Afghan Refugees Infected By BioWeapons?

Afghan Refugees Infected By BioWeapons?
Vol: 2 Issue: 30 Friday, November 30, 2001

Jane’s Terrorism and Security Monitor is reporting today that Pakistan and Iran indicate either a viral pandemic may be brewing among Afghan refugees, or former Soviet biological weapons have made their first appearance.

In Pakistan, at least 75 people have been diagnosed in Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province, with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in the largest outbreak of the disease ever recorded. Eight have already died.

All the infected are refugees recently arrived from Afghanistan or people living close to the border. An isolation ward surrounded by barbed wire has been established at the Fatima Jinnah chest and general hospital in Quetta.

Ali-Safar Makaanali, head of Iran s Border Quarantines, has confirmed that Iranian health officials are also dealing with an outbreak of the virus, with more than 100 citizens having been infected. Iranian health authorities have established 40 quarantine bases on the border in an attempt to halt the spread of the disease.

More than 100 mobile quarantine bases have been set up, and 39 hospitals have been prepared to cope with patients. The virus has a mortality rate of over 50 per cent, damaging arteries, veins and other blood vessels before leading to the collapse of major organs, eventually causing its victim to die of internal bleeding. The disease is highly infectious and can be transmitted via contact with infected individuals.

The USSR’s bioweapons lab, Biopreparat intensively studied biological weapons and maintained a bank of 10,000 of the most dangerous and exotic viruses known, including smallpox, Ebola and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

Many intelligence analysts believe that Osama bin Laden acquired biological weapons agents from Kazakh arms dealers.

Russia Upgrades Armored Fighting Vehicles

Earlier this year, the Russian Army revealed several new prototype modernization packages at a military demonstration held at the NIII-21 facility at Bronnitsy, near Moscow. Russian manufacturers demonstrated upgraded versions of the venerable BTR-70 and BRDM-2 armored fighting vehicles (AFVs), plus a new air-defense package for mounting on light AFVs.

Army Upgrading Thermal Imagers

The US Army is considering a horizontal technology integration (HTI) program for uncooled thermal imagers to complement the one already being conducted for their cooled counterparts, according to John Spadafore, Product Director for Close Combat Systems. The proposed HTI effort would provide a standard ‘B-kit’ that would be mated with system-specific ‘A-kits’ for use in programs such as Land Warrior, Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG), Multi-Sensor Uncooled Thermal Weapon Sight and small unmanned aerial vehicles.

BadTrans b. Internet Worm

A new and particularly devious computer virus called Badtrans b. has been infecting computers with a computer worm that can capture a computer users keystrokes or give a hacker access to a computer. It also sends out the information about the infected computer to a Hotmail account.

It then sends itself out to all unread messages in a person’s inbox. This e-mailing process will not begin until the computer has been rebooted. A user does not have to view or open the infected file to become infected. Major anti-virus software companies like Symantec and McAfee have posted updates to detect the worm. Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express are vulnerable.

Cyberczar Announces Cyber Warning Network

Richard Clarke, special adviser on cyberspace security to President George Bush, said an early-warning network called the Cyber Warning and Information Network (CWIN) would at first be a voice system that would link major computer-network operation centers and the information-sharing and assurance centers (ISACs) that represent critical infrastructure sectors, such as financial services, telecommunications and transportation.

CWIN would be modeled after the existing National Operations and Intelligence Watch Offices Network, which connects senior officials at the Pentagon, the National Security Agency, the White House, the State Department and the CIA by phone within 15 seconds.

Jordan Developing New Fighting Vehicle

Jordan Developing New Fighting Vehicle
Vol: 2 Issue: 29 Thursday, November 29, 2001

The Jordanians are developing a new advanced infantry fighting vehicle. The development and production of the Tiger vehicle is a joint venture of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

The Tiger program was announced in March in Abu Dhabi and is meant for deployment in the UAE. Development and production will take place in Jordan by the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau. The UAE’s Bin Jaber group is providing the funding.

