As autoridades norte-americanas confirmaram que o alerta de ataque radioactivo da Al Qaeda sobre Nova Iorque que surgiu no site israelita DEBKAFile era falso. Apesar de garantiram que, em nenhum momento, subiram o nível de alerta, as autoridades reconheceram que tomaram medidas de precaução. De acordo com alguns comentários no site israelita, a rede terrorista teria conseguido introduzir em Manhattan um camião com material radioactivo e pronto a detonar. As autoridades colocaram sensores radiológicos adicionais nas ruas e fizeram patrulhas aéreas, marítimas e terrestres. O vice-somissário da polícia, Paul J. Browne, afirmou, no entanto, que as medidas foram estritamente de precaução. A notícia surgiu depois de um membro norte-americano da Al Qaeda anunciar um ataque contra as embaixadas e diplomatas dos Estados Unidos e seus aliados nos países islâmicos. Diário Digital
ChemBio/Radiological Terror: A Threat Warning from Al QaedaOn Friday, August 10, US security Authorities were taking extra counterterrorism precautions in response to what they said was an unsubstantiated radiological threat to the New York City. NYPD deployed special sensors on street, water and air patrols, and were stopping vehicles at checkpoints in lower Manhattan and on bridges and tunnels entering the city. In an effort to prevent panic, New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul J. Browne called the measures "strictly precautionary", but the news nevertheless spread like wildfire. According to a report published by the Jerusalem Post, an Israeli web site reported that a video released last Sunday allegedly featured an al Qaeda spokesman, Californian-born Adam Gaddahn, also known as Azzan al-Amriki, who is wanted by the FBI, who warned of an attack, by means of trucks loaded with radioactive material, targeted against American financial nerve centers. The source, named DebkaFile, is usually reporting from seemingly well placed sources within the Israeli Military and Intelligence Communities, but cannot always be relied-on for accurate, non-speculative nature information.In fact, Israeli counter-terror sources and even DebkaFile's monitors have already said that there is no way of gauging for sure how serious these threats are, how real, or whether they are not part of a war of nerves to give the Gaddahn tape "extra mileage". But, sources indicate, it should be important to note that the exchange of messages took place over al Qaeda’s internal Internet sites which contained the threat of radioactive terror, pointing to specific American cities for the first time, after a long silence on such subjects."We are closely monitoring the situation," said Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke. "There continues to be no credible information telling us that there's a threat to the homeland at this time." But New York has remained on an orange alert - the second highest such level, below red -since the September 11, 2001, attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security in Washington said the threat to New York was "unsubstantiated" and there was "no credible information telling us there is an imminent threat to the homeland at this time."Nevertheless, separate reports, by the US Department of Homeland Security and the Canadian Border Services Agency have each recently issued security notices alerting law enforcement officials to border-crossing issues, including illicit smuggling tunnels. Canadian official have also issued a warning that "several counterfeit visas have been intercepted at Toronto Pearson International Airport." No further details were released.The Threat of Bio-chemical and radiological terrorismBut whether the present threat is real or not, for the time being- the acute danger of bio-chemical and radiological terrorism is certainly building up, creating sleepless nights to international anti-terrorist agencies. And not enough attention is apparently given by national political decision-makers to this highly lethal threat.In a recent report, published in the Israeli Daily Haaretz, veteran reporter Yossi Melman, reveals the sad state of biological security in Israel, as evidenced by the absence of appropriate legislation and a supreme government authority keeping track of what is being done, to prepare the nation against this horrifying threat. According to Melman, Prof. Ethan Rubinstein conducted a study in which he tried to examine the resistance of anthrax microbes to antibiotics. They published the results of their study, of producing antibiotic-resistant anthrax microbes, in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy."The study lit a warning light," says Colonel (res.) Dr. David Friedman, the Defense Ministry expert on biological and chemical warfare. "It could be an example of a research study that is liable to be labeled sensitive." The dream of every terror organization or enemy country is to get their hands on anthrax microbes against which there is no effective antibiotic or vaccine.But Anthrax research is only one example of the danger that bioterrorism threatens not only Israel, but th rest of the free world. If terrorists can get their hands on highly toxic material and turn these into lethal warfare elements, the danger to society can become catastrophic. Dr. Friedman, who is a biologist by training, was involved in R&D in the Israel Defense Forces and the Defense Ministry's R&D. He also served as a representative of the counter-terrorism unit on a special counter-terrorism steering committee established jointly in late 2005, at the department in the National Security Council in the Prime Minister's Office and the Israeli National Academy of Sciences. The Israel Biological Institute is one of the most clandestine research institutions in the country, where, according to foreign publications, Israel is developing chemical and biological weapons countermeasures. Nevertheless, Israel may already be preparing at last to face the threat of this kind of unconventional warfare. In a recent nationwide large-scale civil defense drill, anti-terrorist security forces featured a response to a mock chemical terror strike at a school in Ramat Gan. The scenario envisioned a group of terrorists breaking into the school and attacking with a chemical that caused symptoms such as sweating and breathing difficulty. Officials mentioned this being the first of following drills by the Home Front Command.According to western intelligence sources, Al Qaeda has obtained access to anthrax since already in 1997. Dr. Ayman Zawahiri's right-hand man confessed that the organization had succeeded in obtaining anthrax and intended to use it against US targets. In 2001, CNN reporter Mike Boettcher indicated the capture of an Al Qaeda bioterrorism manual with chemical formulas and "step-by-step instructions in the manufacture of deadly biological weapons. The Biological warfare sections of the manual, give exact formulas for the production of deadly toxins botulinum and ricin, although there's no evidence of instructions on how to make or distribute anthrax.There is no doubt that Al Qaeda has shown an eagerness to use whatever weapons it can obtain against American targets in its terrorist operations, and that makes its efforts to acquire chemical and biological weapons particularly worrisome to United States intelligence officials. The official intelligence assessment is that Al Qaeda has a ''crude chemical and possibly biological capability,'' a Pentagon official said recently. In fact, American intelligence officials reported after the 2001 Afghanistan war, that Al Qaeda had already experimented with cyanide gas at a crude chemical weapons research laboratory in Derunta, a small village near the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. There are intelligence reports showing the possible production of small quantities of cyanide gas providing the strongest indication received of Al Qaeda's success in its efforts to develop chemical weapons. According to US military intelligence, another fertilizer plant was found in Mazar-i-Sharif, which the Northern Alliance captured during the war, which had allegedly been under the control of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, but had also used by Osama bin Laden and his organization, because its equipment could produce either biological or chemical weapons grade material.That a biological, chemical and radiological terrorist threat is real goes to show without doubt in a December 2004 jihadist website slogan "Dirty bombs for a dirty nation". Its author, veteran Syrian jihadist named Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, complained that the brutal attack on the New York World Trade Center in 9/11 could have been much more "effective" if the planes were laden with weapons of mass destruction. He proposed that future attacks be carried out with deadly "dirty Bomb" material. His warning should be given serious attention if the West wishes to prevent a new catastrophe.
