Saturday, November 16, 2013

The IPT Update

15 November 2013

General security, policy
1.  Obama calls for patience in Iran talks; Reports: Russia to help Iran build 2nd nuclear reactor
2.  Russia to deploy long-range attack drone by 2016
3.  Inside the Ring: Danger of China conflict grows; Target:  Iran's Revolutionary Guards; Pentagon pursuing Navy Seal
4.  Afghan review panel to release 80 percent of high-security detainees, Pentagon says
5.  US State Dep't designates Boko Haram and Ansaru as FTOs and SDGTs
6.  Individual charged in NC with attempt to provide material support to a FTO
7.  Somali pirates sentenced in VA to multiple life sentences in murders of 4 Americans
8.  Congressman: Benghazi attackers knew location of ambassador's safe room

Air, rail, port, health, energy & communication security
9.  FBI: Resources to fight cyber-crime could pass those for terrorism
10. Attack ravages power grid. (Just a test.)
11. TSA defends behavior screening against profiling claims
12. NY City Council passes new building codes after lessons from superstorm Sandy

Financing, money laundering, fraud, identity theft, civil litigation
13. Source: CIA using Patriot Act to collect money transfer data
14. Treasury designates cartel security boss and his company linked to the Beltran Leyva Organization
15. MA federal appeals court upholds terror conviction of Tarek Mehanna
16. Jehad Shalabi sentenced for selling counterfeit goods at store in Kansas City

Border security, immigration & customs
17. Two indicted for assault of border patrol agent
18. Coast Guard, Caribbean Border Interagency Group seize $38M cocaine shipment in the Caribbean
19. DHS nominee faces backlash over transparency

20. Palestinian from Gaza reportedly killed fighting for ISIS near Aleppo
21. Report: Israel destroyed advanced anti-aircraft missiles in Syria to keep weapons out of the hands of Hezbollah
22. Al-Qaeda-linked rebels apologise after cutting off head of wrong person
23. Terrorists slaughter African elephants, use ivory to finance operations
24. Afghanistan's poppy farmers plant record opium crop, UN report says
25. Hillary Clinton, Kerry argue for continued Afghanistan investment
26. Terror suspects to lose UK citizenship and become 'stateless'
27. 'Muslim Brotherhood' protesters storm London university lecture on Egypt

Comment / analysis
28. IPT News:  Mehanna Ruling Draws Line Between Speech and Material Support
29. Josh Gerstein:  Appeals court meets stop-and-frisk judge halfway
30. Global MB Watch:  Fundraising For Hamas In Syria- The Union of Good 2.0?

The Investigative Project on Terrorism Update is designed for law enforcement, the intelligence community and policy makers for non-profit research and educational use only.   Quoted material is subject to the copyright protections of the original sources, which should be cited for attribution, rather than the Update.



1.  Obama Calls for Patience in Iran Talks
By MARK LANDLER and DAVID E. SANGER New York Times Nov 15, 2013
WASHINGTON — President Obama made a vigorous appeal to Congress on Thursday to give breathing space to his efforts to forge a nuclear deal with Iran, and the prospects for an interim agreement may have improved with the release of a report by international inspectors who said that for the first time in years, they saw evidence that the Iranians have put the brakes on their nuclear expansion.  The inspectors, from the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that very few new advanced centrifuges had been installed since President Hassan Rouhani of Iran took office in June, promising a new start with the West, and that little significant progress has been made on the construction of a new nuclear reactor, which became a point of contention in negotiations in Geneva last week.  The slowdown, according to diplomats familiar with the Iranian work, was clearly political, not driven by technical problems. But it was also easily reversible, suggesting that Iran was waiting to see what kind of relief from sanctions it could obtain from the West in the negotiations…

Kerry and Biden Ask for Room to Reach a Nuclear Deal With Iran
By JONATHAN WEISMAN and MICHAEL R. GORDON New York Times November 14, 2013
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. pressed senators on Wednesday to give the Obama administration some breathing room to reach an accord with Iran to freeze its nuclear programs, warning that a new round of sanctions could mean war instead of diplomacy.  But they faced extreme skepticism from lawmakers in both parties who worry the administration is prepared to give the Iranian government too much for too little.  Mr. Kerry, briefing the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, made his case against the committee's moving forward with a proposal for new sanctions even as Western diplomats were talking about easing existing sanctions in exchange for concessions on Iran's nuclear program.  Moving too soon on a new round amounted to "getting in the way of diplomacy," he said, suggesting that Congress could always act later…   The briefing was part of an all-out effort by the administration both to tamp down congressional saber rattling and to move diplomacy forward to reach the agreement that proved elusive over the weekend in Geneva…

