Category: Spies

Al Qaeda, ex-Gitmo detainee involved in consulate attack, intelligence sources say

Intelligence sources tell Fox News they are convinced the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was directly tied to Al Qaeda — with a former Guantanamo detainee involved.

 

That revelation comes on the same day a top Obama administration official called last week’s deadly assault a “terrorist attack” — the first time the attack has been described that way by the administration after claims it had been a “spontaneous” act.

 
“Yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy,” Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said during a Senate hearing Wednesday.

 
Olsen echoed administration colleagues in saying U.S. officials have no specific intelligence about “significant advanced planning or coordination” for the attack.

 
However, his statement goes beyond White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, saying the Sept. 11 attack on the consulate was spontaneous. He is the first top administration official to call the strike an act of terrorism.

 
Sufyan Ben Qumu is thought to have been involved and even may have led the attack, Fox News’ intelligence sources said. Qumu, a Libyan, was released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2007 and transferred into Libyan custody on the condition he be kept in jail. His Guantanamo files also show he has ties to the financiers behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

 
Olson, repeating Wednesday that the FBI is handling the Benghazi investigation, also acknowledged the attack could lead back to Al Qaeda and its affiliates.

 
“We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda’s affiliates, in particular Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” he said at the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing.
Still, Olsen said “the facts that we have now indicate that this was an opportunistic attack on our embassy, the attack began and evolved and escalated over several hours,” Olson said.

 
Carney said hours earlier that there still is “no evidence of a preplanned or pre-meditated attack,” which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

 
“I made that clear last week, Ambassador Rice made that clear Sunday,” Carney said at the daily White House press briefing.

 
Rice appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and four other morning talk shows to say the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was “spontaneous” and sparked by an early protest that day outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, over an anti-Islamic video.

 
“It was a reaction to a video that had nothing to do with the United States,” Rice told Fox News. “The best information and the best assessment we have today is that this was not a pre-planned, pre-meditated attack. What happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo.”

 
However, that account clashed with claims by the Libyan president that the attack was in fact premeditated. Other sources, including an intelligence source in Libya who spoke to Fox News, have echoed those claims. The intelligence source even said that, contrary to the suggestion by the Obama administration, there was no major protest in Benghazi before the deadly attack which killed four Americans. A U.S. official did not dispute the claim.

 
In the face of these conflicting accounts, Carney on Tuesday deferred to the ongoing investigation and opened the door to the possibility of other explanations.
Source

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Bin Laden Killing Renews Debate Over CIA’s Harsh Interrogation Tactics

The mission that led the Navy SEALs who killed Usama bin Laden to his compound in Pakistan has reignited a debate over whether the harsh tactics the Bush-era CIA used were successful and lawful.

In the wake of bin Laden’s death, both sides of the debate have regrouped along familiar lines, claiming they were right all along.

But America’s greatest counterterrorism success does not represent a victory for either camp. Rather, it paints a clearer picture of the CIA’s interrogation and detention program, revealing where it was successful and where its successes have been overstated.

At its core, the hunt for bin Laden evolved into a hunt for his couriers, the few men he trusted to pass his personal messages to his field commanders. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, detainees in the CIA’s secret prison network told interrogators about one of Al Qaeda’s most important couriers, someone known only as Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. He was a protege of Al Qaeda’s No. 3, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

In 2003, the CIA captured Mohammed, the group’s operational leader. Mohammed was interrogated using what the agency called “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as sleep deprivation and the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding. Months after being waterboarded, Mohammed acknowledged knowing al-Kuwaiti, former officials say.

“So for those who say that waterboarding doesn’t work, to say that it should be stopped and never used again: We got vital information, which directly led us to bin Laden,” the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said last week.

But current and former officials directly involved in the interrogation program say that’s not the case.

Mohammed acknowledged knowing al-Kuwaiti after being waterboarded, but he also denied he was an Al Qaeda figure or of any importance. It was a lie, much like the stories Mohammed said he made up about where bin Laden was hiding. Even after the CIA deemed him “compliant,” Mohammed never gave up al-Kuwaiti’s real name or his location, or acknowledged al-Kuwaiti’s importance in the terrorist network.

But the detention program did play a crucial role in the search for bin Laden.

In 2004, top Al Qaeda operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. In a secret CIA prison, Ghul confirmed to the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was an important courier. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who had replaced Mohammed as Al Qaeda’s operational commander.