CABUL (Reuters) - O presidente do Paquistão admitiu neste domingo que militantes afegãos estão operando a partir do seu país e prometeu, ao lado de seu colega do Afeganistão, unir esforços para combater o Taliban e a Al Qaeda.Os países vizinhos costumam trocar mais acusações do que trabalhar em conjunto contra a ameaça das guerrilhas islâmicas -- e Washington teme que a disputa tenha ajudado os militantes a esconderem-se na região montanhosa da fronteira.A formação de conselho, ou jirga, de quatro dias, de políticos afegãos e paquistaneses com líderes tribais, que termina neste domingo em Cabul, foi acertado em Washington, como maneira de forjar a cooperação entre os dois lados."A jirga de paz conjunta reconhece de maneira contundente o fato de que o terrorismo é uma ameaça comum a ambos os países e que a guerra ao terror deve continuar a ser parte integral das políticas nacionais e das estratégias de segurança de ambos os países", disse a declaração de cerca de 700 delegados."Não há outra opção para ambos os países além da paz e da união, da confiança e da cooperação", disse o presidente paquistanês, Pervez Musharraf, no encerramento da sessão da jirga. "Não há justificativa para o uso do terrorismo."Autoridades afegãs acusam o Paquistão de abrigar combatentes do Taliban e da Al Qaeda para enfraquecer o vizinho.O Paquistão nega, mas Musharraf reconheceu que militantes operam a partir de áreas tribais do Paquistão na fronteira com o Afeganistão, que estão em grande parte fora do controle do governo."Não há dúvida de que militantes afegãos têm apoio a partir de solo paquistanês. O problema que vocês têm em sua região é causado pelo apoio fornecido a partir do nosso lado", disse.Afeganistão e Paquistão concordaram em estabelecer um conselho permanente menor, de 25 membros de cada lado, para garantir que as decisões sejam colocadas em prática e organizar um segundo grande encontro, no lado paquistanês, no futuro.
AQIM Renews its Threats Against France08/10/2007 - By Pascale Combelles Siegel (from Terrorism Focus, August 7) - In July, newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Algiers to reaffirm France's "deep friendship" with the Maghreb and present his project of a "Mediterranean Union" designed to promote a strong and durable relationship between the Maghreb and Europe. In the aftermath of Sarkozy's visit, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) strongly condemned the proposed treaty. Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, AQIM's leader, stated, "It [the treaty] would be a total crime added to the black list of crimes committed by France against this country [Algeria], and it will be another betrayal of the ruling regime in Algeria added to its account which is full of betrayal…that is what our ummah with all its different categories must refuse, confront and fight by all means." AQIM's condemnation of France's political overture was expected. The Islamist groups who fought the Algerian regime during the 1990s (first the FIS, then the GIA and finally the GSPC) have long denounced France for its historical role in Algeria and its support to the ruling party. Last month's condemnation, however, is the first of a French policy initiative since the GSPC became the latest al-Qaeda franchise. As such, it should be carefully scrutinized.The language and tone of AQIM's communique reveals a mixture of anti-colonialist nationalistic sentiment and of Salafi-Jihadi zeal that reflects the ideological duality of the group since it was officially accepted by Ayman al-Zawahiri as an al-Qaeda franchise (LExpress.fr, April 18; Le Figaro, September 14, 2006). On the one hand, Wadud uses anti-colonial rhetoric to criticize France's supposed domination of Algeria. Such diatribe against France's "exploitation and crimes" has always been the hallmark of the GIA and the GSPC. In this vein, Wadud first asserts that France's history in Algeria is "replete with crimes and injustices, domination and tyranny, genocide and murder, exile and eviction," focusing on France's colonization of Algeria from 1830 to 1962. In short, nothing in the history of French Algeria would warrant any kind of friendship treaty today. On the other hand, Wadud resorts to al-Qaeda-inspired ideology accusing France of participating in a "Christian crusade" to dominate the Muslim world. Wadud charges that France's colonial policies were designed "to strip the Muslims of their identity and religious values." Furthermore, he adds, this "crusader inclination" continues today as France participates "with America in occupying Afghanistan and [in] conspiring against Lebanon and other Muslim countries." It is worth noting that Wadud repeats only two of al-Zawahiri's three justifications to entice attacks against France. For al-Zawahiri, France is guilty of three "crimes": assisting the United States in Afghanistan; supporting UN Resolution 1701 on Lebanon; and eroding the rights of true Muslims by promoting secularism.In conclusion, Wadud argues that France's role (past and present) both as a "cruel" colonial power and a "crusader" precludes any friendship treaty with Algeria. The artful communique reads: "So how can France or any of its followers in Algeria be able to jump on this terrible legacy and ignore this painful past and call for friendship between the oppressor and the oppressed, the offender and the victim, before the administration of justice, the deterring of injustice and the fulfillment of rights?" On these grounds, all Muslims must "refuse, confront and fight [the proposed treaty] by all means." Although the threat is vague, it should be taken seriously as AQIM might benefit from mounting opportunities to strike French interests in France and/or abroad.First, both al-Qaeda and AQIM have placed France on their "hit list." Last September, al-Zawahiri called on the GSPC to strike France. In his speech accepting the pledge of allegiance from the GSPC, al-Zawahiri said: "This sacred union [between al-Qaeda and the GSPC] will spread fear in the hearts of the traitors and unbelievers of France" (Le Figaro, September 14, 2006). When Wadud announced the re-branding of the GSPC as AQIM, he also stated that France was the group's principal enemy. This statement of intent represented a departure from the group's predecessors. Both the GIA and the GSPC had threatened France in the 1990s and early 2000s. The GIA even hijacked an Air France plane in December 1994 to intimidate the French government into relinquishing its support to the government of Algiers. Both the GIA and the GSPC, however, made it their goal to unseat the ruling regime in Algiers and replace it with an Islamic government. For them, striking France was a way to weaken the government in Algiers. AQIM has apparently chosen to strike the far enemy, at least for the time being.Second, French authorities have reported that GSPC support networks have strengthened during the past few years in France and Europe. In particular, they note that the GSPC has substantially reinforced its presence in Germany and Italy since 2003. As of 2007, French counter-terrorism authorities consider that several dozen networks, most of them close to the GSPC, are active in France. They also note that several of these cells have been implicated in recruiting volunteers for the Iraq jihad (Le Figaro, September 14, 2006). In addition, Spanish media recently reported that AQIM supporters are collecting funds and recruiting volunteers for training in North Africa (Aujourd'hui le Maroc, April 18).Third, French authorities worry that those networks might gain a boost from two sources. In accordance with its national reconciliation plan, the Algerian government has begun to release thousands of Islamists and terrorists captured during the civil war of the 1990s. The GSPC's amir has called on them to join his movement. French authorities fear that some of these individuals who join AQIM after their release from prison may decide to leave Algeria and mount terrorist operations in France. The challenge will be to intercept them before they can accomplish their misdeeds. This might be all the more challenging since some of the Islamic militants imprisoned in France in the 1990s for their support and/or participation in the terrorist attacks of 1995-1996 and the failed plots of 1998 have or are about to be released. Once out of jail, they might reconstitute their own networks or join newer ones. Their past expertise and contacts will represent a capital that AQIM can tap into.In conclusion, the globalization of the Algerian struggle through the merger between the GSPC and al-Qaeda represents an increased threat for France in particular and Europe in general. AQIM has set up the means and the motive: funding streams established throughout Europe; increased availability of (experienced) foot soldiers; and a renovated ideological framework able to inspire a new generation of fighters. The only element missing in the puzzle is opportunity.Pascale Combelles Siegel is a France-based independent defense consultant specializing in perception management. She is currently working on how to counter Islamist terrorist propaganda.
