Archive for October, 2006

NJ residents upset at police for describing backyard explosion as “accidental”

30 October 2006: Residents of one neighborhood in the historic and generally quiet city of Burlington, New Jersey, are upset. They are upset at a 42 year-old man who caused an explosion Saturday afternoon near his backyard pool using a mixture of pool chemicals. They are also upset at the city of Burlington police department for downplaying the event and initially classifying the explosion as an accident.

According to at least three residents of Burlington, the explosion sounded like a shotgun blast and was definitely no accident; the neighbors have even offered official statements to police who maintained through Saturday night that there was “no evidence to suggest that the backyard blast was anything but accidental.”

The explosion occurred shortly before 2:00 p.m. and sounded like a “shot-gun blast,” according to area residents. First responders including the city of Burlington police department, the Burlington fire department and rescue personnel, Burlington County Hazmat teams and the New Jersey State police were at the scene and cordoned off the block and surrounding streets until nearly 9 p.m., about seven hours after the reported explosion.

The blast injured the 42 year-old man who police refused to identify due to the ongoing nature of the investigation. According to Police Chief John Lazzarotti, no charges have been filed against the man, who lives with his 14 year-old son in the house owned by his parents. He was transported to Lourdes Health System at Rancocas hospital for treatment of his injuries, which were described as “non life-threatening.” His son, who was not injured in the blast, was taken into police custody due to his father being hospitalized. Police stated that they were having difficulty locating other family members, adding that the man’s parents were “out of state.”

Yesterday afternoon, Doug Hagmann, director of the Northeast Intelligence Network, interviewed one man who was affected by Saturday’s events.  This neighbor is not only upset with the man who “made and set off the bomb,” but is frustrated at the police for describing the event as an accident “when it was definitely intentional.”

The Northeast Intelligence Network is closely following this “ongoing investigation.”

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Sudden illness at FCI Beckley caused by “suspicious package”

30 October 2006: An employee at the Federal Correctional Institution in Beckley, West Virginia became extremely ill – suddenly and violently, while opening mail in the institution’s mail room in the prison’s medium security area about 11:30 a.m. last Thursday. As a result, a HAZMAT team and units from the Beckley Police Department, Beckley Fire Department, West Virginia State Police, Beaver Volunteer Fire Department, West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office, Raleigh County Emergency Operations Center, Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department and Jan-Care Ambulance were dispatched to the scene. Forty-one-(41) prison staff members and inmates were taken to local hospitals. Those sent for treatment were transported to two area hospitals: the Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital (B-ARH) and Raleigh General Hospital. Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital went into “Emergency Plan Delta,” a high level of emergency response. Visitors at B-ARH were asked to leave the hospital without explanation, and the hospital’s emergency room was quarantined after the arrival of the first patient from the prison. Those inside of the emergency room were required to wear bio-hazard protective gear and were not allowed to leave until the “all-clear” was given.

Initial reports described the prison employee as suffering from a “momentary adverse reaction” after opening a suspicious package. According to officials, the response team determined there were no signs of any hazardous material, and symptoms exhibited by the affected staff member “have since dissipated.” No explanation of the employee’s sudden illness was offered by officials or hospital personnel. Accordiing to one prison official, the institution returned to normal operations shortly before 6:00 p.m. Thursday, but “no information could be given about the situation.”

FCI Beckley is located in Raleigh County, West Virginia, approximately 51 miles southeast of Charleston, and 136 miles northwest of Roanoke, Virginia.

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School safety advisory & checklist

28 October 2006: This is a copy of a special advisory that was released by the Department of Homeland Security to schools and law enforcement, advising them of ways in which they can increase their safety level. The advisory also provides a checklist schools can use to determine if they are at increased risk.

-The bulletin advises schools to take the following protective measures: Review and validate all school emergency and crisis management plans for completeness and currency. Helpful guidance can be found at this link.

- Raise awareness among law enforcement officers and school administrators by conducting table-top exercises (TTX) for school emergency and crisis management plans.

-  Raise awareness among school workers and students by conducting “all hazards” awareness training for the school environment.

-  Raise community awareness of any potential threat and vulnerability -  Prepare the school staff to act in a crisis situation and exercise this ability.

