being pulled.

It was the first of a series of mock executions. In all, four men took turns to put their guns to my head and pull the trigger. The first time, I didn't know the weapon wasn't loaded. It felt surreal . . . like a bad film.

I kept shouting "Sahafi, sahafi" (journalist). But they were raging. I was pistol-whipped. They screamed in my face, calling me an animal. They were an unreasoning mob, driven by hatred. At that point, after hours of fear and uncertainty about my fate, all I could think was: they are going to kill me.

This was undoubtedly the worst moment of a terrifying ordeal that I will never forget. It had begun the previous evening, Thursday, at about 11 o'clock, shortly after I had checked into a Basra hotel.

I answered a knock on the door and when I opened it there was a man in a police uniform wearing a balaclava. He was followed by about seven others who began shouting frenzied abuse, pistol-whipping me around the head. In vain, I shouted at them in Arabic that I was a journalist. But they took no notice.

They gathered up the bedsheets and used them to blindfold me, wrapping them around my head. I was dragged downstairs and shoved into a waiting police pick-up, not realising that blood was streaming from a head-wound, leaving a trail down the steps.

There wasn't really time for terror: when the assault actually happened, I couldn't really claim it was totally unexpected. After all, this was Iraq.

For 10 minutes I was driven around the city until I was utterly disorientated. I had no idea where they were taking me - I was still blindfolded.

They flung question after question at me. Who was I? What was I? They accused me of being a spy working for the CIA or the Israelis. However much I protested my innocence they just wouldn't listen.

It was at that point that they subjected me to the terrifying ordeal of staging a series of mock executions. I will never forget the soft click of the trigger hitting the empty chamber so long as I live. This was to be the first of a series of mock executions during my 20-hour ordeal.

I assumed that the gunmen were supporters of the rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who had been under American bombardment in the holy city of Al-Najaf. Not that they said so: we were never formally introduced though they later started muttering about Al-Najaf.

They gave me a cigarette from my own packet that they'd liberated from my shirt pocket in the hotel. They didn't allow me to bring any other possessions - my laptop, passport and my clothes were all left behind.

In all, about 30 men were involved in my abduction. They came and went, conferring about my fate. One had a particularly sinister, reptilian voice. When I said I was a journalist, he said: "Ah. But you are also British." I knew it wasn't a compliment.

I had been determined to become a journalist while growing up in London. I went to Westminster School and York University, where I read history, but the prospect of covering stories about golden weddings and missing kittens on a local newspaper did not really appeal. That's why I went out to work in Yemen, to learn Arabic and work for a local newspaper there. I was just 21. Once the war was over in Iraq, it seemed an obvious place for me to go. My family gave me their blessing, after a fashion: the country was safer last summer. A group of young journalists went out to work on the Baghdad Bulletin , one of the newspapers set up after official hostilities ended. When it folded I stayed on, freelancing for various British and American titles.

In recent months, it has become more dangerous as the insurgents step up their attacks on coalition troops and foreign contractors, and become less discriminating in their targets. But they had never seized a British journalist before I was abducted, and certainly not from the relative safety of a hotel with hundreds of rooms.

I had assumed that once they knew I was a journalist, they would set me free. Although a number of westerners had been beheaded by mujahedin captors, mostly having been abducted in the Sunni-dominated towns west of Baghdad, no journalists had been targeted despite operating in Al-Fallujah, Ramadi and Al-Najaf.

But it soon became clear that they would not quickly release me. Back in the car, I thought I heard them talking in Arabic about going back to the hotel, but I was wrong. Instead, I was driven through the darkened streets of Basra - by now it was well after midnight - to a house. They manhandled me up the stairs, pushed me to the floor and tied my feet together, and my hands behind my back, with electric cable and rope. They gagged me with a piece of cloth, switched off the light and left me alone.

I assumed I was going to be killed, and decided to try to make a break for it. I worked off my blindfold, which was quite loose, and managed to untie the rope that ran behind me, linking my feet to my hands. Through the darkness, I made out the shape of a large stove, and realised that I was in a kitchen.

With difficulty, I got to my feet, hobbled over to the sink and found a knife on the draining board. Holding the blade behind my back, I started to saw through the ropes joining my wrists. Soon the knife was slippery with blood as I nicked my flesh in my frantic haste to sever the ropes. Eventually, the fibres parted and I quickly freed my feet, too. The windows were barred, so my only exit was through the door, which I worked out must be tied shut by a rope.

Putting my fingers through a crack in the wooden door, I loosened the rope and tugged at the door - only to realise that someone outside the room was holding it shut. I wrenched it open and saw a woman in a nightshirt standing there. I felt cold, clinical and desperate to escape at all costs. In an Indiana Jones moment, I grabbed her by the neck, slammed her against a wall, pressed my knife to her throat and hissed at her: "Help me, or I will kill you."

She was terrified. "Please, please do not kill me," she said. She had children, she told me, and didn't want to die. In Arabic, I told her that I was an English journalist, and she seemed surprised. I forced her out on to the large roof terrace. How can I escape? She told me to jump, but it was a drop of at least 15 feet. I made her call softly, to see if anyone was on the lower floors. When there was no reply, we crept downstairs and slipped out of the front door.

Once through the garden gate, I faced a choice. I could take the road, and risk bumping into my kidnappers, or I could head over some waste land where I was more likely to evade capture. It was a rubbish tip, effectively, and I was wearing no shoes, having been snatched in just a shirt and trousers. My feet were lacerated by sharp edges, pieces of glass, perhaps, or the jagged lid of tin cans, but I forced myself to keep going towards a distant main road.

In vain, I waited for a passing car to flag down. I must have waited for about five minutes, but it felt like hours. In the distance I could see a floodlit government building and made my way towards it. I hammered on the perimeter gate which was eventually opened by uniformed guards.

I dived through, imagining that I was finally safe. But I could not have been more wrong.

I explained my plight and the guards seemed sympathetic. They gave me water, helped me wash my wounds and promised to call the British Army to come and rescue me. Relief washed through me as I realised how much pain I was in. I congratulated myself on escaping, and on having such a good story to tell, though I also feared no one would believe it.

Suddenly the guards came rushing back in. The Mahdi army militia fighters loyal to Al-Sadr were at the gate. They told me to hide under the blankets on a bed used by men on the night shift, feigning sleep so that the militia would go away. Ten seconds later, I heard boots charging up the hall. The blanket was ripped off and I found myself looking into the faces of 15 enraged kidnappers. One of the guards must have tipped them off - either that or the woman from the house had told them what had happened.

They were raging. I was dragged from the bed and pistol-whipped again. At some point, my eye was blackened, but I can't remember when. It is difficult to convey the depth of their anger. Still, I wasn't frightened. There didn't seem much point. It seemed clear what was going to happen: they were going to kill me. After a struggle, they put me in a police pick-up. I kept shouting: "Sahafi! Sahafi!"

My shirt had been ripped off in the melee of punches and kicks. One man hit me on the side of my head with a pistol and my hearing just cut out for about 10 seconds. The battering seemed to go on and on - mostly targeted at my shoulders and neck. They didn't hold me down, but just came at me in endless waves of aggression.

They drove me to a deserted building and ordered me to get out. At first I refused, figuring that if they shot me in the back of the truck, they'd have to clear up a horrible mess - shades of Pulp Fiction. In the end, they beat me so badly that I had no option.

It was in a corridor here that the video camera came out. I kept telling them that I was a journalist, trying to keep them talking. They tried to get me to kneel down on the floor, but I simply would not.

"Talk to the camera," they ordered. They took quite a lot of footage before they staged the short sequence that would later be beamed around the world. "My name is James Brandon. I am a journalist for The Sunday Telegraph . I just report what happens in Iraq."

I thought that I heard one gunman say that if the Americans did not stop attacking Al-Najaf within 24 hours, I would be killed. I had assumed that it would be my fate, but this was the first time I had heard it mentioned in front of me. I knew the video would probably be seen around the world, and thought about my family. They were probably more worried than I was. If anything happened to me, they would have to deal with it, not me.

Your brain works in mysterious ways. I began planning to ask my kidnappers whether I could be shot rather than beheaded because it would be a quicker, less messy death. Still, I hoped it wouldn't come to that. I was still planning to escape and kill them all. For all their weaponry, Iraqis are not adept with AK47s.

Perhaps they sensed what I was thinking: this time I was tied up properly. The knots were tighter - the ties around my wrist close to the bones. In a familiar pattern, they put me back into the car. I got the impression that they didn't quite know what to do with me because we drove around for about two hours, stopping off at safe houses, dropping gunmen off, picking others up. I got the impression the people we were picking up were better educated.

I didn't know if this was good news: that the lowly thugs at the beginning were giving way to potentially criminal masterminds. Impossible to know. At one point I heard a British helicopter overhead - a frustrating, bitter-sweet sound. I didn't think they were looking for me.

Basra, after all, is a city of three million people, and I never dreamed that my capture would have caused such a stir. I never imagined that the Foreign Office would have been alerted to the kidnap so quickly by a witness at the hotel.

It was still pitch black, probably about 4am. The night seemed never-ending, but the temperature had barely dropped below the high 30s Centigrade. I was desperate by now for a drink of water; desperate, frankly, for something -- anything -- to happen. I was moved by car to another house. Inside, I was told to lie down on a bed and my hands were gently untied. The guards seemed more relaxed. There was no sheet, just a mattress, and as my blood soaked in, I even felt moved to apologise. They gave me water. "Now you sleep," they said, and switched the light off, but of course I couldn't.

I lay there until morning finally came. I watched the sun come up through the windows and wondered if I would live to see it set. Time dragged. I had no watch, but I think it was midday on Friday when more people started to arrive at the house. Later in the afternoon, one of them promised that I'd be freed later that day. I should have been elated, but I didn't believe them. After all, they'd already threatened to execute me. But, little by little, I allowed myself to think that maybe I might be released. Things gradually improved. My hands were still tied behind my back, but one man gently fed me biscuits. "Don't be afraid," he tried to reassure me. "We are Muslims." They had a television on and I heard my name mentioned on al-Arabiya. I heard the men saying to one another, "Sahafi, sahafi", and realising that they had -- as I had been trying to tell them all along -- f***ed up. I was not a spy, a soldier, an agent. I was just trying to report on events in a war-torn country.

At that point, I didn't know that Al-Sadr had appealed for my release at Friday prayers, or that the Foreign Office and The Sunday Telegraph had been working so hard on my behalf. When the end came, I didn't realise that it had. I thought it was just another episode of driving, kicking, being tied up and held captive. The kidnapper who spoke the best English came to the room and said: "We are taking you back to your hotel."

But in the pick-up, I was still surrounded by armed men. I didn't dare believe that I was going to be freed. We didn't go to my hotel, but to Al-Sadr's district office in Basra. There, I feared, my captivity would continue. I didn't expect to be pitchforked into a bizarre, televised press conference, surrounded by Iraqi journalists representing global news channels. If I looked bewildered, and somewhat out of my depth, I was. Was this just another piece of staged footage?

A senior Shia cleric, Al-Sadr's representative in southern Iraq, took me by the hand and assured me that taking people hostage wasn't how they did things in Iraq. He led me outside to a waiting car. We arrived at the local police station. This was not reassuring: the men who originally burst into my hotel had been wearing police uniforms. I only relaxed when I was delivered to the British military police.

They gave me medical treatment for my cuts, bruises and grazes, X-rayed my head, diagnosed a fractured cheekbone, patched me up, kept me in overnight and released me yesterday morning. The army escorted me to Kuwait.

Believe it or not, I was actually intending to head straight back to Baghdad, until I was persuaded by the British consul in Basra that I was being a little over-enthusiastic. But being kidnapped has not deterred me from working as a journalist in Iraq. The opportunities make up for the inherent risk.

The eldest of three children, I have always been independently minded, and although I have sometimes been relentless in the pursuit of my career, I remain close to my two sisters, Catherine, 20, and Laura, 16. Now that I am free I can't wait to be reunited with them and my mother, Hilary. I intend to take a holiday. But eventually, I plan to return to Iraq. Only next time, I just want to do the reporting. I have no desire to be the story again.

16 August 2004 - Mohamed Atta Brigades issues another warning to El Salvador

It appears the jihadis are still annoyed with El Salvador, and have issued them another warning. They call this warning the last warning.

The capabilities of the Mohamed Atta Brigades are undetermined. See article below on 2 guys, a fax, and a computer.

In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful

The peace is on the one(s) who followed the guidance ..

This is a statement to the Salvadoran government ..

We have warned you of the result of your staying in Iraq land, and we did not find the attentive and therefore, wise ear, we in the Martyr Brigades Mohammad Ata we declare the next :

  • we give time to you twenty one day for the withdrawal from Iraq, and she is the last deadline that will not be after it any advertisement or a clarification, but will be its considering the blood God willing ..
  • the target is from this deadline he is nothing but a period for reviewing yourselves, and we its count will be free from the blood of each Salvadoran whether it was in Iraq or in Alslfador herself .
  • we and as we said before we will transfer the battle to inside Alslfador and that will not dissuade us from targeting your strongholds in Alslfador .
  • the statements that got out of what is named the archbishop of the Salvadoran capital she is nothing but an indication on it panted behind America and behind the mean Bush the criminal ..
  • the waiting militants are to the jihad for the sake of Allah, will wait until the end of this deadline and will have the speech and the doing after the passage of the deadline ..

    And he who wronged will know any return they turn back

    Mohammad Atta Brigades
    Qaeda al Jihad
    7 / 1425 AH
    16 / 8 / 2004 AD

  • 16 August 2004 - Speaking of 2 guys, a fax machine, and a computer

    People often ask us how we determine what postings we see on the jihadi boards are real, and what ones are completely bogus.

    Many of the postings are obviously bogus; some are clearly legitimate; and others fall in between the two extremes, where we cannot ascertain whether the posting is something to be concerned about or not.

    Some analysts have suggested some of the frightening posts put out by so-called terror organizations are nothing more that 2 guys with a fax machine and a computer.

    Even the jihadis can't be sure. Over recent weeks, someone has been posting fake jihadi posts, and the terrorists have had to come out and disavow the postings, which has been interesting considering that the postings say the same thing they usually do.

    Sometimes the posters are clearly in fantasy land. Probably the best example that comes to mind today is the following post:

    The revengeful great one has destroyed America then left it at the bottom, the hurricane photographs show the damage that was left.

    In case anyone has any doubts, we are pretty certain that Hurricane Charley was NOT a terrorist action by jihadis.

    16 August 2004 - Holland reassessing terror risks in wake of more internet threats

    The Dutch government has ordered an inquiry into the terrorist threat aimed explicitly at the Netherlands which has been circulating on the internet since Sunday. The website of a group calling itself the Islamic Tawhid says the Netherlands will be targeted if Dutch troops are not withdrawn from Iraq.

    The Dutch secret service, the AIVD, says there is no reason to revise its risk assessment. It is generally accepted that countries with troops in Iraq, such as the Netherlands, face greater risks. Last month the Dutch Interior Ministry introduced a number of additional security measures for potential terrorist targets.

    The following message is the one that the Dutch government refers to in this article:

    From / the Islamic Al Tawheed group ( ( Martyr Major General Amr Almokhtar ) )

    To / the government and the Dutch nation .

    We direct this message to all crusade countries that conspire against the Muslims and who send forces to Iraq oh ' Fghanstan and specially ( ( Italy and Netherlands that did not direct to it I ' A Thdidoghirha from the crusade countries are a simple message they waited for the hell that will transfer your night to a dream from the bloodshed and your daytime that will turn to a hell it expected Yabrlscona the Islam soldier who sold I soul from I the Allah's religion support most and the defiance of the crosses, you challenged the Islam soldier Fa ' Ntzr ( ( the Islamic earthquake ) ) and to Netherlands that I is its messengers forces to Iraq .

    We direct punching the message except ' a benevolent and our message simple she is the withdrawal of the Dutch forces from Iraq or your fate as the fate of Italy and other will be from the countries would surprising from the Islamic earthquake that will shake your countries you did not benefit from the lessons in Spain and other from the countries ( ( you understand only the language of blood and car bombs ) )

    ? ' our messengers are messages including the sufficiency to the countries except ' and its lords and that the station of the space arabic and other transmitted from the stations, we are ready and with waiting the suitable time so that we shake all of the countries that I is its messengers forces to Iraq, therefore to the Dutch nation an advice ( ( we advise you on the withdrawal of the Dutch from Iraq forces or we will not bear what will happen will be the response is not through the Internet but will be through our special ways .

    ( ( and will know a return that turn back ) )

    The Islamic Al Tawheed group
    Martyr Major General Amr Almokhtar
    Sunday 29 Jumada II

    16 August 2004 - Abu Hafs Masri Brigade makes another final warning to Italy

    There is considerable speculation among analysts with regards to the Abu Hafs Masry Brigade. Is it one teenager with a computer and a fax machine, as some have speculated? Or is it a real group, with a history of terror attacks.

    Right now, the jury is still out on that one. However, they are certainly staying busy these days issuing "Final Final Warnings" to Italy. The most recent, shown below, was released this weekend:

    The last warning of the Italian nation

    In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful and the honour to Allah

    This is the last warning of the Italian nation

    As for that you get rid of the lacking Berlusconi the efficiency or will burn actual Italian, that it a clear equalization we put it between your hands so that we leave our responsibility, and the one who warns is excused .

    The coming message what they concealed will be on your land no on the Internet ....

    Berlusconi pulls you to more blood and the complete slavery to America . ..

    They remembered Shfikm Anthony Rousseau my bitter that Putin 's intelligences killed just for that he was sharing suffering our brothers in Chechnya they greeted that was a dear guest on them . At it Berlusconi did not move living to the fact-finding and the clarification of the assassination circumstances, you do not be deceived by the mass medias that control them or he possesses them, and they investigated the truths objectively then we are not bloodthirsty beasts or stupid hardliners as call . We are a people understand the greatness of the Islamic civilization and boast of it ..

    We look how tortures and our brothers are insulted in the dogma all over the world under the claimed civilized western world whips and the supported dictatorial regimes from it .

    We are sure that Berlusconi 's information will delude you that it is a threatening message only and will rebel against you by Fouad Allam and his proverbs from the mercenaries who claim the representation of the Islam the peaceful Almthzr .

    You do not be deceived by their speech and they got rid of the abstinence knot on the Islamic world and know that the regimes Allti you name it a straight she is your most pleasant enemies ...

    As for the Islam the truth has permitted for us the response by the amount of the aggression on us and do not run the other cheek until we preserve our dignity .

    Know you that this message is farther from that it is threat merely .. But she for putting the matters in front of you on their truth and she that we capable on to are right qualitative targets by unconventional weapons that a huge disaster will limit .

    A single person resolute on the sacrifice of its life for the sake of a fair case equals a complete army and eleventh of September the good proof .

    We in Italy and no one of you in a safety as long as refusing the display of our sheikh we will transfer his promise to a truth .

    With waiting you similar bloodshed to eleventh of September .....

    We will write by our blood and blood of thousands of Italians a new page from the pages of your history .....

    And greeting the one(s) who follow the guidance ...

    Abu Hafs Masry Brigades
    Qaeda al Jihad
    Italy

    16 August 2004 - At least three flights make emergency landings after bomb threats

    On 15 August 2004, reports emerged that at least three flights, including a Lufthansa, Turkish Airways, and Croatia Airways flight were forced to make emergency landings after several anonymous bomb threats were phoned in.

    Early on 15 August 2004, a Luthansa flight bound from Frankfurt to Istanbul with 169 passengers and crew was forced to make an emergency landing in Budapest, Hungary after an anonymous phone threat was made from somewhere in Turkey. A Turkish Airlines flight carrying 162 passengers was also forced to land in Budapest later in the day after receiving a similar threat. A Croatian Airlines passenger aircraft carrying an unknown number of passengers from Zagreb, Croatia to Frankfurt, Germany was evacuated and searched upon landing in Frankfurt after a similar threat was received. In all three cases, no explosive devices were discovered

    15 August 2004 - 6 Bombs Explode in Quetta, Pakistan

    On 14 August 2004, six explosive devices detonated throughout the city of Quetta, in an attack planned to occur during Independence Day celebrations. The devices detonated prematurely and caused no serious injuries, but several buildings in the area sustained damage. The bombs were placed at various public locations in Quetta, including the city's main railway station.

    14 August 2004 - Increased fighting in Afghanistan

    Factional fighting broke out near Shindad airfield, located in the western province of Herat, approximately 65 mi/100 km south of the city of Herat. More than 20 combatants were killed in the fighting, involving rival warlords and forces loyal to the provincial Governor Ismail Khan. President Hamid Karzai dispatched troops from the Afghan National Army to the region on 15 August 2004 in an effort to quell the violence.

    13 August 2004 - Firefight in Saudi Arabia; militant throws bomb; is killed

    There was an exchange of fire on 12 August 2004 in Mecca between a suspected Islamic militant and Saudi police forces. Saudi sources stated that police officers attempted to convince the suspect to surrender, but opened fire on him after he threw a bomb. The militant was killed, and one police officer sustained minor injuries. Saudi authorities stated that the man was not on the list of 26 most-wanted militants that was issued in December 2003, but provided no further details about him. Police forces continue to search the area for individuals connected with the victim.

    13 August 2004 - Car bomb explodes outside police station in UK

    A car bomb exploded outside the Mereyside police station in Liverpool on 12 August 2004 at 2200 local time. According to police officers on the scene, a car was parked outside the station on Walton Lane, underneath a railroad trestle. An unidentified man was seen running from the car just prior to the blast. No damage -- aside from the completely destroyed car -- or injuries were reported. The car bomb is the second such device to detonate outside the Mereyside police station in 2004. An investigation is currently underway

    13 August 2004 - Italy increases security on Abu Hafs Masry deadline

    Italian authorities will implement increased security measures in Rome during the 14-15 August 2004 weekend, when the deadline of an ultimatum by a purported branch of al-Qaeda expires. In a statement issued on 1 August, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades threatened to stage attacks in Italy unless the country withdraws its troops from Iraq within 15 days. According to local sources, authorities will deploy between 3,000 and 5,000 members of the security forces to carry out checks throughout the capital, with special attention devoted to high-profile locations and facilities, such as Vatican City, the Coliseum, the U.S. Embassy and airports. Authorities have also placed ambulances and medical personnel in a state of readiness to respond to any possible emergencies. Authorities have not stated whether the increased security measures will remain in place after the weekend.

    13 August 2004 - British journalist kidnapped in Iraq, then freed

    Militants in the southern city of Basra on Friday released a British journalist they had kidnapped and threatened to kill after aides to militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demanded he be freed.

    The journalist, James Brandon, was brought to al-Sadr's local office and freed. He held an impromptu news conference there and thanked the kidnappers and al-Sadr's aides for working for his release.

    Brandon declined to talk about the circumstances of his release.

    13 August 2004 - Muqtada Sadr reported wounded in clashes with American soldiers in Najaf

    Reports out of Najaf indicate that radical cleric Muqtada Sadr, who has been leading a revolt in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, has sustained minor shrapnel wounds in the head and chest.

    Sadr's home was raided yesterday by American troops; Sadr was not home but was suspected of being in a nearby mosque or maternity hospital.

    Sadr has issued statements during the past week calling on the militants to continue battling US troops even after he is "martyred".

    13 August 2004 - Father of Egyptian beheaded in Iraq Refuses body of accused spy

    An announcement by the father of the Egyptian, beheaded by the militants in Iraq after being accused of acting as a spy for American forces, shows a disturbing trend in the public opinion of the Arab world. The announcement appeared on an Arabic language message board frequented by Al Qaeda sympathizers.

    “If my son was really a spy for the Americans, he has dishonored the family and I will ask that his body not be returned to us.” That was the statement issued by Fawzi Abd Al-Aal Mutwaali, father of slain Egyptian hostage Mohamed Mutwaali.

    The execution of the Egyptian man was shown in a video clip broadcast on Al Arabiyah satellite TV. (Subscribers of the HQ Intel Alert may download the video from the subscriber’s forum; or email Laura for the link.)

    The father had not been in touch with his son for more than a decade. He said that his son had gone to Iraq to work 18 years ago. He believed that his son had been killed in 1991 during the first Gulf War in US raids on Iraq, and none of the family had heard from him since that time.

    12 August 2004 - Red Herrings and Disinformation
    by Laura Mansfield

    Early this morning, I noticed a posting on an obscure Arabic language message board that I only follow occasionally. But this morning, this particular post caught my attention in a big way.

    The post reads as follows (translated into English from the original Arabic):

    The distractions are going well. The Americans are chasing those with video cameras believing them to be terrorists. That permits us to do our preparations undetected. My brother your idea for people to draw attention to themselves with cameras was excellent.

    Earlier this summer, we reported a posting from an Arabic language board called "Summer of the Jihad Tourists", which suggested ways that tourists could participate in jihad.

    There were also postings on Arabic language boards directed to Muslims in America, calling upon them to behave suspiciously as often as possible. One of the posts went so far as to advise people "if you are traveling, and can take a route near a nuclear power plant or a water treatment facility or any other building of that nature, stop and take photographs or video tape. The police cannot be everywhere. If they are watching you then they may not be watching our real projects." The poster went on to tell people that because they would not be breaking the law, they would not get into trouble.

    My question is this. What are we missing? It sounds very much as if we are seeing these methods in action.

    Obiously Al Qaeda is using tactics of misdirection and disinformation. What is their real target?

    12 August 2004 - Jihadi boards discuss imminent Bin Laden tape

    An Islamic website said Thursday an audio message is expected to be released by Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden or his second in command to declare the end of a truce offered to Europe if it pulls out troops from Iraq.

    "Expect an audio message from Sheikh Osama bin Laden or Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri," said a statement on an Arabic language message board frequented by Al Qaeda sympathizers.

    "To all Muslims: expect an audio message from Sheikh Osama bin Laden on one of the satellite channels during which he will announce the end of the truce that he has given to the Europeans for a pullout from Iraq," it said.

    The authenticity of the statement could not be verified.

    11 August 2004 - Al Qaeda's Voice of Jihad references plot to assassinate President Bush?

    If a message in the newly released issue 22 of Voice of Jihad magazine, Al Qaeda's online publication distributed every two weeks on the internet, is any indicator that the terrorist organization may very well have a plan to assassinate US President George W. Bush in motion.

    The mention of the plot was cryptic and short, but it was enough to catch the eyes of analysts at the Northeast Intelligence Network.

    The magazine offers a single line reponse to an email from a reader by the name of Maddad.

