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Some in Qaeda Leave Pakistan for Somalia and Yemen
Old 06-12-2009, 07:22   #1
Richard
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Some in Qaeda Leave Pakistan for Somalia and Yemen

Some changes in OEF...rats deserting a sinking ship or just an expansion of activity into more fertile territories?

Richard's $.02

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Some in Qaeda Leave Pakistan for Somalia and Yemen
Eric Schmitt and David Sanger, NYT, 11 Jun 2009

American officials say they are seeing the first evidence that dozens of fighters with Al Qaeda, and a small handful of the terrorist group’s leaders, are moving to Somalia and Yemen from their principal haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas. In communications that are being watched carefully at the Pentagon, the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency, the terrorist groups in all three locations are now communicating more frequently, and apparently trying to coordinate their actions, the officials said.

Some aides to President Obama attribute the moves to pressure from intensified drone attacks against Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, after years of unsuccessful American efforts to dislodge the terrorist group from their haven there.

But there are other possible explanations. Chief among them is the growth of the jihadist campaigns in both Somalia and Yemen, which may now have some of the same appeal for militants that Iraq did after the American military invasion there in 2003.

Somalia is now a failed state that bears some resemblance to Afghanistan before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, while Yemen’s weak government is ineffectually trying to combat the militants, American officials say.

The shift of fighters is still small, perhaps a few dozen, and there is no evidence that the top leaders — Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri — are considering a move from their refuge in the Pakistani tribal areas, according to more than half a dozen senior administration, military and counterterrorism officials interviewed in recent days.

Most officials would not comment on the record about the details of what they are seeing, because of the sensitivity of the intelligence information they are gathering.

Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, said in remarks here on Thursday that the United States must prevent Al Qaeda from creating a new sanctuary in Yemen or Somalia.

The steady trickle of fighters from Pakistan could worsen the chaos in Somalia, where an Islamic militant group, the Shabab, has attracted hundreds of foreign jihadists in its quest to topple the weak moderate Islamist government in Mogadishu. It could also swell the ranks of a growing menace in Yemen, where militants now control large areas of the country outside the capital.

“I am very worried about growing safe havens in both Somalia and Yemen, specifically because we have seen Al Qaeda leadership, some leaders, start to flow to Yemen,” Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in remarks at the Brookings Institution here on May 18.

For the United States, the movement creates opportunities as well as risks. With the Obama administration focusing its fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda on the havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a shift of fighters and some leaders to new locations could complicate American efforts to strike a lasting blow.

But in the tribal areas of Pakistan, Qaeda and Taliban forces have drawn for protection on Pashtun tribes with whom they have deep familial and tribal ties. A move away from those areas could expose Qaeda leaders to betrayal, while communications among militants in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen have created a new opportunity for American intelligence to zero in on insurgents who gave up many electronic communication devices shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks to avoid detection.

A senior Obama administration official attributed some of the movement to “the enormous heat we’ve been putting on the leadership and the mid-ranks” with Predator strikes, launched from both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mr. Obama’s strategy so far has been to intensify many of the strikes begun under the Bush administration.

“There are indications that some Al Qaeda terrorists are starting to see the tribal areas of Pakistan as a tough place to be,” said an American counterterrorism official. “It is likely that a small number have left the region as a result. Among these individuals, some have probably ended up in Somalia and Yemen, among other places. The Al Qaeda terrorists who are leaving the tribal areas of Pakistan are predominantly foot soldiers.”

Measuring the numbers of these movements is almost as difficult as assessing the motivations of those who are on their way out of the tribal areas.

But American officials say there is evidence of a shift. One senior American military official who follows Africa closely said that more than 100 foreign fighters had trained in terrorism camps in Somalia alone in the past few years. Another senior military officer said that Qaeda operatives and confederates in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia had stepped up communications with one another.

“What really has us worried is that they’re communicating with each other much more — Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen,” the senior military officer said. “They’re asking, ‘What do you need? Financing? Fighters?’ ”

Mr. Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan placed the defeat of Al Qaeda as the No. 1 objective, largely to make sure that the group could not plot new attacks against the United States.

