Welcome! Our goal 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. Today's "Winds of War" is brought to you by Dan Darling. of Regnum Crucis.
- Hezbollah operations chief Imad Mughniyeh, who is already responsible for the deaths of over 200 American troops in Lebanon in the 1980s, is inside Iraq and has reportedly trained Sadr's Mahdi Army.
- Pakistan has granted an amnesty to the Waziri tribal leaders accused of sheltering al-Qaeda fighters (the latter of whom will apparently be let off in return for a pledge of good behavior) in an extremely disappointing turn of events. As part of the deal, 50 tribesmen, most of whom were captured during the recent military operation in Waziristan and in all likelihood killed Pakistani troops, will be released. Thankfully, we have no less a figure that MMA supremo Qazi Hussein Ahmed to tell that there are no al-Qaeda inside Pakistan.
- On a much happier note, over 300 members of the Algerian GSPC have agreed to surrender to the government under a new amnesty deal in a devastating blow to al-Qaeda's main arm in North and West Africa.
Other Topics Today Include: Iraq Briefing; Iran Reports; Taliban attack NGO; Sydney terror plot; Cole bomber nabbed; al-Haramain Brigades takes credit for Riyadh bombing; JI tied to counterfeit trade; Mullah Krekar's got a memoir; Saudis want jihad in Iraq but not at home; possible Hamas link to Kosovo shooting spree; JI and MILF operatives busted in Philippines; and robot surgeon sued for maltinkering.
- Suicide bombers have mounted a maritime attack on Iraqi oil terminals near Basra, only the third such time in modern history that an attack of this nature has been successfully carried out.
- 20 members of the al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Islam have been captured in Suleimaniya.
- Members of Sadr's Mahdi Army in Basra are accusing the UK of masterminding the recent suicide bombings there. Back in the real world, the Basra police have arrested 5 al-Qaeda members in connection with the attacks.
- Sadr himself, meanwhile, has taken to threatening suicide attacks if the coalition attempts to arrest him in An Najaf.
- Tribal leaders in An Najaf don't seem too enthused by the prospect of being ruled by Sadr and are asking him to end his standoff with the US.
- Mahdi Army fighters in Karbala have clashed with Polish troops the Shi'ite holy city. No word if any baseejis were killed this time around or not ...
- The deadline for the residents of Fallujah to turn in their weapons has arrived, though junk appears to be all we're getting at this point in time.
- Speaking of Fallujah, the truce appears to have led to some favorable results as the various Iraqi insurgent factions active in the city (the al-Tikriti Baathists, the former Republican Guard Baathists loyal to al-Douri, al-Qaeda, the Iraqi National Movement, and the al-Dulaimi tribesmen) turn on one another over what to do next. This comes as the US is announcing the beginning of patrols in the volatile city.
- US administrator Paul Bremer is allowing low-level Baathists to return to positions previously occupied in both the military and the new Iraqi government.
- In the wake of the Spanish withdrawl, the UK, Japan, Italy, and Poland are reaffirming their commitment to the US-led coalition in Iraq.
- Japan is heeping scorn on the returning hostages from Iraq. While the Times account does not mention the internet rumor that the hostages were in cahoots with their kidnappers, I think that this may also account for some of the Japanese public's reaction to their return.
- Just one entry in the Iran Reports section today but it's well worth reading - an editorial by Constantine Menges outlining what Iran's objectives are in Iraq, who is doing what, and why. Menges also states that Iran doesn't plan on setting up Sadr as the Iraqi Khomeini - that dubious honor belongs to his mentor, Ayatollah Kazem Hussein al-Haeri.
THE WIDER WAR
- 50 Taliban have attacked an NGO in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province.
- Sydney architect Faheem Lodhi has been accused of belonging to the same Australian terrorist cell as Willie Brigitte. Lodhi, a member of the Pakistan-based al-Qaeda affiliate Lashkar-e-Taiba, was targeting Australia's energy supplies with Brigitte and other members of his cell.
- Yemen has arrested al-Nagar, who is described as being involved in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. Seeing how everyone remotely connected to al-Qaeda in Yemen seems to share this trait, that much makes sense ...
- The Saudi al-Qaeda affiliate al-Haramain Brigades has claimed responsibility for the recent bombing in Riyadh.
- A risk assessment agency in Hong Kong claims that the counterfeit market is tied to JI as well to other terrorist networks, yet another convergence between crime and terrorism.
- Ansar al-Islam leader Mullah Krekar is writing a memoir from his safe haven in Norway.
- Finnish authorities have seized over 200 kilograms of explosives just outside of Helsinki.
- 5 Saudi al-Qaeda members have been killed in bin Laden's hometown of Jeddah. This comes as the general sentiment in the Magic Kingdom supports jihad in Iraq but is far less eager to engage in one back at home.
- Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim Ali, who wounded 11 UN peacekeepers in Kosovo in a shooting spree, may have had ties to Hamas.
- 3 JI operatives have been arrested in Datu Odin Sinsuat, including members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
- We try to end on a lighter note if possible. It seems a German robotic surgeon has been sued for maltinkering.