    The message says: "The plan you have drawn up to assassinate Bush is good but will need a lot of preparation. It is possible that you can take part in it, if possible. Thank you."

    We will bring you more information on this story as we continue our translation and analysis of issue 22.

    11 August 2004 - Jihadi Chatter
    by Laura Mansfield

    Over the past few weeks, the chatter on the Arabic language message boards frequented by Al Qaeda sympathizers has changed.

    Normally there is a good bit of banter with regards to social issues, as well as speculation of upcoming attacks, and discussions of events going on in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

    But recently the tenor of the chatter has changed. Now, more and more, the boards are being filled with clips from the mass media. Translations of articles from CNN, Reuters, and even the NEIN website often appear on these message boards, side by side with the latest beheading video.

    Some of the posters have moved on to other boards (which we have identified) but some seem to have vanished. One could speculate that some of the missing posters were picked up in raids in Iraq and Saudi; others may have been killed.

    This morning we found a posting that is quite unusual. The poster seems to take issue with the Christian religious practices of some of the American soldiers.

    The above collage of three different images, which we combined into one image for bandwidth purposes, shows the baptism of a soldier in the sands of the desert.

    The second image is of soldiers praying. The poster notes that one of the soldiers has on a gun, and is holding a Bible. Given the propensity of the jihadis to hold the Qu'ran in one hand and an AK47 in the other, we're not sure why this was a problem for the poster.

    The third image is of a statue made in the sands of the desert by an American soldier.

    11 August 2004 - Zarqawi's group accuses American of being CIA agent, beheads him, releases video

    Click here to view the video.

    Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group in Iraq claims to have executed an individual they identify as American CIA in Iraq.

    Although the website claims that this beheading is the work of Zarqawi's group, the actual decapitation is considerably different from the other beheadings we have seen in Iraq. In this video, the condemned man is seated in a chair, apparantly unconscious because he does not move as the moment of death approaches. He remains seated in the chair as the executioner lunches towards him with a large sword. After several wide swipes of the sword, the head is removed from the body.

    Other beheading videos from Iraq have used a smaller knife. In addition, the heads have been removed with more of a sawing action. This decapitation more closely resembles the execution style in Saudi Arabia.

    Also worth noting is that this condemned man was not wearing an orange jumpsuit, but was in plain clothes. This beheading occurs outdoors; previous beheadings have been conducted inside a building.

    These discrepencies indicate that the persons responsible for the death of this man may be not be the same as those responsible for the other beheadings.

    There is no word as the the identity of the murdered man. In addition, the man does not speak. It is impossible to determine if this man is an American, as they claim. It is worth noting that they speak to him in English, saying "Open your eyes".

    Other clues at the bottom of the page say "ALQA3EDAH" and "IRHABI007". Irhabi 007 is Arabic for Terrorist 007.

    Yesterday, a video was released of an Egyptian who they claim was beheading for spying for Americans in Iraq, and for planing homing devices for guided bombs, as shown in the image below:

    11 August 2004 - New York man admits to aiding Al Qaeda

    A New York man has admitted to smuggling money and military supplies to a senior member of al Qaeda in Pakistan, setting up a jihad training camp and assisting in a bombing plot in the United Kingdom.

    Mohammed Junaid Babar, a naturalized American originally from Pakistan, pleaded guilty June 2 to five counts of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, as well as providing the support, according to a court transcript made public Tuesday.

    Babar is being held without bail and faces up to 70 years in prison, but Federal Judge Victor Marrero indicated Babar will serve less jail time under a plea deal.

    Babar has agreed to cooperate fully with any investigation or prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office and he may apply to the witness security program, which would relocate his family under a new identity.

    Babar told Marrero he provided night-vision goggles, sleeping bags, waterproof socks, waterproof ponchos and money to a high-ranking al Qaeda official in South Waziristan, a Pakistani region near the Afghan border.

    Babar said he delivered the supplies personally in January and February 2004 and someone else transported the items in the summer of 2003.

    "I understood that the money and supplies that I had given to al Qaeda was supposed to be used in Afghanistan ... against U.S. or ... international forces or against the Northern Alliance," Babar said.

    The Northern Alliance helped remove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan by joining forces with U.S. and British soldiers.

    "I set up a jihad training camp," Babar told the court, "where those who wanted to go into Afghanistan where they could learn how to use weapons, and also, you know, any explosive devices that they wanted to test out over there."

    Babar, 29, confessed he supplied people who attended the training camp with aluminum powder and attempted to buy ammonium nitrate for them "with the knowledge that it was going to be used for a plot somewhere in the U.K."

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Baroni said in court that Babar's training camp lasted for three to four weeks in July 2003 and he was involved in planning a bomb plot in Britain from around December 2002 until about March 2004.

    Baroni said prosecutors had witnesses, documents and other physical evidence to prove the case against Babar.

    Babar, who grew up in the New York borough of Queens, was arrested after he returned from Pakistan in April.

    One senior law enforcement source said Babar had been "on the radar screen" before he taken into custody.

    Babar is believed to have been associated with a group in London known as al Muhajiroun, which includes Pakistani terrorists, according to law enforcement sources.

    Al Muhajiroun was under British surveillance and members of the group purchased nearly a ton of ammonium nitrate, a raw material used to make bombs, the source said.

    British police foiled an apparent bomb plot March 30 when they arrested eight men and seized about 1,320 pounds (600 kg) of ammonium nitrate from a self-storage warehouse in west London.

    Six of the men -- five of Pakistani descent -- were charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and possessing ammonium nitrate for possible use in terrorism.

    Ammonium nitrate was a key ingredient in the bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1995, killing 168 people, as well as a bomb that destroyed a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, in 2002, killing more than 200.

    11 August 2004 - Georgian military opens fire on Vice Speaker of Russian Duma

    Earlier today, Georgian military units patrolling a harbor in Abkhazia reportedly opened fire on a convoy of vessels carrying Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the vice-speaker of the Russian Duma and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR). Zhirinovsky was reportedly traveling from the Russian coastal town of Anapa to a resort community in Abkhazia when the incident occurred. Details regarding any casualties on board the convoy are not currently available. President Mikhail Saakashvili had warned previously that any Russian tourist vessel approaching a harbor in Abkhazia would be fired upon and sunk. The shooting comes after a 4 August incident in which a Georgian military unit allegedly fired upon a convoy carrying a senior Russian legislator and other members of a Russian delegation in the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

    11 August 2004 - Homicide Bombing in Jerusalem Kills Two

    This morning, a suicide bomber set off an explosion south of a military checkpoint in Qalandiyah, located between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah. Two Palestinians were killed in the explosion, which also wounded seven Border Policemen and six Palestinians. Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack. Security forces were on alert in the area due to intelligence warnings about a possible terrorist attack. The high state of alert continues in Jerusalem. Israeli authorities have reopened the Qalandiyah crossing to pedestrians.

    11 August 2004 - Two Groups Claim Responsibility for Istanbul Bombings

    Two claims of responsibility emerged on 10 August 2004 for bombings that occurred in Istanbul earlier that same day. One claim was from the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which called the attacks the first in a series that "will be launched against European countries after they all rejected the truce offered by ... Osama bin Laden." The group has made threats against European countries before and has also claimed responsibility for previous attacks in Europe, such as the 11 March 2004 bombing in Madrid. There is serious doubt about the authenticity of these previous claims.

    Another group, calling itself the Kurdistan Liberation Hawks, also claimed responsibility, stating that the attacks were in reaction to military operations by Turkish authorities against Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey.

    Turkish authorities dismissed the claim of responsibility by Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, stating that the bombings were likely the work of Kurdish separatists with links to the separatist organization Kongra-Gel (previously the Kurdistan Workers' Party-PKK). Turkish authorities have eight people in custody in relation to the attacks, but have not yet charged them.

    10 August 2004 - Charlotte NC Police Arrest Suspected Terrorist;
    Suspect entered US illegally through Tijuana, Mexico

    Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory announced Tuesday the arrest of a foreign national believed to be a terror suspect.

    The U.S. Attorney announced late Tuesday morning that federal authorities were holding a Pakistani foreign national in Charlotte who is suspected of videotaping landmarks in the city, including the Bank of America and Wachovia buildings.

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested Kamran Acktar Shaikh, of Elmhurst, N.Y., on July 20 near the intersection of South Tryon Street and Stonewall Avenue.

    Videotapes found in his possession include footage of buildings in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Dallas and New Orleans, as well as transit systems in those cities.

    Acktar, who is also known as Kamran Shaikh, is being held on immigration violations.

    According to the affadavit below, Shaikh was in the United States illegally, having crossed over the border near Tijuana, Mexico.

    AFFIDAVIT

     

    I, John Scott Sherrill, hereinafter designated as affiant, having been duly sworn, hereby depose and state the following:

     

    1. The affiant is employed as a Senior Special Agent with the United States

    Department of Homeland Security, immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and

    has been so employed with ICE and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service

    (INS) for approximately the past twelve years. The afflant has been an ICE/INS

    representative assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task

    Force (JTTF) for approximately the last three years. The afifiant is a graduate of the

    Immigration Officer/Special Agent Academy and the Journeyman Immigration Special

    Agent Course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at Glynco, Georgia. The

    affiant has also attended additional training courses involving domestic and international

    terrorism given by the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In addition to

    terrorism related investigations, the affiant is experienced in investigating criminal and

    administrative violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Title 8 United States

    Code, involving illegal entry into the United States, alien smuggling, and employer

    sanctions. The affiant has also conducted numerous investigations of violations of Title

    18 United States Code including violations of immigration fraud, naturalization fraud,

    false identification, and other violations involving aliens.

     

    2. The information in this affidavit is based on personal knowledge derived from my

    own participation in this investigation and information received from the Charlotte..

    Mecklenburg Police Department and the records of the United States Department of

    Homeland Security.

     

    3. On July 20, 2004, Officer Anthony D. Maglione of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg

    Police Department (CMPD) witnessed Kamran SHAIKH videotaping the downtown area

    of Charlotte near the intersection of South Tryon Street and Stonewall Avenue. When

    SHAIKH saw Maglione approaching he stopped videotaping and began walking away

    from the officer. Officer Maglione asked SHAIKH what he was doing and SHA1KH

    replied that he was walking to the bus station. Officer Maglione noted that SHAIKH was

    walking in the oppositc direction from the bus station. CMPD Detective Kenneth

    DeSimone, also a member of the JTTF, responded to the scene. Detective DeSimone

    asked SHAIKH if he would voluntarily accompany him to the Charlotte FBI office a few

    blocks away. SHAIKH agreed to go with Officer Maglione and Detective DeSimone to

    the FBI           office. Detective DeSimone explained to SHAIKH that he was not under arrest

    and at no time was SHAIKH placed in any type of restraints.

     

    4. Once at the Charlotte FBI office, the affiant identified himself to SHAIKH as a

    Special Agent with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. I asked SHAIKH about

    his citizenship, and he replied that he was from Pakistan. The affiant asked SHAIKH his

    immigration status and SHAIKH stated that he was legally in the United States and that



    he had a “Green Card”. [The Immigration and Naturalization Service Form 1-551, Alien

    Registration Card, is commonly referred to by the slang term “Green Card”.] The affiant asked SHAIKH bow he obtained his “Green Card”, and he replied that his wife had applied for him in 1997. The affiant asked SHAIKH where he had his immigration interview and he replied that he had his interview in New York City in 2002. He also stated that he obtained his “Green Card” in New York in 2002.

     

    5. SHAIKH provided the affiant with a New York Drivers License number 158 300 924 in the name of Kamran SHAIKH, with a date of birth of 09/14/1968 and an address of 42-66 Ketchum Street, Elmhurst, New York 11373. SHAIKH also produced a Social Security Card bearing the number 093-80-0455.

     

    6. SHAIKH stated that his wife is also a Pakistani citizen but that she too has a

    “Green       Card” and is currently waiting to become a United States citizen. SHAIKH said

    that he       was born in Karachi, Pakistan. His mother's name is Suriya and his father's name

    is Akhtar. He stated that he originally entered the United States in 1991 by illegally

    crossing from Tijuana, Mexico into the United States.

     

    7. The affiant asked SHAIKH if he had ever had a hearing in Immigration court. He

    replied      that he had not had any hearings. The affiant asked SHAIKH if he had ever filed

    any other immigration applications and he answered, “no”.

     

    8. The affiant informed SHAIKH that he is required by law to carry his Alien

    Registration Card (“Green Card”) at all times. SHAIKH claimed that he did not know

    he was      supposed to carry it. He added that he doesn't like to carry it, especially when

    traveling, for fear of losing it.

     

    9. SHAIKH claimed he had been back to Pakistan in 1996. The affiant asked him

    with what documents he was able to re-enter the United States. He replied that he used

    an Employment Authorization Card. The affiant informed SHAIKH that an alien

    couldn't enter the United States with an Employment Authorization Card. SHAIKH

    responded by saying that he entered using an Advance Parole document. SHAIKH stated

    that he had been applying for political asylum but withdrew his application.

     

    10. The affiant and ICE Special Agent Deborah Cannady checked the Central Index

    System and found alien registration number A72 567 612 relating to a Kamran SHAIKH,

    date of      birth 09114/1968, place of birth Pakistan. This record also contained the Social

    Security Number: 093-80-0455. The Deportable Alien Control System showed that

    SHAIKH had been found Excludable/Inadmissable and that an administrative final order

    of removal had been issued.

     

    I l. Several times during the interview SHAIKH claimed to be legally in the US With a “Green Card”. After further discussion, SHAIKH finally admitted that he did not have a “Green Card” and that he had not traveled back to Pakistan since he left that country in 1991.

     


     

    12.       A review of the videotape contained in SHAIKH's video camera showed video of

    the downtown area of Charlotte, North Carolina including the Bank of America Building

    and the Wachovia Building where the local FBI office is located. SHAIKH allowed

    agents to view other tapes in his possession. These tapes included video of buildings in

    the downtown areas of Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Houston, Texas; Dallas, Texas;

    and New Orleans, Louisiana. He also had video of what appeared to be Mansfield Dam

    in Austin, Texas. SHAIKH also had video of public transportation such as MARTA in

    Atlanta, the Downtown Transit Center and the Downtown Metro Trolley in Houston,

    trolley cars in Dallas and New Orleans. At times, SHAIKH turned the camera sideways

    in order to videotape the entire building and often zoomed in on street signs-

     

    13. A review of Department of Homeland Security immigration records and the

    immigration file A72 567 612 show that SHAIKH claimed to have entered the United

    States      on December 10, 1991 by entering from Mexico into the United States without

    being admitted after inspection by an Immigration Officer. He applied for political .

    asylum in 1992. On August 6, 1997, the application for political asylum was denied and

    SHAIKH was placed in removal (deportation) proceedings. On September 2, 1997, a

    Form 1-130 Petition for Alien Relative was filed by Sumaira Azhar on behalf of SHAIKH

    based on their marriage. On March 4, 1998 at the Immigration Court in New York City,

    SHAIK      was found removable and given until July 12, 1998 to voluntarily depart the

    United      States. The judge's order stated that if SHAIKH failed to depart by July 12,1998

    then the voluntary departure would be withdrawn and the order would become an order

    of removal to the country of Pakistan. On April 28, 1998, the I-130 Petition for Alien

    Relative was approved at the Immigration and Naturalization Eastern Service Center in St

    Albans, Vermont. There is no record that SHAIKH ever filed an 1-485 Petition to Adjust

    Status      to Permanent Resident nor any record of a motion to re-open his removal case to

    seek time to apply to become a lawfully admitted permanent resident. There is also no

    record      that SHAIKH has ever applied for or received an advance parole travel document.

     

    JOHN SCOTT SHERRILL, Sr. Special Agent

    US Immigration & Customs Enforcement

     

    Subscribed and sworn to before me on the 5th day of August 2004.

     

    David C. Kee , Unit States Magistrate Judge

    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
    Promises "The coming shakes are more violent God willing"

    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:

    In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful
    Abu Hafs Masry Brigades
    The Al-Qaeda Network - Europe flag
    The military wing

    ( ( The coming shakes are more violent God willing ) )

    Praise of Allah the Lord of the Worlds and the prayers and the greetings to the militants leader, and after ..

    He said that rose: and what threw since I threw but Allah threw .

    Militants from Abu Hafs Brigades carried out the first operation in series of the operations that will launch in the European countries face, after all of the countries refused the reconciliation that our sheikh presented to them . And the operation had will an explanation in a statement that will be issued later on that will clarify in it the way that arrived by it the militants to the place, and how they could planting bombs and exit safes without a harm .

    The first shake that gave is Istanbul she is nothing but a beginning for a series of the hitting in the face of the European capitals . Then as said before, the submission of Europe is behind the mean Bush, will lead to an escalating war that will not end except with the change of Europe countries to its politics towards the Muslims, and the refusal of the criminal American policies, that is still until now violating the Muslims honors in Iraq and Palestine and Afghanistan, and remainder Muslim countries .

    The European capitals will witness in the next days a series of the operations to the waiting militants who yearn for the certificate for God's sake, and the coming attacks that will be more violent God willing, and Istanbul she is nothing except opening the bloody war that promised the Europeans by them after if they did not respond to the truce that the sheikh Osama Ben Ladin that Allah kept gave, and we will translate all our speeches in the real world as translated them in Madrid and in Istanbul .. We will translate it with more battles that were their beginning today at dawn .

    The bitterness that the Muslims pay in Iraq, and in Palestine, will taste it all who lives in Europe in Istanbul and Rome, and remainder of the countries that follow the mean American policy, and we will not soften and will not leave you that live in a security that Iraq nation and Palestine as long as did not knowing the safety taste ...

    Our attitude is clear no retreat about it, then we will not leave you by your state, and will not enjoy the security O Europe nations, as long as you remained in your ugly silence, you if you did not sack your governments, that accepted and it was pleased with the slaughter of the Muslims, then you will hear from us a response that will not tolerate it .. Then no safety except with the renunciation of your governments of Iraq land, and no safety except with the refusal of the American policy that depends on the slaughter and the killing and torturing the prisoners . Or, your silence shows the support and the support of your governments .

    Abu Hafs Masry Brigades
    The Al-Qaeda Network - Europe flag
    The military wing
    Tuesday 24 / 6 / 1425 hijri - 10 / 8 / 2004 AD

    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.


    Click the image to view the video

    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
    Olympics-style game features Jewish athletes from around the world

    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!
    by Laura Mansfield

    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.

    Sending any troops from El Salvador would declare of war against the Muslim people of Iraq, leading us to launch war against you and move the conflict inside El Salvador.

    No citizen will enjoy security in El Salvador as soon as any soldier arrives in Iraq and do not hold us responsible for bloodshed in El Salvador as we have warned you against taking such a step.

    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

    Video of beheading of Bulgarian Hostage part 1 | part 2 | part 3

    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

    OVERVIEW

    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.

    DETAILS

    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 vehicles—such as limousines—should 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.

  • Customers who attempt to give vague or unverifiable references or employment information on rental agreements, who insist on paying in cash and/or who seem overly concerned about privacy.
  • Attempts to expedite collection of deposits made on rental vehicles reported as "stolen."
  • Suspicious inquiries concerning whether vehicles can be modified to handle heavier loads, create additional storage areas or increase fuel capacity or vehicle speed.
  • Suspicious inquiries concerning the use of limousines by private drivers or a limousine’s exact length, height or interior volume.
  • Reports of rental vehicles parked for prolonged periods of time near sensitive facilities such as government, military, utility or other high profile sites.
  • Suspicious attempts to gain employment at vehicle dealerships and/or rental agencies.
  • Customers displaying burns or chemical exposure symptoms who provide vague or illogical explanations as to the circumstances surrounding the injuries.
  • Returned rental vehicles with altered company logos, Department of Transportation numbers, or structural or appearance modifications.

    When reporting suspicious incidents, car, truck and limousine rental company employees should provide as much detailed information as possible on:

    • Who:
      • Name
      • Date of Birth
      • Place of Birth
      • Driver’s License Number
      • Passport Number
      • Description
      • Citizenship
    • Where:
      • Name of rental facility
      • Place where vehicle was sighted or parked
      • List various locations if activity was moving
    • When: Date and time of activity
    • What: Describe the activity, particularly what made it suspicious

    CONCLUSIONS

    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 Directorate’s Requirements Division at DHS.IAIP@DHS.GOV.

    5 August 2004 - An Open Target in the Color of Orange: Bank of America Miami
    An Investigative report by Jack Thompson, Attorney, and Douglas Hagmann, Director

    “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

    GENERAL BACKGROUND

    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.

    SPECIFIC THREAT

    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:

    http://207.247.51.90/_docs/39s1.pdf

    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
    100 S.E. 2nd Street
    Miami, Florida

    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 Thompson’s 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 Qaeda’s 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:

  • Command and control team (project management team)
  • Information gathering team
  • Preparation team
  • Execution team

    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.

    We appeal to brothers in all Arab and Islamic countries and tell them that we are engaged in a fierce and decisive war to liberate Iraq from the US-NATO-Crusader occupation. Whoever enters Iraq before full liberation is achieved, God willing, is a usurper and occupying enemy because he came to Iraq under the flags of the Jewish and Crusader invaders and came under their command; therefore, he is one of them.

    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.

    A Message to the Italian Government

    In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

    Abu-Hafs al-Masri Brigades

    Al-Qa'ida Organization

    Praise be to God, and prayers and peace upon God's prophet.

    This is a message to the Italian Government, at the head of which is the despicable Berlusconi. We have previously warned the Italian people and the Italian Government to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible but we have yet to see anything. Therefore the language of blood is on its way to you. We are mobilizing our cells in Rome and all Italian cities. We are giving Berlusconi 15 days to withdraw from Iraq and then we will be absolved from the blood of every Italian everywhere and at all times. We will rock the entire country and burn everything..15 days may be the final opportunity for you and your people. The Madrid invasion is clear evidence of what we are saying and the Istanbul invasion remains engraved in the memories of the Turks.

    Abu-Hafs al-Masri Brigades
    Al-Qa'ida Organization
    Saturday 14 Jumada al-Akhirah 1425 [Hegira] corresponding to 31 July 2004

    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:

  • Monday - Charles Welty, author of Ameristan
  • Tuesday - Jayna Davis, author of The Third Terrorist
  • Wednesday - Parvin Pezeshkian. Parvin is originally a Muslim woman from Iran, was married into the royal family of the United Arab Emirates, but has since left the family and converted to Judiasm. Parvin's story is fascinating.

    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, we’re 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 nation’s 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 President’s 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.

    Thank you.

    30 July 2004 - Seismic Readings of 15 July 2004

    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?
    by Laura Mansfield

    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.

    29 July 2004 - Who Were Those Musicians on Annie Jacobsen's Flight Anyway?
    Listen to their song, "Martyr's Mother"

    by Laura Mansfield

    Several weeks ago, an article by Annie Jacobsen of Women’s 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 Mehana’s previous occupation was a reciter of the Holy Qu’ran. 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 Mehana’s recent songs, Um Shaheed which translates to the Martyr’s 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.

    In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful
    Abu Hafs Al-Masri Brigades
    The Al-Qaeda Network

    The praise of Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and the prayer of Allah and greetings to the leader of militants and the believers, Imam Mohammad Bin Abd Allah; and after:

    This message is directed to the European governments…

    Today we declare a bloody war on you, and we will not stop the attacks on you until you return to the right, after the end of the deadline that our sheikh Osama Ben Ladin (who Allah keeps) defined, and afterwards if you do not return to your senses, then we will declare them a fierce war in your face and in the face of your silent nations that does not move a quiet and that fasted it that it showed a thing then shows the support and the support of you. And we have started with the promise of the Italian government and on its mean head, Berlusconi, and our start by it to its disgraceful attitudes and the mean ones and their submission behind the hamlet head America ... Then he waited for us O Berlusconi and other than from your allies and your supporters, he waited for our threat that shot it for you in the beginning and shoot it now in Europe face... We will make the blood flow so that they sweep you away in their depths, you who judged on your nation by that, and Europe the unbeliever with her submission behind America judged on its nations by that also..

    We will level Europe's cities and will start with you O Berlusconi, and we will make it a bloody till that you return to your right O leaders and Europe nations, draw your killing missions from Iraq, and you behave a way who from before you, before you taste the bitterness of the blood ..

    No you are an aid of America and to the mean the disbelief leader Bush, he supported then will regret the severer of the regret on that God willing .

    And he who wronged will know any return they turn back

    Abu Hafs Al-Masri Brigades
    The Al-Qaeda Network
    28-7-2004

    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 government’s 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 group’s 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 HLF’s top fundraisers; and Abdulraham Odeh, the HLF’s 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.

    Today’s 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 Attorney’s 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
    by Laura Mansfield

    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 party’s 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 Kerry’s Jewish roots, citing his grandfather’s name change from Cohen in 1902. It also cites a recent visit by Kerry’s 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 Kerry’s 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 attempt of plane kidnapping in Australia

    Al Jazeera and some other sources have reported that there is an attempt to kidnap a plane in Sydney in Australia ... And the plane has perched in the airport and no available information now about the subject...

    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 Laden’s 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:

    This is a warning and a threat to the Italian government, which devoted itself to serving the criminal American crusade, to follow suit with those who preceded you and leave the land of Iraq,” the statement said. ”Otherwise, we will change our correspondence into words of blood and shake the earth everywhere in your lands.

    To the despicable Italian prime minister: If you have not heard this threat, then we will make you hear it in Rome, in every place and under the feet of your people, with Allah’s will. We give you, Berlusconi, a few days only, then you will see things that displease you."

    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 - Why people with information regarding terrorism do not contact authorities

    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:

    Where are the news of the disasters?

    My brothers, peace be upon you

    The disasters that devastate the unbelieving countries are many, by the grace of Allah

    Therefore my brothers, you share with us until all Muslims rejoice

    California fires, fired in France, the explosion of the chemicals ship in Germany,

    And many others

    I beg you to show these if possible.

    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.

