View Full Version : Yemen events and connections

Magda Hassan
01-10-2010, 07:37 AM
Billions in Recent Yememi Investments and The Underwear Bomber’s Daddy. It’s a Small World Ain’t It? (http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/billions-in-recent-yememi-investments-and-the-underwear-bombers-daddy-its-a-small-world-aint-it/)

Posted on December 30, 2009 by willyloman
by Scott Creighton
Did Daddy Warbucks sell Little Orphan Umar to the CIA?
http://willyloman.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/umar.gif?w=123&h=164 (http://willyloman.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/umar.gif)Daddy Warbucks

Why are we attacking the people of Yemen? Because some kid is alleged to have sewn a big fire-cracker into his underwear then sat on it in a plane over Detroit? Nope. Not even close. If you want to know what this is all about, follow Daddy’s money all the way to the IMF and Jaiz Bank (http://jaizinternationalplc.com/board_of_directors_management_staff.html).
Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t brave soldiers used to throw themselves on grenades back in the day to absorb the shock and therefore save their fellow soldiers. Isn’t there a saying about “throwing yourself on a grenade” to that end? So the big “terrorist” plot here is to get a small amount of PETN onboard a plane (http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/abcs-50-gms-of-petn-video-is-propaganda-and-i-have-the-proof/) and then SIT ON IT, thus absorbing the relatively small explosion… with his ass and his 150lb body?
That’s the “plan” that requires, as President Obama blusters, “every element of national power” to fight? I don’t think so. You gotta look a little closer than a singed pair of tightie-whities if you want to know why President Obama is going to kill more people in Yemen. I have. Take a look.

The other day I wrote about President Obama’s attempt to assassinate a witness in Yemen (http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2009/12/25/so-why-did-president-obama-try-to-kill-a-witness-in-yemen/) as well as the IMF and World Bank connections (http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/peace-prize-president-kills-23-children-and-17-women-to-protect-the-assets-of-the-imf-and-world-bank/) related to that nation as the probable reason the US feels compelled to invade. The premise was, that with all the free-market “reforms” being forced on the people of Yemen by these privately owned international banking institutions, the poor of that nation were rising up against the corrupt government and it looks like without our help, there will be a regime change. I wrote about the involvement of the Kuwait Energy company and their connections with the World Bank as it relates to the multiple ongoing oil and LNG pipelines running throughout the country. Basically, I estimated based on information from the websites and publications from the World Bank, IMF, and Kuwait Energy websites that there was about a quarter of a billion dollars at stake and that it was that money that was the reason President Obama chose to attack the people of Yemen.
Once again, Obama and his adminstration are serving the banks interests first.
Well, hold onto your hats folks… I was wrong. Yes, you heard that right. Scott Creighton (willyloman) is admitting he was wrong. My research was incomplete and I missed the mark by quite a bit.
Instead of having a quarter of a billion dollars of foreign investment on the line… it’s more like 5 billion dollars.

Yemen’s foreign debt has increased from $8.9 million to $5.9 billion since July 2009, according to the report on banking and currency developments issued by the Yemen Central Bank.
The IFC’s institutions topped Yemen creditors, with Yemen owing them about $3 billion, including $2.2 billion for the International Development Foundation.
The rest of the debt was for the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the International Fund for Agriculture Development IFAD, the Islamic Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the OPEC and the EU.
Yemen’s debt for the Paris Club Members came second by about $1.8 billion, with $1.3 billion in Russian loans.
Many outstanding loans come from Japanese, U.S., French, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Dutch and German sources.
The country’s debt for other creditors came in the third place with Yemen owing Saudi, Kuwaiti, Chinese, Algerian, Korean, Polish and Iraqi funds about $836 million. The debt for unidentified sources reached $195.7 million by July. YOB Sept. 2009 (http://www.yobserver.com/business-and-economy/10017297.html)
Since July of 2009, money has been pouring into Yemen fast and furious; money that may never be recovered were there to be a revolution and subsequent regime change in that nation. President Obama can’t allow that to happen. But how is he going to go to the American people and tell them that foreign investors and international banks are worried about their billions in investments in the “reforms” of Yemen’s socioeconomic system? That wouldn’t be an easy sell to a post TARP Bill nation now would it?
http://i676.photobucket.com/albums/vv126/kennyrk2/petn.jpg?t=1262091976Be Afraid!

Enter Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (http://willyloman.wordpress.com/wiki/Umar_Farouk_Abdulmutallab) and his ridiculous “underwear bomb”.
Now, all this time after the terrorist attack on Flight 253 (and I will call it that because whether it was done by one “lone gunman” or the state, it’s still an attempt to effect change through the use of fear so it is terrorism) what do we really know about Abdulmutallab? Well, we have been told by an agency that has lied to us many, many times that he has “confessed” to the attack because he was “radicalized” and that he received help from terrorists in Yemen. All too convenient of a story isn’t it? Billions on the line in Yemen, Obama tries to assassinated a guy there killing scores of innocent people instead, and ALL OF A SUDDEN we have this guy coming out of the woodwork with his silly “underwear bomb”.
After scouring though all his emails (I told you they keep every single comment and email forever) the only “radical” thing the media can say about him… is he’s lonely. Imaging that; a lonely student.
Well, what isn’t the MSM and President Obama telling you about Abdulmutallab that is relevant to the story? Let me fill in some blanks.
1. The Underwear Bomber’s IMF and World Bank indebted Father
Abdulmutallab’s father is indeed a banker just as the MSM has said. The interesting thing is, he’s not JUST a banker, he is THE banker in Nigeria. According to a recent Times story, Abdulmutallab’s father, Umaru Mutallab is one of the wealthiest men in Africa (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6969075.ece); that says a lot in a continent as corrupt as Africa.
In Nigeria, the nation Umaru Mutallab lives in, according to the World Bank, 53% of the population lives on less than $1 per day. Abject poverty is rampant in Nigeria and so are human rights violations. Kinda has to be that way to keep the super wealthy in control of the population.