The CIA had less success when it captured al-Libi.

Al-Libi was not waterboarded. But he did get the full range of enhanced interrogation, including intense sleep deprivation, former officials recalled. Despite those efforts, al-Libi adamantly denied knowing al-Kuwaiti. He acknowledged meeting with an important courier, but he provided a fake name.

Both he and Mohammed withheld or fabricated information, even after the agency’s toughest interrogations. That gave credence to what many longtime interrogators have maintained, that increasingly harsh questioning produces information but not necessarily reliable information.

Given what they knew from other detainees, CIA interrogators suspected that al-Libi and Mohammed were lying about al-Kuwaiti and that it must be important if they were so committed to withholding this information. So they reasoned that, if they could find al-Kuwaiti, they might find bin Laden. Years later, thanks to help from other informants and an intercepted phone call involving al-Kuwaiti last year, the CIA was proved right. Kuwaiti unwittingly led the agency to bin Laden’s doorstep in Pakistan.

“They used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees,” CIA Director Leon Panetta said this past week. “But I’m also saying that, you know, the debate about whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches, I think is always going to be an open question.”

The Obama administration has labeled waterboarding torture. While President Barack Obama has said he will not prosecute any officers who followed the rules laid out by CIA, White House and Justice Department lawyers, he has appointed a prosecutor to review cases in which detainees died.

CIA officers involved in finding bin Laden said they are frustrated that the entire detention and interrogation program and the killing of bin Laden have been reduced to a debate over waterboarding.

“People can debate the value of any single piece of information that may or may not have come from a program like that,” said Rob Dannenberg, the former chief of operations at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, who retired in 2007. “But in the aggregate and over the course of time, you are going to unravel the best clandestine organizations in the world with patience and persistence.”

Obama shuttered the CIA’s prison system soon after taking office. Human rights advocates cheered the end of a system in which detainees were held indefinitely, without access to lawyers or the International Committee of the Red Cross, as is normally required.

Critics accused the president of abandoning the strategy that had worked, of capturing terrorists and questioning them. Instead, the U.S. has increased airstrikes from unmanned Predator drones, which have killed terrorists in the tribal regions along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We weren’t capturing people anymore, they were just ending up dead in the tribal areas,” said Bob Grenier, who ran the Counterterrorism Center from 2004 to 2006.

When that happens, Grenier said, the CIA doesn’t get to inspect cell phones or documents or whatever else is in the room during the capture.

“They take their secrets with them,” Grenier said.

Obama was unable to fulfill his pledge to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison, where suspected terrorists are held. He had hoped to move many onto U.S. soil for trial, but political opposition stalled that effort. Now, if the CIA captures a major terrorist abroad, it’s unclear what the U.S. would do with him.

Though the CIA prisons are closed, Afghanistan is one possibility. There, the U.S. military maintains a network of secret jails where detainees are being held and interrogated for weeks, including one run by the elite special operations forces at Bagram Air Base in Kabul.

Source

Bin Laden Killed by CIA-Led SEALs Team, Death Hailed as Blow to Al Qaeda

Years of tracking the world’s most-wanted terrorist culminated Sunday afternoon, when a CIA-led Navy SEALs squadron of just a few dozen men stormed Usama bin Laden’s compound and killed him.

President Obama announced the results of the top-secret operation late Sunday night, calling it the most significant blow to Al Qaeda to date. Within hours, the architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed more than 3,000 people was buried at sea.

Though the president offered only sparse information on the mission and the intelligence that led to it, details have since emerged about the heroic actions of the small, elite team dispatched to Pakistan by an order from the president last week.

According to officials, a 40-man Navy SEALs squadron raided bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. As officials described it, the raid was swift — the team was on the compound for less than 40 minutes and did not run into any local authorities during the firefight.

At the start of the operation, four U.S.-owned and operated helicopters launched from a base in Afghanistan and dropped about 24 men onto the grounds of the compound. One helicopter suffered a “hard landing” after experiencing a “flight control issue” and had to be destroyed on the site.

At first, bin Laden was asked to surrender. But a military official said he resisted. In the end, he was killed in the ensuing firefight with a bullet to the head.

