Al-Qaeda ‘rebuilding’ in Pakistan

BBC News
Published: 2007/01/12 04:49:45 GMT

The head of US spying operations says the leaders of al-Qaeda have found a secure hideout in Pakistan from where they are rebuilding their strength. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said al-Qaeda was strengthening itself across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

There was no immediate reaction from the Pakistani government.

Earlier this week, the US carried out air strikes in Somalia targeting what it believed to be members of al-Qaeda.

Mr Negroponte told a Senate committee that al-Qaeda was still the militant organisation that posed the greatest threat to US interests.

He said the organisation was cultivating stronger operational capabilities and relationships that radiated out of Pakistan.

Difficult border

The head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency, Lt-Gen Michael Maples, said Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan remained a haven for al-Qaeda and other militants.

The tribal areas on the border are thought to be where al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who are wanted for masterminding the 9/11 attacks, could be hiding.Pakistan and Afghanistan share a 1,400-mile (2,250km) mountainous border which is extremely difficult to patrol.

Taleban and al-Qaeda fighters are thought to be operating on both sides.

The two countries regularly exchange charge and counter-charge over who is to blame for the violence.

Recently, Pakistan reiterated its intention to fence and mine sections of the troubled border.

Kabul particularly opposes the idea of mining stretches of the frontier, saying it will endanger civilian lives.

An Islamist insurgency spearheaded by the resurgent Taleban militia is at its strongest in the southern Afghan provinces bordering Pakistan.

U.S. urges fast African peace mission to Somalia

U.S. urges fast African peace mission to Somalia
Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:48 AM ET

By Andrew Cawthorne

NAIROBI (Reuters) – The United States appealed on Friday for a speedy deployment of African peacekeepers in Somalia to prevent a “security vacuum” that could spawn fresh anarchy after a war to oust militant Islamists.

U.S. ally Ethiopia, which is the Horn of Africa’s major power, wants to withdraw its military in weeks after helping the interim Somali government rout the Islamists over the New Year.

But diplomats fear that would leave President Abdullahi Yusuf’s government vulnerable against the multiple threats of remnant Islamists vowing a guerrilla war, warlords who are seeking to re-create their fiefdoms, and competing clans.

“Deploying an African stabilization force into Somalia quickly is vitally important to support efforts to achieve stability,” Michael Ranneberger, U.S. ambassador for Kenya and Somalia, said in a newspaper opinion piece.

“We welcome the Ugandan commitment to send forces and we are urging other African countries to do so as well…(It) will enable the rapid withdrawal of Ethiopian forces without creating a security vacuum.”

The African Union and east African body IGAD have expressed willingness in principle to send more than 8,000 troops into Somalia. Uganda has said it is ready to provide the first battalion, but Khartoum is nervous of the risks for its soldiers in a nation in chaos since the 1991 ouster of a dictator.

It is still unclear who would fund the mission, which nations would contribute, and how quickly it could be mustered.

Further, with the precedent of African peacekeepers’ failure to stop bloodshed in Sudan’s Darfur region, many doubt they would be able to tame the violence and rivalry in Somalia.

Wary of its post-war nightmare in Iraq, Washington is eager to prevent Somalia descending back into chaos after its first policy goal — ousting the Islamists — was achieved.

U.S. officials believe Somalia, under the six-month Islamist rule across most of the south, became a haven for foreign radicals including some of its most wanted al Qaeda suspects.

GOVERNMENT URGED TO REACH OUT

Washington launched an air strike in Somalia on Monday — its first overt military involvement since a disastrous peacekeeping mission ended in 1994 — aimed at an al Qaeda cell.

That attack took out up to 10 al Qaeda allies, but missed its main target of three top suspects, the U.S. government says.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that a small team of U.S. military personnel entered south Somalia after the strike to try and determine who was killed.

If true, that would mark the first known case of U.S. military boots on the ground in Somalia since the 1990s mission which ended soon after local militia downed two Black Hawk helicopters and killed 18 U.S. soldiers in Mogadishu.

Washington believes three suspects in 1998 and 2002 bomb attacks in east Africa — Comorian Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Sudanese Abu Talha al-Sudani and Kenyan Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan — have been hiding among fleeing Somali Islamists.

Kenyan authorities have arrested the wives and three children of two of those suspects, a Kenyan counter-terrorism source told Reuters on Thursday.