- Consider a closed-campus approach to population control that would strictly limit visitors.

- Consider a single entry-point for all attendees, staff, and visitors.

- Focus patrols by law enforcement officers around and on school grounds.

- Have a plan to maintain contact with school buses.

- Ensure that emergency communications from and to schools are present, operable, and exercised.

- Obtain “Terrorism: Preparing for the Unexpected” brochure from the local Red Cross Chapter and distribute it to parents of students in grades K-12, staff, and faculty, http://www.redcross.org/pubs/dspubs/terrormat.html.

- Report suspicious activity and individuals to proper authorities.

Protective Measures in the long-term should emphasize physical safeguards that involve physical plant enhancements to present a more robust target and to provide a more survivable environment. Among the measures schools should consider are the following:

- Install secure locking mechanisms for all external and internal doors and windows, with quick-release capability from within for fire escape.

- Install robust window and external door protection means with quick-release capability from within for fire escape.

- Consider a safe area (or safe areas) within the school for assembly and refuge during crises. Consider retrofitting of robust structural enhancements and an over pressurization system in the safe area(s).

- Consider applying protective coating for windows on facilities that face traffic areas. That and other helpful information on school facilities can be found at: www.edfacilities.org.

The following activities may suggest terrorist surveillance of educational facilities. Alone, each indicator can result from legitimate recreational or commercial activities or criminal activity not related to terrorism; multiple indicators, however, could suggest a heightened terrorist threat:

- Unusual or prolonged interest in security measures or personnel, entry points, and access controls or perimeter barriers such as fences or walls.

- Interest without reason in obtaining site plans for schools, bus routes, attendance lists, and other information about a school, its employees, or students.

- Unusual behavior such as staring at or quickly looking away from personnel or vehicles entering or leaving designated facilities or parking areas.

- Observation of security reaction drills or procedures.

- Increase in anonymous telephone or e-mail threats to facilities in conjunction with suspected surveillance incidents-indicating possible surveillance of threat reaction procedures.

- Foot surveillance involving two or three individuals working together.

- Mobile surveillance using bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles, limousines, boats, or small aircraft.

- Prolonged static surveillance using operatives disguised as panhandlers, shoe shiners, food or flower vendors, news agents, or street sweepers not previously seen in the area.

- Discreet use of still cameras, video recorders, or note taking at non-tourist locations.

- Use of multiple sets of clothing and identification or the use of sketching materials (paper, pencils, etc.).

- Questioning of security or facility personnel.

- Unexplained presence of unauthorized persons in places where they should not be.

Law enforcement agencies, security personnel, and educational administrators should be aware and remain alert to indicators of surveillance activities. School officials are encouraged to review and update their evacuation plans as well as security and emergency policies. In addition to planning and the need for frequent exercises involving both the schools and the First Responder Community (Law Enforcement and Fire/EMS), planning and exercises should involve the local medical community to ensure that mass casualty contingencies are fully covered. Emergency medical treatment for children is significantly different from adults and should be factored into any plan or exercise.

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Power grid maintenance trucks, $100,000 of equipment stolen in Arizona

26 October 2006: Three-(3) specially-outfitted and equipped power line maintenance trucks and more than $100,000 in tools were stolen from the Gila Substation Maintenance facility in Yuma county, Arizona sometime between 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 20 through 3:00 p.m. Saturday, October 21, 2006. The substation is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Western Area Power Administration, and the stolen equipment is specifically used to maintain the region’s high voltage power grid. One of the stolen vehicles, a white Ford F-550, was found in a remote desert area near the Colorado and Gila rivers, reportedly stripped of its equipment and burned over the weekend.

FBI spokesperson Deb McCarley publicly stressed that there is nothing to suggest that the theft has any nexus to terrorism or poses any risk to the nation’s infrastructure, and noted that “young people are known to ‘hang out’ in the area.” On Tuesday, the FBI and the Yuma County Sheriff’s office posted a $10,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. Meanwhile, one law enforcement agent privately expressed concern about the motive for the theft.

