He’s Fallen And Let’s Hope He Can’t Get up

The Obama Administration is claiming to have killed another top level terrorist. Hopefully, unlike the last terrorist leader they claimed to have killed, this one will stay dead.

May he continue to rest in pieces.

U.S. believes it has killed al Qaeda’s No. 3 man

The U.S. government believes it has killed al Qaeda’s chief operating officer, an Egyptian named Mustafa Abu al-Yazid who is also known Sheikh Sa’id al-Masri and also Sheikh Said.

A U.S. counterterrorism official in a position to know said the al Qaeda leader served as a conduit between al Qaeda’s top two leaders — Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri — and the organization’s various affiliates around the world. Sheik Said was indirectly in contact with Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan immigrant and airport shuttle driver who was arrested and charged last year for plotting to detonate explosives in New York, according to an Associated Press story from October.

“Word is spreading in extremist circles of the death of Sheikh Sa’id al-Masri, widely viewed as the number three figure in al Qaeda,” a U.S. counterterrorism official said. “We have strong reason to believe that’s true, and that al-Masri was killed recently in Pakistan’s tribal areas. In terms of counterterrorism, this would be a big victory. “Al-Masri was the group’s chief operating officer, with a hand in everything from finances to operational planning. He was also the organization’s prime conduit to Bin Ladin and Zawahiri. He was key to al Qaeda’s command and control,” the official said

Bill Roggio, the editor of the Long War Journal, reported Monday night that al-Yazid was killed in a drone strike from May 21 that at the time was believed to kill 10 militants.

See also:
Drone strike reportedly killed Al Qaeda No. 3 Mustafa Abu al-Yazid
Daily brief: drone reportedly kills Qaeda no. 3
Third-Ranking al-Qaida Leader Killed in Pakistan
Al-Qaeda No.3 Yazid killed
AP source: US thinks No. 3 al-Qaida official dead
Al-Qa’ida’s No 3 Sheik Said al-Masri killed in drone strike
US strike reportedly kills top Al Qaeda leader
No. 3 al-Qaeda commander killed during military surge in Afghanistan
Islamic site: Al-Qaida’s third in command killed
Strike Is Said to Kill a Top Qaeda Leader
Al-Qaida’s No. 3, Sheikh Al-Masri, Reportedly Killed
Al Qaeda No. 3 believed killed
US officials say AL Qaeda number 3 dead in Pakistan tribal region
Senior al-Qaeda leader Mustafa Abu al-Yazid Killed in a missile strike
Pakistani intelligence officials say U.S. missile strike killed al-Yazid
Qaeda says top leader Yazid dead: monitors

So, it seems that Sa’id al-Masri was practically Osama bin Laden’s personal assistant, his right hand man, as close as close can be.

/if we can find and kill al-Masri, why can’t we find and kill bin Laden?

Weekly Watch List

LULU
BIDU
MELI
AAPL
SHOO
VRX
ISRG
CXO
NETL
CTSH
CPLA
SIRO
DSW
HLF
XRTX
NUAN

Additions:
AAPL
CTSH
CXO
NUAN
XRTX

Subtractions:
CREE
INFA

Last week the Nasdaq gained 1.3%, the S&P 500 and the NYSE composite each rose 0.2%, and the Dow lost 0.6%. The IBD outlook remains at “market in correction”.

With the market in correction, none of the watch list stocks can be considered to be in a proper buy range.

/as usual, your mileage may vary, always do your own homework

A Glimpse Into The Future Of Afghanistan?

If this is an example of what’s going to happen when the NATO coalition starts to withdraw, we may as well give up and leave now, because the Afghan government is apparently no match for the Taliban.

Taliban seize border town as Afghan forces retreat

Taliban forces spearheading a spring offensive seized a remote town near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan Saturday as Afghan government forces retreated, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.

After a week of intense fighting, hundreds of Taliban fighters overwhelmed local government forces, who said they were making a “tactical retreat” from Barg-e-Matal to spare civilians from getting caught in the crossfire.

Taliban fighters seized control of Barg-e-Matal nearly a year after they briefly seized the isolated Nuristan district center last summer but were driven out by U.S. and Afghan forces.

This time, hundreds of Afghan fighters defending the town fled early Saturday morning when they began to run out of ammunition and supplies. The U.S.-led coalition provided limited air support and ran a few supply runs for the Afghan government forces, but didn’t offer significant aid, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

“We could not resist,” said Haji Mohammed Ismaile, a former Barg-e-Matal district governor, in a telephone interview with McClatchy as he joined hundreds of fleeing Afghan fighters. “There was no support from the government or the (international military) coalition.”

