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January 28, 2009

1. Group with al-Qaeda links claims bombing an Israeli position along the border, killing an IDF soldier. Israel responds with strikes, and is also hammering tunnels again along the Philidelphi Corridor to the south. Meanwhile, Fatah's Abbas charged to US envoy Mitchell that Israel "does not want peace."

2. With the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) dispersed and in retreat, the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabab group has imposed sharia law now over Baidoa, the TFG's former seat of government. The outlook is bleak.

3. Pakistani Army has renewed operations in the Swat agency of the North West territory. The Taliban had issued a hit list of 43 local politicians there.

4. The Taliban said that closing Guantanamo was a 'positive step' but not enough. While Yemen security forces are already littered with 'rehabilitated' al-Qaeda terrorists, Yemen's president is anxiously awaiting the release of 94 suspected al-Qaeda terrorists from Gitmo, to be entered into a 'rehabilitation' program.

AFGHANISTAN
Gates Predicts 'Slog' in Afghanistan; Limits of Military Power - Washington Post
Al-Qaeda-Linked Group Again Threatens Germany's Afghanistan Mission - In German - Bloomberg

GAZA
Hamas to Accept 18 Month Truce - Asharq Alawsat
Terrorists Kill Israeli Soldier with Bomb Attack at Border - Washington Post
IDF: Hamas didn't carry out attack - but is responsible - Ynet News
Israeli Paper: Border blast demands strong - but not excessive - Israeli response - Ha'aretz
IAF attacks Hamas tunnels under Philadelphi Corridor - Jerusalem Post
Hamas awaiting delayed delivery of large arms shipment via Egypt - World Tribune
Hamas Accused Of Cracking Down On Opponents - NPR
Hamas Gathering 'Evidence' for Israeli War Crimes Trials - ITIC

GUANTANAMO BAY PRISONS
Taliban say closing Guantanamo 'a positive step' but insufficient - AFP

IRAN
Ahmadinejad tells U.S. to show change in policy not tactics, demands apology - Reuters
Mullen: Interdicted Iranian arms probably were bound for Gaza - AP
Iran could have a nuclear bomb by 2010, study warns - Telegraph (UK)
Gates: Iran playing "subversive" Latin America role, downplays Russian influence - VOA

ISRAEL
Hamas captives talk to Shin Bet about tactics and training - Ha'aretz
'Nicolas Sarkozy told me Gilad is alive' - Jerusalem Post
Fatah's Abbas to tell visiting U.S. envoy: Israel does not want peace - Ha'aretz

PAKISTAN
Pakistan relaunches Swat operation - Long War Journal
Pakistan's Crackdown on Militants Finds Imams Preaching More Jihad - Bloomberg
US drones fly over North Waziristan - Daily Times (Pak)

SOMALIA
Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab impose sharia at TFG's former Baidoa capital - BBC
French navy foils Somali pirate attack, capture 9 - AFP
Japan to deploy ships off Somalia - BBC

UNITED KINGDOM
British government ordered to release Iraq invasion planning files - Deutsche Welle

January 27, 2009

1. The US embassy in Yemen came under small arms attack Tuesday, three are detained. Development comes amid reports that al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula and al-Qaeda in Yemen have merged. Meanwhile, Yemen still expects 94 Gitmo detainees to be freed and repatriated back to Yemen within next 3 months.

2. Hamas and Fatah have been holding meetings in Egypt on forming a unity government, a move which will accelerate Hamas' terrorist recovery while at same time drawing Fatah farther from Israel.

3. While President Obama said Iran should talk 'with an unclenched fist' on al-Arabiyah television, the German government has decided to crack down on trade with Iran.

4. While the Pakistani Interior Ministry advisor maintains that slow progress is being made in Swat district, a major political party there (ANP) has openly admitted that the government has lost its writ there. The Taliban wield the power, according to the secular ANP.

