From Various Sources:
Securing the Syrian Border - An Unconventional Solution (http://billroggio.com/archives/2005/10/securing_the_sy.php) (from Bill Roggio's blog, The Fourth Rail (http://billroggio.com/))
Troops deployed in Lebanon cities (http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4358906.stm): " Lebanese troops have been deployed in the capital and other key cities a day before the release of a UN report into the killing of former PM Rafik Hariri… " (BBC)
RAMADI-BASED ZARQAWI LIEUTENANT KILLED (http://www.centcom.mil/CENTCOMNews/News_Release.asp?NewsRelease=20051073.txt): A senior Abu Musab al-Zarqawi lieutenant and Al Qaeda in Iraq military leader was killed during a series of Coalition raids in western Iraq Oct. 15. Coalition forces conducted the raids on suspected terrorists operating near the town of Ramadi. The terrorists were suspected of having senior Al Qaeda in Iraq connections. At least 12 terrorists were killed during the raids. Recently captured detainees identified one of the dead terrorists as Sa’ad Ali Firas Muntar al Dulaymi (aka Abu Abdullah). Intelligence sources indicate that Sa’ad Ali Firas was highly regarded by many senior Al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists, to include Zarqawi himself. Sa’ad Ali Firas facilitated high-level meetings in Ramadi and Fallujah, where senior-level terrorists gathered to discuss strategy and ongoing operations. Zarqawi was said to have attended some of these meetings. Sa’ad Ali Firas quickly ascended the ranks and supposedly worked with Zarqawi’s lieutenant Abu-Qutaiba in a vehicle smuggling network originating in Jazirah, near Fallujah, prior to Qutaiba’s capture by Coalition forces. Sa’ad Ali Firas then ran his own smuggling organization funding bomb making operations in the Fallujah and Ramadi areas. Sa’ad Ali Firas was chiefly responsible for planning and executing all terrorist attacks on Iraqi and Coalition forces in the Ramadi and Fallujah areas. (CENTCOM)
Congo state biggest threat to security - report (http://www.monuc.org/news.aspx?newsID=8751). "Corruption and mismanagement by former belligerents now in power make the state the main threat to peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which risks a return to "mass violence", a think-tank said on Wednesday. …" (Reuters, via MONUC)
First SDF-police exercise held to repel guerrillas (http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200510200317.html): "The first joint training exercise between the Self-Defense Forces and police was held Thursday in Hokkaido to prepare Japan for an attack-and to prompt confused and reluctant prefectures to devise their own contingency plans. The exercise at the Ground SDF Makomanai Base in Sapporo featured the combined SDF-police force attempting to repel armed special forces. … (Asahi Shimbun)
South Asia Terrorism Update (http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/detailed_news.asp?date1=10/20/2005)Latin America
USSOUTHCOM Headline News (http://www.southcom.mil/pa/News/AOR%20News/Today's%20News.doc) (NOTE: Microsoft Word format)
SMITH APPOINTED TO LEAD JOINT FORCES COMMAND (http://www.centcom.mil/CENTCOMNews/News_Release.asp?NewsRelease=20051068.txt): "Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced today that Pres. George W. Bush has nominated Air Force Lt. Gen. Lance L. Smith for appointment to the rank of general with assignment as Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM). …" (CENTCOM)
From the RFE/RL Newsline (http://www.rferl.org/newsline/):
DEFENSE MINISTER INTERVENES IN RUSSIAN TRAWLER SCANDAL. Sergei Ivanov said on 19 October that Russia is not going to war with Norway over the incident with the Russian trawler "Elektron," which is accused by Norwegian authorities of illegal fishing near Spitzbergen, Russian and international media reported. The trawler, with two Norwegian fishing inspectors on board, evaded the Norwegian Coast Guard for four days until it reached Russian waters on 19 October. Ivanov said that Norwegian ships will be allowed to enter Russia waters to pick up their inspectors and to deliver claims concerning illegal fishing by the "Elektron," RTR reported. The ship and crew of the trawler will be probed by the Russian FSB's Border Guard Service in Murmansk and, if Norwegian claims are confirmed, the Russian side will pay compensation.
LAWMAKER CRITICIZES SECURITY AGENCIES ABOUT NALCHIK... . Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev, FSB Director Nikolai Patrushev, Prosecutor-General Vladimir Ustinov, and Southern Federal District presidential envoy Dmitrii Kozak gave reports at a closed-door hearing in the Duma about the raid on Nalchik on 13 October and its consequences, Russian news agencies reported 19 October. Speaking after the hearing, Duma Security Committee member Viktor Ilyukhin (Communist), who initiated the hearings, said there was nothing secretive about the meeting as security chiefs said nothing new, TV-Tsentr reported. He said the events in Nalchik cannot be classified as a "terrorist act" because it was a full-format, two-day combat operation. "It was more like a mutiny, an attempt to seize power in the city, and we should label it properly." Ilyukhin added that the Russian security agencies cannot guarantee that there won't be a repetition of the Nalchik events somewhere else in the North Caucasus and that the situation in the region, in his opinion, has no military solution.