“We could hear them on the radio calling us to surrender and telling us that if we lay down our weapons they would not kill us,” said Ismaile. “But we did not surrender because they would slaughter us.”

The Taliban assault is the latest in the militants’ expanding spring offensive on a number of fronts, while U.S.-led forces are trying to train Afghan forces and mounting an offensive in southern Afghanistan that some officials say lacks sufficient troops.

Ahmad Nader Nadery, a prominent member of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said that the fall of Barg-e-Matal to the Taliban should be a cautionary lesson for Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top allied military commander in Afghanistan, about relying on shaky Afghan forces to defend the country without outside help.

“Things are very fragile, and our fear is that if you withdraw from those places without building up a force that is responsible to the central government, then you can’t hold those districts,” said Nadery.

See also:
Afghan police vacate district in E Afghanistan
Taliban Fighters Seize District in Eastern Afghanistan
Taliban take control of district in Nuristan
Taliban capture Afghan district on Pakistani border
Taliban capture Afghan district on Pakistan border
Taliban Push Afghan Police Out of Valley
Taliban seize town in east Afghanistan
Taliban claim capturing Nuristan’s Barg-e-Mattal district

And Obama plans on starting to withdraw from Afghanistan next year? We’ve had nine years to stand up and train Afghan military and police forces and they still can’t defend or supply themselves. What miracle in the next twelve months is going to magically enable the Afghan government to fend for itself?

/or are we getting ready to throw Afghanistan under the Taliban bus?

Obama Plans To Invade Pakistan

Mister Nobel Peace Prize winner is apparently preparing to keep one of his campaign promises and launch “overseas contingency operations” on Pakistani soil.

Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike

The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country’s tribal areas, according to senior military officials.

Ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration’s need for retaliatory options, the officials said. They stressed that a U.S. reprisal would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, such as a catastrophic attack that leaves President Obama convinced that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes is insufficient.

“Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square,” one of the officials said.

At the same time, the administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan’s intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups. The United States and Pakistan have recently established a joint military intelligence center on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and are in negotiations to set up another one near Quetta, the Pakistani city where the Afghan Taliban is based, according to the U.S. military officials. They and other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding U.S. military and intelligence activities in Pakistan.

The “fusion centers” are meant to bolster Pakistani military operations by providing direct access to U.S. intelligence, including real-time video surveillance from drones controlled by the U.S. Special Operations Command, the officials said. But in an acknowledgment of the continuing mistrust between the two governments, the officials added that both sides also see the centers as a way to keep a closer eye on one another, as well as to monitor military operations and intelligence activities in insurgent areas.

Obama said during his campaign for the presidency that he would be willing to order strikes in Pakistan, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a television interview after the Times Square attempt that “if, heaven forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences.”

Obama dispatched his national security adviser, James L. Jones, and CIA Director Leon Panetta to Islamabad this month to deliver a similar message to Pakistani officials, including President Asif Ali Zardari and the military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani.

Jones and Panetta also presented evidence gathered by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies that Shahzad received significant support from the Pakistani Taliban.

The U.S. options for potential retaliatory action rely mainly on air and missile strikes, but could also employ small teams of U.S. Special Operations troops already positioned along the border with Afghanistan. One of the senior military officials said plans for military strikes in Pakistan have been revised significantly over the past several years, moving away from a “large, punitive response” to more measured plans meant to deliver retaliatory blows against specific militant groups.

See also:
Report: US Preparing for Retaliatory Strike if Terror Attack Traced to Pakistan
US mulls unilateral Pakistan raids
U.S. studies options for possible Pakistan attack: report
US Army reviewing options for ‘unilateral’ strike on Pakistan
US develops plans for unilateral strike on Pakistan
US Preps a Retaliatory Hit on Pakistan
Airstrike on civilians blamed on mistakes…Pakistani Taliban could face retaliation if they strike the US

If you’re willing to put American boots on Pakistani ground in response to an attack on the United States you should also be willing to do the same as part of the war in Afghanistan.

/you can’t beat the Taliban unless you ultimately take the fight to where they live, in their Pakistani sanctuaries

The Chinese Are Dying To Make Your IPad

Welcome to China, where life is cheap and they literally work their labor to death to produce goods for Western consumption.