GUANTANAMO BAY PRISON
Guantanamo's manipulators leading the new Jihad - Counterterrorism Blog
Saudi Arabia re-arrests ex-Gitmo inmates - Arab News (Saudi Arabia)
RELATED: See YEMEN section below.

ICELAND
Iceland's government collapses under strain of financial crisis - Telegraph

IRAN
German Government to Crack Down on Business with Iran - Deutsche Welle
Obama to Iran: Unclench fist - Straits Times

ISRAEL
Diplomatic effort stymies French push to lift Hamas boycott - Ha'aretz
Mitchell sent to Mideast to 'listen' - Washington Post

LEBANON
Officials: Riot at Tripoli prison over - International Herald Tribune

PAKISTAN
Awami Nationalist Party admits gov't has lost its writ in Swat - Daily Times (Pak)
Heated debate in National Assembly over govt's progress claims on Swat - DAWN (Pak)
PM Gilani says Taliban courts unacceptable - Daily Times (Pak)
Sectarian attacks spark violent protests in Quetta - Adnkronos (Italy)

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Fatah and Hamas hold talks in Egypt on unity government - ABC (Australia)
Fatah, Hamas disagree on reopening Gaza border crossings, but after unity government - AFP

SRI LANKA
Tamil Tiger rebels 'to fight on' - BBC

YEMEN
Arabian Peninsula al Qaeda groups merge - Long War Journal
Gunmen open fire outside US embassy in Yemen - Telegraph
Yemen says 94 Guantanamo inmates home within three months - AFP

January 26, 2009

1. The situation in northwest Pakistan deteriorates further as the fight for Swat rages. Army secures schools under siege after girls blocked, while the Taliban terrorize the streets and issue a hit list of 43 politicians wanted for sharia trials.

2. An increase in forces and change in strategy in Afghanistan long in crafting now being rolled out under President Obama. Marines want shift from Iraq while Afghan IED's in 2008 were at highest point yet.

3. In Somalia, the last of Ethiopian forces have left. Now, Islamist factions are vying for control of Somalia, with Transitional Federal Government virtually invisible. A car bomb intended to strike African Union peacekeepers instead blew up and killed more than 20 civilians.

4. Sri Lankan forces said to have taken control of the last village held by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE).

5. US Navy in Gulf of Aden tracking, interdicting suspected Iranian arms shipments to Gaza/Egypt for Hamas. Egypt says it lacks resources to stop tunnel smuggling on one hand, while others deny weapons smuggling.

AFGHANISTAN
Karzai cites civilian casualties seeking authority over deployed US troops - Washington Times
IRAQ: Time for Marines to leave, and go to Afghanistan, commandant says - Los Angeles Times
Afghan roadside bombs hit record in 2008 - USA Today
Editorial: Obama's challenge in Afghanistan - Washington Times

CHINA
China tries its hand at American 'soft power' with hospital ship - Washington Times

EGYPT
In Egypt's Rafah, Gaza tunnel smuggling denial is the way of life - Jerusalem Post

GAZA
Hamas offers 18-month cease-fire, urges PA to sever talks with Israel - Ha'aretz
In pummeled Gaza, Hamas recoups - CS Monitor
Sky joins BBC in refusing Gaza aid appeal - CNN

IRAN
Sources say Iran running out of uranium - UPI
Uranium nations urged not to sell to Iran: report - Washington Post
US navy seeks arms bound for Hamas - Times (UK)
US seizing of Iranian ship 'a covert op' - Jerusalem Post

ISRAEL
Israel vows to defend soldiers against calls for war crimes inquiries - Los Angeles Times

LEBANON
Hizballah lawmaker considers people trying to disarm it as support for terrorism - Xinhua

PAKISTAN
Pakistan deploys Army at Swat schools; No girls attending - The Hindu (India)
Swat Taliban declare 43 politicians 'wanted' for sharia court trials - Daily Times (Pak)
The Taliban Hit-List - Daily Times (Pak)
Pakistan urges halt to missile strikes - Washington Times
Police take over Jamaat-ud-Dawa (LeT) offices in Muridke near Lahore - DAWN (Pak)
Taliban radio spreads terror in Swat; Beheadings, draggings, public corpse displays - Daily Times