O Presidente do Paquistão, Pervez Musharraf, pediu hoje aos seus concidadãos que se «ergam» e combatam os «terroristas» islamitas paquistaneses, mas também os talibãs afegãos e os aliados da Al-Qaida refugiados nas zonas tribais do noroeste. «Está na hora de toda a nação se erguer para os enfrentar», disse Musharraf, num discurso proferido por ocasião da celebração do 60º aniversário da independência do Paquistão, com a separação do ex-Império britânico das Índias, data marcada por intensos festejos. Os Estados Unidos afirmaram recentemente que os talibãs afegãos e a Al Qaeda se reconstituíram, com o apoio de fundamentalistas paquistaneses, nas zonas tribais do noroeste do Paquistão, fronteiriças com o Afeganistão, e ameaçaram, com meias-palavras, aí lançar ataques aéreos se Islamabad nada fizer para os eliminar. «Não é pelos Estados Unidos que combatemos o terrorismo, fazemo-lo por nós próprios», insistiu Musharraf, no poder desde 1999, na sequência de um golpe de Estado militar pacífico. «Encaro esta questão de um ponto de vista unicamente paquistanês, mas se ela convém aos Estados Unidos, então, tanto melhor», afirmou. As acusações norte-americanas de falta de acção do Paquistão desencadearam uma onda de protestos de dirigentes em Islamabad, que é, contudo, um país aliado dos Estados Unidos. O Paquistão celebra hoje o 60.º aniversário da independência, data marcada por massivos festejos e orações. O dia amanheceu com orações especiais nas mesquitas pedindo solidariedade, progresso e prosperidade para o país. Nas principais cidades houve salvas de tiros para comemorar o 14 de Agosto de 1947. A data marcou a partilha definitiva do sub continente indiano, segundo o modelo de duas religiões e dois Estados defendido pelo «pai da pátria» Mohammed Ali Jinnah. A separação causou a consternação de líderes como Mahatma Gandhi. Nos primeiros dias após a declaração de independência, houve migrações maciças de muçulmanos para o novo Paquistão, e de hindus que preferiam permanecer em território indiano. Ao mesmo tempo, massacres provocaram cerca de um milhão de mortos. Hoje, os edifícios governamentais paquistaneses vestiram-se de gala, com luzes coloridas. O país será homenageado com exposições de artesanato e de fotografia, sendo o movimento da independência o tema principal. Segundo o canal de televisão Geo TV, vários partidos políticos convocaram manifestações públicas para celebrar o dia. O Governo e organizações culturais planeiam numerosas actividades. Apesar do ambiente festivo, o Paquistão vive numa tumultuosa situação política, no período que antecede eleições legislativas e a renovação do mandato de Musharraf. Musharraf enfrenta crescente oposição por parte dos sectores que pedem mais democracia, além de uma onda de violência sísmica que deixou centenas de mortos na zona tribal do oeste do país. Diário Digital / Lusa
«Não é pelos Estados Unidos que combatemos o terrorismo, fazemo-lo por nós próprios«, insistiu Musharraf, no poder desde 1999, na sequência de um golpe de Estado militar pacífico.
José Padilla, um dos símbolos da administração norte-americana no combate ao terrorismo global, foi hoje considerado culpado por um tribunal federal de ter aderido à Al-Qaida para preparar atentados. Padilla respondeu após três anos e meio de detenção enquanto combatente inimigo e os dois co-arguidos no processo, Kifah Wael Jayyusi, 45 anos, e Adham Amin Hassun, 44 anos, foram acusados de associação criminosa para perpetrar assassínios fora de território norte-americano, com apoio de uma organização terrorista.A justiça norte-americana acusara anteriormente Padilla de conspirar com a Al-Qaeda para deflagrar uma "bomba suja" nos Estados Unidos mas estas alegações não constaram do presente processo.Os três arguidos, a serem condenados por conspiração para matar, sequestrar e mutilar pessoas fora de território norte-americano enfrentam prisão perpétua.Duas acusações adicionais de apoio terrorista podem conduzir a penas de mais 15 anos de cadeia para cada um.Padilla, de 36 anos, antigo membro de uma quadrilha hispânica de Chicago (Illinois), converteu-se ao islamismo na penitenciária. Posteriormente, na Florida, conheceu Jayyusi e Hassun, que o ajudaram-no a partir para o Egipto e, depois, para o Afeganistão. De regresso aos Estados Unidos, foi capturado em Maio de 2002.A leitura das sentenças será feita numa audiência posterior mas os jurados só deverão precisar de um dia para deliberar, porque as audiências do presente processo se arrastaram três meses.Agência Lusa
A situação pode mesmo colocar em causa toda a estratégia de combate à Al-Qaeda e à ressurgida ameaça talibã no Afeganistão. Pervez Musharraf, no poder há oito anos na sequência de um golpe militar, desafiou em 2001 uma forte oposição interna para apostar no apoio aos EUA na campanha contra a Al-Qaeda e os talibã. A aposta implicava um delicado jogo de equilíbrio. De um lado, a pressão de Washington para controlar os territórios tribais autónomos ao longo da fronteira afegã, onde os talibã e elementos da Al-Qaeda encontraram refúgio depois da ocupação do país pelas forças americanas em Novembro de 2001. Do outro lado, o imperativo de evitar a todo o custo um confronto com os sectores islamistas e o risco de uma ruptura nos equilíbrios do poder em Islamabad. Investido num papel estratégico crucial, silenciada a oposição interna e controladas as instituições do país, o general tornava-se incontornável. Esperaria assim renovar sem grandes resistências a emenda constitucional que lhe permitiu, em 2003, acumular a presidência com a chefia das forças armadas. Diversos factores viriam, porém, perturbar esse equilíbrio. Quando, em Março último, Musharraf destituiu o presidente do Supremo Tribunal, Iftikhar Chaudry, pouco afeito a acatar os planos do general, desencadeou uma verdadeira rebelião no país. Quatro meses depois, o Supremo reintegrava o juiz, numa afronta aberta ao general. Nas zonas tribais, as coisas complicavam-se também. Os líderes do Waziristão do Norte, onde se crê estarem situados os principais santuários talibã, denunciaram o pacto de não agressão acordado com Islamabad, e o sangrento assalto do exército paquistanês à Mesquita Vermelha, ocupada por radicais pró-talibã no início de Junho, desencadeou uma vaga de atentados bombistas e emboscadas contra as forças de segurança, que fez já mais de 250 mortos. Ao mesmo tempo, e face ao recrudescer da ameaça talibã nos últimos dois anos, Cabul e Washington apontam o dedo a Musharraf acusando o Exército paquistanês de não fazer o bastante para desalojar os talibã e a Al-Qaeda dos santuários em que reconstituíram as suas estruturas nas zonas tribais, e a partir dos quais se lançaram de novo ao assalto do Afeganistão.Uma questão tanto mais delicada quanto o Exército, e em particular os poderosos serviços secretos militares (ISI) fizeram, desde os tempos da resistência à ocupação soviética, do apoio aos talibã e a outros grupos islâmicos uma aposta estratégica do Paquistão. Face à violência islâmica que acossava o país, proclamou guerra aberta aos radicais e reforçou a presença do Exército nas zonas tribais, continuando embora a apelar a um acordo. No final de Julho, avistou-se em Abu Dhabi com a antiga primeira-ministra Benazir Bhutto, no exílio há nove anos, para tentar (sem êxito) negociar um eventual acomodamento político. Dias depois, Pervez Musharraf cancelava subitamente a sua participação na jirga (conselho) conjunta de líderes tribais do Paquistão e Afeganistão em Cabul, e nos círculos da presidência invocava-se abertamente a hipótese da proclamação do estado de emergência no país.Em boa medida, estes desenvolvimentos assinalavam a entrada em força de um novo protagonista na trama política