Schlagwort-Archive: army

Al-Qaida Occupies Town in Yemen

by Florian Flade

A prominent Jihadi Online Forum announced it on Friday with an unofficial post linked to Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – Al-Qaida fighters have taken control over the South Yemeni city of Zinjibar the statement said without giving any details – „The Mujahidin are patrolling the streets“.

Over the course of the weekend, this report was confirmed by mainstream media, including CNN and Reuters. The media outlets quoted residents of Zinjibar, the capital of Yemen´s Abyan Province as saying „hundreds of militants“ came into the city on Friday and occupied the town. Masked Islamists „suddenly arrived and in large numbers. There were no clashes when they arrived on Friday night. We tried to complain to security forces but could not find them“, one Zinjibar resident told CNN.

Yemen´s government confirmed that about 200 al-Qaida men took over control in Zinjibar on the weekend. According to government officials, the Yemeni military is meanwhile involved in heavy fighting in the town, up to a dozen Yemeni soldiers have been killed in the past two days.

Video from Zinjibar shows destroyed Yemeni military vehicles

Xinhua News Agency reports al-Qaida fighters read a statement to the residents of Zinjibar, declaring the town official being part of the „Islamic Emirate“. Al-Qaida militants attacked to police stations according to Xinhua and seized 30 police cars on Saturday.

A police convoy was ambushed by al-Qaida on the outskirts of Zinjibar, leaving four police men dead, Yemeni security officials said. Eyewitnesses also tell of Yemeni airforce bombing al-Qaida positions in the eastern part of the city.

Abbottabad Raid Reveals Secret Stealth-Helicopter

by Florian Flade

 

About 450 miles – that is the distance between the Afghan City of Jalalabad where a team of the top secret US special forces Navy Seals Team Six started their mission last Sunday night, and their target destination, the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

How could several US helicopters carrying the elite troops which killed Al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden, cross the border into Pakistan and then even advance to a city just 30 miles north of the capital Islamabad and which is known as a Pakistani military garrison, without being detected by Pakistani border defense or air defense?

The answer to that question to how the US was able to conduct a secret military operation deep inside Pakistani territory without notifying the Pakistani authorities prior to the raid might lay in the backyard of the Bin Laden mansion. A helicopter that took part in the Navy Seals operations hit a wall and crashed due to technical failure. It was destroyed by the soldiers after the raid and left behind.

Days after the Bin Laden killing images of the helicopter wreckage appeared on the internet. They show parts of a previously unknown helicopter type, a new aircraft some call a „stealth chopper“. The helicopter parts which were picked up by the Pakistani military for further examination indicate the transport helicopter used by the Special Forces was not the usual UH-60 Black Hawk widely for its constant use in conflict zones like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The tail rotor of the American helicopter found in Abbottabad, which seems to be equipped with a cover, bears some hallmarks of a possible secret aircraft not known to the public. Experts agree the helicopter could indeed a modified version of the UH-60 Black Hawk named „Stealth Black Hawk“.

A helicopter that is simply avoiding being detected by radar systems could explain why Operation „Geronimo“ took place without Pakistanis interfering or even detecting the helicopters entering Pakistani airspace.

Even though getting hold of Osama Bin Laden´s corpse was more important to the US commando than retrieving the crashed helicopter, the US government has all reason to worry about the blow to the secret of the existence of the stealth helicopter. Pakistan will investigate what type of aircraft violated its border line and made its way into a military packed city without being noticed. There is the danger the stealth technology might fall into the hands of other countries.

Khalid or Hamza? – Which Bin Laden Son Was Killed in Abbottabad

by Florian Flade

Osama Bin Laden´s Hideout in Abbottabad

Hamza or Khalid – Which Bin Laden son was killed in the Abbottabad raid? Nothing seems clear even though a lot of details have emerged from the US Navy Seal operation inside Osama Bin Laden´s hideout earlier this week. There are contradictory reports on who was inside the compound at the time of the raid and who was killed, injured or survived the US attack.

John O.Brennan, the chief counterterrorism advisor to President Obama, said in a White House press conference on May 2 that the US Special forces had killed Hamza Bin Laden, the 22 year-old son of the Al-Qaida leader.

Question: Were there any civilian – I mean, how many civilian casualties were there?

MR. BRENNAN: Bin Laden died; the two al Qaeda facilitators – the brothers, who were – the courier and his brother in the compound; bin Laden’s son Hamza; and the woman, presumed to be his wife, who was shielding bin Laden.

Since that press conference it became clear, the woman that assaulted the American soldiers in the room with Osama Bin Laden did survive the raid and was not killed but shot in the leg. From documents found inside the Abbottabad compound it is possible to suggest the woman is Bin Laden´s youngest wife, Amal al-Sadah from Yemen.

Today the New York Times reveals some new details of the Abbottabad raid in a inside account. According to the NYT, the Navy Seals Team first shot a bodyguard of Bin Laden who tried to attack them and then also killed a woman.

„When the commandos moved into the main house, they saw the courier’s brother, who they believed was preparing to fire a weapon. They shot and killed him. Then, as they made their way up the stairs of the house, officials said they killed Bin Laden’s son Khalid as he lunged toward the Seal team.“

So, which account is to be trusted as for now? Was the Bin Laden son who was killed and then obviously taken by the US soldiers along with the body of Osama Bin Laden himself, Khalid or Hamza?

I spoke to Chief Editor of the Arab newspaper „Al-Quds al-Arabi“, Abdel Bari Atwan, who met Bin Laden in November 1996 in Afghanistan. Atwan also had the chance to meet some of Bin Laden´s family members in the Tora Bora caves. He believes it is most likely Hamza Bin Laden, the Al-Qaida leader´s favorite son was the one shot dead by the Americans.

Khalid Bin Laden is of the same age as Hamza and seems to have remained inside Al-Qaida after 9/11. Last year he sent a letter to the Iranian government, urging them to lift the house arrest and travel ban for some members of the Bin Laden family held in a compound near Tehran.

Until further details will be released by the U.S. government or some credible inside sources, speculation will not stop on who was present during the killing of the most wanted man alive.