Monday, February 27, 2006


Port Security Puts CNN's Dobbs on AttackFeb 26 12:33 PM US/Eastern
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By DAVID BAUDERAP Television Writer

Since first reading in a British newspaper about a company from the United Arab Emirates taking over operations at six U.S. ports, CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has been on the story relentlessly _ and making no secret how he feels about it.

"I see it, frankly, as an outrage against the national interest of the United States and I won't sugarcoat that at all," Dobbs said on his Tuesday newscast.

No one expected him to. One of television's best-known business journalists and the last CNN anchor who dates back to the network's formation in 1980, Dobbs has become a crusader on issues like free trade, immigration, national security and corporate greed.

Critics contend he ignores any kind of dividing line between news and opinion; Dobbs says he's doing what his audience demands.
Two-thirds of his show last Wednesday, for example, concerned the port security issue. It featured reports on the political fallout from CNN correspondents Dana Bash and Ed Henry, a live interview with New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, a story on Bush administration business contacts with the UAE and a backgrounder on foreign ownership of U.S. port interests.

Even viewers who muted the sound would have no trouble getting the point. Reports had on-screen titles like "Homeland Insecurity," "U.S. Security Sell-off" and "The Friends and Family Plan."
Dobbs tried to personally refute the Bush administration's argument that the Arab company should be treated no differently than a British one, saying the president had "put forth a challenge that I simply can't ignore."

In one segment, he read a sample of opinions e-mailed by viewers _ all 12 of which agreed with him. "Why not just sell the seaports to al- Qaeda?" one woman wrote.

The mix is familiar to Dobbs' fans (his show is seen by 636,000 viewers on a typical night). Dobbs has repeatedly criticized the Bush administration for not doing more to halt illegal immigration, spotlighted "idiotic free trade policies" and railed against the Justice Department for needlessly forcing people out of work with its case against the Arthur Andersen accounting firm.

A lifelong Republican, Dobbs has been at constant odds with the Bush administration, particularly for what he calls "contradictory and halfhearted efforts" on national security.

His office and staff are tucked away in a corner of CNN's new headquarters in New York City, marked by a huge portrait of the host. Dobbs said his world view changed in 2001 because of Enron and other corporate corruption scandals and, finally, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Perhaps the first sign he was changing his way of doing things was a refusal to use the term war on terror, saying it should properly be called a war on radical Islamists who are committing terror.

"I believe the issues are too important to feign any kind of neutrality, or pretend to some objectivity that simply doesn't exist," he said. "I'm not one of those journalists who's interested in doing he said-she said journalism. You know as a journalist, the truth is not about fair and balanced."

He said his opinions are based not on ideology, but an intense study of the issues. "There's a nonpartisan reality and I see it as my job to report that, and my audience expects me to," he said.

More people in television news should do it his way, he said.
"I believe that the issues are too important to do business in a pre- Sept. 11 manner," he said. "This is a nation under threat _ economically, geopolitically and ideologically."

Dan Gainor, a former managing editor of Congressional Quarterly who now monitors coverage of economic issues for the conservative watchdog Media Research Center, said he's surprised that CNN allows Dobbs to inject his opinions into the news reports.

Not only does Dobbs make clear where he stands, Gainor said his researchers have documented how the newscast gives short shrift to contradictory views.

"He and I have different views about what journalists are supposed to do," he said. "To me, you're either an advocate or a journalist. You shouldn't pretend to be both."

Gainor says he feels that way even on issues where he agrees with Dobbs. "I'd be more than willing to admit we have an immigration problem," he said. "But it's a problem we have every night on (Dobbs') show."

Dobbs said CNN's management has backed, even encouraged, him. Jonathan Klein, head of CNN's domestic operations, said it's part of a rounded CNN programming lineup.

"When he gives vent to his point of view, it is very clear that it is his opinion," Klein said. "He makes no bones about it ... A less experienced broadcaster could go way overboard and not give the other side a chance to respond, where I think Lou bends over backwards to make sure that all sides are represented on his program, even if he has an opinion about the issue at hand. That's the journalist in him."

So does that mean Klein would give his OK if, for example, Wolf Blitzer were to walk into his office and say he's angry about the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war and wanted to make his opinion known every day on "The Situation Room"?
"I'd be worried that in Wolf it would be inauthentic and it wouldn't work and he wouldn't do it right," he said. "You can't fake this. You either have it as a burn inside of you or you don't."

Dobbs has no apparent doubts that what he's doing is right.
"As I began talking about corporate corruption and the failure of government to conduct itself properly and in the interests of the American people, one thing has led to another," he said, "and I think it's fair to say I've been validated in every position that I've taken."
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Saturday, February 25, 2006


When nuke comes to port
Security begins offshore, says man with plan

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G2 Headlines

© 2005 G2 Bulletin
Publishing date: 24.02.2006 23:11

With all the controversy over the United Arab Emirates company approved to run port operations, one man with a lot of experience and expertise in the area says it really doesn’t matter who gets the contract – though he is sure it should be an American company. Robert Pfriender, president of Allied International Development, says everyone is really missing the point on port security. "The real concern,” he says, “is that if a weapon of mass destruction arrives at one of mainland ports, it will be much too late for any possible security measure to have any effect.”

A 12-kiloton nuclear device (small by today's standards, and similar in size to that used on Japan) detonated at the Brooklyn Redhook Terminal would likely kill 2 million people or more as the radioactive fallout rains downwind on the completely unprotected citizens of Long Island, his company estimates. ”Such an event which is unfortunately entirely plausible at the current time would change the nature of our free society in profoundly negative ways and would likely ruin the national economy aside from the great human tragedy of immeasurable proportions,” he adds. And that’s why Allied International Development put together a comprehensive plan for Customs and Border Protection to develop three offshore cargo container security inspection ports to inspect each and every container prior to it being cleared for entry to the U.S. mainland.

The ports would be located 25 miles offshore to mitigate the effects of a detonation and so any fallout (which is minimal over water) would not pass over land.

“We offered to develop these ports with private financing and at no cost to the government,” he said. “The operation of the ports would generate revenue from a small inspection fee for each container. The fully automated robotic process would add only a slight delay to the container delivery time.” Not only did Pfriender ensure the proposal was seen by Customs officials as far back as August 2002, less than a year after the Sept. 11 attacks, he also took the time to see that virtually every member of Congress received this proposal – along with officials in the White House, the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security.

Interestingly, the only response he received from Customs was a letter signed by Jason Ahern, the administration's point man on pushing the UAE deal through. ”Obviously, Mr. Ahern and his superiors have either no idea of what security should be or they purposely choose to not implement a security protocol that will prevent the demise of our country,” says Pfriender. “This is now the same department [Homeland Security] that dropped the ball on Katrina relief and has 11,000 mobile homes sitting unused in mud, has left our borders completely unsecured, fail to provide fallout shelters to our citizens despite serious nuclear threats, have reversed their policy on allowing sharp and dangerous items on airliners, have never implemented any screening of checked airline luggage or freight and the list just goes on and on.”

Pfriender says Customs chooses to rely on the "Container Security Initiative," which is a virtual (as opposed to a reliable physical) "inspection" of containers. In reality, less than 4 percent of containers are targeted for this "inspection" which is really only a screening, with less than 1 percent of the 4 percent of containers which are screened being actually inspected. Further, these "inspections" are carried out by foreigners at foreign ports and Customs can only rely upon the honesty of the foreign inspectors. Worse, there are only a few dozen ports enrolled in this program out of thousands of ports worldwide.

None of these ports are located in countries which are the most serious threats to U.S. national security. ”Even the GAO has issued a report that essentially describes the CSI program as being worthless. Many more informed experts have concluded it is a complete farce,” he told G2B. “It offers something worse than poor security, namely a false sense of security which leaves us even more vulnerable to attack.” Yet, it was CSI plan that Ahern insisted was the key to port security.