On February 25, police killed approximately 50 persons, burned nearly 100 homes, and destroyed more than 150 market stalls in Ogaminana, just outside Okene, Adavi local government area, Kogi State.
On November 27, in Jos, ethno-religious violence erupted during the vote tabulation for the Jos North Local Government Area elections resulting in the deaths of approximately 300 persons. Credible reports indicate the police and military used lethal force during attempts to quell the violence, killing approximately 100 civilians.
Police officers were not held accountable for excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody. Police generally operated with impunity in the apprehension, illegal detention, and sometimes execution of criminal suspects. 2008 US State Deptment Report on Human Rights Violations in Nigeria (http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/af/119018.htm)
How did Abdulmutallab’s father become so wealthy in the first place? Umaru Mutallab was the Nigerian Minister of Economic Development in 1975. He then spent a decade as the Managing Director and CEO of United Bank for Africa. For the last ten years, Umaru has been the chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria.
So, Abdulmutallab’s father was instrumental through his government position in facilitating the World Bank and IMF’s entrance into the Nigerian economic system. He then goes on to head up several banks making himself filthy rich while the vast majority of Nigeria is impoverished to unprecedented degrees all the time and kept in check by ruthless police and military oppression.
That’s the “underwear bomber’s” “banker” father; a corrupt Nigerian banker with excessive connections to the IMF and the World Bank and who OWES everything he has to them.
So far what we know about Daddy Warbucks is this; he went to the State Department (U.S. Embassy) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/27/AR2009122700279.html) and then he went to the CIA offices in Nigeria (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6909184/Detroit-terror-attack-CIA-had-report-on-suspect-five-weeks-before-bomb.html) supposedly to “warn” them about his “radicalized” son. Yet, no emails or web comments appear to make Abdulmutallab look very radical. So why was Daddy Warbucks with his deep IMF and World Bank connections really meeting with the State Department (US Embassy) and CIA? Why is it that after the supposed “warnings” Abdulmutallab was STILL able to get on that flight with all the warning signs and red flags? Hmm?

When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father in Nigeria reported concern over his son’s “radicalization” to the U.S. Embassy there last month (Nov. 19th), intelligence officials in the United States deemed the information insufficient to pursue. Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/27/AR2009122700279.html)
Abdulmutallab’s father Alhaji Uma Abdulmutallab, a prominent banker, was said to have had one face-to-face meeting with a CIA official in Nigeria (just 5 weeks ago) and several contacts by telephone. Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6909184/Detroit-terror-attack-CIA-had-report-on-suspect-five-weeks-before-bomb.html)
2. The Underwear Bombers Mother
Abdulmutallab’s mother isn’t talked about much. Ever wonder why that is? Well, I’ll tell you; it’s because she is from Yemen. That’s right. Yes, Abdulmutallab went to Yemen. But is it possible he went to visit his mother or other relatives there and NOT “al-Qaeda” operatives? It’s hard to figure out, because everything about his mother is being scrubbed up on the net. Very little is being said about her and who she is. But this much I know, she is from Yemen and may live there, or may not. I will continue looking into it.
Now, here is what we have learned;

Yemen increased its national debt to the tune of 5 billion dollars from July to September of this year (they may have borrowed more since Sept). The IMF, World Bank, and Paris Club members are on the hook for that money if the revolution in Yemen is successful.
A World Bank and IMF indebted super wealthy “free-market” reformer in Nigeria goes to the State Department and then to the CIA in Nigeria to talk about his son.
That same son, for reasons unknown decides “out of the blue” to sit on a small amount of explosives in a plane in Detroit. The CIA somehow misses the warning signs.
The FBI announces immediately that the son “confessed’ that it was all Yemen’s fault.
After the attack, all the banking controlled congressmen and the Obama administration announce we will attack “the terrorists” in Yemen and thus help “stabilize” the current corrupt government of that nation.

Now, one more thing… this one is funny actually that no one else caught it.
Daddy Warbucks, Umaru Mutallab (remember, one of the wealthiest men in Africa, banker extraordinaire) played a major role in introducing Islamic banking (http://willyloman.wordpress.com/wiki/Islamic_banking) into Nigeria. Islamic Banking is represented and organized globally by what is called the Islamic Development Bank (http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/billions-in-recent-yememi-investments-and-the-underwear-bombers-daddy-its-a-small-world-aint-it/Islamic%20Development%20Bank) which is deeply involved with Nigeria now (http://www.isdb.org/irj/portal/anonymous/idb_search_en?SearchType=quick)(thanks in part to Umaru Mutallab) mainly through a bank called Jaiz Bank.
Umaru Mutallab sits on the board of Jaiz Bank and is in fact it’s chairman (http://jaizinternationalplc.com/board_of_directors_management_staff.html).

This year, however, should see the launch of Nigeria’s first Islamic bank. A holding company called Jaiz International, has been set up in the country to launch what will eventually be called Jaiz Bank International. It is being supported in its endeavours by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), which is helping to ensure that the launch of Jaiz is a success and that the bank complies with international banking regulations and Nigerian laws. All Business 2007 (http://www.allbusiness.com/trade-development/trade-development-finance-banks/8901825-1.html)
Well look at that. Jaiz Bank, headed up by the “underwear bombers’ father is in fact supported financially by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Now remember what I first put up in this article, the IDB is also heavily invested in the neoliberal reforms of Yemen’s economy which are at this very moment, under serious risk of the ongoing revolution in that country.
Daddy Warbucks, whose banking ties are under threat of serious set-backs, goes to the State Department and then the CIA and all of a sudden his lonely, college drop-out, populist son, ends up getting on a flight and setting his nuts on fire and the good-old U.S. of A can now come running in to the rescue to save all those precious investments in Yemen that are directly tied to, you guessed it, the underwear bomber’s daddy. A small world, ain’t it?
I hope that clears things up a little bit.
Either that or they just “hate us for our freedom”. Take your pick.
“Billions in Recent Yememi Investments and The Underwear Bomber’s Daddy. It’s a Small World Ain’t It?” is the 1st part of my “Understanding the Panty Bomber Mythology” series

Jan Klimkowski
01-10-2010, 09:04 PM
So was Daddy Mutallab a participant in this piece of political theatre designed to provide a new chapter in Their War on Terror?

Did Daddy Mutallab provide the back story - denouncing his son to the American embassy and CIA offices, (which of course he knew how to find)?

And who was the smartly-dressed man described by an eyewitness as accompanying Mutallab Jr, and helping him get onto the flight despite a lack of proper ID in Amsterdam?

Peter Lemkin
01-11-2010, 06:19 AM
Hmmm......the usual unusual we get in the never-to-end 'war on terror' scare stories. Glad we got to see his actual underwear..... I'm sure it was just coincidence that the USA used robot craft to kill a few Yemeni 'bad guys' and some innocents nearby just about ten days before this incident.....just another one of those strange coincidences that seem to pop up EVERYWHERE.
Good point Jan, how did Daddy know where the CIA offices were. I heard a former State Dept Official last night talking and he said that among all the other things that would have gotten anyone thoroughly searched were:
- the no luggage on an international flight
- buying a one way ticket
- buy the ticket cash
- no passport
- no proof of means of support in USA
- no proof of reason for trip to USA
- no proof of plans to return to Nigeria and leave USA
All of these are S.O.P. for getting a visa and boarding an international flight - but by coincidence [and a few others] he had NO problems....not to mention the 'well-dressed' man who helped him get on the flight who is not spoken about, but several passengers saw and heard. Oh well, next they'll have someone bring in [on request/command] some PETN in a body cavity I'll leave to your imagination, and then everyone will have to have a body cavity search with a gloved hand or some special electronic device before visiting grandma...and grandma will be searched inside and out too....nice world we now live in.

