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April 30, 2009

1. As fighting erupts in Pakistan's financial hub and port city of Kirachi, top brass of Pakistani Army fears that if it ratchets up fight against the Taliban too much, the Army itself may disintegrate.

2. Crew member of Maersk Alabama suing ship owner and employer over lack of personnel security to prevent Somali piracy incident. May prove to make lack of security more costly than hiring professional security going forward.

3. Two Russians ejected from NATO 's Brussels headquarters on charges of spying in connection with an "Estonian official who was jailed for passing secrets to Moscow."

4. As Iranian refined gasoline imports have grown by 37%, American Congress seeks to sanction its suppliers. Meanwhile, former German chancellor Schröder, working for Russia now, is actively promoting international trade with the Iranian regime.

SOMALI PIRACY: TOWARD SECURING PRIVATE SHIPPING
Maersk Alabama crewman sues shipowner and employer for unprotected risk - Inquiry Board
Maersk steps up safety measures against pirates - Reuters
When Cost of Not Protecting Higher Than Protecting, Somali Piracy Will See Solution - ThreatsWatch
NATO to Boost Mandate of Anti-Piracy Force - VOA

PAKISTANI ARMY DISINTEGRATION FEARS
Pak Army fears disintegration if war ordered on Taliban - Daily Times (Pakistan)
PrincipalAnalysis: The Troubling Effectiveness of al-Qaeda's PSYOP On The Pakistani Army- ThreatsWatch (2007)

AFGHANISTAN
Mentors in Afghanistan: Marines lead by example - Washington Times

IRAN
Iranian defense minister in Venezuela to boost ties - ADNKronos (Italy)
German confesses to selling rocket material to Iran - Ha'aretz (Israel)
Former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief to run for president - AFP (France)
Dependent Iran's May refined gasoline imports up 37% on year - Guradian (UK)
US Lawmakers Seek To Sanction Iran's Gasoline Suppliers - Wall Street Journal
Germany's former chancellor Schröder promoting trade with Iran - Jerusalem Post

IRAQ
Why, Despite Fears, Sunni Insurgent Groups Don't Stand Chance of Effective Reconstitution - The National

ISRAEL
5 Israeli Arabs charged in terror plot, Gaza operation revenge - Jerusalem Post
Israel's Peres sees containment for a nuclear Iran - Washington Post
Turkey drops Gaza 'war crimes' probe - Jerusalem Post

MEXICO
Mexico captures powerful Gulf cartel hitman from Los Zetas - Washington Post
Mexico Ministry Suspects 159 Deaths From Swine Flu - Bloomberg
Senators urge more aggressive screening as border to remain open - USA Today

NORTH KOREA
North Korea Issues Threat on Uranium - New York Times
North Korea demands apology, threatens nuke test - CNN International

PAKISTAN
Karachi tense after fatal clashes between Pashtuns and Urdu-speaking Punjabis - BBC
At least 20 killed in Pakistan's Karachi: officials - AFP
Pakistan army: Taliban holding town of Sultanwas hostage - AP
One Shiite killed, six wounded in Pakistan (NWFP) blast - AFP

RUSSIA
NATO expels Russian diplomats from HQ in spy row - Guardian (UK)
Russia says expelled diplomats were not spying - Reuters
Russia signs border deal with Abkhazia, S. Ossetia - AP
Russia's Border Pact with Rebels - BBC

SOMALIA
Policy Rebuke: Somalia & September 12th: The New Groundhog Day - National Review Online
Somalia parliament postpones meeting due to security concerns - Garowe (Somalia)

UNITED STATES
Negotiations for Al Qaeda Suspect to Plead Guilty Underway - Washington Post
FBI to Avoid Partnerships with CAIR - Family Security Matters
Diagnosing the Swine Flu Infodemic - ThreatsWatch
Flashback: Pandemic Flu: Potential for U.S. Economic Recession - ThreatsWatch (2007)
Flashback: Pandemic Flu: Potential for U.S. Economic Recession (Part II) - ThreatsWatch (2007)

April 29, 2009

1. Three men in Britain were cleared of charges of planning the July 7th London bombings by a UK court. Two of the three, however, will be sentenced for conspiring to attend an al-Qaeda terrorist training camp.

2. Pakistani government says it has retaken a key town in the Buner district which was overrun by Taliban from neighboring Swat after a 'peace deal' was signed that included Taliban sharia law in Swat.

3. Back in Somalia after exile to Eritrea since 2007, al-Qaeda-trained Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys rebuffed offers of talks with government and called African Union peacekeepers 'bacteria' in Somalia and said they should be removed. Meanwhile, Somali insurgents launched attacks on AU peacekeeper bases throughout Somalia.

AFGHANISTAN
Australia adds 450 troops in Afghanistan - CNN International
Britain to Add 700 Troops to Afghan War - New York Times

GAZA STRIP
Venezuela, Palestinian Authority Establish Diplomatic Ties - Wall Street Journal
Britain raps 'unbalanced' UN rights Gaza report - AFP
Controversial speaker calls Gaza 'massacre' - The Daily Texan

IRAQ
Triple car bomb strikes in Baghdad's Shia Sadr City district - BBC

LEBANON
Lebanon tribunal orders release of pro-Syria generals held in Hariri assassination probe - Reuters

PAKISTAN
Pakistan retakes Buner town from Taliban - UPI
Taliban Advance in Pakistan Prompts Shift by U.S. - Washington Post
Queries over Pakistan's ability to hold onto terrain - Radio Australia
Nawaz Sharif challenges hijacking conviction before SC in bid to run in elections - DAWN (Pakistan)
Convulsions: The Grand Debate In Pakistan Over Taliban Threat - DAWN (Pakistan)

SOMALIA
Shifts in Somalia as exile returns: AQ-Trained Ahweys wants AU Peacekeeper 'Bacteria' out - BBC
Somalia Opposition Leader Calls for Removal of AU Peacekeepers - VOA
Insurgents attack AU peacekeeping bases in Somalia - AP

UNITED KINGDOM
British Court Clears 3 Men of Planning July 7th London Bombings - New York Times
2 of the 3 to be Sentenced for Conspiring to Attend AQ Terror Camp - BBC

UNITED STATES
Swine flu kills first victim in US: Mexican toddler in Texas - Los Angeles Times

April 27, 2009

1. As AQ/Taliban insurgency gets bolder and creeps closer to Islamabad, Gen. Petraeus calls on Pakistani military to refocus. Pak military engagements in Swat operational epicenter include helicopters, area weapons such as rockets and artillery, but few troops on the ground to precisely defeat men.

2. Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari said there is no chance Pak nuclear weapons fall into terrorist hands. Proper question is: Will the government? Then control of nuclear assets in great peril.

3. Off coast of Somalia, Italian cruise ship attacked by pirates, but armed ship-board security repelled the Somali pirates. Another instance of prevention by making cost of piracy greater than reward through on-board armed security.

AFGHANISTAN
14 insurgents killed in Afghanistan: US military - AFP
G.I.'s to Fill Civilian Gap to Rebuild Afghanistan - New York Times

IRAN
Talks About Talks: Iran preparing response to US nuclear talks offer - New York Times
'Iranian arms ship destroyed near Sudan' - Jerusalem Post

PAKISTAN
Petraeus Calls On Pakistan To Redirect Military Focus - Washington Post
Pakistan troops continue assault [TW NOTE: Few Boots on Ground = Futile Effort] - Guardian (UK)
Pakistan troops shell suspect Taliban bases in Swat: military - AFP
Bergen: 'Pakistan lacks a Taliban strategy' - Daily Times (Pakistan)
Events prompt need for new Pakistan-Afghanistan strategy, experts say - Miami Herald
Militants burn more NATO fuel tankers in Pakistan - AFP
Zardari: No possibility of nuclear weapons falling in Taliban hands - Associated Press of Pakistan

SYRIA
Turkey, Syria to stage joint military exercise - Hurriyet (Turkey)

SOMALIA
Italian cruise ship guards fire shots to repel pirates near Seychelles - Times (UK)
On Ship-Board Security Success: FireWatch Audio: Interview with Private Maritime Security Firm President - ThreatsWatch

UNITED STATES
Kissing Intelligence Goodbye: 'Instant Closure' Will Be The Death of More of Us - ThreatsWatch

April 15, 2009

1. Another vessel with US crew attacked by priates of Somalia coast as pirates vow to show no fear of United States.

2. Trial of only captured Mumbai terrorist attacker set to begin in bomb-proof Indian court, but delayed as Kasab makes last-minute demand that a Pakistani lawyer represent his defense.

3. Cost of 'Peace Deal' in Swat, Pakistan: Taliban/al-Qaeda "rally" there and "march through region" in effort to expand areas of control. Peace deals with terrorists make them stronger, not peaceful.

