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Showing posts from October 26, 2008


B.RAMAN The number of fatalities in the serial explosions in Assam on the forenoon of October 30,2008, has since gone up to 75, with the death of some of the injured in the hospitals. Another about 300 persons are undergoing treatment in the hospitals and some of them are stated to be in a serious condition. 2. According to the Police, there was a total of nine blasts timed to take place in four different cities or towns in the State between 11 and 11-30 AM.The most devastating in terms of casualties (35 killed), property damage and psychological effect on the people were the three in Guwahati, the Capital. In all these three cases, the improvised explosive device (IED) was kept in the boot of cars. The use of the boot of a car for keeping the explosives enabled the perpetrators to keep more explosive material than one could in a bicycle or in a tiffin box. In the Ahmedabad blasts of July,26,2008, the explosive device was kept in a car in the incident near a local hospital. Mot

How-To: Determining Source Reliability On The Internet (Link List) There are a number of great sites (mostly libraries) where there is good guidance on how to evaluate internet based sources. I intend, in this post, to list some of those sites and identify some up-and-coming tools. Finally, I want to highlight an important contribution to this literature that specifically pertains to intelligence analysis. Virtually every good research library has a page dedicated to evaluating internet based sources. Some good examples include, among others: The Library of Congress Purdue's Library and Online Writing Lab U Cal Berkeley's Library and checklists from New Mexico State University Library , the Milner Library at Illinois State and the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire's 10 C's Beyond these resources there are also a couple of new automated tools that are available for checking the accuracy and reliability of some internet sites. Beyond those

Russia's western security outpost

31 Oct 2008 Despite fence-mending with the West, Belarus takes further steps toward developing security ties with its closest ally, Russia, Sergei Blagov writes for ISN Security Watch. By Sergei Blagov in Moscow for ISN Security Watch Belarus, dubbed Europe's last dictatorship, has reiterated pledges to create a "union state" with Russia and act as Moscow's security outpost in the West. In November, Russia and Belarus are due to unify their air defense systems in an apparent bid to counter NATO's eastward advance. It is believed that Russia has been considering extending its air and missile defense systems to neighboring Belarus. On 23 October, General Alexander Zelin, commander of Russia's air force, said that the joint air defense project with Belarus would serve as a western outpost for Russia's aerial defense. In recent years, Russian officials repeatedly claimed that the agreement on a united Russia-Belarus air defense system remained rea

PAKISTAN: Swat on the verge of civil war

By Khurshid Khan Valley swat has been divided in two administrative units Tehsil swat and Thesil Matta. Both have their separate councils. Matta Tehsil council consists of thirteen Union Councils. Abdul Jabar Khan is its elected Tehsil Nazim while Naib- Nazim Zakirullah khan has been killed in the recent imbroglio in swat. The area is called Bar Swat (Upper swat) in local vernacular. Matta Town is the main trading center as well as the administration headquarter some 22 miles away from Mingawara city. The total population of upper swat is 251368 according to the 1998 censuses. Its total area is about 683 square kilometers. The population annual growth rate is 3.04 %. Upper swat has mailnly divided into two territories Shamizai and Sibujni Sebat khel on the basis of Wesh (land distribution system,). The inhabitants of Shamizai belong to Yusufzai tribe of Pukhtuns and are lead by Afzal khan. Subjini Sebat khel inhabited by Nazar Khel and Shama khel. Naza

LTTE Air Wing Strikes Again

by B. Raman The air wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) carried out two attacks within an interval of about 90 minutes on a military target in the North and an economic target in Colombo on the night of October 28, 2008. This is the seventh operation by the LTTE's air wing since it went into action in March last year. 2. Tamilnet, the pro-LTTE web site in the English language, which has again been giving battle front news after being silent on this subject for some days last week, reported as follows on the LTTE air attacks of October 28: " The LTTE carried out an air attack on the Thallaadi military base, the main artillery and Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) launchpad of the Sri Lanka Army in Mannaar around 10:30 p.m., dropping three bombs on the base. The Tiger aircrafts then proceeded to Colombo and dropped two bombs on the Kelanitissa power station, while Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) bombers were searching for LTTE aircrafts in the skies over Kili

Abhishek Singhvi’s Time-Share

SOURCE: Offstumped What happens when you mate Sonia Gandhi’s Absentee Leadership with Manmohan Singh’s Executive Delinquency in an extra-constitutional wedlock called the UPA ? You end up with illegtimate triplets called Dysfunctional Governance, Communal Socialism and a Time-Sharing Parliament. Offstumped will stop there and leave it to your imagination what a Menage-a-trois with Amar Singh’s fixing will beget this nation of ours …… READ MORE