It did happen here!

Keith Millea
01-11-2010, 06:01 PM
Someone help me here.Supposedly the bomber set the explosives on fire.Then how come there are NO burn marks on the underwear in the picture? :dontknow:

Peter Lemkin
01-11-2010, 08:06 PM
Someone help me here.Supposedly the bomber set the explosives on fire.Then how come there are NO burn marks on the underwear in the picture? :dontknow:

Maybe he peed in his pants or it is the 'Z-film' or 'Manlicher-Carcano' of underpants. :reddy: The authorities never present false evidence - never....nor do they create and hide the reality of patsies or false-flag operations. You can trust the government more than you can trust your own eyes and sensibilites - trust them...trust them....trust them...trust.....

Keith Millea
01-11-2010, 08:43 PM
OK,here are pictures that do show some scorching of the bomb materials.


Photos of the Northwest Airlines Flight 253 Bomb
Accused Bomber Abdulmutallab's Underwear, Explosive Packet and Detonator

Dec. 28, 2009

(http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fabcnews.go.com%2FBlo tter%2Fnorthwest-airlines-flight-253-bomb-photos-exclusive%2Fstory%3Fid%3D9436297&v=250&title=)A singed pair of underwear with a packet of powder sewn into the crotch, seen in government photos obtained exclusively by ABC News, is all that remains of al Qaeda's attempt to down an American passenger plane over Detroit.
http://a.abcnews.com/images/Blotter/abc_a_PETN_underwear_091228_mn.jpg The underwear with the explosive worn by alleged Northwest 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is shown in this undated photo.
(ABC News)

As seen in these photos, the alleged bomb consisted of a packet of powder sewn into the briefs of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian. Al Qaeda took credit Monday for the attempted bombing, boasted of its ability to overcome U.S. intelligence and airport security, and promised new attacks.
The first photo, to the left, shows the slightly charred underpants with the bomb packet still in place. All photos include a ruler to provide scale.


The bomb packet is a six-inch long container of the high-explosive chemical PETN, less than a half cup in volume, weighing about 80 grams.


In the second photo (right), the packet of explosive powder has been removed from the underpants and displayed separately.
A government test with 50 grams of PETN blew a hole in the side of an airliner. That was the amount in the bomb carried by the so-called shoe bomber Richard Reid over Christmas 2001.
The underpants bomb would have been one and a half times as powerful.

Acid in Syringe Was Detonator

The packet of PETN explosive powder is shown separately here.


Tragedy was averted only because the detonator, acid in a syringe, did not work.
"It's very clear it came very, very close," said Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R.-Mich., ranking minority member of the House Intelligence Committee. "The explosive device went off, but it became an incendiary device instead of an explosive device, which is probably what saved that airplane."


The acid in the melted plastic syringe, pictured below, caused a fire but did not make proper contact with the PETN.


Abdulmutallab told FBI agents he received the bomb from and was trained by al Qaeda in Yemen over the last few months. In a web posting today, the al Qaeda group displayed a picture of Abdulmutallab, calling him a hero who "overcame legendary American intelligence which showed its fragility, putting its nose in the ground, using all of what they spent in new security techniques against them."

The al Qaeda group in Yemen has been calling for attacks against the U.S. for months.
Two of its four top leaders were U.S. prisoners at Guantanamo until November, 2007 when they were turned over to Saudi Arabia and then set free after supposedly being rehabilitated.
Now U.S. officials say these men have shown they pose a much greater operational threat than al Qaeda in Pakistan or Afghanistan.
Richard Clarke: Yemen is the new Afghanistan. It is the new sanctuary, the new al Qaeda base where people from around the world, who want to be trained are sent. No longer to Afghanistan, but to Yemen.a
In its statement today, the al Qaeda group said the attempt to bring down the jet was retaliation for U.S. air strikes in Yemen.
But those air strikes took place on December 17, and Abdulmutallab's mission was already underway then as he bought his ticket to Detroit on Dec. 16.

Keith Millea
01-11-2010, 09:54 PM
I'm still not trusting the official story.I do think the guy is a patsy,and that the explosives were never meant to detonate.I only have some experience with C-4,and not PETM so I'm no expert here.I have a question.

Why,didn't the guy mix and explode while he was in the bathroom?Nobody could have stopped him.

I would like to hear what some demolition experts have to say about the supposed acid in the shringe being able to set off the explosives.You need more than just something that sets it on fire.We used to use C-4 to heat up our C-rations.It burns hot and bright.The word was,just don't stomp on it.Of course nobody ever tried stomping on it to test the theory of the Big Bang.:bird:Like I was saying,you need some kind of spark,and (pressure?)to blow the stuff.

Cooking with C-4


Keith Millea
01-12-2010, 02:55 AM
Well,this is from the comments from the below link.It answers the question I had about how to detonate the explosives without an electrical charge or pulse.So perhaps my theory that the bomb was never intended to be exploded,just some fire,is incorrect.:stupido2:


http://www.blogger.com/img/b16-rounded.gif Irvine Engineer (http://www.blogger.com/profile/13244829501658396558) said... Just to be clear: I doubt that
sulphuric sets off PETN directly. But
you put PETN at the bottom
of the condom, with sugar+chlorate
mix at top. The latter you ignite
with the syringe, its exothermy
sets off the PETN.

You see, this was an exercise in
non-electrical detonation.


In thermodynamics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermodynamics), the term exothermic ("outside heating") describes a process or reaction that releases energy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy) usually in the form of heat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat), but also in the form of light (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light) (e.g. a spark, flame, or explosion), electricity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity) (e.g. a battery), or sound (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound). Its etymology stems from the Greek prefix ex- (meaning "outside") and the Greek word thermein (meaning "to heat"). The term exothermic was first coined by Marcellin Berthelot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcellin_Berthelot). The opposite of an exothermic process is an endothermic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endothermic) process, one that absorbs energy in the form of heat.

Peter Lemkin
01-12-2010, 07:09 AM
I'm still not trusting the official story.I do think the guy is a patsy,and that the explosives were never meant to detonate.I only have some experience with C-4,and not PETM so I'm no expert here.I have a question.

Why,didn't the guy mix and explode while he was in the bathroom?Nobody could have stopped him.