A commissioned law enforcement source in Yuma County, interviewed yesterday by Northeast Intelligence Network director Doug Hagmann on the condition of keeping his name private, described the theft as “planned” and not one of opportunity. This is not a case where someone ‘hanging out in the area decide to take a truck for a joyride. I am inclined to believe that whoever did this knew what they were taking.” This source declined to provide any specific details of the theft, but added that it certainly did not appear to be a random case of vehicle theft.  He also stated that patrols are being stepped up near electrical stations, substations and other “areas of concern.”

Missing:

* A bright red 2005 Chevy 3500, U.S. government license plate # G63-1300B.

* A gray 2006 Chevy 2500, U.S. government license plate # G63-2847B.

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Islamic radicalization threat to our homeland

25 October 2006: When Dr. Walid Phares speaks about terrorism threats, we listen. On September 20, 2006, Dr. Walid PHARES delivered important testimony before the Subcommittee on Homeland Security at the US House of Representatives about the threat to the US homeland by Islamic terrorists. Dr. Phares outlined two very important points in his testimony:

1. The little ability of the public to identify threats since the Terror ideology hasn’t officially been identified by the Government yet.

2. That Law Enforcement and Homeland Security cannot mobilize on a large scale to identify Jihadism because the latter has inserted itself under the political freedoms of the country. It is ‘protected’ by advocacy groups, legal defense and is funded both domestically and by foreign regimes and organizations.

Testimony Excerpt:  ”Your concerns about ‘radicalization’ as a threat to U.S. Homeland Security are warranted. For after twenty five years of studying the ideology and the evolution of the doctrines that produced the self-declared Jihadist movement (al haraka al Jihadiya) which has declared, waged and continues to conduct war against the United States and other democracies, I conclude along with a number of colleagues in this field of expertise that the Terrorism America and its allies are facing in the War on Terror, is a direct product of this radical ideology. The 19 men, who massacred 3,000 US and other citizens on September 11, belong to al Qaeda and the latter is a self declared Salafist-Jihadist organization. Every single case of Terrorism uncovered on U.S. territory, since 9/11, was motivated by this ideology.

To name a few: The Virginia Paintball gang, the dirty bomb case, the shoe bomber case, al Qaeda’s John Walker, Azzam al Amriki AKA Adam Gadahn, the Oregon case, the Virginia multiple cases, the Jihadi charities, etc. This ideology was omnipresent in the cases than ended with court sentences and those which didn’t; in the Sheikh Abdel Rahman case of 1993; in the statements made by the Zarqawi networks while assassinating innocent civilians; in all speeches by Usama Bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri from 1998 till now; and on all Jihadi web sites in all languages: one global common thread is always omnipresent: The Jihadi ideology. And in parallel to al Qaeda’s radical doctrine another ideology of Jihadism follows the teachings of Ayatalollah Khomeini and is embodied by the public speeches of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad and Hezbollah. Hence, the ideologies that produces ‘Radicalization,’ are the Jihadist ones. They are of two main ‘trees,’ the Jihadi Salafist and the Jihadi Khomeinist. These doctrines, taught and disseminated worldwide and in America, are the producers of the ‘Jihadists’ (al Jihadiyun) who have declared war and waged it against the United States both overseas and in the homeland. Jihadism is the ideological common identity of terror groups al Qaeda, Salafi Combat Group of the Maghreb, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Jemaa Islamiya of south Asia, the Taliban of Afghanistan, Laskar Taiba of Pakistan, the Mahakem Islamiya of Somalia, and other Salafi-Wahabi groups internationally, in addition to Hezbollah. Jihadism was the inspiration for the 1990s attacks, 9/11, Madrid, London, Beslan, Mumbai, Riyadh, Casablanca, the Sunni Triangle in Iraq and other violence associated with Terrorism. Hence at this stage of the War on Terror, the ideology behind the threat has been identified and thus should be addressed.”

Complete testimony of Dr. Walid Phares (PDF format)

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Classified nuclear documents from Los Alamos found in drug raid

24 October 2006: Federal authorities found classified documents that were apparently removed from the Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab during a purported drug raid at the home of a female scientist who works at the lab. Police confirmed that they contacted the FBI Tuesday, and turned the investigation over to them upon finding the classified material while making an arrest in a methamphetamine investigation. An FBI source in Albuquerque confirmed that a federal search warrant was obtained and executed by that office on Friday, 20 October 2006.