Mohammed and Nabhan’s wives and children were caught trying to cross into Kenya from Ras Kamboni, on Somalia’s southern tip, long thought by Western and east African intelligence agencies to be the site of a militant training camp.

The U.S. attack on Monday has drawn criticism from the United Nations, many European countries and the Arab League. Analysts say it risks a backlash from Muslims in the region.

But U.S. envoy Ranneberger said: “Somalia will not be stable as long as foreign terrorists are active there.”

He also urged the Yusuf government, set up in 2004 in a 14th attempt to restore central rule to Somalia since 1991, to become more inclusive to guarantee stability.

“We are urging the leadership…to reach out to all segments of Somali society — the business community, all clans and sub-clans, traditional religious leaders, non-governmental groups and others,” he said in the article in Kenya’s Nation.

Washington has pledged $40 million in aid and development assistance, plus to support a peacekeeping mission, he said.

If the war is lost, there is one party that is responsible and it’s certainly not the one in the White House

If the war is lost, there is one party that is responsible and it’s certainly not the one in the White House – Friday, January 12, 2007 4:54 PM

The NY Times Tom Friedman has a column today that starts out promisingly with a critique of Bush for not mobilizing the country for war — the biggest failing of his administration by far, but then veers into unbelievable chutzpah:

“But the way you have fought this war — with our pinky — is contemptible. For three years you would not summon the military means to back your lofty ends.”

Sure, and for the last three years the New York Times and the Democrats have been clamoring for more troops and for America to win the war in Iraq! To be fair, Friedman was a supporter of the war. But this attack on Bush is a little like complaining to the Great White Father who is responsible for everything. The fact is that the greatest error of this war — not going in with 500,000 troops — was predetermined by the liberals who opposed the war from the start. Recall that Daschle blamed the war on Bush as American troops entered Iraq and Pelosi attacked the war as “too expensive” on the day Saddam’s statue was pulled down as American troops liberated Bagdhad after three weeks of fighting.

If that was too expensive, how was Bush going to add 200,000 troops once he discovered that the resistance was going to be greater than expected? Where was the bi-partisan support for that?

Actually Friedman’s liberal friends have another chance now. The military is calling for a large increase in our overall force size. Does anyone think the Democratic congress is going to go for this?

Last jihadist stronghold in Somalia captured

Last jihadist stronghold in Somalia captured

Ras Kamboni, at the southernmost tip of Somalia, has been a stronghold for jihadist activity and a conduit for al-Qaeda for a number of years, as illustrated by this BBC report from December, 2001. Its capture is a significant victory.

“Islamic hideout in Somalia said captured,” by Mohamed Olad Hassan for AP:

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Ethiopian-backed government forces captured the last remaining stronghold of the Islamic movement in southern Somalia, the Somali defense minister said Friday, hours after warlords met with the president and promised to enlist their militiamen in the army.

The southern town of Ras Kamboni fell after five days of heavy fighting, Defense Minister Col. Barre “Hirale” Aden Shire told The Associated Press. He said government troops backed by Ethiopian forces and MiG fighter jets chased fleeing Islamic fighters into nearby forests and the fighting would continue. He did not give casualty figures.

Ras Kamboni is in a rugged coastal area a few miles from the Kenyan border. It is not far from the site of a U.S. airstrike Monday targeting suspected al-Qaida militants — the first U.S. offensive in Somalia since 18 American soldiers were killed here in 1993.

The report of the town’s fall came after Somalia’s warlords met with President Abdullahi Yusuf in the capital of Mogadishu and pledged to disarm their militias, a major step toward bringing calm to this city after years of chaos.

Theodore Roosevelt’s ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

Theodore Roosevelt’s ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an
 American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else,
for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.
 But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an
American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but
something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We
 have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but
one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Every American citizen needs to read this!
KEEP THIS MOVING

 


Kill Sadr

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kill Sadr

Investors Business Daily and Ralph Peters both nailed it today—absolutely nailed it:

Time to get that fat boy Muqtada al-Sadr.