No respite for troubled Foxconn after fresh suicide bid

THE TRAGIC saga of young people taking their own lives at the Foxconn electronics factory goes on, after a 25-year-old employee surnamed Chen tried to kill himself by slashing his wrists.

The Hunan native, who had been working at Foxconn since March, received medical attention in time to save his life.

Mr Chen’s attempted suicide came after a 23-year-old migrant worker from the far western province of Gansu died after jumping from the seventh-floor balcony of his dormitory, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

The tragic events are making people thinking about the real cost of their iPads, laptops and mobile phones.

There have been 10 deaths out of 13 suicide attempts at the plant, which employs over 300,000 people, since January, and Foxconn’s main clients, fearful of the fallout from the suicide crisis, are asking why this is happening.

Both Dell and Hewlett-Packard have said they were looking into conditions at Foxconn, one day after Apple said it was upset by the deaths and was also investigating the situation.

Apple said it is “deeply committed to ensuring that conditions throughout our supply chain are safe and workers are treated with respect and dignity.” The suicide crisis worsened just hours after chief executive Terry Guo personally showed journalists around the plant in a bid to repair the company’s image, which has been badly hit by the wave of suicides.

See also:
13th Foxconn worker reportedly attempts suicide
Still more Foxconn jumpers, including a double suicide?
The Foxconn Suicides
Tenth apparent suicide at Foxconn iPhone factory in China
Two more suicide bids at Apple factory
Foxconn suicide sparks China probe
IPhones and suicides
Foxconn woes have U.S. ripple effects
Another Suicide Hits Foxconn
Foxconn sees 12th Jumper and 10th suicide
The Underside of Apple’s Chinese Manufacturing
Foxconn Technology Group
Foxconn

As much as we enjoy our cheap consumer electronics, it seems that the Chinese laborers inversely don’t enjoy assembling them. Are the cost savings worth the lives lost and the human misery inflicted?

/tolerable Chinese labor conditions, is there an app for that?

Worst Alibi Ever

I mean seriously, who doesn’t fish with automatic weapons and rocket launchers?

Somali Pirate Suspects Say They Were Fishing For Sharks

Trial began Tuesday for five suspected Somali pirates, aged between 25 and 45, on charges of attacking a vessel sailing under a Netherlands Antilles flag. The accused men say they were simply fishing for sharks and not responsible for the hijacking.

The trial, which is the first-ever European trial of suspected Somali pirates, surrounds the attacking of the Turkish freighter Samanyolu in January 2009.

Prosecutors said the men used rocket launchers and assault rifles to attack the vessel and the crew took refuge. Prosecutors’ account match up with what the vessel’s machinist said in a prepared statement.

The accused, who are facing jail terms of up to 12 years for the attack, told a Dutch court that they are innocent of the charges and were fishing for sharks in the Gulf of Aden, a stretch of sea off the coast of Somalia that has become rife with piracy.

“The intention was to fish,” defendant Farah Ahmed Yusuf, 25, told the Rotterdam district court, claiming that when their ship broke down they tried to get help from the passing Samanyolu.

See also:
‘Pirates’ claim they were just fishing for sharks… with rocket launchers
Dutch to hold first European Somali pirate trial
Somali pirates’ trial begins in the Netherlands
Dutch court scene for piracy trial
The Netherlands starts first trial of pirates in Europe
First European trial of Somali pirate suspects opens
First European trial of Somali pirate suspects opens
First European trial of Somali pirate suspects opens
Prosecutors demand 7-year sentences for piracy
First European Pirate Trial to Start
Dutch trial of five Somali pirates starts
Somalis deny piracy in landmark European trial
Suspected pirates on trial

These heavily armed “fisherman” are damn lucky they’re being tried in the Netherlands and only facing 12 years in prison. Some jurisdictions still deal with captured pirates the old fashioned way.

/Yemen court sentences six Somali pirates to death

The New York Times, Spying For Iran

Once again, the New York Times gives aid and comfort to our enemies and puts American military service members’ lives at risk by publishing top secret information, conducting the espionage against the United States the Iranians could only dream of.

Petraeus orders US spies to prepare for anti-nuclear strike on Iran

Teams of American special forces have been authorised to conduct spying missions intended to pave the way for a military strike on Iran in case President Obama orders one, US government sources have confirmed.

The military units would penetrate Iranian territory to reconnoitre potential nuclear targets and make contact with friendly dissident groups, according to a secret directive written by General David Petraeus. The document’s existence was disclosed for the first time yesterday.

