Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaida’

Afrika: Mitspieler gesucht

Dienstag, Januar 29th, 2013

“USA wollen Drohnenstützpunkt in Afrika

Die USA wollen islamistische Extremisten und Al-Kaida-Ableger in Afrika besser kontrollieren können. Zu diesem Zweck plant das Verteidigungsministerium einen Drohnenstützpunkt Nordwestafrika.

Noch halten sich die USA aus dem Konflikt in Mali heraus. Das könnte sich aber bald ändern. Das Verteidigungsministerium erwägt offenbar den Einsatz von ferngesteuerten Überwachungsdrohnen im Krisengebiet von Mali.

Im Visier der vorerst unbewaffneten US-Operation aus der Luft sind Gruppen des Terrornetzwerkes Al-Kaida sowie islamistische Extremisten. Das berichtete die Tageszeitung «New York Times» am Montag.

Zu den möglichen Standorten zählten Regierungsmitarbeiter das im Osten an Mali grenzende Niger sowie das südlich von Mali gelegene Burkina Faso. Die Drohnen könnten so schnell wie möglich die von Frankreich geführte Mission in Mali unterstützen, hiess es.

Die einzige ständige Militärbasis der USA in Afrika liegt in Dschibuti, weit im Osten des Kontinents. Vertreter des Militärs bestätigten auch dem Fernsehsender Fox News entsprechende Pläne und Niger als Standort. Allerdings befinde sich der Stützpunkt noch in der Planungsphase. Weder das Pentagon noch das Weisse Haus oder die Regierung in Niger hätten die Pläne bestätigt.

IWF und Japan sichern Mali Millionen zu

Nebst technischer Hilfe aus der Luft ist auch finanzielle Unterstützung in Sicht. Japan kündigte an, das westafrikanische Land und andere Staaten der Sahel-Zone mit zusätzlich 120 Millionen Dollar zu unterstützen.

Das Geld solle helfen, die Region zu stabilisieren und die Sicherheit zu verbessern, erklärte der japanische Aussenminister Fumio Kishida. Unter anderem sei es zur Finanzierung von Friedenseinsätzen gedacht.

Der IWF seinerseits gewährte Mali einen Kredit von 18,4 Millionen Dollar. Dieser solle dem Land erlauben, sich von der Rezession zu erholen und die wirtschaftliche Stabilität wiederherzustellen.

Doch diese erste Finanzspritze ist nur ein Tropfen auf den heissen Stein. Benötigt würden für den Militäreinsatz der Allianz 950 Millionen Dollar. Dies sagte der Präsident der Elfenbeinküste und Vorsitzende der westafrikanischen Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Ecowas, Alassane Ouatarra, bei der Eröffnung einer Geberkonferenz für das Krisenland in der äthiopischen Hauptstadt Addis Abeba.

10 000 Soldaten würden benötigt, um das riesige Land aus der Hand von islamistischen Extremisten zu befreien – weit mehr als die ursprünglich geplanten 3300, fügte er hinzu.”



Siehe auch:

Ein “Kollateralschaden”
The imperial agenda of the US’s ‘Africa Command’ marches on
America’s Best Worst Partner in Africa
U.S. Airlift of French forces to Mali
Ambassador Christopher Dell, DCMA, spoke with journalists from Burkina Faso and Niger during their visit to AFRICOM headquarters
Mali: Fortsetzung des Drohnenkriegs gegen Dschihadisten


Pentagon richtet Drohnen-Stützpunkt in Niger ein

USA: Drohneneinsätze und Völkerrecht

Montag, Juni 25th, 2012

“Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law, says UN rapporteur

US policy of using drone strikes to carry out targeted killings ‘may encourage other states to flout international law’

By Owen Bowcott in Geneva, Thursday 21 June 2012 17.54 BST

The US policy of using aerial drones to carry out targeted killings presents a major challenge to the system of international law that has endured since the second world war, a United Nations investigator has said.

Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, summary or arbitrary executions, told a conference in Geneva that President Obama’s attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, carried out by the CIA, would encourage other states to flout long-established human rights standards.

In his strongest critique so far of drone strikes, Heyns suggested some may even constitute “war crimes”. His comments come amid rising international unease over the surge in killings by remotely piloted unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Addressing the conference, which was organised by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a second UN rapporteur, Ben Emmerson QC, who monitors counter-terrorism, announced he would be prioritising inquiries into drone strikes.

The London-based barrister said the issue was moving rapidly up the international agenda after China and Russia this week jointly issued a statement at the UN Human Rights Council, backed by other countries, condemning drone attacks.

