Archive for 03/21/2012

China: Has An Attempted Military Coup Taken Place in Beijing?

03/21/2012 1 comment

By Bill Gertz – “U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring China’s Internet say that from March 14 to Wednesday bloggers circulated alarming reports of tanks entering Beijing and shots being fired in the city as part of what is said to have been a high-level political battle among party leaders – and even a possible military coup.

The Internet discussions included photos posted online of tanks and other military vehicles moving around Beijing.

The reports followed the ouster last week of senior Politburo member and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, who was linked to corruption, but who is said to remain close to China’s increasingly nationalistic military.

Chinese microblogging sites Sina Weibo, QQ Weibo, and the bulletin board of the search engine Baidu all reported ‘abnormalities’ in Beijing on the night of March 19.

The comments included rumors of the downfall of the Shanghai leadership faction and a possible ‘military coup,’ along with reports of gunfire on Beijing’s Changan Street. The reports were quickly removed by Chinese censors shortly after postings and could no longer be accessed by Wednesday.

The unusual postings included reports that military vehicles were sent to control Changan Street, along with plainclothes police officers and metal barriers.

Another posting quoted internal sources as saying senior Communist Party leaders are divided over the ouster of Mr. Bo. The divide was said to pit Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and against party security forces and Minister of Public Security Zhou Yongkang.

Late Wednesday, another alarming indicator came when Beijing authorities ordered all levels of public-security and internal-security forces under Mr. Zhou to conduct nationwide study sessions, although Mr. Zhou’s name was not on the order – a sign his future may be in doubt.

Additional references on Chinese social media included vague mention of high-level party political struggles and related police activity in Beijing.

One posting referred to a mysterious atmosphere in Beijing and a reported shooting Tuesday night. The posting was quickly censored by authorities.” Read more.

Iraq: At Least 52 Killed During String of Nation-Wide Bombings by Muslim Extremists, Baghdad Church Targeted

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By Luiza Oleszczuk – “The Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Matthew in Baghdad was one of the targets in a string of bombings Tuesday, as Iraqi extremists conducted a series of attacks in several cities and towns across the country that killed at least 52 people in total.

Over 30 bombs were detonated and wounded an estimated 250 people. The attacks are believed to be a challenge extremists wanted to throw at security forces on the ninth anniversary of U.S. invasion of the country on March 20, 2003.

The deadliest incident occurred in the southern city of Kerbala, a city Shi’ite Muslims consider sacred, where two car bombs killed 13 people and wounded 48 during the morning rush hour, according to media reports. Other targeted areas included Baiji, Baquba, Daquq, Dibis, Dhuluiya, Kirkuk, Mosul, Samarra, Tuz Khurmato, Khalis and Dujail to the north of Baghdad, Falluja and Ramadi to the west, and Hilla, Latifiya, Mahmudiya and Mussayab to the south. Police reportedly defused bombs in Baquba, Falluja and Mosul. Experts called the day of the blasts Iraq’s bloodiest in nearly a month.

The bombing of St. Matthew church in Baghdad reportedly caused the death of two guards and wounded five other people. Officials have yet to confirm if the building was specifically targeted by terrorists because it is a Christian place of worship, or for other reasons.

The attacks were successful despite a massive security clampdown ahead of next week’s Arab League summit in Baghdad, local sources said.

‘The goal of today’s attacks was to present a negative image of the security situation in Iraq,’ government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Reuters.” Read more.

Gunmen storm Baghdad church and kill guards – “Four unidentified gunmen stormed a church in the Mansour district, western Baghdad, today killing three security guards, said a security source. The church’s fourth guard was able to escape the assault. The gunmen fled after the attack. Al-Qaeda announced previously its responsibility for storming the Sayyida al-Najat church on October 31 last year and detaining a number of hostages in the incident. Ten of civilians were killed in the attack.” Source – Kurdistan News Agency.

NYPD Says Iran Has Conducted ‘Pre-Operational’ Surveillance in New York City, May Be Preparing to Strike Inside the US

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By EILEEN SULLIVAN – “WASHINGTON (AP) — Authorities have interviewed at least 13 people since 2005 with ties to Iran’s government who were seen taking pictures of New York City landmarks, a senior New York Police Department official said Wednesday.

Police consider these instances to be pre-operational surveillance, bolstering their concerns that Iran or its proxy terrorist group could be prepared to strike inside the United States, if provoked by escalating tensions between the two countries.

Mitchell Silber, the NYPD’s director of intelligence analysis, told Congress that New York’s international significance as a terror target and its large Jewish population make the city a likely place for Iran and Hezbollah to strike. Silber testified before the House Homeland Security about the potential threat. Much of what Silber said echoed his previous statements on the potential threat, but he offered new details Wednesday about past activities in New York.” Read more.

Flashback: Confirmed: Hezbollah Terror Operatives, ‘Sleeper Cells’ Poised in the U.S – “Operatives of the Lebanese Islamic terrorist organization Hezbollah, the same group presently firing missiles into Israel and labeled as one of the most dangerous Islamic terrorist group in the world, are believed ‘to be planning to activate sleeper cells located in New York and other larger cities inside the U.S.’ to stage attacks Americans… Law-enforcement and intelligence officials stated that ‘about a dozen hard-core supporters of Hezbollah have been identified in recent weeks as operating in the New York City area (alone).’ The above appeared in an article published in The New York Post on May 22, 2006. Not surprisingly, that very same information was verified through several sources within law enforcement agencies and agents contacted by the Northeast Intelligence Network this weekend… Their international operational budget is estimated to be $200-$500 million annually, including $100 million in contributions provided directly by Iran.” Read more.