It authorises an expansion in the use of US special forces throughout the Middle East, US officials said. However, it is the possibility of American troops operating covertly inside Iran that has the greatest potential to destabilise regional security.

General Petraeus, the most senior American commander in the Middle East and Central Asia, relied on special forces to ensure the success of the US troop surge in Iraq in 2007. His order to increase the use of Delta Force, Navy Seal and Army Ranger units for intelligence gathering and combat missions could jeopardise US relations with allies in the region while intensifying a long-running turf war between US military intelligence and the CIA.

The seven-page document, seen by The New York Times, remained classified yesterday, though it was written in September. Since then US military specialists working with Yemeni armed forces have killed 6 out of 15 leaders of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The raids followed reports linking the group to the murder of 13 Americans at Fort Hood, Texas, and the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines jet.

See also:
U.S. Is Said to Expand Secret Actions in Mideast
General Said to Authorize Secret U.S. Reconnaissance in Iran
US ‘to expand covert operations’
US Reportedly Authorizes More Secret Military Activity in Hot Spots
US sends more soldiers on covert missions
US orders escalation in secret operations in Middle East
US expands covert military operations: officials
Commander OKs spy missions in Mideast
Revealed: the U.S. secret order allowing special forces’ covert missions in terror hotspots
US to launch covert strikes on terror targets
Pentagon ‘to boost covert missions in Middle East’
Secret Directive Said To Expand Clandestine U.S. Military Missions
Obama Gives Commanders Wide Berth for Secret Warfare
Another Day, Another Security Leak
Just another act of deadly treason

Yes siree, there’s nothing like U.S. Special Forces trying to conduct sensitive, covert operations after the New York Times publishes your classified playbook for the whole world to read, making risking your life for your country that much riskier. What’s not to like, especially if your work for Iranian counter-intelligence?

/of course, this is far from the first time that the New York Times has severely compromised U.S. national security by publishing leaked, top secret information, yet no one ever seems to go to prison, why is that?

Fifteen Pounds Of Stupid In A Ten Pound Bag

Seriously, what part of the following is not self-explanatory?

Travel Warning

YEMEN
February 25, 2010

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities. The Department recommends that American citizens defer non-essential travel to Yemen. American citizens remaining in Yemen despite this warning should monitor the U.S. Embassy website and should make contingency emergency plans. This replaces the Travel Warning for Yemen issued June 26, 2009.

The security threat level remains high due to terrorist activities in Yemen. The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen closed on January 3 and 4, 2010, in response to ongoing threats by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to attack American interests in Yemen. Following the attempted attack aboard Northwest Airlines flight 253 on December 25, 2009, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) publicly claimed responsibility for the incident and stated that it was in response to what they described as American interference in Yemen. In the same statement, the group made threats against Westerners working in embassies and elsewhere, characterizing them as “unbelievers” and “crusaders.” On the morning of September 17, 2008, armed terrorists attacked the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen. A number of explosions occurred in the vicinity of the Embassy’s main gate. Several Yemeni security personnel and one Embassy security guard were killed, as were a few individuals waiting to gain entry to the Embassy, one of whom was a U.S. citizen.

Sounds pretty scary, right? If you’re an American, stay away from Yemen! But nooo, some idiots just can’t comprehend the concept of imminent danger, even after they’ve been duly warned.

American tourists kidnapped in Yemen

Two American tourists and their local driver were kidnapped by armed tribesmen in Yemen yesterday.

Kidnappings are common in the lawless southern Arabian state, but have become more of a risk since al-Qaeda moved into areas where government control is weak.

Tourists and other foreigners are usually snatched by tribesmen as a means of exerting pressure on the central Government.

The Americans’ driver, Mohammed Saleh, said in telephone calls with the media that the kidnappers were demanding the release of a fellow tribesmen in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.

The tourists, a man and a woman, were in the Bani Mansour area, about 45 miles south of Sanaa, and close to the scenic 800 year-old hill village of Hajara, when six armed tribesmen stopped them.

They were taken to the village of Hamra. Their driver said they were being treated well by their captors. Tribesmen said the Americans were “guests” in their village.

The US Embassy in Sanaa, which has been the target of bombings by al-Qaeda in recent years, said it was looking into the reports with the help of Yemeni security forces.