IBD editorial: …Sadr now has more than 5,000 men under arms, according to U.S. intelligence estimates. And as it turns out, Sadr is a major client of Iran’s extremist mullahs. He’ll keep sending young Iraqi Shiites to their death on behalf of a foreign power — particularly if it means destroying any chance Iraq has of being a stable democracy…

Peters in the New York Post:

The first thing we need to do is to kill Muqtada al-Sadr, who’s now a greater threat to our strategic goals than Osama bin Laden.

We should’ve killed him in 2003, when he first embarked upon his murder campaign. But our leaders were afraid of provoking riots.

… Our policy of all-carrots-no-sticks has failed miserably. We delivered Iraq to zealots, gangsters and terrorists. Now our only hope is to prove that we mean business – that the era of peace, love and wasting American lives is over.

And after we’ve killed Muqtada and destroyed his Mahdi Army, we need to go after the Sunni insurgents. If we can’t leave a democracy behind, we should at least leave the corpses of our enemies.

The holier-than-thou response to this proposal is predictable: “We can’t kill our way out of this situation!” Well, boo-hoo. Friendly persuasion and billions of dollars haven’t done the job. Give therapeutic violence a chance….

Count me in my friend Ralph Peters’ camp.

We need to send that murderous, anti-American jerk to jail—or, better yet, send him a one-way ticket to his 72 virgins in Never-Never land.

How is it possible that this miscreant, who has been nothing but trouble, who has been working around the clock to sow seeds of murder, mayhem and unrest, fomenting war against Sunnis, etc, etc, is still on the lam?

This is a major flaw in the operation. I just don’t get it.

Barbara Boxer Left-wing Democratic Senator from California

  • Left-wing Democratic Senator from California
  • Pushed legislation congenial to environmentalist Left
  • Outspokenly anti-war 

 Barbara Boxer is a three-term Democratic Senator from California. Elected to the Senate in 1993, she has in succeeding years compiled a partisan voting record consistent with her big-government, environmentalist, and anti-war convictions.

Critical of free-market outcomes, Boxer has supported increases in the minimum wage (to $7 per hour). Also in keeping with her faith in federal solutions to social problems, Boxer has advocated an extension of unemployment befits and opposed welfare reform.

As a member of the Senate Environment Committee, Boxer has long used her office to advance the cause of the environmentalist Left. Her official website lists Edward Abbey, the American writer whose novel, The Monkeywrench Gang, galvanized the radical environmentalist movement, as one her “environmental heroes.” Likewise, she has been a steadfast opponent of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, twice blocking efforts to open up a small tract of land for exploration—despite the considerable evidence that such exploration would have a minimal impact on the environment while potentially offering relief to the nation’s energy concerns.

Boxer is also a leading proponent and one of the original co-supporters of the Clean Power Act to curb emissions. Backed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the scientifically dubious piece of legislation both exaggerates the health threats of certain pollutants and proposes to saddle power plants with costly burdens. For her efforts on behalf of the environmentalist movement, Boxer has earned a 100 percent ranking from the environmentalist lobbying group, the League of Conservation Voters

Boxer is also an outspoken critic of the use of military force. In October of 2002, she voted against the joint Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. In her statement from the Senate floor opposing the resolution, Boxer insisted that the task of dismantling Iraq’s suspected weapons of mass destruction was to be left to the United Nations, and voiced her view that America under the Bush administration was no longer a “beacon of hope” but of “fear.” She later called it “the best vote of my life.” Thus, when President Bush nominated Condoleezza Rice to serve as Secretary of State in January of 2005, Boxer attempted to turn her confirmation hearings into a referendum on the wisdom of the Iraq war while effectively denouncing Rice as a liar and a servile Bush lackey. Boxer claimed that Rice’s “loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth.” But Boxer’s fire-breathing approach was ill-received even among those sympathetic to her politics, with Democrats and liberal columnists alike, including many black Americans, chiding Boxer for her umbrageous tactics.

Besides being resolutely anti-war, Boxer has earned the reputation for being fiercely partisan. In January of 2004, she attempted to stall the formal reelection of President Bush by a joint meeting of Congress by objecting to the counting of Ohio’s 20 electoral votes. Boxer’s objection delayed the certification of the Electoral College votes by some four hours. Boxer justified the transparently political move by claiming that her purpose was to draw attention to voting irregularities.