Why the Fight in Balochistan Matters SEEKING FAIRNESS -- International powers are looking to exploit Pakistan’s gas and mineral rich region of Balochistan. But Balochs have long argued that they do not see their fair share of development and employment from the resources. Photo shows Baloch women making victory signs at a protest in Quetta, Pakistan. (PPI Photo via Newscom). ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The scarred Pakistani province of Balochistan has been suffering from conflict with the central government since the country's inception in 1947. Steeped in violence and deprivation, bitterness, hunger and frustration are everyday realities. Apart from the humanitarian aspect of this conflict, why is Balochistan a concern for the rest of the world? Balochistan is a strategically important region bordering Iran and Afghanistan. Left unchecked, this conflict between the Baloch people and the Pakistani government over the province's

The International Momentum Is For New Bretton Woods

by Nancy Spannaus [PDF version of this article] Oct. 22—As should be totally clear to even the political novice, no one can expect a competent plan for a new monetary system on the model of FDR's New Bretton Woods to come out of the G8-Plus emergency summit which French President Nicolas Sarkozy convinced President Bush to convene on Nov. 15. A meeting on monetary matters with Bush et al., Lyndon LaRouche recently remarked, would be more like a Mad Hatter's Tea Party than a serious conference. However, there is no question but that the convening of this conference reflects an accelerating, and dead-serious momentum within major world capitals toward the only competent proposal for a new world economic order which is on the table: LaRouche's New Bretton Woods proposal. The ongoing disintegration of the world monetary system is causing terror throughout banking and political circles everywhere, especially as every plan put forward by the "authorities" implodes wi

Payback: Debt as Metaphor and the Shadow Side of Wealth

(2008) A non fiction book by Margaret AtwoodNext book >> by Margaret Atwood Collected here, the Massey Lectures from legendary novelist Margaret Atwood investigate the highly topical subject of debt. She doesn't talk about high finance or managing money; instead, she goes far deeper to explore debt as an ancient and central motif in religion, literature, and the structure of human societies. By looking at how debt has informed our thinking from preliterate times to the present day, from the stories we tell of revenge and sin to the way we order social relationships, Atwood argues that the idea of what we owe may well be built into the human imagination as one of its most dynamic metaphors. Her final lecture addresses the notion of a debt to nature and the need to find new ways of interacting with the natural world before it is too late. Sitting in A grand 18th-century clubhouse near St James's Park in London, Margaret Atwood exudes intelligence; her fine, birdli

Assam Serial Blasts: Cobbled Conglomerate is likely to be involved

By Divya Kumar Soti Today Assam was rocked by 18 high intensity serial blasts which happened within a narrow time span of half an hour and were spread over four districts of Upper as well as lower Assam. Details of casualties are not known but hundreds are feared dead. Early indications suggest involvement of sophisticated terror conglomerate assigned with some specific tasks. Few events over past few months which are worth mentioning in this regard are- 1. HUJI activities are on a rise in North-East and region is being used as a channel to support operations by this group inside India.These operations range from Arms smuggling, Counterfeit Currency smuggling, Cattle smuggling, to co-coordinating terror operations inside India. 2. These attacks may be in response to recent crackdown by security forces on HUJI over past few months in which many of its operatives were arrested and killed in North Eastern states. 3. Simultaneous blasts over many cities points toward

ASSAM : Multiple blasts kill 50

Blasts symbolic of insecurity in the country: Advani New Delhi, Oct 30 (PTI) The serial blasts in Assam were symbolic of the sense of insecurity in the country and the UPA government has failed to combat terror, senior BJP leader L K Advani today accused. "I believe that these blasts are symbolic of the sense of insecurity in the country. This also proves the total failure of the government in combating terrorism," he told reporters here. Advani said it is likely that illegal Bangladeshi migrants from Assam, which has seen an increasing influx of these people in recent years, could be involved in the blasts. PTI India's Assam Hit by 12 Bombings; 50 Die; 300 Hurt (Update2) By Bibhudatta Pradhan Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- More than 50 people were killed and about 300 injured in 12 bombings across the eastern Indian state of Assam, the scene of clashes between ethnic groups. The casualties took place as devices containing high- intensity explosives went off between 11 a.


B.RAMAN Available police statistics of incidents involving explosions and civilian casualties caused by the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) since 2002 are given below: YEAR NUMBER OF EXPLOSIONS CIVILIANS KILLED 2002 18 218 2003 19 260 2004 103 202 2005 121 65 2006 86 59 2007 70 124 2008 6 (till end January) NIL The figures of civilians killed in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 include civilians killed by explosions as well as in attacks not involving IEDs.The figures for 2006 and 2007 refer to onl


By Dr. Subhash Kapila Introductory Observations Afghanistan my be passing through a critically testing military stage presently but what is disconcerting is that there seems to be an inspired campaign underway in the Western media and think- thanks to project that strategic fatigue has set-in in the United States and NATO policy establishments. Such projections would lead one to believe that the United States/NATO combine is exploring exit strategies from Afghanistan. Available indicators suggest that while strategic fatigue may have set-in in some NATO participants in Afghanistan due to domestic pressures, the same cannot be said of the United States. United States military operations in recent times have acquired added vigor after a review of United States operational strategy this year. The year 2008 marks the final denouement in United States – Pakistan military coalition (so-called) against global terror. While strategic analysts, including this Author, were constantly