Russian Troops Back In Afghanistan

A contingent of 88 men from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations has set up a small camp on a patch of land near the Bulgarian embassy in central Kabul, surprising Western observers, Washington Post reported on 27 November. Russian officials said that the contingent came at the invitation of the Northern Alliance and that they planned to build a medical facility and rehabilitate their long-abandoned embassy. Interestingly, there wasn’t a doctor in the crowd.

Russian Arms Dealers Busy

The Russians have been dumping weapons like they were free all around the Middle East and Central Asia. Now the Russians are working an arms deal with Greece.

Officials from the two countries are laying the groundwork for the sale of defense systems, such as air defense, to Greece. Russia is also offering to upgrade tanks and artillery for the Greek military. A visit by Russian Deputy Defense minister M.A. Dimitriev to Athens was the backdrop, and soon, another Russian arms deal was born.

Dimitriev met Greek Defense Minister Yannos Papantoniou, ostensibly to prepare the defense agenda for the visit next month to Greece by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin plans to push for the sale of Russian military systems to Athens.

Greece is the only NATO member to have bought military systems from Russia. These include the purchase of the S-300 anti-aircraft system meant for the Republic of Cyprus but obtained by Greece when Turkey threatened to prevent deployment of the S-300 on the divided island of Cyprus by declaring war on Russia.

While Russia Woos The Greeks . . .

The Germans are negotiate their own arms deals with Greece’s mortal enemy, the Turks.

Turkish officials said Ankara and Berlin have agreed in principle to the sale of up to 400 howitzers to the Turkish military. The howitzers are mounted on tanks.

But the deal is not without its critics. They say tht Turkey would use the howitzers for an operation in Iraq and an offensive against Kurdish insurgents. Germany has blocked several deals because of the Turkish conflict with the Kurds as well as Ankara’s human rights record. In addition, the European Union has been angered by Ankara’s opposition to the accession by the Republic of Cyprus.

Somali Rebels Offer Israel Use of Bases

Voice of Israel Radio reported yesterday that Somali rebels have offered Israel the use of naval and air bases in areas they control. Rebel leaders made the offer to Knesset member Modi Zandberg in Ethiopia. In return, the rebels want defense and humanitarian aid from Israel. Zandberg conveyed the proposal to the Prime Minister’s office. Jerusalem is now studying the offer.

Iraq Training Mujhideen Fighters

According to Istikhbarat Intelligence services, Qusay Hussein, son of Saddam Hussein and head of Iraq’s Istikhbarat intelligence services, is training Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization (MEK) guerrillas in urban and guerrilla warfare and assassination. Qusay is also deputy commander of the Iraqi Republican Guards. The MEK guerrillas are being trained at the al-Fujayr military camp.

US Sells Nuclear Reactor to Morocco

US Sells Nuclear Reactor to Morocco
Vol: 2 Issue: 28 Wednesday, November 28, 2001

The Islamic state of Morocco is awaiting the final approval for a purchase of nuclear reactor from the United States. The request to buy the reactor had been previously approved by the Bush administration, but the final authority to sell it rests with Congress.

Last month, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on the purchase of a nuclear reactor. The London-based Al Hayat daily said the reactor would cost $80 million and the prime contractor would be General Atomics. The reactor will be located north of Rabat.

Arab diplomatic sources said the two countries have been discussing the purchase for several years as part of an effort by Morocco to develop nuclear power.

It is unclear how the war on terror will affect the transfer of nuclear technology — and the resulting nuclear material it will produce — to an Islamic state. Or whether the Congress will approve it.

Iran and US Edging Closer — Hezbollah Gets Nervous

Some intelligence sites are filing reports that say Iran has quietly agreed to reduce support to the Shi’ite insurgency group.

Lebanese sources said Iran has agreed to several steps that affect relations with Hizbullah. They include the removal of 100 Iranian Revolutionary Guards from Lebanon as well as reduced military support for the group.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are actively involved in the training of Hezbollah. Iran has also sent more than 8,000 Katyusah rockets to the region for use by Hezbollah. Hezbollah leaders are dismissing the report. They said Iran has repeatedly pledged not to end military support to Hizbullah until Israel withdrew from the disputed Shebaa plateau.