Los Alamos has been plagued by a number of high-profile security problems over the last ten years, with perhaps the most significant of those cases involving nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee who was fired from Los Alamos on 8 March 1999 and later pleaded guilty to one count of mishandling nuclear secrets at the lab. That plea was accepted on the condition that Lee would co-operate with federal investigators on the larger investigation involving the (ultimate) transfer of classified nuclear documents to the Chinese government. Federal officials launched an investigation called “Operation Kindred Spirit” to determine how the Chinese managed to obtain the plans to a modern and highly secret nuclear warhead known as the W88 Trident D5.

The latest incident appears to be indicative of the continued lack of security at the nations infamous nuclear laboratory. An October 3, 2000 statement by Notra TRULOCK III, former director, of intelligence at the department of energy before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts outlines the security problems to that date. Trulock’s account was detailed by best selling author Bill Gertz in his books Kindred Spirit and The Chinese Threat.

Related: The case of the hidden computer discs

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High Stakes: The War in Iraq, the Election and America’s Future

”Our use of ‘al Qaeda’ to describe our enemy is nearly medieval in its incoherence.  It is everywhere, anywhere, can’t be defeated, and is unlike any enemy seen in history.  That is the mainstream line.  But if such an enemy has never existed in history, maybe it does not exist now?  ‘Al Qaeda,’ generally speaking, is the name we attach to the sophisticated part of the violence directed against us and our allies by a variety of hostile states in a variety of places.” -Dr. Laurie Mylroie, 22 October 2006

By Sean Osborne, Associate Director, Senior Analyst, Military Affairs
sosborne@homelandsecurityus.com

23 October 2006: Once again America finds itself fast approaching a pivotal election in this most critical time of our modern history. The stakes are very high if not almost incalculable in their significance. The choices before voter enfranchised America are for the most part clear. However, I will use the following paragraphs to polish up certain facts. These are facts which are quite to the contrary of what most of the so-called mainstream media plates up for us each evening in their nightly news programs, in their bold, morning edition headlines or weekly magazine covers.

I am going to attempt to expose why the war in Iraq is a major issue before the American electorate but not for the reasons the mainstream media are telling you it is. America knows we are at war with terrorists, and that there are terrorists in Iraq as there are in many nations around the world, including our own. However, Iraq is the pivotal focus for America, and it’s not because of Al Qaeda or any other nebulous terrorist group. Iraq is pivotal for America because the Ba’athist Iraqi regime we and our coalition allies launched Operation Iraqi Freedom to remove is still largely intact, is calling the shots and is primarily responsible for the carnage throughout the country which continues to this day.

It is my firm conviction that well-financed former-regime Ba’athists, with  probable clandestine foreign state sponsorship and support, continuing as it has from when before the war began, during initial combat and ever since (Russia, Belarus and Syria for examples). It is my contention that the remnant senior leadership of Al-Mukhabarat (Iraqi Intelligence Service), the Iraqi Republican Guards and Fedayi Saddam are the driving forces behind continuing Ba’athist regime resistance against American and Coalition military forces. This was Saddam’s tactical plan from the beginning in the face of overwhelming US military power and it remains in execution. I do not believe that Al Qaeda is leading the “insurgency” in Iraq as the so-called mainstream media is fond of declaring. And I do not accept the same media use of the term “insurgent” or “insurgency” as both are erroneous descriptors of what has been occurring in Iraq since March 2003.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/insurgent

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/insurgency

The use of these terms by the mainstream media implies that Al Qaeda is a defender of the former regime. Neither can Al Qaeda be described as rebels against the new order in Iraq. They are quite simply and have been all along terrorists and tools of the former Ba’athist regime, and therefore cannot be legitimately described as “insurgents” or as an “insurgency”.

At this point I want to quote Dr. Laurie Mylroie, an acknowledged and world-leading expert on Iraq from an email exchange yesterday morning between us. “Our use of “al Qaeda” to describe our enemy is nearly medieval in its incoherence.  It is everywhere, anywhere, can’t be defeated, and is unlike any enemy seen in history.  That is the mainstream line.  But if such an enemy has never existed in history, maybe it does not exist now?  ”Al Qaeda,” generally speaking, is the name we attach to the sophisticated part of the violence directed against us and our allies by a variety of hostile states in a variety of places.

