Jakarta Hotel Bombings – 17 July

Indonesian counter-terrorist police commandos secure the damaged Ritz-Carlton hotel in Jakarta.Jakarta, Indonesia – Two luxury hotels, the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton,  were struck by bombs that killed at least eight people this Friday. Although an international tragedy – two questions are raised.

Is a terrorist bombing of this nature unique and could we have predicted it?

The answer to the first question may surprise some, however, it is clearly a no. Within the past few days many communities have been shaken by the wrath of Islamic terrorism and sectarian violence.  The AFP report the death of two children, 10 and 11 respectively, at the hands of sectarian targeted bombings while VOA News reports the death of 5 children by Taliban roadside bombs in Afghanistan.

Aftermath of the Bali Bombings

Aftermath of the Bali Bombings

But lets move away from this one day in history. In August 2003, the same JW Marriott Hotel of these recent attacks was bombed killing 12 people. In 2002 over 200 were killed in the Bali Bombings; 19 were killed in another set of bombings in Bali in 2005;  and the list goes on.

So, could we have predicted such an attack? If we take past precedent as an indicator of future events, we probably could. Taking account of the internal shifts within Jemaah Islamiah (the organisation suspected for carrying out the bombings) including the rapid rise in radicalism among radicals, the likelihood of an attack was greatly magnified. Such was predicted moments before the attacks by a number of Australian advisory groups.

But when should a government act on such a threat? I would argue that the domestic government has a right to always act – and countries such as Australia, which have often been a victim of various terror attacks in Indonesia should always exercise caution whenever there is a real threat. I would hate to hear that Australia failed to act on reliable intelligence.

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Morals of Islam: Rape + Suicide = Paradise

A WOMAN suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame.

Samira Jassam, 51, was arrested by Iraqi police and confessed to recruiting the women and orchestrating dozens of attacks.

In a video confession, she explained how she had mentally prepared the women for martyrdom operations, passed them on to terrorists who provided explosives, and then took the bombers to their targets.

“We arrested Samira Jassim, known as ‘Um al-Mumenin’, the mother of the believers, who was responsible for recruiting 80 women”, Major General Qassim Atta said.

“She confessed her responsibility for these actions, and she confirmed that 28 attempts had been made in one of the terrorists’ strongholds,” he said.

Samira Jassim was arrested on January 21. She is allegedly linked to the Ansar al-Sunnah insurgent group.

Two of the attacks for which Samira Jassim admitted responsibility in the video confession took place in Diyala province, in central Iraq, which is considered one of the most dangerous areas of the country.

The Associated Press reports US military figures indicate at least 36 female suicide bombers attempted or carried out 32 attacks last year. Women are often allowed through military checkpoints without being searched, making it easier for them to hide explosives under their traditional robes.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25006101-12335,00.html
For once in my life I am speechless in regard to these abhorrent acts.

Girl Turned into Human Bomb

Rania al Ambaki was handcuffed to a gate at an Iraq security checkpoint. She was a human bomb, CBS News reports.

Suspicious officers immobilized her, jammed cell phone signals that could detonate the explosives, then carefully removed her suicide vest.

She turned out to be just 15 years old, and her story is an increasingly common one.

She comes from Baquba, an al Qaeda hot spot just north of Baghdad. It’s a recruiting ground for women suicide bombers who are responsible for much of the recent carnage in story=3220766>Iraq.

Last year, there were eight women bombers. So far this year, there have been 35. A CBS News crew traveled to Baquba to meet Rania in jail.

“I now thank God that I didn’t get blown up,” she said through a translator.

Rania told police she had no idea the vest was a bomb. Family members, including her husband, she said, had helped her put it on.

Police think they may have drugged her, and meant to blow her up by remote control.

Rania said through a translator: “They told me that it was a kind of medical vest for back pain.”

Gen. Abdul Kareem Qalaf helped interrogate Rania. He said: “She has a low IQ and is a vulnerable teenage girl.”

Why does there suddenly seem to be so many women suicide bombers?

Qalaf said through a translator: “Al Qaeda uses these people – the mentally ill, children and very young women. This shows al Qaeda is failing.”

Al Qaeda is using women bombers – because it works. In a conservative Muslim society, they’re less likely to be searched, and there’s a shortage of female security agents to do the job.

As for Rania, she lived to tell a tale that helped police arrest her husband. But her aunt, the suspected ringleader, is still on the run. She’s one of a new breed of Iraqi women turned into key players in the ruthless business of terrorism.

Al-Qaeda ‘used 24 child suicide bombers in last two years (Iraq)

Al-Qaeda has over the past two years used 24 children to carry out suicide bombings in Iraq, the director of military operations for the Interior Ministry, Abdelaziz Mohammed Jasim, told pan-Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat.

“Of the 24 children, five had a mental disability. From analysing the others’ remains, we established that they were homeless,” said Jasim.

