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STRATFOR

August 13, 2008
 
Terrorism Intelligence Report


By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart

It has been a rough couple of weeks for the Egyptian al Qaeda contingent in Pakistan. On Aug. 12, Pakistani security sources confirmed that an Aug. 8 operation in Bajaur resulted in the death of  al Qaeda leader Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, aka Sheikh Said al-Masri. Some posters on jihadist message boards have denied the reports, but al Qaeda itself has yet to release a statement on the issue. Al-Yazid was reportedly al Qaeda’s operational commander for Afghanistan, and some reports also claim he was responsible for planning attacks within Pakistan, such as the June 2 attack on the Danish Embassy.

If confirmed, al-Yazid’s death came just 11 days after the July 28 missile strike in South Waziristan that resulted in the death of al Qaeda’s lead chemical and biological weapons expert, Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri. The strike against al-Sayid also killed three other Egyptian al Qaeda commanders. In an ironic twist, the official al Qaeda eulogy for al-Sayid and his companions was given by al-Yazid.

Unconfirmed rumors also have swirled since the July 28 attack that al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri was either killed or seriously wounded in the same operation. An audiotape in which al-Zawahiri speaks out against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was recently released in an odd manner, in that it was given directly to a Pakistani news channel rather than via al Qaeda’s usual release pattern of having As-Sahab Media upload it directly to the Internet. The tape, in which al-Zawahiri speaks in English for the first time in a public pronouncement, is not convincing proof that al-Zawahiri was not wounded or killed. Obviously, al-Zawahiri’s loss would be another serious blow to the organization.

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Eleanor Duckwall's Spotlight

August 11, 2008

UK: No interest sharia-compliant MasterCard launched

The announcement of the UK's first sharia-compliant MasterCard in London, the "Islamic financial centre of Europe," accompanied by the pronouncement that the Cordoba Gold MasterCard company will "donate 10% of its profits to registered charities in the UK and abroad" has me a bit confused: If they can't charge nor collect interest, how will the company earn a profit?

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Washington Post/Newsweek
 
 
Censoring "The Jewel Of Medina"

 This month the U.S. publisher Random House planned to launch an historical novel about Aisha, the wife of the prophet Muhammad. The book was a rarity in Islamic-themed literature: an attempt by a Western woman to fictionalize the personal life of the prophet, and to bring to a wider audience one of the great feminist heroines of the Middle East.

Instead, three months ago, Random House decided to abandon publication of "The Jewel of Medina", by journalist Sherry Jones. Fearing the book might incite the same violent reaction as the Danish Muhammad cartoons, and that company staff and property might comes under attack from Muslim extremists, Random House terminated Jones' contract, as reported by Asra Nomani, who first broke the story in the Wall Street Journal last week.

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Jewish World Review August 12, 2008

The West's Islamist Infiltrators

By Daniel Pipes

Aafia Siddiqui, 36, is a Pakistani mother of three, an alumna of MIT, and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brandeis University. She is also accused of working for Al-Qaeda and was charged last week in New York City with attempting to kill American soldiers.

Her arrest serves to remind how invisibly most Islamist infiltration proceeds. In particular, an estimated forty Al-Qaeda sympathizers or operatives have sought to penetrate U.S. intelligence agencies.


Such a well-placed infiltrator can wreck great damage explains a former CIA chief of counterintelligence, Michael Sulick: "In the war on terrorism, intelligence has replaced the Cold War's tanks and fighter planes as the primary weapon against an unseen enemy." Islamist moles, he argues, "could inflict far more damage to national security than Soviet spies," for the U.S. and Soviet Union never actually fought each other, whereas now, "our nation is at war."
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