SOMALIA
Somalia Suicide Attack Misses AU Peacekeepers, Kills Civilians - VOA
22 civilians killed after Mogadishu suicide blast - Gulf Times
Last Ethiopian troops leave Somalia - Radio Netherlands
Background: With Ethiopian Pullout, Islamists Rise Again in Somalia - Washington Post
Foreground: Al-Qaeda-Linked Somali Sheik eyes new government, presidency - AFP
Somali Pirates Free Ship - VOA
US admiral: Pact near for Somali pirate trials - AP

SRI LANKA
Tamil Tigers lose Mullaithivu, last village held - The Hindu (India)
Is Sri Lanka about to finish off the Tamil Tigers? - Reuters

UNITED STATES
Obama seeks space weapons ban but challenges loom - Forbes

VENEZUELA
Chavez providing aid to Hamas and Hezbollah, says new book - Ha'aretz
Chavez visits Colombia, denies support for leftist rebels - AFP
Venezuela's Chavez warms to Obama after insults - Reuters

January 21, 2009

1. Israel has withdrawn the last of its forces from Gaza, leaving northern Gaza rocket launch areas and southern Gaza smuggling routes unoccupied. Reports already indicate tunnel smuggling active again on Egyptian border, while Iran - Hamas' principal arms supplier - declares Hamas has rights to weapons.

2. Hamas continues to rebound in Gaza, with leaders coming out from hiding and forces reasserting control over area. Hamas is openly hunting Fatah 'collaborators' inside Gaza. Fatah will emerge worse off, not stronger, after Israeli withdrawal.

3. US civilian nuclear trade deal with the United Arab Emirates in the final hours of the Bush Presidency represents in part "messages for Iran." American Congress has 90 days to approve or quash the agreement, while an emergency Arab summit in Kuwait broke off with "discord."

4. In his first full day in office, President Obama requested a 120-day suspension of all Guantanamo Bay military tribunal proceedings. Judge granted as new administration weighs closing GITMO and beginning civilian trials in CONUS.

CHINA
China issues nervous welcome to Obama - AFP
Don't undo Bush's work, China tells Obama - Reuters

GAZA
Israel completes Gaza troop pullout - AP
Hamas reasserts control in Gaza, seeks Fatah 'collaborators' - Reuters
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood takes the lead in condemning Israel, Cairo leadership - Jerusalem Post
UN demands flow of goods to Gaza - BBC

GUANTANAMO BAY
Obama Requests 120-Day Suspension of GITMO Proceedings, Judge Grants - Washington Post

IRAN
Chief Supplier Iran says Hamas has right to weapons - IHT
Related: Gaza Strip smuggling tunnels operating again despite IDF op - Jerusalem Post

ISRAEL
Natural gas find could transform Israel's economy - Israel21c.org
Lebanon investigating location of natural gas field, may lay claim - Guardian (UK)

KUWAIT
Arab Summit in Kuwait Ends in Discord - VOA

NORTH KOREA
Despite signed deal, Almost 15,000 unused nuclear fuel rods in North Korea - ABC (Australia)

PAKISTAN
Frontier Corps says 60 militants killed in clashes with Taliban in Mohmand - BBC
Taliban demands end to music on Pakistan buses - AP
India: Pakistan must be brought to justice - UPI
Pakistan again expresses concern over US drone strikes - Daily Times (Pak)
Drone Complaint Timing: Obama seeks 'new way forward' with Muslim world - DAWN (Pak)
Drone Complaint Timing: US Secures New Supply Routes to Afghanistan - NY Times

RUSSIA
KGB Billionaire Buys British newspaper - CNN International
Editorial Murder incorporated in Russia - Boston Globe
Russia says no more tourists for Space Program after 2009 - Seattle Times

UKRAINE
Ukraine proclaims victory after Russia gas war - AP

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
US-UAE nuclear energy pact has messages for Iran - AP

January 20, 2009

1. As Israel has first day free of rocket fire since Gaza incursion, Hamas has declared victory and vowed to rebuild and re-arm to confront Israel.