Raissi Extradition Process Begins

A London-based Algerian pilot, accused of training some of the hijackers involved in the 11 September US terror attacks, went to court in London to face extradition proceedings to the US Lotfi Raissi, 27, appeared at the high security Belmarsh Magistrate’s Court in south-east London on charges of making a false statement when he applied for a US pilot’s license.

China Ready To Take Delivery of Fighters

Russia is ready to make the transfer of advanced Sukkoi-30 fighter-bombers to China. The first Su-30 deal was concluded in 1999 and was worth $1.8 billion for 40 of the jets. The Su-30s will bolster China s force of Su-27s. The People s Liberation Army currently has between 70 and 100 Su-27s. The Su-30 is a true ground attack aircraft, unlike the Su-27.

The Su-30s are worrisome for U.S. intelligence agencies since the jets will greatly increase the Chinese air force s ability to attack Taiwan.

US Spec-Ops Working With Iranian Intelligence

Military personnel from the United States and Iran worked together during the recent fighting on the ground in Afghanistan, London s Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reports. The paper cites Iranian military source who had just returned from Afghanistan and said that dozens of Iranian military intelligence officers, instructors and technicians are working on the ground in Afghanistan.

Tehran issued orders to cooperate and coordinate their activities with U.S. Special Forces units helping the opposition Northern Alliance and other groups in directing air strikes against the Taliban and al Qaeda forces.

The Iranians also provided thousands of uniforms, boots, AK-47 assault rifles, rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles to the Northern Alliance.

China Tests New Undersea Missile Launch

China conducted its second test of its new JL-2, a submarine launched ballistic missile system.

The People s Liberation Army Navy carried out the test in early November from a specially modified Golf-class submarine. The test was identified by U.S. intelligence officials as a pop-up test of the JL-2. In the test, a JL-2 air frame was fired out of its launch tube. The test was meant simulate the first step in firing a long-range missile.

The JL-2 is a special version of the DF-31, modified to be launched from a submarine.

The DF-31, China s newest ICBM, is believed by U.S. intelligence to incorporate stolen U.S. nuclear warheads design information as well as missile technology illegally transferred to China by U.S. companies involved in satellite sales to Beijing during the 1990s.

Egypt To Purchase North Korean Missiles

Egypt To Purchase North Korean Missiles
Vol: 2 Issue: 27 Tuesday, November 27, 2001

The Egyptian government has agreed to purchase two dozen North Korean No-Dong ballistic missiles and the related technology. The sale is opposed by Washington. Egypt receives more US aid than any other country in the Middle East except Israel. The No-Dong missile is a medium range missile that could hit Israel and is capable of carrying either a conventional or NBC [Nuclear, Biological, Chemical] payload.

Turkey Expands Airport Security

Turkey has approved a series of measures to improve air security. The measures include tightened airport security as well as expanded training of personnel. The government will also form a new office on airport security. Among the measures to be implemented are the integration of X-ray equipment with other security systems at Turkish airports. In addition, airports will contain closed circuit television systems.

US Envoys Arrived in Israel

Newly-appointed American mediators Gen. Anthony Zinni and William Burns landed in Israel. Their official mission is the achievement of a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians. They met with GSS head Avi Dichter and IDF Intelligence Chief Gen. Amos Malka upon their arrival, and will hold parallel talks with the Israelis and PA teams.

Meanwhile, Palestinian terrorism is back in full swing. Yesterday’s suicide attack at a Gaza security checkpoint could have been stopped by the PA, had they wanted to, says the army. The terrorist passed through at least two, and possibly three, PA military checkpoints before he reached his destination at the Erez checkpoint with his explosives which he then detonated, wounding two Israeli soldiers.

Lebanese Military Urges Crackdown

The Lebanese military is quietly urging the government to launch a crackdown on the Palestinians. There have been a number of Palestinian attacks on troops near Sidon. The troops are deployed at the Ein Hilwe refugee camp outside the city. Lebanese sources said military commanders are urging the Beirut government to launch operations against Palestinian insurgents inside Ein Hilwe. The government, controlled by Syria, has banned Lebanese military operations inside the refugee camp. It was the fourth attack against Lebanese troops by Palestinian terrorists since September 11.