If the US or any other states responsible for attacks outside recognised war zones did not establish independent investigations into each killing, Emmerson emphasised, then “the UN itself should consider establishing an investigatory body”.

Also present was Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Zamir Akram, who called for international legal action to halt the “totally counterproductive attacks” by the US in his country.

Heyns, a South African law professor, told the meeting: “Are we to accept major changes to the international legal system which has been in existence since world war two and survived nuclear threats?”

Some states, he added, “find targeted killings immensely attractive. Others may do so in future … Current targeting practices weaken the rule of law. Killings may be lawful in an armed conflict [such as Afghanistan] but many targeted killings take place far from areas where it’s recognised as being an armed conflict.”

If it is true, he said, that “there have been secondary drone strikes on rescuers who are helping (the injured) after an initial drone attack, those further attacks are a war crime”.

Heyns ridiculed the US suggestion that targeted UAV strikes on al-Qaida or allied groups were a legitimate response to the 9/11 attacks. “It’s difficult to see how any killings carried out in 2012 can be justified as in response to [events] in 2001,” he said. “Some states seem to want to invent new laws to justify new practices.

“The targeting is often operated by intelligence agencies which fall outside the scope of accountability. The term ‘targeted killing’ is wrong because it suggests little violence has occurred. The collateral damage may be less than aerial bombardment, but because they eliminate the risk to soldiers they can be used more often.”

Heyns told the Guardian later that his future inquiries are likely to include the question of whether other countries, such as the UK, share intelligence with the US that could be used for selecting individuals as targets. A legal case has already been lodged in London over the UK’s alleged role in the deaths of British citizens and others as a consequence of US drone strikes in Pakistan.

Emmerson said that protection of the right to life required countries to establish independent inquiries into each drone killing. “That needs to be applied in the context of targeted killings,” he said. “It’s possible for a state to establish an independent ombudsman to inquire into every attack and there needs to be a report to justify [the killing].”

Alternatively, he said, it was “for the UN itself to consider establishing an investigatory body. Drones attacks by the US raise fundamental questions which are a direct consequence of my mandate… If they don’t [investigate] themselves, we will do it for them.”

It is time, he added, to end the “conspiracy of silence” over drone attacks and “shine the light of independent investigation” into the process. The attacks, he noted, were not only on those who had been killed but on the system of “international law itself”.

The Pakistani ambassador declared that more than a thousand civilians had been killed in his country by US drone strikes. “We find the use of drones to be totally counterproductive in terms of succeeding in the war against terror. It leads to greater levels of terror rather than reducing them,” he said.

Claims made by the US about the accuracy of drone strikes were “totally incorrect”, he added. Victims who had tried to bring compensation claims through the Pakistani courts had been blocked by US refusals to respond to legal actions.

The US has defended drone attacks as self-defence against al-Qaida and has refused to allow judicial scrutiny of the UAV programme. On Wednesday, the Obama administration issued a fresh rebuff through the US courts to an ACLU request for information about targeting policies. Such details, it insisted, must remain “classified”.

Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s national security project, said: “Something that is being debated in UN hallways and committee rooms cannot apparently be talked about in US courtrooms, according to the government. Whether the CIA is involved in targeted lethal operation is now classified. It’s an absurd fiction.”

The ACLU estimates that as many as 4,000 people have been killed in US drone strikes since 2002 in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Of those, a significant proportion were civilians. The numbers killed have escalated significantly since Obama became president.

The USA is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or many other international legal forums where legal action might be started. It is, however, part of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) where cases can be initiated by one state against another.

Ian Seiderman, director of the International Commission of Jurists, told the conference that “immense damage was being done to the fabric of international law”.

One of the latest UAV developments that concerns human rights groups is the way in which attacks, they allege, have moved towards targeting groups based on perceived patterns of behaviour that look suspicious from aerial surveillance, rather than relying on intelligence about specific al-Qaida activists.

In response to a report by Heyns to the UN Human Rights Council this week, the US put out a statement in Geneva saying there was “unequivocal US commitment to conducting such operations with extraordinary care and in accordance with all applicable law, including the law of war”.

It added that there was “continuing commitment to greater transparency and a sincere effort to address some of the important questions that have been raised”.


(Quelle: The Guardian.)