“Due to the CSI,” he wrote to Pfriender in 2002, “it is difficult for me to speculate on what role your proposal could play in our partnership with foreign customs agencies to protect all countries from the threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. At this time, I am encouraged by the prospects that CSI holds for fulfilling the mission of Customs in combating these threats. Customs is, however, committed to considering every possible option in accomplishing its mission and your proposal could receive additional consideration in the future.”

To date, the only support his proposal has received comes from Gov. Jeb Bush and Rep. Steve Israel, D-NY. “Most of the other officials have not even bothered to reply despite their professed interest in port security,” says Pfriender. Pfriender’s proposal for offshore cargo container inspection ports offers a sobering view of the reality the U.S. faces from the threat of weapons of mass destruction entering the country in an uninspected shipping container.

“Despite the enormous risks faced by America in accepting uninspected cargo containers in its ports, currently there are no practical means available to protect America from attack with weapons of mass destruction that may be easily concealed in the nearly 9 million cargo shipping containers that are not inspected before entering the United States each year,” it says. The U.S. has 361 ports located on 95,000 miles of coastline. Containers arrive daily on more than 7,500 ships during their more than 50,000 port calls.

“This is the most dangerous security threat faced by the United States from terrorists, or rogue nations, who could easily deliver one or even worse, many nuclear, biological or chemical weapons into the country utilizing what can best be characterized as ‘Intercontinental Stealth Container Missiles.’” The central problem, explains the proposal, is that no matter who runs the ports, if a nuclear weapon arrives, it is already too late to avoid the consequences of millions dying and the nation facing economic ruin and instability.

In one 2002 simulation of a terrorist attack involving cargo containers, every seaport in the U.S. was shut down, resulting in a simulated loss of $58 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy. “Comparing that figure to what we now understand the costs of the attack on 9-11-01 to actually be, in excess of $120 billion, one can easily surmise that a nuclear attack involving cargo containers would vastly exceed that original estimate,” says the report. “Other experts have calculated that the resulting economic losses would be more likely in excess of $1 trillion. A single incident would result in the crippling of the international trade and shipping industries and could cause serious worldwide shortages of materials, supplies, resources, food, medicines and many other essential items shipped by container.

One could only imagine the dire consequences if several weapons were delivered simultaneously. American society, as we know it, could easily be at tremendous, irreparable risk.” Most international trade take place through shipping containers – about 90 percent of all the world’s cargo Almost half of incoming trade into the U.S. is by cargo container. The odds heavily favor the terrorists using this means of transportation. Only 2 percent – about 180,000 containers per year – are inspected. And all of those inspections occur after the container is already in a U.S. port – many of them near major population centers.

“That leaves some 8, 820,000 opportunities each year for terrorists or rogue states that want to destroy American to successfully ship us a weapons of mass destruction, which is undetected in a container,” says the report Under Allied International Development’s plan, the containers would be inspected robotically and there would be the ability to quarantine chemical and biological materials detected. The new security ports would offer a deepwater, 25-mile offshore location to provide an effective distance barrier to any nuclear, biological or chemical weapons incident that occurred during inspection.

The creation of these offshore ports would also mean a boon in new jobs, approximately 2 million, at existing mainland-based ports, the proposal said – all accomplished with private financing and no government spending. The ports would then be leased to the U.S. government on a long-term basis. Sound too good to be true? Apparently that’s what the U.S. government thinks.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Behind ports controversy
UAE’s leadership, terror links, extremism

Top level

G2 Headlines

© 2005 G2 Bulletin
Publishing date: 22.02.2006 15:30

Most Americans are instinctively opposed to turning over control of six major U.S. ports to a foreign, Arab-owned company. But are there strategic reasons to deny a company partly owned by the United Arab Emirates a contract to supervise sensitive port operations near some of the U.S.’ largest population centers?

Sheikh Mohammed It is not a secret that the UAE had ties to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida and the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers specifically. As far back as 1999, U.S. intelligence spotted bin Laden at a desert training camp in Afghanistan for about a week. There was an opportunity to destroy the entire camp with cruise missiles. But the operation was called off because an official aircraft from the UAE was spotted, along with members of the royal family.

It turned out bin Laden was hunting with the princes of the UAE. Concerned that the princes might be collateral damage in a strike, the mission was called off. Two years later, 3,000 Americans were killed as a result. In addition, at least two of the 19 hijackers were from the UAE. The UAE was one of only three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

UAE banks have also been found to be a source of terrorism financing – before 9-11 and after. The UAE has proved less than cooperative with American investigators tracking that funding. But the UAE is attempting to moderate its image. Last month, a new ruler of the kingdom assumed power following the death of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Maktoum. On Jan. 4, Sheikh Mohammed became the ruler of Dubai. Just in case “ruler” isn’t definitive enough, the next day the Supreme Council elected him vice president, too.

What do we know about the new face of the UAE? Well, he writes bad poetry – or at least poetry that doesn’t translate well to English. Here is one of his offerings – about the murder of Muhammad al-Dura, the 12-year-old boy killed in a shootout between Israeli police and Palestinian terrorists. His death became a cause celebre for Muslims worldwide, despite the findings of several investigations that strongly suggest he was killed by the Palestinians.

Pressed back, without supporter A child defenceless, confronting aggression Hiding, the bullets of tyrants Have no mercy for a child, so young Seeking shelter, slaughter him the criminals Savages, whose tyranny never waned Oh Mohammed, in Paradise of the eternal Oh Mohammed, your voice reverberates throughout Oh Mohammed, with you, the God of the Worlds Whose mercy enfolds you forever Oh Mohammed, who saw you grieved And all, if we could, would sacrifice A thousand million, the Muslims All for you, Mohammed, fathers Alas, where is the peace of the just?

The peace you seek is futile Lost it, without doubt, the usurpers When allowed their hatred to renew And boiled the blood of Arabs, East and West When Sharon visited the mosque Oh Arabs, comrades for years Bury that which passed, as became Our greatest concern, to defend against aggressors Who against Al Aqsa their aggression began My nation, would that you unite In lines, terrified then the enemies Follow Zayed, the leader of the wise Who called for unity and initiated Oh Saladin, oh the greatest conquerors Oh Omar, oh the dignified and the generous The state of the nation allures the greedy We seek naught but unity to satisfy This is the face of “moderation” in the Mideast.

Not only was Muhammad al-Dura's death not the responsibility of the Israelis, several investigations showed conclusively it was staged -- then used to mount hysteria through the Arab and Muslim worlds. Then there is the question of how much difference it will really make if the UAE company is controlling port operations. Last weekend, the peputy director of the Port of Miami, Khalid Salahuddin, defended the deal.

"They (the Arabs) are not buying the Port of Miami," he said. "They are buying part of one of the operators at the port." This came just one day prior to the closure of an Ohio-based Hamas charity, KindHearts, whose South Asia Division coordinator, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, has been linked to Salahuddin. In September of 2002, along with an entire cadre of Islamic radicals, Salahuddin was featured with Shah at a Davie, Florida, event inappropriately titled, "A United and Secure Florida for All." A lecture by Salahuddin, "Belief in the Unseen," is featured on the MeccaCentric Da'wah Group, an organization that sells videotaped speeches made by numerous Islamic radicals.