Libyan Intelligence Officers Arrested by Gadaffi

Al-Hayat newspaper reported that Abdallah Senoussi, deputy head of the Libyan intelligence agency, has been placed under house arrest. Several other Libyan intelligence officials have also been detained. The reason for Senoussi’s arrest was not disclosed; Senoussi is Muammar Gaddafi’s brother-in-law, and has been close to the Libyan leader for 20 years.

Senoussi was convicted in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment by a French court for his role in the 1989 bombing of a French civilian airliner over Niger in which 170 people died. Five other Libyans were also convicted of involvement in the attack. Al-Hayat quoted informed sources that the arrest was related to Libyan attempts to cooperate with Washington in its struggle with terrorism.

India Arrests Pakistani Spies

Punjab police have arrested two members of a Pakistani espionage ring. District police chief Lok Nath Angra stated that Haidar Ali from Lahore and Mustaqeen from Binjour in Uttar Pradesh were detained in Pathankot district. Police recovered hand made maps of army and naval installations and two forged passports, as well as documents on the army’s Puran Vijay Shakti exercise, aerial drone deployments and port facilities.

During their interrogation the pair admitted to working for Pakistan’s ISI during the past year. Haidar Ali was head of the operation, and recruited Mustaqeen. The ISI paid them on the quality of the information they collected. Their espionage activities took them across India. India and Pakistan remain on the verge of war over the Kashmir region. Both states are nuclear powers.

Gulf States Keep Western Military Aid

Last week, the Gulf Cooperation Council announced efforts to increase Gulf Arab defense planning and a regional force. This includes the purchase of an air defense and tracking system and a military communications network. But they’d prefer to maintain the current levels of Western military aid and arms delivery from the EU and United States.

Kuwait Takes Delivery of European Helicopters

The arms keep flowing into the Middle East at wartime levels. Kuwait has received new European helicopters for security missions. The oil kingdom took delivery of of two EC-135 helicopters. The aircraft is manufactured by the Paris-based Eurocopter. The helicopters will be used for border security and to fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking. The sources said Kuwait sent pilots to Britain for training on the EC-135. They also gave the maintenance contracts for the helicopters to the British.

Arafat Grows Increasingly Irrelevant

Arafat Grows Increasingly Irrelevant
Vol: 2 Issue: 26 Monday, November 26, 2001

Israeli intelligence sources have concluded “Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat does not appear to be part of the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” They point to discussions within the Palestinian leadership of a post-Arafat strategy.

According to Israeli intelligence, pressure on Arafat has increased in four separate areas: 1) Popular support continues to grow for terror groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad; 2) Senior Palestinian leadership within his administration have lost faith in Arafat as he searches for a way to balance his promises of recognition of Israel made to the Israelis with his promises to his people to drive them into the sea; 3) Military pressure from the Israelis against senior members of Hamas, Tanzim and al-Fatah; 4) Diminished support from Europe who has begun to realize Arafat really has been lying to them. Arafat’s days are clearly numbered and Israeli internal security is urging Ariel Sharon to start cultivating relationships with senior Palestinian political figures most likely to replace him.

German Arms Merchants Scrap Marketing Blitz

Germany has scrapped a plan to market weapons to the Middle East. The scrapped plan was originally part of Germany’s drive to increase arms exports and reduce the nation’s military surplus. Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping intended to offer allies in the Middle East and other regions surplus combat jets, main battle tanks and naval vessels.

The ministry had published a 46-page weapons catalogue that included Soviet-made weapons deployed in the former East Germany. They included the MiG-29, submarines, 699 Leopard 1A5 tanks and other model tanks. Most of those weapons were intended to go to NATO allies but the majority of the customers lining up at the window were the Arab states of the Middle East.

Saudis Beefing Up Military

Saudi leaders are pledging to increase support for the military as internal unrest continues to erode their grip on power. Saudi Arabia, the seat of the supposedly benign Islamic faith, is facing a hugh popular backlash due to the mere rumor they might be considering aiding the US war on terror.

Saudi defense chiefs have been touring military bases around the kingdom and meeting with both senior and junior officers. Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz has told military units and graduation ceremonies around the kingdom that human resources are the most important element in the military. In an effort to maintain support within the military, they are promising officers better training and more money.