In the 1980s, during the Regan administration, there was a huge debate about terrorism, or at least [about] major attacks on the US.  The conclusion of that debate was that they were basically state-sponsored.  That understanding endured through Bush 41, but was utterly lost during the Clinton administration, when the US counter-terrorism efforts focused largely on arresting individual perps.  That had enormous intelligence consequences, because 1) the intelligence community didn’t receive the results of the FBI investigation, because of the “wall” and 2) the job of a prosecutor is to secure the conviction of individuals.  He isn’t necessarily interested in the larger structure behind the terrorist attacks, and he is not interested in states.”

Dr. Mylroie concluded her remarks to me by saying, “Most Iraqi officials would say much what you are saying, but their very strong and clear emphasis would be on Syrian support for the Sunni terrorists and Iranian support for the Shia ones.  There is also an interesting piece on Afghanistan in this week’s New York Times Magazine, which both highlights the complexity of the violence there and the key role of Pakistan in supporting it.”

Indeed. The war we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is supported by state-sponsors. The terrorist enemies are proxy force multipliers for these state-sponsors, be they Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, HAMAS, Abu Sayyaf, or the Afghan Taliban. Yet, notwithstanding events in Afghanistan, it is in Iraq where this is most abundantly evident.

This has been evident to me since the beheading of Nick Berg. The individuals in that horrific video had the demeanor of military men and the use of beheading as a terrorism tool against the Iraqi population was long established and practiced on a virtual daily basis by the Ba’athists and Fedayi Saddam in the years immediately preceding Operation Iraqi Freedom. Al Qaeda adopted a Ba’athist terrorist tool and not vice versa.

In addition, there is also rampant Iranian involvement in exploiting and providing war materiel and personnel support to the sizeable Shiite population in southeastern Iraq from Baghdad to Basra. So when certain elected American officials make the totally partisan and ludicrous declaration of a need for America to embrace a “cut and run” stratagem, to unilaterally abandon our allies, to surrender and forsake the sacrifice of all of our fallen hero’s and those who remain in harms way, let me be very blunt, these politicians are talking the talk of yellow-bellied cowards, they provide lip service and tremendous damage by aiding and abetting all of these enemies and the state sponsors arrayed against us and our coalition allies.

Are these the people and the political party America will vote for? I think not.

As we move forward to this election I must state that the way forward is not to change the horse or its rider in the middle of the race. We need to send a clear message to the brave Iraqi people who’ve voted to stand with us and our efforts to completely liberate their nation from the dictatorial tyranny they endured for so many years.  In my opinion, the trial of Saddam Hussein needs to be expedited and concluded. Saddam’s expected execution for his crimes against humanity needs to be implemented immediately thereafter. Concurrent with the decision taken by our elected leadership to stay the course the US military needs to mount-up once again in full combat gear, with heavy armor support, in overwhelming force and be turned loose and finish the job which was prematurely declared ended in May of 2003 in eradicating ALL of the remaining elements of the Ba’athist regime resistance, just as we did with the Nazi’s in Germany sixty years ago. Then we can focus on foreign interlopers like Iran and make foreign support from Russia, Belarus and Syria a moot point because the recipients of their support will no longer exist.

We must complete this mission as expeditiously as possible. Our enemies in Iraq are not idle as we have all seen in the past months, even robbing the Iraqi treasury of a half billion dollars to fund their resistance and come back hopes. If this is their version of a ‘Tet’ offensive then it must be militarily defeated as the original ‘Tet’ was defeated. Then we must build upon that victory and also win the political war before the Ba’athist murder squads can destroy the political leadership in Iraq, as is their current plan.

Here from Dr. Mylroie is a translation from an Iraqi colleague of hers of a Ba’athist document dated 5 September 2006 detailing the leading Iraqi leadership they plan to assassinate along with all relative to the third degree in short order unless stopped. You will probably recognize some but not many of these names. However, the inclusion of this list primarily is to serve as your notification that the Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein is not dead yet and Operation Iraqi Freedom is not ‘mission complete’.