Flashback: Iran-Sponsored Terrorists Plan US Attack ‘Worse Than The World Trade Center’ From Latin American Countries – “Middle Eastern terrorists have infiltrated Latin American countries—especially Mexico—to plan an attack against the United States, according to an alarming exposé broadcast this week by the world’s largest Spanish news network. The Univision documentary, ‘La Amenaza Irani,’ (Iranian Threat), uses undercover, never-before-seen video footage to illustrate how Iran’s growing political, economic and military ties to Latin America threaten U.S. security. The videos were part of a seven-month investigation in which college-aged Mexicans infiltrated diplomatic circles in Mexico to obtain recordings that prove diplomats from Iran, Venezuela and Cuba planned a cybernetic attack against the White House, FBI, Pentagon and U.S. nuclear plants.” Read more.

Christians Targeted in Sudan’s ‘Ethnic Cleansing’, Islamic Militias Move From House to House Searching for Christians

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“JUBA, South Sudan, March 20 (CDN) — The ‘ethnic cleansing’ that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has undertaken against black Africans in the Nuba Mountains is also aimed at ridding the area of Christianity, according to humanitarian workers.

By targeting Christians among people who are also adherents of Islam and other faiths in the Nuba Mountains, military force helps the regime in Khartoum to portray the violence as ‘jihad’ to Muslims abroad and thus raise support from Islamic nations, said one humanitarian worker on condition of anonymity.

In South Kordofan state – which lies on Sudan’s border with the newly created nation of South Sudan but is home to sympathizers of the southern military that fought against northern forces during Sudan’s long civil war – Bashir’s military strikes are directed at Muslims as well as Christians, but churches and Christians are especially targeted, he said.

‘The ongoing war against Christians and African indigenous people is more of an ‘ethnic cleansing’ in that they kill all black people, including Muslims, but they give specific connotation to the war in targeting Christians to secure funding and support from the Arab and Islamic world by saying this war is a religious war,’ he said. ‘And in so doing, they get huge support from those countries.’

Aerial bombardment killed the five members of the Asaja Dalami Kuku family, which belonged to the Episcopal Church of Sudan, in Umsirdipa in the Nuba Mountains on Feb. 25, the source said.

The government in Khartoum is using Antonov airplanes to drop bombs, ‘coupled with state- sponsored militia targeting churches and Christian families,’ said the humanitarian worker.

‘The brutal state-sponsored militias are moving from house to house searching for Christian and African indigenous homes as the government continues with air strikes,’ he added.” Read more.

Flashback: Sudan: Over 500,000 Christians Have Less Than a Month to Leave North Sudan, Aid Agencies Fear Humanitarian Catastrophe – “Sudanese Christians who have barely a month to leave the north or risk being treated as foreigners are starting to move, but Christian leaders are concerned that the 8 April deadline set by Islamic-majority Sudan is unrealistic. ‘We are very concerned. Moving is not easy … people have children in school. They have homes … It is almost impossible,’ Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Adwok, the Khartoum archdiocese auxiliary told ENInews in a telephone interview on 7 March. Sudan in February announced the deadline for the former citizens it had stripped of nationality after South Sudan’s January 2011 vote to secede. The ultimatum will affect an estimated 500,000-700,000 people, who are mainly Christians of southern origin that still live in the north…” Read more.

France: ‘Articulate’ Toulouse Killer Allegedly Calls France 24 News Station, Claims Attacks Are the ‘Beginning of a Larger Campaign’

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Reporter: “What he did want to make very, very clear is that he wouldn’t say whether he acted alone, but he did say that … the acts were carried out by a group or himself allied to Al Qaeda, operating in France, was very adamant that this was only the beginning of a larger campaign… We spoke for about 11 minutes on the telephone and he was very clear … he said that France is no longer secure and that we should expect … more such attacks.”

France: Killer of Jewish Rabbi and Children in Toulouse is a Muslim from Algeria, Claims Allegiance to Al Qaeda

03/21/2012 Leave a comment

Not affiliated with Iran per se — a previous post of mine yesterday inferred the possibility — but when he’s affiliated with and claims allegiance to Al Qaeda, what’s the difference when their ultimate goals of seeing the annihilation of Jews, the destruction of America and instituting a global Caliphate are the same? …

Update: Mohammed is dead

“TOULOUSE, France (AP) — French police were preparing to storm an apartment building in Toulouse on Wednesday to arrest a holed-up gunman who is suspected in seven killings and claiming allegiance to al-Qaida, a top police official said.

Three officers were wounded in a predawn raid while trying to arrest the 24-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent who authorities said had spent time in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hundreds of riot police have surrounded the building in the southwestern city.

Cedric Delage, regional secretary for a police union, said the suspect has promised to turn himself into police shortly. Delage said if that doesn’t happen, police will force their way in.

The gunman is suspected of killing three Jewish children, a rabbi and three French paratroopers in recent days.

The suspect has told police he belonged to al-Qaida and wanted to take revenge for Palestinian children killed in the Middle East, Interior Minister Claude Gueant said, adding the man was also angry about French military intervention abroad.

An Interior Ministry official identified the suspect as Mohamed or Mohammad Merah, who has been under surveillance for years for having ‘fundamentalist’ views. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

After hours of trying to persuade him to surrender, police evacuated the five-story building, escorting residents out using the roof and fire truck ladders.

The raid was part of France’s biggest manhunt since a wave of terrorist attacks in the 1990s by Algerian extremists.” Read more.

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