paquistanesa. Tudo indica que terá sido um telefonema da secretária de Estado Condoleezza Rice, na noite de 8 para 9 de Novembro, que levou Musharraf a desistir da declaração do estado de emergência. No dia seguinte George W. Bush interpelava directamente o general, instando-o a convocar eleições e a reforçar a luta contra o terrorismo.Em Washington evocava-se já abertamente a hipótese de uma intervenção militar directa para bombardear os santuários dos talibã e da Al-Qaeda nas zonas tribais do Paquistão.Musharraf e a Administração norte-americana estão de algum modo reféns um do outro nesta partida.O apoio de Washington constitui afinal um dos últimos argumentos políticos do general paquistanês.Os Estados Unidos não podem passar sem tão crucial aliado na região, e o cenário defendido pela Casa Branca passaria então por uma espécie de partilha do poder capaz de legitimar o regime de Islamabad.O general reeleito para a presidência por um Parlamento renovado, garantindo a fidelidade do Exército na luta contra os talibã e a Al-Qaeda, e um governo chefiado por Benazir Bhutto. Semelhante cenário depara ainda com obstáculos e incógnitas várias, entre eles a posição do Exército e atitude de outros líderes da oposição.Ao mesmo tempo, a pressão cada vez mais aberta dos Estados Unidos está a mobilizar uma forte resistência em vastos sectores da opinião pública, que a denunciam como uma ingerência intolerável nos assuntos do país.
O ex-líder da CIA, George Tenet, falhou na declaração de guerra contra al Qaeda em 1998 e os fundos destinados à luta contra o terrorismo foram utilizados para outros fins antes do 11 de Setembro, divulgou um relatório.Um relatório da CIA de 2005, recentemente desclassificado, assinalava que as autoridades da agência «não responderam às responsabilidades de uma maneira satisfatória» e considerou que a procura de terroristas que tentavam entrar nos Estados Unidos como uma «quebra sistemática».«É um caso flagrante de apontar o dedo aos executivos da CIA», afirmou Barbara Elias, do Arquivo Nacional de Segurança, que compila e publica documentos desclassificados. O relatório recomendava uma acção disciplinadora de Tenet e de outros oficiais, proposta rejeitada por Hayden, que considerou que o caso «nunca foi uma questão de má conduta».Ainda que os oficiais se tivessem esforçado, era impossível prevenir os ataques do 11 de Setembro. Contudo, Hayden sublinha que «[os oficiais] preveniram outros actos de terrorismo e salvaram vidas inocentes, no nosso país e através dos mares». Tenet, que foi galardoado a Medalha Presidencial da Liberdade, maior honra norte-americana, considerou que o relatório está «totalmente errado».O relatório afirma que Tenet assinalou uma declaração, em 1998, garantindo que o país «estava em guerra» e que «nada nem ninguém» seria poupado para parar a al Qaeda e o seu líder, o mítico Bin Laden.A declaração foi assinada quatro meses depois dos atentados bombistas às embaixadas americanas na Tanzânia e no Quénia, reivindicadas pela al-Qaeda. Contudo, a CIA prendeu-se a tácticas e não chegou a desenvolver uma estratégia concreta.O relatório responsabiliza Tenet «pelo facto de não ter criado um plano estratégico» Tenet persuadiu o Congresso a aumentar o financiamento para a luta contra o terrorismo, mas o dinheiro foi mal utilizado.A ausência de cooperação com o FBI condenou os planos ao fracasso, ainda que dois dos terroristas responsáveis pelos ataques figurassem na lista dos mais procurados em Agosto de 2001.Tenet demitiu-se do cargo em 2004, após sete anos de serviço. «Antes do 11 de Setembro, nenhuma agência foi mais activa na luta contra a al Qaeda do que a CIA», afirmou, em jeito de desculpa. SOL
Extremist Reeducation and Rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia08/16/2007 - By Christopher Boucek (from Terrorism Monitor, August 16) - For the past three years, the Saudi government has been quietly engaged in an ambitious strategy to combat violent Islamist extremist sympathies through an innovative prisoner reeducation and rehabilitation program. Following the May 2003 Riyadh compound bombings, the regime adopted a series of security measures to fight Islamist terrorism. In addition to the aggressive counter-terrorism steps taken by the government, Saudi officials have also sought to combat the support of extremist ideology in the kingdom through a series of lesser-known "soft" counter-terrorism measures aimed at combating the appeal of extremist takfiri beliefs. These measures have included a sophisticated hearts and minds campaign consisting of a combination of state-sponsored education programs, coordinated public relations and media efforts and the deployment of the government's considerable religious resources. It is from this background that the reeducation program has emerged. While only three years old, the program was initially kept a secret in order to encourage its success away from media attention (al-Hayat, June 20, 2005). Thus far, it has generated some noteworthy results, and it is now discussed openly and frequently in the Saudi media. The program's structure, process and relative successes, however, are all but unknown in the United States.The counseling program to reeducate and rehabilitate terrorist sympathizers is part of a self-described "war of ideas" against extremism in the kingdom. This quiet struggle has been ongoing for some time, and the program represents a very unique Saudi solution to a Saudi problem. It incorporates many traditional Saudi methods of conflict resolution and conflict management. The fact that the program was started in secret, and not in response to outside pressures, is telling; its origins arose out of recognition in the kingdom that something had to be done to address extremist sympathies and is a tacit acknowledgment of the threat that the "war of ideas" posed.The centerpiece of the Saudi strategy is dubbed the "counseling program," which is intended to assist those individuals that have espoused takfiri beliefs "repent and abandon terrorist ideologies" (al-Ikhbariyah, April 27). The program seeks to de-radicalize extremist sympathizers by engaging them in intensive religious debates and psychological counseling. It is important to stress that participants in the counseling program are only terrorist sympathizers, and at the most individuals caught with jihadi propaganda. They are not individuals that have been active in terrorist violence in the kingdom; people "with blood on their hands" are barred from participating.Structure of the Advisory CommitteeThe reeducation program is organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior . Within the ministry, the counseling program is administered by a group called the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee is headquartered in Riyadh and has permanent representatives located in seven major cities throughout the kingdom. Members also travel to visit prisons across the country and meet with detainees throughout the kingdom.The Advisory Committee is made up of four subcommittees: the Religious Subcommittee; the Psychological and Social Subcommittee; the Security Subcommittee; and the Media Subcommittee. The Religious Subcommittee is the largest of the four sub-groupings. It is made up of approximately 100 clerics, scholars and university professors, and it is the group that directly engages in the prisoner dialogues and the reeducation process. The Psychological and Social Subcommittee is comprised of around 30 psychologists, social scientists and researchers. They are tasked with evaluating a prisoner's social status, diagnosing any psychological problems, assessing the prisoner's status and compliance during the process and determining what