This includes Siraj Wahhaj, a man whose name appears on a U.S. Attorney's list of potential co-conspirators to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. In November of 2001, Salahuddin, who is an ex-member of the Nation of Islam, was caught up in a scandal, whereby convicted felons - with cases ranging from attempted murder to pedophilia - were hired to work at the Port of Miami. About this, Salahuddin stated, "From our standpoint, what benefit would it do to kick him out on the street? We see none." The Australian government's Departent of Foreign Affairs and Trade currently offers the following "Travel Advisory":

"We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the United Arab Emirates because of the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks against Western interests in the United Arab Emirates." Joe Kaufman, chairman of Americans Against Hate, said in response: "Of course, Mr. Salahuddin wouldn't mind the purchase of American ports by the United Arab Emirates, a country that presents a potential terrorist threat to the United States and her allies abroad.

Salahuddin's involvement with Islamist radicals is well documented. We call on the United States government to investigate Khalid Salahuddin and consider him a liability in the sensitive position he holds in this strategic area of Homeland Security."

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Nuke Scenario

Nuke NightmareRecent news from Iran renews old fears and shows that the threat of nuclear attack just won’t go away

February 22, 2006Marvin OlaskyWorld MagazineOn Sept. 12, 2001, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote that New Yorkers still alive should be thankful to be so, thankful that "for some reason, and we don't even know what it was, the terrorists didn't use a small nuclear weapon floated into New York on a barge in the East River."Illustration:

Goodshoot/Superstock and Corel Library photosShe suspected that "the next time the bad guys hit" it will be nuclear, but "for now we have been spared. And now, chastened and shaken, we are given another chance, maybe the last chance, to commit ourselves seriously and at some cost to protecting our country."These past four and one-half years are not the first time we should be thankful to have been spared one or many nuclear bombs incinerating thousands or perhaps millions of our fellow Americans.

Sixty years ago, in Fulton, Mo., on March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill spoke of how "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the [European] Continent."His speech signaled the beginning of an American and British understanding that the Cold War had begun. When the Soviet Union speedily developed nuclear missiles, that war threatened to become fiery—and the threat remained for the next four decades, until Ronald Reagan hung tough and the Soviet empire disintegrated.

Now a new threat looms. At their facility near Natanz, Iranian scientists earlier this month successfully restarted four centrifuges necessary to produce weapons-grade uranium. Iranian officials blocked international inspectors' access to the site and disabled security cameras set up by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 13 years ago when Iran admitted to violating the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.This new buzz comes at the end of two years of French, German, and British negotiations with Iran and protracted investigative work by the IAEA.

That agency on Feb. 4 reported Iran to the UN Security Council as out of compliance—once again—with nuclear nonproliferation norms. With 27 IAEA countries approving the resolution and only three (Cuba, Syria, and Venezuela) voting against it, the report is likely to precipitate further sanctions against Tehran.Iran's leaders could light their crumbling cities with nuclear power, but few now doubt that they are intent on building a nuclear arsenal.

Full-scale production of nuclear weapons is years away, but Iran right now has its own uranium ore and all the infrastructure needed for weapons-grade plutonium production. The radical Islamic regime will be able to export nuclear packages to any of the many terror organizations with which it maintains ties.And that may be the largest threat now—not missiles in the sky but a bomb smuggled into the United States on a container ship or carried with drugs across the border. Just about the only similar answer that George Bush and John Kerry gave in their first debate two years ago came when they were asked to define the "single most serious threat to American national security.

" Both answered, "Nuclear terrorism." In 2005 President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Homeland Security secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff all said or implied the same.As with earthquakes, some experts have assigned percentages of likelihood. Harvard professor Graham Allison, the author of Nuclear Terrorism, says a nuclear attack on U.S. soil within the next 10 years is probable. Former Secretary of Defense William Perry put the odds for an attack by 2010 at 50-50. Other analysts, according to a survey by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), put the likelihood over the next 10 years at 30 percent.

All those estimates came before the recent news from Iran and were largely based on the expectation that the nuclear materials would come from somewhere else. For example, Director of Intelligence Porter Goss told the Senate Intelligence Committee that enough nuclear material to make a bomb was missing from Russia, and he had no idea where it was. He and others are not professional fear-mongers, but they have been concerned for three reasons:

material, means, and motive.Material: Nine countries—the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea—have nuclear weapons, with Iran knocking on the door. Forty countries have among them about 130 nuclear research reactors, about one-fifth of which have enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for one or more nuclear bombs. Leaders of North Korea and Iran sympathize with terrorist groups.

Pakistani politics are brittle.The number of nuclear weapons overall is probably around 30,000, with enough HEU and plutonium stockpiled for 240,000 more. Some of Russia's 10,000 nuclear warheads, along with its fissile material for 30,000 more, could be stolen or sold for rubles, and it's now easy to get material across its porous borders. Over the past 15 years the Russians have reported hundreds of thefts of nuclear material, generally unrefined and therefore not immediately weapon-usable.

Pundits often have speculated about what happened to suitcase-sized nuclear bombs made during the closing years of the Cold War. The late Russian General Alexander Lebed claimed on 60 Minutes and elsewhere that many were missing, but author Richard Miniter (see "Threat assessment," Dec. 17, 2005) dismisses his statements as tall tales from a heavy drinker with the reputation for saying what would garner him headlines.

All of the portable atomic weapons were supposed to have been dismantled in accordance with a 1991 treaty and under the supervision of American officials from the Department of Energy, but some say they were not.Various individuals, some nefarious, have bought on Pakistan's black market "nuclear starter kits" with warhead blueprints and enough uranium to make a small bomb. Once a group has 30 pounds of HEU plus design information and equipment readily available, a competent engineer can make a nuclear device within a few months.

Articles describing the physics of nuclear weapons and providing schematics are on the internet. Theodore Taylor, a nuclear physicist who designed both large and small bombs, noted that with fissile material building a bomb is "very easy. Double underline. Very easy."Means: Every day 30,000 trucks, 6,500 rail cars, and 140 ships deliver more than 50,000 cargo containers into the United States, but only 5 percent of the containers are ever screened—and even that screening might not detect nuclear weapons or material.

With an estimated 20,000 pounds of cocaine and marijuana smuggled into the United States each day, it wouldn't be hard to smuggle in a softball-sized 30 pounds of HEU. Even 100 pounds of it plus all the other parts of a bomb would fit easily into the back of an SUV or some other similarly nondescript delivery vehicle.ABC News in 2003 placed a lead-lined pipe containing depleted uranium inside a Samsonite suitcase that was inside a teak trunk, and then shipped the trunk through an ordinary freight forwarding company from Indonesia to Los Angeles.

The trunk made it to Los Angeles without any trouble. Customs officials are upgrading port security, but progress has been slow. The easiest way to bring a nuclear weapon into the United States is probably in a cargo container by sea. The U.S.-Mexico border could also be the pathway for bringing in a bomb, but Mr. Miniter argues that terrorists who did not bring in a bomb by ship would be best served by coming from Canada.

Motive: One of Osama bin Laden's press mouthpieces, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, has announced that al-Qaeda aspires "to kill 4 million Americans, including 1 million children," in response to casualties purportedly inflicted on Muslims by the United States and Israel. It could be, though, that Israel would be the first target of a Muslim terrorist nuclear bomb, although al-Qaeda might have concern about winds wafting a radiation plume into predominantly Muslim territory.

Russia, given its long battle with Chechnya, might also be the primary target.The 9/11 Commission Report detailed the problems in response time of large governmental bureaucracies and concluded, "Once the danger has fully materialized, evident to all, mobilizing action is easier—but it then may be too late." If those with material, means, and motive brought a bomb into the United States, what would be the result—and is there any way to stop an explosion from happening?

We can start by realizing that a 10-kiloton bomb exploded at the Smithsonian (the Hiroshima bomb was a 12-kiloton) would destroy everything from the White House to the Capitol building, with uncontrollable fires raging all the way to the Pentagon. In other cities as well every body and building up to one-third of a mile from the epicenter would vanish, and everything up to one and one-half miles away would be destroyed by fires and radiation.