Reports: Russia to Help Iran Build Second Nuclear Reactor
Deal comes as White House fights new sanctions
BY: Adam Kredo Follow @Kredo0 November 13, 2013 4:10 pm Washington Free Beacon
Russia will help Iran build a second nuclear power plant, according to Tehran's top nuclear official.  The head of Iran's atomic energy organization announced the deal on Wednesday as lawmakers on Capitol Hill fought back against a White House bid to stop them from passing new sanctions on Iran.  "We hope to see the construction of the country's second nuclear power station start" in March 2014 and be led "by the Russians," Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, announced on Tuesday, according to state-run media reports.  Russia will head construction on the nuclear plant, which is one of just 34 potential new nuclear sites identified by Iran…

2.  Russia to Deploy Long-Range Attack Drone by 2016
Altius-M is Moscow's first missile-firing UAV
BY: Bill Gertz Follow @BillGertz Washington Free Beacon November 13, 2013 5:00 am
Russia is developing its first long-range drone aircraft capable of conducting ground attack missions, but lags behind other militaries in building unmanned aerial combat vehicles, according to U.S. officials.  The new drone is being developed in secret and was first revealed in online images earlier this year.   U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports said the drone is being called the Altius-M and work is being done at the Sokol Design Bureau in Tatarstan, a Russian republic.  Recent analysis of images of the propeller-driven aircraft indicates the drone will be a medium or high-altitude strike aircraft, based on its long wingspan and V-shaped tail, the officials said.  The aircraft appears similar to the U.S. MQ-9 Reaper missile-firing UAV…

3.  Inside the Ring: Danger of China conflict grows
By Bill Gertz-The Washington Times Wednesday, November 13, 2013
As China steps up sovereignty claims over disputed waters in Asia, U.S. military forces face the growing risk of conflict with the Chinese military, according to a draft congressional report.  "Through its diplomatic actions and the rebalance to Asia, the United States has signaled its intent to strengthen its relationship with partners and allies in East Asia," the forthcoming report of the U.S.-China Economic Security Review Commission states.  "However, China's military modernization, coupled with the potential decline in U.S. power caused by sequestration, is altering the balance of power in the region and reducing the deterrent effect of the rebalance policy. The risk is therefore increasing that China's coercive approach to its sovereignty claims will lead to greater conflict in the region."  China is using its military forces to coerce Japan into giving up claims to the Senkaku Islands, and is also pressuring the Philippines to renounce its claims to the Spratlys in the South China Sea. Both regions are believed to harbor valuable undersea oil and gas reserves…

Abraham D. Sofaer, the State Department's legal adviser during the Reagan administration, is calling for the U.S. government to adopt a targeted campaign of attacking Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The Islamic shock troops since the 1980s have killed hundreds of Americans with no U.S. retribution, Mr. Sofaer says.  In his recently published book, "Taking on Iran," Mr. Sofaer also correctly predicted the outcome of recent talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, the so-called P5+1…

The Pentagon continues to pursue the prosecution of a former Navy SEAL for allegedly disclosing secrets about the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.  Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters Tuesday that the Defense Department, in consultation with the Justice Department, is also considering civil legal action against the author…

4.  Afghan review panel to release 80 percent of high-security detainees, Pentagon says
By Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Published: November 8, 2013 Washington Post
The Afghan government has moved to release 80 percent of the high-security detainees who were handed over this year by the U.S. military and evaluated by an Afghan review panel, according to a Defense Department report released Friday.  Many of the recommendations for release have been opposed by the U.S. military on the grounds that the detainees, some of whom were apprehended in dangerous raids of insurgent redoubts, pose an ongoing risk to Afghan security forces and government officials. U.S. officials had hoped the Afghan review board would endorse continued incarceration, but it has decided instead to free most of the detainees whose cases it has examined on the grounds that insufficient evidence was collected to prosecute them in court…

5.  Terrorist Designations of Boko Haram and Ansaru
Media Note Office of the Spokesperson US Department of State Washington, DC November 13, 2013 
The Department of State has announced the designation of Boko Haram and Ansaru as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. Boko Haram is a Nigeria-based militant group with links to al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that is responsible for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria over the last several years including targeted killings of civilians. Also operating in Nigeria, Ansaru is a Boko Haram splinter faction that earlier in 2013 kidnapped and executed seven international construction workers…