    20 July 2004 - Disinformation on the forums

    19 July 2003 - Egyptian Hostage Freed in Iraq

    19 July 2004 - 3 Killed in Battle at Israel-Jordan Border

    19 July 2004 - 57 More Militants Surrender to Saudis During Amnesty Period

    19 July 2004 - Mullah Omar Statement Surfaces on Al Arabiyah TV

    19 July 2004 - Senior Iraqi Defense Leader Assassinated

    19 July 2004 - Zarqawi offers $282,000 bounty for death of Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi

    19 July 2004 - One killed in Russian Bus Stop Attack

    18 July 2004 - Al-Qaeda Demands Italy Withdraw Troops From Iraq, Threatens Italy Again

    18 July 2004 - Terrorists continue attacks on oil pipelines in Iraq

    17 July 2004 - Al Qaeda Releases Video of Paul Johnson Beheading

    17 July 2004 - Al Qaeda Issues Demands to Italy; Threatens attacks

    16 July 2004 - UN Received Letter Purportedly from Al Qaeda
    Letter threatens European organizations in The Hague and Brussels

    16 July 2004 - Zarqawi Reiterates Threats to Iraq's Allawi
    Vows to kill Iraqi Prime Minister

    16 July 2004 - Why Arkansas?
    Arkansas government named one of the most tech savvy in the US

    16 July 2004 - Iraqi Source Accuses Saddam's Daughter of Masterminding Latest Attacks

    15 July 2004 - Iraqi Police Foil Another Assassination Attempt on Allawi

    15 July 2004 - Hashemite descendent wants to rule Iraq
    Reprinted courtesy Gulf News

    14 July 2004 - Arkansas Just The “Tip of the Iceberg”
    FBI Confiscates Internet Server Operated by the State

    13 July 2004 - Homeland Security Confirms Election Delay Talks
    Newsweek reports plan under discussion in the event of a terror attack

    13 July 2004 - Chechen leader survives assassination attempt
    Motorcade hit by landmine in Grozny

    12 July 2004 - Unknown Iraqi Women's Group Threatens Saddam's Lawyers--VIDEO
    Veiled women issue video tape! View Video

    12 July 2004 - Filipino hostage in Iraq still alive
    But facing execution if demands not met by 3 pm ET today. (Video available to HQ INTEL ALERT subscribers)

    12 July 2004 - Korean Shipping Firms on Terror Alert
    Korean shipping companies are on alert following threats from an Islamic militant group.

    12 July 2004—EXCLUSIVE: Attempted Missile Strike on Iraqi Interim President’s Compound
    News breaking on Arabic language forum frequented by Al Qaeda

    12 July 2004 - Athens hit with power outages
    Human error blamed for major power blackout in Athens, southern Greece

    12 July 2004 - Press Release: Arkansas Government Site hijacked
    Being used to serve jihadi video and audio clips at taxpayer expense

    12 July 2004 - Iraqi Government to Insurgents: Surrender or face very sharp sword
    The Iraqi government decided to get tough on the terrorists in the country

    12 July 2004 - Zarqawi's Resume
    If Abu Mus'ab Al Zarqawi were writing a resume, here's a look at his achievements to date

    12 July 2004 - Iraqi Insurency Leader Al Sadr Stabbed in Dispute With Members of His Office
    Reports are that injury is "not serious:

    12 July 2004 - Arkansas Highway Department website serving jihadi downloads
    Terrorist 007 distributing terrorist propaganda on Arkansas state website

    11 July 2004 - Large explosion and fire today at Minnesota Oil Refinery
    Officials blaming a lightning strike for explosion and large fire

    11 July 2004 - Is Wall Street Al Qaeda's Next Target?
    Terror group has already said the US economy is high on their list

    10 July 2004 - Al-Qaida-linked group claims deadly blast
    Ansar al Sunna behind car bombing at Baquba

    9 July 2004 - Zarqawi's group al Tawhid wa Jihad threaten to kill two Bulgarians
    Video tape released today threatens beheading within 24 hours

    9 July 2004 - Egyptian cabinet resigns; new cabinet to be sworn in this week
    New prime minister from among the existing cabinet members

    9 July 2004 - Zarqawi's group claims 2 US helicopters downed
    Al-Tawhid and Jihad claims to have downed 2 US helicopters.

    9 July 2004 - Saudi Arabia: Armed gunmen raid aluminum plant looking for Americans
    Armed gunmen look for Americans at aluminum factory in Saudi Arabia

    8 July 2004 - Gunmen threaten to behead Saddam's Attorneys
    Brandishing assault rifles and grenade launchers, masked Islamists threaten Saddams lawyers

    8 July 2004 - Two killed in gunbattle with Marine Cpl Hassoun's family in Lebanon
    Two killed in gunbattle involving members of the clan of US marine

    8 July 2004 - When does the window end for the truce between Europe and Bin Laden? by Laura Mansfield

    8 July 2004 - Marine reported beheaded last week, now safe in US hands
    Marine now at US Embassy in Beirut

    8 July 2004 - Tom Ridge Warns of Planned Terror Attacks
    Complete text of Ridge's comments

    7 July 2004 - Translation and video threatning Zarqawi
    "Get out of Iraq or face beheading"

    7 July 2004 - Philippines halts Iraq deployment after kidnapping
    Filipino hostage facing beheading on Saturday

    7 July 2004 - Al Battar Issue 13 released despite security raid
    Despite death of Moqrin, Al Battar finally comes out.

     

     

  •   EDITORIALS

    4 July 2004 A Pledge of Honor
    by Laura Mansfield

    Listening to the Great Communicator

    What does a terrorist look like?

    Why now?

    An American 5th Column: A Plea to President George W. Bush

    Right!
    An Editorial by Laura Mansfield

    An important note to our readers about the Nick Berg Video
    How to access the video

    Note to Abu Banan: Don't be a bandwidth thief!
    Strange things can happen when you link to others images! Al Qaeda, we get the message

     

     

      Recent Analyses

     

    Summary and Analysis: Voice of Jihad Issue 15

    Summary and Analysis: Voice of Jihad Issue 14

    US Advertisers Unwittingly Support Terrorism?

    Summary and Analysis: Al Battar Issue 13

    Summary and Analysis: Al Battar Issue 10

    Assassinations primary focus of Al Battar issue 8

    Al Battar issue 7: Translation

    Al Battar issue 6: Analysis and Translation

    8 July 2004 - Statement for Secretary Tom Ridge U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    The following statement was issued this morning by DHS Secretary Tom Ridge. The statement is reprinted in its entirety.

    Good morning.

    You have heard me and other senior administration officials � the National Security Adviser, Director of the FBI and the Attorney General -- discuss with the American people the increased risk of a terrorist attack this summer. I wanted to take this opportunity to update Americans on both the status of that threat, as well as the efforts of law enforcement and homeland security professionals across the country, under the President�s leadership, to increase security.

    Since September 11, 2001, we have had intelligence that al Qa�ida intends to launch more attacks against the homeland. Credible reporting now indicates that al Qa�ida is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process. Based on the attack in Madrid and recent interdictions in England, Jordan and Italy, we know that they have the capability to succeed and hold the mistaken belief that their attacks will have an impact on America's resolve. We lack precise knowledge about time, place and method of attack but, along with the CIA, FBI and other agencies, we are actively working to gain that knowledge.

    A few weeks ago, I led a classified briefing on the threat for our Nation�s governors in an effort to keep them apprised as we continue through this period of heightened risk. Last night, I spoke with state homeland security advisers, law enforcement leaders, and first responders.

    While we are not raising the color-coded threat level today, we are constantly reviewing threat reporting and strengthening the nation�s security. We have permanent protections in place today that did not exist a year ago. These protections make it harder for terrorists to attack us.

    As of today, we now have full nationwide connectivity to the Homeland Security Operations Center -- a 24 hour a day, 7 days-a-week, nerve center for homeland security information and incident management -- and all 50 states through our Homeland Security Information Network�a goal we�ve reached five months ahead of schedule.

    For the first time ever, this national operations center allows us to receive information in real time, and turn that information into actions that protect the homeland. It helps us to work even more closely with all our Federal partners, sharing law enforcement and state and local intelligence information about terrorists as never before.

    The most advanced technologies � including the newly created, internet based Homeland Security Information Network � allow us to maintain up to the minute information�to map that information against our critical infrastructure and known threats�and then share it instantly with the White House, all 50 states, more than 50 major urban areas, and thousands of state and local agencies.

    And the reverse is true as well � information flows into the Homeland Security Operations Center from our partners throughout the country. Many of them are physically represented in the operations center, including seats for 35 government agencies and local representatives such as the New York and Los Angeles police departments.

    This is unprecedented communication and cooperation at the national, state, and local levels. This new ability to receive and distribute critical information allows us to make better decisions, more quickly, and take action that will deter, detect, and defuse terrorist attacks.

    For instance, we will begin a new pilot program that utilizes technology to track high-risk trucks on our Nation�s highways in all 50 states. And our �Operation Respond� will provide homeland security and law enforcement officials with the ability to quickly identify and track locations of rail shipments across the country.

    We have also begun to deploy hundreds of handheld radiological detectors � just the size of an average pager � for use by law enforcement officers to help, for example, in locating and preventing the use of so-called �dirty bombs�. Hundreds more are on their way so that these important resources can be used around the country later this year.

    And we will be monitoring � via web-enabled perimeter cameras � chemical facilities of greatest concern. The cameras will link to our Homeland Security Operations Center � they provide one piece of the real-time data I spoke about earlier � and more are due to come online by the end of the year.

    In the coming months, the Nation will host high profile events, including those associated with our democratic traditions. We are working closely with State and local officials in New York and Boston to ensure the security of the Democratic and Republican national conventions. I have designated those events National Special Security Events, making the United States Secret Service the lead agency for identifying and implementing protective efforts in these locations. I will soon travel to those sites myself to review the security measures being implemented.

    In two weeks we will meet the with security officials from the professional and collegiate sports associations to determine how to increase security for upcoming large sports events. We live in serious times, and this is sobering information about those who wish us harm. But every day we strengthen the security of our country, and as a nation we are committed to the absolute protection of our citizens.

    Efforts each of you make to be vigilant � such as reporting suspicious items or activities to authorities � do make a difference. Every citizen using their common sense and eyes and ears can support our national effort to stop terrorists. Thank you for your continued resolve in the face of the ongoing threat of terrorism. We must continue to work together � to ensure that the freedom we just celebrated continues as the hallmark of this great Nation, the United States of America.

    Thank you.

    8 July 2004 - 5 US Soldiers Killed in Samarra Attack

    A mortar attack on an Iraqi national guard post in the hotbed city of Samarra resulted in a bloodbath that left at least 10 people dead, including five US troops, and scores wounded.

    The violence flared just one day after Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was granted wide powers to impose emergency measures to fight the insurgency that has left thousands dead since last year's US-led invasion.

    Adding to the pressure on the interim government to gain control of security, a Filipino was abducted and threatened with decapitation.

    Insurgents fired up to 38 mortar rounds at the Iraqi national guard headquarters in Samarra, which was being guarded by US 1st Infantry Division troops, said military spokesman Major Neal O'Brien.

    Five of the division's soldiers were killed and 20 wounded, while one national guardsmen died and three were injured in the onslaught that started just before 11am (5pm AEST), he said.

    After the shelling, fighting raged as US troops and Iraqi guardsmen sought to lure out their enemy and an Apache helicopter fired Hellfire missiles at a building, killing four insurgents, Major O'Brien told AFP.

    "US army and Iraqi national guard are actively patrolling Samarra to gain contact with anti-Iraqi forces," he said.

    8 July 2004 - Saudi security forces arrest 5 men disguised as women

    Saudi security forces stopped a car in the Riyadh area yesterday, and discovered that 5 of the occupants were men disguised as woman. According to Saudi sources, the male driver, who was dressed in men's clothing, and his 5 passengers, all disguised as women, were involved in an auto theft ring.

    8 July 2004 - Phillipines bars travel to Iraq

    The Philippines barred its workers from traveling to Iraq on Thursday after an Arab television station aired a video in which militants threatened to kill a Filipino hostage if his country does not withdraw from the Mideast nation.

    7 July 2004 - HQ-INTEL ALERT EXCLUSIVE: Saddam's Exiled Daughter Funding Terror, Guerrilla Movements

    HQ-Intel Alert subscribers may view the article in the members area. For information on a subscription, click here.

    7 July 2004 - Translation and video threatning Zarqawi

    Note: The video is available for download by HQ-Intel Alert members. For information on a subscription, click here.

    A group calling itself the Salvation Movement [Harakat al-Inqath] has directed an open threat to Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi demanding him to leave Iraqi lands in view of his actions, which the movement considered as acts of terrorism that harm the interests of the Iraqi citizen.

    Al-Arabiyah Television has received a videotape from some members of the movement, in which they deliver a statement threatening to kill anyone who helps the groups that carry out acts of violence that result in the death of innocent Iraqis.

    [Begin recording of a masked man, in progress] ...the criminal Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi and his groups must leave Iraq immediately. Anyone who shelters this group, which came to carry out criminal acts, as well as his tribe -- and they know very well who they are -- must value the meaning of national honor and self-sacrifice, especially after his actions that resulted in innocent victims in Karbala, Al-Najaf, Diyala, Baghdad, Al-Hillah, Basra, and other Iraqi areas.

    We say to them: Who is Al-Zarqawi, so that we allow him to do what he does in Iraq? What is the religion that he follows? Does Islam, the religion of truth, virtue, and forgiveness, permit Al-Zarqawi to carry out his bombings on a holy day, on a holy land? Does it allow him to blow up a car at a police station or a commercial street to kill thousands of innocent people?

    What kind of religion is that which permits him and his followers to kidnap innocent foreign workers and kill them? Who is he to threaten Iyad Allawi and assassinate Iraqi national and religious figures? Is he the son of Iraq? Islam renounces this criminal.

    We vow to God that we have started our work and preparation, and have pledged to our [words indistinct] to arrest him and his followers, or kill them, and present them as a gift to our people and our martyrs. This is the last warning to those sheltering him, who have started to show their true identity [words indistinct]. We tell them, for the last time, if you do not stop then we will do to you what the coalition forces were unable to do. [end recording] [video shows masked man reading statement, masked men carrying weapons standing behind him]

    7 July 2004 - Philippines halts Iraq deployment after kidnapping

    The Philippines has ordered a halt to futher deployment of its troops in Iraq, alarmed by the abduction of a Filipino worker.

    A spokesman of the Philippine President Gloria Arroyo said the country's cabinet would meet shortly to discuss the situation.

    Aljazeera earlier aired a video tape from a group claiming the capture of a Filipino working for a Saudi company.

    The group said the captive's company works with US-led forces in Iraq. It said the man would be killed if the Philippines did not withdraw its forces from Iraq within 72 hours.

    It claimed to have killed an Iraqi security guard escorting the Filipino.

    The Philippines has about 50 military personnel in Iraq. The video showed three gunmen and a man dressed in an orange jumpsuit kneeling in front of them.

    7 July 2004 - Terrorist plot believed thwarted in Montreal

    Customs officials at the Port of Montreal believe they have derailed a terrorist plot to export chemical weapons, the TVA network reported today.

    The French-language television network said unidentified products used in the composition of chemical weapons were discovered in 60 cases destined for Britain in February.

    An investigation into the matter is being carried out by customs and the RCMP.

    During the last year, customs officers at the port have used special equipment to inspect 20,000 containers. Manual searches were also carried out on 6,500 containers.

    Security has steadily been increased in Montreal and other Canadian ports to fight terrorism and drug smuggling.

    7 July 2004 - Iraq institutes emergency powers

    The Iraqi government, on its 10th day in office, introduced a law to give Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's administration the power to impose a state of emergency to combat insurgents.

    ``There are severe dangers threatening us here, and we have tried to guarantee justice and also to guarantee human rights,'' Bikhtiyar Amin, the minister of human rights, said in a broadcast from Baghdad. The law, effective today, will enable a declaration of emergency ``if and when it's needed,'' Amin said.

    The interim government will be empowered to detain people without charge, restrict the movement of foreigners, ban groups, and seek U.S. military help in times of emergency. The law can't be used to postpone elections, scheduled for January.

    Hours before Amin spoke, mortar bombs exploded near Allawi's offices in Baghdad, wounding five people, Agence France-Presse reported. The U.S.-led coalition handed over sovereignty June 28 in an unannounced ceremony amid a spate of bombings, 15 months after tanks and troops laid claim to Baghdad.

    ``These cowardly criminals are still desperately attempting to prevent our rich country from moving forward,'' Allawi said in an e-mailed statement.

    Iraq, the fifth-largest oil producer in the Middle East, resumed exports through Persian Gulf terminals today, five days after they were reduced by half because of a leak at a pipeline, shipping officials said. Allawi said in June that the nation has lost $1 billion in oil income as a result of sabotage.

    7 June 2004 - Filipino Hostage taken in Iraq

    A Filipino abducted in Iraq will be executed unless the Philippines withdraws its troops from the country within 72 hours, said a video broadcast on Al-Jazeera television, showing a hostage cowering on his knees.

    The kidnapped Filipino, employed by a Saudi company working with US troops based in Iraq, was kidnapped by an armed group calling itself the "Khaled Ibn al-Walid Brigade" linked to the "Islamic Army in Iraq," Al-Jazeera said.

    The pan-Arab television station broadcast footage of a man sitting on his knees, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, and surrounded by three masked men touting guns and reading their threat from a statement.

    The group said it had killed an Iraqi security guard who was with the Filipino.

    An identity card bearing the picture of an Iraqi and a company card on which was written: Hafidh H. Amer, Security Officer, was also broadcast by Al-Jazeera.

    7 July 2004 - Egyptian Hostage taken in Iraq; US Marine appears to be free

    An armed Iraqi group has taken hostage an Egyptian driver working for the US forces in Iraq, Al-Jazeera television reported in Qatar on Wednesday, showing a video.

    Sayed Mohammed Sayed al-Garbawi was taken hostage by Iraqi insurgents when he was driving a tanker truck of fuel destined for the US forces, which had come from Saudi Arabia, Al-Jazeera said.

    The hostage, in his fifties, with a grey beard and wearing a jellabah, was seen holding a passport in one hand, surrounded by four armed men, their heads and faces covered, on the brief snatch of video broadcast by Al-Jazeera.

    The captors claim to be an armed group "representing the legitimate Iraqi resistance", the television said, without giving more details.

    Hostage-takings have recently increased in Iraq. Some hostages have been executed by their captors, while others have been released. The most recent, a Lebanese-born US marine, Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun, once feared to have been beheaded, was released on Monday.

    A statement attributed to the Islamic Retaliation Movement - Armed Resistance Wing and read on Al-Jazeera television said Hassoun was safe and had been released.

    7 July 2004 - Video opens window on terror network




    The camera shows the suicide-bomber warmly embracing a group of masked men. There are kisses on the cheek and a shot of him in the cab of a truck - his fingers resting on what appears to be a detonator. He reads a statement, telling his wife and his companions: "I sacrifice myself for my religion."

    Then, as a camera films cars passing quietly across a bridge, an explosion sends up a massive ball of fire. The scene, purportedly of the suicide-bomber's mission, is one of several on a video given to Time magazine correspondent Michael Ware by men reportedly in close contact with Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab Al Zarqawi's network.

    The video chronicles what are supposedly the final days and hours of the militants as they ready themselves for suicide missions.

    "How can I live peacefully at a time when the holy and sacred places have been violated, and the country is usurped and the infidels are encroaching on our country and humiliating our religion, which is ... our pride," the bomber says, reading a statement as armed, masked men stand behind him at night. "How can I live, and others live, while our sisters are prisoners of the Americans in Iraq."

    Ware says the video underscores the growing sophistication of the group and casts light on how it is working to recruit new followers.

    It also sends a message to coalition partners and foreigners working in Iraq that "We can get you. You cannot stop us," he said in an interview with Associated Press Television News.

    Ware said the onus will fall on the new Iraqi government's intelligence apparatus to try to infiltrate these groups if it hopes to thwart a continuation of this violence. High-tech surveillance just doesn't work, he said.

    "This is their power, its what they often say to me, 'Our great advantage over you is that you've got the technology and you've got everything you want, but you are afraid of death and we are not,"' he said.

    The video also shows images from the militant who was involved in the assassination of Ezzedine Salah, President of the Iraqi governing council.

    7 July 2004 - New Zarqawi Audiotape Defends Beheadings, Urges Jihad

    The Jama'at al-Tawhid Wal Jihad [Monotheism and Jihad Group], led by Al-Qa'ida operative Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, released a new audiotape on July 5 on their Internet website. The tape, a 60-minute audiotape, is attributed to Al-Zarqawi. The tape appears under the following heading: "Important commandments to the mujahidin and in reply to the defeatists, from the amir of Jama'at al-Tawhid Wal Jihad, Shaykh Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi."

    The tape begins with a recitation of verses from the holy Koran followed by the sound of gunfire and running horses.

    Al-Zarqawi begins by addressing "believers," asking them to fear God and "die Muslims."

    Al-Zarqawi says: "History repeats itself. The logic of events throughout the ages does not change. Persons change, players get replaced, and machines are developed; however, the stage of events is the same and the story of the conflict is one. It is right battling falsehood and Islam fighting nonbelief and paganism."

    Al-Zarqawi condemns "the weak" who "wait for the end of the battle to side with the strong and board the ships of the victor." He hails those "who carry the banner in the age of defeatism and raise foreheads in the age of subservience."

    Al-Zarqawi addresses the nation, saying "the oppressors have gone too far" and that "wolves, and even dogs, have made bold with us."

    Al-Zarqawi says the "solution" to this situation is "jihad." Al-Zarqawi cites advice by "leaders of jihad" in early Islam through which he urges the "brother mujahidin" to show resolve and adhere to principles. He cites as examples battles in early Islam suggesting victory comes from God.

    "O brother mujahidin, God's victory may come late, and you may suffer defeats and casualties. This is not strange, for this is a divine law that applied to previous nations. God's law does not change."

    Al-Zarqawi tells the "mujahidin" that "you are in a situation for which you should be envied, not as said by defeatists and liars, who look at things from a purely materialistic viewpoint and who are terrified by reports by western and Arab media and their subordinates that Al-Ahzab [the allied forces that fought Muslims in Al-Khandaq battle in Medina] have triumphed and the mujahidin escaped."

    Al-Zarqawi accuses the Muslim ulema of having "left the field and given up the leadership of the convoy," saying "you can only hear their voice when they speak against the mujahidin." Criticizing the ulema's position toward the beheading of Nicholas Berg, Al-Zarqawi says "they condemned [the beheading of Berg] because they had previously refrained from fighting the infidels." "They lied and claimed that this matter has distorted the image of Islam in the eyes of delicate westerners, and that the world interacted with the Abu Ghurayb and Guantanamo crime and this operation came to negatively affect this interaction and response from the world. [They even claimed] that the popularity of Bush, the dog of the Romans, was at its lowest level and this operation came to increase his popularity. It is as if the alleged free people of the world had sharpened their swords and mobilized their battalions to liberate Iraq and save the free and the bereaved women from the prisons of subjugation and oppression."

    Al-Zarqawi adds: "It is regrettable and horrifying that the infidel crusader media were able, through the collusion of our countrymen, to influence the personality of the Muslims. Through the terrible torrent [of programs] on Arab and international channels, those managed to brainwash the Muslims, influence their thinking...and weaken their resolve."

    "A malicious, crusader enemy came with a terrible plot to control the nation and strengthen the Jews," he notes.

    Al-Zarqawi notes that some mediators tried to save Berg, "this lout," and offered "whatever sums of money we could ask for." He says that although the group needed money badly to use for "jihad," "we preferred to avenge our sisters and nation."

    He criticizes the nation for doing nothing toward what is happening against "Muslims in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Indonesia, the Chechen Republic, and others."

    "What did the nation do for Mulla Omar, who sacrificed a whole country for the sake of one Muslim. He [Omar] is now a fugitive being chased in mountains. What did the nation do for the women of Sarajevo, Indonesia, Kashmir, Palestine, and Iraq, whose honor was defiled under the eyes and ears of the entire nation."

    Reiterating that the group refused money in return for the release of Berg, Al-Zarqawi says: "Although we believe it is permissible, we pledged not to demand ransom for any prisoner, no matter how influential he is. But we wanted to make the enemies of God learn that we have no leniency in our hearts toward them."

    Al-Zarqawi attacks the "defeatists" who "accepted disgrace." Chief among those, he notes, is Harith al-Dari, secretary general of the Muslim Ulema Council in Iraq. He criticizes Al-Dari's statements in which he condemned the killing of Berg and "the South Korean Christian missionary."

    Al-Zarqawi says Al-Dari should have instead felt ashamed of "being unable to help his Muslim sisters whose honor was defiled in Abu Ghurayb prison."

    He says Al-Dari's only concern is to establish bonds with the Shiites, citing a meeting between Al-Dari and Jawad al-Khalisi [a Shiite figure].

    Al-Zarqawi expresses surprise at the "patience and perseverance of the enemies of this religion in their war against Muslims."

    He cites a report recently published by The Daily Telegraph noting that "Iraq has become a fertile ground for Christian missions." He cites members of Christian missions in the United States as saying that "the US occupation of Iraq has created an historic chance to guide the helpless among the Iraqi people, be they Muslims or Orthodox Christians."

    Al-Zarqawi cautions the "mujahidin" against believing the "hypocrites" who question the possibility of the restoration of the Muslim state and caliphate. He asks them to hope that God will enable them to "conquer the White House, the Kremlin, and London."

    In conclusion, Al-Zarqawi urges the "mujahidin" to sacrifice themselves for the sake of God. Speaking in a sobbing voice, Al-Zarqawi beseeches God to help the "mujahidin" and "grant us victory over the oppressors and unbelievers."

    The last five minutes of the tape feature a song sung in a Gulf dialect praising the "mujahidin."

    7 July 2004 - Al Battar Issue 13 released despite security raid
    by Laura Mansfield

    It appears that the raid several weeks ago of the safe house in Riyadh where representatives of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula were producing their two publications, Voice of Jihad and Al Battar, has had an impact, though limited, on the production schedules of these two online magazines.

    Issue 13 of Al Battar was delayed for at least five days, apparently due to the raid. When the issue came out, the content was clearly not up to its usual standards. The issue was highly focused on the death of Abu Hajar Al Moqrin, killed the previous week in an armed confrontation with Saudi security forces.

    Moqrin had authored major articles in each of the previous issues, including those on assassinations and kidnappings. There was no article by Moqrin in issue 13. There are still a number of Moqrin articles on the internet which have not yet made their appearance in Al Battar, so it is likely his works will continue to be published posthumously if the publishing team manages to keep the two publications running.

    Also notable in its absence was a feature that analysts have begun calling “Bodies by Abdullah”. “Bodies by Abdullah”, a regular feature in previous issues, is a physical fitness and exercise program for jihadis to follow to ensure they are in top shape when they go on their missions.

    The “Surviving in the Wild” feature, which in previous issues has focused on expedient shelters and extracting water from natural resources, is a simple article that could have been culled from the Boy Scout handbook on “Starting a Fire” (without matches).