Analysis:

Rather than admitting to the increasing threat to the royal family’s grip on power, the tours are being described as a Saudi review of military assets to ensure readiness amid increasing tension in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia is the seat of Islam. Unrest there reverberates through the Islamic world.

It is estimated that as much as ten percent of global Islam is of the militant variety. While it doesn’t sound like much of a threat, 10% of 1.2 billion Muslims equals 120 million card-carrying enemies of Western culture. Unrest in the Islamic kingdom could increase unrest among Islamic militants even as it increases the ranks of their membership.

Saudis Strike More Oil

Another reason for the West to watch the developing unrest in the Saudi kingdom is the fact they continue to grow in importance in terms of the global energy supply. They found new pockets of oil and natural gas reserves near the Ghawar field in the eastern portion of the kingdom 240 kilometers southeast of Riyad. Ghawar is regarded as the world’s largest oil field.

The find by the state-owned Saudi Aramco was the ninth in the eastern province. The previous strike went online in June, and now produces 1,100 barrels of crude and 1.6 million cubic feet of natural gas daily. The more they have in the global market share, the more influence the Saudis have over the global marketplace. And among the OPEC members.

Lebanon Competes With Iraq As Priority Target

Although all the signals suggest Iraq is the next target of the US war on terror, high on this list of potentials is Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. It is situated half way between Beirut and Damascus, the capitals of Lebanon and Syria. The Bekaa Valley is known principally for two products: hashish and terrorists.

The Bekaa valley is in Lebanese territory but controlled by drug barons and the Syrian army, which took over parts of it in 1976.

For the past 20 years the Bekaa valley has been the military base for Hezbollah, the ‘Party of God’ and leading Islamist organization in Lebanon. Hezbollah built training camps there, using the valley to prepare for attacks on the occupying Israeli force in south Lebanon. It eventually forced the Israelis to withdraw in 2000.

Strikes against the Bekaa Valley would be tantamount to strikes against both Syria and Iran. Since most of the strikes by Hezbollah are aimed at Israel, US action would be seen across the Islamic world as US action on Israel’s behalf.

US Exerts Pressure On Saudis

US Exerts Pressure On Saudis
Vol: 2 Issue: 25 Sunday, November 25, 2001

Since Washington has gone way out on a limb by claiming the Saudis are participating in the war on terror, the Bush administration has started putting pressure on the Saudis to prove it. For the most part, and until now, the pressure has been behind the scenes and intends to obtain Riyad’s approval for the provision of military assets for the United States in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula as well as the launching of measures against Saudi fugitive Osama Bin Laden and his allies. But Saudi Arabia continues to talk a good war, but put nothing behind its words.

And now that the US is wrapping things up in Afghanistan and preparing to expand the war into other countries, like Iraq, the administration can’t maintain the fiction of Saudi cooperation. It actually wants to see some concrete measures. Riyad has so far done little apart from providing intelligence information, generally long after the US had already obtained the same information from other sources. If the Saudis don’t begin to show some form of legitimate cooperation soon, the US may find itself having to apply pressure somewhat less subtle. Which could upset the delicate balancing act Colin Powell has been putting on for Arab entertainment for the past two months.

Now That We Might Actually Capture Them, Then What?

Until now, the main focus of the war against terror has been to destroy the Taliban and thereby destroy Osama bin-Laden’s al-Qaeda terror network. Now that goal is in sight, and Taliban forces are surrendering in droves. At least some of them are directly involved in attacks against the United States. Although the President has used the term ‘bringing them to justice’ as a euphemism for sending them to Allah, a few aren’t ready to go and the White House can’t very well ignore the survivors.

A report by the U.S. Institute of Peace asserts that the federal court system is the most effective route to prosecute bin Laden and his agents. And it thinks they should be prosecuted in the United States.

“At least for the near future, key options for prosecution of terrorist suspects will be U.S. federal courts — where so many of them already have been indicted for pre-Sept. 11 crimes — and foreign national courts that will certainly play a key role in the investigation and prosecution of terrorist suspects,” writes David Sheffer, author of the report.