American soldiers stationed in Iraq have reported that the insurgency has armed children as young as 11 to fight against them.

Al-Qaeda is targeting orphans, street children and mentally disabled children as suicide bomber recruits as well as women, according to the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

There have been at least 16 suicide attacks carried out by women in recent months in the volatile Al-Qaeda stronghold of Diyala province, north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Iraqi children  in general make up 20 percent of the civilian victims of bomb attacks in the country.

Female suicide bombers kill 70 Iraqis (Iraq)

Al Qaeda in Iraq conducted two successful strikes in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk. At least seventy Iraqi civilians were killed and more than 300 wounded in four suicide attacks, CNN reported. The attacks were carried out by female terrorists.

The attacks in Baghdad occurred in three separate locations as the female bombers targeted Shia pilgrims traveling on foot to a shrine in the Kadhamiyah district. The three bombers waded into the crowds and detonated their suicide vests within thirty minutes of each other. Thirty-two Iraqis were reported killed and 102 were wounded.

In Kirkuk, a female suicide bomber detonated her vest in the middle of a crowd of more than 5,000 Kurds who gathered to protest the delay of provincial elections in Kirkuk. Just after the detonation, gunmen opened up on the crowd. Thirty-eight Iraqis were killed and 178 were wounded in the deadly attack. Five more were wounded after a clash broke out between “unknown gunmen” and security forces outside the headquarters of the Turkmen Party. A curfew was immediately imposed on the province.

Kirkuk remains a flashpoint for violence as Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen vie for political power in the northern city. The Kurds seek to bring the oil-rich city into the political sphere of the Kurdistan Regional Government while Kurds have retaken lands from Arabs settled in the region during the rule of Saddam Hussein. Last week, the Iraqi Parliament passed a law delaying provincial elections and setting up a power-sharing agreement between the parties. The Kurdish political parties walked out of Parliament in protest.

Today’s attacks demonstrate that while al Qaeda has suffered major setbacks in Iraq, the network still maintains the capacity to conduct high-profile, mass-casualty suicide strikes. The last major attack occurred on July 24, when a female suicide bomber killed eight Awakening fighters and wounded 15 during an attack in Baqubah.

Al Qaeda suicide bombers also struck in Diyala province on July 15. Two suicide bombers detonated their vests within the Saad military camp as Iraqi Army recruits gathered. Twenty-two recruits were killed and more than 55 wounded.

The last major bombing in Baghdad occurred on June 18, when a car bomb detonated in the Shia neighborhood of Hayy Hurriyah in Baghdad’s Kadhamiyah district. The US military determined the attack was carried out by cell run by a Mahdi Army leader named Haydar Mahdi Khadum Al Fawadi.

US, Iraqi forces target al Qaeda’s networks

The US and Iraqi military have heavily targeted al Qaeda networks in the central and northern provinces over the past two days. Eighty-eight al Qaeda operatives were captured and four were killed during operations.

Today, Coalition special forces captured 30 suspected al Qaeda fighters during raids in Abu Ghraib and Mosul. An al Qaeda cell leader and a bomb maker were captured in Abu Ghraib and a financier for Ninewa province was captured in Mosul. Also, Coalition forces surrounded “a hideout for AQI facilitators and smugglers coming in from Syria” in a village southwest of Mosul, and captured 15 terrorists.

Yesterday, US and Iraqi forces killed four al Qaeda fighters and detained 58 suspects during search operation in Ninewa province. Four Iraqi soldiers were killed during gun battle.

Iraqi and US forces are massing for a major offensive in Diyala province, where al Qaeda still maintains sanctuaries in the rural regions. The operation is expected to begin in early August.

Children of Paradise Terrorist Cell And Child Terrorists (Iraq, Afghanistan) (VIDEO)

Children as young as eight years old are being recruited by Islamists militants to carry out suicide attacks. Intelligence services have revealed that al-Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan are enlisting children for such operations.

The video can be viewed here:

http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Video/?id=1.0.2307678362

It is an eye opener well worth watching.

Suicide Bomber Kills Soldiers and Child (Afghanistan)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up as an Afghan army convoy slowed to pass a pothole-riddled section of road Friday in eastern Afghanistan, killing four soldiers and a child, a defense official said.

Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack, about eight miles west of Khost city, said Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi.

Suicide bombers frequently target military convoys, but civilian passers-by are often killed in such attacks.

Insurgency related violence has killed more than 1,200 people — mostly militants — so far this year, according to an Associated Press tally of figures from Western and Afghan officials.

In eastern Kunar province, meanwhile, deputy police chief Abdul Sabor Allayer said a rocket hit a schoolyard on Wednesday in Asmor district, killing one student and wounding four others. The victims were between eight and 14 years old.

Afghanistan’s Education Minister said earlier this year that the number of students and teachers killed in Taliban attacks spiked in the past year in a campaign to close schools and force teenage boys to join the Islamic militia. UNICEF says 236 school-related attacks occurred last year.