Analysis: The London 'Beheading'
Is Straight Out of al-Qaeda's Handbook
The London Telegraph
The horrific killing in Woolwich, where a man believed to be a soldier based at the nearby Woolwich barracks was beheaded by two machete-wielding assailants, has all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda attack. At the time of writing we are still awaiting confirmation from security officials about the precise nature of the incident. But having just watched some ITV footage, which shows a man with bloodied hands who is carrying a machete saying directly into the camera "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you", it seems pretty clear to me what has happened. For years al-Qaeda activists such as Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric who preached global jihad from his base in Yemen until he was killed by a US drone strike two years ago, have been calling on their followers to launch their own home-grown attacks.
British Soldier Beheaded in London Machete Attack
Two attackers armed with meat cleavers filmed their deadly assault on a man in London, according to Sky sources. A man reported to be a serving soldier died and the two attackers were then shot by the police following the terrorist attack in Woolwich. Senior Whitehall sources said the two attackers, who are in hospital, asked passers-by to film them, and they shouted "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is great). In footage that has emerged, one of the attackers wields a bloodied meat cleaver and says: "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you." The black man, dressed in a gray hooded jacket and black woolly hat, was heard to say: "We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth...I apologies that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe..."
Anti-Sharia Law Heads to State House Floor
The latest version of a bill intended to protect the constitutional rights of North Carolinians from "foreign laws" is on its way to the House floor after a contentious hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. House Bill 695, entitled "Foreign Laws/Protect Constitutional Rights," is the most recent iteration of legislation intended to keep courts from recognizing Islamic Sharia law in North Carolina. Similar measures have been filed or considered in more than 30 other states, but only a few states have voted them into law. The first version of the legislation was passed by ballot initiative in Oklahoma. It specifically named Sharia and was promptly blocked by a judge who declared it unconstitutional because it singled out a religion. Since then, newer versions of the measure in states from Arkansas to Florida have been more carefully worded.
Online Jihadi Publications Luring American Teens
Terror analyst Raffaello Pantucci of the Royal United Services Institute says al-Qaeda cells are encouraging radicalized individuals in the West through the internet. Al-Qaeda has developed a new tactic which essentially teaches that even if it cannot take lives directly, it wants to inflict economic and financial losses on the United States and the West generally. This is "Open-source jihad as they call it, in which individuals are very much empowered or the emphasis is on them to launch attacks where they can on targets that they specifically identify using materials on hand," Pantucci said. Pantucci says the challenge for intelligence services is that so-called "lone wolves" may not be detected by traditional means such as monitoring communications. "They don't necessarily set these trip wires off. And so therefore intelligence agencies aren't able to rely on that," he said.
US Military Braced for Surge
in Taliban 'Insider' Attacks
Washington Free Beacon
Taliban insurgents recently vowed to carry out new "infiltration" attacks aimed at killing and demoralizing US, allied, and Afghan military forces as part of the spring military offensive. The expected increase in what the Pentagon calls "insider" attacks by Taliban sympathizers or infiltrators followed an April 27 statement by the Islamist terror group. It was the first time the Taliban identified insider attacks as a key tactic. US military officials have said the Taliban shifted to insider attacks as US and allied forces became more adept at countering improvised explosive devices--deadly roadside bombs that have killed and injured hundreds during the 12-year war. Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Speaks said the military is aware of the threat. From 2007 to 2011, 42 insider attacks resulted in 69 coalition deaths Speaks said,. A total of 34Americans were killed by the method last year.
Wave of Attacks Kills at Least 57 in Iraq
A wave of car bombs and shootings killed at least 70 people in Shiite and Sunni areas of Iraq Monday, escalating fears of a return to widespread sectarian bloodletting in the country. The attacks, some of which hit market places and crowded bus stops during the morning rush hour, pushed the death toll in Iraq since Wednesday to more than 200. The bloodshed over the past week has been reminiscent of the retaliatory attacks between Sunnis and Shiites that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006-2007. Tensions have been worsening since Iraq's minority Sunnis began protesting what they say is mistreatment at the hands of the Shiite-led government. The mass demonstrations, which began in December, have largely been peaceful, but the number of attacks rose sharply after a deadly security crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in northern Iraq on April 23.