Siehe auch:

US drone strikes ‘raise questions’ – UN’s Navi Pillay
Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns
Obamas leise Killer

USA: Top Secret CIA Documents on Osama bin Laden Declassified

Dienstag, Juni 19th, 2012

“The Central Intelligence Agency’s 9/11 File

Top Secret CIA Documents on Osama bin Laden Declassified

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 381
Posted – June 19, 2012

Edited by Barbara Elias-Sanborn with Thanks to Archive Senior Fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson

For more information contact:
Barbara Elias-Sanborn – 202/994-7000

Washington, D.C., June 19, 2012 – The National Security Archive today is posting over 100 recently released CIA documents relating to September 11, Osama bin Laden, and U.S. counterterrorism operations.  The newly-declassified records, which the Archive obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are referred to in footnotes to the 9/11 Commission Report and present an unprecedented public resource for information about September 11.

The collection includes rarely released CIA emails, raw intelligence cables, analytical summaries, high-level briefing materials, and comprehensive counterterrorism reports that are usually withheld from the public because of their sensitivity.  Today’s posting covers a variety of topics of major public interest, including background to al-Qaeda’s planning for the attacks; the origins of the Predator program now in heavy use over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran; al-Qaeda’s relationship with Pakistan; CIA attempts to warn about the impending threat; and the impact of budget constraints on the U.S. government’s hunt for bin Laden.

Today’s posting is the result of a series of FOIA requests by National Security Archive staff based on a painstaking review of references in the 9/11 Commission Report.


The documents released by CIA detail the meticulousness of al-Qaeda’s plot against the United States and CIA attempts to counter the rising terrorist threat. A previously undisclosed raw intelligence report that became the basis for the December 4, 1998, President’s Daily Brief notes that five years before the actual attack, al-Qaeda operatives had successfully evaded security at a New York airport in a test-run for bin Laden’s plan to hijack a U.S. airplane. [1998-12-03]. CIA analytical reports also provide interesting insights into al-Qaeda’s evolving political strategies. “In our view, the hijackers were carefully selected with an eye to their operational and political value. For instance, the large number of Saudi nationals was most likely chosen not only because of the ease with which Saudi nationals could get US visas but also because Bin Ladin could send a message to the Saudi Royal family.” [2003-06-01]

Reports on early attempts to apprehend bin Laden detail the beginning of the U.S. Predator drone program in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “First Predator mission over …”



(Quelle: The National Security Archive.)

Siehe auch:

Offene Fragen zum 11. September 2001

BRD: Überall Fundis

Donnerstag, Mai 31st, 2012

“Wird Deutschland islamisch?

Von Wolfgang Brauer


(Plakat: Inamo.)

In den letzten Wochen verteilten Angehörige der wohl konservativsten Strömung des Islam, der Salafisten, in einigen deutschen Großstädten kostenlos Exemplare des Koran. Salafisten zeichnen sich dadurch aus, dass sie den Koran und die Sunna (die Summe der beispielgebenden Taten des Propheten in allen Lebensbereichen) als einzige Richtschnur menschlichen Handelns akzeptieren und keinerlei „moderne‟ oder gar wissenschaftlichen Maßstäben genügende Auslegung beider zulassen. Salafisten sind durchweg religiöse Fundamentalisten. Solch Fundamentalismus gibt es in allen Religionen. Auch im modernen Deutschland findet man Gegenden, in denen eine „Mischehe‟ gleichsam als Sünde gilt. Gemeint sind hier nicht Verbindungen zwischen einer Bayerin und einem Vietnamesen – gemeint sind solche zwischen Protestanten und Katholiken „deutscher Herkunftssprache‟. Die katholische Kirche verweigert Wiederverheirateten Geschiedenen immer noch die Kommunion und seitens der evangelischen Theologie wird nach wie vor der schützende Madonnenmantel über dem Sakrament der Neugeborenentaufe ausgebreitet. Wenn das man kein Fundamentalismus ist …

Kaum erschienen nun die bärtigen Gottesstreiter auf den deutschen Marktplätzen, ging ein großes Feldgeschrei los. Die üblichen Bannerträger der abendländischen Werte witterten die brutalstmögliche Islamisierungskampagne und die wachsame Medienlandschaft brodelte auf. Die Salafisten – in Deutschland gibt es höchsten zwischen 3.000 und 5.000 – wird es gefreut haben. Schien dies doch der wahrhaft handgreifliche Beleg dafür zu sein, dass schon die bloße Berührung des heiligen Buches der Muslime zur Konversion führe. Gewalttätige Auseinandersetzungen waren nur noch ein Frage der Zeit und sie kamen dann auch nicht zufällig im Vorfeld der NRW-Wahlen. „Die Politik‟ reagierte wie gewohnt mit grobem Kaliber. Bundesinnenminister Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) schwadronierte von einer ideologischen Nähe der Koran-Freunde zu al-Quaida – über deren geistige Nähe und mögliche Finanzierungsströme zum und vom wahabitischen Saudi-Arabien wird gleichsam ein dicker Teppich öligen Schweigens gelegt; al-Quaida rief übrigens kürzlich zum Sturz des saudischen Regimes nach dem Beispiel des „arabischen Frühlings‟ auf. In der Rheinischen Post erklärte Friedrich martialisch: (…)”


(Quelle: Das Blättchen.)