I would like to hear what some demolition experts have to say about the supposed acid in the shringe being able to set off the explosives.You need more than just something that sets it on fire.We used to use C-4 to heat up our C-rations.It burns hot and bright.The word was,just don't stomp on it.Of course nobody ever tried stomping on it to test the theory of the Big Bang.:bird:Like I was saying,you need some kind of spark,and (pressure?)to blow the stuff.

Cooking with C-4


you make campfires with C-4!...remind me to never go camping with you!~:laugh:

The whole incident is strange in the ways that LIHOP or partly staged [part to full false-flag ops] are. And how the hell did ABC get to see the evidence that will be used in the trial. That is not how things are supposed to be done - but is how they are done when they want to frighten the public and prejudice the jury....this guy is already convicted....and will spend the rest of his life in prison being tortured [though we don't torture....we just torture for 'good'.]. Somehow, this case and the case of the psychiatrist who we are told shot lots of persons, while his two accomplices got away after being arrested, seem to me to be out of the same hymn book.... The government would have us believe it was a Koranic hymn book....I'm not so sure!

Keith Millea
01-12-2010, 06:28 PM
The Feds have the evidence in this case all locked up.Not sure how ABC got hold of those pictures.I was never able to find what the bomb was made of.The only references were that it was PETN and acid(in the syringe).Well,what kind of acid?If the bomb was only PETN and sulfuric acid,then all you are going to get is fire.Now if the bomb had something like sugar+chlorate added,it could go boom.It's all guessing at this point because the bomb composition has not been released.Add this to the fact that witnesses describe a man standing and filming the episode (even before the attempt).Where is that video?The well dressed man (were's the airport video?).There's too much evidence hidden right now to come to any sort of real conclusion.Hopefully some researchers will keep digging.

And again I ask.If the bomber really wanted to blow the plane,why didn't he just blow it in the bathroom?No one could have stopped him...........

Magda Hassan
01-13-2010, 12:19 PM
Yemen forces 'kill al-Qaeda chief'

The alleged leader of an al-Qaeda cell in Yemen has been killed in an exchange of fire with security forces, according to a provincial governor.
Abdullah Mehdar is said to have been the leader of an al-Qaeda group in the province of Shabwa, 375 miles (600km) east of the capital, Sanaa.
Reports said four other members of the same cell had been arrested.
In another incident, two soldiers were reportedly killed in an ambush near Ataq, the provincial capital.
The governor of Shabwa, Ali Hassan al-Ahmadi, said: "Abdullah Mehdar was killed last night by security forces, which had besieged the house he hid in."
Under pressure
Security officials said Yemeni forces had surrounded the house, in a mountainous region, and exchanged fire with some 20 militants inside.
The remaining militants escaped. The Spanish news agency, EFE, said one member of the security forces had been killed in the operation.
It quoted local news agencies saying the dead militant had been one of the top al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen.
But a local tribal leader told Associated Press news agency Mehdar and the arrested men were not "active members" of al-Qaeda.
"They were young men who went astray, but I don't think they were really members of al-Qaeda," Sheik Atiq Baadha said.
He said local leaders could have handed over the men if they had been approached, and warned that sympathy for al-Qaeda could increase if government forces continued with their current tactics.
On Tuesday, Yemen's foreign minister renewed a call for dialogue with al-Qaeda militants, provided they downed weapons and renounced violence.
But, he added, if they refused, government forces would continue to pursue them.
The spotlight was turned on Yemen after the Yemen-based group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said it had carried out a failed bomb attack on a US-bound airliner on 25 December.
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama said he had "no intention" of sending US troops to Yemen or Somalia to combat militant groups in those countries.
Analysts say al-Qaeda militants have been moving to Yemen after coming under pressure in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and following a crackdown in Saudi Arabia.
Last week, Yemeni officials said another local al-Qaeda leader and two other militants had been arrested after being injured in a raid 25 miles (40km) north of Sanaa.


Magda Hassan
01-13-2010, 01:14 PM
Obama's Yemeni odyssey targets China
By M K Bhadrakumar

A year ago, Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh made the startling revelation that his country's security forces apprehended a group of Islamists linked to the Israeli intelligence forces. "A terrorist cell was apprehended and will be referred to the courts for its links with the Israeli intelligence services," he promised.

Saleh added, "You will hear about the trial proceedings." Nothing was ever heard and the trail went cold. Welcome to the magical land of Yemen, where in the womb of time the Arabian Nights were played out.

Combine Yemen with the mystique of Islam, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Israeli intelligence and you get a heady mix. The head of the US Central Command, General David Petraeus, dropped in at the capital, Sana'a, on Saturday and vowed to Saleh

http://asianmedia.com/GAAN/www/delivery/lg.php?bannerid=27&campaignid=23&zoneid=36&channel_ids=,&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.atimes.com%2Fatimes%2FMiddle_ East%2FLA09Ak02.html&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.atimes.com%2F&cb=e778ed0e16
http://asianmedia.com/GAAN/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=36&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a53e495a (http://asianmedia.com/GAAN/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a53e495a&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE)

increased American aid to fight al-Qaeda. United States President Barack Obama promptly echoed Petraeus' promise, assuring that the US would step up intelligence-sharing and training of Yemeni forces and perhaps carry out joint attacks against militants in the region.

Another Afghanistan?
Many accounts say that Obama, who is widely regarded as a gifted and intelligent politician, is blundering into a catastrophic mistake by starting another war that could turn out to be as bloody and chaotic and unwinnable as Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, on the face of it, Obama does seem erratic. The parallels with Afghanistan are striking. There has been an attempt to destroy a US plane by a Nigerian student who says he received training in Yemen. And America wants to go to war.

Yemen, too, is a land of wonderfully beautiful rugged mountains that could be a guerilla paradise. Yemenis are a hospitable lot, like Afghan tribesmen, but as Irish journalist Patrick Cockurn recollects, while they are generous to passing strangers, they "deem the laws of hospitality to lapse when the stranger leaves their tribal territory, at which time he becomes 'a good back to shoot at'." Surely, there is romance in the air - almost like in the Hindu Kush. Fiercely nationalistic, almost every Yemeni has a gun. Yemen is also, like Afghanistan, a land of conflicting authorities, and with foreign intervention, a little civil war is waiting to flare up.


Is Obama so incredibly forgetful of his own December 1 speech outlining his Afghan strategy that he violated his own canons? Certainly not. Obama is a smart man. The intervention in Yemen will go down as one of the smartest moves that he ever made for perpetuating the US's global hegemony. It is America's answer to China's surge.