Similarly, in May of 2005 Boxer attempted to thwart the appointment John Bolton, the Bush administration’s nominee for the ambassadorship to the United Nations. Though she defended her opposition on the grounds that she needed more information before reaching a decision, Boxer’s public pronouncements gave every indication that the Senator merely took issue with Bolton’s candid criticism of the troubled agency. Most recently, in December of 2005, Boxer made public a letter she had written to “presidential scholars,” in which she solicited their opinions about whether President Bush’s use of a National Security Agency program to monitor the international telephone calls of individuals with known ties to al-Qaeda and similar terrorist groups constituted an “impeachable offense.”

Not content to focus on politics, Boxer, with the aid of a co-writer, published a novel in November of 2005. Called A Time to Run, the book was a coarsely written attack on conservatives and Republicans, scarcely disguised as a work of fiction. A Time to Run was widely panned for its lack of imagination, including in the New York Times where it was reproached for confirming the charge of political conservatives that “liberals have no new ideas.

BOXER’S LOW BLOW

BOXER’S LOW BLOW

January 12, 2007 — Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, an appalling scold from California, wasted no time yesterday in dragging the debate over Iraq about as low as it can go – attacking Secre tary of State Condoleezza Rice for being a childless woman. Boxer was wholly in character for her party – New York’s own two Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, were predictably opportunistic – but the Golden State lawmaker earned special attention for the tasteless jibes she aimed at Rice.

Rice appeared before the Senate in defense of President Bush’s tactical change in Iraq, and quickly encountered Boxer.

“Who pays the price? I’m not going to pay a personal price,” Boxer said. “My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young.”

Then, to Rice: “You’re not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family.”

Breathtaking.

Simply breathtaking.

We scarcely know where to begin.

The junior senator from California ap parently believes that an accom plished, seasoned diplomat, a renowned scholar and an adviser to two presidents like Condoleezza Rice is not fully qualified to make policy at the highest levels of the American government because she is a single, childless woman.

It’s hard to imagine the firestorm that similar comments would have ignited, coming from a Republican to a Democrat, or from a man to a woman, in the United States Senate. (Surely the Associated Press would have put the observation a bit higher than the 18th paragraph of a routine dispatch from Washington.)

But put that aside.

The vapidity – the sheer mindlessness – of Sen. Boxer’s assertion makes it clear that the next two years are going to be a time of bitterness and rancor, marked by pettiness of spirit and political self-indulgence of a sort not seen in America for a very long time.

In contrast to Boxer, Sen. Clinton seemed almost statesmanlike – until one considers that she was undercutting the president of the United States in time of war: “The president simply has not gotten the message sent loudly and clearly by the American people, that we desperately need a new course.”

Schumer, meanwhile, dismissed the president’s speech as “a new surge without a new strategy.”

Frankly, we’re not surprised by Hillary Clinton’s rush to judgment. With both eyes firmly set on 2008, her Iraq position flits like a tumbleweed in the political wind. Who knows where she’ll wind up?

Heck, she admitted as much by citing November’s midterm elections to justify her newfound opposition to the war. (And who needs a commander-in-chief who tailors war-fighting strategy to public opinion?)

Clinton would do well to consider the words of GOP Sen. John McCain, another White House hopeful, who frankly admits that his strong support for a troop surge in Iraq has cost him votes. (Some Democrats, in fact, already are calling this “McCain’s surge.”)

Said McCain: “I’d rather lose a campaign than lose a war.”

As for Schumer, we’re profoundly disappointed by his remarks.

While he’s always been a fiercely parti san Democrat (nothing to be ash amed of), time was when Schumer seemed to understand the existential threat posed by Islamic extremism.

Now he’s been elevated to a top position in his party’s Senate leadership – and he has bigger fish to fry.

Like electing Democrats.

And so, like Boxer, he cheers on Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden and John Edwards – with Clinton, presidential aspirants – as they trash Bush’s plan.

To the extent that such behavior encourages America’s enemies – and of course it does – he, like they, stands to have innocent blood on his hands.

Yes, the party’s bloggers will be happy.

So will al Qaeda.

True enough, Democrats don’t hold a monopoly on appalling behavior.

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican presidential candidate and favorite of some conservatives, has joined with Democrats in opposition to the troop surge – and he’s not alone.

The president deserves better.

Indeed, the least these critics can do is suggest an alternative that leads to success in Iraq rather than simply criticize.

Or suggest that America simply wave the white flag.

As Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said: “Now that the president has outlined a change in strategy, we should give his proposals an opportunity to work.” Instead, Kyl rightly noted, “some declared the president’s proposals unworkable even before they were announced.”

No such nay-saying, however, was to be heard from two Capitol Hill stalwarts: McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman, the independent Democrat from Connecticut.

“I applaud the president for rejecting the fatalism of failure and pursuing a new course to achieve success in Iraq,” said Lieberman, who alone in his party genuinely comprehends what a U.S. defeat in Iraq would mean.

As for McCain, his support is tempered by the fact that he argued correctly, from the start, that the war was being fought with too few troops. Had the administration listened four years ago, this tactical shift might not be necessary now.

It would take a truly hard heart not to be touched, deeply, by the sacrifices made by the young men and women now wearing their country’s uniform.

And one can only imagine the pain felt by the families of those killed and cruelly wounded in service to America. Just as it was hard to imagine the agony of the loved ones left behind on 9/11.

But even to suggest that Condoleezza Rice is not fit to serve her country because she is childless is beyond bizarre.

It is perverse.

Sen. Boxer needs to apologize.

And she needs to do it today.

Slit a Cow Throat – Win a Spot in Paradise!

Slit a Cow Throat – Win a Spot in Paradise!

 

Friday January 12, 2007

“NKARA, Turkey – Over a thousand Turks spent the first day of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha in emergency wards on Sunday after stabbing themselves or suffering other injuries while sacrificing startled animals…”

– The Reuters News Agency

For countless centuries, a question is asked, millions of times a day.

How do you pray?

There’s the $64,000 question. We’ve tried building towers to God, sacrificing everything around the hut from incense to virgins. In days past, the Catholics have gone so far as to outlaw sushi on Fridays.

I’d hate to be the agency handling public relations for Islam. They’ve taken a lot of hits. There’s those annoying assassinations of various folks, from political cartoonists to presidents. There’s the suicide bombing thing. I realize that not all Muslims are suicide bombers. But, I also note that there are more Muslim suicide bombers than Anabaptist suicide bombers or even Vegan/Nazi suicide bombers.

We tend to be politically correct in the West and it’s impolite to point out that there is hardly a spot on the globe where Islam is not at war with not only its neighbors, but itself, as well.

And now this.

According to the Reuters news agency: “At least 1,413 people – referred to as ‘amateur butchers’ by the Turkish media – were treated at hospitals across the country, most suffering cuts to their hands and legs, the Anatolia news agency reported.”

I was troubled by that number of 1,413.

It’s just for the reported hospital admissions, only for Turkey and only for the first day. Around the globe, how many injuries or fatalities – reported or not – were there of Muslims trying to off an unsuspecting moo cow?

There is a dark Polish joke aspect in the details. Four of the total number reported were severely injured when they were, according to Turkish reports: “crushed under the weight of large animals that fell on top of them.”

Someone please tell me the hapless celebrants weren’t lying under a ton of livestock when they started the ritualistic slayings.

I am all for cheering on the Big G in H in everyone’s own particular way.

But one supplicant nearly died when a crane he was using to hoist a large animal collapsed, with said steer crushing said Muslim who was standing smack dab underneath.

As one newsroom wag dryly noted: “Hmmm. ‘Jackass. The Muslim Edition.'”

(SIDEBAR: If you’re a terrorist and would like to blow up Josh Premako’s car, please call the newsroom before you blow up my car and I’ll be happy to point out which banged-up rusting Chevy in the employee parking lot is his.)

I’m trying to recall.

All those Warner Bros. cartoons I watched as a child and adult and I never saw that happen to even Wile E. Coyote.

I’m assuming that when they banter about the phrase, “large animals for sacrifice,” they’re talking cows.

Do you get an extra cushy spot in paradise for slaughtering a hippopotamus? Or virgin Siamese twins with low self-esteem in the hereafter for offing a blue whale?

(NOTE TO CELEBRANTS: When attempting to sacrifice a blue whale with several tons of TNT or a really big knife, make sure your whale does not fall on you.)

According to CNN-Turk television:

“Three other people suffered heart attacks and died while trying to restrain animals.”

The Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha is based on one of religion’s greatest, most touching stories: Abraham. The patriarch of the Old Testament and Koran loved God so, he was willing to sacrifice his eldest son to prove it. His hand was stayed by an angel.