No Americans were hurt or killed during the raid. Besides bin Laden, three other men were killed, one of whom is believed to be bin Laden’s 24-year-old son. One woman used as a human shield was also killed, and two other women were injured.

The operation itself stemmed from a tip that came to Obama’s desk last August. Specifically, U.S. officials were tracking an Al Qaeda courier in Pakistan, based on information obtained from multiple detainees, and determined the location of the compound in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated. It was built on a large plot of land, and was heavily secured, with 12-to-18-foot walls topped with barbed wire, officials said. Intelligence analysts determined the compound “was custom-built to hide someone of significance,” a senior administration official said.

After months of analyzing the information, U.S. officials began holding high-level meetings about how to proceed earlier this year.

On April 29, Obama gave the order to conduct the operation. The actual mission was supposed to happen Saturday night, but it was delayed due to weather.

The highly trained special forces unit had been practicing the raid a week in advance.

In announcing the successful completion, Obama said Sunday night that bin Laden’s death “is a testament to the greatness of our country.”

“For over two decades, bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s leader and symbol,” Obama said. “The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda.”

In a message to employees, CIA Director Leon Panetta said Monday that “we have rid the world of the most infamous terrorist of our time.”

“Nothing will ever compensate for the pain and suffering inflicted by this mass murderer and his henchmen. But just as evil never rests, neither does good. May the fact that Usama Bin Ladin no longer inhabits the earth be a source of comfort for the thousands of families, here in America and around the globe, who mourn the victims of Al Qaeda’s barbarity,” he wrote.

He added that while bin Laden is dead, “Al Qaeda is not.”

In the wake of bin Laden’s death, authorities around the world are being urged to take security precautions. One source said officials are concerned bin Laden’s death could incite violence or terrorist acts against U.S. personnel overseas.

The State Department issued a travel alert for U.S. citizens abroad overnight, citing “the enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counterterrorism activity in Pakistan.”

Obama said Americans must continue to be “vigilant.” But he said the death of the architect of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil should be welcomed around the world.

“Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims,” Obama said. “So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”

Source:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/02/bin-laden-killed-cia-led-seals-team-death-hailed-blow-al-qaeda/

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead !!!

Usama Bin Laden Killed in Firefight With U.S. Special Ops Team in Pakistan

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead, and the U.S. has his body in its possession, a person familiar with the situation said Sunday.

The development capped a manhunt of more than a decade for the architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that left 3,000 people dead and dramatically altered U.S. foreign policy and the nation’s sense of security.

Dead Meat

Declaring “justice has been done,” President Obama announced late Sunday that Usama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan, marking the end of the worldwide manhunt that began nearly a decade ago on Sept. 11, 2001.

The president made the stunning announcement within hours of informing congressional leaders. He said bin Laden was killed Sunday, the culmination of years of intelligence gathering. The news drew a large crowd to the front of the White House, as well as in Times Square, as people chanted “U-S-A. U-S-A.”

Obama, in his address to the nation shortly before midnight, thanked the Americans who have toiled in pursuit of bin Laden and applauded those who carried out the successful mission in Pakistan. Describing that mission only briefly, he said its result “is a testament to the greatness of our country.”

“For over two decades, bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s leader and symbol,” Obama said. “The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda.”

The president traced the death of bin Laden to a tip received last August. He said he was briefed at the time on the “possible lead,” and that after months of intelligence work it was determined bin Laden was hiding in a compound “deep” inside Pakistan. Obama said, after determining the intelligence was sound, he authorized the operation to bring him to justice last week.

He said a “small team” of Americans went after bin Laden in Abbottabad on Sunday. “After a firefight, they killed Usama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” the president said.

Senior administration officials, in a briefing with reporters, afterward said the administration had determined by February that they would pursue the compound “custom built to hide someone of significance” in Pakistan. This decision led to a series of national security meetings starting in March to develop a course of action. Obama gave the final order to pursue the operation on April 29, officials said.

The house was 100 yards from the gate of the Kakul Military Academy, an army-run institution where top officers train. A Pakistan intelligence official said the property where bin Laden was staying was 3,000 square feet.

At 3:30 p.m. EST, a 40-man Navy Seals squadron raided a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing the Al Qaeda leader with a bullet to the head.

Four Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters dropped 24 men on the compound. One helicopter suffered a “hard landing” inside the compound after experiencing a mechanical failure and had to be destroyed on the site, according to one defense official.