Thus, the movement of the fighters, and the disruption that causes, has been interpreted by some of the president’s top advisers as a sign of success.

But the emergence of new havens, from which Al Qaeda and its affiliates could plot new attacks, raises difficult questions for the United States on how to combat the growing threat, and creates the possibility that increased missile strikes are in the offing in Yemen and Somalia.

“Those are issues that I think the international community is going to have to address because Al Qaeda is not going away,” Admiral Mullen told a Senate committee on May 21.

The C.I.A. says its drone attacks in Pakistan have disrupted Al Qaeda’s operations and damaged the group’s senior ranks. American officials say that strikes have killed 11 of the top 20 Qaeda leaders in the past year.

“Al Qaeda has been hit by drones and it has generated a lot of insecurity among them,” said Talat Masood, a retired Pakistani general and military analyst in Islamabad.

“Many among them are uneasy and it is possible that they are leaving for Somalia and other jihadi battle fronts,” he said. “The hard core, however, will like to stay on.”

Without singling out any countries, Adm. Eric T. Olson, the head of the Special Operations Command, spoke in general terms last week about how the increased Pakistani military operations in the Swat Valley and early indications of a new Pakistani offensive in South Waziristan had put militants on the run.

“As the Pakistanis are applying pressure,” Admiral Olson told a House panel, “it will shift some of the sanctuaries to other places.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/wo...er=rss&emc=rss
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:03   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Some changes in OEF...rats deserting a sinking ship or just an expansion of activity into more fertile territories?
Not good..

They are moving to a ship we can't currently get at,, And it's the ones with the money and brains,,

We need to cut the head & hands off,, not chase it across the boarder...

Only thing left to fight is the A$$hole..

Bad Ju-Ju..

My $00.0002
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Old 06-12-2009, 17:34   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Some changes in OEF...rats deserting a sinking ship or just an expansion of activity into more fertile territories?

Richard's $.02
Both, this is common sense long term strategy.
If you can't gain momentum in an AO you shift focus until have the recourses and opportunity to shift back.

If we let them escape we will see another 9/11 in the future.
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Old 06-14-2009, 16:06   #4
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Any new updates on this matter? I have NOT seen much....
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Not A.Q. but....
Old 06-14-2009, 16:17   #5
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Not A.Q. but....

It's not A.Q. but Pakistan is planning on making it a bit hot for the TTP

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/...-mehsud--bi-07

Could be a little fallout coming A.Q.'s way.
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A question
Old 06-14-2009, 16:31   #6
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A question

How effective has the Pakistani military been against the AQ and Taliban forces? Has it been as effective as what is reported? Should those reports be taken at face value or with a grain of salt?
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Old 06-14-2009, 19:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAVEN756 View Post
Any new updates on this matter? I have NOT seen much....
Not necessarily AQ, but an uptick of activity in the area:
http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-06-14-voa9.cfm

Yemen Reports Kidnapping of 9 Foreigners

By VOA News
14 June 2009

Yemeni authorities say rebels have kidnapped nine foreigners, including women and children, in a mountainous northern region.

Government officials on Sunday accused a Shi'ite militant group of taking a group of seven Germans, a British engineer and a South Korean teacher hostage in the Saada region. The Germans are said to include three children, two nurses and an engineer and his wife.

Yemeni officials say the hostages work for an international aid group at a hospital in Saada, where they say foreigners have been working for 35 years.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping, but Yemen officials claimed that Houthi militants were responsible.

But the rebel group denied any involvement and accused Yemen authorities of trying to tarnish its image.

Rebels loyal to a Zaidi Shi'ite cleric, Hussein al-Houthi, have been fighting government loyalists in Saada province since 2004.

Seoul confirmed only that a South Korean woman is missing and presumed kidnapped in Yemen.

There was no confirmation of the kidnapping from the German or British governments.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier confirmed that seven Germans are missing in Yemen. Steinmeier said a government crisis group has been formed and is in touch with Yemeni authorities.