2. With ceasefire declared before Hamas debilitated, reprisals against Fatah in Gaza increase sharply after Israeli disengagement begins. Reports continue that Fatah members are being murdered and tortured by Hamas to keep them from mounting a challenge in Gaza.

3. Al-Qaeda video threatens German soldiers in Afghanistan (and elsewhere), noting that they are not safe from attack simply because they are not engaged in combat. Video is part of al-Qaeda political/PSYOP campaign to pry NATO allies from Afghan mission, targeting government with weak popular support for war.

4. Iran claims to have broken a US spy ring inside Iran, accuses US of "funding a velvet revolution" in Iran.

5. Islamists bomb 5 schools in Pakistan to prevent girls from attending. Pak PM wants US/NATO to share more intelligence. But when US has, enemy alerted before strikes.

AFGHANISTAN
Al-Qaeda Threatens German Soldiers In Web Video - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Three killed, 20 injured in fresh attacks - Daily Times
Russia offers Afghanistan military equipment for army - BBC

ALGERIA
Al-Qaeda bungles arms experiment, chemical or biological - Washington Times
Original Report: The plague kills 40 al-Qaeda - The Sun (UK)

CHINA
Chinese military 'wants strong links to US' under Obama - BBC
Chiese authors of 'Unrestricted Warfare' to speak at InfoWarCon 2009 - Matt Armstrong
The Book: Unrestricted Warfare (PLA, 1999) - Terrorism Research Center (PDF)

GAZA
Israel Proceeds With Gaza Pullout as Hamas Halts Rocket Attacks - Bloomberg
Truce holds as South enjoys first rocket-free day since Gaza op began - Ha'aretz
Hamas declares victory in Gaza, vows to rearm against Israel - Telegraph (UK)
Gaza residents take in the damage as Hamas reasserts control - Los Angeles Times
Ismail Haniyeh: Hamas won Gaza war, but was wise to declare truce - Ha'aretz
'Hamas torturing Fatah members in Gaza' - Jerusalem Post

INDIA
Mumbai suspect's remand extended - BBC

IRAN
Iran: U.S. 'funding velvet revolution in Iran' - RIA Novosti (Russia)
Iran accuses 2 doctors of ties to alleged U.S. plot - Los Angeles Times
Iranian Official Warns U.S. On Spying - Washington Post
Iran's Ahmadinejad to attend Gaza victory feast - Xinhua

IRAQ
Iraq's Top Shiite Cleric Urges Participation in Upcoming Vote - Washington Post
Gunmen kill election candidate in Iraq - International Herald Tribune
String of bomb blasts leaves 4 dead, 14 wounded in Iraq - CNN

ISRAEL
Azerbaijan Intelligence Foiled Feb 2008 Hizballah Plot to Bomb Israeli Embassy - Ha'aretz

LEBANON
Lebanon eyes Israel's recently discovered Tamar 1 natural gas reserve - Jerusalem Post

NORTH KOREA
North Korea Says It Has 'Weaponized' Plutonium - NY Times

PAKISTAN
Pakistan launches assault in NorthWest, 38 militants killed - Reuters
Pakistani military tells powers to stop demanding more - Reuters
General Petraeus flies into Pakistan for gov't talks - AFP
US 'agrees Afghan supply route' bypassing Pakistan through Caucasus, Russia - BBC
Pak PM says US, NATO should share intelligence with Pakistan - Daily Times
2007 PrincipalAnalysis: al-Qaeda Abandons Camps After US Intelligence Shared with Pakistan - ThreatsWatch
Taliban Blow Up 5 Schools in Swat Valley - VOA

RUSSIA
Russia warns against sending weapons to Georgia - IHT
Human Rights Lawyer Critical of Russian Military and Yet Another Journalist Shot, Killed - CNN