There was a large shootout. The residents at the compound resisted. The total raid took 40 minutes.

No Americans were killed in the mission Sunday. Officials said three adult men other than bin Laden were killed – one was believed to be bin Laden’s son, the others couriers. One woman was killed when she was used as a human shield and two other women were also injured, the officials said.

Abbottabad resident Mohammad Haroon Rasheed said the raid happened about 1:15 a.m. local time.

“I heard a thundering sound, followed by heavy firing. Then firing suddenly stopped. Then more thundering, then a big blast,” he said. “In the morning when we went out to see what happened, some helicopter wreckage was lying in an open field.”

“Intelligence analysts concluded that this compound was custom-built to hide someone of significance,” he said.

In the wake of bin Laden’s death, authorities around the world are being urged to take security precautions. One source said officials are concerned bin Laden’s death could incite violence or terrorist acts against U.S. personnel overseas.

The State Department issued a travel alert for U.S. citizens abroad overnight, citing “the enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan.”

Obama said Americans must continue to be “vigilant.” But he said the death of the architect of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil should be welcomed around the world.

“Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims,” Obama said. “So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”

Sources said the vice president informed congressional leaders late Sunday night that the world’s most wanted man had been killed.

Officials said bin Laden’s body, which was in U.S. custody, was given a sea burial.

The announcement comes nearly a decade after the 2001 terror attacks that triggered the Afghanistan war and started a tireless hunt for the terrorist mastermind and Al Qaeda leader.

In recent years, that hunt had increasingly led U.S. intelligence across the border and into Pakistan, where Al Qaeda is thought to be concentrated.

Source:

How U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden

Dead Meat - Finally!

U.S. forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a mansion north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad

In the dark of night, U.S. helicopters approached a high-walled compound in Pakistan on a mission to capture or kill one of the world’s most notorious terrorist leaders.

Less than 40 minutes later — early Monday morning in Pakistan — Osama bin Laden was dead, along with four others inside the complex, and the U.S. forces departed with the slain al Qaeda leader’s body to fulfill a vow that originated shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Speaking from the White House Sunday night, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the successful raid. Senior administration officials provided further details on the assault on the compound they believe was built five years ago for the specific purpose of hiding bin Laden.

The compound is in Abbottabad, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. The city sits in a mountainous region of Pakistan and is not heavily populated. Many of the residents are army personnel.

While senior administration officials would not offer a breakdown of the U.S. mission’s composition, a senior defense official said U.S. Navy SEALs were involved.

After years of intelligence work and months of following a specific lead, they traced a courier linked to bin Laden to the compound in Abbottabad.

When first built, the compound was secluded and reachable by only a dirt road, the officials said. In recent years, more residences built up around it, but it remained by far the largest and most heavily secured property in the area, they said.

The mission ordered Friday by Obama encountered outer walls up to 18 feet tall topped with barbed wire, with two security gates and a series of internal walls that sectioned off different portions of the compound, the senior administration officials said. The main structure was a three-story building with few windows facing the outside of the compound, and a third-floor terrace had a seven-foot privacy wall, they said.

Months of intelligence work determined that the compound was custom-built to hide a high-value terrorism suspect, almost certainly bin Laden. The officials noted there was no telephone or Internet service at the dwelling, which was valued at more than $1 million, and its occupants burned their trash, rather than leave it out for collection like other area residents.

Calling the U.S. operation a surgical raid, officials said it was conducted by a small team and designed to minimize collateral damage. Upon landing, the team encountered resistance from bin Laden and three other men that resulted in a firefight.

In the end, all four of the combatants in the compound were dead, along with a woman whom one of the men used as a human shield, the officials said. Sources said bin Laden was shot in the head.

At some point, one of the assaulting helicopters crashed due to a mechanical failure, according to the officials. It was destroyed as the U.S. team flew away, they said.

Obama and the senior administration officials said no U.S. forces were harmed in the operation, which took place very early Monday morning Pakistan time.

U.S. officials said they used a number of methods to identify the body as bin Laden.

One official said it was clear to the assault force that the body matched bin Laden’s description, but they used “facial recognition work, amongst other things, to confirm the identity.”

A senior national security official told CNN that they had multiple confirmations that the body was bin Laden, saying they had the “ability to run images of the body and the face.”