support the prisoner and his family may need. The Security Subcommittee performs several functions: they evaluate prisoners for security risks; make release recommendations; advise prisoners on how to behave upon release; and monitor prisoners and who they associate with once they leave prison. The Media Subcommittee produces materials used in the program and also makes other educational materials for use in schools and mosques. The Media Subcommittee is focused on outreach and education, and targeting young Saudi men.The Counseling ProcessWhen members of the Advisory Committee initially sit with a prisoner, one of the first things that they stress is that they are not employees of the Ministry of Interior or associated with the security forces . Rather, they explain that they are independent and righteous scholars. Before the government adopted this technique, it was not uncommon for families to ask clerics and scholars to visit their family members in jail and talk with them about their behavior.In their first meeting, committee members will simply listen to the prisoner. They ask them about what they did, why they did it and the circumstances that brought them to be in prison. Throughout the process, the scholars engage prisoners in discussions about their beliefs, and then attempt to persuade them that their religious justification for their actions is wrong and based upon a corrupted understanding of Islam. The committee first demonstrates that what the prisoners were tricked into believing was false, and then they teach them the proper state-approved interpretation of Islam.The Advisory Committee runs two programs. The first includes short sessions, which typically run about two hours. While some prisoners recant their beliefs after the first session, typically a prisoner goes through several of these meetings. The others are called "Long Study Sessions." These are six-week courses for up to 20 students led by two clerics and a social scientist. Ten subjects are covered over the six weeks, including instruction in such topics as takfir, walaah (loyalty) and bayat (allegiance), terrorism, jihad and psychological courses on self-esteem. At the end of the course, an exam is given; those who pass the exam move to the next stage of the process, while those who do not pass repeat the course.Why Does it Work?The Counseling Program is based upon a presumption of benevolence, and not vengeance or retribution. It presumes that the suspects were abused, lied to and misled by extremists into straying away from "true Islam," and that the state wants to help security prisoners return to the correct path. The vast majority of prisoners who have participated in the program, according to research conducted by the Advisory Committee, have been found to not have had a religious education during their childhood . Most of the prisoners have been found by the committee to have an incomplete understanding of Islam, and the majority have been radicalized through extremist books, tapes, videos and, more recently, the internet. The Counseling Program, therefore, seeks to "correct" this misunderstanding by reinforcing the official state version of Islam.Moreover, the state is able to marshal its considerable religious authority to confer legitimacy on the process. The fact that a number of former militant figures have joined the Advisory Committee adds further legitimacy for some prisoners. The presence of such figures carries credibility with a number of participants in the program, as it was their da'wa (proselytization) that led many to initially radicalize.Another critical component of the Saudi Counseling Program is the attention given to a prisoner's social needs. The Psychological and Social Subcommittee evaluates each participant to determine how best the Advisory Committee can assist them and their family. For instance, once a breadwinner is incarcerated, the committee provides the family with an alternate salary. Other needs, including children's schooling and family healthcare, are also provided. This is intended to offset further radicalization brought on by the detention of family members. It is acknowledged by officials that when the government arrests someone, that memory lingers, and this social support is intended to offset that hardship somewhat. The government further recognizes that if they fail to do this, then it is possible that extremist elements will move in to provide this support.This support then continues upon release. Prisoners who have successfully completed the rehabilitation process and have satisfactorily renounced their previous beliefs are given assistance in locating jobs and other benefits, including additional government stipends, cars and apartments. Upon release, they are required to check in with authorities, and are encouraged to continue meeting with the scholars they were speaking with while in prison. Many, for instance, often continue to attend their study circles at mosque after being released. Furthermore, rehabilitated prisoners are encouraged to settle down, marry and have children, in part because it is understood that it is much more difficult for young men to get into trouble once they become obligated with family responsibilities.The successes of the program are compounded by the Advisory Committee's application of these social support programs to a prisoner's larger family network. The Ministry of Interior augments this support with the delivery of the message that a prisoner's larger family network is also responsible for his behavior upon his release. The use of Saudi social networks, familial obligations and extended responsibilities adds an additional dimension to the program.Success RateSince its inception in 2004, roughly 2,000 prisoners have participated in the counseling program, and 700 have renounced their former beliefs and been released. All of the released prisoners have been men, according to Dr. Muhammad al-Nujaymi of the Advisory Committee (al-Madinah, April 20). Approximately 1,000 prisoners remain incarcerated. According to published reports, about 1,400 prisoners have refused to participate in the program. Saudi authorities have acknowledged that some prisoners have sought to actively work against the program. These prisoners are individuals who know that they will not be able to get out and feel that they can do the most good for the cause by attempting to frustrate the authorities' attempts to turn prisoners. In many respects, their desire to work against the counseling program from the inside demonstrates to some extent the successes of the Advisory Committee.Thus far, the program has produced results, with Saudi authorities claiming an 80-90 percent success rate. Admittedly, it is difficult to measure the relative success of the counseling program, especially only several years into the program. However, according to Saudi authorities, only nine individuals have been re-arrested for security offenses since their release through the counseling program, equating to a recidivist rate of between one and two percent .CriticismSupport for the counseling program is far from universal in Saudi Arabia. Some within the establishment have expressed the opinion that several sudden executions would do more to demonstrate the state's resolve to fight extremist ideology than the counseling program .The Advisory Committee and the counseling program have also come under criticism in the press (al-Madinah, May 21-22). They have been accused of not producing results and of conducting its activities in secret (al-Watan, April 30; ar-Riyad, May 3). Since the late April announcement by Saudi authorities of a series of security arrests, the counseling program has been