Archive for the ‘terrorism. Latin America’ Category

Is ISIS at the border? UPDATED

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Who to believe?

U.S. Pushes Back Against Warnings That ISIS Plans to Enter From Mexico

Militants for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have traveled to Mexico and are just miles from the United States. They plan to cross over the porous border and will “imminently” launch car bomb attacks. And the threat is so real that federal law enforcement officers have been placed at a heightened state of alert, and an American military base near the border has increased its security.

As the Obama administration and the American public have focused their attention on ISIS in recent weeks, conservative groups and leading Republicans have issued stark warnings like those that ISIS and other extremists from Syria are planning to enter the country illegally from Mexico. But the Homeland Security Department, the F.B.I. and lawmakers who represent areas near the border say there is no truth to the warnings.

So the question remains,
Who to believe? This, or the Obama administration?

UPDATE:
Frances Martel:

One country the Islamic State has made significant efforts to infiltrate, however, is Canada. Canadian jihadists are a significant contingent of the Islamic State Western population, and the group has targeted the nation in its propaganda videos. In one particularly egregious attempt to recruit Canadian jihadists, the Islamic State released atribute video to dead jihadist André Poulin, a Canadian, using footage of the man explaining why he left Canada to fight for the Islamic State. Poulin describes his early days watching hockey and fishing and concludes that jihad is much more fulfilling than Canadian life.

Moderate Muslims in the country have also raised the alarm that their congregations are being infiltrated by terrorist groups. Pacifist Canadian leader Syed Soharwardy, founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC), received death threats from extremists for calling attention to their recruitment. “Absolutely I am convinced that this recruitment is going on right here in this country, under our noses, in our universities, in our colleges, in the places of worship, in our community,” he told Canadian public television. Canadian citizens are so at risk for being radicalized by Islamist terrorist elements that the mother of one slain Islamic State jihadist has founded a support group for Western families struggling to cope with the loss of their child to jihad, and for those who fear their children are being radicalized and hope to prevent them from leaving to Iraq and Syria.

UPDATE
Linked to by Outrageous Minds. Thank you!


Chile seeks foreign help in subway bombing case

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Chile seeks foreign help in subway bombing case

Prosecutor Raul Guzman didn’t say which countries had been contacted, but said “international agencies” had been asked for help in the investigation into the blast, which was the latest in a wave of 29 small bombings or attempted bombings in Santiago this year.

While no one has claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack in Santiago’s posh Las Condes neighborhood, police say they are looking at anarchist groups, which have claimed some of the past attacks.

President Michelle Bachelet boosted security at subway stations and elsewhere and has said she will use the country’s tough, dictatorship-era terrorism laws in the case.

September 11 is not only the date of the second World Trade Center attack, but also the Chilean coup; I don’t know if this means anything to the perpetrators.


Chile: Terrorist attack injures 14

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Chile Blames Terrorists After Bomb Blast Hurts 14 (emphasis added)

A blast ripped through a fast-food restaurant next to a busy subway station in Chile’s capital on Monday, injuring at least 14 people in the most damaging of nearly 30 bombings or attempted bombings in Santiago this year.

While no group claimed responsibility for the blast, many past bombings have been claimed by anarchist groups and Chile’s government said it would invoke the country’s tough anti-terror laws.

The explosion took place during lunchtime at a restaurant in a small, underground shopping mall connected to the Escuela Militar subway station in Santiago’s affluent Las Condes neighborhood.

Regarding the 29 other bombs,

Santiago is one of the safest capitals in Latin America, but Chileans have been shocked by at least 29 bombs that have been found across the city so far this year. Some have not gone off and none of the other bombs before this one caused any injuries.

In some cases anarchist groups have said the bombs were planted to demand freedom for two Chilean anarchists imprisoned in Spain for an explosion in a cathedral in Zaragoza last year.

The leftist anarchists arrested for the Spain explosion, Francisco Javier Solar and Monica Andrea Knight, are alleged members of the “Commando Insurreccional Mateo Morral,”

a man and a woman who were part of a well organized anarchist command ‘extremely dangerous’ and with strong international connections.

However, nobody has claimed responsibility for the Santiago blast so far.