A report in 2003 by the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration estimated that a Washington, D.C., nuclear explosion could kill 300,000 persons. A report in 2004 by the Homeland Security Council (HSC) used different assumptions and came up with a number of "only" 100,000. The HSC report noted that it would take years to clean up 3,000 to 5,000 square miles around a nuclear explosion, with many irradiated neighborhoods simply abandoned:

A nuclear attack "would forever change the American psyche, its politics and worldview."It would be difficult to detect a lead-shielded nuclear device, since radiation detectors now in use in some major cities would probably let a lead-shielded nuclear device get by. Nuclear Energy Support Teams (NESTs), sometimes called volunteer fire departments for the atomic age, can be rapidly deployed to assess risks, find nuclear weapons, and disarm them, but only in movies are they likely to be successful.

The goal has to be to learn about terrorist plans through intelligence work, including wiretaps and other surveillance methods, and stop bomb plots before they are close to fruition.Terrorists kept from getting their hands on or exploding a nuclear weapon have a fallback position: a "dirty bomb," one made of ordinary explosives wrapped together with a morsel of radioactive material. An explosion in a crowded area could kill several thousand and make at least several square miles of prime real estate unusable.

A cobalt radiation bomb exploded in Manhattan could require the evacuation of the entire island, with people unable to come back safely for months.The economic consequences of even a dirty bomb would be large, and the psychological consequences enormous. The anthrax scare late in 2001, like the Katrina disaster in 2005, led to panic and outrage about problems small in relation to those that would result from any kind of nuclear explosion.

Terrorists undoubtedly relish the thoughts of wreaking such havoc, so it's remarkable that we haven't already had some kind of nuclear disaster. Interviewers for two years have asked Harvard's Allison why we have not had one, and his regular answers have been: "It's a great puzzle. . . . I think that we should be very thankful that it hasn't happened already. . . . We're living on borrowed time."The Bush administration may have won us some time.

It toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, both made up of people willing and ready to give terrorists sanctuary and the opportunity to plan disaster in peace. The Bush administration, by showing it was not tame, also made it less likely that evil dictators would give nuclear weapons to terrorists, because those leaders could expect nuclear retaliation if a nuclear attack on the United States was traced back to them.

As long as the United States has firm leadership, such an expectation could keep Iranian leaders from giving bombs to terrorists—although fanaticism often knows no bounds. But what Winston Churchill said about Soviet leaders 60 years ago may now be relevant in the Middle East: "I am convinced that there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than for weakness, especially military weakness."Churchill wisely contended that "we cannot afford, if we can help it, to work on narrow margins, offering temptations to a trial of strength.

If the Western Democracies stand together . . . no one is likely to molest them. If however they become divided or falter in their duty, and if these all-important years are allowed to slip away, then indeed catastrophe may overwhelm us all."Ironically, 60 years later, Russia may now be acting as nuclear peacemaker: It has offered to enrich Iran's uranium to utility grade in exchange for Iran's pledge to foreswear weapons-grade enrichment.

But Iran on Feb. 16 underscored its military ambitions by canceling a meeting with Russian negotiators and nuclear scientists.U.S. military planners may be thinking in Churchillian terms. For years they have war-gamed many possible actions, and last week international media publicized one of the numerous Pentagon contingency plans: This one had B-2 bombers attacking six Iranian nuclear facilities, probably with Israeli cooperation. (Israel in 1981 destroyed an Iraqi reactor.) Iran's defense ministry seized the propaganda opportunity to declare itself on "war footing" and said it now moves its mobile missile launchers every 24 hours to avoid detection.

How seriously to take all this? It seems that we always have wars and rumors of wars, but Iran is a threat now as Germany was in the 1930s. Meanwhile, the lack of an Islamic terrorist attack on U.S. soil for over four years is difficult to explain via natural causes. Even if nuclear materials were surprisingly unavailable, terrorists could have killed many Americans and induced panic through biological attacks involving anthrax, botulism, smallpox, or plague—but they have not.With so much going wrong, the lack of terrorist attacks is an indication that something is right in the world.

Some might credit the Bush administration's decision to go on offense rather than sit back on defense. Some will thank God. Others will do both, and pray.Iran's nuclear megaplex

Thursday, February 16, 2006


The MANPAD threat
After nukes, greatest concern is shoulder-fired missiles

Top level

G2 Headlines

© 2005 G2 Bulletin
Publishing date: 16.02.2006 00:20

U.S. government sources estimate there are as many as 750,000 man-portable air-defense systems in arsenals worldwide. They are often called MANPADS, and they are quickly becoming the next nightmare – second only to nuclear weapons – for those involved in counter-terrorism planning.

The State Department estimates that more than 40 civilian aircraft have already been hit by such weapons since the 1970s. Many officials and intelligence community experts say MANPADS post the most significant threat from terrorists beside nuclear weapons. “The spread of weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons like shoulder-fired missiles, quite frankly, may be the gravest threat to our country today, especially if those weapons end up in the hands of terrorists,” said Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., at a recent hearing on the proliferation of such weapons.

At a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Joseph, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, boasted about U.S. efforts recently to destroy or disable 17,000 at-risk MANPADS. He also said State has commitments by other countries to destroy more than 7,000 more. That still leaves nearly three-quarters of a billion in unaccountable arsenals around the world – any one of which can take down a commercial airliner full of civilians. “MANPADS represent a tremendous threat,” said Joseph. “We've got to deal with it. There's no question about it.

But the consequences of, you know, a coordinated attack using MANPADS would be -- would be very significant, some could say would be catastrophic. But I think the use of even a single nuclear weapon against an American city would be greater. And I think we've got to place our priorities in that framework.” He added: “Other than stopping weapons of mass destruction, I personally do not think that there is, in the area that I work, a higher priority in keeping MANPADS out of the hands of the wrong people.” Because it’s considerably easier to sneak a MANPAD into the U.S. than a nuclear weapons, the aviation industry and Homeland Security are taking notice.

Later this year, two airports in Houston are slated to become the first in the nation with a new perimeter security system that combines the inclusiveness of ground-based radar with the analytic capabilities of intelligent video. And one of the things they will be looking for is shoulder-fired missiles. Houston's largest airport, IAH, has a big problem -- about 30 miles of perimeter fence. That translates into about 11,000 acres of land just beyond the fence that needs to be watched. But the new system will allow nearly full coverage for threats like MANPADS.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, meanwhile, has also commented on the growing threat to commercial airliners. He believes the costs of developing and deploying anti-missile technologies for commercial airliners should be shared among the federal government, local and state governments and industry. The Homeland Security Department will spend $110 million developing anti-missile technologies this year, after already spending a combined $121 million studying them the last two.

The department has still not decided how widely to employ the technology. It is estimated it would cost $11 billion to install the systems on all commercial airliners in the U.S. and then $2.1 billion annually to maintain them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Coming New War in ISRAEL


'3rd intifada on its way'Terror leaders detail for WND 'massive new war' against Israel

Posted: February 14, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein© 2006

With Hamas now in power, the long-ruling Fatah party and its "military wing" Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades forced into the opposition, and Israel announcing it will soon withdraw from the West Bank, Palestinian terror leaders tell WorldNetDaily recent events here are leading them to launch what they call a third intifada – or violent confrontation – against Israel consisting of suicide bombings, rocket attacks against Jewish communities and "a few new surprises in our arsenal."

Some terror leaders, particularly from the Al Aqsa Brigades, whose associated Fatah party scored poorly in last month's parliamentary elections, say they are planning massive violence against Israeli civilians mostly to revolt against the new Hamas-controlled Palestinian government.