A cursory look at the map of region will show that Yemen is one of the most strategic lands adjoining waters of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. It flanks Saudi Arabia and Oman, which are vital American protectorates. In effect, Uncle Sam is "marking territory" - like a dog on a lamppost. Russia has been toying with the idea of reopening its Soviet-era base in Aden. Well, the US has pipped Moscow in the race.

The US has signaled that the odyssey doesn't end with Yemen. It is also moving into Somalia and Kenya. With that, the US establishes its military presence in an entire unbroken stretch of real estate all along the Indian Ocean's western rim. Chinese officials have of late spoken of their need to establish a naval base in the region. The US has now foreclosed China's options. The only country with a coastline that is available for China to set up a naval base in the region will be Iran. All other countries have a Western military presence.

The American intervention in Yemen is not going to be on the pattern of Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama will ensure he doesn't receive any body bags of American servicemen serving in Yemen. That is what the American public expects from him. He will only deploy drone aircraft and special forces and "focus on providing intelligence and training to help Yemen counter al-Qaeda militants", according to the US military. Obama's main core objective will be to establish an enduring military presence in Yemen. This serves many purposes.

A new great game begins
First, the US move has to be viewed against the historic backdrop of the Shi'ite awakening in the region. The Shi'ites (mostly of the Zaidi group) have been traditionally suppressed in Yemen. Shi'ite uprisings have been a recurring theme in Yemen's history. There has been a deliberate attempt to minimize the percentage of Shi'ites in Yemen, but they could be anywhere up to 45%.

More importantly, in the northern part of the country, they constitute the majority. What bothers the US and moderate Sunni Arab states - and Israel - is that the Believing Youth Organization led by Hussein Badr al-Houthi, which is entrenched in northern Yemen, is modeled after Hezbollah in Lebanon in all respects - politically, economically, socially and culturally.

Yemenis are an intelligent people and are famous in the Arabian Peninsula for their democratic temperament. The Yemeni Shi'ite empowerment on a Hezbollah-model would have far-reaching regional implications. Next-door Oman, which is a key American base, is predominantly Shi'ite. Even more sensitive is the likelihood of the dangerous idea of Shi'ite empowerment spreading to Saudi Arabia's highly restive Shi'ite regions adjoining Yemen, which on top of it all, also happen to be the reservoir of the country's fabulous oil wealth.

Saudi Arabia is entering a highly sensitive phase of political transition as a new generation is set to take over the leadership in Riyadh, and the palace intrigues and fault lines within the royal family are likely to get exacerbated. To put it mildly, given the vast scale of institutionalized Shi'ite persecution in Saudi Arabia by the Wahhabi establishment, Shi'ite empowerment is a veritable minefield that Riyadh is petrified about at this juncture. Its threshold of patience is wearing thin, as the recent uncharacteristic resort to military power against the north Yemeni Shi'ite communities bordering Saudi Arabia testifies.

The US faces a classic dilemma. It is all right for Obama to highlight the need of reform in Muslim societies - as he did eloquently in his Cairo speech last June. But democratization in the Yemeni context - ironically, in the Arab context - would involve Shi'ite empowerment. After the searing experience in Iraq, Washington is literally perched like a cat on a hot tin roof. It would much rather be aligned with the repressive, autocratic government of Saleh than let the genie of reform out of the bottle in the oil rich-region in which it has profound interests.

Obama has an erudite mind and he is not unaware that what Yemen desperately needs is reform, but he simply doesn't want to think about it. The paradox he faces is that with all its imperfections, Iran happens to be the only "democratic" system operating in that entire region.

Iran's shadow over the Yemeni Shi'ite consciousness worries the US to no end. Simply put, in the ideological struggle going on in the region, Obama finds himself with the ultra-conservative and brutally autocratic oligarchies that constitute the ruling class in the region. Conceivably, he isn't finding it easy. If his own memoirs are to be believed, there could be times when the vague recollections of his childhood in Indonesia and his precious memories of his own mother, who from all accounts was a free-wheeling intellectual and humanist, must be stalking him in the White House corridors.

Israel moves in
But Obama is first and foremost a realist. Emotions and personal beliefs drain away and strategic considerations weigh uppermost when he works in the Oval Office. With the military presence in Yemen, the US has tightened the cordon around Iran. In the event of a military attack on Iran, Yemen could be put to use as a springboard by the Israelis. These are weighty considerations for Obama.

The fact is that no one is in control as a Yemeni authority. It is a cakewalk for the formidable Israeli intelligence to carve out a niche in Yemen - just as it did in northern Iraq under somewhat comparable circumstances.

Islamism doesn't deter Israel at all. Saleh couldn't have been far off the mark when he alleged last year that Israeli intelligence had been exposed as having kept links with Yemeni Islamists. The point is, Yemeni Islamists are a highly fragmented lot and no one is sure who owes what sort of allegiance to whom. Israeli intelligence operates marvelously in such twilight zones when the horizon is lacerated with the blood of the vanishing sun.

Israel will find a toehold in Yemen to be a god-sent gift insofar as it registers its presence in the Arabian Peninsula. This is a dream come true for Israel, whose effectiveness as a regional power has always been seriously handicapped by its lack of access to the Persian Gulf region. The overarching US military presence helps

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Israel politically to consolidate its Yemeni chapter. Without doubt, Petraeus is moving on Yemen in tandem with Israel (and Britain). But the "pro-West" Arab states with their rentier mentality have no choice except to remain as mute spectators on the sidelines.

Some among them may actually acquiesce with the Israeli security presence in the region as a safer bet than the spread of the dangerous ideas of Shi'ite empowerment emanating out of Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah. Also, at some stage, Israeli intelligence will begin to infiltrate the extremist Sunni outfits in Yemen, which are commonly known as affiliates of al-Qaeda. That is, if it hasn't done that already. Any such link makes Israel an invaluable ally for the US in its fight against al-Qaeda. In sum, infinite possibilities exist in the paradigm that is taking shape in the Muslim world abutting into the strategic Persian Gulf.

It's all about China
Most important, however, for US global strategies will be the massive gain of control of the port of Aden in Yemen. Britain can vouchsafe that Aden is the gateway to Asia. Control of Aden and the Malacca Strait will put the US in an unassailable position in the "great game" of the Indian Ocean. The sea lanes of the Indian Ocean are literally the jugular veins of China's economy. By controlling them, Washington sends a strong message to Beijing that any notions by the latter that the US is a declining power in Asia would be nothing more than an extravagant indulgence in fantasy.