6.  Individual Charged with Attempt to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina (919) 856-4530 November 12, 2013 
IPT NOTE:  Court documents posted at 
RALEIGH—The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Department of Justice National Security Division announced that on November 5, 2013, a federal grand jury in Raleigh, North Carolina returned a one-count indictment charging Basit Javed Sheikh with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B. Specifically, the indictment charges that Sheikh attempted to provide material support and resources to Jabhat al-Nusrah, which the United States Secretary of State has identified as an alias name for al Qaeda in Iraq, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.  Sheikh was initially charged in a criminal complaint. As set forth in the affidavit supporting the complaint, Sheikh is a 29 year-old legal permanent resident of the United States. The affidavit describes multiple Facebook postings by Sheikh since April, 2013, expressing support for Jahbat al-Nusrah, which has claimed responsibility for nearly 600 attacks in Syria that have killed numerous innocent civilians. Sheikh posted articles acknowledging that Jahbat al-Nusrah had been designated by the United States as a terrorist organization…

7.  Somali Pirates Sentenced to Multiple Life Sentences in Murders of Four Americans Aboard SV Quest
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia (757) 441-6331 November 14, 2013 
NORFOLK, VA—Somali nationals Ahmed Muse Salad, a/k/a "Afmagalo," 27, Abukar Osman Beyle, 33, and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar, 31, who were previously found guilty of piracy, murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, violence against maritime navigation, conspiracy to commit violence against maritime navigation resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, hostage taking resulting in death, conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death, and multiple firearms offenses, were sentenced this week. Salad, Beyle, and Abrar were all sentenced to 21 life sentences, 19 consecutive life sentences, two concurrent life sentences, and 30 years consecutive, for their roles in the February 22, 2011 murders of four Americans aboard the sailing vessel Quest. The victims included: Scott Underwood Adam, Jean Savage Adam, Phyllis Patricia Macay, and Robert Campbell Riggle…

8.  Congressman: Benghazi attackers knew location of ambassador's safe room
By Catherine Herridge Published November 15, 2013
The terrorists who attacked the Benghazi consulate last year knew the location of the safe room where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his security team sought shelter, according to a congressman who spoke for 90 minutes with the diplomatic security agent severely injured in the assault.  "He confirmed this - that it was a very well orchestrated, and well organized, almost a military operation, using military weapons and using military signals," the late Florida Rep. Bill Young said after meeting diplomatic security agent David Ubben at Walter Reed Medical Center last summer, when both were patients there.  After Young's death in mid-October, his widow, Beverly Young, gave Fox permission to use her husband's comments about the Sep. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the record.  The congressman had originally spoken to Fox on background last summer…


IPT NOTE: For more items, see DHS Daily Open Source Infrastructure Reports ; DHS Blog;   TSA Releases ; TSA Blog

9.  FBI: Resources to fight cyber-crime could pass those for terrorism
Nov. 14, 2013 at 4:58 PM United Press Int'l
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Law enforcement resources targeting cyber-crime could soon equal or surpass those used to fight terrorism, the head of the FBI said Thursday.  Addressing the Senate's homeland security committee, FBI director James B. Cooney said dealing with the cyber threat would require collaborations not only with other police agencies but with the private sector as well.  In a statement released by the FBI, Cooney said the private sector, the primary victim of cyber intrusions, was key to dealing with cyber-crime. He said businesses "possess the information, the expertise and the knowledge" to address the issue.  "The FBI must continue to develop and deploy creative solutions in order to defeat today's complex cyber threat actors," Cooney said. "Instead of just building better defenses, we must also build better relationships, overcoming the obstacles that prevent us from sharing information and, most importantly, collaborating."  An FBI initiative, the Enduring Security Framework, includes top leaders in the private sector and the federal government, he added.  Cooney presented an overview of the agency's engagement with agencies around the world that he said reflected the "complexity and breadth" of its current mission.  He said the detection and disruption of terrorist groups remained the FBI's "top priority."…