"The new intifada is only a question of time and this will be the hardest and the most dangerous one. It's just about timing until the order to blow up a new wave of attacks will be given," Abu Nasser, a senior Al Aqsa Brigades leader from the Balata refugee camp in northern Samaria told WorldNetDaily in an interview.

Israel expecting new wave of terror
In the last 10 days Israeli forces intercepted 12 potential suicide bombers and have stopped several dozen bombings the past few months, prompting fears of "a new and worrisome wave of terror," said Yuval Diskin, head of Israel's Shin Bet security services.
Hamas last month catapulted to power, winning Palestinian parliamentary elections by a large margin and wresting control from Fatah.

Israel has warned the losing terror groups, particularly Fatah's Al Aqsa Brigades, will try to stymie efforts by Hamas to form a new government and sign a long-term cease fire with the Jewish state. Also, members of the Islamic Jihad terror group expressed disappointment their organization decided not to run in elections, and have warned they will stop Hamas from imposing a truce.

Last week, acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced his Kadima party, leading overwhelmingly in the polls for next month's Israeli elections, will seek to "change Israel's borders" by withdrawing from most of the West Bank. Some security officials told WND they fear terror groups will increase attacks to claim credit for an Israeli West Bank pull-out.

After Israel announced its withdrawal from Gaza, which it carried out this past summer, terror organizations, mostly led by Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees umbrella group, increased attacks in the area, at one point firing an average of seven rockets per week at Gaza's Jewish communities.

Diskin warned that Iran and Syria, currently under mounting international pressure, are streaming large sums of money to Palestinian terror groups to spur on local cells to carry out attacks in hopes of starting regional violence.

The Palestinians launched their first intifada in 1987, which developed into a well-organized violent rebellion orchestrated by Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization from its headquarters in Tunis. The so-called second intifada was initiated in 2000 after Arafat rejected at Camp David an Israeli offer of a Palestinian state on most of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and sections of eastern Jerusalem. Some 993 Israelis and 3,781 Palestinians have been killed so far. Many say the second intifada is still being waged.

The terror groups themselves say they are planning a new wave of violence against Israelis, which some terror leaders are calling a "third intifada." They detailed for WorldNetDaily how they will carry it out.
Al Aqsa Brigades: 'We'll kill Israelis to revolt against Hamas'
The Al Aqsa Brigades was formed in 2000 by then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat as a military offshoot of the Fatah party. PA President Mahmoud Abbas signed a cease fire with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last February, to which the Brigades was party – but the terror group continued carrying out attacks.

Al Aqsa's Abu Nasser claims Israel put Hamas in power, and says his group is preparing a new terror onslaught as a result.
"For the last 10 months we respected a cease fire expecting to see changes in the lives of the Palestinian people, but we received from the Israeli side more assassinations ... and above all we received the Hamas victory, which seems to be the result of an Israeli and international conspiracy. They believe that Hamas will give up easier our lands and rights. I think that they are right, but we will not allow this to happen. We will fight and we will blow up the new intifada," Abu Nasser told WND.

Sources close to Al Aqsa say Abu Nasser was involved in preparing the last three suicide bombings in Israel, including the attack last month at a Tel Aviv shwarma restaurant that injured more than 30 Israelis.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal over the weekend said his group might sign a long-term cease fire with Israel, but told reporters he will not ask other Palestinian group to stop attacks.

Abu Nasser told WND the Brigades will not respect any cease fire agreed to by Hamas and will not halt attacks at Hamas' request.
"I am sure Hamas will start arresting us, but it will not be that easy [for them]," said Abu Nasser. "We are preparing ourselves for the worst scenario."

Asked if Al Aqsa's new terror war will be launched less out of aggression toward Israel and more to revolt against Hamas, Abu Nasser replied, "This is partially true. When we were in power, we were obliged to be more sensitive and more obedient to the instructions and policies of our leadership. Now that we lost the elections, why should we obey the leaders and just who do we obey? The Hamas?
Continued Abu Nasser: "I am sure once [Hamas is] in power it is only that power that is really important for them.

They will be ready to give up things that President Arafat refused to do. The proof for what I am saying is that in the last days when the Israeli army killed more than 15 Palestinian activists, most of them from our Brigades, we did not hear the voice of Hamas. Where are their resistance principles? Did they disappear after the elections?"
Abu Nasser warned the so-called third intifada will be a combination of suicide bombings and rocket attacks against Jewish towns.

"The Al Aqsa Brigades recently unified most of our cells and groups and we will wait for the most suitable moment to launch our resistance acts. As for the acts, there will be suicide attacks but there will be a massive use of rockets. These rockets will be launched against Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but also if needed against Israeli cities inside the green line."

Rocket war against Israel
Since Israel's evacuation of the Gaza Strip this past August, security officials have been warning that the Palestinian terror groups transferred their rocket capabilities to the West Bank, which is within firing range of Israel's international airport and many major Israeli cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Israel has confirmed that at least two rockets have been fired in the West Bank so far from the northern Samaria town of Jenin. There is information terror groups in the West Bank, particularly the Al Aqsa Brigades and Islamic Jihad, will step up attacks against the area's Jewish communities ahead of any Israeli withdrawal from the area.
WorldNetDaily caught up with Abu Oudai, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leader responsible for coordinating the organization's rocket network in the West Bank. He warned that his organization is preparing a rocket war against Israel:

"We have launched [several] times and with the help of Allah we will launch these rockets regularly. There will be no calm, no cease fire until the occupation leaves our land. I don't need to tell you that the aerial distance from Jenin to Netanya, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities is not big without telling you what are all our plans concerning other parts of the West Bank."

Oudai said his organization and other terror groups have stockpiled Palestinian rockets, including Qassams, which can travel about 2 miles, more primitive Jenin-1 and Jenin-2s, and Arafat-1 and Arafat-2 rockets, some of which can reportedly travel up to 3 miles. He claimed his group is developing a new rocket that will put all of Israel's major cities within firing range.

"The very near future will prove their capacity to kill and destroy and to beat the Israelis in the West Bank exactly like we did with these rockets in the Gaza Strip," Oudai said.
Oudai pocked fun at Israel's West Bank security barrier, which has been credited with making it more difficult for Palestinian groups to carry out suicide bombings.

"[The Israelis] have built a huge wall on which [it] spent billions of dollars but still we are hitting Israel with our rockets and reaching every target we want. This wall will not defend [Israel] from our rockets which have defeated the wall and all the security measures taken to prevent our attacks," Oudai boasted.

Israeli military leaders previously warned that the Jewish state will launch an "unprecedented" military campaign against any rocket firing from the West Bank.
The Israeli Defense Forces did not initiate any large-scale anti-rocket operation in response to the rockets launched from Jenin. It has been largely unable to stop the rockets regularly fired from Gaza into nearby Israeli Negev towns.

The Israeli army regularly responds to Qassam firings from Gaza with surgical missile strikes and artillery fire at areas it says are used to launch rockets. In December, Israel set up a buffer zone in sections of Gaza occasionally used to fire rockets into nearby Israeli Negev communities, but the Palestinian terrorists shifted their launching sites to other areas and have continued the attacks.

Said Oudai: "Israel already has used all its tools. Tanks, aircrafts, assassinations and everything it could use. But we are still here and still fighting. We do not get excited from the Israeli threats. What can be this unprecedented reaction? They have already tried everything."
In Gaza, the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella organization of several Palestinian terror groups, has taken credit for many of the rockets launched from the area since 2000.

Abu Abir, spokesman for the Committees, boasted his group transported missiles to the West Bank.
"If there is need, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and everywhere in Israel can become our target. Israelis must also know that we have already transferred the knowledge and the technology of producing rockets to the West Bank," Abu Abir told WorldNetDaily.