He said the administration should not be intimidated by threats of Islamic demonstrations and retributions. Scheffer said Bin Laden and key Taliban officials should not be treated as prisoners of war but as criminals. The White House would prefer not to have to treat them at all. Which is one of the reasons the SpecOps operating in the field have been given the ‘green light’ to take out as many as possible. Reports say special forces have killed hundreds of them in ambushes, taking no prisoners — and without losing a single American soldier.

Europe Tightening Visa Restrictions

The Europeans are tightening visa restrictions against citizens of Islamic states. Arab diplomatic sources said the restrictions have already been felt in Britain and Germany. These two countries have the largest and fastest growing Muslim populations in Europe. The restrictions have alarmed some North African countries, particularly Algeria and Tunisia. These countries regard immigration to Europe as a means to relieve internal pressure and economic hardship.

Top Hamas Terrorist Liquidated

The Israelis killed Mahmoud Abu Hanoud on Friday after having tried and failed on at least two previous occasions. The previous failures cost the lives of three Israeli soldiers. But on Friday night, as Hanoud, the leader of the Izzadin Kassam wing of Hamas, drove down a West Bank roadway, two Israeli gunships ambushed his vehicle. The vehicle was struck by two Israeli rockets. The first scored a bonus, killing Izzadin Kassam’s number two man, Ayman Hashaykah.

Hanoud was responsible for a number of atrocities, including the bombings of the Sbarro Pizzeria [in which half those killed were children] and the Dolphinarium disco in Tel Aviv [in which almost all the deaths were Israeli teens].

Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said his elimination was the most important interception since the intifada began in October, 2000. But Hanound’s death is more a beginning than an end. Fifty thousand Palestinians turned out at his funeral shouting “Revenge will be ours soon, powerfully, and in Tel Aviv,” and chanting, “Sharon, wait, revenge is coming soon.”

Hamas Says Palestinians “Too Soft” on Collaborators

Under Palestinian rule, despite Arafat’s promises of peaceful coexistence, coexisting peacefully with Israelis is a crime punishable by death. In an interview on Al-Jazeera television, Ismail Abu Shanab of Hamas attacked the PA for halting the search for those who collaborate with Israel which it began several months ago. Shanab called on the Palestinians to arrest, try, convict and execute those who ‘collaborate’ with the Israelis.

An interesting situation. If Arafat were to keep the promises he made at the UN, peace might be possible. But that would mean he was “collaborating”, and, as leader of the Palestinians, would be duty bound to sentence himself to a firing squad.

Russia Continues To Arm Terror Nations

For all the talk of peace and cooperation, for all the claims by President Bush that Vladimir Putin is really secretly a born-again Christian, the Kremlin continues to arm the Arab nations to the teeth in advance of the war Ezekiel predicted would take place in the last days. Putin is merely conducting his arms bazaar through an intermediary. Alexander Lukashenko, the pro-Stalinist dictator of the former Soviet Republic of Belarus, recently met with Andrei Belyaninov, head of the Russian arms export giant Rosoboroneksport, and Sergei Batehkin, executive secretary of the Defense Systems Interstate financial/industrial group.

The purpose of the meeting was to conclude $500 million worth of arms contracts with Arab, Palestinian, and Albanian Moslem “extremist” groups. Belarus maintains close contacts with nations associated with terrorist activities including Libya, Iran, Cuba and Syria — all former Soviet client states.

Freedom’s Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose

And while maintaining the fiction that Russia is now an open society, Moscow recently decreed that it will exert control over all of Russia’s broadcasting and relay stations handling radio and television signals under a newly created Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network. One of the principle investors in the new network, before he was squeezed out, that is, was CNN founder Ted Turner.

Moscow’s Unblinking Eye in the Sky

The Kremlin continues to build on the intelligence/surveillance network it has created over the past few years using a network of3,500 Russian and 800 foreign ships equipped with special transmitters that send information to satellites. The data is then sent to regional centers in Murmansk and Petropavlovsk Kamchatskiy, where Russia operates major submarine bases. An additional center in Moscow also receives the data.