10.  Attack Ravages Power Grid. (Just a Test.)
By MATTHEW L. WALD  New York Times  Nov 15, 2013
WASHINGTON — In windowless rooms from here to California, nearly 10,000 electrical engineers, cybersecurity specialists, utility executives and F.B.I. agents furiously grappled over 48 hours with an unseen "enemy" who tried to turn out the lights across America. The enemy injected computer viruses into grid control systems, bombed transformers and substations and knocked out power lines by the dozen.  By late Thursday morning, in this unprecedented continental-scale war game to determine how prepared the nation is for a cyberattack, tens of millions of Americans were in simulated darkness. Hundreds of transmission lines and transformers were declared damaged or destroyed, and the engineers were rushing to assess computers that were, for the purposes of the drill, tearing their system apart.  "It's going really well," said Gerry W. Cauley, the president and chief executive of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which ran the drill. "A bit scary, but really well."…

11.  TSA defends behavior screening against profiling claims
Bart Jansen, USA TODAY 3:02 p.m. EST November 14, 2013
The program costs about $200 million a year
GAO report says program only slightly better than chance at spotting suspicious behavior
TSA administrator says the program is a key part of aviation security
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers peppered the head of the Transportation Security Administration with questions Thursday about a screening program that government audits say is little better than random chance at spotting suspicious behavior.  TSA Administrator John Pistole told the House Homeland Security subcommittee on transportation that the behavior program is a key part of protecting aviation security because it looks for a traveler's intent rather than just items.  "Defunding the program is not the answer," Pistole said. "If Congress did that, what I envision is there would be fewer passengers going through expedited screening, increased pat-downs, longer lines. There would be more frustration with the traveling public."  Several lawmakers asked Pistole, and representatives of the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general, whether the behavior program known as Screening Passengers by Observation Technique (SPOT) involved racial profiling…

12.  New Building Codes Passed After Lessons From Hurricane Sandy
By MIREYA NAVARRO New York Times Nov 15, 2013
Acting on the recommendations of a task force convened after Hurricane Sandy, the City Council on Thursday approved new requirements that were expected to make buildings more sustaining during emergencies and prevent some of the hardships that New Yorkers endured after the storm last year.  One change requires residential buildings five stories or higher to add faucets in common areas like laundry rooms so that residents on higher floors have some access to water for drinking, flushing toilets and other uses. Upper floors lose water when electric pumps stop working during blackouts, a problem that worsened conditions and forced many people out of their buildings after the hurricane.  The requirement applies immediately to new residential construction, while existing buildings have eight years to add the fixtures.  "It will make it much more possible to stay in a large building for an extended period without power," said Russell Unger, chairman of the task force of more than 200 building experts, property owners and city officials that proposed the changes.  Another piece of legislation requires new and existing hospitals and nursing homes in flood zones to install hookups that would enable quick connection to temporary generators and boilers so that such facilities can maintain electricity and heating when the power is out. The law requiring the hookups is effective immediately for new buildings, but gives existing buildings 20 years to comply.  Another new law makes it easier to install backup generators and generators that run on natural gas, which is considered a cleaner and more reliable source of power than diesel fuel. And a fourth law allows temporary flood barriers on sidewalks…


13.  Source: CIA using Patriot Act to collect money transfer data
• CIA collects bulk records on international money moves, says person familiar with program
• Source: The program is an outgrowth of terror-finance tracking programs
• Most transactions are purely non-U.S., but some are to or from the United States
• The CIA says it doesn't comment on "alleged intelligence sources or methods."
By Evan Perez, CNN Justice Department Reporter updated 8:33 AM EST, Fri November 15, 2013 
Washington (CNN) -- The CIA is collecting bulk records on international money transfers, using the same Patriot Act legal authority that has become the center of controversy in U.S. surveillance programs, a source told CNN.  A person familiar with the program said the agency's efforts are an outgrowth of terror finance-tracking programs that were established in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks and revealed that al Qaeda funded the hijackers using methods such as smuggled cash, money transfers, and credit and debit cards.  The Treasury Department and the National Security Agency have other programs that similarly focus on financial transaction data. The CIA program provides some redundancies intended to catch transactions that may not draw attention in other programs.  The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times first reported the existence of the CIA program Thursday night, saying it has sparked concerns from lawmakers…

