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From Iran: U.S. Claims Against Iran Mischievous

TEHRAN – Iranian Majlis speaker Ali Larijani said on Wednesday that the U.S. has started a stupid evil game against Tehran by claiming that Iran had planned to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington. “The Americans have launched a stupid evil game which is intended to deflect attention from their problems in the region,”  Larijani told an open session of the Majlis. Larijani added that such “cheap” claims are meant to cover up their internal problems, an indirect reference to massive protests in the U.S. which have followed economic problems. Read more here. … Read entire article »

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From Israel: Jewish Communities Hail Thwarting of Iran Terror Plot

Jewish communities in the US and Argentina on Wednesday congratulated law enforcement officials in Washington D.C. who earlier announced the foiling of a terror plot targeting the Israeli embassies in their respective countries. Jewish groups in the US said the suspected conspiracy by two Iranian men to kill the Saudi ambassador and blow up the Israeli embassy in Washington was consistent with the violence espoused by the Islamic Republic. “We have long expressed concern about the ties between international terrorist networks and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which gave direction to this plot through its Al-Quds Brigades,” said Richard Stone and Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations.  “The target was the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, although it appears that other targets may have been designated as well.” The American Jewish Committee expressed gratitude to US security services for … Read entire article »

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From Argentina: Diary Shows Germans Could Have Known of Nazi Horrors

The diary of Friedrich Kellner “‘All Minds Blurred and Darkened’ Diaries 1939-1945” came to prominence thanks to the intervention of the elder former U.S. President George Bush. Filled with scathing commentaries on events, newspaper clippings and records of private conversations, Kellner’s 940-page chronicle gives an insight into what information was available to ordinary Germans. Kellner, a mid-ranking court official who was in his mid-50s when he started writing, vents his anger at Hitler, hopes his country will be defeated in the war and laments reports of mysterious deaths at mental homes and mass shootings of Jews. “These diaries … represent a towering refutation of the well-worn refrain of so many Germans after the war — ‘We knew nothing of the Nazi horrors’,” Elan Steinberg of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their … Read entire article »

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Argentine Jewish Community ‘Concerned’ Over Alleged Iran Plot

After the US announced Iran’s alleged plans to commit terrorist attacks on Washington which could have involved consequent attacks in Buenos Aires, both the Israeli and Jewish communities in Argentina today expressed their “concern” over the reports, maintaining that the news “did not surprise” them. Both the DAIA Israeli and AMIA Jewish community organizations expressed that Iran’s reported plan to assassinate the Saudi Arabi ambassador to the US and possibly commit attacks of terrorism in Buenos Aires were “worrying”. During a radio interview, the AMIA vice president, Ángel Barman, assured “it’s a piece of news that shook me a little, but it did not surprise me.” Read more here. … Read entire article »

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The Evolution of Pakistan’s Militant Networks

For many years now, STRATFOR has been carefully following the evolution of “Lashkar-e-Taiba” (LeT), the name of a Pakistan-based jihadist group that was formed in 1990 and existed until about 2001, when it was officially abolished. In subsequent years, however, several major attacks were attributed to LeT, including the November 2008 coordinated assault in Mumbai, India. Two years before that attack we wrote that the group, or at least its remnant networks, were nebulous but still dangerous. This nebulous nature was highlighted in November 2008 when the “Deccan Mujahideen,” a previously unknown group, claimed responsibility for the Mumbai attacks. While the most famous leaders of the LeT networks, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, are under house arrest and in jail awaiting trial, respectively, LeT still poses a significant threat. … Read entire article »

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German Jihadists Arrested

The two suspected Islamist terrorists who were arrested last week in Berlin allegedly had connections to a group of Berlin Islamists with links to Afghan terrorist groups, SPIEGEL has learned. Investigation documents cite a witness who said that one of the men, identified only as Samir M., could be considered a member of the so-called “Berlin Group” of Islamists, who support a group known as German Taliban Mujahedeen that is active in Afghanistan. The 24-year-old German citizen of Lebanese descent also maintained good contacts with two Berliners identified as Alican T. and Fatih K., who have since received prison sentences for aiding a terrorist organization abroad. Two years ago, on Sept. 30, 2009, authorities at Berlin’s Tegel Airport prevented Samir M. from traveling to Iran and seized his passport. Among Samir M.’s possessions, … Read entire article »

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Former FBI Agent Explains How He Made Terrorists Talk, Sans Torture, & How 9/11 Didn’t Have to Happen

Former FBI agent Ali Soufan successfully interrogated captured Islamist terrorists after 9/11 without resorting to “enhanced’ techniques. In a SPIEGEL interview, he revealed how he got jihadists to talk using tea and trucker magazines and explained how 9/11 could have been prevented. SPIEGEL: How would you describe the state of the United States 10 years after 9/11, four months after the death of Bin Laden? Is this the beginning of the end of the story? Soufan: It is the beginning of a new era. I think today, al-Qaida is definitely, significantly damaged. The al-Qaida that attacked us on 9/11 does not exist anymore. Its central command is very, very weak. In these 10 years, because of mistakes made, the United States’ reputation was seriously damaged. But at the same time we have been working … Read entire article »

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American Muslims Face Growing Prejudice

Even on hot summer days in Virginia, Brigitte Gabriel receives visitors looking as if she were dressed for the opera. She has her hair teased up, copious amounts of pearls adorning her neck and arms, and her feet clad in rhinestone-studded sandals. This is her uniform in the war against what she sees as the barbarians of radical Islam. On three occasions, Gabriel has been the subject of declarations by al-Qaida, she says, and her name is probably on various death lists. Indeed, Gabriel, who emigrated to the US years ago from Lebanon, is America’s siren on all things Islamophobic, and her speeches are one indication of how the country may have changed since the attacks of September 11. Gabriel’s position can be summarized as follows: The US is suffering from … Read entire article »

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Highlander Scott McLaren and the Toll of Battle Shock in Afghanistan

At first sight, the tragic case of Highlander Scott McLaren of the 4th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, from Edinburgh, seems utterly mystifying. He apparentlywandered away from his lone lookout position, out of his remote base and was then captured and killed by the Taliban. Why would a trained soldier do something so reckless as to be suicidal? We will have to wait for the full facts to emerge but from what we know at this stage it seems very possible that McLaren was a victim of “battle shock” or “battle stress” – the cumulative pressure of combat that eventually causes a soldier to snap and either freeze or act utterly irrationally. Read more here. … Read entire article »

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Another Step in China’s Aircraft Carrier Development

Summary: China is preparing to put its first aircraft carrier, the Shi Lang, to sea on July 1, according to unconfirmed reports. Beijing overcame significant challenges in terms of training and technology to reach this point, and it has many more ahead, including a complete doctrinal shift toward carrier escort and protection. Ultimately, the carrier’s trials mark a significant, albeit mostly symbolic, stage in China’s naval development and have significant implications for China’s neighbors. Analysis: Rumors are circulating that the ex-Soviet aircraft carrier hull originally intended to become the Varyag and now in Chinese possession will be put to sea under its own power July 1, the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of China. Still unnamed — in fact, it is still called the Varyag by official Chinese releases — the ship … Read entire article »

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