    The weapons feature in Al Battar 13 discusses Rocket Propelled Grenade Launchers. It discusses in depth the techniques for firing, cleaning, and maintaining an RPG Launcher.

    “Abu Hafs al Masri”, the nom de guerre of Mohamed Atef, Osama Bin Laden’s chief lieutenant who was killed in the US bombing of Afghanistan, is featured in a biography.

    The sole article on jihadi warfare tactics is written by Al Battar regular columnist Seif Adil, and details “Secret Meetings”. This article details the advantages and disadvantages of clandestine meetings, and provides in-depth details on how to conduct various types of these meetings. It also covers how to plan for these meetings in order to accomplish the goals of the meeting and to avoid detection.




    6 July 2004 - Translation of the Abu Hafs Masri Brigade Roadmap

    An ominous sounding message from the Abu Hafs Masri Brigade this weekend instructs Muslims as follows: “Muslims in the West should depart to Muslim states if they can. Those who cannot should take precautions and live in Muslim areas, have enough food to last a month, find ways to protect themselves and their families, leave enough money in the house to last one month or longer and to pray a lot and put their fate in God’s hands,”

    As the window for the truce offered by Osama Bin Laden to Europe nears its end on July 13, it has become evident that no one has accepted the cease fire offer. According to the audiotape statement issued by Bin Laden and released on April 15, the proposed truce would go into effect for each country “when their last soldier leaves the (Islamic) countries”.

    The statement, which came several weeks after the Madrid bombings, informed the various European countries that they would be spared the wrath of Al Qaeda attacks if they withdrew their troops from the Middle East. It promised a new wave attacks if the truce offer was rejected.

    The Al Qaeda group, Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade, has claimed credit for the Madrid bombings, and as the end of the truce window approached, they were quick to speak out about a resumption of hostilities towards the west.

    In a statement issued this weekend, the Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade laid out their expectations for Muslims worldwide, itemized their targets, and issued messages to specific groups including western governments and Islamic clergy.

    The Abu Hafs Masri Brigade is a group affiliated with Al Qaeda that is shrouded in mystery. The group is named after Mohamed Atef, top lieutenant to Osama Bin Laden who was killed in a US bombing raid in Afghanistan in December 2001. The operational capabilities of the Abu Hafs Masri Brigade are unconfirmed; some analysts believe they are only an internet propaganda front, while others accept their claims for attacks including the Madrid bombings.

    The statement demands the following from the United States:

    1. Free the prisoners in American prisons and in Guantanamo Bay, as well as Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, and those held by US request in the prisons of the Arab and non-Arab countries, and those in Jewish (Israeli) prisons.

    2. Stop the war on Islam and on Muslims throughout the world, which is being waged in the guise of fighting terrorism.

    3. Cleanse all Islamic lands, including Jerusalem and Kashmir, from the “dirt” of Jews and Americans and Hindus.

    4. America and its allies cease to interfere in the political and economic and social and cultural matters of Muslims, and in the formation of an Islamic state.

    5. The “Crusading” west stops intervening between Muslims and their apostate rulers.

    In the statement, the Abu Hafs Masri brigade listed four targets for the next phase of their operations:

    1. Expansion of the conflict, by distributing operations throughout the world. The Brigades claim that they want to lead America into a third “swamp” similar to Afghanistan and Iraq. They suggest that Yemen will become this new theatre of operations.

    2. Shaking investor confidence in the American economy

    3. Expose the plans of the Jewish Crusaders

    4. Cause the enemy to spread out their forces, and then wear them down.

    The statement goes on to explain that the role of the coming attacks will break the will of America, and leave her client states powerless, so that the jihad warriors can seize Jerusalem

    The statement addresses the various militant groups aligned with Al Qaeda, and tasks them with a list of responsibilities:

    1. Maintain faithfulness to the will of Allah, and stand with other Muslims; and know that if you are killed, Allah will accept you in paradise and those that you kill will be in the fire. Be patient and endure, and God willing, you will succeed

    2. Form small organization of different names such as Jama'at al-Tawhid and Jihad and the Abu Hafs al Masri brigades, and so on, so that it will be difficult for the enemy to discover and dismantle them plus it dilutes the efforts of the security forces.

    3. Continue to follow in the path of jihad, following and being loyal to Islam, and remaining in compliance with the theology.

    4. Continue physical exercises, as well as military training, and encourage others (your sons and families and your tribe) to join in because the battle may take longer than expected..

    5. Learn new skills, such as computer use and Internet use, and direct any profits from this to the militants and to Muslims.

    6. Ignite (Fire up) the psychological war against the enemy.

    The statement itemizes the following eight requirements that they expect to be fulfilled by Muslims worldwide:

    1. Knowledge of the religion (Islam), and loyalty to it.

    2. Sincere repentance if they are not active in pursuing the jihad

    3. Prayers for the militants, as well as moral and material support

    4. Establishing cells both inside and outside of the major cities of the west

    5. Providing shelter and support for the mujahadeen as needed

    6. Behave in an honorable manner appropriate for Muslims

    7. Assist the mujahadeen in blending into their communities

    8. Provide advice and assistance as needed

    Excuses and a warning:

    1. To the people of Europe: You only have a few more days to accept Bin Laden’s truce or you will only have yourselves to blame.

    2. You (Muslims) in the West should depart to Muslim states if they can. Those who cannot should take precautions and live in Muslim areas, have enough food to last a month, find ways to protect themselves and their families, leave enough money in the house to last one month or longer and to pray a lot and put their fate in God’s hands.

    3. To those who care about civilization: There are only a few days remaining to accept the truce offered by Sheikh Osama, and then the race now is between you, time and European governments which refused to stop their attacks against Muslims. So do not blame us for what will happen, and we apologise to you in advance if you are among those killed

    Other brief messages:

    1. To Bush and his Arab and non-Arab agents: who will stop the coming waves of death from us to American and to the Jews they protect.

    2. To John Kerry: You threaten us with war; this is our answer. If you do, then with Allah’s help we will wage war upon all your people from the children to the elderly.

    3. To Sharon: we will cut your cord with America that gives you power and eliminate the one who protects you from the Arabs, then we will not have any difficulty slaughtering you like lambs.

    4. To Tenet: you will need more than five years of retirement, since you remained for more than five years

    5. To the American Senate: pardon us fo the disturbance of February 4, 2004, but we were obliged to a pardon on the disturbance a day of 4 - 2 - 2004, but we were obliged to try the substance (Ricin) on some people, and we will return to you, but the next time it won’t be for practice.

    6. To Bush: He is so secure that he invaded Iraq in the dark of night as a mouse, in fear of the militants. Your black days have not come yet; you mention a day when you cried in September. The coming attacks will make cry you a blood, God willing.

    7. To the idol worshipping Abdullah Saleh, do you understand the messages?

    In Summary:

    1. The Americans and the Jews and the western crusaders are our enemies, and they are warriors and our duty is to kill them wherever we find them.

    2. The Arabs and the Muslims have a responsibility and a duty to kill them because they are apostates.

    3. The division of Palestine is not permissible in any way because it is an Islamic inheritance and is not suitable for any others

    4. The fight today is an individual duty of each Muslim and Muslims do this with the consensus of the clerics through the ages, that if an enemy enters into a Muslim land, then it is necessary for the Muslims to fight until they defeat the enemy. It is better to die than to live the remainder of ones life as a submissive slave to Christians and Jews.

    5. The Muslims must support the militants and welcome them and invite them into their communities, and not believe the news regarding the militants that comes to them from the tyrants and the unbelievers.

    6. With the help of Allah, the coming collapse of America is beyond doubt, God willing.

    7. The United Nations is a tool of the crusaders; it’s rulings humiliate Muslims, and attacks them, and divide their money, and drains the blood of every Muslim who cooperates with them.

    8. Muslim blood and money and honor is “off-limits” with the exception of those who betray Allah and his messenger, as Sharia shows.

    The communique ends by promising that protection for Islam is in sword, indicating that they plan to continue to wage war against the west.

    6 July 2004 - Statement from Abu Hafs Masri Brigade claims credit for Ricin in US Senate in February, issues warning to Muslims

    Deep inside a lengthy statement issued by the Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade this weekend is a chilling sentence: "To the American Senate: pardon us fo the disturbance of February 4, 2004, but we were obliged to a pardon on the disturbance a day of 4 - 2 - 2004, but we were obliged to try the substance (Ricin) on some people, and we will return to you, but the next time it won’t be for practice."

    It is impossible to determine whether the brigade was in fact responsible for the Ricin which was located in the US Senate Office Buildings in February.

    The Al Qaeda group, Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade, has claimed credit for the Madrid bombings, and as the end of the truce window approached, they were quick to speak out about a resumption of hostilities towards the west.

    An ominous sounding message issued this weekend instructs Muslims as follows: “Muslims in the West should depart to Muslim states if they can. Those who cannot should take precautions and live in Muslim areas, have enough food to last a month, find ways to protect themselves and their families, leave enough money in the house to last one month or longer and to pray a lot and put their fate in God’s hands”.

    A detailed report on the statement, including a full translation, is being made available to subscribers of the HQ-INTEL ALERT newsletter and forum. developing...

    6 July 2004 - Iraq closes border with Iran

    Unconfirmed reports indicate that at the request of the United States, the new Iraqi Government has closed its border with Iran. No further news is available at this time. developing...

    6 July 2004 - US and British Consulates in Islamabad, Pakistan closed for terrorist threat

    The British and U.S. embassies in Islamabad remained closed for a second straight day due to an unspecified terrorist threat against the missions. (The U.S. and British embassies share a compound in the capital.) According to one U.S. official, a threat has been made against a specific diplomatic mission in Islamabad's diplomatic enclave but the official did not elaborate on the details of the threat. No further information is currently available.

    6 July 2004 - New group in Iraq tells Zarqawi to get out of Iraq or be killed

    In yet another indication that Iraq is starting to clean up its own country, Al Arabiyah television broadcast a video tape by an unknown militia group calling itself "The Salvation Movement".

    The video tape calls for Ubay Mus'ab al Zarqawi, who they call a "criminal" and an "apostate", and his followers to leave the country immediately.

    The spokesman of the group, surrounded by masked gunmen, says that they have already commenced efforts to arrest and otherwise neutralize those groups which have been involved in recent violent attacks in Iraq.

    6 July 2004 - Militants claim Katyusha named after Moqrin to debut in Iraq

    In a statement issued this weeked on the Arabic language Ansar forum, militants claim that a new missile will be making its debut in Iraq shortly.

    The missile, named after Saudi Al Qaeda leader Abu Hajar al Moqrin, is reportedly a modified Katyusha rocket, similar to those used in southern Lebanon by Hizbullah.

    According to the posting, these missiles carry a "very dangerous" payload. No specific reference to the type of payload was made so it is unknown if this refers to a conventional explosive payload, or a chemical one.

    The HQ-Intel Alert will provide an in-depth look at these missiles in this week's issue. For more information, see the HQ-INTEL ALERT .

    6 July 2004 - 'Libyan Involved in Big Terrorist Attacks That Were To Target Baghdad and Other Iraqi Cities', Says Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib

    Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib has revealed the foiling of five big terrorist attacks and the arrest of individuals from Arab countries, the names of which he did not specify. These individuals, according to him, were planning to blow up booby-trapped cars at important centers and gatherings in Baghdad and other cities. In an interview with al-Zaman, al-Naqib said that "the investigation is still taking place regarding a group suspected of carrying out similar attacks." He also indicated that "some of the individuals involved [in these attacks] hold Libyan nationality." Their arrest came while they were about to carry out three attacks in the capital, Baghdad, and two others in places he did not determine.

    5 July 2004 - Iraqi Tribes Threaten To Besiege Al-Fallujah To End Abductions, Killings

    In an interesting turn of events, a group of Iraqi tribes has issued a statement labeling the "mujahadin" as "evildoers". The tribes are threatening to invade and take control of Fallujah, bringing the "evildoers" to justice if the murders and beheadings continue.

    The complete statement, translated from the original Arabic, is available to HQ-Intel Alert subscribers in the forum. To subscibe, click here.

    5 July 2004 - Poland Stands By 'Poison Gas' Find Iraq

    Political and military officials in Poland Saturday reaffirmed that missile warheads found by Polish troops in Iraq contained poison gas, despite denials by the multinational forces in Baghdad.

    "In each of the missiles found, the presence of a chemical substance was found. It was cyclosarin," a spokesman for the Polish contingent in Iraq, Colonel Robert Strzelecki, told public television.

    5 July 2004 - Tehran to indict Saddam

    Iran said on Sunday it would submit an indictment to the Baghdad court trying Saddam Hussein, who as president waged a protracted war against his neighbour.

    Saddam, caught last year by US troops, appeared in court on Thursday and was told by an Iraqi judge he would face charges relating to seven alleged crimes spanning three decades, but no mention was made of the 1980-1988 war against Iran.

    "Iran will definitely submit an indictment to the court, it is ready," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a news conference. "The trial should be open and his crimes against Iran should be reviewed."

    Charges against Saddam cover invading Kuwait in 1990, suppressing uprisings by Kurds and Shias after the 1991 Gulf war, ethnic cleansing of Kurds in 1987-88 and gassing Kurdish villagers in 1988.

    Hundreds of thousands died on both sides in the war of attrition between Iran and Iraq, in which Baghdad used poison gas against Iranian soldiers and civilians. -Reuters

    5 July 2004 - Ayoon wa Azan (Why Hurry?)
    Courtesy Jihad Al Khazen, Al-Hayat

    Everybody knows that Saddam Hussein committed the crimes that the special court accused him of. Not only did he commit seven crimes, like using chemical weapons in Halabjah, and oppressing the Shiites or the Kurds, but he committed 70 or 700 other crimes as well. Under the law, the accused is innocent until proven guilty, a law that Saddam Hussein contradicted during his years in power, as the citizen was considered guilty until proven innocent, and the accused used to be put to death before going to trial; we also read about the "martyrs of anger," when it turns out that an innocent was put to death, and his family would be given some thousands of dollars in compensation.

    According to Saddam Hussein's law, the ousted Iraqi President should be put to death and then tried.

    Continued in the HQ-INTEL ALERT forum.

    5 July 2004 - Mahdi army will lead peaceful resistance against Iraqi interim government

    Spokesman for Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr said on Monday that Al-Mehdi army will lead peaceful resistance against the current Iraqi interim government. The BBC Radio, picked here, said the spokesman made the statement after Sadr's stress while speaking to newsmen here that resistance to foreign troops occupation of Iraq will continue. His spokesman said Sadr's call is not a call for carrying arms. Backing off from his reconciliation tone, Sadr described yesterday the interim government as illegal.

    5 July 2004 - Power outage at Logan Airport shuts down security screening equipment

    A power outage at a Logan International Airport terminal shut down security screening systems and other equipment for more than 4 hours Monday afternoon, and delayed dozens of flights.

    For more details, see the HQ-INTEL ALERT forum.

    5 July 2004 - Zarqawi issues new video tape, providing an inside look at homicide bombers in action

    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted terrorist in Iraq, has staked his claim to lead the jihad against the American presence by releasing a slickly-produced video of suicide bombers and several of their attacks.

    The hour-long production is part political manifesto, part recruiting campaign and part propaganda to tell America that its intense efforts to find the Jordanian-born militant leader have failed.

    For more details, and to download the video, see the HQ-INTEL ALERT forum.

    5 July 2004 - Group warns Europe of more terror attacks

    The group that claimed responsibility for deadly train bombings in Spain warned European nations that they have only two weeks to withdraw troops from Iraq or face the consequences, a pan-Arab newspaper reported Friday.

    The statement run by the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper referred to a 90-day cease-fire for attacks in Europe that the leader of al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, declared on April 15.

    For more details, see the HQ-INTEL ALERT forum.

    5 July 2004 - Al Jazeera reports US Marine held captive by militants has been released safely

    No confirmation is available and the US Military has not commented on the report. Cpl. Hassoun is still officially listed as Missing, Held Captive.

    On 4 July, Ansar al-Sunnah Army website at www.ansar-alsonnah.8m.com/ posted a statement denying the killing of the abducted U.S marines' soldier of Lebanese origin. The following is the text of the statement: In the name of God, the Compassionate, The Merciful Praise be to God and prayers and peace be upon the last Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions. The press, citing a Lebanese Interior Ministry official, reported that Ansar al-Sunnah Army killed an American prisoner of Lebanese origin, who was abducted in Iraq. To preserve our credibility when dealing with all matters we announce: This statement, falsely attributed to us, has no basis in truth. However, we believe that killing such filth is a pious act. All our statements or communiqu�s will be posted on our official website and anything that is not announced on our website does not represent us. Prayers and peace be upon the prophet Muhammad, his family and companions. Media Section of Ansar al-Sunnah Army.

    In a statement delivered to Aljazeera, a purported Iraqi resistance group has said it has sent a US marine, who had earlier been reported killed, to a safe place.

    The group, calling itself "Islamic Response - the security wing of the Islamic Resistance of Iraq", said on Monday it sent Cpl Wasif Ali Hassun, a US Marine of Lebanese heritage, to a "safe place" but without specifying the exact location.

    The armed group said Hassun announced he will not rejoin the US army.

    The US marines said they had no news of Hassoun's release and were still listing him as captured. "We're not going to comment on what Aljazeera is saying," said Lieutenant Corporal TV Johnson.

    "When we have more information on his status, which is proven, we'll release it."

    For more details, see the HQ-INTEL ALERT forum.

    4 July 2004 A Pledge of Honor
    by Laura Mansfield

    4 July 2004 - US Marine, reported executed yesterday, may still be alive

    3 July 2004 - US Ports Remain Vulnerable to Speedboat Attack

    3 July 2004 - Iraqi checkpoint, oil pipeline attacked

    2 July 2004 - US warns of attacks in Bahrain, evacuates US families and nonessential personnel

    2 July 2004 - Iraq: Political, Intelligence 'Sources' Unveil Coordinated Plans of Armed Organizations

    2 July 2004 - Polish troops 'foil Iraq nerve gas bid'

    Poland's defense ministry said its troops in Iraq have thwarted an attempt by militants to buy a quantity of warheads containing nerve agents, the BBC reported. The country's military intelligence chief said troops had increased efforts to find the weapons when told they were on the market for about 5,000 USD each. Gen Marek Dukaczewski said an attack using warheads such as these was hard to imagine. But the US military said the agent was so deteriorated it posed no threat. Tests indicated some warheads contain cyclosarin, more powerful than sarin, Polish officials say. But the US military said that while two of the rockets tested positive for sarin, traces of the agent were so small and deteriorated as to be virtually harmless. "These rounds were determined to have limited to no impact if used by insurgents against coalition forces," a statement by the military said. Another 16 rockets found by the Polish troops were all empty and tested negative for any type of chemicals, it added, without explaining the discrepancy in numbers with the Polish version. The former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein produced cyclosarin in the 1980s to fight Iran but was bound by UN resolutions following the 1991 Gulf War to destroy stocks and cease production. In May this year, an artillery shell apparently filled with sarin exploded at a roadside near Baghdad but caused no serious injury.

    2 July 2004 - Pakistani Driver Held by Militants in Iraq Freed

    2 July 2004 - FBI Weekly Alert Focuses on Threats Over Holiday Weekend

    The FBI issued a bulletin to police organizations on 1 July 2004 warning of potential attacks by the al-Qaeda terrorist organization over the 4 July national holiday weekend. The warning stated that there was no specific intelligence indicating any attacks are imminent, and was issued as a general precaution due to the sheer volume of large gatherings nationwide. The warning listed possible targets, including gas refineries and pipelines, subways and trains, financial institutions, civil aviation facilities and nuclear power plants, as well as "soft targets" such as bars, clubs and restaurants. The warning also states that "Al Qaeda's targets generally have been of symbolic significance as well as directed at inflicting mass casualties with the timing of attacks driven more by operational considerations than specific timeframes." The bulletin stated that terrorists might make use of tactics previously employed in terrorist attacks overseas, including assault teams, car bombs and suicide bombers.

    1 July 2004 - Hippy Hippy Shake Saddam Doll the rage in Baghdad

    1 July 2004 - Raid in progress by ICE, FBI and IRS at Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences of America in Fairfax, VA

    Sources indicate that a raid by ICE, the FBI, and the IRS is in progress at this time.

    The target appears to be the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences of America in Fairfax, VA.

    Reports indicate that the agencies involved in the raid suggest that authorities are seeking some sort of financial records.

    1 July 2004 - Al Qaeda "ideagogue" killed in shootout with Saudi forces

    1 July 2004 - Jihadi boards claim Saudi clash interupted major Riyadh operation by Al Qaeda

    1 July 2004 - SISMI Reports 200 'Explosive Briefcases' in Hands of Terrorists in Iraq

    1 July 2004 - "Former Iraqi Hostage Discusses His Kidnaping, Phony Policemen Racket in Iraq "

    1 July 2004 - Iraqi Clandestine Radio Cites Government Spokesman on Arrest of Al-Zarqawi UNCONFIRMED

    1 July 2004 - Al-Mahdi Army Claims It Holds Policemen To Swap Them With Detained Elements

    (Clandestine): Voice of the Mujahidin in Arabic 1400 GMT 29 Jun 04 [Announcer-read report]

    A state of extreme tension prevails in the city of Holy Al-Najaf after the Al-Mahdi Army took possession of an Iraqi Police car and captured two policemen. This also resulted in the deployment of the Al-Mahdi Army elements [on the streets] and the closure of the stores. Thanks to our correspondent Sabah Ahmad, who presented the following report from Holy Al-Najaf:

    [Begin Ahmad recording] A state of extreme tension prevails in Holy Al-Najaf after Al-Mahdi Army seized an Iraqi Police car and held two policemen, its occupants, captives. The intensive deployment for the Al-Mahdi Army personnel, which accompanied the operation, caused the passersby to flee. It led to closing the stores in the city center. The main roads were empty within few minutes, during which time only Al-Sadr loyalists, who were armed with various kinds of medium and light weapons, were seen. This state continued for approximately half an hour. It ended after Al-Mahdi Army concealed the armed manifestations. Life returned to its previous state gradually laced with caution and fear from the renewal of the clashes, especially after rumors were circulated on the Al-Najaf street that Al-Mahdi Army arrested more than 20 Iraqi policemen early in the morning today and that they are keeping them in order to release elements from Al-Mahdi Army, who were arrested by the Iraqi policemen early this week. Officials in Al-Mahdi Army held the Iraqi Police responsible for what happened today and said that approaching the city center by the police is considered a breach of the truce between Al-Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr and the occupation forces. The agreement stipulates that the occupation forces and the Iraqi Police are not allowed to approach the chaste shrine of Imam Ali, peace be upon him, and the nearby areas, or the so-called Al-Najaf old city. Sabah Ahmad from Holy Al-Najaf reporting to Voice of the Mujahidin. [end recording]

    1 July 2004 - Al-Fallujah Armed Group Vows To Punish Those Cooperating With US Forces

    Dubai: Al-Arabiyah Television in Arabic 0510 GMT 29 Jun 04 [Announcer-read report over video]

    A group that says it represents Al-Fallujah fighters has threatened to punish anyone who cooperates with the US forces stationed outside the city. The group leader appeared in a videotape to deny that the group has any link with Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, who the US leadership believes is responsible for the bombing operations in Iraq. He also denied they have any connection with the killing of a number of Shiites, saying the Shiites are to them brothers in resistance.

    [Begin a masked man recording, in progress]...to start the fire of sedition among the sons of our one people. We challenge anyone to prove otherwise. We will punish in public anyone who cooperates or works with the Americans. [end recording]

    30 June 2004 - 6 US Airports Under Increased Terror Surveillance

    Six major U.S. airports are now under more surveillance by the Department of Homeland Security because of a terror threat.

    An anonymous source at Homeland Security says they're looking for Pakistanis with physical signs of terrorist training, namely men with rope burns, bruises and scars.

    This story first broke last night on the CBS Evening News. The network reports customs inspectors are on alert at Newark, Washington Dulles, New York JFK, Detroit, Chicago O'Hare and Los Angeles international airports.

    Homeland Security officials say they've come up with a list of 38 terrorist connections through background checks of foreign airline crew members and truckers licensed to haul hazardous materials in the U.S.

    30 June 2004 - "We will be coming for you"

    The following posting, in English, was posted to several Arabic language jihadi forums. We thought that you might like to read it:

    We Will Be Coming For You"

    This letter is for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, “Islamic Response,” and the rest of the so-called “insurgents” in Iraq. I obviously do not have an e-mail address for these vermin, so I am forwarding this letter to my entire address book in the hope you good people will forward it to as many people as possible, and that eventually through the miracle of the internet it somehow ends up in the hands of the intended recipients. Thank you all for your assistance.

    This is from my good friend and fellow 3/4 vet. It sums up my feelings as well.

    To the terrorists currently operating in Iraq,

    I see that you have captured a U. S. Marine, and that you plan to cut off his head if your demands are not met. Big mistake. Before you carry out your threat I suggest you read up on Marine Corps history. The Japanese tried the same thing on Makin Island and in a few other places during World War Two, and came to regret it. Go ahead and read about what then happened to the mighty Imperial Army on Tarawa, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. They paid full price for what they did, and you will too.

    You look at America and you see a soft target, and to a large extent you are right. Our country is filled with a lot of spoiled people who drive BMWs, sip decaf lattes and watch ridiculous reality TV shows. They are for the most part decent, hard working citizens, but they are soft. When you cut off Nick Berg’s head those people gasped, and you got the media coverage you sought, and then those people went back to their lives. This time it is different. We also have a warrior culture in this country, and they are called Marines. It is a brotherhood forged in the fire of many wars, and the bond between us is stronger than blood. While it is true that this country has produced nitwits like Michael Moore, Howard Dean and Jane Fonda who can be easily manipulated by your gruesome tactics, we have also produced men like Jason Dunham, Brian Chontosh and Joseph Perez. If you don’t recognize those names you should. They are all Marines who distinguished themselves fighting to liberate Iraq, and there will be many more just like them coming for you.

    Before the current politically correct climate enveloped our culture one of the recruiting slogans of our band of brothers was “The Marine Corps Builds Men.” You will soon find out just how true that is. You, on the other hand, are nothing but a bunch of women. If you were men you would show your faces, and take us on in a fair fight. Instead, you are cowards who hide behind masks and decapitate helpless victims. If you truly represented the interest of the Iraqi people you would not be ambushing those who come to your country to repair your power plants, or sabotage the oil pipelines which fuel the Iraqi economy. Your agenda is hate, plain and simple.