Much admiration has to go to the Muslims who take the allegory of Abraham a step further and implement it in their own lives. Many followers of Islam will visit a professional butcher for this ritual then pass along the meat to friends, family and the poor.

Alas, every nation has its religious version of trailer park police chase videos. In Turkey, there were reports of people attempting to slaughter livestock in apartments, in a backyard patio or even on the side of the road. To its credit, the Turkish government has attempted to crack down on this unsafe practice.

And that’s a nice start.

There were 1,413 people reported who were treated at Turkish hospitals for a variety of injuries sustained for trying to kill livestock.

Reported.

And that’s just in Turkey.

On the first day.

Century after century has rolled along. Prisoners have been tossed into active volcanoes. The Mayans and Aztecs plucked the beating hearts from tens of thousands. Pick a culture. How many uncounted worshippers have offed an animal in hopes of a pleasant spring or a chance to skip the cold and flu season? Worse, how many have prayed in such a fashion for the pleasure of seeing their enemies’ entrails rotting in the sun?

You wonder if some South Seas villager or later-day Conan the Barbarian, hovering over a steaming carcass, was ever visited by introspection:

“Hmmm. I keep doing this, over and over – slitting the throats of Bossy the Cow or Vicky the Virgin. Has my life been demonstrably better?”

The number – 1,413. People with broken toes, cracked ribs from being squished by a bull, inflamed and swollen groin from being butted by a goat, self-inflicted stab wounds, heart attacks and concussions.

Well.

Less than 1,413, factoring in the dead folk.

They’re probably sitting in the waiting room, asking one of two soul-searching questions:

“Am I praying funny?”

Or –

With a steely eyed gaze aimed at a distant horizon: “That didn’t work. Next year, I’m going to need a bigger animal…”

The Irbil raid

The Irbil raid

Thomas Lifson
Yesterday, we cited a BBC report of a raid on an Iranian “consulate” in Irbil, Iraq. According to this subsequent AP report,

 At the Pentagon, a senior U.S. military official said the building was not a consulate and did not have any diplomatic status. The six Iranians were taken in a “cordon-and-knock” operation, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

Regime Change Iran cites Iran Press News reporting that an important “strategic guru” of President Ahmadinejad may have been captured in the Irbil raid.

Iran Press News reported that based on unconfirmed received reports from reliable sources in Iraq, Hassan Abbasi was among those who was arrested in the Thursday, January 11th early-morning raid in the Iraqi town of Erbil. An excerpt:

Abbasi has been among the highest ranking members of the Islamic regime’s terror operations for many years, acting as Khamenei’s foreign policy and defense advisor. Abbasi has had an active voice under not only Khamenei but also Rafsanjani and Khatami as well. The Martyrdom Brigades of the Global Islamic Awakening is controlled by Abbasi.

If true, this could be an intelligence breakthrough, with implications for the undeclared war underway with Iran since it seized our Tehran embassy.

Dafydd at Big Lizards points out the ludicrous position taken by Iran on the raid:

the Iranians are showing a great deal of restraint… the kind one shows when one has been caught with his hand in the milk bottle:

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told state-run radio the raid was “against a diplomatic mission” since the “presence of Iranian staffers in Irbil was legal.” Hosseini claimed the action by coalition forces reflected a “continuation of pressure” on Iran, aiming to “create tension” between Iraq and its neighbors.

Note the tortured logic to imply what they seem wary of saying out loud, lest they be called up on to prove it: they do not actually claim that those in the building have “diplomatic immunity,” but boy do they try to imply it! Evidently, any Iranian in Iraq legally is, therefore, on a “diplomatic mission.” What does that say about those Iranians in Iraq illegally… such as those four we caught in December? We’re still holding two of them; the other two actually did have diplomatic immunity — which shows the Iranians are not shy about asserting it when they can prove their case.
And what about this minor incident? Do the Iranians think we’ve forgotten that we seized from Iraqi Shiite militia members a batch of Iranian-made weapons and munitions — with a manufacturer’s date of 2006?

Don’t you love it that the people who seized our embassy, held our diplomats and others hostage and still have our former embassy under their control, now huff and puff about non-existent diplomatic status for their secret agents in Iraq?
Hat tip: Sally Vee