The system highlights Russia s continuing use of commercial vessels for military and government intelligence gathers, including the monitoring of U.S. strategic nuclear submarines.

North Koreans Defecting To South

North Koreans Defecting To South
Vol: 2 Issue: 24 Saturday, November 24, 2001

The number of North Korean defectors who have arrived so far to South Korea number 505, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. Earlier in the week, the Unification Ministry put the number of defectors who had arrived as of November 10 at 493. NIS and other related agencies tally the number of North Korean defectors arriving in the country, but the final numbers are determined by the Unification Ministry. The ministry had predicted that the number of North Korean defectors would surpass 550 by year-end.

North Korean War Games Scheduled

North Korean military forces have begun large-scale winter training exercises that the US will undoubtedly pay close attention to. U.S. officials said North Korean military forces have stepped up readiness since the start of operations in Afghanistan. The movements detected last week included preliminary movements to staging areas by infantry and armor units.

CIA Met With bin Laden In July

According to one of French International Radio’s chief editors, a well-known CIA agent had met with Osama bin Laden in Dubai sometime in July 2001, according to the Iranian newspaper Keyhan published on November 3rd. The editor, Richard Labroyete, said the name of the CIA agent is Larry Mitchell. After the CIA denied the report, Labroyete retorted: “The broadcast of that news actually came after long weeks of investigation and journalistic enquiries and research and went on air after we made sure of our resources and the authenticity of the report.” However, it must be noted that the French report relied heavily on information released by Iran — no friend of the United States or the CIA.

China To Practice Attacking US Carriers

U.S. officials said China s military is set to conduct military exercises later this month that will simulate attacks on U.S. aircraft carriers a key target of the People s Liberation forces since the 1996 standoff over Taiwan. The exercises are to be dubbed Liberation 2 after some of China s largest war games in years conducted earlier this year. The exercise reportedly will be held in two stages. The first stage will include large-scale amphibious landing exercises and simulate attacks on naval and air support forces.The second phase will then involved war games that include attacks on aircraft carriers and the launch of ballistic missiles.

Patriot Act Turns Bankers Into Policemen

The USA Patriot Act was signed into law by President Bush late last month. It will require banks to monitor their customers and report “suspicious transactions” to the Treasury Department. Buried in the more than 300 pages of the new law is a provision that “any person engaged in a trade or business” has to file a government report if a customer spends $10,000 or more in cash. The threshold is cumulative and applies to multiple purchases if they’re somehow related — three $4,000 pieces of furniture, for example, might trigger a filing. President Bush said the new rules were designed to “put an end to financial counterfeiting, smuggling, and money laundering.” It will also put an end to financial privacy.

US Deploys Third FAE Bomb In Afghanistan

The United States has used, for only the third time since the Gulf War, a Fuel Air Explosive device. Called the ‘poor man’s nuke’ an FAE is a 15,000 lb. bomb filled with small wafer-like swabs soaked in gasoline. When the bomb detonates, it incinerates an area equal to 600 yards in all directions. Additionally, an FAE sucks all the oxygen from the area, suffocating anyone not incinerated in the blast. The most recently deployed FAE was detonated in an area south of Kandahar. It was deployed, according to US officials, to serve two purposes; the first was to kill as many troops as possible — the second was to demoralize those troops that survive. Most of the Taliban’s remaining forces are massed in Kandahar. An estimated 15,000 Taliban fighters, including several thousand Arabs, Pakistanis and Chechens linked to al Qaeda.

US Shuts Down Internet To Somalia

The United States has forced internet service providers in Somalia to shut down, alleging they were used to funnel funds to al-Qaeda. Along with denying all internet access to Somalis, the closures have severely restricted international telephone lines and shut down vitally needed money transfer facilities.

Putin Rejects NATO Offer

Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected an offer of associate membership in NATO made by Secretary-General Lord Robertson yesterday. The NATO offer would have made Russia a member of NATO in all but fact, including a measure of veto power over NATO decisions. According to Putin, “Russia is not seeking to enter NATO via a “back door”, adding it had no interest in entering NATO through the front door, either. Putin also said NATO’s expansion eastward makes the Kremlin uncomfortable despite warming ties.