US Denied Asylum to Pakistani
Doctor Who Helped Get Bin Laden
The jailed doctor who helped the US track down Usama bin Laden was convicted by a tribal court on bogus charges, according to a classified Pakistani government report. Portions of the voluminous 357-page Abbottobad Commission Report, which has yet to be made public and were obtained exclusively by FOX News, acknowledge Dr. Shakil Afridi's conviction last year by a government-sponsored Jirga has undermined Pakistan's credibility. The report calls for Afridi to be given a new trial. The report also claims Afridi joined the CIA search for Bin Laden five years ago, while he was staying in the US with a cousin. According to the report, Afridi applied for asylum after a terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Islam, stepped up its operations in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt. Afridi was reportedly kidnapped by the group in 2008 and released after his family paid a $10,000 ransom.
Uzbekistan National Arrested
in Idaho on Terrorism Charges
An Uzbek national living in Idaho has been arrested on federal charges that he gave support, cash and other resources to help a terrorist group in his home country plan a terrorist attack. Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, will appear in US District Court Friday morning, one day after federal agents arrested him during a raid of his small Boise apartment. Kurbanov was arrested after an extensive investigation into his activities in Idaho and Utah late last year and this year. A federal grand jury indictment charges Kurbanov with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and possession of an unregistered explosive device. A separate federal grand jury in Utah also returned an indictment charging the distribution of information about weapons of mass destruction.
Al Qaeda Websites Hacked
The Washington Times
Three of al Qaeda's major websites for recruiting terrorists and communicating propaganda were shut down recently in an apparent case of counterterrorism hacking or possibly as a result of internal disputes among terrorists. US officials familiar with intelligence reports said the websites of Ansar al-Mujahidin, Shumukh al-Islam and Al Fida -- all accredited as official outlets of the terrorist group once led by Osama bin Laden -- were knocked off the Internet by cyberattacks in early May. Two of the sites -- Ansar al-Mujahidin (as-ansar.com) and Shumukh al-Islam (shamikh1.info) -- came back up Monday and Tuesday. The site Al Fida remains down. Although the origin of the attack is not known, some online jihadists claimed that the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas was behind the cyberattack. A hacker group Qassam HackeRs, which supports Hamas, claimed credit.
USN Academy Instructor Teaching
on Behalf of Muslim Brotherhood
According to promotional material, a United States Naval Academy professor is teaching on behalf of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood and where global Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi reportedly serves as a trustee. IIIT recently announced its Summer Students Program for 2013 to be held from May 26 – July 3. According to the IIIT announcement, one of the instructors for the program will be Professor Ermin Sinanovic, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland who will be teaching a course titled "Muslim World Affairs." One of the other instructors at the IIIT summer program will be US Muslim Brotherhood leader Louay Safi, identified in the announcement as affiliated with the College of Islamic Studies of the Qatar Foundation.
Video of Syrian Rebel Cutting Out,
Eating Foe's Heart Sparks Ire
A graphic video has emerged of a Syrian rebel commander cutting the heart out of a government soldier's chest and biting into it. Described by Human Rights Watch as "emblematic" of a civil war that has rapidly descended into sectarian hatred and revenge killings, the amateur footage was posted on the Internet yesterday - sparking outrage among opposition figures, as well as supporters of President Bashar al-Assad. Human Rights Watch said the video shows Abu Sakkar – the prominent founder of rebel group Farouq Brigade, which originated in Homs. In the clip, Sakkar cuts into the chest of the dead soldier before ripping out his heart and liver and declaring: "I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog". To off-screen cheers and chants of "Allahu akbar [God is Great]", the man then bites into the heart.