Al Shabaab forces telecom to switch off service

English: War flag of al-Shabaab

English: War flag of al-Shabaab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By AHMED OSMA Special Correspondent

Posted  Saturday, February 22   2014 at  16:13

Osman Ali, the owner of an electronics shop in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has been hard-hit since Al Shabaab forced the biggest telecoms company to switch off its mobile Internet service in the Horn of Africa nation.

“I don’t understand why the government has not done anything to deal with the situation. It could at least find an alternative for the people. This has thrown the country into darkness. We are left behind,” Ali said from his shop, explaining that his sales had dropped dramatically since the shutdown. Continue reading

Islamist North Caucasus Rebels Training a New Generation of Fighters in Syria

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 3

February 7, 2014 09:43 AM  By: Murad Batal al- Shishani

Chechen (Ichkerian) seal bearing a wolf, the n...

Chechen (Ichkerian) seal bearing a wolf, the nation’s symbolic embodiment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Syria’s bloody conflict enters its fourth year in March, it continues to provide a battlefield that attracts jihadists from all over the world. North Caucasians, including Chechens, are no exception. Previously, many reports alleged that Chechens were present in jihadi battlefields in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places; however, these claims were never proved. Syria is the first place where Chechen jihadists are indisputably taking part in fighting outside the North Caucasus.

Chechens and other Caucasians in Syria operate in four major groups, each of which is commanded by one of four prominent Chechen leaders: Omar al-Shishani, Saifullah al-Shishani, Amir Muslim and Salahudeen al-Shishani (the mujahideen announced the death of the latter via Twitter on February 6). These commanders are not related but all use al-Shishani (Arabic – “the Chechen”) as a surname.

Divisions and Unifications

Omar al-Shishani, born Tarkhan Batirashvili, comes from the remote Pankisi Gorge in northeast Georgia, populated by ethnic Chechens who emigrated from their homeland in the 19th century. Before making his way to jihad, Omar served in the Georgian military in the disputed republic of Abkhazia between 2006 and 2007. He later signed a contract in 2008 to join the Georgian army as a rifleman, but this came to an end when he was dismissed due to tuberculosis. In September 2010, he was arrested for the illegal purchase and storage of arms. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia to supply Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles – report

Published time: February 15, 2014 04:14

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Frustrated by the deadlock of the second round of Geneva 2 talks, Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered to supply the rebels with anti-aircraft missiles. Meanwhile Russia has accused the US of once again hijacking peace talks and pushing for regime change.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Russian-made antitank guided missiles and Chinese man-portable air-defense systems are up for grabs, already waiting in warehouses in Jordan and Turkey.
An Arab diplomat and several opposition figures with knowledge of the Saudi efforts have told WSJ that these supplies are likely to tip the battlefield scales, as the rebels will become capable of taking on the government’s air power and destroying heavy armored vehicles.

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Newspaper retracts report of Turkish jets attacking Syrian rebels

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By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org

 

A Turkish newspaper has retracted a report stating that Turkish military jets entered Syrian territory and destroyed an outpost belonging to an al-Qaeda-linked rebel group, after its members attacked a Turkish military garrison along the Syrian-Turkish border. In a published correction, the paper said instead that the Turkish army opened fire from inside Turkey. Today’s Zaman, the English-language edition of Turkish daily Zaman, reported on January 29 that Turkish F-16s had entered Syrian territory and had bombed a stationary convoy of vehicles belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS, an al-Qaeda-linked group that made its appearance in Syria in April of last year.

The origins of ISIS are in Iraq, where it was founded in 2003 as a Sunni armed paramilitary force, in response to the invasion by the United States. In 2004, the group pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and changed its name to Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Many observers argue that, in recent months, ISIS has turned into “one of the most powerful forces on the ground” in Syria, with 7,000 well-armed fighters, many of whom are battle-hardened foreign Islamists.

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Egypt to try Mossad officers for ‘spying’

English: Smuggling Tunnel, Rafah, Gaza Strip

English: Smuggling Tunnel, Rafah, Gaza Strip (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

February 2, 2014 4:31pm

Five officers from Israel’s Mossad spy agency and three Egyptians will stand trial on Wednesday on charges of spying for the Jewish state, judicial sources said.

Egyptian prosecutors have accused the eight of espionage and supplying Israel with information impacting Egypt’s national security, the sources said on Sunday.

The trial is expected to open with none of the defendants present, the sources said, because the Mossad officers are “on the run” while it is not clear if the three Egyptians had been arrested.

The Egyptian suspects hail from Rafah, on the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip, they said, adding that the trial will be held in the Suez canal city of Ismailiya.

The trial of a Jordanian engineer accused of having spied for Israel is also underway in Egypt.

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Murphy’s Law: 21st Century War, How It Will Be Different And Why

Marine Corps RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial vehi...

Marine Corps RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle launches from Speedbag Airfield (Photo credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery)

January 24, 2014: The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were different in a lot of ways many people didn’t expect, understand, or even notice. For example, the three week conquest of Iraq was not facilitated so much by high tech weapons, but largely by Cold War era gear using World War II tactics. The most crucial weapons were the decades old M-1 tank and M-2 infantry vehicle, with the 1960s vintage M-109 self-propelled artillery provided most of the artillery support. The 1950s era B-52 bomber was still the most cost effective way to deliver bomb attacks.

And what was so unique about conquering Iraq in three weeks while outnumbered? The British did this in 1941, using only two divisions under similar circumstances (and with far fewer armored vehicles). Not only that, the 1941 Iraqis also had the support of Germany, France and Russia. Made no difference.  Afghanistan featured a handful of American Special Forces troops calling in air strikes while deep in enemy territory. That was standard practice during the 1960s Vietnam War. But change is in the air, it’s just a bit more complex a wave of change than most pundits are trying to describe.

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Israeli Army dismantles spy device on border with Lebanon

January 21, 2014 12:34 AM By Mohammed Zaatari

The Daily Star

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UNIFIL soldiers stand guard as Israeli soldiers foot patrol the border area with Lebanon as seen from Adaisseh, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

ADAISSEH, Lebanon: Calm was restored to the border Monday following a tense standoff between the Lebanese and Israeli armies, as the latter removed an apparent spy device from a disputed area. An Israeli technical specialist unit, accompanied by some 40 soldiers, entered the disputed border territory near the southern village of Adaisseh at around 11 a.m. Monday to dismantle a device found under an olive tree the day before.

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