VENEZUELA
Tear gas fired at Vatican diplomatic center in Venezuela after Chavez speech - CNN
Chavez hit hard by cheap oil - Washington Times

YEMEN
Yemeni police kill 2 al-Qaeda suspects in San'a raid - Jerusalem Post
New Issue of Sada al-Malahim, al-Qaeda in Yemen's publication - jihadica

January 16, 2009

1. As Obama inauguration nears, pressure on Israel to enter into truce intensifies and Tony Blair says agreement is close. Hamas wants 1 year truce with removal of Israeli blockade of Gaza, balks at promise to halt rocket fire. Israel wants rocket halt and increased Egyptian security presence at tunnels used for smuggling. Hizballah regenerated and recovered fully in first year of enforced ceasefire in Lebanon.

2. At an emergency Arab summit on Gaza in Qatar, attendees include terrorist leaders from Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (GC) and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

3. New Gates-Petraeus strategy for Afghanistan is meeting stiff resistance from outside Washington, and the UN is pleading with President-elect Obama not to change the current strategy, one which has been roundly criticized in the past for being ineffective.

4. British Defense Secretary John Hutton slammed NATO allies for "freeloading on the back of U.S. military security," and said while each allied contribution is valuable, Europe must do more.

5. Abu Sayyaf terrorists suspected of abduction of two Red Cross aid workers in the Philippines.

AFGHANISTAN
NATO Nations Scolded by Brit SecDef for Shirking Duties In Afghanistan - Washington Post
UN to Obama: Don't change Afghan strategy - AP
Resistance to U.S. Plan for Afghanistan - Washington Post
Top Afghan general dies in helicopter crash - Los Angeles Times
Separate Incident: US: Helicopter crashed in Afghanistan, all survive - AP

GAZA
Palestinian sources: 'Iranian unit' of Hamas has been destroyed' - Ha'aretz
Israeli rockets strike UN compound - Chicago Tribune
Fatah, Hamas split widens amid Gaza war - CS Monitor
Latest Gaza Proposal Calls for Yearlong Cease-Fire - FOX News
Israel still divided on Egypt offer for Gaza truce - Ha'aretz

INDONESIA
Grenade blast in Aceh capital - AKI

PAKISTAN
Pakistan cracks down on Jamaat ud-Dawa in Mumbai probe? - Los Angeles Times
Pakistan crackdown on eve of UK Foreign Minister's visit - The Independent (UK)
India Warns Pakistan Dossier Dispute May Harm Ties - Bloomberg
Pakistan says militants killed in Swat valley - AP
Yesterday: Desperate moves on to secure Swat -- the lost valley - DAWN (Pak)
NATO supply route in SW Pakistan reopens after blockade - AFP
U.S. strikes more precise on al-Qaeda, fewer civilians hit - Washington Times

PHILIPPINES
Soldiers seek 3 abducted workers, Abu Sayyaf suspected - Washington Times

QATAR
Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and PFLP-GC terror leaders in Qatar for Arab Gaza Summit - Reuters
Iran's Ahmadinejad joins Hamas at Gaza emergency summit - International Herald Tribune

RUSSIA
Russia-Ukraine Gas Dispute Enters 10th Day - NY Times

UNITED KINGDOM
British FM David Miliband criticizes 'George Bush's war on terror' while in Pakistan - Telegraph

ZIMBABWE
Opponents of Mugabe Tell Court of Torture - NY Times

January 15, 2009

1. Fissures appear in both Hamas and Israeli cabinet leadership over talks of cease-fire. As Israel's incursion and hits on Hamas begin to net deep effects, pressure mounting to end operations.

2. Iran has inked a $1.76 billion deal with China to develop its neglected and broken oil fields. Meanwhile, the UN has handed Iran the gavel overseeing UNDP program promoting "good governance and fighting poverty."