criticized for the way in which it operates, with commentators calling for more force to be used in the kingdom's counter-terrorism efforts (Terrorism Focus, May 1; Okaz, May . It has been argued that prisoners will say anything in order to be released from prison, and therefore the affirmations of militants to renounce their takfiri beliefs cannot be trusted (ar-Riyad, May . While the counseling program is far from perfect, the use of psychological assessments, social support and religious belief has helped to weed out disingenuous participants.In only several years, Saudi Arabia's counseling program has generated some very intriguing results. The problem posed by extremism is not one that can be addressed by hard security measures alone, and the counseling program demonstrates the benefits that can come through critical engagement in the "war of ideas." This understudied program—and other similar programs in Yemen, Egypt and Singapore—warrants greater attention in the West as the successes being generated hold applicable lessons for other countries struggling with extremism.Christopher Boucek is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Princeton University and recently returned from research in Saudi Arabia. This article is part of a larger ongoing research project on Saudi reeducation, rehabilitation and reintegration programs.Notes1. Data in the section is based on author interviews and research in Saudi Arabia, March 2007, including interviews with Dr. Abdulrahman al-Hadlaq, advisor to HRH assistant minister of interior for security affairs and Major General Mansour al-Turki, official security spokesman, Ministry of Interior, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 2007.2. Interviews with al-Hadlaq and al-Turki, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 2007.3. Author interview with Dr. Abdulrahman al-Hadlaq, Advisor to HRH the Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 2007.4. This data is based on author's interviews in Saudi Arabia, March 2007, and before the major arrests announced in late April (see Terrorism Focus, May 1). It was subsequently reported in the Saudi media that one of the cell leaders arrested in that sweep had been released through the counseling program, bringing the number of re-arrests to 10. Thanks to Greg Gause for providing this citation.5. Based on author interviews, Saudi Arabia, March 2007.
An Inside Look at France's Mosque Surveillance ProgramBy Pascale Combelles Siegel Paris Grand Mosque France's counter-terrorism strategy is to disrupt terrorist networks before they are able to engage in violent action. Thus far, the strategy has worked since the last terrorist attack on French territory dates back to 1996. In the past few years, despite increased threats emanating from al-Qaeda and the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (recently renamed Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), French intelligence services have successfully thwarted a number of plots and disrupted several cells recruiting French volunteers to fight in Iraq. Since radical mosques have played a critical role in the radicalization process of terrorists in the past, the Renseignements Généraux (RG), the French internal intelligence service, have been monitoring mosques, their clerics and their sermons since the mid-1990s. This article explores the current process of monitoring mosque sermons and assesses the program's strengths and weaknesses. Large Scale MonitoringThe section of the RG called Milieux Intégristes Violents (Violent Fundamentalist Environment) is in charge of monitoring all 1,700 mosques and Muslim places of worship throughout France. Through their monitoring, they have identified radical mosques in almost every corner of French territory, with the exception of four, predominantly rural, régions (Corse, Poitou-Charentes, Basse-Normandie and Limousin) . Every Friday, sermons are collected through unidentified means, and they are centralized and analyzed. The RG use their analysis to determine which imams are preaching a radical Salafi brand of Islam, or if they are assisting terrorist activities by helping recruitment or granting material support to an operational network.The RG use a set of pre-determined indicators to assess the degree of radicalism of a particular imam or preacher. The full list of indicators remains confidential, but it includes, among others, open calls for jihad, anti-Western rhetoric or anti-Semitism. When such indicators are noticed, the RG may increase their surveillance to assess whether the professed rhetoric masks a violent engagement and to identify those individuals who might be involved in terrorist networks and who use the mosque to meet and recruit like-minded fellows. The number of established Salafi mosques in France of concern to authorities is statistically low (Le Nouvel Observateur, February 2, 2006). In 2006, then-director of the RG, Pascal Mailhos, estimated that 80 out of the 1,685 mosques and places of worship in France were of concern to his services (4.7% of the total number). Mailhos further indicated that 40 of those 80 mosques were "under constant pressure" from radical Islamist networks (2.3% of the total). He also noted that half of those were resisting radicals' pressures, but that half had fallen into the hands of radical imams (1.1% of the total number) (Spyworld, November 24, 2005). It is also worth noting that religious practice is low among French Muslims. According to El Watan, only 10% of an estimated five million French Muslims attend a mosque regularly (El Watan, December 27, 2004). However, because any one of these mosques could breed or protect a terrorist network, French intelligence services consider each and every one of these radical mosques a potential threat. Repressive Arsenal Designed to Elicit ModerationMonitoring mosques to prevent radical imams from preaching radical Islam works because intelligence and judicial processes are intimately linked in France. In the mid-1990s, the French parliament passed a law authorizing the administrative expulsion of foreign imams who preach a radical and violent brand of Islam. When the RG identify a radical imam, they inform the local brigade criminelle (criminal police). According to the standard procedure, the brigade criminelle summons the offending preacher and threatens to expel him unless he moderates his preaching . The relationship between the RG and the local brigade criminelle is generally good and efficient. During the past 10 years, both services have learned to work together and since 2005 their cooperation has been institutionalized into regional cells. Both services exchange information on a daily basis and handle each other's requests quickly. This arsenal gives imams and preachers incentives to moderate their discourse. If they want the local city council's assistance to fund their activities, they need to cooperate with the RG and the police. As a police officer remarked, often the imam is summoned by authorities and reminded of the law. "That's enough" to convince him to moderate his discourse. This mechanism is useful because a large proportion of imams operating in France are of foreign origin. They can therefore easily be expelled to their country of origin. Unresolved Problems Despite increased surveillance and a repressive legislative arsenal adequate to suppress immediate threats, religious extremism continues to progress. First, in poor suburban areas, young Muslim males in a precarious social situation can fall prey to a new brand of radical imams who can arouse their anger and stir them into violent and nihilistic actions. According to Eric Denécée, senior researcher at the Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement, these imams are often foreigners and reside in France illegally; they are not integrated into the social fabric; they reject the French social contract; and they are not fluent in French . These imams preach their own brand of radical Islam based on the "systematic rejection of French secularism, anti-French racism and obsessive anti-Semitism" . Second, the RG monitors the mosques and places of worship of which it knows. Although "L'Islam des caves" which prevailed in the 1980s is largely a thing of the past, not all preachers operate in well-established and recognized mosques . In particular, in difficult suburbs there are still preachers who operate in semi-hidden places of worship to dispense their teachings below the radar of the state surveillance system. Little is known of what is said in these mosques. Another difficulty in the surveillance system is to monitor what is said after the official sermons have ended. Supporting terrorism is not an open activity, even in radical Salafi mosques. These hidden activities involve a small group of attendees who might get to know each other at the mosque, but may plot their activities afterwards with or without the knowledge of the local preacher. Monitoring these activities requires infiltrating the actual network operating around the mosque. Third, the pressure placed by the state surveillance system and the constant repression of radical clerics who preach intolerance and entice violence do not necessarily guarantee that moderation ultimately prevails upon radicalism. Assessing the respective influence of the mainstream Muslim community and of the more radical clerics over the main Muslim community is difficult. Established clerics who seek to represent the Muslim community have a vested interest in moderating themselves in order to gain the support of local communities and their elected representatives. Moreover, law enforcement authorities have at their disposal sufficient repressive mechanisms (notably the threat to expel trouble-makers) to stir imams into moderation. Nevertheless, a large number of mosques in France are not affiliated with any of the representative organizations of French Muslims. The "Grande mosque de Paris" (Paris Grand Mosque) controls 14% of the French mosques. L'Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (French Union of Islamic Organizations), which is loosely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, controls 13.5%. The Fédération Nationale des Lieux du Culte Musulman (National Federation of Muslim Places of Worship) controls seven percent (El Watan, December 27, 2004). This state of affairs leads some researchers to the conclusion that community leaders only exert "partial control" over their followers. According to Eric Denécée, the radical clerics "are those who influence the Muslim community, not the Muslim institutions or the Mosquée de Paris who only have partial control of their followers" . Finally, French authorities appear to reluctantly use the procedure of expulsion. According to the testimony of the Préfet de Police de Paris, Pierre Mutz, before the French parliament, the authorities expelled 11 imams in 2005 out of 30 mosques classified by the RG as "radical." Although the law enabled the authorities to expel all 30 clerics, the government chose to expel only half of the culprits. It appears that the French authorities are using this legislative disposition as much as a carrot to stir the clerics toward moderation than as a stick when they have strayed. A Larger Definitional ProblemApologists of the French counter-terrorism strategy will point to the role played by previous Salafi clerics in the radicalization process of past terrorists to justify the extensive surveillance of mosques throughout the country. Three problems, however, remain. Mosques do not constitute the only channel of religious radicalization in France. Radical discourses are now conveyed through satellite televisions, which are increasingly available to French Muslims. The internet, with numerous jihadi-friendly websites available in both Arabic and French, allows the dissemination of a radical Salafi discourse that preaches hatred of the West, rabid anti-Semitism and anti-French racism. Finally, libraries and publishing companies specializing in Islamic studies also participate in the dissemination of radical Salafi material. On these three fronts, French law enforcement authorities are ill-equipped to monitor and curb the expansion of radical Salafi ideology disseminated via these channels. Actions against satellite channels or websites located outside of France are difficult or impossible. The French government forbade French satellite companies from offering Hezbollah's television channel al-Manar, but cannot stop Arabsat from carrying the same channel. Similarly, the Préfet de Police of Paris testified before parliament that current jurisprudence does not allow his services to take action against libraries selling forbidden books. The monitoring of mosques is designed to identify individuals who may become terrorists and engage in violent actions against French state interests or against the French population. It is conceived as a preventive measure designed to either identify and neutralize individuals who might become terrorists, or to suppress the ideology susceptible to motivate those individuals to pursue violent action. Although such monitoring may be necessary as a means to prevent terrorist actions, it is not currently leveraged to support a widespread effort to counter the radical violent Salafi brand of Islam. Suppression and repression has been a successful strategy for the past 10 years, keeping France free of terrorist attacks amid mounting threats. Nevertheless, it is not a strategy against a violent ideology that uses whatever channel is available to make itself available to those pre-disposed to find it. The constant monitoring of radical preachers should be used to inform a solid, coherent, well-argued alternative discourse to a violent, intolerant brand of Salafi ideology. Systematic monitoring of mosques in France has served the country well so far, helping disrupt several terrorist plots and actions in France and outside. However, as currently structured, the current system under-utilizes the wealth of information collected and does not participate in a larger counter-propaganda effort against the violent radical interpretation of Islam. Notes1. A "région" is an administrative district in France. There are 22 régions in France. 2. "Lutte contre le terrorisme: L'engagement de la PP," Liaisons, nº87, December 2005-January/February 2006.3. The mastering of French by foreign imams operating in France seems to be a widespread problem. According to the Renseignements Généraux (RG), out of a poll of 1,000 imams, 360 were fluent in French, 315 were moderately proficient in French and 350 had no proficiency in French. For the RG, this is a "major source of concern for the future."4. Eric Denécée, Le développement de l'Islam fondamentaliste en France: aspects sécuritaires, économiques et sociaux, Paris, Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement, rapport de recherche nº1, September 2005.5. The term "Islam des caves," which can loosely be translated as "Basement Islam," refers to the widespread practice of preachers holding sermons in the basements of high-rise buildings in predominantly Muslim suburbs during the 1980s.6. Eric Denécée, Le développement de l'Islam fondamentaliste en France: aspects sécuritaires, économiques et sociaux, Paris, Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement, rapport de recherche nº1, September 2005.