(Hand writing)
Martyr Qusay (Saddam son) unit/Karkh sector (Baghdad)

Thi Qar Operation HQ
((Special Operations))
(Poetry)

(Motto)
No. : /12/221 Î.Ú
Comrade Saddam Hussain
Date 5/9/2006

Comrades; commanders of Special Operations.

Approval of deputy combatant comrade, treasure of the country (baath party-Iraq branch), and the supreme commander of armed forces was granted, and communicated to us by the letter from the country treasure office no. A.3/312 on 2/9/2006. Execution punishment regarding criminals, agents, apostates, names below, in addition to their first, second, and third degree relatives. Execution (of the order) by your units is according to the plan and to your suitable timing discretion.

Comrade General
Commander of Thi Qar Operations – Special Operations

Names

1.    Abul Aziz Alhakim (H of SCIRI – M.COR)
2.    Ammar Alhakim (son of martyr Mohammad Baqir Alhakim and H of Mihrab organization)
3.    Hadi Alamiri (H of Badr Brigade)
4.    Sadr Aldin Alqabani (Ayatulla Sistani spokesman)
5.    Muwaffaq Alrubaie (National Security Minister)
6.    Nuri Almaliki (PM)
7.    Ali Aladeep (M.COR -Fadilah party)
8.    Jalil Aldeen Alsagheer (M.COR- SCIRI)
9.    Ibrahim Aljaafri (xPM- H of Da’wa party)
10.    Baqir Jabur Solgh (xMOI – MOI, SCIRI)
11.    Ahmed Alchalabi (x deputy PM, H of Debaathification commision)
12.    Abdulkaram Al’inizi (M.COR – Da’wa party –Iraq)
13.    Akrum Alhakim (M.COR – H of reconciliation commission)
14.    Muqta Alsadir (H of Sadr Movement – Mahdi Army)
15.    Abdulhady Aldaraji (M.COR)
16.    Salam Almaliki (M.COR-Sadr Mov)
17.    Baha Hussain Alaaraji (M.COR – Sadr Mov)
18.    Hazim Gitran Alshalan (?)
19.    Hussain Alsharistani (MO Oil – SCIRI)
20.    Hameed Majid Musa (M.COR – H of Iraqi Communist party)
21.    Abulkarim Almaahood Almuhammadawi (H of Hizbulla – Iraq)
22.    Ghazi Ajeel Alyawar (x President of Iraq, Iraq party – M.COR)
23.    Entifadh Qanber (Advisor to PM office – M Wafi’s brother)
24.    Ayad  Allawi (x PM, H of National Accord – M.COR)
25.    Rasim ALawwadi (deputy NA – M.COR)
26.    Mahmood Almashhadani (National Accord Front - Chair of M.COR)
27.    Jalal Altalabani (H of PUK – current President of Iraq)
28.    Masud Albarazani (H of KDP)
29.    Fuad Masoum (PUK – M.COR)
30.    Adil Abdulmahdi (deputy President of Iraq)
31.    Sadoun Aldulaimy (x MOD)
32.    Wafiq ALsamarai (PM Inelegance advisor)
33.    Falah Alnaqeeb (x MOD)
34.    Thair Albnaqeeb (x Spokesman of Ayad Allawai)
35.    Mohammad Abdulla Alshahwani (H of Iraqi Intelligence)
36.    Ayad Jamaluldeen (libral Shea clerics, National Accord – M.COR)
37.    Tariq Alhashimi (H of IIP – deputy President of Iraq)
38.    Ayad Alsamari ()
39.    Abbas Albayati (Torkman, Da’wa party – M.COR)
40.    Wael Abdullatif (x Minister, National Accord – M.COR)
41.    Jawad Bolani (MOI)
42.    Ali Allami (?)
43.    Judge Raouf Rashid Abdulrihman
44.    Jafar Almousawai (General Prosecutor at Saddam Aldejail trial)
45.    Munqith Faraoun (?)
46.    Raid Juhi (Judge – Saddam’s court) ß————- (hand writing)
47.    Mithal Alalousi (H of Umma party – M.COR)        Comrade Fakhir
48.    Qasim Dawud (?)                    to the court group
49.    General Mahdi Sabeeh Algharawi            add Mohammad Aluraibi
50.    General Hasan Ali Kamal
51.    General Rashid Flayih                        (reply)
52.    General Ahmed Alkhafaji                    Yes
53.    General Mohammad Zaidan                    (signature)
54.    General Mohammad Alni’mah                       5/5
55.    General Mohammad Thulfiqar
56.    Brigadier General Abdulsalam Shahwan
57.    Brigadier General Abduljalil Khalaf Shawail Almohammadawi
58.    Brigadier General Najim Aliqabi
59.    Brigadier General Abbas Hasan Almousawi
60.    Brigadier General Karim Nasir