The bomb was detonated during lunchtime at a restaurant in a small, underground shopping mall connected to the Escuela Militar subway station in Santiago’s affluent Las Condes neighborhood.


Iran’s tango with Latin America

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Readers of this blog will find nothing surprising about this, but this article is today’s must-read:
Iran’s Tango with Latin America

Latin America and the Caribbean tend to be looked at through the prism of drugs, criminal violence or illegal immigration. Anything that challenges this myopic view, such as Iran expanding its operational reach into the region, is either ignored or the threat minimized to justify the way things have always been done. On numerous instances, U.S. agencies responsible for an avalanche of data about the transnational, cross-regional nexus between narcotrafficking, arms networks and terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah, have been marginalized and the Western Hemisphere links to these particular security risks erroneously set aside or treated solely as “law-enforcement matters.”

The crime-terror convergence; the bilateral relations between Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia; the decades-long systematic effort to establish clandestine intelligence stations and operatives. Read it here.

Colombia: What the FARC really want

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

faustaI’m posting at Da Tech Guy Blog on the Colombian election and the FARC negotiations:
Colombia: What the FARC really want

Silvio Canto and I talked on this and other subjects in last night’s podcast.

Iran in Latin America: Must-read report

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center did a report in 2009 on how Iran increases its political and economic presence in
Latin America, defying the United States and
attempting to undermine American hegemony. It also
foments radical Shi’ite Islamization and exports Iran’s
revolutionary ideology, using Hezbollah to establish
intelligence, terrorism and crime networks, liable to be
exploited against the United States and Israel.

63. The Wayuus and Hezbollah Venezuela have websites and blogs which identify with the ideology of the Islamic revolution in Iran and with Hezbollah’s messages of violence, preaching hatred of the United States, Israel and the Jewish people. Postings have appearedin recent years in blogs that are still active but are not updated, possibly due to the desire to keep a low profile and be less exposed.

64. The website of an organization calling itself “Hezbollah America Latina” went online several months before Hezbollah Venezuela’s attempt to carry out a terrorist attack against the American embassy in Caracas (October 23, 2006). The website introduced itself as the
“mouthpiece of Hezbollah in Latin America.” It is written in Spanish and in a mixed Mayan-Old Spanish language. Even though it claims to operate in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, and Mexico, it mostly serves the network which runs the website, referring to itself as the Islamic Autonomy of Wayuu (Autonomia Islamica Wayuu), led by Teodoro Rafael Darnott.49

65. The Hezbollah Venezuela website preaches the complete elimination of the sex industry, and attacks the so-called “corrupt upper classes” and the so-called “corruption of the government.” The website also contains anti-Semitic and anti-American texts and articles by Holocaust deniers and Neo-Nazis.50 In recent years, blogs have appeared, written by Wayuu Muslim converts who sympathize with the ideology of the Iranian Islamic revolution and Hezbollah’s messages of violence.

While the report is five years old, the information is still relevant. Read the whole thing.

H/t Carlos Hös, who also linked. Thank you!

Uruguay: Gitmo releases will be free to leave

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

He probably doesn’t want to upset the folks in the tri-border area:

Mujica: Guantánamo detainees could leave Uruguay 

President José Mujica said in an interview Monday that any Guantánamo detainees his country takes will be treated as refugees and will be free to travel wherever they wish, even if they have promised the United States that they’ll stay in the South American country for at least two years.

Mujica told El Espectador radio that Uruguay has tentatively agreed to take four Syrians and a Palestinian who have been held at the military detention center in the U.S.-held corner of Cuba.

Mujica denied that the five are dangerous and said that “in no way” would Uruguay prevent them from traveling.

While he was at it, Mujica also said he’ll skip meeting Pres. Obama in Washington, thank you.

Ecuador, Iran, Syria: The new axis?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Lachlan Markay writes in the Washington Free Beacon on The Correa-Khamenei Axis
Ecuador pumping up its relationship with Iran and Syria, experts say

Correa, who began his third term as president on Friday, reaffirmed Ecuador’s alliance with Iran.

“We would ratify it a thousand times over,” Correa said of the alliance during his inaugural address, according to a translation of the speech.