C.I.A. Collects Global Data on Transfers of Money
By CHARLIE SAVAGE and MARK MAZZETTI New York Times Nov 15, 2013
WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency is secretly collecting bulk records of international money transfers handled by companies like Western Union — including transactions into and out of the United States — under the same law that the National Security Agency uses for its huge database of Americans' phone records, according to current and former government officials.  The C.I.A. financial records program, which the officials said was authorized by provisions in the Patriot Act and overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, offers evidence that the extent of government data collection programs is not fully known and that the national debate over privacy and security may be incomplete.  Some details of the C.I.A. program were not clear. But it was confirmed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is classified.  The data does not include purely domestic transfers or bank-to-bank transactions, several officials said. Another, while not acknowledging the program, suggested that the surveillance court had imposed rules withholding the identities of any Americans from the data the C.I.A. sees, requiring a tie to a terrorist organization before a search may be run, and mandating that the data be discarded after a certain number of years. The court has imposed several similar rules on the N.S.A. call logs program…
14.  Treasury Designates Cartel Security Boss and His Company
Action Targets Cartel Enforcer and Security Firm Linked to the Beltran Leyva Organization
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Arnoldo Villa Sanchez as a specially designated narcotics trafficker (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).  Arnoldo Villa Sanchez, a.k.a. Erick Rene Calderon Sanchez, is the chief of security for Hector Beltran Leyva, the leader of the Beltran Leyva drug trafficking organization.  Villa Sanchez has carried out numerous acts of violence on behalf of his cartel bosses.  In addition to the action against Villa Sanchez, the Treasury Department also designated Sistemas Elite De Seguridad Privada, S.A. de C.V., a private security firm, for being owned and controlled by Arnoldo Villa Sanchez.  Treasury also designated Miguel Loza Hernandez for his links to Arnoldo Villa Sanchez and Sistemas Elite De Seguridad Privada, S.A. de C.V.  Today's action, pursuant to the Kingpin Act, generally prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these designees, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction… 

15.  Appeals court upholds conviction of Mehanna
By Staff reports The MetroWest Daily News Posted Nov 13, 2013 @ 03:18 PM
IPT NOTE:  The 1st Circuit's opinion may be downloaded at Court documents are posted at
BOSTON — The U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of former Sudbury resident Tarek Mehanna on terrorism related charges.  In a judgment entered today, the court said it affirmed the original decision of U.S. District Court, which found Mehanna guilty in 2011 of conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda, providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, conspiracy to make false statements to the FBI, and making false statements. Mehanna was sentenced last year to 17-1/2 years in federal prison…

16.  Man Sentenced for Selling Counterfeit Goods at Store in Kansas City
U.S. Attorney's Office District of Kansas (316) 269-6481 November 13, 2013
KANSAS CITY, KS—A Missouri man has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for selling counterfeit designer goods at a store in Kansas City, Kansas, including shoes labeled as Nike Air Force 1 and shirts labeled as Polo Ralph Lauren, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.  Jehad Shalabi, 45, Blue Springs, Missouri, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit trademark goods. During his plea hearing, prosecutors told the judge that Shalabi sold counterfeit goods at a retail store called Joe Black Inc. at 3201 State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas… Investigators learned that counterfeit goods made up approximately 20 percent of the store's weekly sales of $4,000 to $6,000…


17.  Two Indicted for Assault of Border Patrol Agent
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas (713) 567-9000 November 13, 2013
LAREDO, TX—Mexican National Jose Luis Zavala-Rodriguez, aka Jose Juan Zavala-Rodriguez or Jose Juan Rodriguez-Rosa, 22, and Johnny Jose Redrovan-Pesantez, 23, of Ecuador, have been charged with assault of a federal officer causing bodily injury, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Zavala-Rodriguez is also charged with conspiracy to transport aliens and transporting an alien for personal financial gain…

18.  Coast Guard, Caribbean Border Interagency Group authorities seize $38 million dollar cocaine shipment in the Caribbean Sea
US Coast Guard News Release Date: Nov. 12, 2013, San Juan Public Affairs
Contact: Ricardo Castrodad Office: +1 787-729-2381
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) authorities disrupted a maritime illegal drug shipment Friday seizing 54 bales of cocaine, weighing 3,306 pounds, in the Caribbean Sea.  Federal law enforcement authorities in support of Caribbean Border Interagency Group's (CBIG) Operation Caribbean Guard, coordinated efforts to disrupt and seize this drug shipment estimated to have a street value of over $38 million dollars…