In the Indian Ocean region, China is increasingly coming under pressure. India is a natural ally of the US in the Indian Ocean region. Both disfavor any significant Chinese naval presence. India is mediating a rapprochement between Washington and Colombo that would help roll back Chinese influence in Sri Lanka. The US has taken a u-turn in its Myanmar policy and is engaging the regime there with the primary intent of eroding China's influence with the military rulers. The Chinese strategy aimed at strengthening influence in Sri Lanka and Myanmar so as to open a new transportation route towards the Middle East, the Persian Gulf and Africa, where it has begun contesting traditional Western economic dominance.

China is keen to whittle down its dependence on the Malacca Strait for its commerce with Europe and West Asia. The US, on the contrary, is determined that China remains vulnerable to the choke point between Indonesia and Malaysia.

An engrossing struggle is breaking out. The US is unhappy with China's efforts to reach the warm waters of the Persian Gulf through the Central Asian region and Pakistan. Slowly but steadily, Washington is tightening the noose around the neck of the Pakistani elites - civilian and military - and forcing them to make a strategic choice between the US and China. This will put those elites in an unenviable dilemma. Like their Indian counterparts, they are inherently "pro-Western" (even when they are "anti-American") and if the Chinese connection is important for Islamabad, that is primarily because it balances perceived Indian hegemony.

The existential questions with which the Pakistani elites are grappling are apparent. They are seeking answers from Obama. Can Obama maintain a balanced relationship vis-a-vis Pakistan and India? Or, will Obama lapse back to the George W Bush era strategy of building up India as the pre-eminent power in the Indian Ocean under whose shadow Pakistan will have to learn to live?

US-India-Israel axis
On the other hand, the Indian elites are in no compromising mood. Delhi was on a roll during the Bush days. Now, after the initial misgivings about Obama's political philosophy, Delhi is concluding that he is all but a clone of his illustrious predecessor as regards the broad contours of the US's global strategy - of which containment of China is a core template.

The comfort level is palpably rising in Delhi with regard to the Obama presidency. Delhi takes the surge of the Israeli lobby in Washington as the litmus test for the Obama presidency. The surge suits Delhi, since the Jewish lobby was always a helpful ally in cultivating influence in the US Congress, media and the rabble-rousing think-tankers as well as successive administrations. And all this is happening at a time when the India-Israel security relationship is gaining greater momentum.

United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates is due to visit Delhi in the coming days. The Obama administration is reportedly adopting an increasingly accommodative attitude toward India's longstanding quest for "dual-use" technology from the US. If so, a massive avenue of military cooperation is about to open between the two countries, which will make India a serious challenger to China's growing military prowess. It is a win-win situation as the great Indian arms bazaar offers highly lucrative business for American companies.

Clearly, a cozy three-way US-Israel-India alliance provides the underpinning for all the maneuvering that is going on. It will have significance for the security of the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. Last year, India formalized a naval presence in Oman.

All-in-all, terrorism experts are counting the trees and missing the wood when they analyze the US foray into Yemen in the limited terms of hunting down al-Qaeda. The hard reality is that Obama, whose main plank used to be "change", has careened away and increasingly defaults to the global strategies of the Bush era. The freshness of the Obama magic is dissipating. Traces of the "revisionism" in his foreign policy orientation are beginning to surface. We can see them already with regard to Iran, Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Israel-Palestine problem, Central Asia and towards China and Russia.

Arguably, this sort of "return of the native" by Obama was inevitable. For one thing, he is but a creature of his circumstances. As someone put it brilliantly, Obama's presidency is like driving a train rather than a car: a train cannot be "steered", the driver can at best set its speed, but ultimately, it must run on its tracks.

Besides, history has no instances of a declining world power meekly accepting its destiny and walking into the sunset. The US cannot give up on its global dominance without putting up a real fight. And the reality of all such momentous struggles is that they cannot be fought piece-meal. You cannot fight China without occupying Yemen.

Magda Hassan
01-13-2010, 01:17 PM
Now I wonder if they can connect North Korea, Cuba, Lybia and Venezuela as well?

US think tank seeks to connect Iran, Yemen, Qaeda
Tue, 12 Jan 2010 19:03:54 GMT

A report says a high-profile neoconservative think tank in the United States is reportedly working to establish a link between Iran, the Yemeni opposition groups and al-Qaeda militants.

The alleged connection between Iran, the Shia Houthi fighters in northern Yemen, the Yemeni separatists in the south and the militants has been the subject of discussions between Chris Harnisch and Frederick Kagan, two scholars at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI).

Harnisch and Kagan have been at work for the past six months to make the connection, the report said.

Kagan, who directs a project on expansive contingency plans at the institute, is to submit the institute's examination of Yemen's domestic affairs and the consequences of a possible US intervention in the country and the rest of the Persian Gulf, the report said.

The AEI is alleged to have played a key role in the propaganda campaigns that preceded the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

Referring to the recent Yemeni and US airstrikes on southern Yemen, Harnisch argued in a December 29 piece that an "al-Qaeda franchise" in Yemen "has taken note of the increased cooperation between American and Yemeni security forces and appears to have identified the United States and its interests as its primary target, replacing Saudi Arabia and Yemen."

Yemen and the presence of militant groups that pledge allegiance to al-Qaeda have become a hot topic since the attempted bomb attack on a US airliner on Christmas Day by a young Nigerian who allegedly received training in the oil-rich country.

Magda Hassan
01-13-2010, 01:28 PM
Some interesting comments and commentary from Bill Conroy of Narco News

Breaking down the tale of the underpants bomber

Posted by Bill Conroy (http://narcosphere.narconews.com/users/bill-conroy) - January 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm
Troubled Nigerian kid is blowback from Pakistan’s badlands