    When you raise that sword over your head I want you to remember one thing. Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun is not alone as he kneels before you. Every Marine who has ever worn the uniform is there with him, and when you strike him you are striking all of us. If you think the Marines were tough on you when they were cleaning out Fallujah a few weeks ago you haven’t seen anything yet. If you want to know what it feels like to have the Wrath of God called down upon you then go ahead and do it. We are not Turkish truck drivers, or Pakistani laborers, or independent contractors hoping to find work in your country. We are the United States Marines, and we will be coming for you.

    30 June 2004 - Editorial: Something to think about
    by Laura Mansfield

    It was the middle of the night Sunday night, and was already Monday in Iraq. I was a guest on America at Night with Ernie Brown providing my weekly terror update for his listeners. I received a quick message from a friend on the internet that said simply “US turning over power to Iraq Monday”.

    I checked a few sources quickly, deemed the report credible, and informed the listeners as the news was breaking. Within a few minutes it was confirmed by the major networks.

    Many of us had been holding our breath as the date for transfer of sovereignty to the provisional Iraqi government approached.

    As I watched television early Monday morning, the camera focused on George Bush and Tony Blair at the NATO summit. It showed a clearly happy Bush looking at his watch, then shaking hands with Blair. They looked like the proverbial cats that had just swallowed the canary.

    It was clear that the jihadis were going to do everything they could to sabotage the turnover of sovereignty. There had been the predicted upsurge in violence, and there was credible evidence of major terror attacks planned for June 30, the day when the transfer was to be effected.

    In a brilliant strategic move, Bush and Blair moved the transfer up two days. Instead of a major ceremony, with all the pomp and circumstance that normally accompanies such an event, but also with a big bulls-eye painted on it, the leaders opted to remove the target. Instead, the transfer took place in a small, quietly held ceremony, with a few members of the press invited to record the event for posterity.

    It was a classic move, designed to throw the enemy off track.

    From a long-term strategic point of view, it was a great move in terms of quelling the violence. It allows the Iraqi government to deal with the insurgents in a manner that is culturally acceptable to the involved parties, rather than following Western guidelines.

    A statement by the Iraqi Defense Minister on Monday explained this further. “We do not have to follow American laws here. We have our own laws. We can arrest them, cut off their hands, slit their throats or even behead them if need be.”

    Shortly after the turnover of legal custody of Saddam Hussein today, the Iraqi Provisional Government reinstated the death penalty.

    An article published by DEBKA speculates that the insurgency will be informed to either cease and desist, or face a quick trial and execution of Saddam Hussein or one of his top 11 deputies currently in custody.

    It’s definitely a concept worth pondering.

    UPDATED 30 June 2004 - At least one of the three militants killed by Saudi security is wearing an explosives belt

    developing...

    30 June 2004 - Turkish national arrested after bomb threat on airplane

    Late yesterday, a Turkish national made a bomb threat on board a Freebird Airlines Airbus A320 bound for Istanbul from Munich shortly after takeoff, causing the pilot to alert air traffic control of a security problem and return to Munich airport.

    After the aircraft landed, the suspect jumped out of its front door, breaking his leg, before being arrested on the tarmac by authorities. Security officials then questioned the passengers and allowed them to exit the aircraft. Security officers then swept the aircraft and determined that there were no explosive devices on board. According to reports from security officers, the suspect was not armed, and authorities suspect that the man was motivated by personal problems.

    Initial reports from German media sources indicated that the flight returned to Munich after up to three men attempted to hijack the aircraft.

    30 June 2004 - Gunfight between Saudi security and militants leaves 1 policeman, 3 militants dead; manhunt continues

    A confrontation today between Saudi security forces and armed terrorists in Riyadh has left one policemen and three militants dead.

    According to reports, the gunbattle occurred on Khaled Bin Al-Walid street, in the Quds (Jerusalem) District in Eastern Riyadh.

    The security forces have evacuated apartments in the area. Security forces have surrounded the area and are engaged in a large manhunt, apparantly looking for 5 suspects who are reported to be on the most wanted list.

    30 June 2004 - Iraqi Provisional Government Reinstates Death Penalty

    Shortly after taking legal custody of Saddam Hussein and 11 former regime officials, the Iraqi provisional government restored death sentence. Americans retain physical custody. He said Saddam will be publicly arraigned Thursday. Charges are expected to include crimes against Iraqi people.

    DEBKA has an interesting article on the possible motivations for the quick change in legal custody. The article is located here.

    30 June 2004 - Deadline for execution of US Marine, Pakistani driver approaching

    There is no word yet on the fate of the US Marine being held captive by terrorists in Iraq; nor is there any word on the fate of the Pakistani driver also held captive.

    The groups holding these men threatened on Sunday to execute and behead the men if their demands were not met.

    Neither the US government nor the Pakistani government has agreed to meet those demands.

    Yesterday, three Turkish hostages held by Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad Group were released unharmed.

    The video tape issued by the militants showing the Pakistani hostage and the terrorist demands can be viewed here.

    30 June 2004 - In last interview before "martyrdom", Al-Sadr Officer Claims New Tank Rocket, Vows Suicide Attacks

    Baghdad: Ishraqat al-Sadr in Arabic 23 Jun 04 p 5 [Karim Dara'm, Identified as a Field Commander in Al-Mahdi Army, Interviewed by Abu-Yaqin al-Sa'idi: "In the Last Interview before his Martyrdom, One of Al-Mahdi Army Commanders: 'We Have Developed our Fighting Tactics. The Coming Days Will Witness a Different Type of Combat'"]

    The city of Al-Sadr is witnessing daily battles between the combatants of Al-Mahdi Army and US occupation forces. One of the Al-Mahdi Army field commanders in Al-Sadr City, Karim Dara'm, summarized the situation by saying: "We are getting ready to teach the Americans a lesson they will not forget if they continue to provoke us. We have developed the style of fighting, and our fighters are taking daily lessons in military education to fill the gap in their experience. The coming period will witness combat of a different kind."

    Since the end of Al-Mahdi Army's battles in Karbala then in Al-Kufa and Al-Najaf, Al-Sadr City has come to bear the brunt of US military pressure, especially as it is the main bastion from where the volunteers of Mr Muqtada al-Sadr launch their operations. Karim Dara'm says: "Our fighters have the courage and are blessed with eagerness to die, but the majority of them lack fighting skills in the face of professional and highly-trained forces, not to mention the enormous difference in armament".

    Article continued here.

    30 June 2004 - Chechen Fighters Linked to Al-Qaeda Held in Iraq

    The Iraqi police and coalition soldiers in the Iraqi city of Al-Nasiriyah have detained two Chechens linked to Al-Qa'ida. The two were part of an armed group on its way to the area of a US Air Force base near the city, where they were to take part in operations, a source in the Iraqi security forces told the Iraqi newspaper Al-Sabah.

    The Iraqi security forces have reliable information that some 20 Chechen militants are active within the Al-Qa'ida terrorist network in Iraq, the source said.

    30 June 2004 - Saddam Hussein Transferred To Iraqi Authorities

    Former dictator Saddam Hussein has been transferred into the custody of Iraq's new government.

    On Wednesday morning (June 30), as scheduled, Saddam and 11 key officials from his former regime were transferred into the legal custody of the Iraqi authorities, according to CNN. Though they are no longer considered prisoners of war, the detainees will remain in the physical custody of the U.S.-led coalition until Iraq has the proper security to ensure they cannot escape (see "Iraqi Government To Take Saddam Hussein Into Military Custody").

    The prisoners will be legally in Iraqi custody until their trials.

    Though the officials transferred on Wednesday were not identified, CNN reports that those expected to be in the first group include the former deputy prime minister of the deposed Baathist dictatorship, Tariq Aziz; Ali Hassan al-Majid (a.k.a. Chemical Ali), who allegedly used chemical weapons on Iraqi civilians; two of Saddam's half brothers; his vice president; defense minister and presidential secretary.

    All will be charged with crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. Saddam is scheduled to be charged on Thursday, though the formal trial at the Iraqi Special Tribunal which was set up last year for this purpose is not expected to take place for months.

    Salem Chalabi, executive director of the Special Iraqi Tribunal (and nephew of purported spy Ahmed Chalabi), reported that Saddam looked shaken after the transfer, according to CNN. He was told that he had the right to legal counsel but would not be allowed to ask questions until he faces the court on Thursday.

    30 June 2004 - POSSIBLE TERRORIST SURVEILLANCE AT PENNSYLVANIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

    The Northeast Intelligence Network verified that five men of Middle Eastern origin were detained near the Susquehanna Steam Electric nuclear power plant near Berwick PA on Tuesday, 29 June 2004. The men caught the attention of a toll booth attendant when they asked for directions to a fishing location near the power plant. The five men, all appearing in age to be between 35-50, reportedly stated that they were searching for a fishing location near the plant. When stopped by the Pennsylvania State Police about four miles from the plant, however, their vehicle (a late model van) contained camping equipment but no fishing gear. The FBI was notified, and two of the five men were reportedly detained by immigration authorities, but all were ultimately released.

    Sources confirmed to the Northeast Intelligence Network and Steve Quayle that all US nuclear reactors have been placed on heightened alert, and authorities are aware of terrorists plans of attempting to disrupt power or cause a catastrophic event at various US power plants. There have been reports of infiltration of possible terrorists in key positions within our national infrastructure as well. This matter is being investigated and further information will be reported in an upcoming issue of the HQ INTEL-ALERT, a subscription based newsletter.

    29 June 2004 - US expels 2 Iranians; videotaping transportation and monuments in NYC

    The United States has expelled two Iranian security guards at the Iranian Mission to the United Nations for conduct unbecoming to their status, according to a U.S. official.

    The two were seen taking pictures of New York City and transportation systems, the official said.

    It was the third occasion that they were spotted videotaping and taking photographs, the official said.

    The Iranians were expelled this weekend.

    An official declined to comment on which landmarks the two were seen photographing.

    29 June 2004 - Rocket launcher and unexploded rocket found near US Consulate Karachi

    A rocket exploded on 28 June 2004 at approximately 1700 UTC in Karachi's Gurumandar district. The rocket landed near a wedding hall approximately 5 mi/8 km from the Crime Investigation Department (CID) compound. A second, unexploded rocket and launch tube were discovered a short while later near the U.S. Consulate and the Sheraton Hotel. Police officials believe the attack was the work of Islamic militants. Officials also believe the CID compound was the intended target, however an attack on the Consulate or the Sheraton could not be immediately ruled out.

    29 June 2004 - 6 Arrested in Manila over attack plot on Presidential Inauguration

    Police officers in Manila arrested six suspected Islamic militants on 29 June 2004 after learning of a plot to reportedly bomb the presidential inauguration ceremony for President Gloria Arroyo, scheduled to take place on 30 June. The arrests took place at dawn in a suburb of Manila. Police officers also discovered an unspecified quantity of bomb making materials.

    29 June 2004 - Explosion on plane at Istanbul Airport

    A booby-trapped device has exploded on a plane at Ataturk airport in the Turkish city of Istanbul, police say.

    Three cleaners on board the Turkish Airlines plane were injured in the blast, which happened after the passengers had left, police said.

    The plane had just arrived on an internal flight from Izmir on the Aegean coast.

    Security in Istanbul had been stepped up for a summit of Nato leaders, which ended on Tuesday.

    Tensions are high in Turkey after a series of incidents over the past week.

    On Thursday of last week, four people were killed and several injured in bomb attacks in Istanbul and the Turkish capital city, Ankara.

    On Friday, a car containing explosives was found by police in a car park at the airport.

    The same day, Israeli airline El Al suspended all its flights to Turkey in a row over security in Istanbul.

    On Monday, a small bomb exploded outside the defence ministry in Ankara.

    A Turkish Airlines spokesman said the explosion on board the plane was caused by a booby-trapped parcel resembling a wallet.

    The spokesman said one cleaner lost a finger in the blast when he tried to open the package, while two other cleaners suffered minor injuries.

    Police cordoned off the aircraft after the incident and firefighters were called to the scene.

    29 June 2004 - 3 Turkish Hostages Spared Beheading, Released

    The three Turkish hostages, held by Zarqawi's Al Tawhid and Jihad terrorist group in Iraq, have been released.  The group had threatened to behead the 3 Muslim hostages.

    The Arab satellite station broadcast a videotape showing the three Turkish hostages, believed to have been contractors, kneeling in front of three members of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad movement, as one of the militants read a statement.

    "For the sake of you, our brothers, and Muslims of the people of Turkey ... we will release these hostages and send them safely home," the statement said.

    HQ-Intel Alert subscribers may access the video announcing the release of the hostages by clicking here. To subscribe to HQ-Intel Alert, click here.

    29 June 2004 - Confession of Iraqi militant who filmed western hostage's death

    A chilling report by Hala Jaber of the London Sunday Times details the confession of an Iraqi militant who filmed the death of Italian hostage Fabrizio Quattrocchi.

    The Times has graciously granted our request to reprint this article in its entirety.

    In a small, bare house to the west of Baghdad, a highly educated Arab fighter armed with an unusual combination of computer skills and European languages was packing spoils of war into cardboard boxes last week as his resistance cell prepared to take its battle into the Iraqi capital.

    He removed aerial photographs from the walls, saying he had obtained them by hacking into a US military database in Iraq, and stacked laptops that had been brought to him from the vehicles of dead Americans to be checked for intelligence.

    Then he flicked nonchalantly through the documents of Fabrizio Quattrocchi, a 36-year-old Italian hostage who was forced to kneel, handcuffed and blindfolded, in front of a grave before being shot in the forehead at point blank range.

    "Would you like to know what happened to him?" the Sunni militant asked with a polite smile. "I filmed him as he was executed."

    Article continued here.

    28 June 2004 - Reports indicate hostage Private Keith Matt Maupin has been killed

    There are unconfirmed reports this noon that an Ohio hostage in Iraq has been killed.

    Private Keith Matt Maupin was captured in April when gunmen armed with rocket propelled grenades attacked his convoy.

    Two sources, a Cincinnati TV station and an Arabic Web site, both cites sources close to the Maupin family as saying that Maupin has been shot.

    Reports indicate that Al Jazeera has a video tape of the shooting in its possession which it has not aired yet due to the coverage of the power turnover in Iraq.

    28 June 2004 - Iraqi handover 'brought forward' to today

    According to a report by Sky News, the handover of power in Iraq is to be brought forward to today.

    A formal announcement will be made later today, Tony Blair said.

    The informal announcement was made by Iraq's foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari.

    The handover of power to an interim Iraqi government was supposed to take place on June 30.

    Mr Zebari said the deteriorating security situation in the country was one of the reasons why the date had been brought forward.

    "We will challenge these elements in Iraq, the anti-democratic elements, by even bringing the handover of sovereignty before June 30 as a sign we are ready for it," he said.

    He added: "We have made some very good progress in terms of the new security council (in Iraq) and the return of sovereignty to the Iraqi people to take away the level of occupation we have suffered a great deal from.

    "There are many Iraqis who are standing up to the challenge. We are here to seek more help and assistance, training and equipment."

    27 June 2004 - New Iraqi police fight US troops who trained them
    reprinted courtesy The Telegraph UK

    With American fighter jets and helicopters buzzing the skies overhead, an officer in Iraq's new police force approaches a group of fighters on Fallujah's front lines with an urgent call to arms.

    "I need a man who can use an RPG," says Omar, who wears the uniform of a first lieutenant. Four hands shoot up and a cry rings out: "We are ready." He chooses a young man, Bilal, and they drive to an underpass on the outskirts of the city.

    There, on Highway One, an American Humvee is driving east. Bilal aims and fires his rocket propelled grenade, turning the vehicle into a smoking, twisted, metal carcass. The fate of its occupants is unknown.

    First Lt Omar is sworn to uphold the law and fight the insurgency that threatens Iraq's evolution into a free and democratic state. Instead, he is exploiting his knowledge of US tactics to help the rebel cause in Fallujah.

    "Resistance is stronger when you are working with the occupation forces," he points out. "That way you can learn their weaknesses and attack at that point."

    An Iraqi journalist went into Fallujah on behalf of the Telegraph on Wednesday, a day on which an orchestrated wave of bloody rebel attacks across the country cost more than 100 lives.

    Inside the Sunni-dominated town, he met police officers and units of the country's new army who have formed a united front with Muslim fundamentalists against the Americans, their resistance focused on al-Askeri district on the eastern outskirts of the town.

    That morning, US marines had taken up "aggressive defence" positions on one side of Highway One. On the other side, militant fighters were dug in, ready for battle.

    Their preparations were thorough. Along the length of a suburban street in al-Askeri, they had dug foxholes at the base of every palm tree. Scores of armed men lined the streets. Most had scarves wrapped around their heads but others wore the American-supplied uniform of Unit 505 of the Iraqi army, and carried US-made M-16 rifles. Yet more were dressed in the olive green uniforms worn by Saddam Hussein's armed forces. Since April, when a US offensive failed to crush an uprising by Islamic fighters and Ba'athist loyalists, Fallujah has been effectively a no-go area for American troops.

    A newly formed, 2,000-strong force known as the Fallujah brigade, led by a Saddam-era general, Mohammed Latif, was supposed to disarm the rebels. Instead, the town remains a hotbed of resistance. Now, once again, US military pressure is being brought to bear.

    Three separate air strikes have been launched on houses in the town in recent days, aimed at killing an al-Qaeda leader believed to be based in Fallujah. The Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is believed to be behind the wave of kidnappings and terror attacks across Iraq.

    US officials say that they narrowly missed their target on Friday, in their most recent strike on a house where he was suspected of hiding. Up to 25 people were killed.

    On the ground in al-Askeri, tension was once again rising under the US attacks. Strangers had to seek permission from the "district commander", a local imam called Sheikh Yassin who controls a broad coalition of Saddam loyalists and Islamic radicals, to move beyond the rebel lines. The sheikh, who has emerged as the neighbourhood strongman since the uprising against American occupation, has used his following to unite all strands of resistance under his leadership.

    His radio buzzed constantly as scouts, moving incognito in private cars, sent in reports about US positions around the suburb. The ground shook as F-16 Falcons dropped precision-guided 500lb bombs on rebel positions near the football stadium, half a mile away.

    US commanders have spoken of their frustration over the Fallujah Brigade's failure to rein in rebels, and the ineffectiveness of the political deal struck with local tribes in April. "We've been prepared to pull the plug on it three or four times, but each time we detect a faint heartbeat," a senior marine officer said. To Sheikh Yassin, the supposedly anti-rebel brigade is a useful tool, providing support for his fighters. "We respect the Fallujah brigade - it never interferes against us," he says. He openly acknowledges that his coalition was a marriage of convenience, bringing together the secular Saddam faithful and Muslim fundamentalists.

    The imam, who wants Iraq to be governed by Islamic law, points to one of his companions - a colonel in the disbanded Iraqi army - and asks why he is still fighting.

    The colonel is blunt. "Fallujah is the starting point of the return of the Ba'ath Party," he says. "Our comrades in Baghdad and other provinces are joining our struggle. Here already we are free. No one can touch us."

    In violence yesterday, a car bomb in the predominantly Shia city of Hilla, 60 miles south of Baghdad, killed at least 15 people according to the Arabic satellite news channel al-Jazeera.

    Six guerrillas and several other people were killed in Baquba, north of Baghdad, when rebels blew up the local party headquarters of Ayad Allawi, Iraq's prime minister, and attacked a moderate Shia political party's office. Another car bomb killed a man in the Kurdish city of Arbil.

    Kurdish Minister Claims Ansar Al-Sunnah Behind Arbil Car Blast, Other Attacks

    In an interview with a correspondent for Al-Jazirah, Karim Sinjari, interior minister in the Arbil Government, has accused Ansar Al-Sunnah [Supporters of Sunnism] of detonating a booby-trapped car in the heart of Arbil city in an attempt to assassinate the culture minister in the government and of being behind the string of attacks in the northern areas of Iraq. [Sinjari] In previous incidents, particularly the explosions that took place in front of the Interior Ministry, a group of persons were arrested. They admitted to having provided these terrorist groups with all the facilities and information they needed. It is the Ansar Al-Sunnah group, which sent two persons to carry out bombing operations. The first was carried out by Abu-Bara al-Utaybi, from Yemen, and the second by Abu-Hafs al-Najdi, from Saudi Arabia. The latter are terrorists, but those who helped them are from here. They were arrested, and they confessed to their acts.

    27 June 2004 - Zarqawi's group kidnaps Pakistani driver; threatens with beheading

    In what is quickly becoming a regular occurance, Zarqawi's group, Al Tawhid and Al Jihad, has reportedly kidnapped a Pakistani driver and are threatening him with death.

    According to a statement released on Al Arabaya TV, the group is threatening to behead the hostage if Iraqi prisoners are not released.

    26 June 2004 - Zarqawi's group holds 3 Turkish hostages; threatens with beheading

    The Al-Tawhid and AL-Jihad, the group linking to al-Qaida leader in Iraq Abu Mosab Al-Zarqawi,announced Saturday that it holds three Turkish worker hostages,threatening to behead the trio, al-Jazeera news channel reported.

    In a statement carried by the Doha-based TV channel, the groupsaid that it would behead the Turkish hostages in 72 hours if Ankara did not order all Turkish companies operating in Iraq to leave the country.

    They also demanded the Turkish public to demonstrate against US President George W. Bush's visit to Turkey for a NATO summit. A videotape aired by al-Jazeera also showed the three Turks identifying themselves in Turkish.

    26 June 2004 - Iraqi Mosque Preacher Criticizes 24 June Attacks

    Shaykh Ahmad Abd-al-Ghafur al-Samarra'i, member of the Muslim Ulema Council [MUC] in Iraq, has criticized the attacks that targeted Iraqis yesterday. In a Friday sermon at the Umm al-Qura Mosque in Baghdad, Al-Samarra'i said that these attacks have harmed the image of Iraqi resistance.

    [Begin Al-Samarra'i recording] Which religion allows the killing of 100 Iraqis, the destruction of 100 families, and the destruction of 100 houses? Who can accept this? Who are the ones who do such things? Where they came from? Who is the hero who dares to issue such a fatwa [religious ruling]? Who will be the one responsible for this bloodshed before God during the Day of Judgement? By God, it is a conspiracy against all Iraqis and against the Iraqi resistance, which made the Iraqis inside and outside Iraq proud. This is a conspiracy aimed at tarnishing the image of resistance. They speak for resistance falsely. [end recording] [video of Al-Samarra'i delivering Friday sermon]

    26 June 2004 - Large 'Assassination', 'Armed Burglary' Group Arrested in Iraq

    A large assassination and armed burglary group, whose activities spread in Baghdad and other governorates, were arrested by the Iraqi criminal intelligence department in the Interior Minister.

    A source in the ministry said that following raids against the hideouts of the group, during which firearms were used, it was possible to arrest the head of the group, who enjoys wide-range connections with parties outside Iraq and with organized crime groups inside Iraq. The source added that most of the members of the group, whose head was wearing a police uniform, are criminals who had been sentenced to death or to life imprisonment, but were released and spread more terror and brutality following the ill-reputed pardon, which was issued by the former regime.

    26 June 2004 - Explosion at Iraqi National Accord, attack on SCIRI

    An explosion went off at the office of the Iraqi National Accord (INA) party of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi following an attack on the headquarter of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), both in Baqubah on Saturday. BBC, monitored here, said an armed group barged into the headquarters of the INA located on the municipality road in Baqubah kicking out all the office guards before blowing up the building with dynamite. The explosion took place following an attack by armed gunmen on the headquarter of SCIRI in Baqubah earlier this morning that left three guards dead and two others injured.

    26 June 2004 - Iraq: 'Mujahidin' Group Threatens to Target Coalition Forces After 30 Jun

    A statement issued by a group calling itself the Mujahidin of Western Iraq and broadcast on Al Arabaya TV, a copy of which was received by Al-Arabiyah, has called on the coalition troops to withdraw from all Iraqi territories. It threatened to target the coalition soldiers after 30 June. The statement said that the war waged by this group targets the Jews and not Christians. The statement threatened to target the coalition troops after the date set for withdrawal. The statement noted that the fighters of the Mujahidin of Western Iraqi Group will not target civilians, because the teachings of Islam do not call for killing innocent civilians.

    26 June 2004 - Al Jazeera reports Al Mahdi orders halt to all military actions in Sadr City

    According to a report broadcast on Al Jazeera, the command of Al-Mahdi Army in Baghdad has issued an order to stop all military and combat operations in the Al-Sadr city as of this evening.

    A statement, a copy of which was received by Al Jazeera, said that this order is binding to all, and anyone who violates it will be breaking away with Al-Mahdi Army. The statement said Al-Mahdi Army is prepared to cooperate with the police and the national forces to safeguard the state establishments.

    26 June 2004 - Restaurant Chain Uses Anti-Terrorism Tools

    26 June 2004 - FBI Issues Warning of Floating Bombs

    The FBI warned law enforcement agencies of the potential for floating explosive devices - otherwise known as terrorist improvised mines - according to the weekly bulletin issued by the agency.

    "Although large-scale, military-style mining operations against the U.S. are assessed to be beyond the capabilities of transnational terrorists, the technological sophistication demonstrated in evolving improvised explosive device (IED) construction raises the possibility of limited, geographically dispersed waterborned IED attacks," the FBI said.

    "The FBI possesses no information indicating a specific threat involving floating IEDs or terrorist plans for mining US waterways."

    "However, international terrorists have shown interest in using floating explosives and the potential for isolated attempts to carry out such attacks cannot be discounted," the FBI said.

    The FBI said that there have been some recent incidents involving floating IEDs, but there appeared to be no similarities in how these separate explosives were constructed. The FBI said that the lack of similarities indicates that the floating bombs involved lone individuals instead of a terrorist network at work.

    Nevertheless "these incidents demonstrate potential vulnerabilities and the possibility exists that extremists may choose similar tactics to conduct attacks against the U.S. maritime infrastructure.

    The FBI then listed possible designs for floating bombs, including IEDs attached to floats or buoys, IEDs concealed in floating debris or trashbags and innertubes or rafts carrying IEDs onboard.

    The FBI also included a list of potential indicators relating to planning a floating bomb or terrorist mine attacks:

  • Reports of launching or retrieving boats from unusually remote areas
  • Reports involve aircraft dropping objects at night near harbors, ports or commercial airways
  • Reports of abandoned small boats found adrift near sensitive sites
  • Reports or incidents of unusual or unidentified floating objects near vessels or in harbors, ports or commercial waterways
  • Evidence suggesting trends or patterns in terrorist-related hoaxes or threat reporting dealing with mines or floating IEDds
  • Reports of suspicious requests for hydrographic charts associated with naval or commercial port facilities
  • Reports of attempts to purchase or steal large magnets, large styrofoam blocks, large diameter PVC pipe, empty compressed gas cylinders or watertight storage drums.