Abu Abir said his group has "improved [our] capacities in shooting these rockets. Even the Israeli officers agreed that the improvement is at all levels, [including] the distance that these rockets can reach, the capacity of explosives and their accuracy. In the last five years, there is no doubt that our abilities have improved."
Islamic Jihad: 'The Israelis should wait for our surprises'
Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for every suicide bombing against Israel since last February's cease fire, including bombings in a Tel Aviv disco and restaurant and a Netanya shopping mall, among others.

Al Aqsa leaders told WorldNetDaily they aided the recent bombings. Islamic Jihad also says it fired most of the rockets launched from the Gaza Strip since Israel's August withdrawal.
Israel says Islamic Jihad is directly backed by Iran and Syria. Jihad chief Ramadan Shallah operates openly from Damascus and regularly visits Tehran.

Security sources say Hezbollah headquarters in Damascus and Beirut have ordered Islamic Jihad to carry out attacks in hopes of drawing Israel into a protracted military conflict.
Israel's Diskin warned that Iran and Syria are looking to use Islamic Jihad in part to distract mounting international pressure against their respective countries.

Iran is under fire for its alleged nuclear ambitions, and the international community led by the United States has threatened to bring Syria to the United Nations Security Council for allegedly interfering in the investigation into the assassination last year of former Lebanese Prime Minister Raqif Hariri, for which Syria has been widely blamed.

WorldNetDaily spoke with Islamic Jihad's northern West Bank leader Abu Khalil, who warned his terror group is planning a terror onslaught to chase Israel from the West Bank and eventually from Jerusalem.

"We will launch very soon very painful attacks that will shake the enemy. In fact, this is more the continuation of the (second) intifada because we never said that the intifada has ended. We will never give calm and security to the enemy. This will happen only when Israel will run away from Jerusalem and the West Bank like it did in Gaza," Abu Khalil said.

Abu Khalil, like leaders from the Al Aqsa Brigades, said his group will not respect a Hamas request to halt attacks against Israel.
"I don’t believe the brothers in Hamas will ask us to stop. In any case, our only commitment is towards Allah, and the blood of our people and brothers and towards our political leadership," Abu Khalil told WND.
"Therefore we will not give up the right to defend ourselves and to launch all kinds of attacks against Israel everywhere there is an Israeli soldier or any Israeli goal in the West Bank and 1948 occupied Palestine [the entire state of Israel]."

Asked which weapons will be emphasized during Islamic Jihad's next wave of terror attacks, Abu Khalil replied, "I should not answer this question for operational reasons. But we proved that we use everything Allah enables us to achieve and to use – suicide attacks, rockets and more surprises. The Israelis should wait for interesting surprises."
Hamas: 'Our goal is to rebuild Palestinian society'

Hamas, a terror group responsible for more than 60 suicide bombings, last month won a majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament and is currently attempting to form a governing coalition.
Hamas leaders claim they will focus on rebuilding Palestinian society, and have stated they may sign a long term cease fire agreement with Israel.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas chief in Gaza, told WorldNetDaily his group will "rebuild the Palestinian life shattered by corruption in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. This is our goal now. To make a better life for the Palestinians."

In a widely circulated interview,
al-Zahar even recently claimed to WorldNetDaily that Hamas might negotiate with Israel using a third party.
He said his group will likely agree to a long-term cease fire with the Jewish state, but said it will not recognize Israel or renounce its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel by "assaulting and killing."

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal this weekend said his group will not stop other Palestinian organizations from carrying out attacks against Israel.
Still, some analysts contend Hamas might use its power to halt some anti-Israel violence in hopes of receiving financial aide from international donors.

But the Al-Mustaqbal Research Center in Gaza warned that after Israel's Gaza withdrawal Hamas attacks will be focused on West Bank Jewish communities. The Center is reportedly closely aligned with Hamas and, according to Israeli security officials, it espouses Hamas ideology:

"[Hamas will be] transporting warfare technologies such as mortars and rockets from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. These will provide an easy way to bombard Israeli populated areas adjacent to the security fence, and the fence, which is currently under construction, will therefore become useless," stated a recent publication by the Research Center, according to a translation by the
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel's Center for Special Studies.
Al-Mustaqbal stated Israel's Gaza withdrawal provided Hamas and other terror groups with a staging ground from which to launch attacks and to transport rockets to West Bank communities.

It said the Gaza withdrawal proves Israel will vacate other areas in response to repeated attacks.
PFLP: Terror forced Israel out of Gaza, will get us rest of Jewish state
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has carried out recent West Bank shooting attacks and rocket firings from the Gaza Strip. The group's leader, Ahmad Saadat, is in a Palestinian jail in Jericho for allegedly planning the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavaam Zeevi in October 2001.

Israeli security officials say the PFLP has scaled back its participation in attacks the past few months, but Abu Hani, a leader of the PLFP's "armed wing," the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, told WorldNetDaily his group used the time earned from last year's cease fire to build its arsenal in preparation for a third intifada.

"The last months were used for a rest in order to rehabilitate forces. The Palestinian people preserves its right to fight against Israel," Abu Hani said.
He told WorldNetDaily the PFLP is "forced" to launch a new terror war.

"It is not that we prepare an intifada. It is the reality on the ground that dictates a new intifada. There is the fence, there is the building in the Jewish settlements, the daily Israeli penetration into Palestinian cities, villages and camps and of course the killing of our comrades and brothers," Abu Hani says.

Israel routinely conducts anti-terror military raids in the West Bank when it receives intelligence warning of new attacks. The Israeli Air Force fires at targets in Gaza in attempts to halt Palestinian groups from launching rockets at nearby Jewish communities.

Abu Hani warned, "The current situation does not leave to the Palestinians many choices but to fight with all the tools we have or can have. The Gaza withdrawal proves unfortunately that force, attacks and rockets is the only language and attitude that the Israelis understand. They do not withdraw unless they are hit by the Palestinian resistance. So if there is a way that has already obliged the Israelis to withdraw, why not to use it again?"

Previous stories:

Hamas chief outlines 'peace initiative'
Read the entire Hamas charter
'Terror U.' sets up shop in former Jewish capital
Takeover of Egypt part of Hamas' plan?
Hamas asks Israel for help
Hamas hints long-term truce, demanding Israel change flag
Introducing Hamastan: The new Mideast dynamic
Hamas, al-Qaida linked in phony passport ring
Hamas divulges 'peace initiative'
Hamas government to be new Taliban?
Hamas wins big majority
Hamas: We're ready to rule Palestinians
Israel-Hamas peace talks?

Aaron Klein is WorldNetDaily's Jerusalem bureau chief, whose past interview subjects have included Yasser Arafat, Ehud Barak, Mahmoud al-Zahar and leaders of the Taliban.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


A heartbeat from apocalypse
One man’s life holding back World War III

Top level

G2 Headlines

© 2005 G2 Bulletin
Publishing date: 11.02.2006 17:17

One man’s life is preventing Osama bin Laden or his allies from getting their hands not on nuclear weapons, which they already have, but a large nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver it anywhere in the world. His name is Pervez Musharraf, the president of Pakistan. If fair-and-square elections were held today in Pakistan, and bin Laden or someone like him were allowed to compete, there is little doubt the populace would be with such a leader.

Agosta 90B stealth sub But they haven’t had fair-and-square elections in Pakistan for some time – and President Bush, who promotes “democracy” as the antidote to terror, better hope they don’t have one soon. Pakistan not only has at least 40 nuclear warheads, according to most accounts, but it has some of the most sophisticated and feared delivery systems in the world. Perhaps the biggest worry is the trio of French-built Agosta 90B stealth submarines, each capable of carrying 16 cruise missiles with nuclear payloads.