See also:
Yemeni Tribesmen Kidnap U.S. Couple Near Sanaa
Two American tourists kidnapped by tribesmen in Yemen
Gunmen kidnap 2 American tourists traveling in Yemen, demand release of jailed tribesman
Two U.S. tourists kidnapped in Yemen
2 Americans abducted in Yemen
Gunmen kidnap 2 American tourists in Yemen
US tourists feared kidnapped in Yemen
Two Americans Kidnapped in Yemen
US: Kidnapping of couple in Yemen apparently terror-related

Just great, now we have to waste U.S. government time, effort, resources, and tax dollars trying to get these U.S. citizen dumbasses back from whatever Yemeni low lifes kidnapped them. If it were up to me, I’d say don’t bother, they’ve already been justly rewarded for their unbelievable tourism foolishness. Let them enjoy their holiday stay with their new found friends.

/who the hell vacations in Yemen anyway?

Weekly Watch List

BIDU
LULU
MELI
ISRG
SHOO
VRX
CPLA
SIRO
NETL
DSW
HLF
CREE
INFA

Additions:
CREE
DSW
INFA

Subtractions:
AAPL
CTSH
CVLT
CXO
HSNI
VECO

Last week was a downside disaster with the Nasdaq plummeting 5%, the NYSE composite plunging 4.3%, the S&P 500 diving 4.2%, and the Dow giving up 4%. The IBD outlook obviously remains at “market in correction”. Even though Friday’s action was a tentative ray of hope, don’t try and catch the falling knife, sit tight and play defense until a new market uptrend establishes itself.

With the market in correction, none of the watch list stocks can be considered to be in a proper buy range.

/as usual, your mileage may vary, always do your own homework

When Taliban Attack

Apparently not content to sit and wait around for the much promised and thoroughly foreshadowed major NATO Coalition assault on Kandahar, the Taliban have decided to launch an offensive of their own. And they call it al Fateh, or victory.

Afghan Insurgents Attack U.S. Base in Kandahar

Insurgents late Saturday launched coordinated ground and rocket attacks on Kandahar Air Field, the main coalition base in southern Afghanistan.

Stray rocket and mortar attacks on the Kandahar base have been common in recent years, but before Saturday, insurgents hadn’t mounted any coordinated assaults there.

Sounds of gunfire and explosions rattled through the base for about two hours, witnesses said. A spokeswoman for the U.S.-led coalition said a “small number” of military and civilian personnel were injured. There was no immediate information about any fatalities, she said.

The attack on Kandahar Air Field comes just a few days after a similar insurgent strike on Bagram Air Field, the main coalition base in eastern Afghanistan. Those insurgents, some disguised as U.S. forces, killed one contractor and injured several U.S. service members in the Bagram attack.

The Taliban declared this month that it was launching an offensive, dubbed al Fateh, or victory, aiming to besiege and take over coalition bases. On Tuesday, a suicide bomber rammed a van packed with explosives into a lightly armed convoy of coalition vehicles, killing killing 18 people including five Americans and a Canadian.

Coalition spokesman Brig. Gen Josef Blotz said the attack on the Kandahar base began at about 8 p.m. with a rocket and mortar barrage.

At least one rocket landed near a central hub of activity in the airfield, a collection of coffee shops and merchant booths surrounding a field where personnel often play soccer and volleyball.

Insurgents then launched a ground attack on the north side of the base, “but they did not pierce the perimeter,” Gen. Blotz said. Coalition gunships were strafing fields around the base hours after the attack, searching for insurgents who were repelled in the assault, said Gen. Blotz, who was on the base during the attack.

See also:
Afghan Guerrillas Attack U.S. Base In Kandahar
Insurgents attack Afghanistan base
Afghan Nato base comes under attack
Insurgents attack NATO’s southern Afghan base
Rebels Attack Base in Afghanistan
Kandahar Attack – Nato Kandahar Air Base Attacked in Afghanistan
U.S. contractor killed, 9 soldiers wounded in Taliban attack on Bagram air base
Taliban Attack American Base Outside Kabul
U.S. troops, Afghan police sweep through Taliban stronghold
Into Kandahar, Yesterday and Tomorrow
Results of Kandahar offensive may affect future U.S. moves
The chaos awaiting Kandahar
Taliban win £1,600 bounty for each Nato soldier killed

Needless to say, it’s not a welcome development that the Taliban are able to blow up our convoys and mortar and rocket our main air bases seemingly at will. It’s going to be a long, hot summer in Afghanistan, let’s hope we can retake the initiative and drive the Taliban onto the defensive and into retreat.

/God bless our troops, keep them safe, and grant them victory over our enemies

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