    25 June 2004 - Is Saddam Hussein's daugher Raghad planning to run for President of Iraq?

    According to an Arabic language article published in Al-Manar this week, Raghad Hussein is ignoring the demands of her host, the Jordanian government, and is planning to seek the presidency of Iraq in the upcoming elections.

    Iraqi sources residing in Amman said that Saddam Husayn's oldest daughter, Raghad, has informed visitors about her intention to begin political activities and contacts inside Iraq during the next few days in order to inform them about her plans to run for the Iraq presidency as soon as a fair and free election is held in Iraq under UN supervision at the end of next year.

    The sources said Saddam's 37 year old daughter Raghad affirmed that she plans to meet with the ambassadors to Jordan of the five permanent UNSC members and some Arab countries to inform them of her intention to run for the presidency of Iraq, ignoring the Jordanian Government's previous warnings not to be involved in any political or media activities while residing in Jordan, which it described as harmful to the security and interests of Jordan.

    A Jordanian weekly newspaper reported earlier that Raghad intends to leave Jordan, where she was hosted for humanitarian reasons a year ago, and return to her country to prepare for her participation in the presidential elections. News reports point out that Raghad, who moved to a fancy house in the affluent district of Abduon in the west of the Jordanian Capital Amman, tells her visitors that she will be the Benazir Bhutto of Iraq, as the Iraqi people still like her father and will elect her if she takes part in the coming elections.

    Rumors circulating in Amman for the last two days have attributed the large number of Iraqis trying to join the Iraqi Army and the other security organs as due to direct orders by high ranking officers and commanders of the former Republican Guard, who are still in hiding, to impose their control over the situation and to declare a political and military coup to bring the family of ousted Iraqi President Saddam to power again in Iraq.

    Although Raghad, in an interview with an Arabic magazine, has denied that she had plastic surgery performed by a Jordanian doctor, Iraqi sources close to ousted President Saddam's daughter said that Raghad has restored her elegance and appeared with a new look, indicating that she had the operation.

    25 June 2004 - Islamists in France Reportedly Recruiting 'Volunteers' for Iraq reprinted courtesy Le Figaro

    Everything started with a short message on the cell phone of an Islamist who was arrested in the Paris region on 15 June (see our 16 June 2004 edition). The short text message had arrived from Iraq where it was sent in early June by one of his brothers in arms, a French Islamist. It is an explicit text: "The group has arrived without any problems. I shall contact you if I need help." French intelligence services had been waiting for this signal for months.

    General Intelligence [RG] had been keeping the two men and their accomplices, members of the IQRA radical group that has taken over the Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine) mosque, under surveillance and tapping their conversations for the past 18 months. There were two militants in this group that were of particular interest to the police: Adnen T. and Djamel D. The former is a French national of Tunisian origin and allegedly a distant relative of Nizar Naouar's family, the kamikaze who carried out the attack on the Djerba synagogue in 2002. The latter, an Algerian, was spotted by Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office [BKA] and by the RG. He was allegedly part of a D�sseldorf-based logistical support group for Djamel Beghal, who is accused of having planned a terrorist attack against the American embassy in Paris in 2001. Three companies -- a travel agency, a security firm, and a data processing company were also in the RG's sights. Telephone taps revealed contacts between the Levallois group and Islamists who had come from the Pakistani-Afghan region. Over a period of several months, these taps revealed, in particular, that a handful of volunteers had gone to Iraq.

    The Paris prosecutor's office opened a preliminary investigation on the basis of this information. The antiterrorist section of the Paris Criminal Brigade did the work. On the purely financial aspects, it was assisted by the Research and Financial Investigations Brigade.

    The 15 June haul provided interesting results. In addition to fake [identity] papers and counterfeiting equipment, two small caliber weapons and Islamist documentation were found. Cassette recordings of Islamist preacher Abu Qutada and tracts calling for a jihad completed the picture. A document from an Islamic organization that has links to the International Islamic Relief Organization [IIRO] was included in the batch. It gave the group power of attorney. This power of attorney authorized them to collect funds in France and to transfer this money abroad. IIRO, which is presented as a humanitarian organization, was founded by Usama Bin Ladin and one of his brothers-in-law in 1992.

    Although this information was edifying, it did not, however, convince the antiterrorist investigating judge, Philippe Coirre. On 19 June, the judge decided not to indict Adnen T. and Djamel D. but to take their depositions as assisted witnesses, which is an extremely rare occurrence for an antiterrorist magistrate. The two men were released along with the three IQRA officials, who had been indicted for ordinary common law offenses.

    Yesterday, a policeman felt that the attitude of antiterrorist judges was "incomprehensible". He said, "These men did, all the same, spend their time calling for a jihad, attacking their opponents and recruiting like crazy."

    25 June 2004 - Iraqi Court Establishes Bureau for Protection of Witnesses in Saddam's Trial

    The Iraqi criminal court announced on Wednesday establishing a bureau for the protection of witnesses. A statement released here by the court, a copy of which received by KUNA, said the bureau comprises of 40 members who will ensure protection of witnesses in the criminal court which will handle the trial of the defunct regime President Saddam Hussein and other members. It added, the witnesses are important and basic elements before, during, and after the trials.

    The statement said a contact has been made with a number of the competent international government and non-government institutes to organize a specialized training-course for protection of witnesses and sending the bureau members abroad for the same purpose. Meanwhile, the court announced that it is collecting the evidence and testimonials on Saddam's crimes.

    25 June 2004 - Turkish security makes arrests in yesterday's bombing attacks

    Turkish police officials have carried out a series of arrests in connection with the 24 June 2004 bomb explosion aboard a public bus in Istanbul. Following the explosion, officers carried out random security operations at shopping malls as well as train and bus stations.

    Meanwhile, authorities identified the female passenger who was carrying the bomb as a member of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), a militant left-wing group that has staged terrorist attacks in the past. She was one of the four people killed in the blast. Officials reiterated that the bomb was not meant to explode on the bus, but they have not identified the intended target.

    25 June 2004 - Saudi to allow foreigners to carry guns

    Saudi Arabia's Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz stated that "in principle" foreign residents can obtain a permit to carry a weapon for personal protection if they feel threatened.

    Until now, Saudi law has prohibited foreigners, including security guards, from carrying weapons. Following recent attacks in Saudi Arabia, particularly those in Yanbu and al-Khobar, Western business executives in the country voiced doubts about the willingness and ability of Saudi forces to protect expatriate employees and called for a change in the law to allow companies to hire their own expatriate security personnel.

    It is not clear at present when or how the new regulations allowing foreigners to bear arms will be implemented.

    25 June 2004 - 50 killed in Yemen in clashes between security forces and anti-US Islamic rebels.

    In Yemen, the official Saba news agency reported that security forces have killed approximately 50 followers of anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Hussein al-Huthi since clashes began on 20 June in the province of Sadaa, located approximately 150 mi/250 km north of the capital city of Sanaa.

    The agency also reported that 35 militants have been wounded, but did not give any numbers on casualties among the security forces. Authorities believe al-Huthi is the head of a group known as "The Believing Youth," which has conducted violent demonstrations against the United States and Israel.

    It is not clear if these clashes are related to the ongoing trial of "mujahadeen", Islamic militants for the attack on the French tanker Limburg.

    25 June 2004 - Militants target Iraqi police as June 30 deadline approached

    A series of coordinated attacks on at least seven police stations and paramilitary bases killed 100 people and injured around 300 others on Thursday. Analysts said the insurgents are trying to disable Iraqi police, a rival but unfledged force, ahead of the June 30 power handover.

    Iraqi police has born the major brunt of the deadly bombings in Iraq since the US forces began to partly turn over the security tasks to it early this year, as it was said to be a more able force to counter terrorism than coalition troops.

    25 June 2004 - British sailors freed by Iran

    The eight British sailors and marines who were detained in Iran were today flying back to southern Iraq after stopping briefly in Kuwait, a British military spokesman said.

    Iran released the eight on Thursday after they spent four days in custody, ending a growing diplomatic crisis sparked by what Tehran said was their illegal entry earlier this week into Iranian waters along the Iran-Iraq border.

    The spokesman, Captain Hisham Halawai, said the men appeared "fit and well and in good spirits" and were on their way to Basra on a military plane.

    24 June 2004 - Voice of Jihad Publishing Offices Raided

    Police in the Saudi capital have discovered the "information centre" of al-Qaeda terrorists in Saudi Arabia, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

    According to the report in the Saudi Okaz newspaper, a raid in the al-Suweidi part of the capital uncovered the headquarters of the Sawt al-Jihad Islamic website, which in the past has disseminated several statements credited to the al-Qaeda network in the Arabian Peninsula.

    Two men were arrested, both of whose names appeared on a list of 26 suspected al-Qaeda members released by the authorities in December.

    Saudi police continued Tuesday to search for the body of US hostage Paul Johnson, who was beheaded last week by al-Qaeda terrorists.

    According to the newspaper, the police also uncovered tailor shops used to make the uniforms worn by the extremists.


    The video of the beheading of the Korean hostage has been released. HQ-INTEL MEMBERS will find the link in the HQ-INTEL forum area. Non-subscribers who wish to view the video may click on the photo to be taken to the NEIN Yahoogroup where they may download the video. Our new mirror site should be up and running shortly. SUBSCRIBE NOW TO HQ-INTEL ALERT



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    23 June 2004 - Muslim children play at beheading
    by Laura Mansfield

    Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.

    A video located today on Sheik Abu Hamza's website, www.shareeah.org, features four children, doing what as children the world over do: pretending.

    But what is completely unnerving about this video is what they are pretending.

    One young boy kneels in front of three other children, in the same manner of the condemned man; Three other children stand behind him in the same way that the terrorists stood over the men prior to their beheading. The three standing children are armed with pretend weapons. One of the three children is a girl.

    The tallest of the three standing children pretends he is Zarqawi, and reads a list of demands.

    The film clip ends with the pretend beheading of the kneeling child.

    Chilling.


    23 June 2004 - Iran to release UK Navy crewmen arrested Monday

    The eight crew members (shown above on Iranian state TV blindfolded) of three UK patrol boats seized by Iran near the border with Iraq are to be released, an Iranian armed forces spokesman says.

    Ali Reza Afshar said "the order for the release of the vessels and their military crew was issued" after UK forces said they had "made a mistake".

    However, negotiations continued into the night delaying the release, promised for Wednesday.

    The men were detained on Monday in the southern Shatt al-Arab waterway.

    The UK Ministry of Defence said the men were training the Iraqi river patrol service, and may have mistakenly strayed over the maritime border.

    They appeared on Iranian TV wearing blindfolds and admitting entering Iranian waters illegally.

    The Iranian spokesman said the army command was satisfied that the arms and equipment carried in the three British launches had been for use on patrols.

    "Considering statements by the British sailors that the boats carrying them mistakenly entered Iran's territorial waters, the armed forces decided to release the boats and their occupants," he told Iranian state radio.

    Later, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was quoted on Wednesday as saying the British crew "will be freed today" [Wednesday]. Recent reports indicate, however, that the release may be delayed until Thursday.

    23 June 2004 - Iraqi Militants Plant Bomb in Kim Sun-il’s Corpse

    When the body of Kim Sun-il, murdered and beheaded by Islamic terrorists, was found yesterday about 20 miles west of Baghdad near Falluja , it was discovered that a booby trap had been installed in his body.

    On the road between Baghdad and Falluja, American forces located a body assumed to be that of an Asian, which an officer from Korean Embassy to Iraq and Kim Chun-ho, president of Gana General Trading Co., identified.

    “It looks like the body was thrown from a vehicle, and the body was beheaded,” said Mark Kimmitt, coalition deputy operations chief and spokesman of American forces in Iraq.

    “A booby trap was placed in Kim’s body,” reported CNN, quoting Pentagon sources. A booby trap is an explosive device, which is designed to blow up on contact. It appears that Iraqi insurgents were hoping to kill coalition forces or rescuers recovering Kim’s body. Outrage at the brutality of a terrorist organization that abducted Kim exploded after people learned that Kim’s body had been booby-trapped.

    23 June 2004 - Saudi Arabia offers amnesty to terrorists who turn themselves in within 30 days

    Saudi Arabia announced a limited amnesty Wednesday for Muslim militants who surrender in the next month, saying they will not face the death penalty and will only be prosecuted if they committed acts that hurt others.

    Crown Prince Abdullah read the brief announcement on behalf of his half-brother, King Fahd, on state television Wednesday.

    He said the offer was open to anyone who has not yet been "arrested for carrying out terrorist acts."

    "We are opening the door of amnesty ... to everyone who deviated from the path of right and committed a crime in the name of religion, which is in fact a corruption on earth," he said.

    "We swear by God that nothing will prevent us from striking with our full might" anyone who ignores the offer, Abullah said.

    23 June 2004 - New Jihadi video issued: Fallujah Volcano

    The newest Al Qaeda video is a chilling reminder of dangers that the American military personnel and contractors face in Iraq on a daily basis.

    Explicit and graphic footage shows a play by play of the events of several months ago when American contractors were attacked, dragged from a burning car, pulled through the streets of Fallujah, and hung from a bridge over the Euphrates.

    Global Islamic Media announced the release late last night of a new video series entitled "Fallujah Volcano".

    The video, entitled Fallujah volcano, also provides a view into life in Fallujah from the viewpoint of the militants, with scenes of masked and armed militants singing jihadi anthems.

    According to the announcement, the multi-part video includes the following subjects:

  • The "Words of the Fallujah heros"
  • Fallujah volcano
  • Burning of a US military vehicle (Hummer)
  • Recitations of the militants part 1
  • Recitations of the militants part 2
  • Fallujah after the militants victory
  • Killing and dragging of "agents of the American and Israeli intelligence through the streets" part 1
  • Killing and dragging of "agents of the American and Israeli intelligence through the streets" part 2
  • Oasis of Fallujah martyrs

    We are including links to these videos on their original server because we feel it is important that Americans understand better the mentality of the terrorists.

    The domain which is serving these videos, h-alerhab.net, is registered with fictitious contact information as follows:

    Bahaa (H-ALARAB-NET-DOM)
    Jeddah
    Jeddah, Egypt
    0096654661552
    info@hostalarb.com
    Domain Name: H-ALARAB.NET

    The domain is hosted on an IP address (69.93.54.98) assigned to an ISP in Dallas, TX, called "ThePlanet.com".

    Planet, The
    support@theplanet.com
    1950 Stemmons Frwy
    Suite 3048
    Dallas, TX 75207 US
    Tel: 2148005999
    Fax: 2148005998

    23 June 2004 - Zarqawi issues tape threatening Iraqi interim prime minister

    Islamic insurgents, led by Abu Mus'ab Al Zarqawi, threatened Wednesday to assassinate Iraq's interim prime minister. The claim comes just hours after the group claimed credit for the beheading of a South Korean hostage.

    A voice that the insurgents claimed as Zarqawi said "As for you, Allawi -- sorry, the democratically elected prime minister -- we have found for you a useful poison and a sure sword".

    HQ INTEL-ALERT subscribers can listen to the original audio tape here.

    Following is a full translation of the audio message attributed to Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi:

    We thank God, who grants victory to Islam, humiliates evil by oppressing it, disposes of matters in accordance with his will and who wins over infidels with his cunning. God has apportioned time into eras through his justice and has given good results to those who believe in him.

    May God's peace and blessings be upon those whom God chose to uphold Islam with the prophet's sword.

    Islamic nation, we bring you glad tidings for the dawn of the state of the Koran looms on the horizon. The rays of the dawn of pride are now filtering through a dark night that has lasted for long and whose obscurity and injustice have squatted on the chest of the nation for a long time.

    Your pure sons, thanks to God's support, have succeeded to check America's assault and smash its false pride. This despotic power, that has relentlessly sought to wage war on this religion in this land, appeared like the inflated dummy of a frightful beast that would be deflated by the prick of a pin. America has come hoping and dreaming that it will be welcomed with roses and as a just conqueror. It did not realize that the flame of Islam was still incandescent deep in the hearts. This flame cannot be stifled or uprooted from the hearts by any obstinate despot or headstrong tyrant. America was surprised to find an active nation and proud and dignified Muslim youths who reject humiliation and do not accept injustice. America swiftly retreated, licking its wounds. It has come to realize that the horizon is gloomy and that this nation is invincible. It resorted to trickery and deception which it masters in collusion with the hypocrites and agents of our nation. A new chapter of deception was launched seeking to remove the fuse of jihad and stifle it in the hearts of the believers.

    The Karzai Government formula has been an idea that received apparent acceptance and success in Afghanistan. Then let the experience be repeated and let the nation here in Iraq be deceived. Let the prescription of the new trickery be presented in the form of a democratic Iraqi government. But this has become a lackluster opportunity.

    America sought to achieve several things with this game:

    1. It wanted to avoid the shedding of the costly US blood. The US soldier has demonstrated that he is extremely cowardly and weak. He has become an easy target for the swords of the mujahidin who reap their heads. Advanced technology or the intelligent lethal weapons have failed to defend and protect these idiots. Then let the black men and the cheap soldiers from the Third World pay the price. They are used as shields and covers for the Americans, behind whom they hide from the blows of the mujahidin. Let them also act as minesweepers and the vanguards of those who will wage battle with the sons of their nation for they are more capable to fight the mujahidin and hurt them more. Let the US master live in tranquility in his bases far from the fire of the war. The Americans are recruiting thousands of these to have them trample the Islamic nation in exchange for insignificant worldly possessions and a small amount of money they had originally stolen from the resources and treasures of this bountiful land.

    2. History and contemporary experience has demonstrated that indirect colonialism is the best weapon with this nation. Instead of having the infidel foreigner assume the task of looting the nation, plundering its resources, and enslaving it, this must be done by the hypocrites who claim to belong to this nation. The Arab countries that are around us are being administered from the White House through brokers who are extremely loyal to their masters. They humiliated and disgraced the nation and sold it at the market for white slaves at a cheap price. They presented its sons as an offering on the altar of the US master. Therefore, let the experience be repeated in Iraq.

    3. Colin Powell said before a Jewish organization in the past that our war on Iraq is to free Israel from the Iraqi danger. When America failed to achieve this task, it decided to entrust it to the hypocrites of our own nation for they are stronger and better qualified. Had not one-eyed Moshe Dayan said in the past that the Arab countries are like dogs which protect us? Have not the renegades of our nation performed this task as best as possible and are they not faithfully protecting Israel?

    Allawi has pledged and has expressed his readiness to perform this task. Then let this task be entrusted to him.

    4. With the approach of the US elections, the cowboy should score achievements, even if they are false achievements. Thus, the issues of our nation and its fate have been watered down and become election cards in the hands of the cowboys.

    We tell the US Administration and the world:

    First: We here are not fighting for the sake of a handful of soil or imaginary borders charted by Sykes and Picot. We here are also not fighting so that an Arab dictator would replace a western dictator. Our jihad is higher and more sublime. We are fighting so that God's word will become supreme and religion will be for God. "And fight them on until there is no persecution and the religion becomes Allah's." [Koranic verse]

    Whoever opposes this aim or stands in its way, is our enemy and a target for our swords, regardless of his name and kinship. We have a religion that God has revealed as a scale and judge. Its word is decisive and its rule is not a joke. It is the judge between us and people. Praised be God, our scales are ethereal, our rules are Koranic, and our judgments are prophetic. The American Muslim is our beloved brother and the infidel Arab is our dire enemy, even if we shared the same womb.

    Second: Every Muslim is our brother, whom we defend. Let Muslims everywhere know that we have not and will not kill a Muslim, whose life is protected, or spill forbidden blood, God forbid!

    Third: The time has gone when the nation accepted humiliation and disgrace and had its promising destiny stolen by the hypocrites from people of our own skin. In the last century, the nation sacrificed every precious thing, struggled, and fought the infidel occupier. Then, at some sudden moment, and through unenviable naivety, it allowed the hypocrite opportunists to seize power and leadership. They did to Muslims what the infidel foreigner could not do even one tenth of.

    This bitter experience is vivid in our minds and clear before our eyes. We will not allow its repetition, God willing. Praised be God, our righteous sons have revived the jurisprudence of our righteous ancestors by fighting the factions of apostasy and carrying out God's sentence on the apostates and those who abstain from God's shari'a. Our jihad will continue. It would not distinguish between a western infidel or Arab apostate until the caliphate returns to earth, or we die.

    Fourth: As for you, the soldier and policeman, here you are repeating the same despicable crime. You have chosen earlier to become a boot for the dictator, Saddam, trampling the dignity and honor of Muslims, terrorizing the peaceful, and killing the innocent with your weapon. We find this recurrent story wherever we go throughout the Islamic World -- oppressive dictators persecuting a humiliated and an oppressed nation. O soldier, all that was done through you.

    As for us, we will not permit you to destroy our hopes, as expressed by this blessed jihad. We will not allow you to dominate our bright future, whose signs are looming on the horizon. We have ruled against you according to the Koran. "For Pharaoh and Haman and all their hosts were men of sin." [Koranic verse] We will carry out God's will against you. "So we seized him and his hosts, and We flung them into the sea." [Koranic verse]

    Fifth: Whenever I remember our sisters in the prisons of the crusaders, and every time I saw the image of that bereaved woman being forced to drink from a glass filled with the semen of the cross worshippers, I become dizzy. I pledge to God to take revenge from every hand that helped create the chapters of this plot.

    [Poem] I weep for those poor arms that were forced to embrace a depraved scoundrel. Yesterday, we were great ladies as high as the distant stars. Today, we taste the humiliation of bondage and shed tears of blood.[end of poem]

    I am astonished how a free Muslim with even a bit of piety, would become a soldier for the cross worshippers after seeing this shame, or a policeman with these infidels. Have these people lost all feelings, and given up their religion? We have pledged to God and taken firm oaths upon ourselves that we will not relent and settle down until we save these bereaved women and avenge their violated honor and dignity.

    Sixth: As for you Allawi, excuse me, the democratically-elected prime minister, we have prepared for you a deadly poison and a sharp sword, and we filled for you a glass overflowing with the stench of death. On several occasions in the past, you escaped well-hatched traps that we set for you. However, we promise you that we will continue the game with you to the very end. We will not feel weary or fed up until we make you drink from the same glass we gave to Izz-al-Din Salim, or we get killed in the process.

    You are the symbols of evil, the leaders of infidelity, and the heads of treason and malice. You are the people of hypocrisy.

    They are the enemy, so be aware of them. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! [Part of a Koranic verse]

    Seventh: Beware! Beware of a tremendous plot hatched by the Americans with the new Karzai of Iraq to rob the victory that was achieved by your sons in Al-Fallujah. You are aware that the United States has set up big detention centers and was planning to humiliate all the men of Al-Fallujah and to violate their honor to avenge the dignity that it lost on the doorsteps of this city. However, they were amazed -- and their leaders and masters acknowledged that -- at the unmatched bravery and courage that they faced. Their arrows went astray and their troops retreated in defeat and humiliation. Their rancor and malice grew. They then decided to kill the joy of victory; this time in collusion with collaborators who belong to our race, and, regrettably, with some tribal leaders, who deviated from their religion. All this was under the pretext that I was in Al-Fallujah. They are lying. Those fools do not know that, praised be God, I am traveling all over Iraq, moving from one place to another as a guest of my brothers and kinsfolk across the width and breadth of the country. But this was an excuse to take revenge. So, always be vigilant. Keep your eyes on the enemy and keep your finger on the trigger. Allah is with you, and will never put you in loss for your good deeds. [Part of a Koranic verse]

    Eighth: As for you, our beloved nation, I do not believe there is a sane person who still believes the lies about the alleged democracy after the cries of Abu Ghurayb and the scandals of Guantanamo Bay. To God, we complain about this silence and letdown of several people in the nation -- including its religious scholars, preachers, and public. What happened to you, O Islamic nation? Why did you accept humiliation and submission? Till when this apathy and negative attitude?

    As for you, the scholars of the rulers, have you issued fatwas to curse the Americans as you have with your fatwas against our mujahidin in the peninsula of Muhammad, God's peace and blessings be upon him? With this fatwa, you reminded us of Balaam the son of Boer, who was encouraged by his people to curse Moses, God's peace and blessings be upon him. They kept persisting until he did so, although he was educated about the books of God. God punished him and rendered him voiceless. We beseech God to do to you what He did to him. You have followed his example.

    O Islamic nation: We do not need lessons about the meaning of freedom or the ways of governance from the cowboys. God has given us the Koran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, God's peace and blessings be upon him. And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book which is rehearsed to them? [Part of a Koranic verse] By God, Allah has delivered his promise.

    O Islamic nation, you will, God willing, see what will please you. The signs of triumph have started to emerge. We will have battles and battles with the infidels and the renegades. And Allah hath full power and control over His affairs; but most among mankind know it not. [Part of a Koranic verse]

    Praised be God."

    22 June 2004 - Arabiya TV reporting armed clashes in the eastern portions of Riyadh between Saudi security forces and armed insurgents. Developing...


    Click on image to view video

    22 June 2004 - Al Jazeera reports S. Korean hostage killed, beheaded. developing....

    Arabic satellite channel al-Jazeera said it had received a new video tape saying that Mr Kim had been killed.

    In the footage aired on the station, Mr Kim was shown kneeling on the ground in front of five masked men.

    His shoulders were heaving, his mouth open. He wore a bright orange jumpsuit and matching blindfold.

    The part of the tape broadcast did not show him dead, but the presenter said Mr Kim had been beheaded.

    22 June 2004 - Mohammed al Baradei, UN nuclear watchdog chief claims terrorist nuclear threat 'real and imminent'

    The threat of a terrorist attack using nuclear weapons is "real and imminent", the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog said today.

    Mohammed al Baradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said it was a "race against time" to prevent terrorists from obtaining nuclear materials.

    His words echo repeated warnings by Tony Blair of the danger posed by an alliance between rogue states and terrorist groups such as al Qaeda.

    Mr Baradei raised the spectre of terrorists being able to assemble a "dirty bomb". He said there was a real risk of uranium or plutonium falling into the wrong hands.

    "We are actually having a race against time which I don't think we can afford," he told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace conference in Washington. "The danger is so imminent... so the sooner that we start, the better for everybody involved."

