Articles

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2007 Top Ten Mistakes in Afghanistan

Last year suicide bombings quintupled, attacks on international forces tripled, and support for the Taliban grew. According to CNN terror analyst and Taliban expert Peter Bergen, here are the top 10 entirely avoidable mistakes made by the Bush administration:

1 Letting Osama Escape Tora Bora: Because Donald Rumsfeld wanted a “light” footprint in Afghanistan, only 60 U.S. Special Forces were sent to smoke out bin Laden. During the 2004 reelection campaign, Bush implied that bin Laden wasn’t at Tora Bora at all-a claim publicly slapped down by the CIA’S on-scene commander, Gary Berntsen, a longtime Republican, who pleaded for additional forces, to no avail.

Saturday, Jul 14, 2007 Musharraf’s Enemies Close In

Two months ago, on a rainy afternoon in Islamabad, I paid a visit to the Red Mosque. Its militant imam, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, was suddenly a force to be reckoned with in Pakistani politics, his students having recently undertaken a series of violent protests aimed at showing their contempt for the government of President Pervez Musharraf. The proximate cause of their anger was the demolition of several mosques in Islamabad that authorities said had been built without the required authorizations, but their agenda had broader elements, including a demand that Musharraf implement sharia law. Starting in January, Ghazi’s followers occupied a municipal library adjoining the Red Mosque. Meanwhile, masked students armed with batons visited video store owners and told them to close their businesses, while others destroyed CDs.

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST (voice-over): Mistake number one, a big one, letting Osama bin Laden go. U.S. special forces had bin Laden cornered in the Tora Bora mountains of Afghanistan in late 2001. The CIA commander on the scene asked for more forces to catch al Qaeda’s leader, but was turned down. And bin Laden escaped.

Osama Bin Laden is a 21st century celebrity: international terrorist, radical Islamist icon, mass murderer. Like most of us, he cares about how he is perceived by others. He has a global audience, but is particularly interested in influencing Muslims. And, like celebrities, the character we see today is a careful product of marketing strategies designed to establish a brand – Al Qaida – and woo a niche audience of potential radical Islamists who can be persuaded to support or take militant action. For this reason it is essential we understand the man and his message. These three important books help do just that.

Monday, Jun 11, 2007 Afghan Spring

A JOURNEY AMONG SUICIDE BOMBERS, FEMINIST GOVERNORS, AND ACRES AND ACRES OF POPPIES. Afghan Spring by Peter Bergen Post date: 06.06.07 Issue date: 06.18.07 This January, somewhere in Logar Province, 40 miles south of Kabul, a 20-year-old goat herder named Imdadullah strapped on a bulky black waistcoat lined with packages of TNT. The packages were […]

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 NY Daily News on IED doc

WASHINGTON – Experts studying the use of IEDs that have wreaked havoc among U.S. troops in Iraq warn that the deadly bombs will likely be exploding here sometime in the near future.

“There are going to be a bunch of p——off Iraqis and foreign fighters, and I think it’s just inevitable they’re going to try it here,” terrorism expert Peter Bergen told the Daily News. “It could be five years from now or 10 years from now, but that’s the potential threat.”

For a frightening assessment of the Iraq war, and of the chances that terrorist
violence could erupt in the United States, it’s hard to beat “Mission Ops:
Assignment IEDs” on the Discovery Times Channel.

At the foot of cliffs in central Afghanistan, about 5,000 fragments of what were once among the world’s great artistic and religious treasures, the Buddhas of Bamiyan, sit in rudimentary shelters. Their destruction by the Taliban in March 2001 was an act of cultural vandalism on a spectacular scale. The two tallest standing Buddhas in the world — which had stood as silent sentinels over the snow-capped valley of Bamiyan for more than 1,500 years — were reduced to mere rubble.

Monday, Apr 30, 2007 Al Qaeda-on-Thames

Five British citizens, four of Pakistani descent, were convicted Monday of planning to attack targets in the United Kingdom under orders from al Qaeda using fertilizer-based bombs. Their convictions underline the fact that from its Pakistani hub al Qaeda now has the capability not only to plan once-off attacks in the U.K., but is also able to plan a sustained campaign of terrorist operations against the United States’ closest ally. And the ease with which al Qaeda has recruited operatives from the U.K. suggests that a future attack on the United States by British militants trained in al Qaeda’s training camps in Pakistan is a real possibilit

MADRID.- Osama bin Laden cumple hoy 50 anos. Cuando nos representamos su aspecto en la actualidad, los occidentales imaginamos a un hombre que, carcomido fisicamente por las enfermedades y psicologicamente por los reiterados golpes que Estados Unidos ha propinado a su causa, tiene un aire mucho mayor del que corresponde a su edad: una figura delgada y adusta, arrastrandose de cueva en cueva a lo largo de la frontera entre Afganistan y Pakistan mientras las fuerzas de Estados Unidos le pisan los talones, rodeado quizas de un pequeno grupo de leales pero marginado del resto del mundo, con lo que ahora se habria convertido en practicamente inexistente su capacidad, en otros tiempos formidable, para planear espectaculares actos de violencia.