The Pakistani military is very proud of its subs – and well they should be. They are at the top of the class for French submarines. They were designed by the French company DCN, which, as incredible as it may sound, has licensed Pakistan to produce more at a commercial base. The project was completed despite a suicide bomb attack with killed 11 of the project's French engineers in front of their Karachi hotel in May 2002. The deal had to be approved by the US government because the plane contains U.S. parts.

While the specs for the Agosta 90B subs say it is equipped to fire Exocet missiles and torpedoes, at a press briefing following the annual naval exercise Seaspark-2001, Rear Admiral Mohammad Afzal Tahir, the deputy chief of naval staff for operations, announced that the Pakistan navy was considering equipping its submarines with nuclear missiles. He suggested the Agosta 90B submarine, with its air independent propulsion system, can deliver nuclear weapons. The idea, according to sources within the Pakistan navy, was to turn the Agosta 90B subs into the nation’s second-strike option.

They would serve as a deterrent against any nuclear attack on Pakistan because the subs would survive any such first strike and be in a position to rain nuclear warheads on an enemy in retaliation. Pakistan’s nuclear inventory includes the land-based missiles such as the Shaheen I, the Shaheen II, the Ghauri I, the Ghauri II. These missiles have ranges between 750 kilometers and 2,500. So far there has been no report of any naval vessel being modified to carry these land-based missiles.

Currently, only Russia and the U.S. are known to have the capability of launching nuclear weapons from submarine tubes. So, for Pakistan to achieve such capability would be a remarkable development. Since Pakistan is known as one of the world’s biggest proliferators of nuclear technology, it is likely that breakthrough would be shared with others – including Pakistan’s close ally, China. Given the fact that the Agosta 90B has a range of nearly 12,000 miles, the range of the missiles themselves becomes less important.

The subs can travel quiet and they can travel long distances. If they can fire nuclear warheads, the effective range of those missiles has been greatly increased. But what does all this have to do with bin Laden and Musharraf? Bin Laden may be the most popular man in Pakistan. Musharraf may be the most unpopular man in Pakistan – perhaps second only to George W. Bush. Musharraf is presiding over a military government in Pakistan, suppressing a popular Islamist movement within his country. He walks a fine line.

He has survived many assassination attempts. He came to power in a coup, and he could be deposed in one. Musharraf is a limited ally of the U.S. in its war against this popular movement within his country. It was his country, in fact, that birthed the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan – the Taliban that harbored and fought with bin Laden’s al-Qaida forces against the U.S. in that country. Many, if not most, Pakistanis believe Allah has chosen them to arm themselves with nuclear weapons to conquer the world for him.

Thus, the man standing between a radical Islam armed with an arsenal of nuclear weapons and sophisticated delivery systems for attacking any part of the world with them is, just that, one man, one life, one heartbeat.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

TOP STORY - 2-11-06

Cuba-Iran-Venezuela axis
Anti-U.S. rumblings, threats from Latin America

Top level

G2 Headlines

© 2005 G2 Bulletin
Publishing date: 09.02.2006 18:02
In early January, Cuban official Felipe Perez Roque made a public statement from Tehran. "Cuba supports the Iranian people and government and appreciates the solidarity of [the] Iranian nation with Cuba," he said.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad About the same time, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke with Fidel Castro on the telephone – then later Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela. He also reportedly spoke to Evo Morales, the Chavez clone who now leads Bolivia. Later in the month, Chavez joined Cindy Sheehan, the American antiwar activist, to attack President Bush and promised to support her protest against the Iraq war.

''Enough of imperialist aggression,” Chavez said as he hugged Sheehan. “We must tell the world: down with the U.S. empire. We have to bury imperialism this century. Cindy, we are with you in your fight.'' The last conversation took place on Chavez’s nationally broadcast TV show. Sheehan was just the latest American activist to appear on Chavez's Sunday program – a kind of political variety show where he discusses everything from baseball to his life in the army to Venezuelan history and oil prices.

Sheehan said she agreed with Harry Belafonte, the singer and activist, who made headlines by calling President Bush ''the greatest terrorist in the world.'' ''The war in Iraq will end, our troops will come home, Bush will be impeached and he will be brought to justice,'' said Sheehan. Sheehan was in Caracas for the sixth World Social Forum, where nearly 60,000 people met to protest American foreign policy and debate ideas from land reform for the poor to fair trade and indigenous rights.

The American Family Association was so outraged by the spectacle that it has begun a campaign urging U.S. drivers to steer clear of gasoline sold by Citgo Petroleum Corp., the Houston-based U.S. refining and marketing branch of Venezuela's national oil company PDVSA. "It doesn't make sense to purchase gasoline from a country that wants to bring down the U.S. government," said Chairman Donald Wildmon. And, indeed, it appears Chavez is a man of his word – determined to do just that, bring down the U.S. government.

Beyond mere rhetoric, Iran and Venezuela have joined forces in an effort to undermine the U.S. dollar. In October 2005, Chavez announced Venezuela was ready to move the country's foreign-exchange holdings out of the dollar and into the euro. He also called for the creation of a South American central bank designed to hold in euros all the foreign-exchange holdings of the participating countries.

Beginning in 2003, Iran began demanding oil payment in euros, not dollars, although the oil itself was still priced in dollars. Iran has announced the intention of opening an Iranian Oil Bourse in March to challenge NYMEX (the New York Mercantile Exchange) and IPE (London's International Petroleum Exchange). The United States relies on approximately 70 percent of all foreign-exchange currency to be held in dollars because we sell Treasury debt into that foreign-exchange market.

Should Venezuela and Iran succeed in creating a worldwide flight of foreign-exchange reserves away from the dollar and into the euro, the move could depress the value of the dollar, according to Jerome Corsi, author of “Atomic Iran.” “Dwindling foreign exchange dollar holdings could end up pushing the Treasury to sell debt into a smaller international supply of dollars, with the dollar not being as strong as it is today,” he said.

“Increasing the cost of our ‘twin deficits’ – the budget deficit and the trade deficit – would have detrimental effects on the U.S. economy and on a Bush administration, which seems to have lost traditional Republican budgetary discipline.” There are also reasons to believe that Chavez is cozying up to Tehran – and North Korea as well – for more than simple reasons of anti-Americansim. Some intelligence sources believe he, too, is ultimately after the acquisition of nuclear weapons – right in the western hemisphere.

That was the dream of his friend Castro, who lost out on the opportunity in the Cuban Missile crisis. Chavez has also been accused of supporting al-Qaida. Air Force Maj. Juan Diaz Castillo, who was Chavez's pilot, told WorldNetDaily in 2003 that "the American people should awaken and be aware of the enemy they have just three hours' flight from the United States." Diaz said he was part of an operation in which Chavez gave $1 million to al-Qaida for relocation costs, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

He is one of more than 100 military officers who have quit the Chavez regime as the president tries to hang on to power amid a month-long general strike that has cut off oil exports, his primary source of income. Diaz said in 2003 Chavez was in the process of forming a bloc of Latin American countries that "will promote terrorism and also direct action against the economy of the United States." The leaders of Cuba, Brazil and Ecuador are on board with Chavez, he said, and they "now are aiming at Argentina."

Could the new axis of evil be Venezuela, Iran and Cuba? That’s what some intelligence analysts are saying. Imagine the damage Iranian weapons of mass destruction could do from the proximity of Cuba or Venezuela? While the U.S. has focused its attention on the Middle East, a potentially more explosive development may be occurring right in its own back yard.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Later Than We Think

February 6, 2006
By Arnaud de Borchgrave
Washington Times

The man in charge of hoodwinking the Western powers about Iran's now 18-year-old secret nuclear program believes the apocalypse will happen in his own lifetime. He'll be 50 in October.President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Shi'ite creed has convinced him lesser mortals can not only influence but hasten the awaited return of the 12th Imam, known as the Mahdi. Iran's dominant "Twelver" sect holds this will be Muhammad ibn Hasan, the righteous descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.