3. Operations continue in parts of Pakistan's northwest and tribal areas, but government is struggling to hold or make gains as professional forces diverted to Indian border while Taliban and al-Qaeda redouble and recover.

4. References to Joint Operating Evironment 2008 report begin anew as increasing violence and trouble in Mexico bring attention to JOE 2008's warning that the entire Mexican government and economic system may collapse, ptentially causing a severe domestic security crisis in the US.

AFGHANISTAN
Few comforts, much danger for outpost GIs - Washington Times

CHINA
Iran, China sign $1.76 billion deal to develop iranian oil fields - RIA Novosti

GAZA
Rift apparent in Hamas as fighting intensifies - IHT
Faultlines Emerge in Israeli Cabinet Over 'Humanitarian Cease-Fire' Talk - Jerusalem Post
Progress Reported in Gaza Truce Talks - Washington Post
Phased Gaza ceasefire takes shape: diplomats - Reuters

IRAN
Iran Handed Leadership of UN program on 'good governance and poverty' - Forbes

IRAQ
US: Iran a major threat to Iraq's stability - VOA

ISRAEL
Venezuela severs ties with Israel over Gaza - AP
Getting It: The Essential Facts of the Hamas/Israel Conflict - NRO

PAKISTAN
Desperate moves on to secure Swat -- the lost valley - DAWN (Pak)
Pakistan Describes Efforts Against Group Accused in Mumbai Attacks - VOA

RUSSIA
Eastern Europeans Appeal For an End to Gas Standoff - Washington Post

UNITED STATES
Panetta faces queries on role in shaping rendition policy in Clinton administration - Washington Times
U.S. military report warns 'sudden collapse' of Mexico is possible - El Paso Times
Source Data: Joint Operating Environment 2008 (Ppg. 38-40) - US Joint Forces Command

January 14, 2009

1. Pentagon says number of released GITMO detainees who returned to fight again is up dramatically, just as reports surface that President-elect Obama plans to issue GITMO shut down order on first day in office to begin closing process. US bases are eyed to house transferred terrorists.

2. Hamas' Haniyeh said in broadcast message that Hamas will consider truce offers. Israeli ops continue as Israeli official says it's unlikely Hamas will be destroyed in operations.

3. Ethiopian forces have begun their pullout from Somalia, leaving behind a vacuum that al-Qaeda-aligned Islamists intend to fill. US circulates proposal for international force there.

4. Fighting in the Mohmand agency in Pakistan rages on. Pakistani President Zardari asked that India "return to dialogue while PM Gilani said that India has provided only information rather than evidence regarding the Mumbai terrorist attack.

AFGHANISTAN
An Afghan Awakening? Lessons from Iraq - Ottawa Citizen
Afghan Schoolgirls Undeterred by Attack - NY Times
Major cache of IED materials seized in Afghanistan - CTV
Terrorists target aid workers - Canadian Press

GUANTANAMO BAY
Pentagon: Released Gitmo detainees returning to battlefield at higher rate - AP
Obama plans to order close of GITMO on first full day in office - International Herald Tribune
U.S. bases eyed as Gitmo alternative - Washington Times
Moving detainees to U.S. draws fire - Washington Times

GAZA STRIP
Offensive Unlikely to Put End to Hamas, Israel Says - Washington Post
Fatah's Abbas accuses Israel of trying to 'wipe out' Palestinians - Times (UK)
Broadcast from hiding, Hamas' Haniyeh wants truce - Toronto Star
Egypt rejects extra Arab League talks on Gaza - AKI
No substitute for heavy tanks in Gaza, Iraq, Georgia - UPI

IRAN
Foreign Minister urges states to cut ties with Israel - AKI
Stoning Sentences Carried Out in Iran Despite Moratorium - Washington Post

ISRAEL
Canada votes alone for Israel - Toronto Star

LEBANON
What Are The Prospects For A Third Lebanon War? - Middle East Times

PAKISTAN
PM Gilani: Indians provided information, not evidence - DAWN
President Zardari urges India to return to dialogue - Daily Times
Heavy fighting continues in Mohmand - Long War Journal
Pakistanis stock up on guns - Washington Times