Another U.S. official told CNN that bin Laden has already been buried at sea. The official said his body was handled in the Islamic tradition, but did not elaborate.

A senior administration official also said bin Laden’s body would be “handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. This is something that we take very seriously, and so therefore this is being handled in an appropriate manner.”

According to the senior administration officials, intelligence work determined at the beginning of 2011 that bin Laden might be located at the compound in Pakistan. By mid-February, the intelligence was considered strong enough to begin considering action pledged by Obama when bin Laden’s whereabouts had been determined.

To discuss that intelligence and develop a plan, Obama chaired five National Security Council meetings from mid-March until late April, with the last two on April 19 and April 28 — last Thursday. The next day, on Friday, Obama gave the order for the mission, the officials said.

The key break involved one of the few couriers trusted by bin Laden, according to the officials. About two years ago, intelligence work identified where the courier and his brother lived and operated in Pakistan, and it took until August of last year to find the compound in Abbottabad raided Sunday, they said.

“When we saw the compound where the brothers lived, we were shocked by what we saw — an extraordinarily unique compound,” one senior administration official said. “The compound sits on a large plot of land in an area that was relatively secluded when it was built. It is roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area.”

Noting that the courier and his brother had no discernible source of wealth to live at such a property, intelligence analysts concluded the compound was “custom-built to hide someone of extraordinary significance,” the official said, adding: “Everything was consistent with what experts thought Osama bin Laden’s compound would look like.”

Another senior administration official told reporters that Obama’s administration did not share intelligence gathered beforehand with any other country — including Pakistan — for security reasons. The official said that only a small group of people inside the U.S government knew about this operation in advance.

However, a senior Pakistani intelligence official said members of Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, were on site in Abbottabad during the operation. There was no way to immediately resolve the apparent discrepancy.

Source:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/05/02/bin.laden.dead/index.html?hpt=T1&iref=BN1

Notable Quotes:

Former President George W. Bush:

“A victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

“The killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation. … New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for this news. It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):

“Bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam. In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and al Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide. We also reiterate President Obama’s clear statement tonight that the United States is not at war with Islam.”

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio:

“This is … a victory in our continued fight against al Qaeda and radical extremism around the world. We continue to face a complex and evolving terrorist threat, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada:

“This is the most significant victory in our fight against al Qaeda and terrorism, but that fight is not over … As we remember those who were killed on that dark day in September and their families, we also reaffirm our resolve to defeat the terrorist forces that killed them and thousands of others across the globe.”

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton:

“I congratulate the president, the National Security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al Qaeda attacks.”

Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson:

“Finally. We cut off the head of the snake. It’s our intelligence that got him. The noose has been tightening because of our intelligence operations.”

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Massachusetts:

“(This) closes an important chapter in our war against extremists who kill innocent people around the world. We are a nation of peace and laws, and people everywhere should understand that our 10-year manhunt was in search of justice, not revenge.”

U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia:

“Justice has been done. The man with the blood of more than 3,000 (people) on his hands, the man who forced us to begin to think the unthinkable — is now dead. … While this is no doubt a major event in our battle against terrorism, we will not relent in our fight against terror and our efforts to keep America safe and secure.”

U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, R-New York:

“In 2001, President Bush said ‘we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.’ President Bush deserves great credit for putting action behind those words. President Obama deserves equal credit for his resolve in this long war against al-Qaeda.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

“Justice has been done and we are all indebted to the American military and intelligence community for their skill and dedication. Nothing can bring back bin Laden’s innocent victims, but perhaps this can help salve the wounds of their loved ones.”

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona:

“The world is a better and more just place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it. I hope the families of the victims of the September 11th attacks will sleep easier tonight and every night hence knowing that justice has been done.”

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee:

“(This) is a credit to our intelligence efforts and brings to justice the architect of the attacks on our country that killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.”

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California:

“The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al Qaeda … It is a testament to the professionalism of our dedicated national security professionals that no American lives were lost in this operation … I hope that today’s action provides some comfort to the 9/11 families who lost loved ones in the devastating attacks on our shores.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York:

“This is a thunderous strike for justice for the thousands of my fellow New Yorkers — and citizens from all over the world — who were murdered on 9/11. It took close to 10 years, but the world’s most wanted terrorist has finally met his deserved fate.”