He is said to have gone into "occlusion" in the 9th century, at age 5. His return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war, bloodshed and pestilence. After this cataclysmic confrontation between the forces of good and evil, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace."The ultimate promise of all Divine religions," says Ahmadinejad, "will be fulfilled with the emergence of a perfect human being [the 12th Imam], who is heir to all prophets.

He will lead the world to justice and absolute peace. Oh mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the promised one." He reckons the return of the Imam, AWOL for 11 centuries, is only two years away.Mr. Ahmadinejad is close to the messianic Hojjatieh Society, which is governed by the conviction the 12th Imam's return will be hastened by "the creation of chaos on Earth." He has fired Iran's most experienced diplomats and scores of other officials, presumably those who don't share his belief in apocalyptic conflagration.

The Iranian leader's finger on a nuclear trigger would be disquieting under any circumstances. Positively alarming would be a nuclear weapon in the hands of a man who badgers Israel, the U.S. and the European Union in belief a pre-emptive aerial attack on Iran's nuclear facilities will hasten the return of the missing Mahdi. Such an attack presumably would trigger anti-Western mayhem throughout the Middle East.

When he became Iran's sixth president since the 1979 revolution last summer, Mr. Ahmadinejad decided to donate $20 million to the Jamkaran mosque, a popular pilgrimage site where the faithful can drop their missives to the "Hidden Imam" in a holy well. Tehran's working-class faithful are convinced the new president and his Cabinet signed a "compact" pledging themselves to precipitate the return of the Mahdi -- and dropped it down Jamkaran's well with the Mahdi's zip code.

In Mr. Ahmadinejad's eyes, Iran is strong, with oil inching up to $70 a barrel and America, dependent on foreign oil, is weak. He has said publicly America and Europe have far more to lose than Iran if the U.N. Security Council votes for tough economic sanctions. He also figures if Israeli and/or U.S. warplanes strike Iran, all he has to do is give the U.S. a hard time in Iraq as American forces prepare to withdraw.

Moving two or three Iranian divisions into Iraq and activating Shi'ite suicide bombers and hit squads throughout the region would not be too hard for a country that fought an 8-year war against Iraq (1980-88) and had no compunction about giving thousands of youngsters a key to paradise and 72 virgins before sending them across Iraqi minefields.A top Ahmadinejad officer, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Kossari, who heads the political watchdog, or Security Bureau, of Iran's armed forces, recently taunted the U.S. when he bragged "we have identified all the weak points of our enemies" and have sufficient cannon fodder -- i.e., suicide operation volunteers -- "ready to strike at these sensitive locations." Iranian television recently broadcast an animated film for Iranian children glorifying suicide bombers.

So far, Supreme Leader and Chief of State Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who sits in the holy city of Qom, has not expostulated. Mr. Ahmadinejad appears to have his religious rear well covered. His ideological mentor and spiritual guide is Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi who heads the ultraconservative acolytes who believe the 12th Imam's return is "imminent."The son of a blacksmith, Mr. Ahmadinejad earned an engineering Ph.D. and is a former member of Iran's notorious Revolutionary Guards at a time when dissidents and "counterrevolutionaries" were executed by the thousands.

A.Q. Khan, father of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, first showed Iran how to build a nuclear weapon 18 years ago. He opened his nuclear black market to Iranian engineers and scientists.The Bush administration is anxious to clear the decks in a democratic Iraq before facing the Islamist counterpart of the "Rapture" in the "Left Behind" series of books on the end of times by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins.

President Bush says all options are on the table. But the military option is probably the one the "twelvers" would look forward to. Some Washington think tank strategists argue if Iran's Dr. Strangelove attacked Israel with a nuclear weapon, five Iranian cities would be vaporized next day.It might behoove the United States to sit down with "axis of evil" Iran to find out if the MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) doctrine that kept the Soviet Union and the U.S. at peace for a half-century could still be made to work.

In any event, one would have to be irredeemably myopic not to see that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program. The only question is how far this secret program is from delivering a usable weapon and fitting it in the nose cone of a Shahab-3 missile with the range to reach Israel. The Israeli Air Force will be "overhead" Iran long before.Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large for The Washington Times and for United Press International.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

IRAN and the Bomb

Iran Already Has the Bomb — Commentary

February 3, 2006The Jerusalem PostRafi Eitan suspects that Iran already has enough enriched uranium fissionable material to manufacture at least one or two atom bombs of the Hiroshima type.

"Otherwise Iranian President Ahmadinejad would not have dared come out with his declaration that Israel should be wiped off the map," repeating it in various versions. His efforts at denying the Holocaust in which six million Jews were slaughtered prove that there is method in Ahmadinejad's madness.

"Don't treat him like a madman," Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz recently cautioned.Eitan's assessment of the situation is especially important because of his extensive intelligence experience in Israel's struggle for its existence, even before its establishment in 1948. Eitan was among those that laid the operational foundations for the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Mossad.He is credited with numerous successes above and beyond the fact that he headed the team that apprehended Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires in May 1960 and brought him to justice in Jerusalem.

He served as Menachem Begin's special adviser on the war on terror. He was involved in the secret planning and implementation of the attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in June 1981.Eitan failed in 1985 when the United States arrested Jonathan Pollard, an American navy intelligence analyst, for spying for Israel. Eitan was forced to resign after taking responsibility for running Pollard as an Israeli agent in the United States. It emerged at that time that Eitan had stood at the head of an Israeli intelligence agency known as the Office of Scientific Relations, LAKAM by its Hebrew acronym.

EITAN, CURRENTLY a private businessman who is close to 80 years old, is not only still sharp, quick and curious, but also takes a strong interest in the dangers posed to Israel. And so he came this week to the Herzliya Conference to hear the lectures and meet with colleagues from other countries.Eitan told me: "I am convinced that the Iranians already have at least one or two nuclear devices.

They have been operating centrifuges for a number of years now, they have natural uranium, and who on earth believes the Iranians when they say that they have closed down one facility or another? You would have to be an idiot or terribly na ve to believe them."Eitan says that this view was bolstered by conversations he held with various experts from abroad who came to the Herzliya Conference - that Iran already has a an atom bomb. What should concern not only Israel but Europe too, continues Eitan, is the fact that the Iranians have acquired cruise missiles with a 3,000-kilometer range.

They tried to purchase nine missiles of this kind in Ukraine from the arsenal of the former Soviet Union, but Russia thwarted part of the deal and Iran received three or four such missiles."In an argument with colleagues from abroad," noted Rafi Eitan, "the question was whether Iran's current president is a sort of new Hitler or merely an international manipulator. Too many experts have judged him in accordance with his actions and declarations as a kind of extremist Islamist Hitler."

The American administration of George W. Bush is entirely aware of the burgeoning Iranian nuclear danger. The question is whether the leading countries in Europe will wake up in time to the danger too. "The diplomatic struggle against the Iranian nuclear danger," warns Eitan, "must be an international one and it must come in time.

The danger of nuclear weapons in the hands of Teheran is no less serious than when Saddam Hussein built the French Osirak nuclear reactor in Baghdad."What worries Rafi Eitan is that the news coming from Teheran shows that President Ahmadinejad will not hesitate to take the most extreme measures, not unlike the methods used in the Third Reich, to put down any opposition against him.

Iran has hundreds of thousands of young people who are opposed to the conceptual and cultural darkness that the fundamental Islamists are forcing on them. "Don't be surprised," Rafi Eitan told me, "if the Iranian president tries to forcibly and brutally eliminate this opposition."

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