RUSSIA
Russia accused of playing 'trick' as gas turned off again - Telegraph (UK)

SOMALIA
Ethiopia Starts Pullout From Somalia - Wall Street Journal
US Circulating Resolution for Somalia UN Force - VOA
Bolton: Dealing with Somalia and Its Piracy - AEI
Somali Militants Issue Biography of American Jihadist - Counterterrorism Blog

January 12, 2009

1. IDF forces have entered densely populated Gaza City and continue to press Hamas. Israeli officials said Hamas is beginning to crack under weight of Israeli assault, IDF "nearing goals" of operation. Groundwork being effectively laid to assist Fatah challenge to Hamas in Gaza.

2. President-elect Obama said Sunday that he intends to take a "new tack" in dealing with Iran even while his overall visible approach to regional conflicts shows little to no difference with current US policy, with possible exception of plans to close Guantanamo Bay prison. Iran reportedly will "consider" Obama's words.

3. Russian gas dispute, again at peak of winter, continues as Ukraine and Bulgaria hit hard. Bloomberg report says the dispute "masks falling prices" on the market, which hits Russia hard. Oil and gas are Russia's largest exports and responsible for recent economic growth until price fall.

4. Afghan Taliban forces crossed the border into Pakistan and attacked Pakistani soldiers in a reversal of past cross-border trends. Pakistan - not Afghanistan - remains Taliban and al-Qaeda's 'crown jewel' and most important insurgency.

WAR IN GAZA
IDF Moves Into Gaza City - AP
Cracks In Hamas Beginning To Appear, Israel Nearing Goal In Gaza - ThreatsWatch
Chief Hamas Rocket Engineer Killed - Times (UK)
Israel Eases Airstrikes in Gaza - IHT
IDF Denies AP Report That Errant Mortar Hit Gaza School - Jerusalem Post

IRAN
Obama Promises New Tack To Deal With Iran - BBC
Iran To Consider Obama Remarks - IHT

IRAQ
Ansar al-Sunna Leader Captured, Tied to Bombings - Seattle Times

PAKISTAN
Afghan Taliban Cross Into Pakistan, Attack Soldiers - Boston Globe
Pakistani Sunni, Shi'a Groups Strike Truce After Fighting - AFP
Analyst Says Defeating Extremism In Pakistan Requires Regional Strategy - RFE/RL
Gaza Protest Target US Consulate in Pakistan - AP

RUSSIA
Gas Peaking as Gazprom-Ukraine Dispute Masks Falling Demand - Bloomberg
Bulgaria Rations Gas as Ex-Ally Russia Cuts Supply - Bloomberg

January 8, 2009

1. Israeli forces continue advance and airstrikes against Hamas terrorists positions. Reports indicate at least 3 Katyusha rockets were launched from Southern Lebanon into Northern Israel today, raising concerns of developing a second front, this one against Hizballah.

2. A reported thousand Afghan men crowded into the library of Kabul's Milad ul-Nabi mosque, lined with banners reading "Death to Israel" and "Death to America," to sign up to fight Israel.

3. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issues a ban on volunteers leaving Iran to carry out suicide bombings against Israel, but warned that Iran would assist the militant group Hamas in other ways.

4. A new international naval force under American command will soon begin patrols to confront escalating attacks by Somali pirates.

HAMAS, AND OTHERS v. ISRAEL
Afghans sign up to fight Israeli troops in Gaza - Reuters
Israel Attacked from the North - FDD
Analysis: Lebanese rockets raise fear of 2nd front - AP
Iran bans volunteers from fighting Israel - AP

GAZA
Perilous Gaza City combat raises stakes - Financial Times

SOMALIA
New US-led naval force to battle Somali pirates - AP
Navy creates force devoted to fighting piracy - CNN

TURKEY
Turkey holds suspicious Iran-Venezuela shipment - IHT

January 6, 2009

1. Urban warfare continues in Gaza, with Gaza City surrounded and sealed as Hamas and IDF soldiers attempt to lure each other into more vulnerable positions. International press for ceasefire continues without progress.