...AS SOME COLLEAGUES SUPPORT HIM. Aleksandr Torshin, the deputy chairman of the Federation Council, said he is concerned that gunmen in Nalchik were very well equipped and had the most advanced infantry weapons, RTR reported. "These weapons are not produced underground but by state enterprises, and they have serial numbers. We should investigate," he added. Torshin also said that the security agencies want to create an inventory of all weapons in the Russian Federation and asked for this funding equal to 50 percent of the Defense Ministry budget of $20 billion. The government has no thoughtful policy concept in the North Caucasus, he said after listening to Deputy Aleksei Mitrofanov (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia), "Komsomolskaya pravda" reported on 19 October. And Dmitrii Rogozin, the Motherland party leader, said that the security chiefs simply have nothing to say and they classified the hearing to conceal their big secret, which is corruption, "Komsomolskaya pravda" reported. "The position of traffic policeman in Daghestan costs $10,000, and the position of republican interior minister costs millions," he claimed.
Transcaucasia And Central Asia
COUP RUMORS SURFACE FOLLOWING ARREST OF AZERBAIJANI EX-MINISTER AND HIS BROTHER. Farkhad Aliev, whom President Ilham Aliyev dismissed on 19 October as economic development minister, was arrested later that day by National Security Ministry staff, echo-az.com reported on 20 October. His brother Rafik, whose company Azerpetrol reportedly controls the majority of the country's gas stations, has also been arrested, according to zerkalo.az on 20 October. Both online sites quoted unconfirmed speculation that the two men were implicated by former Finance Minister Fikret Yusifov in a plot to overthrow the current leadership. Yusifov was detained during the night of 16-17 October and, under interrogation, is believed to have said that Farkhad Aliev provided funds to the political opposition, according to unconfirmed reports cited by zerkalo.az. The Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (AHCP) and former parliament speaker Rasul Guliev were also mentioned in connection with the purported conspiracy, but Eurasia View on 19 October quoted AHCP Deputy Chairman Fuad Mustafaev as rejecting such allegations as "idiocy." Mustafaev attributed Farkhad Aliev's arrest to his defeat in a power struggle between rival factions within the country's leadership. Aliev, who had the reputation of a reformer, has publicly crossed swords with Customs Committee Chairman Kemaleddin Heydarov over economic monopolies.
RUSSIA MARKS OFFICIAL DEPARTURE FROM TAJIK-AFGHAN BORDER. Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov and Vladimir Pronichev, deputy head of Russia's Federal Security Service, attended a ceremony in Dushanbe on 19 October to mark the departure of Russian guards from the Tajik-Afghan border, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported. Pronichev, who commands Russia's border guard service, said that Russia will continue to assist Tajikistan, Rossiya TV reported. He said, "We will jointly train personnel, continue with the gradual execution of the tasks we were carrying out earlier, and render active assistance as regards aviation if a situation emerges or intensifies." Rakhmonov took the opportunity to comment on Tajik-Russian relations, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported. He said, "The expansion of relations with Russia as a strategic partner occupies a special place in Tajikistan's foreign policy, and the border guards played a valuable role in strengthening those relations."
TAJIK INTERIOR MINISTER WARNS BAYAT EXTREMIST GROUP STILL ACTIVE. Interior Minister Humdin Sharipov told journalists that the extremist group Bayat "remains active," Interfax reported. Sharipov said, "Last year we detained 12 Bayat members, all of whom were convicted." He said that 16 members of Bayat, which he described as similar to the banned extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir in its goals, are currently being sought.
UN AND NATO CONFIRM EXISTENCE OF ARMED GROUPS IN KOSOVA. Both the NATO-led peacekeeping force KFOR and the United Nations Mission in Kosova (UNMIK) confirmed on 19 October that armed groups have been active in the province, international news agencies reported the same day. "Masked men in black clothing" stopped and checked vehicles on the road between Pec and Djakovica in recent days, prompting an increased alert for international police, dpa quoted UNMIK police head Kai Wittrup as saying. KFOR spokesman Pio Sabetta said the groups set up "illegal checkpoints," but so far no incidents have been reported. Local media were reporting that a group calling itself "The Army for Kosova's Independence" was setting up checkpoints in western Kosova, and threatening United Nations and Kosovar officials with death or kidnapping if they tried to block the province's independence. Wittrup said the situation in the province is stable, and declined to discuss the identity of the armed groups, saying only that they are criminal gangs.