    22 June 2004 - Terror begins in Yemen; 14 tried for attack on tanker Limburg

    Fourteen militants allegedly involved in an attack on a French oil tanker, including a man sought by the United States, refused to enter pleas Saturday as their trial began under tight security.

    The 14, some of whom are believed to be linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network, said they had not had a chance to hire lawyers and would only offer pleas in the presence of a defense team.

    Key among the defendants is Fawaz al-Rabeiee, a Yemeni sought by the FBI. A 15th suspect was being tried in absentia.

    The court heard the prosecutor's list of charges that included the planning and carrying out of the Oct. 6, 2002, suicide attack on the Limburg tanker. The attack killed one Bulgarian crew member and caused 90,000 barrels of oil to spill into the Gulf of Aden.

    The group was also charged with carrying out the November 2002 attack on a helicopter carrying employees of the U.S. oil company Hunt Corp., the attempted assassination of U.S. ambassador Edmund Hull and the killing of a Yemeni security officer.

    The prosecution blamed the attacks on the Limburg and the American helicopter on al-Qaida.

    The defendants cried "Allah Akbar," or God is great, upon hearing the prosecutor's charges.

    Although refusing to plead, one of the men, Mohammed Saeed al-Amari, told the judge that there was "just talk" between him and others about a possible attack on Hull in retaliation for the CIA-operated assassination of Sinan al-Harethi, al-Qaida's chief agent in Yemen, in November 2002.

    Another defendant, Qassim al-Rimi, acknowledged that he was assigned to monitor the U.S. embassy in San`a.

    The defendants, who were dressed in blue prison uniforms and were handcuffed behind bars, complained of mistreatment and said they were locked underground at the intelligence headquarters.

    Officials from the U.S. Embassy attended the hearing, which was held under tight security, with police surrounding the court and all the streets leading to it. Five bulletproof cars were seeing guarding the vehicle that transported the suspects.

    If convicted, the men face from 5 years in prison up to the death penalty.

    The Limburg attack, carried out by an explosives-laden vessel, was similar to the October 2000 strike on the destroyer USS Cole, which killed 17 U.S. sailors. The Cole attack has also been blamed on al-Qaida.

    22 June 2004 - Who is Saleh Al Oufi, the new leader of Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula?

    In a press release distributed on various Islamic forums, and through Global Islamic Media, Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula has announced that Saleh Al Oufi will succeed Abu Hajar Abdel Aziz Al Moqrin as the leader of the group.

    Moqrin was killed in a shootout with Saudi security forces on Friday. The two previous leaders of that organization have met similar fates during the past year.

    Al Oufi is described as a former Saudi Interior Ministry prison guard and the fourth Al Qaida chief in the kingdom since 2003. He has been cited as the fifth most wanted insurgent on Saudi Arabia's list of 26 top fugitives.

    The statement said Al Muqrin had prepared Al Oufi and others to continue the war against Saudi Arabia. Al Muqrin was appointed insurgency chief after the death of Khaled Ali Al Haj in a shootout with Saudi security forces in eastern Riyad in March 2004.

    Al Oufi is widely regarded even more dangerous than Moqrin, who in the weeks before his death carried out an aggressive campaign of kidnappings and murder against westerners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    According to reports in Saudi papers closely linked to the government, al-Oufi, believed to be in his late 30s, received military training in Riyadh before joining the kingdom's prison guard unit. He worked as a guard in the prison in Medina, near his hometown, before he was fired in 1992, apparently for misconduct.

    Al Oufi traveled to Afghanistan and joined al Qaeda shortly after being fired, an indication he had had contacts with the group before leaving his prison job.

    In Afghanistan, he met men who would later be his comrades in a Saudi terror network, according to Saudi newspaper reports. Among them was one of the nine suicide bombers in the May 12, 2003, car bombing of foreigners' housing compounds in Riyadh that killed 35 people.

    Al Oufi fought in Chechnya before returning to Saudi Arabia in 1994 to open a car dealership in Medina that apparently was a cover for his terrorist activities. Some Saudi newspapers have reported that Al Oufi was seriously injured in Chechnya and returned to Saudi Arabia for treatment.

    He traveled again to Afghanistan shortly before September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States to meet bin Laden and Taliban leaders.

    22 June 2004 - IslamToday.net poll shows 91% support and approve of the Johnson beheading

    In a poll taken yesterday on the IslamToday.net website, respondents were asked whether the support and approve of the Johnson beheading.

    The results: 91% voted yes, they support and approve of the murder.

    Please take into consideration that this is not a scientific poll. A statistician would insist that you take into consideration that the poll was not conducted on a valid random sampling of the population, and is not statistically valid. So please take that into consideration. The people who visit the website most likely are sympathetic to the global jihad effort.

    But still, 91%?


    Click on image to view video of S. Korean hostage

    22 June 2004 - Deadline extended; S. Korean hostage still alive

    Clerics in Iraq have confirmed that a South Korean hostage being held in Iraq is still alive despite his captors threatening to kill him, a member of the South Korean parliament has said.

    Kim Sun-il, 33, is being held by Jama'at al-Tawhid and Jihad, a group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which said it would behead him yesterday unless South Korea pulled its troops out of Iraq.

    Kim Seung-gon said: "Those clerics, who also had helped release Japanese hostages earlier, told me in telephone talks this morning and an e-mail this evening they saw Kim Sun-il this morning in Baghdad."

    Kim Sun-il, an Arabic speaker and evangelical Christian who has worked in Iraq for a year as a translator for a Korean firm supplying goods to the US army, was seized last Thursday in Fallujah.

    He was shown pleading for his life on a video tape broadcast by the satellite news channel al-Jazeera.

    22 June 2004 - Iran threatens to try British Navy crewmen

    In a move eerily reminiscent of the events of an earlier hostage crisis in Iran 25 years ago, the Tehran government announced plans to place the 8 British naval crewmen on trial. According to Iran’s Al Alam channel, the servicemen will be prosecuted on charged of “illegal entry into Iranian waters”.

    In 1980, the Iran government threatened to try the American hostages, held in the US Embassy in Tehran, on a variety of charges. That hostage crisis ended after 444 days as the late President Ronald Reagan took the oath of office.

    The issue is being handled at the diplomatic level at this point. Britain has not been allowed access to the men, nor have they been informed where they are being held.

    21 June 2004 - The Torturers of Saddam's Abu Ghraib and Their Place in the New Iraq

    The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research has webcast a panel discussion of the torturers of Abu Ghraib prison. The webcast is built around the film that the Pentagon just released.

    For the last 30 years, Iraqis inside Iraq had little knowledge of the full extent of Saddam Hussein's oppressive tactics. Many Iraqis who have documented his regime's history argue that Coalition authorities have not done enough to make this history known to the Iraqi people, and proponents of more stringent de-Baathification argue that until this education is completed, Saddam-era officials cannot be trusted with the rule of the new state.

    Much of the recent controversy surrounding Abu Ghraib has made only vague reference to the prison's nightmarish past. Under Saddam Hussein, some thirty thousand people were executed there, and countless more were tortured and mutilated, returning to Iraqi society as visible evidence of the brutality of Baathist rule instead of being lost to the anonymity of mass graves.

    Seven of these victims were Baghdadi merchants whose right hands were amputated and presented to Saddam as proof of their punishment. They have recently received medical attention in the United States, and now have the use of modern prosthetic hands. Four of these victims will speak of their experiences before returning to Iraq. In addition to their presentations, an unedited video documenting acts of torture during Saddam's reign will be shown, and our Iraqi guests will identify persons conducting the torture who hold office in Iraq today.

    You may view the webcast here.

    Due to bandwidth restrictions, we are only able to provide the entire copy of the Pentagon video is available to HQ INTEL-ALERT subscribers. Members may click here for more information and to view the video.

    UPDATE: Insurgents claim 4 Marines captured in the same ambush which killed 4 other Marines. See story below. developing...


    21 June 2004 - Jihadis show images of 4 dead US Marines

    Early this morning, the Arabic language message board Ansar showed images of four dead US Marines. These are the four images shown above.

    Video footage provided to the Associated Press show the dead bodies of four United States Marines on the ground near a wall. The video claims that the video was taken in Ramadi.

    The US military says the Marines were killed in action while conducting "security and stability operations." No additonal information is available at this time.

    The video footage is available for viewing by HQ INTEL-ALERT subscribers. Members may click here for more information and to view the video. developing...

    21 June 2004 - Iran seizes 3 British naval vessels; arrests 8 crew

    Iran has seized three British military vessels and arrested eight crew, state-run television in Iran reported today.

    The Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defense said they were urgently investigating the reports that the vessels had been impounded in Iranian waters close to Iraq.

    According to the Al-Aram satellite station, the three boats were seized in the Shatt al Arab waterway which divides Iran and Iraq.

    The report did not specify what sort of vessels were involved, but said that maps and weapons were found on board.

    A Foreign Office spokesman said that British diplomats in Tehran had contacted the Iranian government over the reported incident but it was still unclear what had happened.

    “The Iranian government and our embassy are in close contact over this,” the spokesman said.

    British forces using fast patrol boats have been involved in anti-smuggling operations in the Shatt al Arab.

    Al Jazeera's report on the same incident

    Other news from Iran...

    Meanwhile news from Iran indicates that things may be heating up in that venue. Reports emerged last week that Iran had four divisions massed on the Iraq border, in the event that they were "needed" in Iraq.

    Rumors continue to fly concerning a possible pre-emptive strike by Israel against Iran's emerging nuclear weapons development program.

    Iran appears to be taking an almost aggressive, confrontation stand. This will bear watching over the coming days and weeks.

    Iran rebukes EU on rights abuses

    Iran's hardliners urge showdown with UN nuclear watchdog

    Iranian F-14 fighter crashes, two dead

    Iran satellite images raise nuclear questions

    Iran satellite images raise nuclear questions

    20 June 2004 - Deadline approaches for S. Korean hostage

    Korean Hostage Will Be Beheaded if Korean Armed Forces Are Not Withdrawn

    article reprinted compliments of www.donga.com

    A militant group in Iraq has threatened to behead Kim Sun-il, 33-year-old employee of Gana General Trading Co., if the Korean armed forces do not withdraw from Iraq. Gana General Trading Co. supplies food materials to the U.S. military.

    The militant group is called “Jamaat al-Tawhid and Jihad” – meaning Shield for Monotheism and Jihad - and has threatened in a videotape sent to the Arabic satellite TV station, Al Jazeera, that they will behead Kim in 24 hours if their demands for the withdrawal of Seohui and Jema Troops and the renunciation of the plan to send more troops are not met.

    Al Jazeera broadcast the video in which Kim screamed, “Please get out of here. I don’t want to die.” Al Jazeera said that the videotape was mailed to its Baghdad office without identifying the sender.

    In the two-minute long tape, Kim screamed that “my life is important” while standing and swinging his arms. The following minute, three masked terrorist men read their statement demanding the Korean government to “withdraw your forces from our land and not to send more of your forces. Otherwise, we will send you the head of this Korean.”

    Afterwards, the terrorists gave 24 hours, until the next sunset in Iraq, to meet their demands. Due to the five-hour difference between Korea and Iraq, early morning on June 22 in Korea will be the critical point that will decide whether or not Kim will survive.

    The militant group was known to have led several terrorist acts, including the beheading of American Nicholas Berg in May in Iraq.

    20 June 2004 - Voice of Jihad: The Story of the American Prisoner

    A new issue of Voice of Jihad, released today by Al Qaeda, describes the capture pf American hostage Paul Johnson, who they call Paul Marshall. The article is chilling; we present a translation of it here without commentary.

    The Story of the American Prisoner
    The Apache engineer: Paul Marshall
    From his Capture to his Slaughter

    Information was provided by the militants about an American presence that is good that it is a target to kidnapping operation and the information was very accurate praise be to God. It was true that the kidnapped man worked as a decorated engineer and designer of electric systems for the American Apache helicopter. He performed this work on military bases located on the holy soil within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the unwelcome crusaders and indirectly for the military forces for the last ten years. He worked for a company that provides military equipment and service for the company that is at war against the Muslims and the invading military forces in Saudi Arabia. He worked in this capacity in Saudi Arabia for ten years.

    After outlining the details of the surveillance they performed on him, the conducted their actual kidnapping (the execution phase) in the praise of God on Saturday 24/4/1425 AH, before sunset. The plan involved the use and assistance of Saudi policemen, including police and security forces who donated their uniforms and cars who are faithful to their religion as dedicated Muslims. They established a checkpoint on the airport access road toward the south parallel to the eastern fence to imam Mohammad Bin Saud's University. For the faithful, we ask Allah to guide them in their endeavors.

    After the arrival of the target and stopping him at the checkpoint, the capture took place. The victim was made unconscious with the use of a drug and carried to a private waiting car. His car (a Toyota) was then set ablaze with a Molotov cocktail and the victim was transported by an unmarked, private car to the headquarters of the kidnappers. The incident was first reported, erroneously a usual by the mass media initially as a car bombing. On that day, the militants their thirteenth news report and included in that report, the true details of the kidnapping operation in addition to the killing of another American who worked as a manager for a company supporting the US military.

    The company the victim worked for is an American company – a subsidiary of Boeing, and conducts work on the advanced electronic systems of the American Abrams tanks, and has engineered about twenty thousand such tank systems through the present, and manufactured a number of radar components and radar jamming systems and early warning systems for aircraft surveillance. The company also received contracts for the manufacture of electronic systems for the F-16 aircraft, in addition to guided weapons laser systems and their components.

    The company is considered one of many performing work under the guidance of the Ministry of Defense, the Apache helicopters, and performs maintenance for war vehicles. The captured American, Paul Marshall (Johnson) is responsible by his involvement in such projects.

    The manufacture of spare parts for F-16 planes has increased with noticeable abundance following the American attack on Iraq, using locations and bases in Saudi Arabia from which to make these systems and parts, including during the last war with Iraq. The company also supplies systems and parts for the US Navy (Lockheed Martin), and a number of companies that are on the top of the pentagon’s main supplier’s list. Such companies include Raytheon, Hughes, Northrop Grumman, McDonnell Douglas and others.

    Concerning the operation: the dead man and the prisoner were part of the team that developed such systems for Apache helicopters belonging to the American army in Saudi Arabia, and Allah has bestowed blessings upon the fighting with the killing of the crew manager (Kenneth Scroggs) on the same day.

    Under the direction of the leader of the field militants Abu Hajar Abdel Aziz al Moqrin in Saudi Arabia, guided by Allah, the Saudi government and their counterparts were given the ultimatum of releasing prisoners and their families within three days. If this did not take place, then the captive would be killed following the deadline. That is what took place thanks be to God after the end of the deadline, and the news was spread in the fourteenth news report and revealed in that issue.

    And this operation is one of many coming operations that target a number of crusaders in Saudi Arabia, starting with the operation of the blessed (Ynba), the news operation then a group of operations that followed including an ambush to some American officers, and the killing of Jewish American officer of another such company, in addition to targeting specialized British spies, killing one and severely injuring another.

    The militants in Saudi Arabia are resolute on the continuation of their operations by the power of Allah and our ability to liberate the Arabian Peninsula of all crusader occupiers who fight the enemies of Allah everywhere until there are no more, by the praise of Allah the Lord of the Worlds .

    [Excerpted from The Voice of Jihad Issue 19]

    19 June 2004 -Al Qaeda changes mind, confirms Moqrin's death

    This afternoon, an announcement on the Qalah website, an Arabic language forum frequented by Al Qaeda supporters, confirmed the death of Al Moqrin.

    developing...

    19 June 2004 - Saudi TV releases images of dead terrorists; Al Qaeda issues press release claiming Moqrin still lives

    Late yesterday, both the US and Saudi governments confirmed that Al Moqrin, leader of Al Qaeda's Saudi Arabian operations, was killed in a shootout with Saudi security forces.

    According to the official Saudi report, Moqrin and several colleaques were observed dumping something just outside of Riyadh. The official Saudi version says they were followed by Saudi security forces, and a shootout ensued at a gasoline station.

    The Saudi's claim that four of the terrorists were killed, and

    The official statement from the Saudi government states that three cars were retrieved. One of the cars has been confirmed as being used in the murder of the Irish journalist and the attempted murder of his colleague.

    In addition a large amount of munitions and cash was found with them:

  • 3 RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) Launchers
  • 16 pipe bombs
  • 10 hand grenades
  • 132,800 Saudi rials, and US$ 2,900
  • Numerous ID's and other documents
  • Substandial amount of computer records

    In the meantime, Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula issued a press release denying that Al Moqrin had been killed.

    18 June 2004 - Al Qaeda warns Americans, urges US to "learn the lesson"

    The message that accompanied the photos of slain hostage Paul Johnson today included this chilling: "As for the Americans and their supporters, blasphemers and criminals who ganged up in their coalition for a war on Islam, this action is an example and a lesson for them to be sure that those of them who came to our country will receive the same fate and God is our guide to the path of righteousness."

    Note: The original Arabic document refers to Paul Johnson as "Paul Marshall". Marshall is the middle name of Mr. Johnson.

    Translated from Arabic

    Killing of the American Paul Marshall Communiqu�

    Source - Voice of Jihad publication Voice of the Mujahideen in the Arab Peninsula Subject: Killing of the American Paul Marshall Date: 1/5/1425 [6/18/2004] News Report No. 14 on the beheading of the American prisoner Paul Marshall Thanks to God, and prayer and peace on His messenger, our Prophet Mohammad and His companions and followers.

    As promised, and after the expiration of the ultimatum set by the Mujahideen to the Devils in the Saudi Government, the Mujahideen from the Fallujah Detachment beheaded the American prisoner (Paul Marshall). This infidel received his fair punishment in this world before moving to the other world. He got to taste some of what the Muslims suffered from the Apache American helicopters that grilled them with their fire flames, embers, and missiles. The American infidel was one of four people in charge of the maintenance and system development of those helicopters.

    With His help, we shall continue to fight the enemies of God, watching them everywhere, guided by the light of His book, and the law of His prophet, prayer and peace on Him. We shall put out the fire in the chests of the Believers in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Arab Peninsula, and other Muslim countries. We shall keep humiliating the Polytheists and Blasphemers’ soldiers until the erection of a government ruled by the Shari’a, the Justice, and Attawhid. In our journey, we shall not pay attention to put the traitors down, or listen to the cawing of the failures that were disclosed by God in this incident. They shouted in fury for the capture and killing of a Christian soldier while they did not have the courage to say one word of truth in support of the oppressed Muslim prisoners who are being tortured at the hands of the adorers of the cross, and the devils of Abu Ghraib, Al Ha’er, Guantanamo, Al Ruways and other prisons.

    As for the Americans and their supporters, blasphemers and criminals who ganged up in their coalition for a war on Islam, this action is an example and a lesson for them to be sure that those of them who came to our country will receive the same fate and God is our guide to the path of righteousness.

    Signed: Al Qaeda Organization in the Arab Peninsula

    18 June 2004 - Zarqawi changing tactics?
    Acticle reprinted courtesy Jordan Times, Amman, Jordan

    Even as US forces intensify their efforts to capture him, terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi appears to be changing tactics, launching simpler, more frequent car bombings as the handover of sovereignty to an Iraqi government approaches, a top US military official said Thursday.

    A terror network led by Zarqawi, who US officials blame for regular suicide bombings here that have killed hundreds, may be dropping its preference for complex, cataclysmic bombings in favour of frequent attacks on smaller, softer targets. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Thursday's car bomb appeared to fit that pattern. A car bomber tore into a crowd of Iraqi military job seekers, killing at least 35 people and wounding at least 138.

    The change in tack may stem from the fact that huge bombings attributed to Zarqawi's network have failed to derail the upcoming handing of sovereignty from the US-led coalition to an Iraqi government, scheduled for June 30.

    “One theory says his large, high-profile attacks haven't had the desired effect, and oh, by the way, he's running out of time,” the US officer said in a background briefing with reporters here.

    Smaller bombings are easier to coordinate, allowing terrorists to intensify the campaign of intimidation aimed at Iraqis working with the coalition, he said. Frequent, small bombings appear to attract the same level of news coverage, splashed across television screens in Iraq and around the world, the official said.

    The blasts are intended to discredit Iraqis' view of the US-led coalition and its allies in Iraq's incoming government, and to highlight the combined security forces' inability to secure the country, the official said.

    The change in tactics could account for almost 20 bombings that the US military has counted in June alone, of which Thursday's blast carried the highest death toll.

    Far fewer bombings occurred in previous months, but some were far larger than Thursday's blast. In February, for instance, Zarqawi was blamed for twin suicide bombings that killed 109 people in two Kurdish party offices in Erbil. The following month, coordinated blasts at Shiite shrines in Karbala and Baghdad killed at least 181, mainly pilgrims. At the same time, US military forces appear to be stepping up their pursuit of Zarqawi.

    US special operations troops who have been sent to track down high-priority fugitives such as Saddam Hussein are known to have been moved into the Fallujah area, and US aircraft last week dropped leaflets on the city urging residents to turn in Zarqawi.

    “We expect that one of these nights we will get the `Aha, this just came in' and we will launch an operation that will kill or capture Abu Musab Zarqawi,” the US military official said.

    Asked whether there is an active operation to find him in Fallujah, the official would only say US forces were actively searching in Iraq. “We go where the intelligence takes us,” he said.

    Zarqawi's network is known to have operated in the restive city west of Baghdad, and the military believes Zarqawi may stay in the city from time to time, the official said. Officials in Washington have said the terror plotter is thought to be moving in and out of Iraq. If US forces are able to capture or kill Zarqawi and dismantle his network, Iraq would experience “somewhat of a lessening in terrorist attacks,” the official said. Attention on Zarqawi has increased in recent months as he became a more vocal terror figure, due in part to three recordings released on the Internet, including the video showing the beheading of American businessman Nicholas Berg.

    Even this winter, such a profile was uncharacteristic of the 36-year-old Zarqawi, previously not known for claiming responsibility for the numerous attacks in which he's believed to have had a hand.

    With his public stature in the terror world growing, US officials say Zarqawi has joined the ranks of terror leaders that includes Osama Ben Laden, his deputy Ayman Al Zawahri and few, if any, others.

    18 June 2004 - Baghdad City Council Calls For Martial Law on 30 Jun

    [Unattributed report: "Baghdad City Council calls for the declaration of martial law on the transfer of sovereignty on 30 June" ]

    The Baghdad City Council has called for martial law to be declared in the Iraqi capital for six months as from the date of the hand over of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government on 30 June.

    In a statement, the council said that the proposal would be submitted to the Council of Ministers, pointing out that such a measure would help to deal with security lapses in the country.

    At the end of its weekly meeting, the council called for the re-instatement of the death penalty after it was suspended following the fall of the entombed regime.

    In a statement to journalists, Deputy Chairman of the Baghdad City Council Karim Jaff said that the re-instatement of the death penalty would help to deal with security lapses which could exacerbate on the hand over of authority.

    18 June 2004 - "Abu Hagar" Al Moqrin killed in shootout in Saudi
    by Sean Osborne

    Breaking news at this hour indicates that "Abu Hagar", leader of Al Qaeda's operations in Saudi Arabia, has been killed in a shootout with Saudi forces while he was in the process of disposing of the body. We will bring more news as it becomes available.

    18 June 2004 - Who is "Abu Hagar" Al Moqrin

    On June 1, the Northeast Intelligence Network published the following biography of Abu Hagar.

    Since that time, Moqrin has been involved in the attack on the Oasis Resorts Residential Complex, the assassination of several westerners in Saudi Arabia, and today's beheading of Paul Johnson.

    Although we do not normally re-run old material, due to the intense interest in Moqrin we are presenting the information again.
    1 June 2004 - Who is Abu Hajar Abdel Aziz al Moqrin
    by Laura Mansfield

    Throughout the past few months, a new Al Qaeda militant has emerged to the forefront in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Abu Hajar Abdel Aziz al Moqrin is widely recognized as the leader of Al Qaeda operations in Saudi Arabia. He has claimed responsibility for this weekend’s attack on the Oasis residential complex in Khobar, and for the attack on the Yanbo petroleum facility a few weeks ago.

    But little has been published about this militant. What exactly is known about him?

    Abu Hajar, or Hajar’s father, first made his public appearance on the scene in the Badr al Riyadh videos, released by Al Qaeda in the winter of 2004, and commemorating the Ramadan attacks in Riyadh in November of 2003.

    According to the semi-official biography published by Al Qaeda, Abu Hajar has spent the last 16 years of his life in the service of Al Qaeda. Abu Hajar, who is reportedly 33 years old, has “served” in combat in Bosnia, Algeria, and Somalia, before assuming the reins of the operation in Saudi Arabia.

    Abu Hajar was sentenced to four years of prison in Saudi Arabia, and was released after 2 years, with the sentence reduced for “good behavior”. He assumed control of the Saudi operations after the death of the previous leader in a shootout last year.

    Moqrin dropped out of school at the age of 17, and went to Afghanistan, purportedly to join in the fight against the Soviet Union. He apparently received his paramilitary jihad training in the Al Qaeda training camps of Afghanistan. According to reports, he was in Afghanistan for four years, from 1990 – 1994.

    While in Afghanistan, he was responsible for training operations in the “Governor’s Camp” near the city of Khost, Afghanistan, and was also involved in numerous combat operations. He left Afghanistan in 1994 to move to Algeria, to help train the Islamic insurgents in that country.

    After leaving Algeria, Abu Hajar went to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he again was active in the training of militants as well as in combat operations.

    He returned to Saudi Arabia, then made his way through Yemen, and on to Somalia where he fought with the militant groups against the Ethiopian forces. He was arrested in Somalia, and extradited to Saudi Arabia, where he was sentenced to four years in prison. He was released after two years on “good behavior”.

    A month after his release, he made his way back to Yemen, and then to Afghanistan in 2001.There he joined combat operations with the Taliban against the American troops. After the fall of the Taliban, he returned to Saudi Arabia, to his home in the Swedish district of Riyadh.

    He immediately became involved in the establishment of jihad training camps in the middle and western regions of Saudi Arabia. When Khaled Al Bin Al Haj was killed on March 15 in a shootout with the Saudi security forces, Abu Hajar assumed leadership of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

    Abu Hajar was raised in the city of Riyadh. He is a high school dropout. He was married at the age of 19, and has one child (currently 10 years old) with this wife. According to the biography, Abu Hajar remarried without the knowledge of his family, and had a second child, who died before the age of 2.