The reported kidnapping comes just days after tribesmen released 24 medical workers, including foreigners, who were abducted Thursday.

Tribesmen in Yemen often take foreigners hostage to pressure the government on a range of demands. The foreigners are generally released unharmed.
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:24   #8
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This is a little surprise,, I though Yemen was pretty much open to all.

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Yemen Seizes Suspected al-Qaida Fat Cat
June 15, 2009
Associated Press

SAN'A, Yemen - Yemeni security forces have arrested a Saudi man suspected of financing Al-Qaida cells in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, an Interior Ministry official said Sunday.

The official said that authorities captured "the biggest and the most influential" money provider for al-Qaida in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Hassan Hussein Bin Alwan, a Saudi, was financing attacks in the two neighboring countries, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

The Yemeni embassy in Washington added in a statement that bin Alwan was captured on Friday in the eastern province of Marib.

"Bin Alwan's arrest will be instrumental in understanding the system of global terrorism financing," the statement said.

The announcement indicated that al-Qaida and other Islamic extremists are still actively attempting to destabilize the Saudi monarchy that holds a quarter of the world's proven oil reserves, as well as neighboring Yemen, the region's poorest nation.

Bin Alwan has been charged with forming a terrorist group in Yemen and financing its activities.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, had long been a haven for Islamic militants and was the scene of the October 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors.

Yemen is also the Arab world's poorest nation - and one of its most unstable - making it fertile territory for al-Qaida to set up camp.

© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.military.com/news/article...tml?ESRC=eb.nl
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Three hostages found.
Old 06-15-2009, 07:14   #9
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Three hostages found.

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Originally Posted by incarcerated View Post
...Yemeni authorities say rebels have kidnapped nine foreigners, including women and children, in a mountainous northern region......
Three of the female hostages have been found - dead, of course.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,526340,00.html
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Germany's SF?
Old 06-15-2009, 12:33   #10
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Question Germany's SF?

Why isn't Germany sending their own SF's to attempt a rescue?..............

GB TFS
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Old 06-15-2009, 17:37   #11
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Why isn't Germany sending their own SF's to attempt a rescue?..............

GB TFS
WTF were these people thinking picnicing with their children the countryside in a place filled with Muslim whackos?? Sounds like darwin award material to me. Too bad the kids didn't get to take part in the decision making process.
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Old 06-15-2009, 18:31   #12
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WTF were these people thinking picnicing with their children the countryside in a place filled with Muslim whackos?? Sounds like darwin award material to me. Too bad the kids didn't get to take part in the decision making process.
Didn't you get the memo from the White House?

Muslims are not really like that.

It was probably a Christian, conservative, gun-owning, veteran American who did it.

OJ and Robert Blake will help them look for the real killers.

TR
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Old 06-15-2009, 22:19   #13
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Originally Posted by The Reaper View Post
Didn't you get the memo from the White House?

Muslims are not really like that.

It was probably a Christian, conservative, gun-owning, veteran American who did it.

OJ and Robert Blake will help them look for the real killers.

TR
Oh, that's what that was? I used that piece of paper to line my dog's crate.

He has a stomach bug.

Oops! Too late for me to read it now.
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Old 06-15-2009, 23:25   #14
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This tidbit from a piece about nominal Russian summits at www.stratfor.com :

"....Presently, STRATFOR does not have all the information to paint a clear picture, but we have received reports of militant movements into Uzbekistan and Tajikistan from Afghanistan, as well as multiple border closures among Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. The southern Central Asian states — as well as Russia — do not want the war in Afghanistan spilling into the former Soviet territory...."
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:15   #15
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This has been an on-going issue with Yemen for years - here's what the DOS recommends.

This information is current as of today, Tue Jun 16 06:12:22 2009.

YEMEN

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities. The Department recommends that American citizens defer non-essential travel to Yemen.

(cont'd)

http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/c...tw/tw_936.html

Richard's $.02
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