USA: … und jetzt nach Afrika!

Samstag, Januar 28th, 2012

“East Africa Is the New Epicenter of America’s Shadow War

By Spencer Ackerman January 26, 2012 | 6:30 am |

When Adm. Eric Olson, the former leader of U.S. Special Operations Command, wanted to explain where his forces were going, he would show audiences a photo that NASA took, titled “The World at Night.” The lit areas showed the governed, stable, orderly parts of the planet. The areas without lights were the danger zones — the impoverished, the power vacuums, the places overrun with militants that prompted the attention of elite U.S. troops. And few places were darker, in Olson’s eyes, than East Africa.

Quietly, and especially over the last two to three years, special operations forces have focused on that very shadowy spot on NASA’s map (see below). The successful Tuesday night raid to free two humanitarian aid workers from captivity in Somalia is only the most recent and high-profile example. More and more elite forces have transited through a mega-base in Djibouti that’s a staging ground for strikes on al-Qaida allies in the Horn of Africa, especially in Somalia.

It’s not quite the new Pakistan, or even the new Yemen, but it’s close — especially as new bases for the U.S.’s Shadow Wars pop up and expand. The U.S. military sometimes seemed like it was casting about for a reason to set up shop in Africa. Counterterrorism has given it one.

Fighting Somalia’s pirates might get most of the media attention. But the U.S. is much more concerned about al-Shabab. The al-Qaida aligned movement seeks to depose the Somali government, recruits from radicalized American Muslims and may have sought to bring terrorism back to U.S. shores. Just across a very narrow Gulf of Aden is Yemen, the home of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which has repeatedly tried to attack America.

In 2009, the top U.S. intelligence official pointed to Yemen and “parts of Africa” where al-Qaida’s leadership might “relocate” if it lost its Pakistani safe haven, to “exploit a weak central government and close proximity to established recruitment, fundraising, and facilitation networks.” His successor told Congress in 2011 that al-Shabab would “probably grow stronger… absent more effective and sustained activities to disrupt them.”

That’s where the forces Olson used to run came in.

Located northwest of Somalia is a former French Foreign Legion base in Djibouti called Camp Lemonnier. The U.S. military has been there for a decade. It’s a resupply point for U.S. ships passing by, as well as the home of a multinational, American-led counterterrorism team called the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

Recently, more and more special operations forces have called it a temporary home. Camp Lemonnier was where the commando team took hostages Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted for medical care after freeing them. But the camp is much more than just a big medical facility: it’s also a staging ground for the growing Shadow War in Somalia — and particularly a drone war over it.

Much of the day-to-day fight against al-Shabab is outsourced to African peacekeepers. But the raids and strikes that U.S. commandos have launched against specific Shabab targets are becoming more frequent. Cruise missiles and even, apparently, U.S. helicopter strikes have also hit the group. Special operators even launch raids at sea: this spring, they captured captured one Shabab affiliate, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, offshore in the Gulf of Aden before detaining him for weeks aboard the U.S.S. Boxer.

Then comes the drone war. Lemonnier isn’t the only U.S. base near the Horn. Throughout the last decade, the military ran a smaller special-operations base in Kenya and another in Ethiopia. Now an Ethiopian outpost will become a launchpad for U.S. drones, as will a facility nearby in the Seychelles, all to launch strikes against al-Qaida allies in East Africa. The most recent of them struck Sunday outside Mogadishu, killing a British-born militant.

Nor is the military the only U.S. organization at work in east Africa. Somalia has attracted the CIA as well, which runs a secret prison attached to the Mogadishu airport. During earlier iterations of the CIA’s post-9/11 involvement in Somalia, it blustered that its operations were protected by drones that actually weren’t overhead — all while it assembled a coalition of friendly warlords to help fight al-Qaida. Nor has the FBI been left out of the action: it worked with the special operations forces to free Buchanan and Thisted on Tuesday night, although Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said no FBI personnel accompanied the raiding team.

Another dramatic expansion of U.S. power in Africa, however, may have been hiding in plain sight.

When President George W. Bush created the U.S. Africa Command in 2007, it wasn’t really clear what the organization was. Humanitarian aid dispensary? Laboratory for African troops to train with their U.S. counterparts? Vehicle for Americanization of Africa’s wars?