19.  DHS nominee faces backlash over transparency
By Stephen Dinan-The Washington Times Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Senators said Wednesday they are impressed with Jeh C. Johnson, whom President Obama has nominated to head the Homeland Security Department, but said his nomination will suffer delays and opposition unless he is more forthcoming in answering key questions.  Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, went the furthest, saying he cannot vote for Mr. Johnson until the nominee pledges to tell Congress exactly what it will take to secure the border — an assurance Mr. Johnson was reluctant to give during his confirmation hearing Wednesday.  Sen. Tom Coburn, ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said he expects Mr. Johnson to earn enough support to be confirmed as the fourth secretary of Homeland Security, but said his application will be held up until he provides real answers to about two dozen questions that Mr. Coburn said were effectively ignored in the official nomination questionnaire…


20.  Palestinian from Gaza reportedly killed fighting for ISIS near Aleppo
Written by David Barnett on November 15, 2013 12:30 AM The Long War Journal
A Palestinian from the Gaza Strip has reportedly died fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) in Syria. Amer Abu Ghoula is said to have died on the evening of Nov. 13 during clashes with Hezbollah and the Syrian army near Aleppo.  Amer Abu Ghoula was originally from Nuseirat in central Gaza, according to Al Quds. The report also cited an anonymous source that claimed that Abu Ghoula had escaped from a Hamas prison and fled to Syria. Abu Ghoula had been sentenced to a a year in prison in September 2012 for harboring those tied to the kidnapping and murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni in April 2011, the report stated…

21.  Report: Israel Destroyed Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles in Syria
Attack was designed to keep weapons out of the hands of Hezbollah
BY: Abraham Rabinovich November 14, 2013 1:57 pm Washington Free Beacon
JERUSALEM – Satellite photos have confirmed that a target attacked two weeks ago near the Syrian port of Latakia was a battery of advanced anti-aircraft missiles, according to the Israeli magazine, Israel Defense.  The battery was in the process of upgrading that would have made it "a substantial threat" to Israeli warplanes in the area, the magazine reported.  After several air attacks near Damascus earlier this year, mainly on advanced weapons said to be destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syrian president Bashar Assad warned that any future attack on Syrian territory, whether by Israel or any other state, would draw an immediate missile attack on Israel.  Despite that threat, an American official told CNN last week that the Latakia raid had been carried out by Israel. He said that the Israelis were concerned that the missiles that were hit would be transferred to Hezbollah.  As with the earlier attacks, Israeli officials refused to comment. However, Jerusalem has warned that it would use force if necessary to prevent advanced weapons from reaching the Lebanese militia…

22.  Al-Qaeda-linked rebels apologise after cutting off head of wrong person
Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham militants say sorry for decapitating a fellow extremist rather than enemy
By Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent 3:58PM GMT 14 Nov 2013 The Daily Telegraph (London) 
Militant Islamist rebels in Syria linked to al-Qaeda have asked for "understanding and forgiveness" for cutting off and putting on display the wrong man's head.  In a public appearance filmed and posted online, members of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, one brandishing a knife, held up a bearded head before a crowd in Aleppo. They triumphantly described the execution of what they said was a member of an Iraqi Shia militia fighting for President Bashar al-Assad.  But the head was recognised from the video as originally belonging to a member of Ahrar al-Sham, a Sunni Islamist rebel group that often fights alongside ISIS though it does not share its al-Qaeda ideology.  After inquiries, an ISIS spokesman admitted he was Mohammed Fares, an Ahrar commander reported missing some days ago. This could not be independently confirmed, but in an earlier video of a speech by Mr Fares he bears a close resemblance to the severed head in the later video.  The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, which monitors deaths in the Syrian conflict, and several activists on social media said that ISIS fighters misunderstood comments Mr Fares made referring to the Imams Ali and Hussein, the founding fathers of Shiism…

23.  Terrorists slaughter African elephants, use ivory to finance operations
By Ashish Kumar Sen-The Washington Times Wednesday, November 13, 2013
A growing number of terrorist groups in Africa are turning to the illegal trade of elephant tusks to finance their operations, cashing in on a massive demand for ivory spurred by a burgeoning, wealthier middle class in Asia.  Al Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab in Somalia, Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa and Boko Haram in Nigeria are among the militants making money from trafficking ivory tusks from slaughtered elephants to pay their fighters and buy arms and ammunition.  "For al-Shabab, ivory, like charcoal, is just a fast and relatively easy way to make some cash, which is needed first of all to pay a salary to its militants, estimated at around 5,000 people," said Andrea Crosta, executive director of Elephant Action League, who along with Nir Kalron, chief executive officer of the private security firm Maisha Consulting, has recently investigated al-Shabab's links to ivory trafficking… Somali armed gangs have been poaching elephants in and around Kenya for many years, but al-Shabab has only recently started to exploit this situation. The investigation by Mr. Crosta and Mr. Kalron estimates al-Shabab's monthly ivory income to be $200,000 to $600,000…