4. US and Israel planning joint comprehensive missile defense drill, Juniper Cobra, in order to test defensive intercept systems in the region.

AL-QAEDA
How to Beat al Qaeda at Its Own Game: Drama - Foreign Policy

AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan warns against Swat 'peace deal' and allowing Sharia in Pakistan - Daily Times (Pakistan)
In Recruiting an Afghan Militia, U.S. Faces a Test - New York Times

INDIA
Trial of Mumbai gunman Azam Amir Kasab begins in bomb-proof court - Times Online (UK)
Trial Delayed as Kasab Demands Lawyer from Pakistan - Sify (India)

IRAN
Iran Says It Plans New Nuclear Offer - New York Times
Russia says it is not supplying air defence systems to Iran - AFP (France)
Trial of Iranian American journalist over, in hands of judge, officials say - Los Angeles Times

IRAQ
US troops 'might stay in Northern Iraq' after withdrawal date - BBC
Al-Qaeda Claims Blast That Killed 5 U.S. Troops - Washington Post
Signs of extremists' resurgence in Iraq - San Francisco Gate

ISRAEL
U.S., Israel to hold huge military drill (Juniper Cobra) - UPI
Israel and US to hold missile intercept drill - Kuwait Times

MEXICO
Mexico police find anti-aircraft machine gun in drug cartel raid - Dallas Morning News
Obama to name Alan Bersin his 'border czar' - San Diego Union Tribune
Obama Orders Treasury to Seize Cartels' Assets - Washington Post
Mexican President Vows to Win Drug War - ABC

NORTH KOREA
Seoul strikes back at Pyongyang as North-South tension grows - Asia Times
UN Condemns North Korea Rocket Launch - VOA

PAKISTAN
Militants said making inroads in Punjab in the heart of Pakistan - UPI
Terrorists rally in Swat, march through region - Long War Journal
Taliban on Swat Peace Deal: Sharia for other parts of Pakistan also - Dawn (Pakistan)
TNSM's Sufi says disarm in Swat, TTP says enforce sharia first - Daily Times (Pakistan)
Militants enjoy immunity from law: TNSM - Dawn (Pakistan)

SOMALIA
Somali pirates launch failed attack on second US vessel - Christian Science Monitor
Somali Extremists Have al-Qaeda Ties - Wall Street Journal
Somalia Islamists Order Women to Take Veil - AllAfrica
A Good Day at the Office for Navy SEALs - Knoxville News Sentinel

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The dark side of Dubai - The Independent (UK)

April 13, 2009

1. American captain of the Maersk Alabama free after US Navy SEALs kill captors with sudden vessel-to-vessel sniper fire. Next US step to address Somali piracy unclear. Report says attacks on pirate bases along Somali shore possible.

2. The logistical challenge of supporting an "Afghan Surge" of forces is becoming an acute crisis as supply lines through Pakistan see increased attacks, disruptions.

3. Following the Russian post-invasion aim of infiltrating and controlling Georgian government and politics, President now hearing calls for ouster while Georgian parliament "girds for standoff."

4. Once again, Iran signals to EU that it is ready for nuclear talks to resume, appeasing an eager West with another disingenuous appeal and buying more time for its nuclear development.

5. Two killed, dozens reported injured as Thai forces open fire on anti-government demonstrators in Bangkok. Descent into political turmoil intensifies.

SOMALIA PIRACY MAERSK ALABAMA INCIDENT
Snap Call, Quick Kills Free US Hostage - Military.com
How the Rescue Happened - Blackfive
Pirates vow to avenge deaths after U.S. Navy SEALs free Captain Phillips - New York Daily News
Report: U.S. Considers Attacks on Somali Pirates' Land Bases - FOX News
'Captain Courageous' Hailed As Hero - CBS
Somali Piracy: A Solution - ThreatsWatch

AFGHANISTAN
Pakistani Militants Again Torch Supplies Bound for Troops in Afghanistan - VOA
NATO, US seek alternatives to Pakistan supply routes - CS Monitor

EGYPT
Egypt Investigation Reveals Hizballah Planning Terror Attacks at Suez Canal - Ha'aretz
Egypt detains 15 over rockets bound for Gaza - Reuters