David Headley, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, was arrested by the FBI (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS184911+27-Oct-2009+PRN20091027) (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS184911+27-Oct-2009+PRN20091027)last October for allegedly conspiring to carry out violent acts in Denmark against the newspaper that published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.
Headley, a resident of Chicago, is also in the headlights of Indian law enforcers, who suspect he played a role in the attacks on civilians in Mumbai (http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-44563620091208), India, last year that resulted in 166 deaths.
But there is a far larger ball of intrigue that begins to unwind once you begin to pull on the Headley string.
In fact, Headley; the Jordanian doctor [Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi] who on Dec. 30, 2009, blew up himself and half a dozen CIA employees in Khost, Afghanistan; and the recent Nigerian underwear bomber [Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab] all appear to be connected through a pair of militant Pakistanis aligned with the Taliban and Al Qaeda — both working out of the Waziristan province (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waziristan) in Pakistan.
The Pakistanis are Rashid Rauf [who has dual citizenship with Pakistan and Britain] and Ilyas Kashmiri.
The acts of violence being perpetrated by Rauf and Kashmiri, and others, appear to be blowback from Pakistani intelligence efforts to manipulate (ineffectively) militant groups along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to create a force against India’s control of Kashmir. The blowback also stems from more recent Drone attacks in Pakistan being carried out by the U.S. government, which have been successful in taking out Taliban/Al Qaeda operatives but also have raised concerns about collateral damage to civilians, which has supposedly led President Obama to consider putting the brakes (http://www.newsweek.com/id/226522) on the attacks.
The blowback, as described by the Washington Times (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/21/punjabi-taliban-threat-growing//print/):
Like a Frankenstein's monster, these groups [militant Pakistanis led by folks such as Rauf and Kashmiri] have joined forces with the Taliban and al Qaeda to battle the Pakistani government.
And now, it seems, that battle is being taken to the U.S. as well.
Kashmiri, who is a former Pakistani commando [trained by the Brits] turned Al Qaeda operative, can be connected to alleged double agent Headley [whom the press reports (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6960182.ece) and other Narco News sources claim worked simultaneously for Kashmiri and the CIA, though the CIA denies it (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-terror-suspect-Headley-not-our-agent-CIA/articleshow/5346732.cms)], and he can be linked to the suicide-bombing mission of Jordanian doctor al-Balawi [also allegedly a double agent, working for both Al Qaeda and the CIA, according to press reports (http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/01/05/jordan.cia.bombing/index.html).]

Court records (http://narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/Complaint.headley.pdf) point to Kashmiri's role as Headley’s handler, and the Indian press (http://www.hindustantimes.com/Kashmiri-behind-CIA-attack/H1-Article1-494614.aspx) reports Kashmiri is suspected of helping to "coordinate" the CIA-related suicide bombing in Khost.

Hakimullah Mehsud, a leader of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Pakistan Taliban and a confederate of Kashmiri and Rauf, ha s already publicly stated that his forces orchestrated the attack on the CIA employees in Khost, according to CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/01/05/jordan.cia.bombing/index.html).http://narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/mehsud.jpg
That fact prompted this quote in the UK Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/Afghanistan/article6982465.ece):
“Al-Qaeda has revealed that it is capable of running sophisticated clandestine operations with sustained deception,” said Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA officer. “Al-Qaeda did to us exactly what we intended to do to them.”
Mehsud, along with Rauf and Kashmiri, each pop up in the credits of a recent Pakistani newspaper (http://www.rightsidenews.com/200909176470/global-terrorism/pakistans-top-10-militant-commanders.html) story that contains the following list:
"Pakistan's Top 10 Most Wanted Terrorists Belong to Six Militant And Sectarian [Sunni/Shi'ite] Organizations Linked to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban"
In addition to his alleged role in the suicide bombing that killed more than a half dozen CIA employees in Khost, Kashmiri, according to the Indian press (http://www.hindustantimes.com/Kashmiri-behind-CIA-attack/H1-Article%3Cmce:script%20type=), also is suspected of helping to orchestrate the Mumbai attacks.
Rashid Rauf, curiously, played a key role in the failed transatlantic airline bombing effort (http://narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/Bojinka2LiquidBombs.pdf) (http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/FeaturedDocs/nefa_AQin2008.pdf)of 2006 – in which a number of Brits of Islamic background [some fitting the profile of troubled kids like Abdulmutallab] were recruited to smuggle liquid explosives aboard 10 jets to be detonated, similar to the M.O. in the Nigerian/Northwest case, over U.S. cities.http://narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/rashidrauf.jpg
Rauf, who also operates out of the Waziristan province, like Kashmiri, and also is linked to the Taliban/Al Qaeda, was thought to be dead, until recently, when he showed up, this past November [a month prior to the CIA and Northwest Airlines incidents], allegedly linked to a series of suicide bombings in Pakistan (http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/midlands-news/2009/11/01/birmingham-s-rashid-rauf-linked-to-new-pakistan-terror-attacks-66331-25061165/) (http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/midlands-news/2009/11/01/birmingham-s-rashid-rauf-linked-to-new-pakistan-terror-attacks-66331-25061165/)that killed more than 100 innocent people.
So Rauf has connections to and draws recruits from England, which is where Yemen authorities now claim (http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/80979097.html) (http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/80979097.html)the Nigerian Abdulmutallab was actually recruited for his suicide-bombing mission.
The press coverage linking the Nigerian to the radical Islamic spiritual leader Anwar Al-Walki may well be right, but Anwar has British connections as well [having lived in London for some time after leaving the U.S.], and is considered by some as a leading recruiter for Al Qaeda in Europe, and elsewhere. So the fact that he is in Yemen now seems to be a bit of a distraction — since the central planning for all of these attacks appears to have been orchestrated by players out of the Taliban/Al Qaeda-dominated tribal areas of Pakistan.
Specifically, these plots [Mumbai, Khost, Northwest Airlines, the Danish newspaper] have all the hallmarks of operations spearheaded by longtime militants Kashmiri and/or Rauf, or at least they match their M.O.s from prior violent acts — and, in the case of Khost, Mumbai and the Danish plot, are allegedly directly linked to Kashmiri.
And with respect to Headley and al-Balawi, it appears the CIA may have been caught with its pants down, believing it was working the pair as their assets, when, in fact, U.S. intelligence agents were being worked by Headley and al-Balawi in the interest of Al Qaeda and their Pakistani Taliban affiliates.
One former undercover law enforcer described the situation for Narco News this way:
CIA (has an) astonishing lack of ability in the area of informant handling and the media (has an) equally astonishing inability to grasp this … and where it may lead in the future … the bottom line is that CIA mid and upper-level management — the guys overseeing the field people — are like chess players who cannot see past the first move. A skilled handler of informants must be able to "see" every "likely" variable of blowback....
Adds another law enforcer with intelligence agency experience:
The CIA has some amazing analysts but they are not able to analyze decently because there is not a free flow of information (even today) among agencies. Everyone is concerned about who will get the credit (good or bad.)
Stay tuned ....