2. Iran says it has recruited 70,000 volunteer suicide bombers for its much-publicized shahid brigades, and claims it has had to restrain them from trekking to Gaza to kill Israeli soldiers.

3. As Ethiopia prepares for withdrawal from Somalia, feuding Islamists - including two embattled ICU leaders - mend fences, eying the weakness of an unprotected Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

4. After India handed evidence of Pakistani ties to Mumbai attacks, Pakistan's PM says "credible" evidence is required.

GAZA
Gaza City: IDF and Hamas Forces Try Luring Each Other Into Vulnerable Positions - Jerusalem Post
Hamas puts Gazans in danger by drawing IDF into urban warfare - Haaretz
Israel, Hamas Trade Fire as Gaza Truce Efforts Fail - Bloomberg
UN Security Council to weigh new call for effective Gaza truce - AFP

ISRAEL
Israel looks warily to the Lebanon border - Jerusalem Post
Rocket slams into Ashdod kindergarten - Jerusalem Post

IRAN
Iran says over 70,000 students sign up for martyrdom operations - Xinhua
Related: Indonesiaian group says 4,000 volunteers offer to fight against Israel - Adnkronos
Iran firms told: cut ties to 'Zionist'-held firms - Reuters

LEBANON
Observers in Israel, Lebanon suspect Hezbollah may escalate tensions on border - Haaretz
U.S., Lebanon Sign Cargo Scanning Deal - Global Security Newswire

PAKISTAN
11 Bajaur tribesmen kidnapped in Mohmand - Dawn
Taliban bans education for girls in Swat Valley - Washington Times
Pakistan and U.S. Rebuild Strained Military Ties - WSJ
FBI to pursue Mumbai probe 'to its conclusion': US envoy - Daily Times
'Credible' evidence needed, says Gilani - Dawn (Pak)

RUSSIA
Putin Orders Reduction in Gas Sent to Europe Through Ukraine - Washington Post

SOMALIA
Ethiopia Leaves Somalia With Many Questions Unanswered - VOA
Four Islamist Insurgents Make Unity - Shabelle
Feuding ICU Islamists, Sheikh Sharif and Sheikh Aweys, to Meet in Cairo - Garowe

January 5, 2009

1. U.S and Pakistani military cooperation has increased in an effort to eliminate terrorist organizations destabilizing both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border.

2. The U.S. prevented the United Nations Security Council from passing a statement urging an immediate ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, in addition to expressing deep concern at the escalation of violence between both parties.

2. India released evidence linking "elements" in the neighboring Pakistan to the Mumbai terror attacks for the first time.

3. Female bomber kills 40 outside al-Kadhimiya Mosque, a Shi'a mosque which houses the tomb of the seventh imam, Imam Musa al-Kadhim, as well as that of the ninth imam, Imam Muhammad at-Taqi.

4. The French Interior Minster is concerned that leftist terrorism will increase this year after weakening of communist and other leftist parties.

FRANCE
French government fears far-Left terrorism - Telegraph

GAZA
Israel Strikes Before an Ally Departs - NYTimes
Bush gives Israel diplomatic support over Gaza offensive - Telegraph

GREECE
Guns 'link several Greek attacks' - BBC

INDIA
India publishes 'proof' dossier on Mumbai attacks - Times (UK)
India Starts Diplomatic Offensive Against Pakistan - Bloomberg
Hot Spots: India and Pakistan - WSJ

IRAN
Iran and Bahrain officials call for oil as weapon - AP

IRAQ
Bomber kills 40 at Shi'a Shrine in Baghdad - Washington Post

PAKISTAN
Pakistan and U.S. Rebuild Strained Military Ties - WSJ
Pakistan opens NATO supply road in daytime: official - AFP

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