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Cause of Pennsylvania train derailment, explosion and fire under investigation

Derailment occurred at “strategic” location with explosive cargo

22 October 2006: Federal investigators are searching for the cause of a train derailment that caused a massive explosion and fire late Friday in the town of New Brighton, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The train of 3 locomotives and 89 cars, many tankers, was traveling from Chicago to New Jersey. As the front of the train passed beyond the Beaver River in New Brighton, 23 cars in the midsection of the train derailed, resulting in a large explosion and fire in a least 9 of the tankers carrying highly flammable ethanol – directly on the bridge and at its approach. Fear of additional explosions caused upwards of 50 area residents to seek emergency shelter away from their homes. The fire continued to burn through late Saturday. The half-mile long rail bridge is a familiar site and busy bridge in New Brighton, servicing about 60 trains each day, including Amtrak’s Capitol Limited, which makes one round trip daily between Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Investigators on site state that the train was traveling within the speed limit of 45 miles-per-hour. A visual inspection of the track by investigators noted that one section appeared to be “cut in two,” although forensic examination of the track is needed to determine if this was the cause of the derailment. Yesterday, NTSB investigators also removed data recorders from the train. The data recorders are similar to the black boxes found on airliners and will be examined by investigators for possible clues. The bridge and track area will remain closed for the foreseeable future, causing multiple rerouting delays – including an additional  2-1/2 hours each way for the Amtrak trip between Washington, and Chicago.

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UPDATED: The North Korean Nuclear Gambit

By Sean Osborne, Associate Director, Senior Analyst, Military Affairs
sosborne@homelandsecurityus.com

UPDATED: 20 October 2006: Below is recently posted report from Australia. The details in the report have the potential of critical importance regarding the longstanding relationship and alliance between the communist People’s Republic of China and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Based upon this account the alliance is not only fractured but possibly irreparably harmed to the point of possible conflict between the two nations.

LINK:  North’s spy coup upsets Red Army (Chinese People’s Liberation Army), Rowan Callick.

21 October 2006: CHINA’S People’s Liberation Army is pushing the Government to get tough with North Korea after a Chinese spy sold information to Pyongyang that led to the collapse of Beijing’s main intelligence network in the Stalinist state.

A well-informed Hong Kong-based Chinese language publication, Asia Week, reported that the co-ordinator of one of China’s intelligence networks in North Korea, who was based in the Chinese border city of Yanji, sold key information to the North Koreans for about $400,000.

“As a result, the network was dissolved. Since then, China’s intelligence on North Korea has been weak,” the report said. This accounts for Chinese intelligence continuing to downplay as unlikely a North Korean nuclear test, even on the eve of this month’s underground blast.

The October 9 nuclear test, in defiance of Chinese urging, coupled with the bribery and the shooting of a 19-year-old Chinese border guard by North Korean soldiers a year ago, has helped drive the PLA, the most powerful institution in China after the Communist Party, into pushing the Government to get tough with Pyongyang. Asia Week said yesterday that elements within the PLA were seeking the amendment of the alliance between China and North Korea formally agreed in 1961.

On Monday, the PLA held a memorial ceremony for Li Liang, who was killed by fire from five North Korean soldiers when he shot at them after they had crossed the border. Border guard Li, in the army’s Second Regiment, was attempting to prevent the kidnapping of Chinese intelligence officers at Guangping, a small town on the 1300km frontier.

An officer at Yanbian PLA base later said: “We have designated him as a model soldier.” A series of 30 articles about him is being published in the army newspaper.

The officer said the kidnappers eventually escaped without their targets: “North Koreans crossing the border to smuggle, rob or beg are quite common here.”