FORMER MOLDOVAN DEFENSE MINISTER TO REMAIN IN CUSTODY. A court in Chisinau on 19 October rejected an appeal from former Defense Minister Valeriu Pasat to change his current detention in custody to house arrest, Moldovan news agencies reported. The court heeded a prosecutor who had argued that Pasat, as an adviser to Russia's Unified Energy Systems, could flee to Moscow. Pasat is now on trial for abuse of office in connection with the sale of 21 MiG-29 fighters to the United States in 1997, when he was Moldova's defense minister. The prosecution maintains that Pasat inflicted a loss of more than $50 million on the state by that deal. Earlier this week, the prosecution brought a new charge against Pasat, accusing him of a similar offense by selling allegedly undervalued multiple-launch-rocket systems and missiles to a Slovak firm, ITAR-TASS reported.
Southwestern Asia And The Middle East
DISTRICT HEAD IN SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN ASSASSINATED. Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammad Yusof Stanakzai said that Ahmadullah, head of Arghandab district in Kandahar Province, was killed on 19 October, Peshawar-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) reported. "A number of assailants entered the mosque and open[ed] fire" on Ahmadullah as he was saying his prayers, Stanakzai told AIP. Kandahar Governor Asadullah Khaled claimed that the neo-Taliban is responsible for Ahmadullah's death, AFP reported on 19 October. Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi, the head of the Panjwai district in which Ahmadullah was killed, said that seven suspects have been detained in Panjwai and are "being interrogated by the police," AIP reported on 19 October. "The enemies of the country were behind this attack," Sarhadi told AIP. "The Taliban have always carried out such attacks." No one has taken responsibility for the apparent assassination.
ISAF PERSONNEL INJURED IN KABUL BLAST. Two French soldiers attached to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were injured on 19 October when an improvised explosive device hit their lightly armored vehicle in Shamali plain in northwestern Kabul Province, according to a NATO press release (http://www.afnorth.nato.int/ISAF/). The soldiers' injuries are not life-threatening. France has approximately 600 troops serving with ISAF. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
KABUL DAILY WARNS OF TWO THREATS TO AFGHAN SECURITY. In a 17 October commentary titled "Security Problems are Worsening," "Erada" discussed the increase in some Afghan provinces of explosions, suicide attacks, the spread of antigovernment propaganda, and armed robberies. Such incidents are continuing and are, in fact, becoming more frequent despite the efforts of the coalition forces and ISAF to prevent them, according to the commentary. The article singled out Kandahar and Helmand provinces as places where antigovernment forces are carrying out their activities "boldly, using new tactics." Questioning the tactics used by the government and its foreign allies in opposing the militant groups, and the competence of government officials in some of the Afghan provinces, the commentary warned that the security strategies in Afghanistan "have two Achilles' heels." First, the strength of the neo-Taliban and other antigovernment forces are being underestimated; and second, "Pakistan's indirect interference [in the internal affairs of Afghanistan] is intentionally [being] ignored."
BRITAIN STILL BLAMED FOR IRAN BOMBINGS. An Iranian state-television announcer commented on 19 October that it is increasingly evident that Great Britain is connected with the fatal bombings in the southwestern city of Ahvaz four days earlier. "There is no strong evidence showing that Britain had not been involved in the blasts," the announcer said. The announcer connected the bombings with British and U.S. concern over Iran's nuclear pursuits, and explained: "To achieve their goals, they apparently intend to hatch certain plots -- including plots to cause insecurity and fan the flames of ethnic differences." The same day, Alaedin Borujerdi of the parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy Committee told reporters in Tehran that all the explosives used in Ahvaz originated in British-controlled areas of Iraq, Mehr News Agency reported. He said an occupier is responsible for security in the occupied state; therefore, the British military is responsible for the explosives.
IRISH JOURNALIST KIDNAPPED IN IRAQ. Rory Carroll, an Irish journalist working for Britain's "The Guardian" newspaper, was kidnapped in the Al-Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad on 19 October, international media reported. Carroll was reportedly trying to gauge Iraqi reactions to Hussein's trial when he was abducted. Iraqi fixers who were with Carroll at the time of the incident either escaped or were released, washingtonpost.com reported on 20 October. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) called on Iraqi reporters and foreign correspondents to support efforts to find Carroll (http://www.ifj.org). "Iraqi reporters and foreign correspondents have suffered heavily in this conflict and we need the maximum of professional solidarity to get the message out that journalists should not be targeted," said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. Meanwhile, 26 Iraqis, five U.S. soldiers, and one U.K. soldier were killed in attacks on 19-20 October, nytimes.com reported. In one incident, gunmen lined up six Shi'ite Arab workers in front of their colleagues at a factory in Al-Iskandariyah and shot them dead, AP reported.