Jihad Schools Still Operating
Vol: 4 Issue: 24 Thursday, January 24, 2002
Thousands of Arabs are continuing to be indoctrinated in Islamic holy war in countries aligned with the United States. Among the countries graduating holy warriors [guess who they are at war with] are Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the growth of Islamic indoctrination is endangering the U.S. security relationship with Riyad. Levin said Saudi Arabia has failed to restrict the so-called Islamic schools, or “madrassas,” in wake of the Sept. 11 suicide attacks on New York and Washington. “What makes it a little different is the support that comes from that country for the madrassas,” Levin said. “I think if the Saudi government wanted [it could] prevent that from happening.” ‘If it wanted to’, that is.
Hamas Developing Larger Warheads For Kassam-1
In another sign of a coming all out war, the Palestinian insurgency group, Hamas, is said to have expanded its warhead payload on a new short-range rocket and deployed the weapon in the West Bank. Hamas is said to be developing a new version of its Kassam-1 short-range rocket. Israeli intelligence sources said the new model Kassam-1 will continue to have a range of five kilometers, that of the original model. But the updated version will have a large warhead.
The Palestinian group first deployed the Kassam-1 in attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip in October. Nobody was hurt in the attack. Hamas is also developing a longer-range Kassam-2 rocket. Kassam-2, the intelligence sources said, will have a range of between six and 10 kilometers. [4-6 miles]
Gog Supplies Weapons Upgrades To Arab States
Russia is offering to modernize the Sukhoi fleets of Middle East nations. Officials said Moscow has held discussions with several Arab countries for the modernization of the Sukhoi combat aircraft. They said the effort is part of a Russian project to upgrade 100 Su-25 for the air force.
Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen have Sukhoi fleets. Iraq has 15 Sukhoi-25 jets, obtained in 1985. Seven of the Su-25 are in Iran. Syria has 35 MiG-25s dating from 1980. Sukhoi Aircraft said it is upgrading about 100 aircraft for foreign customers. No further details are available at press time.
Iran Will Be Target This Year, Says Think Tank
A US think-tank says Iran and Sudan are likely to be areas of conflict during 2002.The Washington-based National Defense Council Foundation said in its annual survey that Iraq and Sudan are two of 10 countries most likely to be conflict areas over the coming year. Other countries on the list include Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Congo, Comoros, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Somalia.The study, meant to alert Washington to foreign military and security dangers, cited the civil war in Sudan as well as the U.S.-led efforts to stop Baghdad’s weapons of mass destruction programs as the potential spark for conflict. The foundation surveyed 159 countries and determined that 59 of them engaged in serious conflicts during 2001.
The foundation’s annual report asserted that most of the conflicts involved insurgency groups. The report said many of these groups could exploit the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington by Saudi fugitive Osama Bin Laden.
bin-Laden Phone Home
The United States has not ruled out the prospect that Osama Bin Laden has fled to Saudi Arabia. U.S. officials said Saudi Arabia is one of several countries that Bin Laden would most likely to choose had he escaped Afghanistan. The other countries are Chechnya, the disputed Kashmir region, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
“There are a number of places, but I don’t think there are many places that would like to have him right now,” U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said.
Officials said the Bush administration has raised the prospect with Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. They said they were pledged cooperation by all three countries, despite the lack of any concrete action on their part so far. The officials said that Bin Laden might have sought refuge along the Saudi-Yemeni border, a stronghold of his al Qaeda group.
Hezbollah Biding Its Time
Almost daily, Hezbollah, the Lebanese Islamist organization, insists that Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon is not over and that its anti-Israel resistance will continue unabated. Yet Hezbollah has been unusually quiet.
For three months it has launched no attack on Israel. Recently Hezbollah has begun to show signs of irritation about comments on its inactivity. Hezbollah’s fighting arm, Islamic Resistance, is demanding action. But Hezbollah is gearing up for something. And that has Israel watching them very closely.
Terrorists Moving to Nepal
While the West applauds the US campaign against terrorism in Afghanistan, another insurgency problem is brewing on the other side of the Himalayas. The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) is moving from strength to strength in its six-year-old war against Katmandu. The government there felt sufficiently threatened to have declared a state of emergency on 26 November 2001 after a fragile ceasefire broke down three days earlier because the CPN-M leadership did not see a “positive political” result. King Gyanendra reluctantly sent the 47,000-strong Royal Nepal Army to battle the insurgents.