Li Jiehua, the father of the dead soldier, said that he had been told the North Koreans were intending “to kidnap Chinese intelligence agents responsible for North Korean information, who were based in a villa in Guangping”.

The Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, in Hong Kong, said that China had protested to the North Korean ambassador in Beijing and insisted that Pyongyang hand over those responsible for the shooting.

But North Korea failed to respond and, the centre said, “the relationship between the two armies has deteriorated rapidly”.

Incursions and kidnappings by North Korean soldiers have become so common that in the main Chinese border-crossing city of Dandong, people joke: “Don’t say anything against North Korea, or you’ll find yourself there tomorrow.”

Early this year, eight North Korean soldiers attempted to rob the Liangshui coalmine in the Yanbian border area. One was shot dead, three were captured and four escaped. China is building a substantial barbed-wire fence along sections of the border, including a road giving easy access for military vehicles.

Asia Week cited a senior PLA official in Beijing as saying: “North Korea will turn out to be a running dog, and will sell China off at any time, as soon as the US agrees to talk directly with them.’ It would instead place a higher priority on deals with the US, Russia and Japan.

The Beijing-aligned Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po reported that after the nuclear test, all leave was canceled for PLA troops in the Jilin province, which borders North Korea, and anti-chemical warfare training had been stepped up.

After North Korea conducted missile tests in July, the PLA deployed an extra 2000 troops along the border, boosting the force to 7000. Despite the tensions, the official China Daily newspaper reported on Thursday that “life seems to be going on as normal” at Dandong, less than 150km from the nuclear test site.

North Korean H-Bomb?

17 October 2006: Over the course of the past week there have been enough reports and credible rumors circulating just below the surface to make the following assessment and forecast of near-term possibilities or probabilities:

1.) The now offically acknowledged nuclear test conducted by North Korea a week ago yesterday was actually a test of the first-stage of a two stage hydrogen bomb. The sub-kiloton blast is assessed to have been a complete success.

2.) The much-rumored upcoming test is expected or anticipated in US military cirlces to be a test of both stages of a hydrogen warhead.  The consensus is that North Korea plans to test its hydrogen bomb as soon as possible, possibly sometime this week.

One military source has stated the possibility that a combined missile test and h-bomb test might occur, with the warhead detonating in the upper regions of the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.  The same source also suggests that Red China has been very embarrassed by the first North Korean nuclear test. To mitigate or prevent further embarrassment the Red Chinese are rumored to be covertly seeking the assassination or overthrow of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il.

Additional details will be provided as they are developed.

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Peace Bridge, Buffalo, NY closed due to bomb threat

20 October 2006: The Northeast Intelligence network has received information that the Peace Bridge, spanning from Buffalo, NY to Fort Erie, Canada has been closed due to a bomb threat. The closure took place shortly before 1100 ET. Traffic has been stopped in both directions, causing major traffic delays in Buffalo and Fort Erie, Canada. Although there was a fire drill scheduled to take place earlier this morning, the bomb threat appears to be completely unrelated to the drill.  The timing of this is very suspicious, very disconcerting,” stated a law enforcement source on site when contacted by this agency. The Northeast Intelligence Network remains in contact with law enforcement on site. We are following this situation closely and will provide updates as further information is developed.

UPDATE 1:15 p.m. ET: The Peace Bridge has reopened after a “bomb threat event” was reported shortly before 11:00 a.m. ET. The Northeast Intelligence Network received confirmation of the threat as emergency services from the U.S. and Canada responded to the bridge, that connects Buffalo, NY with Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. Traffic to and from the United States was suspended during the investigation, although the bridge has now reopened to all traffic.

The Northeast Intelligence Network has confirmed that an incident preceded the bridge closure. According to a law enforcement official at the scene, “a couple of people were arrested and escorted from the administration building in handcuffs.” Minutes later, an announcement was made about the threat to the bridge, although the law enforcement source was unclear if the two events are related.

The same law enforcement source also confirmed that an unrelated emergency drill scheduled to take place earlier this morning, however the bomb threat was completely unrelated to the drill. The timing of this is very suspicious, very disconcerting,” stated a law enforcement source on site when contacted by this agency.

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