Iran’s vice president for international affairs, who attended the inauguration in an official capacity, said the two countries “have elite people and revolutionary governments and we are happy that the ‘Citizens’ Revolution’ — the slogan of Ecuador’s president — can live on,” according to a report from Iranian state-owned media.

Correa also expressed support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which also sent an envoy — its former ambassador to Venezuela — to Correa’s inauguration, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency.

Iran’s relationship with Ecuador appears to be mirroring its arrangement with Venezuela, according to Joseph Humire, executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society, who has called Ecuador “one of Iran’s largest money-laundering hubs in Latin America.”

As you may recall, The Ecuadorian Finance Co., Inc. (COFIEC), a bank that was seized a decade ago by the former Deposit Guarantee Agency (AGD) would be the legal vehicle used by the Ecuadorian state to conduct financial transactions with Iran. The purpose is to help Iran evade sanctions.

Additionally, two years ago, Deutsche Welle was reporting that Ecuador had become the new hub for international crime.


Colombia: Don’t fire the mayor yet! And how about the GPS?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

says a judge, after much to-do over garbage mishandling by a former guerrilla who’s mayor of Bogota:
Mayor’s Firing Should be Postponed: Colombia Chief Prosecutor:
Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez Ordered Gustavo Petro’s Removal

Colombia’s chief prosecutor is urging President Juan Manuel Santos to postpone a controversial decision by the inspector general to fire Bogotá’s left-leaning mayor over alleged mismanagement of trash collection, saying the decision’s better left for courts or voters.

And here’s the thing,

The fate of the mayor of the city of eight million is being closely watched in Havana, Cuba, where Colombia’s government is engaged in 13-month-old peace talks with the country’s main Marxist rebel group FARC. A key outcome of any peace deal would likely include allowing leftist rebels who lay down their weapons to run for political offices, including that of mayor.

In other Colombian news, front-page, WaPo, finally, a bit of good news:

Covert action in Colombia
U.S. intelligence, GPS bomb kits help Latin American nation cripple rebel forces

The 50-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), once considered the best-funded insurgency in the world, is at its smallest and most vulnerable state in decades, due in part to a CIA covert action program that has helped Colombian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders, according to interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials.

The covert program in Colombia provides two essential services to the nation’s battle against the FARC and a smaller insurgent group, the National Liberation Army (ELN): Real-time intelligence that allows Colombian forces to hunt down individual FARC leaders and, beginning in 2006, one particularly effective tool with which to kill them.

That weapon is a $30,000 GPS guidance kit that transforms a less-than-accurate 500-pound gravity bomb into a highly accurate smart bomb. Smart bombs, also called precision-guided munitions or PGMs, are capable of killing an individual in triple-canopy jungle if his exact location can be determined and geo-coordinates are programmed into the bomb’s small computer brain.

Meanwhile, After Killing 8, Colombian Guerrillas go on Christmas Truce

Colombia: Things are about to get worse

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

If you think things are going to get bad in NYC, wait until you see this:
Colombia, FARC agree on rebels’ future if peace signed

Colombia’s government and Marxist FARC rebels reached a “fundamental agreement” on the guerrillas’ future in politics, one of the thorniest issues addressed in peace talks in Cuba, according to a joint statement on Wednesday.

The FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, has been fighting the government in a jungle and urban conflict that has killed more than 200,000 people in the five decades since it began as a peasant movement seeking land reform.

The partial accord may pave the way for FARC to enter Colombian politics, which chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle said would provide a “new democratic opening” and cement peace after an end of conflict.

As you may recall, Santos had said that he favored granting unelected guerrilla leaders seats in Congress and special treatment in the justice system.

No wonder the FARC were out celebrating on a catamaran yacht the other day.

Apparently “The two sides are unlikely to reveal many details of the agreement” for the time being. Kevin Howlett asks,

For many, the central consideration under “political participation” is whether the FARC top brass will be allowed to stand for election.

Will the FARC be given seats in congress?

And, if so will they be given to Timochenko, Ivan Marquez and the rest?

Without answers to these questions any accord seems largely cosmetic.

For now, the visuals are not that good, PLO scarves included:

FARC spokesmen Jesús Santrich and Iván Márquez

UPDATE:
Linked to by Gates of Vienna. Thank you!