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Winds of War: Dec 27/04

| 1 Comment | 4 TrackBacks

Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from the global War on Terror that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. In addition, we also have our in-depth Iraq Report today.

Today's Winds of War briefing is brought to you by Bill Roggio of the fourth rail and evariste of Discarded Lies.

Top Topics

Other Topics Today Include:
Iranian air defense, US-approved EU-Iran trade talks, US surveillance of Iranian agents, Hamas gains in the West Bank Palestinian elections, the arrest of two senior members of Zarqawi's group, charity assets frozen, thawing Turkish-Syrian relations, the dangers of a dress code for Federal Air Marshals, EU demands Maoist rebels in Nepal negotiate, low-level tribal uprising in Baluchistan, army coup in the Philippines, Spain arrests more terrorists, violence threatened in Kosovo over war-crimes indictments, and more...


RE: Jeddah Attack

Stratfor has learned from reliable counterterrorism sources that the Dec. 6 attack against the U. S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was intended to be far more complex. As the attack played out, five gunmen entered the compound's outer wall through a gate that opened to allow a vehicle to pass, and then engaged Saudi and U. S. security forces in sporadic gunbattles. Ultimately the attack failed because the gunmen were unable to penetrate consular security.

Inner circles of the intelligence and security community now theorize that a second cell was to have attacked the compound from the rear, but that the cell somehow was disrupted a week or so prior to the attack. The five-member cell that staged the unsuccessful attack apparently never knew it was supposed to have backup. This suggests that a high degree of operational security is built into al Qaeda's structure in the kingdom.

RE: U.S.A. & Israel Other areas of friction and concern include:

"There's been concern that Israel would pull a surprise on the United States with either an offensive against Hizbullah in Lebanon or a massive attack on the Gaza Strip," a diplomatic source said. "Washington doesn't want to be surprised and would rather know this information in advance and first hand."

The sources said the result has been increased U.S. satellite monitoring of Israel to determine military movements, import and export of weapons, weapons tests and construction of housing in Israeli communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They said the United States has also expanded the interception of signals communications from Israeli government and military facilities.

The U.S. effort was said to have been prompted by Israel's air attack on a Palestinian base outside Damascus in 2003. The sources said the U.S. intelligence community, despite the Bush administration's muted response, was alarmed by the Israeli attack and warned that this could mark a policy to undermine the regime of President Bashar Assad.

The most recent demonstration of heightened U.S. intelligence collection on Israel took place last month. On Nov. 10, a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine entered Israel's territorial waters off the coast of Haifa and spent several hours monitoring Israel's Navy and other facilities. The sources said the U.S. naval intrusion angered Israeli leaders. They said that over the last few weeks, Israel quietly sent a tough message to the United States that demanded a halt in espionage missions inside Israeli territorial waters.

The Israeli message stressed that its military quickly identified and tracked the U.S. nuclear submarine, the sources said. But the General Staff refrained from ordering an attack on the asset of a friendly nation.

"The Israeli message hinted that the next time could be different," a diplomatic source, familiar with the episode, said.

The sources said intelligence relations between Israel and the United States have been strained since the 2003 war in Iraq. U.S. officials have complained several times of violations of Israeli pledges regarding such issues as defense relations with China and aggressive Israeli information collection in the United States."

A bit of perspective: these kinds of frictions aren't unheard-of between allies. Still, it's useful background to keep in mind as you watch Middle Easern events.



  • Israel is buying two more nuclear-warhead armable submarines from Germany (Dolphin-class), bringing its total to five.
  • Turkish-Syrian relations are thawing because both countries are opposed to any form of resurgent Kurdish nationalism. They've signed a free trade accord.





  • Spanish authorities have arrested and are questioning four men for involvement in the gang that provided explosives to the Madrid attackers. Three of them were caught in a large-scale (hundreds of law enforcement agents) sting as they tried to procure more explosives for a future attack.
  • According to court testimony, the bombing of the French oil tanker Limburg in Octobor of 2002 was carried out by a group of Yemenis with close ties to al Qaeda.


We try to close on a lighter note if possible.

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4 TrackBacks

Tracked: December 27, 2004 9:02 AM
Winds of War.NET from Discarded Lies
Excerpt: My Winds of War roundup at Winds of Change.NET with Bill Roggio is up!...
Tracked: December 27, 2004 12:03 PM
Excerpt: The Monday Winds of War Briefing is up. I am collaborating on this effort with evariste of Discarded Lies. The Winds of War Briefing is a roundup of the latest news on the Global War on Terror with a quick...
Tracked: December 27, 2004 1:41 PM
Winds of War Update from The Colossus
Excerpt: The Winds of War update is up over at Winds of change. Good reading on many different national security related topics....
Tracked: January 3, 2005 1:29 PM
Excerpt: The Monday Winds of War Briefing is up. I am collaborating on this effort with evariste of Discarded Lies. The Winds of War Briefing is a roundup of the latest news on the Global War on Terror with a quick...

1 Comment

"Recently, the United States demanded that Israel basically confiscate Chinese aircraft that were sent to Israel for maintenance and upgrades."

Unless we're getting ready to go to war with China sometime soon (anyone think that's a good idea? I thought not) then the US is just beeing petulant and foolish here. What is the point of rubbing both Israel and China the wrong way for no apparent gain?

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