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Connecting the dots (http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2010/01/breaking-down-tale-underpants-bomber#comment-33558)

Submitted January 10, 2010 - 12:58 pm by Bill Conroy (http://narcosphere.narconews.com/users/bill-conroy) The story below, which appeared in a mainstream British paper in September of last year (several months prior to the underpants bombers' appearance on the world stage) might be of interest to those looking to connect more dots.
I suspect it's likely that some or all of the training mentioned in the story is/was going on outside a hot war zone like the tribal lands of Pakistan. Yemen sounds like a good getaway for such a camp experience, no?
In any event, this story, from last Sept., is worth a read for additional elucidation:
Rashid Rauf 'training dozens of British terrorist recruits in Pakistan' (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/6184087/Rashid-Rauf-training-dozens-of-British-terrorist-recruits-in-Pakistan.html)
Pakistani officials have warned that Rashid Rauf, the terrorist linked to the trans-Atlantic airline bomb plot, has been involved in grooming two dozen British recruits to carry out new attacks.
By Saeed Shah in Bahawalpur and Massoud Ansari in Mirpur
Published: 6:00AM BST 14 Sep 2009
... Rauf is said to be a key lieutenant of the group's leader, explosives expert, Abu Nasir. "He is an explosive expert who has effectively devised methods of explosives using easy-to-get ingredients that are virtually undetectable or can raise no alarms for authorities," said the intelligence source.
... Intercepted emails and text messages between Pakistan and the UK had indicated Rauf's involvement under the name Khalid after the authorities decrypted the communications.

reply (http://narcosphere.narconews.com/comment/reply/3719/33558)

Connecting more dots (http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2010/01/breaking-down-tale-underpants-bomber#comment-33595)

Submitted January 12, 2010 - 5:52 pm by Bill Conroy (http://narcosphere.narconews.com/users/bill-conroy)
A reader provided the following comment to the "Underpants Bomber" story:
How many degrees of separation from ISI?
Staying tuned indeed... and, as a Chalmers Johnson reader, with little doubt of the general validity of the blowback thesis where Pakistan’s ISI is concerned. But can you please say more about the Rauf - Mutallab connection?
The two cited points of similarity -- residence in London and experience with concealed liquid explosives -- are probably shared by a large number of individuals. Presumably your sources have more specific links in mind.
Veteran Lagos editor Reuben Abati prefers to analyse the Nigerian richkid's misadventure in moralistic terms, as a case of a collective "copycat syndrome." [Link here] (http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/editorial_opinion/article02//indexn2_html?pdate=100110&ptitle=Our%20Lack%20Of%20Originality%29)
National elites have an obvious self-interest to downplay the danger of country's current religious craze, which took off during the political-economic decline of the Babangida and Abacha juntas and accelerated through the second coming of Obasanjo.
The evangelical general's handpicked successor has been incommunicado for the past month and a half in a Saudi ICU and the democracy movement has seized on the Mutallab case as a teachable moment in the struggle for reform. [Links here (http://www.vanguardngr.com/2010/01/09/e-x-p-o-s-e-d-how-president-yar%E2%80%99adua-rules-nigeria-from-saudi-arabia) and here (http://www.saharareporters.com/news/4784-wole-soyinka-to-lead-qsave-nigeriaq-rally-in-abuja-massive-rally-expected-in-london-on-friday.html)]

My Take and the Zazi Connection
With respect to the question raised about the links between Rauf and the Nigerian kid Mutallab, all I can say on the source front is that the multiple sources for the story asked not to be identified.
For a bit more to grab onto beyond unnamed sources, though, for the show-me crowd [and I think that is a perfectly legitimate stance] it’s worth a look at the Najibullah Zazi case, which involves a U.S. resident [who is an Afghan national]. Zazi, according to a federal indictment (http://narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/Indict.Zazi.pdf), was part of a conspiracy that “did knowingly, intentionally and without lawful authority conspire to use one or more weapons of mass destruction” against targets in New York City.
With respect to the conspiracy, the FBI complaint (http://narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/Zazi.Complaint.pdf) in Zazi’s case states the following:
[I]The FBI is investigating several individuals in the United States, Pakistan and elsewhere, relating to a plot to detonate improvised explosive devices inside the United States. … CBP records further reflect that the defendant ZAZI traveled from Peshawar to John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK”) on or about January 15, 2009.
Peshawar is located in the Northwest Frontier Province (“NWFP”) region of Pakistan. During the course of this investigation, I have learned that Al Qaeda maintains training facilities and safe houses within the NWFP, specifically the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
… The Center for Strategic and International Studies describes the FATA as “ground zero in the U.S. Jihadist war … [and] home to many Al Qaeda operatives, especially the numerous foreigners from the Arab world, Central Asia Muslim areas of the Far East, and even Europe who flock to this war zone fo r training, indoctrination, and sometimes from repression at home.”
According to a Nov. 9, 2009, report in London’s Daily Telegraph, Zazi, along with a group of men arrested in Manchester, England, were “part of a complex network directed from Pakistan.” That network, the paper reports, was allegedly uncovered after a U.S. citizen named Bryant Neal Vinas was arrested in Pakistan in November 2008.
The story (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6533021/British-intelligence-cracks-trans-Atlantic-terrorist-network.html) continues:
Vinas, 26, also known as “Bashir al-Ameriki,” claims he met [B]Rashid Rauf, the British al-Qaeda commander behind the trans-Atlantic bomb plot. [Emphasis added.]
Vinas had been in Pakistan since 2007 where he admits he received training from al-Qaeda and agreed to become a suicide bomber, plotting to blow up a train on the Long Island Rail Road inside Pennsylvania Station.
A Nov. 15, 2009, report in the Sunday Mercury (http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/midlands-news/2009/11/15/birmingham-s-rashid-rauf-linked-to-new-us-terror-plot-66331-25168290/) of Birmingham, England, was even more explicit about the Rauf connection to the planned U.S. attack:
Terror mastermind Rashid Rauf has been linked to a fresh Al Qaida plot to launch attacks on the US. [Emphasis added.]
The Birmingham-born extremist has been named by witnesses due to testify against Najibullah Zazi, who was arrested for plotting suicide bombings in New York.
MI6 officers have linked the plot to a complex terror network said to be directed from Pakistan by Rauf and fellow jihadists.
Now, you always have to continue to beat any theory with the facts and be wary of the sensationalism of the mainstream press in all lands. On the other hand, a wise way to avoid getting burned by fire is to be sensitive to the smoke.
And, in this case, there sure seems to be a lot of smoke following Rauf and his folks over the years.
In any event, given the geographic range (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/world/12terror.htm) of Al Qaida, it seems wiser, more strategic, to pay closer attention to who the real players are, profiling the organizers, and to not spend so much time dwelling on nationality or religiosity — Islam, Yemen or otherwise — which can be disguised, or manipulated, in many ways.
The motivations of the Nigerian kid, in this case, may well have been religious, but that doesn't mean the plan that put him in motion was religious. Violence tends to be about ruthless calculation and power, not spiritual enlightenment, in my experience.
But then, I have always aspired to be humble about my theories and long ago took Gary Webb's advice on such matters:
“I don’t believe in conspiracy theories; I believe in conspiracies.” — Gary Webb (http://www.counterpunch.org/conroy12202004.html)
http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2010/01/breaking-down-tale-underpants-bomber (http://www.counterpunch.org/conroy12202004.html)