The question hasn’t totally been settled. But Africa Command has had a very busy year. In March, it led the initial phase of the U.S./NATO war on Moammar Gadhafi, launching a fusillade of Tomahawk missiles, flew jamming jets and operated conventional ships, subs and fighter jets before handing the war off to a Canadian general. In October, it sent a small advisory force to central Africa to help combat the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army.

Its leader, Army Gen. Carter Ham, hasn’t been in charge for a full year yet, but his busy schedule thus far was capped by last night’s Somalia raid — for which he was the senior-most officer in command, according to the Pentagon. The raid is a sign that Africa Command places great emphasis on its relationship with the U.S.’ elite forces, who, tacitly, help entrench the command’s relevance.

That’s going to remain the case as long as a decimated al-Qaida relies on proxies like al-Shabab to retain its own relevance. And it’s going to remain the case as long as Obama leans on special operators and the CIA to prosecute his Shadow Wars, which pursue terrorists indefinitely even while Obama draws down the large land wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When looking at where counterterrorism goes next, it helps to squint at the obscured places on Olson’s map.

Photos: David Axe, NASA”



USA: Ach ja, Gesetze…

Samstag, Oktober 1st, 2011

“Assassinating Awlaki: Obama Can Kill Anyone He Wants To

By Robert Dreyfuss on September 30, 2011 – 10:32am ET

Now we know what embattled Yemeni President Saleh meant when he cryptically told reporters from the Washington Post and Time yesterday: “We are fighting the al-Qaeda organization in Abyan [in Yemen] in coordination with the Americans and Saudis.” The defiant Saleh, who’s long promoted himself as an asset in America’s seemingly nonstop Long War on Terrorism (LWT), apparently knows what he’s talking about. Hours later, Yemen’s military announced that a missile strike had killed Anwar al-Awlaki, the bombastic, American-born Islamist who’s been linked to Al Qaeda and to recent terrorist attempts against the United States.

He’s not exactly Osama bin Laden, whose takedown in Pakistan in April helped spark the current US-Pakistan confrontation. But Awlaki’s assassination, and that’s what it was, is a signal that the Obama administration intends to pursue the LWT to the ends of the earth, regardless of the consequences, even if it means an extrajudicial killing of an American citizen.

Not that killing noncitizens is kosher, but killing an American isn’t. Still, rules are rules, and American citizens are supposed to have legal and civil rights that protect them from political or prosecutorial assassinations, even if they’re bad guys. Apparently, no longer. Still, Awlaki’s killing comes as no surprise, since the Obama administration long ago deemed him kill-worthy. As the Wall Street Journal points out, the CIA tried to kill Awlaki recently: “The U.S. narrowly missed Mr. Awlaki in a failed assassination attempt back in May. U.S. drones fired on a vehicle in the southern Yemen province of Shebwa that the cleric had been driving in earlier the same day.”

Since then, the United States has vastly expanded its Predator and Reaper drone capability far beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan, setting up bases on Indian Ocean islands and targeting Yemen, Somalia and other countries.

The killings were first announced by the Yemen defense ministry and its military, ironic in that the entire country of Yemen is perched at the brink of a civil war in which its establishment, including its military command, has divided loyalties. Not only Awlaki, but another American citizen was killed in the US-orchestrated attack, too:

“Yemen’s Defense Ministry said another American militant was killed in the same strike alongside al-Awlaki—Samir Khan, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani heritage who produced ‘Inspire,’ an English-language al-Qaida Web magazine that spread the word on ways to carry out attacks inside the United States.”

Awlaki was born in New Mexico, and he was linked to the Fort Hood shootings at a military base in Texas and to the attempted Times Square bombing, though his exact role in those and other cases is unclear, that is, whether he masterminded or organized them or simply served as a kind of spiritual mentor to people who were planning acts of violence anyway. The point is, no judicial case has been made against Awlaki, he hasn’t been formally accused in those events or others, the charges against him have never been proved in court. He was deemed guilty by the CIA and the US national security apparatus, and the sentence of death was carried out.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, a senior US official said: “His death takes a committed terrorist, intent on attacking the United States, off the battlefield. Awlaki and AQAP [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] are also responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in Yemen and throughout the region, which have killed scores of Muslims.” Of course, whether Awlaki and AQAP have killed scores of Muslims or not isn’t the point: unless the Obama administration truly wants to arrogate to itself the role of world policeman, it shouldn’t be in the business of executing, extrajudicially, anyone it wants to, whether they’re guilty of killing Muslims, Hindus, Jews or Christians.”


(Quelle: The Nation.)

Siehe auch:

US-Drohne tötet al-Qaida-Führer al-Awlaki