GEORGIA
Georgia Girds for Standoff at Parliament - Wall Street Journal

IRAN
Fed contractor, cell phone maker sold spy system to Iran - Washington Times
Iran tells EU official ready for nuclear talks (Again) - AFP (France)
What Iran Really Thinks About Talks - Wall Street Journal
Flashback: The Iranian Two-Step: Talks About Talks - ThreatsWatch

IRAQ
Russia, Iraq aim to revive pre-war deals - Reuters

ISRAEL
Rigged Gaza fishing boat explodes near Israel Navy vessel - Ha'aretz

NORTH KOREA
Surely Instilling Fear: U.N. Security Council May Rebuke North Korea - New York Times
More Of Same: U.N. to Condemn Pyongyang Launch - Wall Street Journal

PAKISTAN
Kilcullen: Pakistan in danger of collapse within months - Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
March 22, 2009: A Conversation With David Kilcullen - Washington Post
Taliban move on Buner (from Swat) despite promise to withdraw - Long War Journal
Pakistani PM Rejects Conditions On US Aid Dollars - AFP
Al-Qaeda's Shadow Army commander outlines Afghan strategy - Long War Journal
Nawaz Sharif, PML-N invited back to government; Offer declined - Reuters
Dissembling Irony: Nawaz Sharif calls for 'political unity' to save Pakistan - Gulf News (UAE)

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Hamas 'bomb factory' found in West Bank mosque - AFP (France)
Abbas Decides Not to Form New PA Gov't as Egypt Pressures for Joint Gov't with Hamas - Jerusalem Post

SOMALIA
Getting Past Somalia Inanity: Poor Thinking and Future Policy - ThreatsWatch
US politician targeted in Somalia - BBC

SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka Govt Urges Civilians to Leave War Zone as Army Begins Truce - VOA

THAILAND
Latest: Two killed in Thai protests, army opens fire - Reuters
Earlier: Thai troops move on protesters outside Prime Minister's compound - Times Online (UK)
Earlier: Thai PM says Bangkok protests 'under control' - BBC

UNITED STATES
Commentary: A World Without Nukes -- Just Like 1939 - Washington Post
Commentary: The Good and Bad of Gates's Agenda - Commentary Magazine

April 6, 2009

1. North Korean missile launch physically fails, but intent is to leverage more aid, diplomatic pressure. UNSC fails to even condemn. Even still, US to ask for stricter sanctions.

2. President Obama looks to push agenda to eliminate nuclear weapons globally. Reduction talks with Russia expected in weeks.

3. President's European trip fails to parlay popularity into combat commitment from NATO allies for Afghanistan. Trainers and minor funding increases only gains.

4. New Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy meeting with expected Pak resistance, reluctance.

PRESIDENT PRESSING NUCLEAR WEAPONS BAN
Obama pledges to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons - Los Angeles Times
Iran criticizes Obama, calls on U.S. to scrap nuclear arms - Reuters
Russia says nuclear treaty talks to start in weeks - AP
Obama's Original Campaign Pledge to Seek Elimination of Nuclear Arms - National Review Online

AFGHANISTAN
NATO pledges more troops for Afghanistan, but not combat forces - Los Angeles Times
FACTBOX: Commitments to Afghanistan from NATO summit - Reuters
Holbrooke, Mullen visit Afghanistan - AFP (France)

IRAN
US may cede to Iran's nuclear ambition - Financial Times
Iran Defends North Korea Rocket Launch as a Right - FOX News
Presidential candidate Mousavi vows to change Iran's 'extremist image' - AFP (France)

IRAQ
Palestinian President Abbas in Iraq for Talks - FOX News
Iraq 'vows to protect' Palestinians - Al-Jazeera
Six Car Bombs Kill 30 in Iraq - New York Times

ISRAEL
Security sources: Fatah has resumed terrorist activities - Ha'aretz (Israel)
Obama: Changing Israeli/Palestinian Policy Won't Deter al-Qaeda - CNN (Transcript)

MEXICO
Misunderstanding Mexico: Politicians Downplay Threat, Risking Security - FrontPage Magazine
11 bodies found in Mexico, some with torture signs - AP

NORTH KOREA
North Korea Seeks Political Gain from Rocket Launch - New York Times
NoKor Missile Hits Diplomatic Target - The Age
Chavez Sides With Russia On North Korea Rocket Launch, UNSC Fails to Condemn - FOX News
U.S. to Ask for Tougher UN Sanctions on North Korea, Rice Says - Bloomberg
North Korea: What's next? Ask China - Huffington Post