24.  Afghanistan's poppy farmers plant record opium crop, UN report says
Despite 10 years of western efforts to curb production, a combination of economics and political instability means farmers in the world's largest heroin-producing country are as enthusiastic as ever for the poppy
Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul The Guardian, Wednesday 13 November 2013 00.59 EST
IPT NOTE:  The cited UN report is posted at
Afghanistan's farmers planted a record opium crop this year, despite a decade of western-backed narcotics programmes aimed at weaning farmers off the drug and cracking down on producers and traffickers.  For the first time over 200,000 hectares of Afghan fields were growing poppies, according to the UN's Afghanistan Opium Survey for 2013, covering an area equivalent to the island nation of Mauritius.  Violence and political instability means there is unlikely to be any significant drop in poppy farming in the world's top opium producer before foreign combat troops head home next year, a senior UN official warned.  "This is the third consecutive year of increasing cultivation," said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the outgoing Afghanistan director for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, which publishes the report. "The assumption is that the illicit economy is to gain in importance in the future."…

25.  Hillary Clinton, Kerry argue for continued Afghanistan investment
By STEPHANIE CONDON / CBS NEWS/ November 15, 2013, 12:58 PM
Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday made the case that the United States can't give up on its investments in Afghanistan -- particularly its investments in women -- after U.S. troops leave.  "We're going to have to be very determined to continue working together and encouraging the transfer of resources to those who have demonstrated a track record about being able to use them effectively to get results," Clinton said at the "Advancing Afghan Women" symposium at Georgetown University. "We can't give up."  This winter, U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan will be down to 34,000. By this time next year, the process of handing over control to Afghan security forces will be nearly complete, bringing the longest war in American history to an end…


26.  Terror suspects to lose UK citizenship and become 'stateless' as Theresa May faces fresh pressure over controls
Home Secretary wants to end rules which mean someone cannot be left without citizenship
Comes amid growing pressure over use of Tpims to control suspects
Fugitive Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed fled a mosque dressed in a burka

PUBLISHED: 07:12 EST, 12 November 2013 | UPDATED: 09:36 EST, 12 November 2013
Home Secretary Theresa May wants to make terror suspects 'stateless' by removing their UK citizenship
Terror suspects would be stripped of their British citizenship and made 'stateless' under plans drawn up by Theresa May.  The Home Secretary wants to find a way around international rules which mean someone cannot be left without citizenship of any country.  The move comes as she faces fresh pressure over the disappearance of suspects placed under terrorism prevention and investigation measures (Tpims).  Fugitive Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, who was subject to a TPIM, was last seen fleeing a London mosque in a burka 10 days ago.  Labour's Yvette Cooper has written to Mrs May urging her to re-introduce powers previously available under control orders, to forcibly move a suspect across the country.  Mohamed was relocated to Ipswich, in Suffolk, when he was subject to a control order but returned to London when the restriction was lifted…

27.  VIDEO: 'Muslim Brotherhood' protesters storm London university lecture on Egypt
Muslim Brotherhood: A guest speaker at SOAS had to be ushered to safety
ROBIN DE PEYER Published: 14 November 2013 The London Evening Standard (UK)
A guest lecture at a London university was abandoned when protesters backing Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood chased the speaker from the stage.  Speaker Mohamed El-Nabawy had to be ushered off stage by security guards when around 30 demonstrators stormed a lecture theatre at Bloomsbury's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), which is part of the University of London.   They were said to have targeted the public discussion, focusing on the challenges facing Egypt, because of Mr El-Nabawy's ties to the Tamarod group which opposed ex President Mohammed Morsi.  The movement played a key role in the ousting of Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi in June this year.  Footage which has emerged online shows the chaotic scenes as chanting demonstrators take control of the lecture theatre and guests are led to safety by security guards…


28.  Mehanna Ruling Draws Line Between Speech and Material Support
IPT News November 14, 2013

29.  Appeals court meets stop-and-frisk judge halfway
By JOSH GERSTEIN 11/13/13 5:31 PM EST

30.  FEATURED STORY: Fundraising For Hamas In Syria- The Union of Good 2.0?
Posted By gmbwatch On November 12, 2013 @ 5:02 pm The Global Muslim Brotherhood Watch

No comments: