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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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Peru, China Sign Military Cooperation Agreement

Peru and China have signed an agreement to boost cooperation on military technology and science, according to state news agency Andina. Peruvian Defense Minister Jaime Thorne said Peru has been interested on expanding its military cooperation with China. China’s Vice-President of its Central Military Committee, Xu Caihou, said the agreement is a reflection of the countries’ increasing ties in recent years in politics, economics and cultural areas. Read more here. … Read entire article »

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Militia Heads Command From Prison in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO – Recent investigation has found that Rio de Janeiro’s militia chiefs are now controlling their empires from prison. As reported recently by O Globo, many militia heads continue to coordinate their operations after incarceration, in the relative safety of seven square meter concrete cells. This form of leadership, pioneered by drug traffickers, appears to have been perfected by the militias. One of the highest profile militia heads currently incarcerated, ex-Military Police Ricardo Teixeira da Cruz “Batman” is believed to be executing orders from his cell in the Federal Penitentiary in Campo Grande (Minas Gerais). The militia chief, thought to be head of the Liga da Justiça (League of Justice) militia faction,  has supposedly passed notes and letters routinely during visits, usually finding their way to his closest cohort still in liberty, … Read entire article »

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Chilean TV Special Suggests Allende Was Murdered

TVN special report uses military files to speculate on former president’s cause of death while government-funded autopsy is already underway Chile’s national television station TVN ran an investigative program on Monday night unveiling new evidence that former President Salvador Allende’s death may not have been a suicide, as previously believed. Just one week after experts exhumed the remains of the former president and Marxist leader, family members have called the special report disrespectful and below their standards of journalism. Between March and April of this year, the TVN researchers led by journalist Paulina de Allende-Salazar accessed a 1973 military file containing many previously unseen documents. Witness testimonies, a ballistics report and the original autopsy of the body were central to their report. Allende-Salazar took the information to the renowned Uruguayan forensics expert, Dr. Hugo … Read entire article »

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‘The Stream of New Insurgents Is Almost Endless’

As the security situation worsens in Afghanistan, German soldiers are coming under increasing attack. In a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, senior Afghan security adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta discusses the roots of terror, Pakistan’s role in the violence and whether Germany should keep its forces in the country. SPIEGEL ONLINE: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has given NATO an ultimatum. Angered by civilian casualties, he has said that Afghans will start regarding Western soldiers as occupiers if they continue to conduct airstrikes on private homes. Are German soldiers still welcome in Afghanistan? Rangin Dadfar Spanta: This is his final word on this matter, and it should be taken seriously. We have the impression that people in Washington have understood it. If nothing changes, sentiments among the population will start turning against NATO. Read more truly exceptional … Read entire article »

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Operation ‘Opera’ Knocked Saddam’s Reactor 30 Years Ago

Thirty years ago Tuesday, on Sunday, June 7, 1981, eight IAF F-16s and and six F-15s took off from the IAF’s Etzion Base in northern Sinai. Their destination was the Iraqi nuclear plant at Al-Tuweitha, near Baghdad. The youngest F-16 pilot was Captain Ilan Ramon, 25. He volunteered to fly last in the attack formation — the most dangerous position — because he had no wife or children. The strike made history and denied Iraq’s Saddam Hussein his dream of nuclear weapons. He was eventually toppled and executed after the US led a coalition force into Iraq. An animation created in 2003, in the months leading up to the coalition’s invasion, tells the story of that strike. By a stroke of chance, it was put online just days after the tragic death of Ilan Ramon, … Read entire article »

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