PAKPAC, a Pakistani-American advocacy group:

“(Bin Laden’s) death is a victory for the civilized world … Now with the Arab awakening, and democracy taking hold in the Middle East, PAKPAC is confident that al Qaeda and its ideology will be relegated to the dust bin of history.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:

“New Yorkers endured bin Laden’s most devastating and destructive attack, and his death brings back the horrific images and emotions of that terrible day. However, his death also reminds us of our strength, courage, and unity as a people in our response to his actions.”

Former U.S. Department of Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff:

“With the World Trade Center still smoldering, America promised to bring Osama bin Laden to justice or justice to him. Tonight’s announcement that bin Laden has been killed brings a tremendous amount of gratification and I hope, great comfort to those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.”

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee:

“It is unusual to celebrate a death, but today Americans and decent people the world over cheer the news that madman, murderer and terrorist Osama bin Laden is dead … Welcome to hell, bin Laden. Let us all hope that his demise will serve notice to Islamic radicals the world over that the United States will be relentless is tracking down and terminating those who would inflict terror, mayhem and death on any of our citizens.”

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney:

“This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere. Congratulations to our intelligence community, our military and the president. My thoughts are with the families of Osama bin Laden’s many thousands of victims, and the brave servicemen and women who have laid down their lives in pursuit of this murderous terrorist.”

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota:

“Tonight’s news does not bring back the lives of the thousands of innocent people who were killed that day by Osama bin Laden’s horrific plan, and it does not end the threat posed by terrorists, but it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism.”

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin:

“Thank you, American men and women in uniform. You are America’s finest and we are so proud. Thank you for fighting against terrorism.”

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum:

“This is extraordinary news for all freedom loving people of the world, and I commend all those involved for this historic triumph. Americans have waited nearly ten years for the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. And while this is a very significant objective that cannot be minimized, the threat from Jihadism does not die with bin Laden.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate:

“This is terrific news for freedom and justice. In the hours after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice — and we did. I want to congratulate America’s armed forces and President Obama for a job well done.”

Border Agents Forced to Face Down Bullets With Bean Bags, Critics Say

Brian Terry killed by armed illegal aliens while defending himself with beanbag gun

Agent Brian A. Terry, 40, was killed on Dec. 14 near Rio Rico, Ariz., according to a statement released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. (FNC) Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/03/fbi-report-raises-concerns-border-agents-facing-bullets-bean-bags-609544203/#ixzz1FgLhpHLt

The U.S. Border Patrol is under fire for allegedly ordering its elite, SWAT-style units to use non-lethal bean bag ammunition before responding with deadly force – even against suspects armed with high-powered semi-automatic and automatic weapons like AK-47s.

The controversy over the agency’s “bean bag” policy began in the days following the Dec. 14 killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and has escalated recently as more information is uncovered in the investigation of the fatal shooting.

“When the suspected aliens did not drop their weapons, two Border Patrol agents deployed ‘less than lethal’ beanbags at the suspected aliens,” according to a FBI search warrant request filed in the U.S. District Court in Tucson on Dec. 29. “At this time, at least one of the suspected aliens fired at the Border Patbrol agents. Two Border Patrol agents returned fire, one with his long gun and one with his pistol. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot with one bullet and died shortly after.”

The warrant appears to support claims made by Terry’s brother, Kent, and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo that Terry’s team — part of the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit, also known as BORTAC — was under standing orders to always use bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition.

“There was a group of four guys with my brother and two had lethal and two had non-lethal weapons there,” Kent Terry told Fox News Friday.

Tancredo wrote about the issue in a Dec. 18 op-ed article.

Although it’s not clear how many, if any, border patrol units were ordered to carry the non-lethal beanbag ammunition, one expert insists the order has been applied to at least all BORTAC teams in Arizona – if not the entire Border Patrol.

“That order stemmed from the incident on the El Paso-Juarez border in which an agent discharged a sidearm to defend himself from rock throwers,” said Andy Ramirez, founder of the advocacy group Friends of the Border Patrol. Ramirez was referring to a June shooting that left a 15-year-old Mexican boy dead.