PAKISTAN
Islamabad sharpens tone with conditions set on US aid - Daily Times (Pakistan)
Time Is Short as U.S. Presses a Reluctant Pakistan - New York Times
At Least 24 Killed in Suicide Bomb Attack on Shi'a Mosque in Pakistan - VOA
Abducted American UN aid worker freed, leaves Pakistan - Telegraph (UK)
President Zardari pledges to stop fundamentalists - AFP
Taliban Leader Baitullah 'Mehsud has pals in high places': The ISI - Daily Times (Pakistan)

RUSSIA
Opponents of Chechen president are picked off one-by-one by death squads - Sunday Herald (Scotland)
Dubai Police Link Murder of Chechen to Russian - New York Times
Cousin of Chechen President, Deputy Minister, Accused In Dubai Murder - Moscow Times (Russia)

SOMALIA
Al-Shabab beheads a man in southern town - Mareeg (UK)
Islamists (al-Shabab) in Bay and Bakool regions condemn Aid Organizations - Somaliweyn (Somalia)
Israeli ship targeted by pirates off Somalia; attempt to board fails - NY Daily News
Despite Patrols, Somalia's Pirates Are Busier Than Ever - TIME

SYRIA
History's Top Palestinian Terrorist Bombmaker Camped In Syria - AP

TURKEY
Turks Arrest Obama Assassination Plotter With Media ID - ThreatsWatch

UNITED STATES
The New Spanish Inquisition: Judge Launches Gitmo Crusade v. Bush Administration - Weekly Standard

April 2, 2009

1. As US logistics routes through Pakistan become less and less reliable and dangerous, routes through Russia's sphere of influence being weighed, with some nods from Russia.

2. Friction reported at the G-20 Summit as some European leaders disagree with American government-centric approach of 'stimulus' to address economic woes.

3. General Petraeus makes US media rounds, reporting that al-Qaeda and Taliban are gathering strength inside Pakistan. Also says "building" trust with Pakistani counterparts, stopping short of saying "having" trust.

4. As Venezuela's Chavez visits Tehran railing against US and President Obama, US SecState says exchange occurred with Iranian official while Iran denies any took place.

G-20 SUMMIT
Obama Strains to Drive Message, as Friction Builds at G20 - FOX News
At G-20 Summit, World Leaders Negotiate Response to Crisis - Washington Post

AFGHANISTAN
Petraeus Discusses Mission in Afghanistan, US & Pakistan 'Building' Trust - FOX News
Russia may allow US Afghan military cargo - Financial Times (UK)
10,000 more troops sought for Afghan war - Philadelphia Enquirer
20 'militants' die in Afghan fight - UPI

CHINA
Fearing economic domestic unrest, Chinese official calls for heightened internal security - AP
'People's Army must take orders from Communist Party' - AP

IRAN
Clinton says US met with Iran delegate - Christian Science Monitor
But Iran Says: No US-Iran meeting at Afghan conference - AFP (France)
Chavez in Iran: Obama still leads 'empire' - AFP (France)

IRAQ
British Forces Transfer Command in Southern Iraq to U.S. - New York Times
Pentagon Reports Iraq Progress, But Effort Still 'Fragile, Uneven' - VOA

ISRAEL
Obama Team Tried to Stop Israel's Gaza Offensive Before Inauguration, Report Says - FOX News
Israel Favors Roadmap, Not Annapolis, regarding Two-State Solution - Wall Street Journal

ITALY
Italy: Police carry out anti-terror raids across country - Adnkronos (Italy)

MEXICO
Mexico rules out joint border patrols with U.S. - Reuters
Senate OKs $550M to support US security forces along border - USA Today
Mexico To Seek IMF Funds, Tap US Federal Reserve To Shield Economy - Wall Street Journal

PAKISTAN
NWFP Police Chief: Al-Qaeda and Taliban Planning More 9/11-Style Attacks - The Captain's Journal
Petraeus Warns AQ/Taliban Growing Stonger Threat to Pakistan - New York Times
Taliban Leader Targeted in Missile Strike - New York Times
New Supreme Court Clears Nawaz Sharif, Brother for Elected Office - Financial Times (UK)

RUSSIA
Murder and beatings return to Russia as Medvedev soaks up sunshine at G20 - Times (UK)
US opens route to Afghanistan through Russia's backyard - Guardian (UK)

SOMALIA
Breakaway Somaliland's constitutional crisis deepens - Garowe
Fighting kills at least 14 in Somalia - Reuters

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