    18 June 2004 - The Fate of Paul Johnson
    by Douglas Hagmann

    After much deliberation and prayerful consideration to the family of Paul Johnson, we have decided to show the images of Mr. Johnson as posted on an Al Qaeda Internet site for one reason only: PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE SAVAGERY OF THE ENEMY WE ARE FIGHTING. Three clear images leave no doubt as to Mr. Johnson’s fate, attached to the end of a letter written by Islamic fundamentalists promising more kidnappings, murders and beheadings as long as Christians and Jews, the US and western nations continue to “occupy” Muslim lands.

    Further, people need to understand that THERE WILL BE MORE kidnappings, murders and beheadings as we have constantly stated and restated on this website and in the pages of our newlsetter.

    Their message is quite simple: if you are not a Muslim, get out or we will kill you. If you are not a Muslim, convert to Islam and our fundamentalists beliefs or we will kill you. There is another, more foreboding message here as well: we are not going to stop until we conquer you, whether it is on Muslim or American soil.

    Aside from the graphic nature of the images, no one who is paying attention to these events should be shocked in the least that this has occurred. We have found communications posted by legitimate jihad posters on Internet sites, through publications such as al Battar and the Voice of Jihad, and by postings of Friday sermons that preach hate, violence and murder in the name of Allah and published them on this site. Al Qaeda and their supporters are not going to stop unless they are stopped. Stopping them does mean not taking a defensive posture in this war on islamic fundamentalism – we must be proactive so the deaths of Paul Johnson, Robert Jacob, the soldiers killed in our fight against islamic tyranny, and the three-thousand killed on 9/11 will NOT be in vain.

    People also need to understand that simply leaving Muslim lands, which is the stated goal of the vocal Muslims, will not be enough for this despicable enemy we face. Should we acquiesce and remove all western assets, individuals and influence abroad, the battle will be brought to the streets of America. That is gauranteed.

    Continued in HQ INTEL-ALERT.

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    18 June 2004 - Paul Johnson Murdered, Beheaded by Al Qaeda of Saudi Arabia

    Images obtained from a known Al Qaeda website show the results of the beheading of American contractor Paul Johnson.

    The image below is the official "Press Release" distributed by Al Qaeda announcing the murder. NEIN has removed the photos of Mr. Johnson's remains from the image. The press release explains that they have followed Qur'anic teachings in the beheading of Mr. Johnson, and that Americans should learn from this act, or there will be others killed in the same way. It is basically an ultimatum ordering the US to leave the Islamic countries.

    Because of the brutality of this crime, we have been very reluctant to display the still images on the website. However, after careful, thoughtful, and prayerful consideration, we have made the decision to include a link. We are doing this because we feel that it is important for Americans to understand the brutality of this crime, and that the murderers who perpetrated this act would dearly love to bring the same actions to the American homeland.

    developing...

    18 June 2004 - Ukraine contingent foils attack in Iraq

    Peacekeepers from the Ukrainian contingent in Iraq who were on duty at a check point in the town of Al Kut have detained a vehicle in which they found four RGD-5 grenades which were primed and ready for use.

    The Defense Ministry press service reports that the attention of the troops under the command of Captain Yuriy Papko was drawn to the behavior of three Iraqis who at first refused to get out of their car.

    Observing exceptional security measures, the peacekeepers removed the driver and passengers from the vehicle and held them on the side of the road while they examined their jeep and found the concealed grenades.

    The preliminary investigation by Ukrainian military police established that the armed passengers were Baghdad residents. According to the driver, during the ride they were openly discussing the details of an attempt on the life of one of the top officials in Wasit province.

    These facts are being thoroughly investigated.

    At the Ukrainian peacekeepers's base camp, work is continuing to destroy the aviation ordnance that was stored at a former Iraqi military air base near the town of Al Kut.

    The destruction of the ordnance is being carried out by a group of US military specialists with due security precautions and according to a plan agreed with commanders of the 6th detached mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces.

    According to preliminary estimates, the destruction of the ordnance should be completed by the end of June.

    18 June 2004 - "The Zero Hour Approaches"

    Earlier today a posting appeared on one of the Arabic language jihadi boards, posted by a long-time poster known as PrinceBinLaden. The message states:

    The time of the zero hour approaches and it is necessary for citizens to

    The time of the zero hour approaches and with the ending of the period with sunset, it is necessary for citizens to stay in the streets and behave as it everything is completely normal. Cars and pedestian and so on. But after the Iftar signal, two minutes later you will not find anyone in the streets. Then to the nation, I beg that all of the people stay in the streets in all the districts in the largest possible numbers

    A follow up posting sets the "zero hour" as sundown on Friday (today) Mecca time. Based on this, and the references to the Iftar call, I believe this post refers to Saudi Arabia.

    PrinceBinLaden claims to be in North America, and frequently states his time zone as "New York Time".

    Analysts at the Northeast Intelligence Network believe that this posting refers to the deadline set by Abu Hagar for the release of the jailed militants by the Saudi government. At some time after that point, the militants have threaten to kill the hostage Paul Johnson .

    It appears that PrinceBinLaden is calling for the people of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh specifically, to take to the streets in a spontanous demonstration.

    18 June 2004 - Palestinians fired advanced Qassam rocket with longer range at Israel

    Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a more advanced type of Qassam rocket that landed in a residential area of Sderot, located approximately 3 mi/5 km from the Erez border crossing point between the northern Gaza Strip and Israel. An Israeli official stated that the rocket -- known as Nasser 3 -- carried more explosives and had a longer range than the rockets the Palestinians have usually used in the past. The rocket caused minor damage to a house. No serious injuries were reported.

    18 June 2004 - Increased level of fighting in Afghanistan

    Combatants loyal to local warlords seized control of Chagcharan, the capital of the western province of Ghor in Afghanistan, located approximately 220 mi/355 km west of Kabul.

    At least 10 people were killed in the fighting, which is related to rivalries between local factions.

    The attack prompted the local governor to flee to Herat.

    According to one local official, approximately 1,500 combatants are preparing for a counterattack. No further information is currently available.

    In addition, at approximately 0300 local time today, unidentified assailants fired rocket-propelled grenades at a U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees compound in the southern city of Kandahar.

    No injuries or deaths occurred, and the guard quarters of the compound only incurred minor damage. Nearby police officers opened fire on the assailants, but the attackers managed to evade capture. Earlier this week, assailants shot and killed the chief official of the Afghan government's refugee department and his two bodyguards in Kandahar province.

    17 June 2004 - US State Department travel warning for Saudi Arabia, Indonesia

    17 June 2004 - Another bloody day in Iraq

    Earlier today, a car bomb exploded at the gates of an Iraqi army recruitment center near Muthanna military airport in Baghdad. A U.S. military officer stated that the attack was the work of a suicide bomber. According to preliminary reports, the blast killed at least 35 people and injured approximately 140 others. The casualty count may change. Most victims were passersby, while approximately 175 recruits who were inside the base at the time were not injured.
    16 June 2004 - Tracking Terrorists
    Ryan Mauro interviews NEIN analyst Laura Mansfield 15 June 2004 - Raid in Progress in Riyadh; May be rescue attempt

    The Arabic forums are reporting a raid in progress in the Swedish district of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that may involve an attempt to rescue the American hostage, Paul Johnson. That is the same district where Abu Hagar Al Moqrin, leader of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, resides.

    15 June 2004 - Al Qaeda releases video of American hostage; threatens to kill him in 72 hours

    In yet another chilling video, armed militants show American hostage Paul Johnson and issue an ultimatum to the Saudi government.

    Johnson, who is blindfolded in the video, states "My name is Paul Marshal Johnson and I am a citizen of the United States, and I work for Apache helicopters."

    A masked man, dressed in black in the same manner of dress worn by Abu Hagar Abdul Aziz Al Moqrin in the Badr Al Riyadh videos, informs the Saudi Arabian government that Johnson will be killed within 72 hours if specific militants, currently in Saudi custody, are not released.

    DOWNLOAD VIDEO HERE

    14 June 2004 - Incident at the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant; All Three Reactors Shut Down

    Tens of thousands of local homes and businesses affected by power disruption at nuclear facility

    14 June 2004--A reported “distribution problem” occurred at the Palo Verde nuclear power plant just before 8:00 a.m. MST this morning, causing widespread scattered power outages in and around Tucson, Green Valley and in the Phoenix metro area's northwest side. The plant is located 45 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona and is the largest generating plant of its type in the world, providing power to about 4 million customers. The “distribution problem” caused all three nuclear reactor units at the Palo Verde nuclear power plant shut down due to an unidentified disruption of questionable origin. The number 3 Unit will remain shutdown for the remainder of this week due to a “control system malfunction.” This unit is responsible for providing electricity for the increased demand in metropolitan Phoenix. Although the media reports that terrorism is not reportedly a factor and the reactors responded in a manner as intended by redundant safety measures, at least one county law enforcement official contacted today by Doug Hagmann, editor of the HQ INTEL-ALERT stated that the stoppage was “extremely unusual” and immediately captured the attention of emergency law enforcement personnel. Interestingly, this is the FOURTH “unexpected” shutdown of the plant this year. Three of the previous incidents involved radiation leaks. Although a malfunction of the control system has been offered as the likely cause, the law enforcement official who provided information for this bulletin stated that there have been security concerns from unpublished threats to the facility, and possible terrorism is being looked at as a possible origin of the failure and subsequent shutdown.

    HQ INTEL-ALERT subscribers should be aware that the Palo Verde facility has been a “named target” identified on Steve Quayle’s Terror Alert Update (www.SteveQuayle.com) for the last 12 months and listed as such in the HQ INEL-ALERT in previous editions. Its close proximity to the US-Mexican border is of serious concern to security personnel and area first responders.

    14 June 2004 - Al Qaeda in the American Heartland
    Man charged in plot to blow up Ohio mall

    by Douglas Hagmann

    Federal authorities unsealed charges against a Columbus, Ohio, man alleging that he was involved in an al-Qaeda plot to blow up a shopping mall in Ohio using military grade explosives. The four-count indictment returned by a grand jury in Columbus, Ohio, charges that Nuradin ABDI, 32, pictured above left conspired with admitted al-Qaeda member Iyman FARIS (above right) and others to detonate a bomb at a Columbus, Ohio shopping mall. Iyman Faris, 34, an Ohio truck driver who met with Osama bin Laden and helped al-Qaeda plot a second wave of attacks on American soil pleaded guilty to felony terrorism charges. Based on federal court documents, Faris told authorities he was scouting ways to derail trains and bring down the Brooklyn Bridge by severing its suspension cables.

    For well over a year, we have been providing details about the presence of terrorist cells in the US and their intentions and likely targets. This morning’s news conference by US Attorney General John Ashcroft, restating al Qaeda’s desire to strike at America again, further solidifies our previous intelligence.

    Additional details concerning this plot, the associates of both individuals and other more detailed information will be covered in this weeks edition of the HQ INTEL-ALERT newsletter. HQ INTEL-ALERT has an investigator in Columbus obtaining further information. Developing…

    14 June 2004 – Remembering Robert Stethem

    14 June 2004 - Hundreds Gather For Islamic Leader's Burial In South Florida; FBI Suspects Leader's Son To Be Terrorist

    14 June 2004 - US Embassy Riyadh issues warden alert

    14 June 2004 – Jihadi’s wax nostalgic for the “good old days”


    12 June 2004 - Al Qaeda video shows assassination of American Robert Jacob in Riyadh

    12 June 2004 - Al Qaeda statement claims American kidnapped in Riyadh

    11 June 2004 - Jihadi forum claims Japanese troops poisoned

    11 June 2004 4:50 PM ET - Jihadi forums report new statement by Ayman Zawahiri on Al Arabeya TV

    9 June 2004 - Italian Deputy Prime Minister survives assassination attempt

    9 June 2004 - Al Qaeda Videos of British Suicide Bombers!

    9 June 2004 - What does a terrorist look like?

    9 June 2004 - British Airways flight crews will no longer stay overnight in Saudi Arabia

    7 June 2004 - ALERT: Al Qaeda Threatens American, Western Airlines

    7 June 2004 - D-Day: Mission Accomplished?

    6 June 2004 - An Iranian Trying to Plant Bombs in a Market Place Arrested. Four Jordanians Arrested in Baghdad

    6 June 2004 - Irish BBC Photographer Assassinated in Riyadh

    6 June 2004 - Newly appointed Iraqi President calls for foreign troops to remain

    6 June 2004 - More about the capture of Zarqawi's aide

    4 June 2004 - Upsurge in violence expected as June 30 deadline for power transfer in Iraq approaches

    3 June 2004 - Ambush in Afghanistan kills 5 employees of Medecins Sans Frontieres medical aid group

    3 June 2004 - Who is Al-Jernan Spencer of GlobalIslamicMedia.com?

    1 June 2004 - U.K. armed services raise threat level to "severe"

    1 June 2004 - Assassination Plans Found On Internet

    1 June 2004 - Who is Abu Hajar Abdel Aziz al Moqrin

    31 May 2004 - Attack on Oasis residential complex in Saudi Arabia follows blueprint outlined in Al Battar issue 10

    28 May 2004 - Al Qaeda lists successes since 9/11 on Global Islamic Media; Includes 2001 downing of American Airlines flight 587 that went down over Queens

    28 May 2004 - “Welcome to the Islamic Republic of Falluja”
    Falluja on way to becoming an Islamic `city-state'

    27 May 2004 - Assassination Attempt on Iraqi Governing Council Member Salama Al Khafaji Today

    27 May 2004 - FBI, IRS, and INS raid Philadelphia Mosque

    27 May 2004 - U.S. Seeking Extradition Of Radical Muslim Cleric Arrested Yesterday in London

    27 May 2004 - South Africa foils terror attack

    27 May 2004 - An American 5th Column: A Plea to President George W. Bush

    28 May 2004 - Why now?

    25 May 2004 - Hip-Hop and Islam: Recruitment for Jihad?

    25 May 2004 - Northeast Intelligence Network continues to be a thorn in the side of Abu Banan and Global Islamic Media

    25 May 2004 - Bloodstain Analysis from Nick Berg Beheading Video – Forensic Irregularities Cast Doubt on Events


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    25 May 2004 - The Daily Star (Lebanon): To Saddam's prisoners, US abuse seems 'a joke'

    25 May 2004 - Jordan Times (Amman): US lists Fallujah lynch suspects for police

    HQ INTEL-ALERT Terrorism Advisory

    Nick Berg Video

    23 May 2004 - Al Qaeda Release Issue 17 of Voice of Jihad

    23 May 2004 - A Note to Prince Bin Laden

    22 May 2004 - Moqtada Sadr releases official statement

    21 May 2004 - New Warning About Terrorist Truck Bombers

    21 May 2004 - FBI issues threat alert, warning of possible suicide bombers in US


    For more information, click here

    Aeabic Language News

    Editorials

    4 July 2004 A Pledge of Honor
    by Laura Mansfield

    11 June 2004 - Listening to the Great Communicator

    18 May 2004 - Right!
    An Editorial by Laura Mansfield

    An important note to our readers about the Nick Berg Video
    How to access the video

    13 May 2004 -Note to Abu Banan: Don't be a bandwidth thief!
    Strange things can happen when you link to others images!

    12 May 2004 - Al Qaeda, we get the message

    2004� March 17Al Qaeda Press Release on the deaths of Khalid Haj and Ibrahim Al Mazini.� Within the last hour, Al Qaeda released a press release on the deaths of two militants, Khalid Haj and Ibrahim Al Mazini, at the hands of Saudi Arabian Security forces.�� According to Saudi authorities, Khalid Haj was one of the 26 most wanted terrorists, and is believed to have been a leader of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region.� Full translation coming soon.�

    Explosions tear through Baghad hotel, killing dozens; Jihadis celebrate on the forums� March 17, 2004� A Baghdad hotel, along with adjacent structures in a residential/commercial district of the Iraqi capital, is in flames, after an explosion.� The US military attributes the attack to a car bomb or a rocket attack.� Messages from these postings claim that the explosion was caused by a car bomb.�

    Within minutes a celebratory posting appeared on a Jihadi message board with the battle cry of jihad:� "Allah Akbar, Alham Akbar, Nasr al Akbar".�� This has become a recurrent event after attacks.� Even before reports appear in the western media, the militants in the various countries are racing to report the attack, and celebrate with the other mujahadeen.� Reports from the jihadi postings indicate that several dozen people are dead and many more are trapped in the rubble of the burning building.� The US military is reporting 27 dead but indications are that the death toll may rise.

    Several hours earlier, the following posting appeared on a message board that is used by members of Al Ansar, an Al Qaeda related group operating in Baghdad.� Was this attack a response to this call to battle?


    27 March 2004� Terror attack by divers thwarted in Israel
    Armed divers wearing wetsuits, oxygen tanks, and flippers emerged from the Mediterranean Sea early Friday, firing guns and rock-propelled grenades at an army post in an attempted attack on an Israeli settlement.� Two of the divers were killed, and a third escaped

    Israeli troops discovered rocket-propelled grenade launchers, rifles, explosives and flippers on the beach.

    Hamas claimed response for the attack, and passed out flyers showing the attackers ready to leave on their "mission".��


    March 23, 2004.� Why is Al Qaeda issuing statements for Hamas?

    by Laura Mansfield, Analyst

    Earlier today, the Yahoogroup that disseminates official announcements and publications on behalf of Al Qaeda issued a statement on behalf of Hamas regarding the death of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

    This appears to be a significant development, and is indicative of the close relationship between the two organizations.The statement is translated in its entirety below.

    The message declares the start of a new campaign by Hamas called �The Metamorphosis�, which appears to be designed to destroy Israel.The cowardly enemy believes that the assassination of the sheikh will be an assassination of Hamas and of the nation and the movement but what these cowards did not know is that the assassination of the sheikh is an assassination of the Zionist entity and it is the beginning of the end, therefore the project �The Metamorphosis�, God willing.

    It is clear from this, and other messages, that Hamas is threatening Israel.

    What is more compelling is that the relationship between Hamas and Al Qaeda, which has long been suspected, appears to be emerging into full view.

    The Global Islamic Media group is the official media arm of Al Qaeda.It has over 5,000 subscribers, and sends out messages almost daily from Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups.

    It is said that nature abhors a vacuum, and in an organization there is inevitably a rush to fill the absence of a leader.At this point, it isn�t apparent who will fill the role held by Sheikh Yassin within Hamas, and the Palestinian population.

    Hamas has resources that would be extremely valuable to Al Qaeda.The steady stream of young men and women who are willing to strap on bomb belts and blow themselves up in the name of Palestine and Islam is something that Al Qaeda would love to leverage.

    The people, especially the youth, in the Palestinian territories are extremely vulnerable to this exploitation.They have been indoctrinated for nearly forty years with an ever-increasing hatred of both Israel and the United States.

    Al Qaeda would quickly turn this hatred into action, and point the homicide bombers to the United States, given the opportunity.



    A response from Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement

    Regarding the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin

    From the believers, men were truthful what they promised Allah it then from them who he spent its death and from them who he waits and what they changed a change

    The Hamas Islamic Resistance Movement announces to our Palestinian nation and the Arab Nation and the Islamic nation and the fighting brothers, the death of our leader in Palestine and the founder of the Hamas Islamic Resistance Movement, the elderly blind imam Ahmad Ismail Yasin and his brothers,the martyrs.

    After the sheikh completed the dawn prayer on Monday in the mosque of the Islamic complex in Gaza that was established in first days in pursuit of Allah's pleasure and the love of the jihad, the prophets killers set out to assassinate of Palestinian Sheikh and Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) founder, the sheikh Ahmad Ismail Yasin and his companions:
    The fighting martyr / Ayoub Ahmad Ata Allah
    The fighting martyr / Khalil Abd Allah Abu Giab
    And a multitude from the benevolent prayers
    The martyr / Mu'min Ibrahim Alyazori(Dr. Ibrahim Alyazori's son is one of the founders of the Hamas movement)
    The martyr / Khamis Sami(Sheikh Ahmad Yassin's brother-in-law)
    The martyr / Ahmad Abd Al-Aal
    The martyr / Rabih Abd Al-Hai Abd Al-Aal
    The martyr / Rateb Abd Al-Raheem Alaalol

    The cowardly enemy believes that the assassination of the sheikh will be an assassination of Hamas and of the nation and the movement but what these cowards did not know is thatthe assassination of the sheikh is an assassination of the Zionist entity and it is the beginning of the end, therefore the project �The Metamorphosis�,God willing .

    Hamas will spend all of the fighting resources of the movement, and she will continue the March that its sheikh started, and the Arab Nation and the Islamic one should meet its responsibilities in the defense of Palestinian land and of the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque, and the support of the nation of Palestine.

    I fasted, O our sheikh, you were the leader in your life and the day of your martyrdom.

    And to Allah in the immortals with the prophets and the honest one and the martyrs and the virtuous one and these became good a companion.

    The Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas

    1 Safr 1425*
    22 March, 2004
    The international Islamic media center
    Global Islamic Media Centre

    (*Safr is the second month of the Islamic calendar)


    �21 March 2004. Breaking news on the Arabic language jihad forums indicate that the Minister of Aviation in Afghanistan has been assassinated in an ambush in Herat, Afghanistan.��

    Is this what Al Qaeda has planned for the US?�

    14 March 2004.� This chilling image is prominently displayed on a London-based Jihadi website advertising a conference of Islamists which was held in London on March 3, 2004.� The English-language website, Al-Muhajiroun, is operated by an organization led by Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad.��

    The conference was held in commemoration of the eightieth anniversary of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.�

    Although this Al-Qaeda related group is based in London, it has branches here in the United States.� On their activities page, it clearly states at the top "..::MAIN EVENT IN NEW YORK, USA::..".� According to the graphic below, events were� still being held in the United States as recently as February 22, 2004.�

    Bombings In Spain - What Do They Mean For The US?

    11 March 2004: Terrorist Attack In Spain: The bombings this morning in Spain that killed close to 200 and wounded about a thousand more are being attributed to the ETA, a Basque (or Bask) separatist organization in Spain. One of the questions posed to President Bush today was "...could this be al Qaeda?" The fact that this question was asked provides an insight into the general lack of understanding about terrorism and consequently, the inability to understand the actual threat level here in the US. MORE

    Analysis by Ryan Mauro (World Threats)


    Letter reportedly received by Al Quds regarding the attacks in Spain

    "Black Wind of Death"

    Attacks on US Promised


    " Terrorist 007:" FTP Access at George Washington University

    11 March 2004:� Repeated reports have been made to the federal government about an Internet poster known as "Terrorist 007." This is not just any poster - he or she is responsible for some of the vile and vicious postings on terrorist web sites. The question we have is "why?" Why is this poster permitted to use the servers at this University which is a mere four blocks from the White House?

    Comments from the Arabic Forums on the Madrid Attacks

    The first drops of the storm in a knockout attack: Al Qaeda overthrows Aznar!!

    The clues in Madrid explosions point to Al Qaeda although there are others that prefer a different opinion.� The planners executed a very painful blow to the Spanish British American alliance, and the timing of this timing and the planning where the attack came just before the Spanish elections, and that all of the analyses and indications were pointing to a guaranteed win for Aznar and his party.

    But before Aznar rebounds from the terror of the shock and before the rage of the indignant public has dissipated from the effects of these explosions, believing that their wise government's steps were wrong! The voters emptied their� terrific load of anger on Aznar and his party, so that they overthrew them rather than feel sorry for them !!! And no the doubt that this was correct planning on the part of Al Qaeda.� The sleepers will go and eye Bush and Blair whenever the date of their elections approach, and they will be scared from the death trains and the threat that they bring from Al Qaeda !!!

    MEN CONVICTED OF TRAFFICKING IN UNTAXED CIGARETTES


    4 March 2004 -- WGRZ: Five men were convicted of federal charges for their role in a multi-state ring trafficking in untaxed cigarettes. U.S. Attorney Michael Battle says the men were found guilty Wednesday after a three-and-a-half week trial before Chief District Judge Richard Arcara in Buffalo and five days of jury deliberations.

    Convicted were 54-year-old Mohamed Abuhamra of Lackawanna; 27-year-old Aref Ahmed of Niagara Falls; 52-year-old Rmzy Abdullah of Buffalo; 31-year-old Nagib Aziz of Cheektowaga; and 36-year-old Azzeaz Saleh of Dearborn, Michigan. They were found guilty of money laundering and trafficking in untaxed cigarettes.

    From the Arabic Forums: Imminent Terror Strike in Israel?

    Analysts with the Northeast Intelligence Network has been monitoring a Hezbullah forum this afternoon and has raised the terror alert for Israel for Monday and Tuesday, coinciding with the Islamic holiday of Ashura.� Shi'ite Muslims commemorate the martyrdom of the grandson of the prophet Mohamed on the battlefields of Karbala on this holiday.� They believe that martyrdom during this holiday will bring them immediately to a higher plane of paradise than any other day of the year.

    The fact that Ashura this year comes just days after Israeli forces struck Islamic Jihad target in Gaza, killing three operatives of the terrorist organization.�� In addition, earlier today two Fatah activists were shot dead� in the Balata refugee camp, located near the West Bank city of Nablus, when special Israeli forces raided the camp and killed Zuhair Mahmoud Awis.

    Postings on the forum have been left up for short periods of time in what appears to be an attempt to communicate the message, and then remove the traces of the message from public view.

    Among the targets we have seen mentioned are the "Great Market" in the old city of Jerusalem, specific bus numbers, schools, and nightclubs. The following except is an excerpt from the most graphic of the Arabic postings:

    ( Tomorrow morning the great hitting (attack))

    The buses, the greatest market and at night they bleed� in their nightclubs and their 17 bus and their market and their schools more� By Allah we will strike the sword into their necks and into their religion and they will bleed..��

    And peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you

    Translation from Arabic provided by Laura Mansfield

    Previously these forums have been used to announce attacks;� most recently a bombing in front of the home of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was mentioned 10 days prior to the attack in one of these message boards.

    The Northeast Intelligence Network takes these threats seriously and has forwarded them to the appropriate law enforcement officials in Israel. If you are in Israel during the coming days, extra vigilance is strongly encouraged as the risk of attack is greater than usual.


    WARNING FIRST ISSUED BY NORTHEAST INTELLIGENCE NETWORK�

    Terrorists To Assemble Bombs in Mid-flight

    Reported in The Guardian 8 February 2004: Terrorists bid to build bombs in mid-flight

    Reported HERE on 7 January 2004: "...Once aboard the aircraft, there is "quiet" interaction between operatives to pass all of the necessary bomb-making components to the delegated operative who assembles the device in the bathroom of the aircraft. At that point, they have "successfully" breached the intense security and have a workable and deadly explosive device that has been assembled at 30,000 feet. Original Story we reported


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