Schlagwort-Archive: Bagram

New Abu Yahya al-Libi Videos – Dead or What?

by Florian Flade

Abu Yahya al-Libi in new video message released June 22

Three weeks have passed since a US drone strike in North Waziristan allegedly killed Al-Qaida´s Top commander Abu Yahya al-Libi. Since then Al-Qaida has neither officially confirmed nor denied the death of al-Libi. Question still remains: Is the White House´s claim true or not?

Instead of celebrating the martyrdom of yet another of its leaders Al-Qaida is releasing videos of al-Libi. Last week the terrorist network´s media wing „As-Sahab“ released a 17-minute video statement titled „The American Military and Ethics of Wars“ in which al-Libi talks about civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

The more interesting details regarding the second new Abu Yahya al-Libi tape within two weeks is: Al-Qaida does not seem to regard him as dead. The organization labels him „Al-Sheikh Al-Mujahid Abu Yahya al-Libi (may Allah protect him)“ – the latter phrase indicating the person is still alive. Otherwise the phrase „may Allah have mercy upon him“ would be used.

Like the other video message released recently – titled „Tragedies of Ash-Sham: Between the Crimes of the Nusayris and the Plots of the West“ – the newest al-Libi tape was allegedly recorded in the Islamic year of 1433. So no indicating the videos were produced after the June 4th drone strike? No.

Al-Qaida could be playing the old game of not confirming or denying a leader´s death and meanwhile releasing all the old footage of the person recorded in recent months. In other cases – for example the death of Atiyyatullah al-Libi – it took months for Al-Qaida to publish a statement.

The Western intelligence community is pretty sure Abu Yahya al-Libi is history…but still lacks the proof.



The Day Al-Qaida Fired Bekkay Harrach

by Florian Flade

Bekkay Harrach aka „Abu Talha al Almani“ – Terrorist threats in the name of Al-Qaida

He looked a bit undressed in his suite and tie in front of a red curtain, but his message was a chilling one: Germany is about to experience bloody terror by Al-Qaida if the people choose to vote for a new government which is still committed to the Afghanistan engagement of the German military – the September 2009 video message by German Al-Qaida terrorist Bekkay Harrach.

The video posted on the internet on September 18 was Harrach´s second terror threat. In January 2009 he appeared for the first time in a video produced by Al-Qaida´s As-Sahab Media titled „Das Rettungspaket für Al-Qaida“. Harrach aka „Abu Talha the German“ threatened terror attacks in Germany after the September 2009 elections – the first direct warning to Germany coming from Al-Qaida.

Harrach´s second message, released only a few days before the parliamentary elections, caused German counter-terrorism officials to rise the threat level drastically.  Again the German-Moroccan from Bonn reminded the German public of Al-Qaida´s promise. For those inside the intelligence community there was no doubt: Al-Qaida had set sights on Germany.

What seemed to be a coordinated Al-Qaida campaign against Germany was in fact a lonesome plan by Harrach to strike fear in his old home country. German magazine SPIEGEL reports that Bekkay Harrach who acted as Al-Qaida´s official German spokesman, was dismissed by the terrorist network because of the September 2009 video message. The video was not authorized by Al-Qaida nor was it recorded and produced by it´s official propaganda wing „As-Sahab Media“.

The video did not bear any official label – it had allegedly been produced and released by Al-Fajr Media, Jihadi propaganda outlet who releases video, audio and written statements on behalf of several Jihadi groups.

During interrogation two German Jihadis, Rami Makanesi and Ahmad W. Siddiqi, told German intelligence that Al-Qaida was so angry about Harrach´s independent action in the name of the organization that he was fired by Al-Qaida´s leadership in Waziristan. Harrach had to leave the organization in late 2009, Makanesi and Siddiqi told the interrogators.

Shortly after the September 2009 threat video was posted on the internet some experts doubted the authenticity of it. Why did Harrach appear in a Al-Qaida video dressed in the same outfit US-President Barack Obama wore during his Cairo speech? Never before had an Al-Qaida official appeared in video dressed up like a Western politician. And why was there no official editing done to the video by „As-Sahab Media“?

It seems reasonable to say Harrach most likely was hoping for Islamist sympathizers in Germany to act on their own after the Al-Qaida threat. Eventhough he urged followers to hold any terrorist attacks and to wait till Al-Qaida members would begin the bloody campaign against Germany, he propbably knew that no such terrorist cells existed in the country. He was hoping for the „lone wolves“ to be inspired by his message.

None of them acted, no terrorist attack was carried out during or in the weeks after the 2009 election in Germany. Bekkay Harrach´s promise in the name of Al-Qaida was not fullfilled. He himself will not be able to fullfill it himself either – Harrach, who had traveled to Pakistan in 2007 and joined Al-Qaida, was killed in late summer 2010 during an assault attack on US military base Bagram in southern Afghanistan.

CIA-Chief: Would Move Osama Bin Laden To Guantánamo

by Florian Flade

Ten years after 9/11: Does America´s highest ranking spy, CIA Director Leon Panetta believe it is still possible to capture al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden alive? His latest statements, during the Intelligence Committee Hearing in front of the US Senate, suggest Panetta does not rule out the possibility of arresting Bin Laden and putting him in front of a judge.

„We would probably move them quickly into military jurisdiction at Bagram for questioning and then eventually move them probably to Guantánamo,” Leon Panetta told the Senate Intelligence Committee when asked about what would happen if the leaders of Al-Qaida would be captured alive.

For the first time, a US official has come forward with a statement about the possible fate of Osama Bin Laden and Deputy Ayman az-Zawahiri, if the two terrorist leaders were captured by US forces. Both Al-Qaida figures have a multi-million dollar bounty on their heads but despite the US$ 25 million offer for any information leading to the arrest or killing of Osama Bin Laden, no credible information was received by the CIA.

The closure of Guantánamo Bay Prison was one of the promises given by Barak Obama during the race for Presidency – yet, the military prison is still being operated although no new prisoners have been sent to Guantánamo since President Obama is in office. In March 2008 the last alleged terrorist was transported to this facility.

US Congress has barred the administration from moving any Guantanamo detainee into the US for any purpose. Panetta’s statement would appear to rule out a federal trial for Osama Bin Laden on the US mainland because it would require sending the Al-Qaida chief directly to the US from Bagram with no stop in Guantánamo.

Leon Panetta´s statement of Bin Laden´s possible imprisonment at Guantánamo could mean, the Obama administration still considers the prison facility to be used for high-value detainees in future.

Currently 172 detainees are held at Guantánamo, almong them 15 high-value prisoners including the 9/11 chief planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and 9/11 „manager“ Ramzi Binalshibh.

George Little, spokesman for the CIA said yesterday Mr.Panetta´s statements were not conclusive. What might happen to Bin Laden is very likely determined „by the circumstances of his capture“. The final decision would be made by policymakers and lawyers. „The director fully supports the president’s commitment to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay because, as our military commanders have made clear, it’s in our national security interest to do so,“ Little said.

In March 2010 Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. ruled out Osama Bin Laden would face any trial in the US and said any ideas of the terror leader being capture alive are utopia. „You are talking about a hypothetical that will never occur,“ Holder told journalists during a press conference, when he was asked if Bin Laden would enjoy constitutional protections. „The reality is that we will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom.“

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