Os serviços secretos dinamarqueses detiveram oito radicais islâmicos com alegadas ligações à Al Qaeda por suspeita de planearem um atentado terrorista, anunciou hoje o director daqueles serviços, Jakob Scharf. Os suspeitos, com idades entre os 19 e os 21 anos, estavam na posse de materiais que permitem fabricar uma bomba, pelo que as autoridades suspeitam que preparavam um ataque.«Com estas detenções evitámos um atentado», disse Scharf em conferência de imprensa, sem referir que tipo de ataque ou contra que alvo.Os oito detidos têm origem estrangeira mas seis deles têm nacionalidade dinamarquesa e os outros dois autorizações de residência válidas, disse o mesmo responsável, acrescentando que todos estiveram sob vigilância durante um longo período e foram detidos assim que as autoridades conseguiram reunir provas suficientes.«Os detidos são militantes de um islamismo radical com ligações a uma destacada figura da Al Qaeda. Segundo a nossa avaliação, há uma ligação directa com a Al Qaeda», disse Scharf, sem indicar qualquer nome.Diário Digital / Lusa
O comissário europeu para a Justiça e Assuntos Internos, Franco Frattini, disse hoje, em Estrasburgo, que a ameaça de ataques terroristas na União Europeia continua elevada, sendo necessário adoptar mais medidas de prevenção. «Todas as fontes indicam que a ameaça de novos ataques terroristas continua a ser elevada», disse Frattini, num debate sobre terrorismo na sessão plenária do Parlamento Europeu.O comissário elogiou o trabalho das forças policiais que têm desenvolvido acções antiterroristas eficazes em Espanha, Itália, Bélgica, Reino Unido, Dinamarca e Alemanha.Em relação às políticas europeias de combate ao terrorismo, Frattini sublinhou que Bruxelas está a ultimar novas propostas legislativas relativas à Internet, ao uso de explosivos e à análise de dados de passageiros aéreos.Este último aspecto tem levantado controvérsia devido à protecção de dados, mas o comissário considerou que «os cidadãos europeus merecem a mesma protecção que os norte-americanos».A criação de uma base de dados da UE sobre explosivos que ficará sob a alçada da Europol, aliada a um sistema de alerta no caso de furto ou desaparecimento, é outra das medidas em preparação.Em relação à Internet, Frattini lembrou que a rede é usada para organizar atentados, difundir propaganda terrorista e recrutamento.A Comissão Europeia quer «garantir que estas práticas sejam puníveis» nos 27 Estados-membros.Diário Digital / Lusa
A detenção na Alemanha de quatro homens que alegadamente preparavam atentados terroristas contra interesses norte-americanos são mais um sinal da ameaça persistente que continua a justificar a luta antiterrorista, afirmou hoje um porta-voz da presidência dos Estados Unidos. «Recorda-nos, mais uma vez, que os terroristas continuam a existir, determinados a fazer mal a pessoas inocentes», disse o porta-voz Tony Fratto.«E recorda-nos, mais uma vez, da necessidade de estarmos atentos nos nossos esforços para detectar os terroristas, para os privar de recursos e de refúgios e para impedir novos ataques», acrescentou.O porta-voz disse ainda que o presidente George W. Bush, na Austrália para a cimeira da APEC, foi informado das notícias provenientes da Alemanha e vai continuar a acompanhar o caso.As autoridades alemãs anunciaram hoje a detenção de três suspeitos de terrorismo que preparavam atentados «iminentes» contra o aeroporto internacional de Frankfurt e a base norte-americana de Ramstein, anunciou hoje a procuradora federal Monika Harms.Os suspeitos, dois alemães e um turco, foram detidos terça-feira à tarde numa casa em Oberschledorn, no estado da Renânia do Norte Vestefália, na posse de 700 quilos de peróxido de hidrogénio, quantidade suficiente para fabricar bombas mais potentes que as usadas nos atentados de Londres ou de Madrid.Os três homens, que a polícia afirma terem recebido treino num campo no Paquistão em 2006, eram vigiados pelas autoridades desde Dezembro passado, depois de terem chamado a atenção da polícia ao vigiarem a enorme base aérea norte-americana de Ramstein.Diário Digital / Lusa
A detenção de terroristas islâmicos terça-feira na Alemanha e Dinamarca remete para o Waziristão, zona tribal na fronteira afegano-paquistanesa, que é um dos centros de gravidade do fenómeno, anunciou hoje fonte judicial alemã. A procuradora federal Monika Harms declarou que os alemães de 22 e 23 anos, bem como o turco de 29 detidos pertencem a uma célula da União da Jihad Islâmica, criada no Uzbequistão e treinada no Paquistão.A União da Jihad Islâmica cindiu-se do Movimento Islâmico do Uzbequistão (MIU), de Juma Namangani, assumidamente da Al Qaeda.Na Dinamarca, um dos oito detidos, suspeito de pertencer à Al Qaeda, é um taxista de origem paquistanesa e outro afegão.Para a magistrada, os vastos territórios montanhosos do Waziristão podem ser considerados centros de gravidade para a doutrinação e treino de voluntários islamitas que, depois, partem para o Ocidente.O antigo coronel de Marinha norte-americano Nick Pratt, actual director do programa anti-terrorismo do Centro Marshall para Estudos de Segurança, sedeado em Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Alemanha, achou «pouco surpreendente» o vínculo dos detidos ao Waziristão, onde existem campos de treino da Al Qaeda.«Não é difícil ir ao Paquistão sem o conhecimento das autoridades europeias», lamentou.Um relatório da Direcção Nacional dos Serviços de Informações norte-americanos, divulgado a meados de Julho, salientava que a Al Qaeda mantém a sua direcção, lugares tenentes e campos de treino nas zonas tribais afegano-paquistanesas, conservando a capacidade para atacar interesses ocidentais.O perito alemão Guido Steinberg, antigo conselheiro da chancelaria para questões de terrorismo, foi mais longe ao afirmar que se pode falar de uma «paquistanização do núcleo duro da Al Qaeda».«É uma das principais características do desenvolvimento da rede terrorista desde 2006», acentuou.O francês Dominique Thomas, especialista no islamismo radical e autor de livros sobre a matéria, explicou que, agora, a estrutura das células terroristas é «muito leve e tão discreta que se tornam extremamente difíceis de detectar».«Os campos de treino já não se parecem às grandes bases a céu aberto que existiam no Afeganistão até aos atentados de 11 de Setembro de 2001, são pequenas, móveis e desmultiplicadas numa constelação envolvendo relações de parentesco e domínios territoriais», explicou.Thomas concluiu salientando que qualquer estrutura que não tenha estas características é detectável por satélite.Diário Digital / Lusa