Mexico was outraged at the incident, so Victor Manjarrez Jr., then chief of Border Patrol’s Tuscon sector, “acquiesced by ordering agents to use non-lethal loads,” Ramirez said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman, Agent Mark Qualia, said at the very least, “every law enforcement personnel within CBP has a sidearm which is fully loaded, along with two additional magazines,” and denied that units were ordered to use non-lethal bean bag ammunition first.

“There was no order given to any CBP law enforcement personel – now or in the past – that indicates the use of less lethal devices before using deadly force,”Qualia, told FoxNews.com.

But T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the border agents’ union, said there are “conflicting statements” as to whether the agents were under such orders. “Because of the ongoing nature of the investigation, the people who know best aren’t talking.”

Ramirez said regardless of whether the men were ordered to use the bean bags, the simple fact that a Border Patrol tactical team was armed with bean bag ammunition at all was “asinine.”

“BORTAC is like a SWAT unit; they’re our most highly trained, specialized unit of agents. These guys go in when we have a serious problem. It would be like sending a SWAT team into a bust with bean bags. … They were outgunned by far.”

Asked why a BORTAC team would carry guns armed with bean bags, Qualia said, “Why do law enforcement personnel carry Taser guns? If you’re in a confrontational situation where you do not need to use lethal force.”

If the officers did need to use lethal force, Qualia said, they had the freedom to make that decision and the equipment to execute it.

“So I’m not going to Monday morning quarterback a situation where an agent in that heat of the situation has to make that decision…I wasn’t there.”

Bonner stressed he also “didn’t know all the facts of the case,” but said “given the intelligence they had, a number of agents I spoke with question the wisdom of having less than lethal weapons in that situation.”

Qualia said the CBP is fully cooperating with the FBI in their continued investigation. “As soon as something’s been published, we’ll be able to follow up.”

Here is a sample of how we protect our borders:

How the US defends it's southern border

How the US defends it's southern border

Of course here is the real reason our borders are so ill defended:

The real reason our borders are so ill-secured

The real reason our borders are so ill-secured

Source

UAE seized N.Korea arms shipment bound for Iran

No connections huh. The whole middle east and all the other terror-sponsoring countries are all connected, via terror. Here is an example of North Korea sending arms to Iran and caught red handed.  Iraq and Afghanistan and 9/11 were all connected. To think they were not is simple idiot politics.

Of course we are all connected

Connnections? What connections.. Wheres my pants?

Connnections? What connections.. Where's my pants?

* Arms included rocket launchers, detonators, RPGs * Seizure of shipment took place on Aug. 14 * Countries linked include Australia, France, Italy, China (Adds details about weapons, countries involved) By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS, Aug 28 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates has seized a cargo of North Korean weapons being shipped to Iran, which would have violated a U.N. embargo on arms exports from the communist state, Western diplomats said on Friday. The weapons seized on Aug. 14 included rocket launchers, detonators, munitions and ammunition for rocket-propelled grenades, they said. The ship, called the ANL-Australia, was Australian-owned and flying a Bahamas flag. Diplomats said the UAE reported the incident, which occurred two weeks ago, to the Security Council sanctions committee on North Korea. The committee sent letters to Tehran and Pyongyang on Aug. 25 informing them of the seizure and demanding a response within 15 days. “Based on past experience … we don’t expect a very detailed response,” one of the diplomats said on condition of anonymity. The diplomats said the Australian firm whose ship was seized is controlled by a French conglomerate and the actual export was arranged by the Shanghai office of an Italian company. The diplomats did not name any of the firms involved. “The cargo was deceptively labeled,” said a diplomat “The cargo manifest said that the ship contained oil boring machines. But then you opened it up and you found these arms.” Diplomats said both North Korea and Iran appeared to be in breach of Security Council resolution 1874, which banned all arms exports from North Korea and authorized states to search suspicious ships and seize and destroy banned items. The resolution was imposed after North Korea’s second nuclear test in May. The council imposed sanctions on Pyongyang after its first test in October 2006, but the measures were never enforced, mainly because China showed no interest in seeing them implemented. Diplomats said the UAE seizure, which was done on the basis of the country’s own intelligence reports, was an important success for the beefed-up North Korean sanctions regime and would hopefully deter further attempts at skirting sanctions. Tehran has also been punished with three rounds of U.N. sanctions for its nuclear program, which Western powers fear is aimed at producing atomic weapons. Iran says it has a peaceful atomic program that will generate electricity, not bombs.